Monday, November 29, 2010

Out of Your League?

What does that mean? Is there ever a person that would be out of your league? Before going on with this blog, think about that for a moment. It has been said too often out there in the world, but have you incorporated that foolish thinking into your lifestyle? And what does God think about that way of thinking? Who is really out of your league? Does this feeling impede your Christian maturity? Is God pleased with you for categorizing people in a way that He doesn't? Did He need you for that?

Understandably the way women feel about this question as opposed to men are two different components. Women still have to realize like it or not that there is a double standard. As my mother would tell me, "if a man pees in the street, he can zip up his pants and still be called Mister. If a woman pees in the street she will be known as the woman who peed in the street." Instead of fighting so much to be equal with those that have sown wild oats, cheated and mistreated others - let's just be pleased with being women who can do and get paid for a lot more than we use to. We don't have to prove that we can walk around shirtless and pee standing up too. With that out of the way, let's see who is out of a woman's league -if there be anyone.

Women have been intimidated by other women because of the way we treat each other. It has either been because of stereotypical views of people in certain socio-economic status or because of experience and just not taking the chance of possibly being hurt, misused, or berated. Oddly enough these same feelings are also towards men and relationships only in reverse. Women would prefer that 6 figure income and riding in a Benz rather than the pizza guy in a Fiesta. She was taught at a young age with Cinderella. Even the washer girl can get the prince. Then it is further propagated with the film "Pretty Woman." Is it possible for a hooker to get a man from Wall Street and he fall in love with her? Really? So a woman can live any sort of life and still come out smelling like a rose? How many women fell for that myth and now single with extra mouths to feed and still waiting for that Wall Street mogul?

Men have a different outlook on a woman who went and got the education, worked the career, and lived the life style she labored for. He either has to raise the bar in his own life or come to terms and accept a woman who is less than what he would really like to have. Know this acceptance will back fire to the point of him not only hating himself for compromising his dreams but resenting the woman he settled for. It would be a miserable life and it is up to one or the other to ask enough questions to see that the hopes and dreams of the other is being fulfilled - that's in a marriage.

If a man or woman decides to try to date someone who is not in the same socio-economic class, get ready to get your feelings hurt. The reason for this is the same as a pigeon trying to be an eagle. There will never be a way for the pigeon to get the same height, swoop to catch the same sort of prey, or be disciplined to stay with the same mate for life. The principles just aren't there. The thing with people, if willing, he/she is able to be taught and continue to be determined to get there. There is a saying that you can take the girl/guy from the hills (ghetto, trailer park, street, gutter) but you can't take the hills (ghetto, trailer park, street, gutter) out of the girl/guy. That's not the Word; yet if you believe that sort of saying, you will never be set free from those fears of always being out the league of another. Recall that what is impossible to man is possible with God.

I wrote about this woman who was upset when speaking to me after church services before. We were headed to the parking lot to leave the building when she burst with angry ramblings of how men in the church we were attending act as if the women should be falling to their feet or that the women were too uppity for them so they went to other churches to find wives and brought them back to the church they are currently attending. I was fascinated with her findings - even though her emotion seemed to be pinpointed on one man. As she continued on, I couldn't help but to be pleased that our pastor saw what women were going through and had the foresight to teach them what they needed to know so they could be aware of the wolves that come to a church and prey on women who seemed desperate to do anything to be married. So with this new found knowledge, instead of her being pleased that God has kept her from the derelicts and dregs of society, she is pouting not to have been hooked up with one? Huh?

One of my favorite passages in the bible is the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-22 AMP). It is absolutely intriguing to me how Jesus said that the certain man was doing well with all he knew of the Word but the one thing he could do was sell all he had and give to the poor. Would that also be as profound if Jesus told this certain man this while in the midst of poor people? This man with all that he has is walking amongst those without and still pleased with himself in knowing all that he does about being the righteousness of God, yet the one thing asked of him, he simply walked away grieved because of what? Was the Epitomizer of righteousness asking him too much to do? Would this deed be too much in order for him to make it to heaven? Was the task out of his league?

And so the question be posed again. To women, would she be engaged in a relationship with a man who has less than she has? Would he be ambitious enough to meet her standard? Would she be able to live below what she is use to? Does God call her to do this?

And does this apply to men in asking this same question again? Would he engage in a relationship with a woman who has less then he does? Boaz did it in pursuing Ruth, King Ahaserus did when marrying Esther, and King David with Bathsheba, all of which are in the lineage of Jesus. It is quite interesting when the double standard is in the different direction and in Christianity - isn't it?

Be as it may, it doesn't take from the scripture, be not unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14 AMP). As long as there is an understanding of his vision and she is anointed to be not any wife but specifically his wife - being out of anyone's league is only in the mind of a child. Selah.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Obligated

Every time I think I went over a topic to exhaustion, something else arises to where I begin wondering whether I touched on that point enough or not and if I did, is it understood to the point of it being common sense then anything else? Well, to some of us, most of these topics are common sense but only because of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us while we are persistent in walking in love in all that we do. If you didn't know where that common sense came from, now you do.

With that, let's understand the concept of obligation. To be obligated to someone is to be indebted to that person. It is a bill whether it being an actual, tangible document, or just an understanding that when it is time to collect on the debt, the person collecting is expecting payment at the point of asking. Let us all understand right out of the gate that the Word tells us to owe no man anything but to love him. With this in mind, there should be an immediate plan to get out of debt and stay out of it, just to be pleasing to God. Now, let's put this in the perspective of dating for those interested for the purposes of marriage. Can one be obligated to the person interested in dating? Yes. At one time, that question would only apply to women, yet these days women have learned a few things. They can and have made men be in debt to them as well.

We know that when there is a date, the process is for the man to ask the woman for some of her time. She can graciously accept or deny his invitation. Upon acceptance of the invitation, the man would have planned something relaxing for the purpose of conversation and for each other to see the demeanor of each other's behavior. Usually people go to lunch or a casual dinner. For some reason people are more at ease during meal time and are less likely trying to keep appearances. Dinner and a movie being such a common date, practice has made keeping a good impression a more difficult task to break. Be as it may, it is still an invitation and him paying for the bill is not a means for him to collect on later. Her companionship for the evening in the venue of it being pleasant conversation makes whatever the cost worth while or, if he is a gentleman, he could believe that he got the best of the deal.

There is an undisclosed understanding that after so many dates, the woman must allow her interested party to have sexual favors because of payment on so many dates. If she feels that this is the direction of the date, even if he states in being a Christian (more so if he does), she should cut the evening short and never try to gain this man's interests again. This would also apply to the man. As Christians, we understand the purpose of dating. It does not involve sexual activity. If there is temptation in that direction, then the invitation should not be given nor accepted. If you are truly walking in love, why would you intentionally plan to ruin someone else's walk in love and purity?

Now about some women, gentlemen, there is a slight and quite cunning difference. The women have learned that men also come to church to find that virtuous woman. If he sees that she is volunteering in services to the point that the church officials are counting on her for multiple tasks, she knows that she might have the attention of a number of potential suitors. Here is what men don't see. They don't see that some women are tired and only take on the position for the attention of male suitors. Once the invitation is made, she works for the officials for as long as she needs to. Eventually, her male interest will ask for her to step down because it is taking too much attention away from him. When she does and concentrates her attention on him, he thinks he has a prize. She then does the care and work for him that she did for the pastor. She reminds him of the bills he needs to pay for and the other incidentals that he would normally forget about. He likes this personal attention. It is like having an assistant. Hey... that's what a wife is.... she is the helper.... she assists the man. Why not make her your wife?

And as suggested, he does. Does that mean she liked doing all of those little things for him? Did she like doing it for the pastor? Will she continue to do them after the vows are made? Is she obligated to do it or does she get pleasure in assisting her husband? What if he sees something in her that he doesn't like? He has accepted her assistance all of this time without proposing. Is he obligated to stay with her because of all the work she invested in him?

Question: When does a woman feel obligated with helping her husband? Answer: When she is not anointed to be a wife. As non-romantic as this may sound: dating is for the purpose of interviewing a wife. If you don't know how to conduct an interview, you aren't spending enough time with God and have no business dating.

Question: Should a woman ever feel guilty to pay for a date when she was the one asked? Answer: Only if she knew that the one asking had special designs other than those that are pleasing to God. In this case, go dutch treat and deny any other pursuits from him.

Jesus paid the debt for any sins committed. There should be no other obligations that anyone has on a true believer; whether it be financial, social, physical, or spiritual. Jesus said, it is finished!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Marry A Woman Like Your Mother?

Exactly where is that written? I have heard fathers say this to their sons, but if we are to be set free with the truth (John 8:32 AMP) - we can only be so with the Word. In the bible,  Solomon's mother talks to him about women and what types there are in the  three chapters of Proverbs. She doesn't tell him to marry a woman just like her. David tells Solomon about women throughout the book of Proverbs, and he doesn't tell him to marry a woman like his mother. So where did this come from? Could it be fear based? (Proverbs 6:20-25 NIV)

Well, if you realize the way people think and why certain folk do what they do, you can see where fear is laced in where it does not belong. A man marries a woman who has certain qualifications to meet his needs. While some are completely satisfied with the "Suzy Homemaker" type for the purposes of raising children who are well rounded and healthy, other men enjoy having the proverbial "eye candy" to be envied. Then there are those who aspire to have it all - Suzy Homemaker and the eye candy (I wrote a blog on a woman being schizophrenic for her man - it fits here) all in one. Sometimes it doesn't work out that way because with children comes weight gain and when he can't have what he wants, he tends to look elsewhere - but that's an entirely different blog altogether. I am focused on a man trying to find his mother in a wife. Now when you read it that way (or even say it again and again), you can hear how sickening that sounds.

I have my ideas where this disgusting concept came from and it has a lot to do with those intellectual types that decided to agree with Sigmund Freud. He with his theories of the id, ego, and super ego also had a theory about the Oedipus complex. When put in a textbook and giving it the label of theory it becomes more plausible and less disgusting - I suppose. However, if looking at it from where fear got its place, we can see that if men look for women like their mothers, they are less likely to be left alone, have someone there who is nurturing and cares more about him than he does himself. This will please his mother and keeps peace in the house. The problem arises when he doesn't know why he is not sexually attracted to her but stays married for the sake of the children. He doesn't know why he doesn't have a desire to go home like he use to being over thirty and feeling like a "little boy" staying out all night with the fellas. Mom should.... I mean, the wife should understand.

I was watching Maury Povich and knowing that there was going to be some overly dramatic display of domestic turmoil, I watch trying to understand why don't these people get it. Many times I have signed off the show believing that these people must be paid to do this, but when I see a man cry or a woman discover that the lie detector showed her husband made a mistake by marrying her, there is no actor living or passed away that could make that expression and cry on cue the way these people have. It was still a quandary as to why would the same, if not worse, family situation keep existing. Many of the guests come on the show and say they have been watching Maury Povich for years, yet as guests are requesting the same thing that so many others did before him/her. Was it an aspiration or is it seen as a normal thing to have such horrific drama in a marriage or relationship? Maury's show has evolved from being a variety of topics one may be interested in to just getting the results to a DNA test or lie detector findings. In an interview Mr. Povich's replies consisted of where the ratings held the most fascination - hence the reason for the migration. From a man screaming, why doesn't his wife keep her legs closed to another beginning her confession with, "you know I love you - right?" Why not ask, where did it go so wrong? And then you see the spawned woman get up and bend over her once beloved man and point her finger in his face scolding him as if he were a bad boy. Who wants to make up to that and have sex later? Really? Ew?

Even if it was fine for boys to grow up thinking they were going to marry a woman like their mother, once upon a time - this is a new day and a completely different age (Proverbs 5 NIV). Too many mothers are single and struggle trying to teach their sons to be men. They just can't do it. Women are not men! As many women that would argue with what they did to raise successful sons all by themselves, let's see what the sons struggled with in trying to keep their masculinity in tact. For men these days to marry women like their mothers would mean they would have to be uncomfortable in their own houses and eventually leave for their wives to be truly like their mothers - single and alone. Its like seeing the handwriting on the wall that there will be a few divorces before the realization in maturity for him to know he was better off marrying the one that he was attracted to for the similarities in interests rather than the similarities in his childhood.

Mothers have their role in every man's life where he remembers her reassurance about the big exam in school or his first speech in front of so many people. He can recall coming home to the wonderful smells from the kitchen and all of his clothes neatly folded in his drawer and ironed in his closet but she will never know him like his wife - never, ever! Men have to realize that when it comes to his wife there are just some things he desires that his mother doesn't need to know about. Its a man thing. A man cannot get the help he desires if he focuses on marrying a woman just like Mom (Proverbs 7:1-5 NIV). Selah guys!





Friday, November 5, 2010

What Kind of Help Are you Looking For?

I don't have vast experience like so many others, but God has made me privy to learn so many things without experiencing them. He has placed me at events, in line with crowds of people, and at specific areas, to hear and witness conversations or statements that have either been a travesty or has left me asking God for clarity as to why a man would do such things to bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

I know what I went through as a married woman and would never tell a woman not to marry. With the right person, marriage is a wonderful institution. However, having written that, God did give us good sense to make sure that the person we have committed and submitted our lives to have practiced the love of Christ for quite some time so when the tests come the act of doing as the Holy Spirit does is not foreign to him/her.

A man was at home caring for his children while his pregnant wife was out with some friends. They were struggling financially having just bought their first house and trying their best to make it a home. While his wife was out enjoying the company of her friends, she saw in a residential area, some people had discarded rolls of carpet foam. The wife knew that her carpet was in her house still rolled waiting for her husband to be able to afford the carpet batting. She stopped the car and opened the trunk to haul four rolls of carpet batting in the car. When she brought them home, her husband wasn't upset that she was hauling the heavy bails in her condition. He praised her for thinking about the family and making life easier for him. He often encouraged her by saying that back in the day women used to have babies and keep on working to provide for the family.

Another man praised his wife for being able to work a night shift as a nurse, come home cook meals, wash clothes, and keep a clean house only to get up after a few hours of sleep to do it all again the next day.

This third man who doesn't look at all pleasant but has a pleasant disposition married a homely woman. He is happy with her. She birthed him four children. He does the cleaning, laundry, cooks and provides for his family all throughout their marriage. She has a comedic personality and he is fine with it.

Which of these three situations (all are true) would you fit in? Do you see yourself here or have you been there? How do you think these marriages fared? What has happened to the health of the men? What has happened to the health of the women? Can you speculate? Is it obvious?

The bible calls the woman the weaker sex and yet in Proverbs 31, she is anything but weak (1 Peter 3:7 AMP). How would you use these verses and be pleasing to God? Can you abuse her ability to be able to help you knowing that God formed her to enjoy the abundant life as well? What  does a man expect from his wife? What is the wife willing to do?

In those three scenarios, none of the marriages fared well. The first marriage ended in divorce. No matter what, he was always expecting her to go beyond what she was able to do when he wasn't willing to do the same himself. His health, if he listens to the medical professionals, is not what abundant life consists of. His wife raised her children and went back to school and established a career.

The second scenario, the husband went home to be with the Lord. His wife continued with the regiment that he trained her to do and was told on her job that she needed to go to a doctor because her face had twisted. She was so busy doing her regular schedule, she didn't listen nor did she realize that she was having a stroke. She is on meds and believing God for a total recovery. Though she makes reference back when she was married missing her husband, she has no desire (according to her) to marry again.

And lastly, the third marriage sustained the growth  of their children and they are still together after over 50 years. She may tell jokes about her husband amongst others, but she seems submissive to him in private. He watches over and seems genuinely concerned about her health and well being. I don't know what she has done for him other than birth his children, but it isn't for me to know. Health wise, he seems the picture of it. She has had some falls and a few surgeries.

What does this tell you?

Lift Every Voice

There aren't to many reasons why people marry. There aren't too many reasons why people come to church to find the ideal person with whom they would like to spend the rest of their lives. There have been entirely too many people that has allowed their eyes to make that call rather than hearing what the calling (Spirit led) has to say. It is the last statement that should create interest to this new generation of believers so that any unwanted cycle in "the family" can stop right now (Matthew 7:15 AMP).

During the dating process, initially, eyes are all a twinkle and we do put  on our best behavior; why this behavior isn't constant would be up to the willing participants of the date to see and make a quality decision afterward.

When I was in my late teens, I went on a date with this absolutely gorgeous man. I was elated that he not only found me attractive but was stammering in trying to get my phone number. He didn't know I was elated and the calmer I continued to stay the more nervous he became. I was intrigued. I did give him my phone number and we did go out on a date. To make a long story short - we went to the movies and I do recall the title but not one part of it did I see. He chose the movie and within 10 minutes was bored. He decided  to get close and start talking (really). Now? Talking? The movie started already. I politely shushed him and gestured for him to look at the film. He in as much had the attitude of sucking his teeth, turned his body around back to the front and within 5 minutes of quiet turned back towards me and said, "I paid my money too, I should be able to talk if I want to." He then proceeded with questions to get to know me better (truly). I thought, "in a movie?" I knew that we were going to be shushed soon. He allowed me to choose the seats and I don't like sitting in the back row. "Com'mon", I said, getting up to leave, stepping over people and disrupting them even more than him talking during the film.

You would think that was the first and last date I went on with that character. Would that I could leave it at that but like I wrote before, he was absolutely gorgeous!!! Though some of those tingles became watered down after the movie incident, what I saw and what I knew to do didn't come to an agreement until weeks later.

With the practice of walking in the Spirit so not to adhere to the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16 KJV), we tend to be more mindful of doing what is right in spite of what may look good. God sees what we don't. It's why prayer is imperative and needs to be on a constant (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 AMP).

I was driving on a busy street and stopped at a traffic light. I was the first at at the cross walk. While waiting for the drivers on my right to make their left turn, there was this first driver who got my attention, inadvertently. We made eye contact and apparently had the same reaction as he drove past - slowly. Again, I was calm and made the distinct sound of "ooh-ooh" to myself. The light changed and I began to drive. Clearly, I heard the audible voice of the Lord say, "watch that flesh." What? I didn't turn around, yell out of my window, screaming, "come back! I'll have your child!" One little calm sound - it was a little gravel-ish down in my throat... hm.... now that I think about it....well, it does explain a few things.

When reacting to something that has nothing to do with being led of the Spirit of God, there are consequences to be faced (Romans 6;22-23 AMP). It is the explanation of tests, trials, and being out in the wilderness when you think it is the enemy coming to terrorize you - it is actually the ramifications of what you did, said, or thought that got you where you are. Obedience to Christ has its rewards. Succumbing to the impulses of the flesh has its consequences. God said you choose.

My children picked up the habit of saying, "I promise to God" whenever they were trying to express to each other that they were telling the truth. They have since stopped saying that knowing that God said to let your yay be yay and your nay be nay. Yet what I found interesting that no matter how wide eyed and innocent they looked or clearly stating specific facts, it was still necessary for them to say, I promise to God in order to get what they were asking for. They all having a fear of God, so they did learn to manipulate each other by saying that or did it to prove that because it was said it must be the truth? Clearly, the ignorance of my children back then was put to the test when they heard an adult use the same phrase and didn't complete the what he promised. The adult has consequences to be faced, is facing, or is coming out of. Know that when you know not to do something like lying, the consequences don't get easier to go through.

In the dating process we are also quick to hear certain things that we find appealing. The man's vision is always really nice especially when his goal is to make a certain salary. A woman who likes to cook and keep her man pleased curls the toes of most whose intent in finding his good thing; yet will it overshadow testing every voice to see if it is of God (1 John 4:1-3 AMP)? Like what is written earlier, everyone puts on an impressive front to get what the aim is for. Look at the job interviews you have gone on, seen others go through, and may have conducting some yourself. They dressed in the right clothes, had the right answers and on the job they know that there is a probation period,. But if the interviewer doesn't go and do the homework of following up on the references, what the job performance was on the last position and how the workers faired with the applicant - then the product that is produced is the fault of the interviewer.

There is a man in my place of employment. He is mild mannered and is married with children. He gets along seemingly with everyone and is always smiling. Every once in awhile when I speak to him he might show tiny tendencies where the job is irritating him; however his complaints are few. Every once in awhile when I take a walk, I see him in the back of the building talking to an attractive woman or sitting on one of the park benches with some other female. He has walked another young woman to her car and has come extremely close to the face of some other woman different from the previous three. None of these women is his wife. He knows that his fellow co-workers see him, and it doesn't detour him from changing his behavior. What is his wife thinking while she is working? Is she concerned that her husband might be seeing others or does she believe that the mild mannered- ness in him is on a constant?

We as Christians are suppose to not only see what others do but go beyond that (Colossians 1:8-10 AMP). This can only come through relationship with Jesus. A man is only willing to listen to his wife because of the Holy Spirit on the inside telling him and he sought Wisdom early. A novice of Christ will remember Genesis when Adam listened to his wife and the fall of man occurred. Women have to look beyond the 6 figured salary and see why this man decided to make you his wife before taking the vows or accepting the proposal. If that money overshadows the obvious flaws in him, then you have the reward that the love of money brings - evil. Of course we can sugar coat the situation and state that we all have flaws. And we did - its just that the old has passed away and behold all things have become a new. So as we strive for perfection we state the positive and not the past or that we still abide in mistakes (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV).