Friday, March 30, 2012

Casually Farting

A term that is more commonly known, to me, as flatulence is also a point in any relationship that kind of defines it. Pause and think about that (selah). If casually farting defines a relationship, it would be interesting what the feedback is without finishing the remainder of this entry.

Alright, how can the relationship be defined with passing gas? If a person has become so relaxed around the other that ripping one is acceptable, a discussion would also be on the agenda. Do you know enough about this person for him/her to inhale that foul odor stream in a gas from your hind quarters?
Sometimes it just slips out!

Does it or is it a means to force the relationship out of the impressing mode to a casual level? Will the lack of bathing and wearing sweat clothes all the live long day be next? If that's acceptable, why not have hairy arm pits and add bad breath too?

Fine, let's put the matter in the perspective of the Word by which this entire blog is founded. I recently wrote an entry entitled "Got Manners?" If you haven't already read it - start there and then work back this way.

God tells us to give thanks always (2 Thessalonians 1:3 AMP). This is proof that having manners factors into the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 AMP). Now incorporate those 9 fruits with the Love you have been practicing since - forever (Ephesians 5:2 AMP). Why get casual now? Casual almost seems like resurrecting the flesh (Galatians 5:16-21 AMP). Casually passing gas as if you don't care of the discomfort you are causing the one you profess all of that Love to.

Going full spectrum nonetheless; I realize there are those that see this topic as being no big deal. I have heard people talk about this and even going to the bathroom (#2) while the other is brushing his/her teeth or taking a shower. If it becomes a point of discussion, the one doing the casual acts will invariably say, "we are married, why are you making a case of it?" If it is fine with you and your intended, let it be. If it has never been thought of - ask. My parents never passed gas around us when we were little. I believed it was something that only children did to assist in growth or something like taking naps. When a "blrrpt" came from one of them, it was a shock. And while us, as children would have belt out roars of laughter, we also knew that the person who just politely "blrrpt" had to be embarrassed. The room was quiet. We heard an appropriate, "excuse me" and that person would leave the room. Was that a rule? No, just respect for others.

Would that also be true for a married couple or would there be such a relaxed atmosphere that one wouldn't have to go through that sort of effort anymore? While some may think this is funny now, it isn't as much when there is one going through it and all of a sudden other people seem more appealing and become a temptation because of comparisons to what is waiting for them at home or will soon be home from work. While my parents may have been stodgy in how they treated one another to someone else, one of the things that stood out for me was that they said thank you, please and blessed each other when one sneezed. Granted, these manners were teaching us to be just as mannerable to each other and outside of the home but it also taught me to be that way with my spouse as well. I suppose it was refreshing when we were dating and when he saw that after some time together, I wasn't trying to impress him. It was just a habit.

There are those that would say that he would like for his intended to be his best friend - like one of the guys. Even the reminiscing about one of the neighborhood girls that use to run with him and the guys in the hood wasn't like any other girl he has ever met. Just the idea of having fun with her again would cause him to look off in the distance and be with her again. Don't be fooled. He might reminisce about his childhood with a glazed look in his eye, but it is not to have a long term relationship with a woman that reminds him of one of the guys.

Just think about it before allowing the relationship to take a turn where you would rather not go. If your siblings had such contests as with passing gas or belching or making arm pit noises - you can laugh about that and move on. Those are your siblings that you will converse with, go to the movies, have cookouts and family gatherings. But it just is not the same with a spouse. He/she is not your sibling and never will be. There is a closeness and an intimacy that is much more then what you have with a parent. Much more then what you have with a friend and even more then a sibling. Don't minimize the specialisms of the relationship with the simple disregard of common courtesy. To paint a picture: its like wearing gym shoes to a formal wedding, wearing opera glasses to a tailgate party, expecting a butler to turn down your bed at some seedy motel - its just not done.

Remember to appreciate one another. The best way to do this is by reverencing him and for him to love her as Christ loved the church. Amen?   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It Was A Cheating Demon - Really?!!

Alright that makes as much sense as saying, the devil made me do it. Do what? What was it that you did that you have now placed blame on the devil? What is a cheating demon anyway? Aside from playing the blame game, someone who thinks that this is a good enough defense for wrong doing is deluding himself. The purpose of saying this sort of thing is to appeal to those of the faith. We know what it is to be delivered from something that has been entertained for years; however, we also know that the entertaining of  that something kept us from the abundant life is due mostly from ignorance and not a decision to do wrong no matter what.

Is this a judgement and can we be sympathetic to those that are going through something? Sympathetic - of course. Judging someone for falling short of God's glory - of course not (Romans 3:23 KJV). We have all been there, its just that there is a difference between passing judgement and not being naive of the devices of the enemy. Know it or not, there are those that use compassion and sympathy for their own good. This would also include dating for the purposes of marriage.

It is why women need to have patience when it comes to this topic. Praying to God to send her some man because she is desperate to marry or that her loins have a louder voice then her heavenly Father is more of a reason to find it in the Word so that you don't come to God in fear (the real name for desperation), but by faith. For it is impossible to please Him otherwise (Hebrews 11:6 KJV). If you decide not to listen to this instruction and proceed with that wail for a man to come and rescue you from this or that, do not complain when that prayer is answered. If God isn't listening to that desperate cry and you know better, something will answer that cry and you won't like it.

It is also why men need to maintain their relationship with God when He makes that presentation to him for the woman that was created especially for him. I know there are those that believe there is a smorgasbord of beauties just for the picking, but that is not God's way. That's what the world has been doing and because there has not been a proper way to teach men how to find his wife, they tend to reach back to what they are use to - that which has been dead once salvation was decided (2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP). You see, my brothers in Christ, we are where Adam and Eve was before the curse. God presented a woman to Adam. Adam didn't have to hunt her down and travel hither and yon to find her. It wasn't some scavenger game or a beauty contest. It was as simple as being about your Father's business diligently and He will make that presentation better then you could ever do for yourself. How simple is that? Doesn't that sound more like following Jesus then that other thing you thought you had to do (Matthew 11:20 AMP)?

I understand the way King Ahaserus did when he got rid of Queen Vashti and looked for another wife in a beauty pageant. I understand the verse about him finding a wife is a good thing - its just that all of this time I believe it has been taken out of context and there has to be an understanding of ease, simplicity, maintaining the joy and peace in Kingdom Living. That verse and passage in the bible came after the curse was in place. There were many practices that went on because of that curse and the flesh having precedence on what man wanted to do rather than listening to the voice of the Lord and being obedient to it. If your loins speak louder then God's voice then you abide by the passages given and you too will be talking about some demonic spirit that you had to conquer in order to get what God freely gives (John 19:26-28 AMP).

The title of this post came about as from listening to a promotional spot for a lead in on an interview for the evening news. A former mayor of a well known city was ousted from his job. He had an extra-marital affair, a political scandal, bribery, and questionable business transactions attached to his name during his term.The evidence continued to pile against him and through it all, he showed no remorse for what he had done. During the long trial deliberations, all of the people who voted for him was looking to hear him say one thing - a much needed apology. He held a press conference, and the city waited listening for those very important words. Once heard, the city could heal and move on to better things in recovery from what has been done. They waited and waited. Just when they thought he was finally going to say it, he used the word apologize but with an explanation for why he had done wrong. It tainted the apology. He then wrote a book a year later. A year after writing the book, he came back on screen to explain what he had done. His reasoning was this cheating demon.

I believe the entire city's mouth gaped open as he explained what a cheating demon was and how it got him to do all that he was convicted of doing. He took no responsibility for his actions and seeing there was no one else there he could blame, much like Adam blaming the woman, and the woman blaming the serpent - this former mayor just went right to the serpent. Was the church supposed to rally with the confession and bring the rest of the city up to speed? That didn't happen. What's worse, his wife wasn't seen with this new confession and explanation for an apology. Do you think his wife signed up for that? Was this man's character was the thing she was supposed to help him with? What was she supposed to do with a cheating demon? What would you do with it?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reverence Him

I was thinking about those wonderful couples that seem absolutely precious. She is hanging on his every word and he looks at her as if there is no other woman on the face of the planet. How did they get that way and how is it that those sorts of couples that can work out their differences and stay together for actually the rest of their lives? Its effortless for them to resist the temptation of others and divorce was never an option. What did they do that the rest didn't get? Can we get it now? Would you like a marriage that can last forever? Can you see yourself with the same person FOREVER?

I suppose if you aren't actually infatuated with someone right now as you are reading this, it just doesn't seem plausible. Even if you did entertain the idea, who could you see yourself with? A better question, who could see themselves with you? While you ponder through that, I had to get real with myself. I thought about the possibility of being married to someone for the rest of my life and quite honestly, I never really thought about it until then. I mean, you get married and you deal with what ever you have to. Some is good and some isn't. If it gets so bad that you just can't take it anymore, you call it quits - right? Seriously, after awhile two people just grow up and realize that the interests aren't there as they use to be. The couple just grows apart. That's a real thing - right? I have heard it quite often - even in the church. So it has to be right - right? That's the progression of some couples. Its been happening for years. No one has taught otherwise. If they have - I guess I was absent that day.

There is no Word for what I was thinking and because I had no better answers then that, I had to go before the Lord in prayer and ask for Wisdom on the matter. I watched couples in social settings, as I have written before. I watched during the church picnics, bakes sales, dinners to events and gathering of the like; there, I watched as women came together and all did the same thing. They ran around like wind up dolls on caffeine to get their husbands and fiances whatever their hearts desire. They couldn't be more pleased to be able to serve their men and see them altogether with their chests puffed up at how their women can run and fetch them this or that. I watched and cringed. I did my best to accept this behavior in my early 20's thinking it is what is expected from the women even though I never took the Word out to read what is acceptable in the sight of God. Nevertheless, I was at home thinking like a good mother to get my sons use to this lifestyle that I obviously signed up for in taking those vows. I recall the twins in their highchairs waiting for Sunday morning breakfast. I had already given their father his (not at all privy to having breakfast at the table) and was finishing making their plate of eggs, grits, toast, sausage, and orange juice. I was about to make my own plate right after I set theirs down in front of them. They said their blessing and began to eat. All I was doing was finishing the eggs. I had already put everything else on the plate. I had my glass of juice at the ready to sit and have breakfast with my sons. No sooner did I have my plate on the table, I looked up and they were looking at my food. Their plates were clean and they were asking for more. Never again, I said to myself, as I separated my breakfast for my twin boys to have seconds. I will never give them a plate without already having mine made to sit with them. This is what I saw at those church functions. Those women were running around to exhaustion with a smile on their faces; especially the younger ones that just got married and felt they had this right of passage. They couldn't eat their own food for doing all of the running around for their husbands. The older women learned to get to the function early and sit amongst the mothers of the church and have their meal then.

The funny thing was there wasn't a complaint in doing all of that work. Believe me, as I watched them (and volunteered cooking) - it was hard labor. I wondered if they did this at home. At home, she wasn't wearing heels and spanks to keep it all tucked in with makeup and a newly coiffed do. At home, there weren't probing eyes and gossiping chatter of who was really happy and who was having whatever on the side. At home, there was the real woman who either was building her family up or pretending to be. At home, her husband was loving her as Christ loves the church or not.

Understand, when the man treats his wife like crap you can see it in her face no matter how much make up she puts on or how many times she practiced to smile through the pain - it is undeniable to most women. We cannot fool each other. When a woman doesn't reverence her husband, we can see this too. He comes to church before or after her in his own car and sitting with her is the last thing on his mind. He has been berated by her and feels emasculated because of her. Why then would he want to sit with her, protect her, or even pretend that he wants to be with her? For the sake of others? He wouldn't care about that unless he is a pastor and even then on the pulpit ( I have seen), the gloves are off. In front of everyone, he gets his revenge.

I recall one pastor from a ministry made mention of a bad habit his wife has. I don't know what it had to do with what he was talking about, he just happened to mention it. His wife was the church organist. She didn't blush or show any expression at all. When it came her turn to lead devotional service, the pastor was still at the podium and she happened to mention one of his faults as well. It had nothing to do with devotional service. She just decided to mention it too. I vaguely recall this, being a teenager and made to go to church by my mother. I usually sat in the back and got comfortable to take a nap. On that particular day - it was all the way live and I was sitting up wishing I had a closer seat. Devotional service never happened that morning. The pastor was so red with anger he could have busted in two. She was lighting into him (a figure of speech) in front of everybody! I heard the choir director ask, "what is happening?" Indeed. It wasn't over yet, the pastor had to get even. It was ug-ah-ly (Proverbs 14:1 AMP)!

In a different ministry, I was in my 20's. There was a pastor who made mention of his wife's body. He said something to the effect of, her stomach didn't always come through the door before she entered the room. There were one or two gasps before he continued with the sermon (Ephesians 5:28-29 AMP). In the vestibule the pastor's wife heard his comments. She then gave the other church ladies an earful of her husband's prowess. Why would she do that other than for revenge?Who wanted to know that? She was the first lady of the church! Why ruin your proper standing and being a good influence on the women with getting revenge? It didn't happen too often but often enough for some of the congregants to have their emotional outburst as well. I wondered how the pastor dealt with others behaving this way. How could he discipline them and what did they say in retaliation of the discipline? It was the makings of what one person coined the ministry as being, a soap opera.

The thing is with women, no matter what, if we don't desire to have the harvest that animosity brings, we have to reverence him anyway. The reason he acted the way he did could be your test or some harvest of an act you did and hadn't gone before the Lord about it yet. Just remember, for every action there is a reaction. It might not be immediate, but there will be a reaction. God sees all. Just when you think you got away with something, there it is to reward you or bite you in the hind quarters. For instance, recall when Michal decided to reprimand David for worshiping God in the streets? He had to talk candidly with her. Afterwards, he never treated her the same nor did she bare him any children. In fact, the bible mentions Michal one other time; after that - nothing (2 Samuel 6:20-23 AMP).

If it is truly your desire to date for the purposes of marriage, ask yourself if you can reverence him in the way God expects for you to do for the rest of your life. If your answer to the question is:

- what is he going to do for me?
- why does he get all of this favor?
- what if he doesn't need all of that?
- what about my needs?
- that sounds like hard work
- that's your opinion and not what is expected at all
- that was back then - this is a new day and a new generation, men aren't like that anymore

Then you might rethink dating. Like it or not, marriage changes things. No matter how someone decides to make a new thing in a marriage, the laws God has in place aren't going anywhere. In order for peace to be maintained, it automatically comes right back to the Word. It is a task that is expected of the woman. Subservience and obedience can be disputed due to the fact that he could be in the wrong based on the Word of God, but reverence maintains. Can you do it? If not, let him go so he can find his good thing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Made My Bed, Now...

I was watching this movie where Michael Keaton was the star. I don't know the title of the movie, I didn't watch it all the way through because one of the lines had me thinking about this blog. You see, Michael Keaton's character was married and has one 8 year old son. Keaton has a career as a musician but has other interests as well, one of them being hockey. His son was in a little league hockey team and that night was the big game. Keaton told his son he would be there after the band rehearsed. The band went into over time. The hockey game didn't. When Keaton got home, his wife, played by Kelly Preston, was visibly upset. Though Keaton had no excuse for being late, he went through the gestures while Preston complained. It was apparent that they had a bargain between them that Keaton would never promise their son what he couldn't deliver no matter how hard it was not to make the promise. It was the strange thing she said that made me assume the aforementioned. She said (paraphrasing), "I understand when you make promises to me and flake out or ditch me. I have come to love you anyway. It doesn't bother me - obviously because I married you. But our son doesn't deserve that. He didn't ask for that." I thought, what an odd thing for her to say. Keaton's character looked quite taken aback by her words, still it was odd. For a born again believer, walking in the Spirit so not to fulfill the lust of the flesh (Ephesians 2:3 KJV), those words, had to be a punishment for both, the deliverer of the message as well as the one listening to it.

I was married once and have learned so much that I wished I knew before walking down the aisle. It is why I write this blog. I write the things that I continue to learn and don't hear messages in the church about them. It seems the happiest of marriages are those that stay to themselves and quiet of the matter. I watch them too. One of the things I recall in mine was the little quirks of my ex-spouse that I looked over while we were dating. I figured they were little things and there was a bigger picture that we had to concentrate on. I had no idea of scriptures like, its the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV) and the one about the blessings of the Lord makes us rich and there are no sorrows in it (Proverbs 10:22 AMP). Those quirky things soon became irritating...and then we had children. I could have complained to all that would listen, but who did this to me? Plus, he had to deal with me, which I would gather was no easy feat. There we were with children to raise and still trying to get our own way. It was the eventual demise of the marriage and the innocent bystanders watched and absorbed it all.

When having children, there is a decision to do as it is written in the Word: train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 AMP). The obvious act would then be taking the children to church services. The thing is, children listen and watch the very things we hope would be overlooked or they would soon forget. When we make up our minds to take them to church it is with the understanding that we, as adults are also doing what the message teaches. We aren't Sunday Christians and sinners the rest of the week. You see, that's training children too. Making promises and not keeping them is a training too. Lying to neighbors, the police, and anyone else to get out of a responsibility is a training too. Being neurotic about your weight and needing to have chocolate once a month is a training too. Being a side kick parent when the job is 24/7 is a training too. Though there is much more we have seen, lived through, and done ourselves, you can now understand that the generational curses that many speak on in the pulpit can be avoided by just not doing those quirky things we euphemise as bad habits.

That movie I mentioned earlier with Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston, when she made that statement about their son not choosing to have those things happen to him that Keaton's character was doing, I had to disagree. The writer of the script may have thought that would be a poignant thing to say to make Keaton's character wake up to what he was doing as a father, but the challenge here is for all women to see her power before accepting the ring. The woman is making the decision not only for herself to be in a situation for the rest of her life -ideally, but for her children to live through that decision. Is it the best thing for the children to not only see those habits as quirky but to also repeat them? Will those habits they take on be to their benefit? Will you be the one saying that he is a good father when he treats their mother like crap? Does he really represent all that Jesus said a husband should be (Ephesians 5:25-29 AMP)? If he does, it is the only reason why he would deserve children.

What does this have to do with Christian dating? A better question, what doesn't it have to do with it? Wait for the presentation God did with Adam. If you can't wait, then go and find her - which sounds like hard work. That man will have to go through a barrage of women to get to one that even comes close to what he is looking for. If you can't wait ladies, then go tell him that you are interested in him. When those two come together, you get what you get because being disciplined for patience to do what she does seemed impossible (James 1:4 KJV). There is a reason God has us to wait. We must learn what is necessary for the union to be a happy one and one that is pleasing to God. Without that wait, children would be the collateral damage. Quiet as it is kept, they truly did not ask for that.