Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"On Fire": Do You Honor Your Own STANDARDS?


I'm smiling while I'm penning this and by the end of the message, you'll see why...

This morning, I read an article entitled "I Married Superman: 10 Characteristics of a Quality Guy" OK, note that she didn't say *perfect*. She said he's a man of *quality*. This author bragged (and a good man is certainly worth bragging about) on everything from his humor and intelligence to him being complimentary and holding her accountable (a good companion is *definitely* going to do that because they should be your friend and good friends do that--Proverbs 27:17). And then there were detailed things like this point:

Loving feeling. My husband loves me; truly loves who I am inside and out. Pick someone who really likes being with you.

And this one:

Soulful. My guy is so spiritual. He always has been. Being with someone with a spiritual nature is enriching to your life—and to the relationship you share.

And I thought this one was cute:

Good taste. My favorite clothes and jewelry are hand-picked by my husband. I don’t think that this has to be a requirement of a successful relationship---but it sure doesn’t hurt either.

The Word tells us that God fashions our hearts individually (Psalm 33:15). Therefore, some things that you're praying for/about concerning your future beloved (you are "praying without ceasing", right?--I Thessalonians 5:17) may differ from her list. Again, what I like most is that she used the word "quality" to define him. A person of quality is someone who "an essential or distinctive characteristic, property, or attribute". Preferably "character with respect to fineness, or grade of excellence".

When you think about the current standards that you have for the men who you consider dating, really, *what* (or where-LOL) are your standards?

This brings me to another piece that I read over on Baggage Reclaim yesterday entitled "Set the Standard". It's about this very point. Here's an excerpt:

How can you expect a man to be loyal to you when you're not even loyal to yourself?

When you are able to be there for you; when you are willing to step up and take care of you, to have your own back, to set the standard of how you will to be treated, you will not accept less from anybody else than what you can already do for you. This stops you from being in unhealthy relationships. This allows you to say, “Hey, I don’t accept that. I’m not OK with what you’ve just said/done”, because you know how you want to feel and how you want to continue to feel.

If somebody is mistreating you and they are at best, taking advantage and at worst, abusing you, if you then turn around and say, “I take the blame for your behavior” or “That’s OK, I’m not going to create any consequences for your behavior”, or “I love you, I love you, I love you…. Come back to me… I can’t bear to be without you…”, and this is after they have walked all over you and treated you worse than a doormat, that is sending out the wrong message and it’s not one that you want to continue to put out.

What you’re basically saying is, “I don’t love me. I don’t care about me. I don’t trust me. I don’t respect me”. It’s saying, “I know that you don’t either but I’d rather accept some crumbs rather than no crumbs”. It’s saying, “I don’t feel that I have to set any consequences for your actions…. I’m saying that I don’t think that I can do without you… yeah… I don’t feel that I can do without you who actually, isn’t really there for me at all”.

Here's the Question of the Day: *How can you expect a man to be loyal to you when you can't even be loyal to yourself?*

It really is a bit crazy how much people want others to do for them in relationships what they will not do for themselves. What's even crazier is how many folks do not realize that their time of singleness is oftentimes about *getting into the habit and position* of becoming the kind of spouse that they long to have (James 1:4). Someday. (Acts 1:7-Message)

A standard is "a rule or principle that is used as a basis for judgment".
A standard is "something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison".
(God and you need to get into agreement about what your standard needs to be!--Amos 3:3)
A standard is also "an approved model".

Another way to look at standards is they are a way to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23), a way to keep yourself from "casting your pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6) so that you can hold out for "the merchant" (Matthew 13:45-46) who will give wedding vows to God and you in order to have you (Matthew 19:1-12).

So what are your standards?
And what about your actions indicate that you honor them?
What are you willing to stop, change or let go of in order to remain loyal to your standards?


This brings me to what put a smile on my face...

Some of you may recall a post that I did last December. The title of it was "How About Getting Yourself an EMBRACEMENT Ring? " (How many of y'all actually did it?) Basically, it was about a woman who saw an engagement ring and bought it for herself rather than waiting on some man to do it.

Well yesterday, she posted a piece with this title: "Why I Didn’t Settle For the Wrong Guy". It's worth reading all of it. Here is some of what she said though:

Last year I was 34 years old and single and this really seemed to upset people. I however, was unfazed. In December I took a two week long trip to the Four Seasons Safari Lodge in the Serengeti with a girlfriend. A buddymoon, we called it. You can’t get away with doing those kinds of things when you have a significant other. And while I was there I bought myself a ring that was just as nice and just as expensive as most engagement rings. “I bought myself an engagement ring,” I told my friend. “Well someone had to,” she responded. I love the ring. It is Tanzanite which is more rare than diamonds, and has both white and yellow gold. You can really wear it with anything. It is shiny and sparkly and I love looking at it in the sunlight. The ring symbolized that I was going to be completely OK with or without the guy. I didn’t have to settle.

That was six months ago. Today I look at my right hand and see my slim, diamond eternity band. It’s the engagement ring I received last month from the love of my life. The only reason I met him at all was because I didn’t settle...

Everyone could settle. We could settle for that guy who told us we were chubby, or the one whose mother was a witch. We could settle for the guy we know is in the closet, or the one who desperately wants to have sex with other people. We could settle for a passionless marriage or one based on convenience.  We could do all of these things, but we don’t have to.

I look back at all of my serious boyfriends and think I could have married any of them. I could have married them and I would be divorced by now. That wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.

Most of the other guys I dated before were perfectly fine, adequate and acceptable. But here is what they didn’t do: They didn’t love me for being confident, smart, successful and happy. They didn’t love the broken bits of me, the parts that no one else knows about, the parts I still have to work on. Anyone can be seduced and beguiled when everything is happy and fluffy. It’s harder to love something when things go sideways. I needed someone to love me sideways.

For the first time in my life I have a partner who wants to be here to make both of our lives better and every day all I want is to find ways to do that together. He fills in holes in the narrative of my life that I didn’t even know existed.

This is why I waited.

The author's name is Jo.

Here's a brief recap:

Jo got her first ring declaring that she would be OK without a man; that she didn't have to settle.
Jo wrote that everyone *could* settle. And trust me, far too many folks do.
Jo didn't want to settle for a "piece of man" just to say that she had one. (Good for her!)
Jo wasn't interested in a passionless marriage or one based on convenience.
Jo desired to be "loved sideways" (dig that phrase)!

These were some of *Jo's standards*.
She honored them.
And you know what? They honored her right on back!


When you love yourself, you will honor everything about you. And that will lead to standards being honored/kept in every area of your life. I'll give you a personal example. Yesterday, I got offered a writing gig for a start-up that I think is going to be awesome. They wanted full rights to my work, though. It's rare that I get down like that. (If you're a writer or an aspiring one, it's well worth your time to read "Writer Beware: Why Not to Sell All Rights to Your Work".) So, after penning a piece, them loving it and then them sharing with me that they want *full ownership*, I shared with them my personal standards. They then declined to work with me.

And you know what? That's OK.

When you love you and your honor your standards, you're prepared for some folks not wanting to live up to them. Being a woman of honor (of standards) means that your own rules and principles matter more to you than what an initial opportunity may look like. I'm not "missing out". I'm standing firm. And as a woman by the name of Clementine Paddleford once said "Never put a wishbone where you backbone ought to be." As a woman by Maureen Dowd once said "The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for." And as it says in one of my poems, when it comes to relationships "And since I'm a queen, I'm gonna flaunt it. Can't put a crown on my head and be on my back too." (I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message)

Standards. STANDARDS.

They're here to protect you.
They're here to direct you.
Right to what, and who, is best for you.

Well, that's all I got for today. ;-)

Please allow Jo's "embracement" and engagement rings serve as a reminder that...

You don't have to settle...

You simply need to set some standards and then be tenacious in honoring them.

Commit to God first.
You second.
In preparation for a man third.

Amen? Amen.



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