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What Love Really Is

As published on http://www.covenantrelationships.org/2014/09/what-love-really-is.html

love_hd-normalI think love is the most misunderstood term on earth. There are so many definitions of love, one can’t help but wonder which is right. Many people are aware that love is not just about the butterflies in the tummy that soon die off as you get to know Mr. or Miss Perfect is not all that perfect. However, many people are still unaware of what love itself is! I’ve heard definitions like “love is a decision”, “love is more than just a feeling”, “love is an undeniable magnetism between two people”….well, so is lust.

After reading an interesting blog post titled “Love Is Not Enough”, I got thinking. The writer of the post highlighted correctly that taking just the way we feel about someone as the determining factor as to whether or not we should be with that person is a recipe for disaster. A fellow blogger posted on his blog that there are other factors that come to play if we want love to be enough; factors such as respect, care etc in addition to the emotions we feel make love enough. Having carefully read the two posts, I came to my own conclusion. Love is an umbrella under which the constituent factors for a successful relationship/marriage are found.

What is the difference between love and lust? They both give you butterflies in your tummy, they both last for as long as you are both willing to make things work and they both make you feel like you are walking on air when things are going well. Some people say “love lasts longer” I don’t know about that. I know of pure lustful relationships that have lasted for decades. What then differentiates love from lust? The constituent factors which are not found in a lustful association.

Respect: Respect is a key constituent of successful relationships! There is no love where there is no respect for each other’s feelings, dreams and aspirations. If you are in a relationship with a person who doesn’t respect your time, your dreams, and your contributions to the relationship, you are in a relationship with someone who is definitely not in love with you! Butterflies in your tummy will make you giggle, blush and eventually get you into bed together but respect is one of the factors that will make you stay together. Respect for each other’s feelings will prevent you from cheating or making decisions that are only in your best interest. Respect for each other’s aspirations will make you a person that builds his or her partner up and not tear them down to satisfy desires fueled by a  low self-esteem. Respect means arguing without yelling and generally presenting your argument in a confident, yet not confrontational manner. People who respect each other don’t throw threats around during an argument, or aim to win every argument. They understand that their partner’s opinions are just as important and sometimes, it’s best to agree to disagree and move on.

Tolerance: Many people believe their partners will be so perfect they will not have to tolerate any bad habits. If you are one of those people, wake up now and smell the real world! Your inability to tolerate or overlook certain things will eventually frustrate you and lead to a bitter relationship. Tolerance is one of the key constituents of love because it allows for unity instead of uniformity. Many of us don’t want to date people that are exactly like us! I love myself to bits but I think if I married a man that’s exactly like me, I may walk out of my skin. This means, like many other people in the world, I am open to being unified with a person that’s different. This means I can’t escape the differences that may be annoying but tolerable, A friend of mine once pointed out that the reason we had such a good friendship was because we were able to celebrate each other’s differences instead of look upon them with criticism.

Freedom: This is one aspect of our lives we are willing to trade the moment we feel love is what we have. The bitter truth is, when love is true, you don’t have to sacrifice your freedom for it. This includes your freedom to express yourself the way you always have, freedom to pursue the dreams you’ve always wanted to pursue, freedom to bare yourself without any hint of judgement or unsolicited criticism…freedom to be yourself, and not become half of someone else.

Forgiveness: Funny enough, forgiveness can be found in lustful associations too. People who are undeniably sexually attracted to each other will forgive each other just like people in love will. However there is a difference. Love does not go back to revisit all the wrongs during an argument. I’ve seen and heard some women argue and the moment they utter the words “It’s just like last time when you….” I get a banging headache! That’s not love! Think about your parents and the many horrifying things you’ve done that made them wonder if they truly gave birth to you. In spite of all that, they are ready to laugh with you as soon as possible, they don’t remind you constantly of what a horrible child you’ve been when you try to make things right, and they don’t seize every opportunity to tell you they’ll never forgive you. True love forgives and though may not forget, doesn’t remind the other person that it has not forgotten.

Care: There is an irrefutable level of care that can be observed amongst people who truly love each other. I don’t mean buying flowers or chocolates…that’s giving gifts, though they may be very thoughtful ones. Caring for someone means looking out for that person in every way. It means being considerate, being helpful and generally being willing to tie up loose ends so your partner can have a few extra minutes of rest. Where love is real, care is real and selfishness is a temptation, not an intrinsic characteristic. I once went home with a friend who’s married with two kids. It was one of those long days and all she wanted to do was take a bath and go to bed, but she had two kids who were waiting for her to come home to cook dinner. As we arrived home, we greeted her husband who was watching TV with the kids and proceeded to the kitchen. Her husband called out and said “Dear, don’t cook tonight. I ordered pizza so you can rest.” Tears fell out of her eyes in a mixture of gratitude, exhaustion and relief. I was touched! The whole time she had been slaving away at her school work, he had been thinking of her! He knew she’d be tired by the time she got back, he knew she needed her rest for the next day and well, no child hates pizza.

Love is not just an individual term that we can use to explain things the way we deem fit. It is an umbrella term under which core factors are grouped. To say we truly have love means we have the core factors in our relationship! If we stop concentrating on just how we feel which may simply be a result of lust, and instead concentrate on what the core foundation of our relationships are built on, then we can truly start to embrace relationships the way we should, and even encourage others through our actions to do the same. XOXO

Relationships

Know Where You Stand. Define Your Relationship

I’m not asking you to declare intentions of marriage after one week of knowing each other, nor am I asking that you completely eradicate the foundation of friendship in your relationship. I am simply asking that you should be aware of where you stand in a relationship to avoid being caught in a ‘situation-ship’.

It is very common these days that everyone wants to ‘go with the flow’ to avoid losing out on being with someone they really like or sending the wrong message across. By the wrong message, I mean, many of us don’t want to be considered as ‘playing unnecessarily hard to get’, ‘prudish’ or ‘simply difficult’. That is understandable but how far is too far when the relationship you are investing so much time in, is not defined in any way.

These days, many individuals approach the opposite sex without knowing what they want exactly from a relationship or even what they can offer, besides superficial qualities. They believe it is ok to be in doubt about a person but still string that person along, and when the ‘where is this heading?’ discussion is placed on the table, there is a babble about how they don’t know what they want, or they care but just can’t commit, bla bla bla. My advice? If a person is not sure they want to be with you, it’s a diplomatic way of saying they really don’t want to be with you but wouldn’t mind if you keep them happy till the one they are looking for comes along.

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Know where you stand before you decide to go with the flow. It is so easy to be carried away on a wave of emotions and believe it will end in a beautiful fairytale. Perhaps it might but it, will help you to know what you mean to someone. People say relationship definitions don’t make a difference; I beg to differ. Defining what you share with someone can help you draw the necessary boundaries. I always tell people there are different categories in my social circle – acquaintances, friends, family, colleagues, and interesting strangers. Everyone should know their place so things don’t get awkward. Same way, relationships should be defined so things don’t become excruciatingly awkward. If a guy has been hovering over you for months with no declaration of his intentions (courtship, marriage or friendship), it is time to ask him to clear the air. Don’t go with the flow that one day you may magically kiss and everything will fall into place. Back in the day, that was a precious thought. These days, the word ‘selfish’ has been personified and walks around in skirts or pants, looking for who to use without losing anything. Do yourself a favour-know where you stand.

XOXO

Blog

Learn To Mind Your Own Business!

My flatmate read this story to me and it cracked me up big time but it also got me thinking about how much we worry about issues that don’t concern us. I don’t know who the author is, so I can’t put a reference to it but I hope you get the point. Here goes…

A priest, who wanted to raise money for his church, was told there was a fortune in horse racing, so he decided to buy a horse and enter it in some races. However, at the local auction, the going price for horses was so steep that he decided to buy a donkey instead. Although he had some doubts, the priest figured that he might as well enter the animal in a race just to see how it would do. To his surprise the donkey came in second.

The next day the headlines read: PRIEST’S ASS SHOWS

The priest was so pleased that he entered the animal in another race, and this time it won.

The headline read: PRIEST’S ASS OUT IN FRONT

The bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the priest not to enter the donkey in another race.

The new headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES PRIEST’S ASS

This was too much for the bishop, and he ordered the priest to get rid of the animal. The priest gave the donkey to a nun in a nearby convent.

The next day the headline read: NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN

The bishop fainted. He told the nun that she would have to dispose of the donkey. After several days, the nun finally sold the beast to a local farmer for $10.

The headline read: NUN PEDDLES ASS FOR TEN BUCKS

They buried the bishop the next day.

Moral of the story: Mind your own ass, stop worrying about other people’s asses. Life is hard enough as it is, don’t clutter your life with the headlines about other people’s asses.

XOXO lovies! Share your thoughts!

Relationships

Why That Fire-Spitting, Demon-Chasing Christian brother is just NOT RIGHT for you

Whenever christian women get the question “What kind of guy would you like?”, the first response is “he must be christian” and other qualities such as tall, handsome, financially well-to-do and bla bla follow. Of course, if you are asking someone who is scared to show she is interested in something ‘worldly’ like money, you get the “As long as he is Christian, I’m fine! I don’t care if he is a pauper or a hobo” Who are you kidding?

I have seen and heard from many women who found their christian man; they dressed the right way, spoke the right bible verses at the right time, acted the right way and of course looked in the right place- the church. Where else would you find a man that is able to spit fire when he speaks in tongues and have demons running at 400km/h? Many of these marriages are successful while some are camouflages- presented in a certain way to fool the public; it would be a big shame if people discovered what went on behind closed doors! Whatever the case, many women married to their dream Christian men try to spur their friends in the same direction. It may look attractive but is that choice really for you?

There are many reasons I would not date a fire-spitting brother and no it’s not because I have been carried away on a wave of worldly emotions or in love with ‘bad boys’. On the contrary, it’s because there are many qualities most christian brothers have that would simply make me jump off a cliff WILLINGLY.

  • He’s too judgemental: Many Christian men have taken the role of Christ upon themselves; they want to judge every friend you have, every move you make and everything you say. Don’t you dare mention you have a past, he’ll run out the door and share your past with his prayer group, in a bid to ‘pray for you’ while he keeps his distance from the Jezebel trying to come to Christ. I see many brothers raising their eyebrows at ladies that wear jewellery or have weaves or even pedicures. Like seriously? *No comment*

  • He’s spiritually arrogant: In case you don’t know, there are many christian men that are so full of themselves, they have enough ego for ten men! If you date such a man, be ready to be on the receiving end of his constant self-appraisal, self-admiration, self-centeredness and every other kind of self-word you can think of except self-control! Even when you feel the need to share something God has laid on your heart with him, he is quick to brush you aside and call your interpretation of the word -immature and myopic. As far as he is concerned, spirituality begins and ends with him in your home, you are just his disciple.
  • He wants you to change: Nothing is wrong with change if it’s in a good way and for the right reasons but what happens when your man decides you are not good enough to be known as his spouse simply because you have a different attitude towards life from his? He doesn’t want you to read ‘worldly’ books. Loving your Danielle Steel novel? Wait till you receive that lecture about how it adds nothing to you and you should be buried only in books that increase your spirituality. Do not get me wrong here; I love to read inspirational books written by pastors but do I want to read them everyday? Nope! Sometimes, I want to read a tragic love story or an exciting crime tale, something thrilling about a fictional family feud and so on. It doesn’t end with books- music, TV and everything else will be added on to it.
  • He HATES your sense of style: This is a very controversial topic amongst many christian men and women. Some men believe the christian woman must be absolutely modest in her appearance- the only piece of skin people can see is her fingers, she can’t wear jewellery, she MUST cover her hair always, she can’t paint her nails, she can’t wear makeup, some even go to the extent of criticising women that relax and condition their hair. Oh wow! Many times I find myself tongue-tied when I speak to such men but when my tongue loosens up a bit, I tell them to please search the convents for their spouses. I am not supporting women that walk around with half of their assets hanging out; in my opinion, that looks disgusting. But what is the issue with not being allowed to wear pants or makeup? Are baggy brown dresses, tangled frizzly hair and chappy skin the description of the Christian woman? Enlighten me.
  • He’s caught up in a divine world: I’d sure love to have a husband that hears from God but do I want him in a trance every second of the day? Erm…no thanks. Many marriages suffer because husbands are too spiritual to show their wives how much they care. They are constantly on the run trying to solve the problems of others while their families are at home in dire need of their attention and affection. When you bring up the need to spend time together, he’ll tell you you need to join him in the spiritual realm. Well, if that’s not what God has called you to do, you will not succeed in joining him. Instead you’ll end up frustrated, in tears and might be tempted to get attention elsewhere.

Some of you will read this post, wrinkle your noses and raise your eyebrows and probably pray for my dear ‘lost soul’ (thank you in advance) while some of you will understand where I am coming from. When I pray to God for my man, I always pray that he’d make my spouse my best friend and that we’d live together in harmony and serve God all the days of our lives. I don’t need him to quote a bible scripture everytime I make a mistake, I don’t need him to make me his disciple, I’m already a Child of God. I don’t need him to constantly remind me of how God has bestowed a certain talent upon him and I’d better listen or face eternal damnation. Hahaha! Being married to an arrogant self-centred man- christian or not- is already a preview of eternal damnation.

xoxo