Monday, September 29, 2014
"Love endures long and is patient..."---I Corinthians 13:4(AMP)
Today, after checking out an article from a celebrity who was in a long-term relationship who claims that a part of the reason why it came to an end was due to the pressure that he was feeling regarding getting married, I thought about a conversation that I once had with an old college buddy about basically the same topic.
He was in a relationship with his girlfriend, *he wasn't ready to get married*, but she told him that if he didn't propose, she was going to leave him.
Unlike a lot of people who pull that stunt---and yes, I used the word "stunt" for a reason---it "worked" for her. *Or did it?* Although they've been married for several years now, basically throughout most of the time, he has shared how miserable he is.
You know, it really is sad when women feel that in order to land/get/keep a man, they have to give him an ultimatum. I mean, have you ever looked up the word before?
Ultimatum: a final, uncompromising demand or set of terms issued by a party to a dispute, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force
Demand? Force? Do either of those sound like healthy ingredients for a solid relationship?
And while we're at it, let's look at some of the synonyms of the word as well:
Synonyms for ultimatum: final warning, last chance, last offer, confrontation, dare, interrogation, protest, test, trial, threat
Yes, whether a lot of women choose to acknowledge it or not, *any time that you present an ultimatum in a relationship, you are posing a threat to the individual*.
Threat: a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course; menace
OK, so you want a man to be in a relationship with you, but you're going to declare some kind of punishment or injury if he doesn't? Please tell me what is good and right about that. What is loving about that. What would please God about that...???
So, why do so many women do it? Good question.
It actually reminds me of a young woman I just spoke to recently. She met a guy (who I've been knowing for longer than I've known her), slept with him *very quickly* and while he "digs her" (he told me that himself outside of her presence), she wants "a title". Meanwhile, he doesn't.
And so, you know what she set out to do right? *sigh* Give me an ultimatum.
And you know what he's leaning towards doing, right? Dropping her.
Oh, we could get into all kinds of reasons why her particular ultimatum is blowing up in her face. After all, once a guy gets "the milk", it's harder to try and convince him to "buy the cow". This is one of the millions of reasons why I Corinthians 6:16-20 (Message) tells us to keep our goodies to ourselves until marriage!
However, she's not alone.
I know women who are giving ultimatums concerning the longevity of their relationship needing to make a transition to the next level...
I know women who are giving ultimatums concerning marriage proposals...
I know when who are giving ultimatums concerning wedding dates...
It goes on and on.
And at the end of the day, I can't shake the fact that what they are doing is throwing threats around (ones that many of them are not even prepared to follow through with), they are putting pressure on the men in their lives (some synonyms for pressure include "burden", "stress", "strain", "heaviness" and "tension", by the way) and from the outside looking in, it makes the following verse in Scripture immediately come to mind:
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."---I John 4:18(NKJV)
When you decide to give a man an ultimatum (because God is not going to tell you to threaten someone; it's not his style, especially when it comes to love), all you're showing is that you're operating out of fear and as the Word, *which is God* (John 1:1), says *there is no fear in love*.
This means that if you feel *so scared* in your relationship that you have to use fear tactics to "move a man along", there are three things that you need to ponder (Proverbs 4:26):
1) You are impatient. (James 1:4)
2) He is not the right man for you. Or not the right man for you right now. (Refer back to #1)
3) You actually are not ready for a serious relationship yourself because you have a controlling spirit and biblically-based wives must submit, not "run things". (Colossians 3:18)
So, if you're not getting what you need in a relationship, am I saying that you should act like it's OK that you're not? Nope. I will say this, though. A quiet and gentle spirit in you sharing you thoughts and feelings will go a really long way (I Peter 3:1-6). I'll also add that Proverbs 3:4-6 is something that applies to all (ALL) situations. If you put all of your trust in God, if you acknowledge him in everything, he will direct you in what you need to do. Without having to threaten or pressure or make demands from anyone.
It's a wise man who once said that the way you start a relationship oftentimes speaks to how you have to maintain it. Personally, I find it to be a bit alarming if a guy reacts to an ultimatum. That doesn't put him in the best position for leadership as a husband.
Either way, though, you're better than that...
If you're tempted (I Corinthians 10:13) to put an ultimatum in your relationship, seek God for enlightenment (Psalm 18:28) and wisdom (James 1:5) first on...
If you need to wait.
If you're with the wrong guy.
If you're too controlling.
Whichever it is, you'll realize that the issue had less to do with "him" and more to do with *you*.
The picture quote is right...
The right man, at the right time, will not need an ultimatum.
Like the actor Mark Ruffalo said about his marriage...
When the right guy is ready, he will run to you with a ring. Not be dragged by you with a club.
Friday, September 26, 2014
I saw two videos that I knew I had to post. I'll let them speak for themselves (LOL) and on the second one, please excuse the cuss word. Oh, and you might want to look up the origin surrounding the hype behind engagement rings (DeBeers's history is a good place to start).
Funny how so many of us claim to want a one-of-a-kind love but want so much about it to be---whatever everyone else is doing. And how everyone else is doing it. (Just sayin')
"Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous."---Hebrews 13:4(AMP)
Earlier this week, I read an interview (in People's magazine) with country music singer Kenny Rogers. One of the things that he was asked is if he ever slept with Dolly Parton (you know, since they used to perform together quite a bit). Here was his answer:
"We flirted with each other for 30 years, and it was much more electric," explains Rogers in an interview with Dan Rather, airing Tuesday on AXS TV. "I think once you consummate a relationship like that, it loses something. And she and I both believe that theory, so we did some massive flirting in front of the nation, but there was never anything more than that."
When you have sex with a friend, the relationship loses something.
Look, I have had several guys over the span of my lifetime tell me that while *physically* they would like to have sex with me, *emotionally* they would prefer not to. Why? Because they don't want to "ruin the friendship". And while for years, I didn't quite understand what that meant, I'll say this: Although I am "civilly friendly" with basically all of the men I've had sex with, one thing we are not is friends.
There are a lot of reasons why but I feel that one thing that a strictly platonic male friend of mine's wife once told me is the best one: "Because you and my husband did not VIOLATE BOUNDARIES, I am very comfortable with your relationship. If you two had sex before, it would be totally different."
Yep. She's right. In fact, ended up being their marriage counselor...
When God puts rules into place, he's not just thinking about the here and now. He's also taking the future into serious consideration.
So, where am I going with this?
Well, one of the things that I've discovered, especially within counseling sessions, is that a lot of married couples are not really *friends* with one another. Another thing that I've realized is a lot of them have severe trust issues. And you know what else I've discovered? At least to date, I have yet to counsel a couple who fornicated while they were dating. In other words, every single one of the couples that I am currently dealing with had sex before marriage. A coincidence? Hmph. I doubt it.
Kenny said he didn't have sex with Dolly (and vice versa) because they wanted to preserve their friendship...
My male friends, *who are still my male friends*, didn't pursue a sexual relationship with me because they wanted to preserve our friendship...
What is it that the quote up top says again? That a lasting marriage begins with an *enduring friendship*, right?
A friend is someone who you share affection feelings with and have personal regard for.
A friend is someone who assists and supports you.
A friend is someone who is an ally, a confidant and an advocate.
Being that the Word speaks so clearly *against* sex before marriage (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6:9-10 & 16-20-Message & 7:2), how can you possibly be in a relationship with someone you claim to care about, have sex with them and call them a "friend"? Let alone a boy-friend? You're not supporting them spiritually. You're not an ally of theirs when it comes to Satan's attacks (Ephesians 6:10-20). You're not someone who is advocating for their well-being.
Any marriage worth its weight is going to tell you that there are going to be times when your *friendship with your spouse* is going to be what gets you through. It's hard for your partner to trust that you are *really their friend* in marriage if you didn't act like you were *really their friend* while dating/courting.
God knows what he's doing.
If you're single, sex can wait.
Focus on solidifying the friendship right now. By remaining abstinent.
You'll be oh so glad that you did.