Monday, August 13, 2012

Mean what you say and say what you mean

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Written By: Sophia Reed MSHS

In this blog we will discuss meaning what you say and saying what you mean.  It is self-explanatory, and is something that sounds so easy, but often times as women, or people period, we do not follow this policy.  Before we turn to self-reflection, I would like us to think about others that we know in our lives.  We all know that unreliable person that always tells us that they are going to be somewhere at a certain time, but never shows up.  We all know that person that makes plans with us, but never follows through.  We all know that person that we will never trust with important stuff because although they say that they are going do it, they always manage to forget, say that they are busy, or come up with some excuse as to why they did not follow through on what they said.

Think for a minute of that person and your opinion of them.  Do we think that person is a bad person, not necessarily; we just think that person is unreliable, untrustworthy, and many times we may laugh at them for being this way.  Sometimes we may even lose out on friendships, romantic relationships, or professional relationships because a person is that way, because we feel we cannot trust them with the important stuff in our lives, and will never stick or neck out for them because doing so may turn out to be a bad reflection on us. 

Now let’s turn to self-reflection, what person are you?  Do you make a habit of giving your word and not following through on it? Saying that you are going to do something but don’t?  And then make excuses as to why you didn’t do it, and make excuses and feel like this is sufficient.  I would like you to reflect on the importance of your word.  When you think about it, your word means a lot.  It’s your credibility as a person.  It determines if people think you are a liar or think that you are a truthful person.  It determines whether people feel they can trust you are not.

A common term that people say is that actions speak louder than words.  But I would beg a differ; I would like to think that they go hand and hand.  Because if your words were followed by actions, that is a way that we become a more trustworthy person.  Let’s examine each aspect of the relationships so you can see in detail what I am talking about.

First I would like to begin on how our words can affect romantic relationships. In a relationship, let start in the beginning. Think how do you begin to really trust someone?  It all goes back to their word.  If you meet a man and he says that he will call you the following day, and does, then that begins to build trust.  On the flip side, if it doesn’t then that begins to build distrust.  If while in a relationship a man says that he loves you and goes out and cheats on you, then that builds distrust.  Although he did not directly say that he would not cheat on you, it is implied that if someone loves you, then they would not want to hurt you, and that cheating on you would hurt you, therefore you feel like they don’t love you and they broke their word.  In essence although it may not seem like it, a broken word always seems like a lie to us.

 I think that this is especially true for women, and that is why men and women often have a misunderstanding to trusting one another in a relationship.  Women value words and what a man says, and when they don’t live up to that word for whatever reason, then women feel betrayed…… and then they feel like  the man is a liar.  Often time, when doing couples counseling, men will say “She keeps calling me a liar, and I didn’t lie to her.”  It’s not that he directly lied to her but that he did not keep his word and therefore she feels betrayed and lied to as a consequence.

Let’s take it to another aspect in a friendship. We all know that unreliable person that we cannot count on for anything because they never follow through on what they set out to do or follow through on their word.  Often time this causes conflict in friendships if we are counting on someone for something and them not doing it.  Examples of this are, them always being late, always being unreliable, always putting a man over a friendship.  All that goes back to someone’s word.  If your friend says “Yeah we are going to have to go out sometimes” and is always going out with her boyfriend or making other plans and never seems to make time for your friendship then yes their word begins to mean nothing to you because you can never count on what they say, and you began to feel like they don’t understand the importance of your friendship.

The same can be said in a professional relationship.  It determines if you can be a trustworthy employee versus and untrustworthy employee.  Examples of this include, if your boss is going to give you a second chance when you mess up versus no second chance.  Weather a boss if going to consider you for a promotion versus no promotion.  That is because if a boss gives you a deadline and you commit to doing it, that is the same as your word.  If you miss deadline after deadline, then you are making yourself as an untrustworthy person. If you  have a job, then call in sick a lot of time, then that goes back to your word.  When you take a job, you made a commitment to do the job to the fullest of your ability, therefore not following through on your commitment is like breaking your word, by calling out sick excessively you are deeming yourself untrustworthy.

A person that can’t keep up on their work, a person that cannot handle additional responsibilities on the workplace, because you are known around the office as being the slacker, goes back to not following through on what you committed yourself to, on what you gave your word to, and that is not something that you want to be known as.   
I bring up all the above to say this.  Your word is your bond, it is what you are known by, it determines if people will trust you are not.  Even if you look at the issues of credit, anytime you sign a receipt using a credit card, it says I agree to pay this amount.  That is another form of your word.  Having bad credit, speaks about your word.  It speaks about whether you agree to pay your debts off or not.  There are unforeseen circumstances that happen that may affect your credit, but when you do get money or another job, then pay off the amount because you have agreed previously to do so.  Filing for bankruptcy is a cope out, and another example of how your agreement (even if it was not verbal but written) was broken and how you are not a trustworthy person.

At the end of the day, what I want you to see is that it is not okay to go around saying you are not going to do something but don’t do it.  It is not okay to tell your children something, and then not follow through on it.  It is not okay, to tell people that you will do something, be somewhere, or not follow through.  It may sound like something so minor, but it affects the way others see you.  It affects weather someone is willing to enter into a romantic relationship with you, weather someone is willing to put their neck on the line for you, weather someone is going to give you a promotion, weather someone will co-sign for you.  For myself, I am a good person on my word.  If I say that I am going to do something then I do it, if for some reason I can’t do something, then I offer an explanation as to why, and it is often a very good explanation.  In previous chapters, I speak about building yourself up and making yourself a better person.

Doing what you say and saying what you mean is a large part of that.  If you as a person do not have your word, then no one will trust you, no one will even care what you half to say, no will have any positive things to say about you or your character.  Do not be that person.  Make a practice every day to follow through on your word.  If there is something that you can’t do and you know in your mind that you have no intentions of doing it, then don’t say you will.  Because the only person that it is a bad reflection on is yourself, and as you read thus far, a positive perception of yourself inside and out, is what you want to have… and preserve.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

You only get one life so use it wisely

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You only get one life so use it wisely.
Written By: Sophia Reed

This  is something that I make a habit of saying to clients quite often. Especially when I see them wasting, or not being productive with their time.  When I say that you only get one life, that is exactly what I mean.  I ask you to take a moment and think about this….Really think. The life that you are in your only going to be in it once.  The moment that you are in, you are only going to be in it once.  Although we know that it is impossible to maximize your time every day of the week. We all want “fun time,” but that should only take up a portion of your time and your whole day should not consist of nonsense.

I would say that when you go throughout your day, a large part of it should be productive.  I think that this is an easy way was to why people’s goals tend to get lost fairly easily.  People have goals and aspirations but they don’t know how to achieve them.  Or sometimes, people are lazy and they talk and talk about what they want to be and never put any effort to be anything, and then blame the world as to why they have not gotten farther in life.  I think that the best advice to give someone is that each and every day that you wake up…Do something that allows you to move toward your goal or being the person you want to be.

To give specific examples, I can recall a session or in fact several sessions that would illustrate this perfectly.  Many individuals step into a depressive mood, because they may be 30 plus and realize that every dream that they had when they were 16-25, their life is nothing like it.  All of a sudden they realize that they are 30 plus/ 40 plus, and that life has just washed them by and they have no way of regaining what they lost.  I hear them say, at 40 do I really want to go back to college, and now it too late to join the military, or the FBI, or this or that.  And for some client’s dreams are something that they can still achieve.  But they get into the mood of thinking that it’s too late.  Or that they are way to off track to go back, and don’t know where to start?  Well I can say this, take one step at a time and do something that moves toward your goal each and every day, even if it is small.  Do you want to start a business, then go the library or book store and get a book on how to start a business, and day by day begin to apply those steps.  Go to the library at the free grant writing classes, and find a way to fund your business.  Technology is way too great for you to sit around doing nothing and not living up to your potential.

Life is not all about fun and games.  Can you have fun and games, sure?  But you also want to have a healthy balance, and that is to realize that you were put on this Earth for a purpose.  The hobbies, desires, and talents that you have were put in your heart and brain for a reason and it is up to you to figure out how to utilize them to achieve whatever it is that you feel you were put on this Earth for.  I hear people say, that I make things sound so easy, and perhaps that is true.  And realistically speaking, you are not going to succeed at everything that you do 100% of the time.  But what do you think would be better? Is it okay, to say even though I failed, I still tried to pursue something that I really wanted to do, as oppose to looking back and saying that you never even tried.  Besides, you never know where even a failed dream may take you. Who you might meet? What other hobbies it may lead to that you will succeed at?  The main phrase that I like to remember is that tomorrow is not promised to anyone. 

Therefore, live each day lie it is your last.  That does not mean to be reckless, doing drugs, and drinking and driving.  Its means that you should strive to put your mark on this world one way or another.  Make your life matter, to somebody in this world.  Put a positive impact on this world.  It would be better in my opinion to have somebody change in a positive way because they knew you and because they meet you, then it is leave this world and people feel sorry for you, because you never did anything significant. For nobody to care if you were around or not, or being remembered for having a negative attitude all the time, or that you were the miserable pscyho that everybody hated and everyone talked about your behind your back (mild joke).  So imagine your life, what do you want it to be, don’t set limits on yourself and even though others tell you that statistics are stacked against you and there is no possible way that you will ever succeed….then defy the odds and try it anyway.  That’s what makes every day ordinary people into extraordinary people, because one day they took it upon themselves to stand out, and succeed when all the odds are against them.  For me, I can speak about this personally, when somebody shuts me down or looks at me weird saying I can’t do it…it makes me want to work harder and prove them wrong, and no matter how longs it takes, you will see that I will succeed at the end.  When that happens I guarantee that is one of the best feelings in the worlds.  So in short, you only get one life, it’s your life and you choose what you want to do with it.

 Do you want to be that somebody that at your high school reunion,  that still looks good and is successful at the things you set out to do….Or do you want to be that person that was the popular kid in high school made all F’s (because you thought popularity and good looks would carry you through life) and at your reunion you’ve have no job, no life, no skills, and everyone is laughing behind your back because you turned out to the less likely person to succeed, as oppose to that nerdy chick you used to make fun of in high school and she is making $100,000 a year making computer programs….Think about it.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are You Being What You Ask For In A Mate?

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When looking at whether you are finding the best person for you, it is important to first evaluate yourself.  Often times women want a man that makes a lot of money, has a house, nice car, and one that would be able to provide for them financially.  And honestly, there is nothing wrong with this.  But as women, they should ask themselves what they bring to the table in order to get a person like this?  Do they have a car, job, house, car, and are emotionally stable…. are they living up to their true potential?  The same can be said for men.  Men tend to want the prettiest women, a women that takes care of herself, would be a good mother, wife, cook, clean, and everything else.  And to these men, I asked you, what do you bring to the table.  Are you willing to be the type of man that attracts these types of women, do you have a job, place of your own, transportation, and ways to provide and take care of a family, do take care of yourself? 
The reason why I say this is because both men and women want their ideal mate, and sometimes their ideal mate is out of their league.  We can all aspire to want to best person that life has to offer us, but if this is the type of person that we want, then we ourselves have to be the best person we can be.  Let’s face it.  As mean as it may sound, but a man that is making six figures, has his own home, house, property, and everything else…..his dream mate is not going to be a women that did not graduate from high school, has never been out of her hometown, and is ignorant of the things around her.  That is because with his life, there is a lifestyle, one in which he would like a woman to be a part of……and with that, the woman he chooses has to fit it.  She has to know how to take care of herself, take care of the home, speak well around his co-workers, and present herself in a positive light.  As for men, if you want your ideal mate, then the same applies.  No woman that has graduated from college has her own place, car, and independence, is going to want a man that lives with his mother and no hopes of a real job or career.  Let alone not be able to provide for her or a possible family, no women is going to want to wear herself thin for a man that does not even try.  Now don’t get me wrong there are exceptions to the above rules for both men and women.  But when you really evaluate the quality of these relationships. Often times, there are not all that great and if each person is willing to put in what they expect to get out, then the relationship could always be better.  

My point of bringing this all up is to say this.  Whatever type of mate you desire and aspire for.  You need to be the type of person that attracts that mate.  I am not saying change yourself, personality, or the things that make you….you.  I am saying have yourself together.  A prime example that I recently found, include a dating ad saying the following.  A female looking for a romantic relationship, possibly long term.  The section in which she wrote about herself included, that she did not do anything because she got “checks” every month.  Now let’s evaluate this situation, I am sure that someone more than likely responded to this ad.  Would it be her ideal mate, an ideal man that could be a provider or a good husband in the long run?  Probably not, it would more than likely be someone that is in the same situation that she is in, both taking out of the relationship and not putting in, both expecting and wanting more but not bettering themselves to get it.  When good men that will make good husbands see this in a woman, they see lazy, they see a woman that is unable to maintain her own life and take care of herself, let alone are able to have a quality romantic partner if added to the mix.  And what is worse, is that she feels that not trying and not finding ways to better herself is okay.  The best advice that I can give my clients regarding relationships includes this:  When you stand alone, you yourself should be sufficient.  You should be able to maintain yourself and be complete by yourself.  Whoever, you choose to come into the relationship with you, should add on to what you have, not complete it or bring to you to a higher level.  Therefore, I asked each and every one of you, that before you go looking for your mate; really evaluate what you yourself have to offer that person.  Each person should bring things into a relationship 50/50 that does not mean finances or material things.  But emotional stability, goals, knowing the direction of one’s life, each person should feel like they are getting something equal from the next person, and not as if they are being used as, a crutch.  With that being said, as people we can always improve, we can always be better people, or improve ourselves in some way shape or form, especially if that is what you are asking for in a mate.  That is the only way to improve our chancing of finding the person that we truly want, and not just settling, or expecting for someone to be something to us, which we cannot be to ourselves.

If you are single and you are still waiting for Mr. Right, then you must read my book "Waiting For A Man After God's Own Heart." Click on the book tab for purchasing information.  Read the first two chapters free at Amazon. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Being a Wife of Noble Character

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Written By : Sophia Reed

In the last segment, I did a portion on husbands and their roles in the relationship.  Therefore, I think that it is only fair to address women as well.  To begin this segment, I would like to point out a wonderful scripture in which I think sums up not only being a good wife, but also being a woman of noble character.

Proverbs 13:10-31, reads:

10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Now it would seem like the verse above it pretty self explanatory, however, I would like to break it down anyway….just to give clarification on aspects that I believe are important and how you can apply them to your marriage.

First I would like to take the opening line…..A wife of noble character, who can find one such as this.  This statement already implies that such woman is a gem, a ruby as a matter of fact.  When the scripture compared a wife to a ruby, I find this interesting.  A fun fact, is that rubies are actually more rare than diamonds, even though they do not cost as much, this should speak about the rarity of such women and that it is the rarity that counts and not the value.  By this I mean, how difficult it is to find a women like this NOT how difficult it is to buy a women, because she is pretty.  There is no doubt once this type of women is found she can be a great companion to her husband.  And in her, her husband can have confidence and feels that she lacks nothing.  The reason that I enjoy this verse so much, is because is gives a different perspective of the submissive wife.  Yes, wives the Bible says to submit to your husband, but that does not mean that you have to be his maid or slave to do so.  As a matter a fact, if your husband loves you like Christ love the church (see the last blog loving your wife like Christ Love the Church).  He would not want you to be this any way. 
To continue on, the wife shall bring her husband good not harm.  Now this can be applied in many ways.  This does not just speak about the physical hurt, but also the emotional hurt, that a woman may bring to her husband.  The things you say to your husband…..are they uplifting?  Do you call him names?  Are you cheating on him?  Flirting with other men?  All these things can cause your husband to be hurt and to lose faith in you.  So in everything you do, every action that you take, you should think, is this harming my husband, is this going to cause him embarrassment, caused him to be ashamed?  If what you’re doing would not make your husband happy or proud of you, then simply don’t do it, because you are not being a wife of noble character. Even if you look at verse, 18, it says at the end, her lamp does not go out at night.  Now women I am not saying that you cannot go out and have fun, BUT, I think that all women should remember their priorities, and that is their families and their husbands.  This is going to upset some people, but it needs to be said.  There are some wives and mothers who go out and party all the time… if they were single.  I think that this verse was included to remind women, that when you become married you made a commitment, a commitment to your husband and children if you have them.  You have an image to uphold and going back to the beginning of the verse, your husband should have full confidence in you, you should not cause him shame in your behaviors.  I am not saying do not go out, I am just saying being responsible with it.  When you go out, come back at a reasonable time.  Wear respectable clothing, not having your breast and butt exposed.  Even the scriptures say that she is clothed in fine linen of purple.  You see purple in the Bible is the color of royalty.  You can still look nice and have fun without looking like a woman of the night.   With this being said, wives put some effort into your appearance.  You don’t have to look like you just stepped out of Italian vogue, but at least look presentable and like you care about your personal appearance. 

This brings me to verse 15, that says a wife get’s up while it is still night.  That does not mean she stayed out all night, but rather she gets up before her household to make preparations for the day.  You should not have been out so much in the night that it is difficult for you to get up and care for your family.  Also, you should not be the type of wife that sits around all day and does nothing.  In the morning you should be up, doing something productive with your time.   Like the scripture mentions, look after your household.  If you see that groceries are getting low, then go get more, if you see your children need assistance with their homework then help them, wives are the overseers of the functioning of the home.  If your home is dysfunctional, in some way, then as the wife, you have to play a part to ensure that it runs smoothly again.
To illustrate this, look at what majority of the passage speaks about.  It does not say that a woman sits in the house all day and stares at the wall.  No it says that she is a merchant, her ventures are profitable, she has so many task and she tries her best to work hard at all of them.  So wives, it is okay to work, and to do things out side of the home.  However, ensure that those things are positive, that they bring positive attention to your family name, not negatives one.  Make sure that you ventures are profitable and you’re not spending or gambling all your husband’s money away.

The last major point that I would like to make, that is a big one, is to be kind.   As mentioned in the verse there are several things to illustrate this point.  It says that the wife gives to the needy.  There are many ways that you can do this. Do you know a friend that needs help? Are you able to volunteer?  Are you able to do something with your time that you know will assist others?  Giving to the needy is not always about giving money, but just being generous person, and helping to those that you believe are in need of help.  Other traits that are mentioned of a noble wife are that, she is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  This means that she has dignity to her name.  The simplest way to put this, is wives, reflect to see if your name is good around those around you.  What do they say about you?  Do they say your mean, selfish, careless, or don’t care about your kids or your husband?  This all speaks to your dignity.  Yes, people will gossip and say what they want, but when other people hear this gossip, it should be hard for them to believe, because of the type of person they know you to be.  Even, as the verse mentions, she speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  Women seem to have a hard time with this, women have this sense that they need to say what they want, to who they want, and it does not matter if it is respectful or not.  Well I am going to tell you that this should not be so.  Everything that you say to others, your kids, and your husband does not have to be rude on impolite.  There is a polite and respectful way to say everything.  So before, you speak, chose your words carefully so that do not harm the other person.  
                                                                                    Proverbs 27: 15-16 states

A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.

Proverbs 21:9 says

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife
So don’t be a nagging, angry, and quarrelsome wife….No one will want to be around you, not your husband and not your kids.  In short, you want to be the one that all the children praise for being such a good mother, you want to be the one that her husband praises for being a good wife, you want to be the one that has inner beauty.  As we all know, outward beauty fades, but if you are beautiful on the inside, then that will radiate out of you, and other people will see it too.   You see, being a wife of noble character doesn’t mean just being that in your household, but also with everyone that you encounter.  We all have our bad days yes, but really set your mind into being a joy in others lives, and often times this can lead to a more fulfilling relationship and self fulfillment.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Loving Your Wife Like Christ Love the Church.

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Written By: Sophia Reed

 As a Christian, I feel like the Bible has exceptional information about marriage and the way each person in the marriage should act to ensure that they have the optimal relationship.  That is not to say that by following all Christian rules in regards to marriage that your marriage will be perfect and without conflict, but there are  ways that we can adjust ourselves to ensure that were are playing our part in a marriage.  With this being said, I would like to address husbands loving their wives, like Christ love the church.  Before I get right into this, I would first like to explain where this phrase came from.  

In Ephesians 5: 22-33 it says this:

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

The reason that I chose to quote such a large section is because often times people get caught up in the wife being submissive, and leave out what the husbands are required to do.  Which as you read above is a lot more than the wives.  Two main things that stand out are them loving their wives like Christ loved the church and like he loves his own flesh.  When you really think about this concept this must really be a powerful love.  It is easy for people to say that they love their wife like this, but I have come to find, that many men may not truly understand this love, and are not living up to their part of the bargain. 

Therefore, I am going to go to the beginning of the Bible, with the story of Adam and Eve, to give you a true example of loving one like your own flesh.  People don’t typically think of Adam and Eve as this depicting this, but I will show you that in the beginning, this type of love was present and this is how God always intended love between a husband and wife to be. 

In Genesis 2: 18 it says:

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for[a] him.”

So from the beginning God intended for man to have a mate that is fit for him.  After bringing in all the animals and seeing that no one was befitting for Adam, he made women.

Now let’s take another part of Genesis (Chapter 2:20-24).

So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

There are several things to point out in this passage.  The first being is that Eve was created from Adam’s flesh, and note what Adam said about her (Now this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh).  What a strong statement to make about someone, not only that, but it is reminiscent of Ephesians in the fact that Adam says Eve is his fleshed and loved her as such.  Also like Ephesians, it speaks about leaving your mother and father and becoming one, similar to the passage in Genesis. Isn’t it amazing that the first book in the Bible (old testament) is much like one of the last books in the Bible (new testament) regarding the relationships between husband and wife. 
Now let’s get into the deep stuff……Are you ready?

In Genesis 2:16-17 after Adam was created, before Eve came into existence, God told Adam this,

 “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

With this being said, Adam did not eat from the tree, while he was the only person on Earth. Also note that God had told him if he ate from the tree what would happen.  So flash forward and Eve is created.   The serpent isolated her on her own and got her to eat from the forbidden tree.  After eating the fruit, she then brings it to Adam and asks him to partake of the fruit as well.  Now let’s ponder this for a minute, as mentioned above Adam knew very well what eating from the tree would do…however he also saw that Eve had already eaten from the tree, and therefore he knew that she would die.  How did he know this? Because that is what God told him would happen.  So why do you think Adam ate from the tree, knowing that he would die and be departed from God.  A misconception is that Adam was manipulated or tricked by Eve……But I think not.  I think that even though Adam loved God, and knew what would happen to him if he ate the fruit, he still chose to do so because he loved Eve so much….and if Eve was going to die and face banishment from God, then he was willing to do so as well.  You see, to Adam, Eve was his flesh, she came from his own body, and perhaps to imagine life without her was not possible.  So he chose to give up the perfect life that he had in Eden with God, to go into the wilderness with his women, Eve. Now that’s love. 

My point is this, men who are married, do you love your wife like you love your flesh.  Are you willing to take the hard road with her, as oppose to leaving her when you see that she has made the wrong decision?  Are you willing to share in her consequences and responsibilities?  Are you willing to give your life up for her, just as Christ gave his life for the Church?  See this is what I mean, by loving your wife as Christ loved the church, and it is attainable.
If you would like to achieve this in your relationship or marriage, and feel like you need assistance.  Counseling is available, feel free to visit my site to set up an appointment.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fighting Fair as a Couple

  1 comment    
Written By: Sophia Reed

We all know that when we are in a relationship, that everything is not going to be perfect and arguments will occur.  This is okay and it is perfectly normal.  Every person is different and no one is going to agree with a person 100% of the time, even if they are the most compatible couple in the world.  One thing that I would like to address in this segment is that when these arguments occur, are you fighting fair or are you just fighting.   Now arguing can be a really dangerous thing.  It can cause grudges; it can cause the couple to argue over the same thing for hours, days, weeks, or even months.  I am going to explain to you that this type of arguing, although popular, it is not the best way to be, and to give you a perspective of fighting fair, so that the arguments do not control and /or ruin your relationship. 

The first thing is something that I call, taking the Bass out of your voice.
When I say taking the bass out of your voice to someone, there are several things that I want them to do.  First, I would like to them to examine the tone of their voice.  Is it harsh, is it sarcastic, is it loud?  The tone of your voice can affect the way a person reacts to you.  Have you ever noticed that when in a disagreement, as soon as a person gets loud, then the other person starts to get loud?  If you respond in sarcasm, the other person gets mad at your sarcasm.  Therefore, a quick way to avoid this is to just take the bass out of your voice and adjust your tone.  Speak in your normal voice and say what you have to say. This way, you will more than likely will get the same reaction from your partner.
Next, is being respectful no name calling or harsh words.

I think that this is a fairly easy one to understand.  Many people when in an argument are quick to call names or say things to the other person that is intentionally hurtful.  Although, they may love this person, out of anger they say something that can be very mean to the other person.  The thing about these types of words or reactions is that once said, they can never really be erased from the person’s mind.  So even if there is an apology, the damage is still done.  One thing I like to refer to is Bible scriptures that illustrates this points for me well

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.   
Proverbs 12:18

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. 
Proverbs 18:21

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 
James 3:10

Really ponder on these verses and understand that the things you say can affect your partner and your relationship.  If you call them names, this can lead to low self esteem or perhaps even depression.  If you accuse them of cheating, it may push them into cheating.  So chose your words, and don’t practice harsh words against your partner. 

The last point is a few things that are tied into one big point.  This is to listen, don’t accuse, and acknowledge the person’s point of view. 

One main reason that arguments escalate is because each person does not feel like they are being heard. In the same token, many people do not listen.  I have seen or heard arguments, in which each person was essentially saying the same thing, but in different ways.  Because they were not listening to one another they continued to argue.  I have also seen an argument go on for so long that the point of the argument is lost, and the people involved become confused about what they were trying to say.  The best way I feel I can illustrate this last point is to use a scenario. 

Here we have a husband and wife that have just gotten home from a Christmas party.  The wife says to her husband 

“I am angry at you, because you left me at the party and I felt like I was being ignored the whole time.”

A none listening response could be for the husband to walk away, say “whatever,” or respond in anger. All of which could escalate the situation or leave unresolved issues in the air, which can harbor in the relationship.

An accusing response could be

“Well you’re the one that walked off will Bill’s wife, I didn’t even know where you were I didn’t ignore you.”


“When I was at your company picnic you did the same thing to me.”

I call these accusing phrases because it puts the blame back on the other person.  In the second statement, it not only accuses the other person, but brings up and old situation that had nothing to do with this one.
Now let’s look at a better response, and that is acknowledging the person’s perceptive.  The husband can simply say:

“I am sorry that you felt I was ignoring you and that I hurt your feelings, that was never my intention.”
Notice that the husband is not accepting blame or even saying that it was his fault.  The only thing that he is doing is saying the facts. There are that is his wife is hurt, and that she felt hurt by something that she felt he did.  The husband even added, “That was never my intention,” To let his wife know that he did not seek to hurt her on purpose.  And really, this is more than likely all she really wanted….to be heard and her feelings understood.

Now all of this does seem simple and many people tell me, that this is easier said than done, and this is true.  It is not going to be easy and takes a lot of mental training to change the way we fight and talk to people.  Now if this does not work I have one last thing to throw in that always works and it comes from a Bible verse:

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger Ephesians 4:2

In short it is human nature to be get angry, and if your argument got so out of hand that you ended it in anger, that’s okay. However, before you go to bed, really try to rid yourself of that anger and any negative emotions toward your partner, so that you do not bring it into the next day, week, months, or even years to come. 

An easy way to do this is to remember that you love that person and what love is:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

When fighting or trying to get over what your partner did, if you really love them and want to continue the relationship, always remembers the above verse on how to act toward them, and really put these words into practice.  Now if you do not see a change even after all this information, you may want to evaluate weather that person is really the one for you and weather they love you back.  You may also want to consider counseling. 

If you are located in the Richmond metro area, you can feel free to visit my website for more information about counseling with me and to set up an appointment.