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

Before Its Too Late……..

When is it ever a good idea to end a marriage? When do you cut your losses? I’m a firm believer in working through marital discord such as sexual issues, financial issues, communication issues etc., but some issues cannot be remedied. Issues like domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, financial irresponsibility such as refusing to work or reckless spending. If children are physically, verbally, or emotionally abused, then the marriage should end. Lastly, having a spouse who is checked out or refuses to take responsibility for actions may lead couples down the road to divorce, it takes two people working for a common goal for a marriage to work.

It is better to make the decision to end a marriage early, especially before children are added to the relationship. There should not be any shame in ending a marriage before too much time is invested into a dysfunctional relationship.

Because of the above reasons, marriage should begin on a strong foundation and every effort should be made to get to know the other person. Remember that marriage is a commitment and the relationship leading to the marriage should be private, so that outside forces cannot break the covenant.

Guarding Your Heart

The heart is not only one of the most vital organs in our body it is also one of the most sensitive organs that requires protection physically and emotionally. Last night I was reading the following passage in my amplified bible “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:21, 23 AMP)” What I learned from this scripture is that the heart is the center of all that is good in human beings. It is important that we protect our heart because once our heart is damaged it is difficult for us to function.

After reflecting on the importance of the heart I began to examine ways that I have allowed my heart to be damaged, because I failed to protect it. So, here goes a little disclosure; in the past I was guilty of allowing others to hurt me and therefore hurting my heart. Every time I allowed my mate (past not present) to verbally assault me, every time I entered into impossible relationships that I knew ahead of time would not be able to fulfill my emotional needs, and every time I pretended I had control over others and their poor decision-making, therefore blaming myself when they inflicted pain upon themselves.

Whenever I listen to negative messages that counter the positive messages I normally tell myself, I am guilty of not guarding my heart. Words are some of the most common ways in which we do not guard our heart. I have learned that I am responsible for guarding my heart and I must take this task seriously. So many times I had difficulty functioning because my heart was afflicted with pain. Pain that I allowed into my life and my heart. Now that I am wiser and stronger I have learned to guard my heart, and I have learned that this is an ongoing task; I have to work on this task everyday.

Be sure to guard your heart!

 

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

Misguided Hatred

Quite often, the saying “hate is a wasted emotion” is used, perhaps there is some truth to this saying. Hate usually leaves the individual feeling angry and unhappy.  Dictionary.com  describes hatred as “the feeling of one who hates, intense dislike or extreme aversion or hostility.” Usually when the term hatred is used it is directed toward a specific person, place, or thing. Unfortunately, I think it is highly misused against people.  What does it really mean to hate someone? Does one have to know an individual personally in order to hate them? You would think so, but think of the numerous celebrities that are hated by the general public, most likely for unjust reasons, but yet still hated. I say unjust because how does one hate someone they do not know? The hip hop culture often use the term “he hatin on me” which carries the connotation that someone is disliked or the victim of someone else’s jealous feelings without justification.

What about unjustified hate toward a friend or family member? I often wonder how does someone claim friendship and yet hate the person at the same time?  When the term hate is so loosely used, we forget that sometime the thing that makes us so envious of others could very well be the talent or blessing that God has placed upon them. If you compare yourself to your friend, or become angry or enraged when they acquire material possessions, a new spouse, have a special talent, a raise a work etc., then be careful, because you may be hating a blessing from God. So it’s not really the person you are hating, maybe it’s the blessing, and if it’s the blessing then you run the risk of hating God.

Maybe you should take a personal inventory and examine the next time you feel hate towards someone. Ask yourself, why am I so annoyed by this person, why do I dislike this person?  Think of how unfair it is for the other person who considers you a friend. They spend time with you and share their hopes and dreams, just to have you speak ill behind their backs and to betray their confidence. How unfair for the person who looks at you as a friend, how hurtful. Maybe if you cannot be a true friend without hate or envy then you should let the friendship dissolve. What are you gaining by pretending, every time your friend comes around you feel annoyed or angry; this is your issue not your friend’s. If someone is your friend you should be able to cheer for them and all their successes and help them in times of their failure. Practicing the art of “Fake  Friendship” is a waste of time and is hurtful to the other person.  Just as hate is also a waste of time, because it usually accomplishes nothing.

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.

The Two Handed Circle

Marriage is a sacred entity that should be led by the husband and wife, solely. It is my experience that couples should only consult outside sources rarely and only in dire situations when experiencing conflict. Some of the most common mistakes that married couples make is allowing others to enter the marital covenant that they have created with God. For instance, wives often consult their mothers and friends about their marital difficulty or concerns. This is not a good idea and it breaks the covenant between the couple and God. The covenant is a contract between three parties husband, wife, and God. When couples open the door they allow others opinions, past baggage and gossip to interfere in their relationships.

Couples must realize that when they vent to friends and family about their spouse, they risk damaging the relationship between their spouse and others. For example, if a couple has a fight and the husband confides in his mother, disclosing all the intimate details of the fight, the mother in-law may now harbor resentment toward the wife because she feels the need to protect her son. Couples have to remember the very idea of marriage is that adults leave their parents and cleave to their spouse, this cannot be accomplished if the covenant is constantly broken. In the above example, what usually happens is that the husband and wife resolve their conflict, but the mother in-law does not know that the conflict has been resolved and continue to harbor ill feelings. Couples will experience many fights and many make up sessions as well; therefore consulting outside sources becomes pointless.

So, how do you prevent others from entering your marital covenant? Here are some helpful tips:

1. Communication: have early conversations with your mate before marriage about the importance of the  covenant

2. Plan: establish a neutral party such as a pastor or Marriage and Family Therapist to consult when  times are difficult. Participate in Pre-Marital Counseling

3. Consequences: process and plan for the consequences of allowing others into the covenant, like  weakening the relationship between your spouse and your parents, if personal information is shared  regarding the marital relationship such as fiances, sex, employment difficulties, or fidelity problems

4. Skills: develop coping skills for handling conflict

5. Advice: only listen to advice from couples in healthy long lasting relationships, listen to advice without  disclosing personal information about your relationship

Consequences of Breaking the Covenant:

1. Couples lack the ability to develop their own coping skills

2. Somebody in the relationship feels betrayed

3. Couples diminish their authority and role as self sufficient adults when dealing with parents

Share you thoughts on ways you can keep your marital covenant protected.