The Rally Around Relationship Sin

When we are behaving badly, what is the motivation?  Why do we allow ourselves to be pulled into more sin and dysfunction with the encouragement of others? How often have you listened to or participated in conversations such as women encouraging other women to engage in negative sexual acts, or men encouraging other men to abuse women? Who do you take your counsel from? What qualifies that person to counsel you? When others encourage certain behaviors in you, do you ever take the time to question their motivation? I have experienced and observed people who encourage others to do wrong, and their motivation is usually for selfish gain, wanting to disrupt or gain something in the progress.

How do you determine who is worthy of giving you counsel? Well, for starters the person who counsels you whether friend or family should be someone who has values that are aligned with yours, and your values should be aligned with God’s. Often we allow others to give us advice when they are simply not qualified to do so; and or have the wrong motivation. We cannot afford to arbitrarily allow others into our lives and advise us when they are not qualified to do so, because this could lead to more negative behaviors.

Negative Behaviors that are often encouraged:

  1. Promiscuous sexual behaviors
  2. Disrupting marital vows
  3. Stealing from work or unknown people
  4. Gossiping about others
  5. Retaliating against others
  6. Lying for personal gain or to avoid responsibility
  7. Belittling others for a so-called justified reason or cause
  8. Betraying the confidence of others because of a lack in loyalty
  9. Encouragement to physically harm others
  10. Encouragement to evade responsibility such as parenting, paying childhood support, and admitting to or serving a sentence for illegal behaviors
  11. Encouragement to use drugs or alcohol

Others may benefit from your negative behaviors in the following ways:

  1. Dismantling a relationship that you treasure
  2. Causing you pain misery
  3. Positioning themselves to have a relationship with you that would otherwise be prohibited
  4. Receiving support in engaging in their sinful behaviors. Ex. encouraging you to commit adultery, lie, cheat, or steal (they may feel less guilty if they have company in committing their negative acts
  5. When others are afraid of trying and progressing they will encourage you not to try as well, they cannot stomach the idea of you being successful They are more comfortable with you remaining on their level

You may be easily influenced and coerced into sinful behaviors if:

  1. You are more interested in pleasing people and not in pleasing God.
  2. You are not secure within yourself, and believe whatever others tell you.
  3. You are too lazy to read and study the bible to find out God’s plan for your life.
  4. You live in fear because you are afraid to confront your fears.
  5. You are easily manipulated

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a difficult task, yet necessary in our everyday lives. There is a common misconception when it comes to forgiveness, this misconception is that by forgiving others we are condoning negative or hurtful behaviors, that by forgiving we are showing weakness. Both ideologies are incorrect. The bible states ” For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14 AMP)” I believe the point of this scripture is that, our goal is to be God like, and in doing so we have to practice forgiveness. God constantly and consistently forgives us of our sin, so we must do the same to those in our lives.

Practicing forgiveness releases us from internal pain, forgiveness allows us to move away from the past and embrace our future, while being productive during our present. Holding ourselves in un-forgiveness is the equivalent of living in a prison, it propels us into being unproductive. Forgiving others takes strength and courage, it does not mean that we allow others to mistreat us or that we allow others to abuse us. It simply means that we move on with our lives, we learn from the past, and we don’t worry about whether or not others will hurt us. We simply live in the peace and joy that God has granted all of us. Don’t allow yourself to live in the prison of un-forgiveness.

The Best Sex You Will Ever Have

So what does the best sex ever look like? The best sex ever will take place inside a committed marital relationship, with someone who is selfless. Selflessness is important because sex will not simply be about them only,  they will consider your feelings and work hard to please you. When someone truly cares about you, they will not pressure you to do things sexually that you are not comfortable with, and they will be patient and kind. They will understand any possible past sexual trauma, they will make you feel that you have the ability to meet all of their sexual needs, and those needs will be aligned with God’s word, the person that makes his or her spouse feel inferior by requesting to bring outside people or experiences into the relationship perhaps do not have your best interest at heart.

The best sex ever should include the following:

  1. A committed loving relationship which breeds respect and morals.
  2. High frequency, meaning as much as possible, with exceptions for health problems and long distance marriages.
  3. Creativity and spontaneity, nobody wants the same old boring sex.
  4. Free of health concerns, if there is concern of STDs then the enjoyment of sex will be hindered, condoms were meant mainly for those practicing sex with multiple partners, marital sex should be free of health worries, as this will provide a damper on sex.
  5. Respect is vital, because if one respects his spouse then he will not ask for uncomfortable or risky sex, who wants sex that someone had to pressured into.
  6. Patience and the desire to learn new things and explore each others bodies in a respectful manner.
  7. Trust, love, and security that sex is long-term and not just for one night.
  8. Freedom to share desires and passions in a safe environment.

Sex should not include the following:

  1. Guilt, shame, or force
  2. Deception
  3. Risk to health
  4. Other people besides your spouse
  5. Dread
  6. Being uncomfortable
  7. Feelings of loneliness
  8. Regret
  9. Contradiction to God’s word

Knowing When to Relinquish a Relationship

How do you know when it is time to release yourself from a relationship? When I say relationship I mean all relationships, romantic, friendship, business, and family relationships.  When do you call it quits? When is relinquishing a relationship for the best, and when is it considered being a quitter because it’s too hard? It may be a good idea to end a relationship, if you have tried to make things better by communicating with the other person, you tried being flexible and compromising, you have humbled yourself and did not allow your pride to rule your decision-making. Perhaps you are not producing or receiving anything good from the relationship, maybe the relationship is one-sided, you give and the other person takes.  Eventually you will grow tired of giving that you become depleted. How many times must you apologize, choose to quiet your voice, or overlook hurtful words or actions.  

Why would one choose to stay in such a relationship state? Perhaps it is something that you learned early on in life, maybe this is the sort of relationship that you had with your parents or siblings, and you think that this is how relationships are supposed to be.  Maybe, you don’t think you deserve better. You think love or relationships consist of you pursuing and the other party or individual running and mistreating you.  Somewhere on your relationship DNA you were fooled into thinking that this sort of one-sided relationship is good, but deep down you know it is not right.  At what point do you value yourself enough to relinquish the past and walk toward something new and rewarding?

Perhaps, it is time to stop making excuses, and start making healthy choices that will allow you to prosper and grow as an individual. Perhaps, it is time to receive some of the love that you constantly share with others. Maybe, just maybe, every relationship is not worth saving. So, how do you know when it is time to move on to new endeavors and relationships? Here are some helpful hints:

  1. If you are in a one-sided relationship, constantly giving but never receiving.
  2. If your relationship is not producing any income, mutual learning, or emotional connection.
  3. If you are constantly second guessing yourself, trying to figure out how to make the other person happy, but in reality there is no making them happy, because they could care less about you.
  4. If you are being physically, emotionally, or verbally abused or financially depleted/manipulated.
  5. If you are not being appreciated.
  6. If you are dispensable to the other person, they really don’t care if you live or die, show up or cancel, call or don’t call.
  7. If you have given a good faith effort, and still there has been no change.
  8. If you are emotionally, financially, or intellectually depleted (there is simply nothing left).
  9. If you are not learning, prospering, or changing for the better.
  10. If the current relationship is hindering you from new relationships and opportunities.

Moving On After Infidelity

Infidelity is often a touchy subject, unfortunately a common factor in marital relationships.  Many couples seek counseling after an incident of infidelity, which is very helpful for couples looking for clarity, guidance, and coping skills.  After the act of infidelity has been committed, the question becomes how does one move past the hurt and anger if the decision has been  made to continue the relationship.  

If the decision has been made to continue the relationship, then certain rules should be implemented and certain actions taken. 

  1. A qualified professional counselor or marriage and family therapist should be sought out to assist with developing communication skills and to act as a mediator.
  2. Couples should re-establish relationship rules and expectations, such as the importance of fidelity and deal breakers in the relationship.
  3. Clarify whether the infidelity was a one time incident or whether it was part of a pattern of questionable and negative behaviors.  If there is a pattern of infidelity, then one should be cautious because patterns demonstrate serious character flaws, that may require intense psychotherapy and spiritual guidance.
  4. The individual who committed the infidelity has to become transparent and willing to share openly such things as emails, text messages etc. for a limited time until the other party in the relationship feels as though nothing is being hidden (people who have nothing to hide will not object or complain about privacy violations).
  5. The art and act of forgiveness has to be practiced and implemented, it is not fair to continue a relationship and use past infidelity to berate and torture your spouse on a daily basis.
  6. When working with the professional counselor or marriage and family therapist the couple should explore what acts or behaviors led to the infidelity: in other words, did both parties work hard at providing a loving and caring environment, full of sex, dating, caring actions, quality time, and special moments?. Usually there was some sort of lack in one of the above areas that possibly led to the infidelity, both parties have to take responsibility for not taking care of the relationship, unless one member of the party is a chronic adulterer which again leads to ingrained character flaws that should be addressed with long-term psychotherapy.
  7. The couple should seek medical attention to check for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), and should begin practicing safe sex until trust has been re-established and both parties are STI free. 
  8. Prayer and spiritual guidance is imperative, the couple should consult their pastor or other spiritual advisor and use bible based scriptures to learn and implement God’s idea of marriage and love.
  9. Boundary making should be implemented into the relationship, careful consideration should be given in establishing appropriate boundaries, the couple should be careful that outsiders are not allowed into the relationship.  This includes family and friends who could compromise the integrity of the relationship by offering negative advice and unwanted interference. 

“The Marital Misconception”

Often I hear individuals and couples state that they are not happy in their relationships, and divorce becomes a quick remedy to problems that are often deep seeded. I’m starting to think that the idea of marriage is entered into under a misconception. There are many valid reasons for divorce such as abuse and addiction, but, my concern is that marriages cannot survive a minimum of five years in many cases. Where are the communication and problem solving skills that were once used to maintain long-lasting marriages? What sort of happiness are those who have short-lived marriages looking for? I am a firm believer that your spouse cannot be the source of your happiness. Perhaps more time should be spent creating happiness before marriage, and developing a relationship with God; which is where I believe true happiness originates.

The misconception comes from the idea that everyday spent married will be full of happiness and joy, and there will never be any conflict or sorrow. Wrong, marriage is a 24/7 job responsibility, it takes a considerable amount of work. There are many cycles in marriage such as adding children, growing older, children leaving the home, retiring, and loosing parents to illness and other reasons. The Family Cycle requires understanding, maturity, dedication, a relationship with God, and a certain level of selflessness.

What misconceptions have you created in your marriage? How have these misconceptions affected your marriage?