"We must break the cycle before it breaks us."---Angela Bininger
Redundant: characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas; prolix
Unnecessary repetition. UNNECESSARY. REPETITION.
Repetition: the act of repeating; repeated action, performance, production, or presentation
I've been giving this a lot of thought since revisiting a video from "The Onion" that I checked out during my FB days. It's witty. And familial. And...when I think about a lot of my past and a lot of people that I know in re: to their present, *quite unfortunate*. And revelatory:
If you're not familiar with the term (or don't have time to watch the tape) a shapeshifter is "The same person who takes different physical form." ALL OF THEM HATE COMMITMENT AND WOULD ALL SOONER SHIFT SHAPE AGAIN THAN TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS.
You know what's been a trip? For about the past 6-9 months or so, I've been hearing various *married sources*, both male (husbands) and female (wives), say that if you're in your 30s, especially if you're over 35, and dating someone for over a year and a *clear decision, through their actions (not words), towards marriage is not being made*, then it's probably not going to be; that *grown folks* don't have a reason to drag their feet on such an issue. Especially if there is a desire to start a family. That was just further confirmed when I read an article on issue re: dating myths with its #2 one being this:
2.The longer you date, the better you will get to know him/her. There comes a point where the economics idea of 'law of diminishing returns' kicks in. It always pains me when I hear that a couple has been dating for two, three or more years. I recall the time that a couple told me they had been dating for a very lengthy time. I asked them, 'What more information do the two of you need to have before you can make a decision?' They broke up soon after. (He ended up finding someone and is happily married; not sure what happened to her.)
Assuming you are not in a long-distance relationship, you can gather enough information about another in 3 - 6 months to know if you can make a happy life with this person or not. It does not mean you have to get married right away, but if you date properly - actively and not passively - you can get to know a person quite well pretty quickly. What I mean by actively dating is that your dates are not about fun or hanging in Starbucks but doing those things where you can see the person in real life situations so you can properly assess their personality and see what makes them tick.
The belief that living together to get a proper sense of another is falls into this myth. Your goal is not to examine every idiosyncrasy of another. Actually it will just give you plenty of reason not to marry another. As Rebbetzin Heller of Jerusalem remarks, given that every human being has faults and it is endemic to the human condition, deciding whom you are going to marry is just as much about deciding which faults you are willing to live with for the rest of your life.
So don't think you need years upon years to be a 1000% certain that this is the right one. Rather do those things necessary to allow you to see the true nature and personality of another person."
If you watch the video, one of the things that a shapeshifter has in common with other ones, no matter the type, is that they will do what they can to avoid making a long-term commitment. And do you know what amazes me? That *so many women* will remain with these kinds of people, anyway. Over and over again. And then when they look back on the *very precious time* that they spent on an investment that didn't bring about the kind of return they would've liked to have, they want to imply victimization from the guy, when it's often *self-inflicted emotional damage* that's been done. Because they didn't do the work that it takes to change the "I'm dating a shapeshifter" pattern.
And how does that start? STOP BEING A CHAMELEON:
Chameleon: a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person
It was Roy Disney who once said that, "It's not hard to make a decision when you know what your values are." Since "On Fire" has been...well...*on fire*, there are a lot of women who have written me saying that they are praying re: if the guy that peaks their interest is "the one". And yet, just in that quote alone, a lot of seeking can be eliminated, right?
If you value abstinence and the guy wants to have a sexual relationship, then, at the very least, the prayer should be, "Give me the power to leave him *completely alone* as I pray for his strength to live a life of sexual purity through his own personal convictions." Let the Woman talking to the serpent at the tree (Genesis 3) be a big enough indicator that you don't minister to demonic spirits. You speak Scripture, take your way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13) and *flee youthful lusts* (2 Timothy 2:22). That's not just the *act*, but the *spirit* as well.
If you value your time and the guy is not speaking in "we" terms re: *his* future, if he doesn't desire to be married any time soon, if you get a lot of words but no active follow-through (the Word, which is God [John 1:1], says that we are to love in *deed* and in *truth* [I John 3:18]), if you're not treated like a *top priority*, if you find yourself doing most of the work to make the relationship last (calling, traveling, giving, etc.), then, at the very least, the prayer should be, "Lord, please help me to stop acting like *I'm already this man's wife*. Until he is my husband, he deserves the same amount of time and investment as a friend would. And even then, if it's a *healthy friendship*. Help me to always remember that."
If you value your salvation and the guy you're dating does not make his personal walk with the *entire Godhead* (I John 4:1) his utmost area of personal accountability, then, at the very least, the prayer should be, "God, please help me to stop romanticizing something that your Word has made clear is not your will for my life. You said not to be yoked to darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). To ignore that would be to be partaking in a form of idolatry (Exodus 20:3). That does not please you." I think I've mentioned before that while I am more than aware that *a lot of the married couples* in the Bible were *initially* of different faiths (Moses and Zipporah, Boaz and Ruth, etc.), only one time do I recall it being the *woman* who was the believer and the *man* was the unbeliever and that was in the case with Queen Esther and King Xerses. The first point: she had a mission to save her people. Marrying him was a lot about that and two, no where is it recorded that she birthed a child. That said, I can't help but to wonder if some of that was because she was a Jew and mixing that heritage with a pagan was not something that God wanted to transpire. That's *Esther's* testimony and she was blessed in her obedience. However, sometimes---shoot, most times---*we* need to be *ever so cautious and careful* that we don't always the Liar (John 8:44) to deceive us into thinking that our "obedience" is actually an unnecessary *sacrifice* (I Samuel 15:22). Contradicting the Word to make a relationship work...*doesn't work*.
So, what does this have to do with a chameleon? Glad you asked.
Something that I have realized in my own life, when it comes to the *majority of men* from my past, is that one thing that had in common is that they were not ready for a commitment. Now, that doesn't mean that all of them did not commit on some level. *That means they all were severely lacking in some area to make a commitment last*. Where *my chameleon* tendency showed up was that I often put *my values* to the side to make the (so-called) relationship work. Or at the very least, *last longer*. What was of "relative worth, merit, or importance" (a definition of "value") to me, started going lower and lower on my priority list and yes, in doing that, I was being "changeable, fickle and inconstant". IN YOUR SINGLE STATE, *NO ONE* SHOULD BE SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU WOULD EVEN *CONSIDER* COMPROMISING YOUR VALUES. Now, I didn't say your ideas or opinions. I said your *values*. The moment that begins to happen, you start becoming what the person *wants*, often at the expense of losing site and focus on what you *need*.
This is how a woman can look up a year into the relationship with no real clarity on its direction.
This is how a woman can look up three years into a relationship and realize that she did eighty-percent of the work.
This is how a woman can look up five years into a relationship with nothing really to show for it. But another *boyfriend* to add to her relationship resume.
This is how a woman can look up at the end of the relationship with more regret than gratitude.
This is how a woman can look up and realize that she while she may have been (acting like) someone's *wife*, she never had a *husband*.
Christians don't *play house*. They *get married*.
And this all doesn't just happen because she's been dating a man that won't change, but because she's going through all kinds of changes to accommodate that man---and his stagnation. Therefore, a shapeshifter can't really have a relationship with any woman *unless* she's a chameleon. Unless she's inconstant with who she is so that she can cater to the foolishness that he does.
Another calendar year is winding down. I've stated before that the root, biblically, for "11" is "dis" and "disassociate" is definitely a word that comes to mind. Something that I've been embracing, more and more in my own life, is to make the blessings that the Lord desires to bestow upon me *as easy for him* as possible. In other words, I don't want to be praying and then throwing up obstacles...hindrances...chameleon-like tendencies.
My prayer, deeply and sincerely, for the "On Fire" sistahs...is that your sentiments are the same.
Know your values. Don't *shift* from them. It's so unnecessary.