I've been close to getting married before but for different reasons it just didn't work out. I had to evaluate whether I was considering marriage for the right reasons. I had to ask questions like "Is this truly the man God has for me or do I like the fact that someone said they loved me enough to entertain the thought of me being their wife for the rest of their life?". I can be a lot to deal with. I had to reevaluate if our beliefs and values truly aligned or was I skewing reality.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment if I am going to be with someone for THE REST OF MY LIFE I can accept no substitutes. When I get married I'm getting married once. Plenty of people say this before they get married but not everyone means it. Before some get married or when a problem arises they say "well if he does this I'm going to divorce him" you can't go into a marriage already coming up with prerequisites for divorce. The man I marry needs to have the same sentiments and truly mean it. The "D" word is not allowed. Try and leave me if you want to ...this is "til death do us part" buddy. Marriage is serious not just something to do when you're on an emotional high. We can be so desperate to experience love through marriage that we are blind to the truth. We don't really seek God on the matter and we don't really take time to understand what marriage is.
Marriage is a sacred covenant, a vowel between God, a husband and a wife. Marriage is two people coming together as one to exemplify God's love for his people. Marriage is the foundation of a family. Some people call it a piece of paper but it is so much more than that unfortunately most people have devalued marriage to the worth of paper. Some say they want a fairy tale marriage with a happily ever after. I think people forget about allll the turmoil that goes on before the happily ever after takes place. If you want a happily ever after you may have to go through some things to get there. Some people don't think marriage is important. They don't think there is a need to get married. If you're a Christian you should not think this way. I'm not saying you have to get married but understand the value and understand what your life should look like if you decide not to get married. Oh and for goodness sake marriage is not about having the biggest most elaborate wedding ceremony.
In a time where we see more divorce than marriage and more unhappy couples than happy couples your outlook on marriage may be a picture of gloom and doom but I truly believe that the institution of marriage is God ordained and can be a beautiful union when done the right way.
To all those who have been divorced there can be restoration or someone that God will join you together with. Don't put yourself together with someone that's God's job. To all my unhappy married folks dig into God's word he can turn the worst of marriages around. To all my singles reading this don't give up hope of God sending you the right person to marry. Have faith, believe and ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES.
All it takes is one negative thought to paralyze your mind and take you on a downward spiral. Negative thoughts will have you contemplating ideas that are destructive mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Negative thoughts will paralyze your mind from thinking positive. Your mind will only be able to conjure up thoughts that will not only paralyze your mind but in turn paralyze your actions. You won't want to go anywhere, do anything, you'll have mood swings and you look for more things to think negatively about. If we do not take control of our thinking by guarding our minds negativity will creep in and consume us. When you feel negativity start to take over:
Change Your Environment-Get up and physically move location. Go to a place that will help you to clear your mind, make you laugh or just offers a change from the norm. Changing your environment could also consist of putting on mood music something that will lift your spirits, encourage and inspire you. Get away from people who bring you down or are full of negative talk.
Affirm-Begin to speak over your situation. Affirm how you desire life to be. Keep saying the affirmation until you believe it. Look yourself in the mirror and convince yourself that your current situation is not your future. Even if the affirmation is as simple as "I can make it through and I feel overjoyed" you say it until it has replaced your negative thought.
Think Intentionally-Don't let your mind wonder aimlessly. Keep your mind focus on good things, positive things, things of truth, things of good report, things that are praiseworthy. We have to be mindful of the seeds we plant in our mind. No that song is not just a song, that show is not just a show, that movie is not just a movie, that gossip filled conversation was not just "speaking the truth". All of if are seeds planted that will take root and grow in your mind. What you think subconsciously is capable of making a presence in your life just as conscious thoughts.
Don't let negativity paralyze you. Get your mind right and think positive!
When life seems to be going crazy all around you it's time to get laser focused. It's easy to get caught up in the craziness but if you want to survive the craziness you better keep your attention on your priorities. The moment you shift your focus will be the moment you get caught up in the whirlwind of life. You'll be sitting there broken, down and distressed wondering why you can't progress. Here are a few short tips to help you along the way:
1. Know your purpose. Why are you doing what you are doing. Keep this in the forefront of your mind. When drama comes your way knowing your purpose will help you dismiss the nonsense. You will be able to say this drama is not worth my jeopardizing my purpose.
2. Have a vision. You have to see your end result in front of you at all times. If you only can see what your current reality is you will be prone to lose hope.
3. Feed yourself and surround yourself around positivity. You do this by renewing your mind daily with things that are going to encourage and strengthen you for where you want to go. Be mindful of what you say, hear and think. Get rid of all negativity!
4. Make a List. Make a list of what you need to do every day before you go to bed. It's important to write it down so that your thoughts don't get jumbled in your head. If you write the list before you go to bed you can get up in the morning already knowing what needs to be accomplished versus having to take time to figure it out and becoming overwhelmed. A list brings clarity and helps you to avoid idle time. Idle time is the devils playground, he loves an empty or unsure mind that he can plant thoughts in.
5. Read Your Word. Most importantly you need to open your Bible and read it. Reading self help books and supplemental Christian material is good but NOTHING can replace the Word of God. It doesn't matter what you are going through your answer can be found in the Bible.
I know it can be easier said than done but know this IT CAN BE DONE! Believe it's possible, discipline yourself and be consistent! It's time to stay focused and press forward!
I just had a 3 hour conversation about dating relationships. One thing that was reiterated to me during the conversation is that men and women express their emotions differently therefore we need to learn how to speak the language of the emotional need.
For example, when men have done wrong to a woman the woman expects the man to chase her, go the extra mile to let her know that he is sorry and show that he wants to make things right with her. Women expect their phone to ring, text notifications, flowers, candy, cards something...anything to show her that she is worth fighting for. I don't care if the woman doesn't respond for days sometimes it is just a test to see what is the man willing to go through to prove his love. Men if you really love her meet her emotional need.
As a man maybe the woman did something wrong. She text/call him to make up but he doesn't respond so she keeps texting/calling. For many men they don't want you to keep texting them. If they don't respond they really don't want to talk to you don't keep calling. Give them the space that they need. They will call you when they get ready. Ladies if you really love him respect his boundaries. Do enough to let him know you care but not too much that it feels like you're nagging.
Or perhaps a woman expresses herself through writing. She may write a long text, say a long speech, or wrote a long email stating how she feels. What she is looking for in return is a response. A response longer than 1 word. Women pour their hearts out to get "ok". Now the woman is looking like "ok? I just said all that and all you can say is ok?".
Sometimes people just need the other person to acknowledge their feelings. Be open to talk about the issue. Don't sweep it under the rug but be willing to have honest communication to bring about clarity. I could go on and on with examples but I'll stop here.
Yes, it will take compromise, take you out your comfort zone. You have to look at the situation from the other person's perspective and say how do they want me to respond versus how you want to respond. It may seem like you're doing too much but if you love the person it will be worth it. Learn to make peace with the one you love.
This morning I woke up a bit agitated. Different thoughts were going through my mind as I was sleep so needless to say my sleep wasn’t as peaceful as I would have like for it to have been or as long as I would have liked it to been. Battling feelings of frustration, trying to rationalize things and thinking positive can be a daunting task. Quite frankly sometimes I’m not up for the fight. Sometimes I want to give in to how I feel…somebody needs to feel this wrath!!!
This is how I was feeling on the inside. Unfortunately or fortunately, depends on how you want to look at it, the affects of it was like young Simba in the Lion King. It was an intense situation, Simba growled as hard as he could and it fazed no one and nothing. My grrrr can’t change the situation nor does it help the situation. And after realizing all my growling was useless and the enemy was probably laughing while God was sitting there giving me a look like “are you done so I can step in and do my thing?” I had to stop my negative thoughts and renew my mind in God.
That’s when I became like Tony the Tiger and my Grrrrrrr slowly turned into Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....rrrrreat! Regardless of how I feel I have to remember:
1. Count it all joy...if I make it through this I will experience growth
2. There is always something to be glad about even in the midst of trials
3. The situation is as only as bad I as make it to be
In order for my grrrrrr to turn into grrrreat! I had to let God step in. If it was up to me I would still be trying to make somebody hear me roar.
I’m sure we all have grrrrr moments, but unleashing how we feel ineffectively only causes the situation to get worse. We have to think about what we truly desire our end outcome to be. If how we act or react in a situation will not get us a grrreat! outcome we need to rethink our behavior, our words and our thoughts.
If you’re ever having a grrrr moment turn it over to God so He can turn your grrrrrr in to grrreat!
Camille Aiko is dedicated to transforming lives spiritually, mentally, physically and financially through the Word of God and practical life principles. It is her mission to pour into the lives of others to motivate them to greatness!
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“Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion, and style.” Maya Angelou
"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."