Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"On Fire": INDEMNIFY


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"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."---Proverbs 4:23(NLT)


A couple of weeks ago...

I happened upon (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) a word that I don't recall noticing/using before. It's indemnify:

Indemnify: to compensate for damage or loss sustained, expense incurred, etc. to guard or secure against anticipated loss; give security against (future damage or liability)

I thought about it, especially, while reading an article on the premiere episode of the second season of BET's Being Mary Jane. If you don't happen to follow the show, Mary Jane (Gabrielle Union) is still reeling from a break-up with an ex, one that she played a huge role in sabotaging---to the point of being obsessed about it (raise your hand if you've been there before!). The title of the article is entitled "‘Being Mary Jane’ gives a glimpse into what is stopping us from being happy" and while I do find the series to be some pretty good writing, the article also brings about some pretty good points as well. Here is the last part of it:

We, as single women, as real-life Mary Janes, have to take a cold, hard look inside of ourselves and ask if what we really want is a romantic partner to share our love and laughter, (and whom we will inevitably argue and become frustrated with) – OR – do we just want a dream wedding?
We have to ask ourselves if we’re being selfish by being Mary Jane.

Are we forcing a timetable for our desired life events to occur (like having a wedding by age 40) and possibly driving away potential husbands because we are consumed with external factors instead of internal calm and clarity? To say the character Mary Jane has exhibited erratic and confusing behavior where the men in her life are concerned is an understatement.

She has pushed and pulled David, and not until he started another relationship did she decide, finally, that she wanted him back permanently. It’s no wonder that her character resonates with so many of us. We too struggle between the ideals and reality of what it takes to create a happy and healthy romantic relationship.

We too believe that we want to give and receive love but are so overwrought with angst about timing that, like Mary Jane, we may be repelling that which we seek.

Much like the Post-It™ notes papering the walls and other vertical surfaces of Mary Jane Paul’s home, we can sometimes say positive affirmations without actually making the changes required to live them fully. The result being a life that looks good on paper but ultimately rings hollow in our hearts.

Many of us say we want marriage — but how many of us are really prepared for the day after our dream wedding?

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Indeed and indeed! And you know what? A lot of us fail to *embrace* this time of preparation because we keep choosing the wrong guys, which ends up distorting our perspectives while causing us to not merely guard our hearts but put up electric fence walls. Then we end up spending (or is it wasting?) more time healing (or also reeling) rather than getting our lives and ourselves in order.

I'll give you an example...

There is a woman I know who was in an affair with a man for most of her marriage. Finally, her husband decided he had enough and left her. Just recently, she reached back out to the man she had the affair with. Not only that, but she has been telling me that he's being "a really good friend to her". *sigh* and *double sigh* It's a train wreck in the making. Correction: It's *another* train wreck coming.

And you know what's really unfortunate about it? When it doesn't work out *again* (because any man who is willing to break up a home and then return to the scene of the crime can't be trusted), somehow it will make her feel like there is something wrong with men when really there is something wrong with choosing the wrong man. And also continually going back to the wrong man (at least until there is concrete evidence that he has gotten himself right!-Matthew 12:33, Colossians 3:12-17). Returning to vomit is a really nasty analogy, a gross way to explain what it's like to return to folly (Proverbs 26:11). I believe King Solomon penned it that way for a reason. And a purpose.

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And so...

If you're someone who has been hurt before and more importantly, if you are hurting right at this very moment, I really encourage you to spend some time with the word "indemnify". One way to protect yourself from anticipated loss is to pay attention to the *quality* of the person you are choosing to involve yourself with. I read a pretty good quality list recently:

Here are 10 signs that your guy is the right guy for you:

1. You admire your partner for who he is as a person. You like and respect who he is and how he carries himself through the world. If you can’t respect the way a person lives their life, let alone admire them, it’s hard to keep any relationship going.

2. He keeps his agreements.  He calls when he says he is going to call. He takes you out when he says he is going to do so. When a man is interested in a woman, he keeps his agreements.

3. He makes time for you on a regular basis. He makes you a priority because he values your relationship. Even when he is swamped, he makes time to spend with you.  This includes regular text messages or phone calls to show that he’s thinking of you.

4. He’s comfortable talking about the things that interest you and asks you questions about your hobbies, friends, and family.

5. He makes plans to do things with you and includes you in his inner circle. If something special is going on in his life, he invites you and encourages you to come. If he has young children, that’s the exception because he is wise to take it slowly.

6. He takes you on dates. If your dates have become mostly focused on being alone and having sex, you’ve become a “friend with benefits.”  These relationships rarely lead to a committed relationship.

7. He’s affectionate in public. He’s comfortable holding hands and showing other signs of physical affection around friends, family, and when you are out in public.

8. He makes you feel good about yourself. A partner who truly cares about you is a boost to your self-esteem. He values you and gives you positive reinforcement such as compliments.

9. If you have kids, he’s receptive to meeting them after you’ve been dating for awhile.  Don’t waste time with someone who doesn’t appear to be a good fit for your family. However, it makes sense to take it slow if one or both of you have kids.

10. He talks about your future together. If he says he’s not ready for a commitment, take him seriously – he’s just not that into you.  Don’t waste your time on a relationship that is headed no where.


Very rarely are we "duped" in a relationship...
The signs are there, oftentimes from the very beginning...
We simply choose the ignore them.

That's why I like Proverbs 4:23 so much...

When the Word tells us to "guard our heart", this is what guard means:

Guard: to keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over; to keep under close watch in order to prevent escape, misconduct, etc.; to keep under control or restraint as a matter of caution or prudence

It doesn't mean we should be scared to go out on the date.
It doesn't mean that we should swear off all men.
It doesn't mean that no guy can be trusted.

It means that:

1) We need to follow God's instructions. For instance, the Message Version of I Corinthians 6:16-20 tells us that sex without marriage, one way or another, will leave us lonely. The Word is God (John 1:1) and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). God's Word is a safeguard from harm and danger and if a guy truly cares about you, he's going to honor the fact that Romans 13:10 tells us that love does no harm to its neighbor. NO HARM. Harm doesn't only mean "physical injury or mental damage; hurt". Harm also means "moral injury; evil; wrong" too.

It also means that:

2) With our heart being the "center of our emotions" and "center of our personality", it's important that we protect it. That we stop "marrying every boyfriend". That we don't reveal more than what is earned. That we let our Heavenly Father guide us (James 1:5, Proverbs 3:5-6) and that we listen, *we really listen* (Proverbs 28:9-Message), to when he says "I can entrust your heart to this man" OR "You need to end it. *Right now*."

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Ecclesiastes 3:5(NKJV) says "A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing." In this season of my own life, I get that "indemnify" really hits close to home. Sometimes we're so focused on wanting to "get to him" that we don't look back to make sure all of the "past hims" are resolved.  Literally and more importantly, internally. And spiritually.

So that future loss...
Further damage...
Does not occur.

There's another reason why I like indemnify so much. It also speaks to being compensated for damage and loss that has been sustained. It makes me think of this verse:

"To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”---Isaiah 61:3(NKJV)

*Let God heal you* (Psalm 147:3). By revealing to you. What needs to be indemnified.

You deserve it.
Your future husband deserves it too.

Don't hide your heart.
Simply guard it. As God leads. Wisely.


Adorn,

SRW

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