Posts made in March, 2012

The Art of Submission: Anecdotal Evidence

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Dating & Relationships, Family, Uncategorized | 1 comment

The Art of Submission: Anecdotal Evidence

Last Sunday, I left you hanging…

On purpose.

I know it’s a cold thing to do, but there was a method behind my apparent madness. The teacher in me wanted you to draw your own conclusions before I placed further ideas into your head. It is my sincere hope that you, my cyber sister friend, have considered my last few points regarding your relationship. I hope that you’ve asked yourself if your significant other is really loving you the way God intended, if he is handling business as the leader of your home, and if he is one to whom you can submit.

So many “good, Christian girls” marry in hopes to actually be able to submit to a man of God only to realize he’s not half a man and has even less of God. And so we don’t know what to do because we think that in order to please God we must please our unplease-able husbands. But I laugh at the enemy… There is a solution to your problem.
At the risk of bearing too much of my past, I’d like to revisit my previous points and support them with anecdotal evidence, some of my own and some of someone else’s.
  1. He’s your husband, not God.  Yes, we must honor, love, and obey, but there must always be a place that you preserve for you and your God alone. Elevating anyone, children included, above the place of the Almighty will open you to heartache and disappointment. I remember being torn between my relationship with God and my relationship with my ex-husband. It seemed I couldn’t maintain my walk with Christ as long as I was trying to please the other. I would imagine Adam felt the same ambivalence when he watched his beloved taste the forbidden fruit. Imagine what he must have thought in that moment. She knows this is wrong. She knows this will separate her from God. So will it separate her from me too? But I LOVE her. Icannot live without her… But God loved me first, and I love Him! God or Woman? Woman or God? So he ate the fruit. He chose Woman over God, and as a result all of mankind fell. What if Adam had not eaten the fruit? Would God have allowed him to redeem the woman he loved so much keeping our heritage in Eden intact?Could God redeem your spouse as a response to your faithfulness to Him?Absolutely! Could things fall into place should you decide to focus solely on the other person? It’s possible, but not likely. I wish you well either way.
  2. If he doesn’t demonstrate Christ-like love for you, be careful about submitting. It could cost you more than you’re willing, or even able, to pay. The Bible says that a man must love his wife as he loves himself. So if he hates himself……………. Oh ok. A self-loathing person is bitter, self-destructive, angry, manipulative, and unforgiving. If these devices are demonstrated in your husband’s interactions with you, do what you can to keep order in the home, but anything that is detrimental to you and the family or feels out of sorts, you MUST stand your ground. I’ve known women who had unfaithful spouses that felt obligated to sleep with their husbands. Don’t lay yourself down under a man that you know (or even with legitimate reason, think) is being unfaithful to you. Don’t leave bills unpaid that could affect you in the long run because he’s “got it under control.” Do what you know is right to do when it’s time to do it. You’ll have pay later. I had to pay later when I could’ve stepped up and handled things when I knew he wouldn’t.
  3. If his life is out of order, he cannot be your head. Don’t allow someone who lacks self-control to control you.Two big points here… It seems this would be common sense, but how many of us chase behind brothers who lack any restraint in their personal lives? The purpose of a relationship is to build something. You cannot build with a person who chases thrills, emotional highs, or any other high for that matter… Strangely enough, folks who lack self-control attempt to control everything around them. Don’t be that kind of victim.I wish a brotha would ask to see my grocery store receipt to calculate my drivetime home. I have a Chemistry degree, and I know how to use it.
  4. Submission is mutual. He needs to submit to you as well. I laugh when I hear stories of young grooms demanding their brides to do as they say because the bride must submit. Submission,in its finest form, is mutual. He should think enough of you to discuss matters before making a decision. I can’t think of one woman in her right mind who wants to be the man and take full responsibility for a family, but I also can’t think of one who wants all the decisions made for her without consideration for her needs. The pendulum swings both ways, folks… both ways. Menfolk would do well to allow us to take the lead from time to time.
  5. If he is not submitted to God and your pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you. The strongest, wisest, most prosperous men on this planet answer to someone somewhere. If your boo-bah-dee-boo-boo claims to love God but won’t submit to a pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you. The concept of respecting authority eludes some people. So not only do these misguided fellas lose jobs and underperform at work, but they also fail to walkin the proper authority as the man, husband, and father. Men at their best when they are accountable to other men.
  6. You don’t have to agree or even take his advice for yourself. I looooove to wear make-up. Love love love! I don’t wear a lot, nor do I wear anything crazy, but I do like to highlight my features. Well, when I wasmarried it was strongly suggested that I stop wearing make-up. In fact, it became a source of tension between us, particularly if I was going out to the store without him though he neeever wanted to go along. That’s another matter altogether. But the tension remained until I made it clear that I wasn’t going to stop wearing it. Before long, he’d just stare at me while I put it on… in awe of my beauty of course. He learned to respect something small that mattered to me. See– *pulls out church lady glasses*—folks have the tendency to project their own insecurities on others. There is no need for me to feel unattractive because you have an issue. If I love you, make-up won’t make me cheat. If I don’t love you, nothing short of God’s hand will stop me. Ladies, you can comply if you so choose, but make sure you choose to do so for the right reasons.
  7. If he’s not pleased with you now, then he won’t be pleased with you after you do everything he claims he wants you to do. That’s not your issue…it’s his! Bigger boobs, longer hair, more/less make-up never changed an unfaithful heart. Ladies, some things we just cannot compete with. Some things we should not have to compete with. If he truly loves you, then he will learn over time to keep his eyes only for you. Don’t expect this to be an overnight process, but cover yourself in prayer as you fight the battle against insecurity and low self-esteem. But in the meantime, you don’t have to do,wear, or behave as some fantasy woman who has no emotion or need. You don’t have to bare it all like women on television. We don’t have to be overly outspoken to be heard, or wearing a nappy fro to be appropriately Black. (Oh gosh… did I type that? Yeah, I did. Team relaxer, baby!)  But let me qualify this… Some of us DO need to lose weight. Some of us DO need to grow our hair out. Some of us DO need to find out what it means to be feminine. Some of us DO need to learn how to cook and clean a house.
I think I’ve picked enough on the fellas, don’t you agree? I mean all the good menfolk are screeeeaming at me wondering why I’m talking about these bad dudes when there are bad women out there too. Don’t worry… that’s the next topic. So I’ll see you same time next week?? *raises eyebrows looking for your agreeable smile* I look forward to it.
I look forward to reading your comments. As always please tweet, post, share, email, SUBSCRIBE! Let me know you’re out there! I’ve made it to the other side of the planet a few times now, so send me a cyberwave if you please! Until next time…
With love, sincerity, and hope for the future, 
Alana
Photo Credit: By SidewaysSarah on Flickr
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The Art of Submission: Serving Two Masters

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Family, Uncategorized | 2 comments

The Art of Submission: Serving Two Masters

This entry is for the married ladies and those in serious relationships. For several reasons, I’ve neglected to write about my experience as a married woman. The Bible says a poor man’s wisdom is despised, so I thought no one would want to hear how you should or shouldn’t interact with your husband from a woman who doesn’t have one anymore. There’s no shame on my end, but certainly, people have said they didn’t want my opinion because I failed at it. 


But where I may have a void in your eyes, I’ve got a wealth of experience and understanding in my own. So take it or leave it… just read it, and decide later. :)


Life, for me, is better on this side. And some of you ladies are married to a man with the same or similar *ahem* demeanor as my ex-husband. You need to know how to handle him whether you choose to stay with him or not.


I’ve spent some time in my singleness wondering how this love thing is supposed to go. After applying the truth to my failed experience(s), this is what I believe.

A man and woman meet and become friends. Their friendship grows and neither person expects more from the other than they ought. They’re simply getting to know each other. Because they like what they find in each other, they decide to enter an exclusive romantic relationship where they can grow together with the future possibility of being one. As the couple becomes more committed to one another, the intimacy between them increases. They protect the relationship by never allowing the intimacy to exceed the level of commitment. In doing so, the man expresses his sincere, heartfelt, “I’ll die for you” type of love for the woman in constructive ways. Once she knows his love is real, she learns how to demonstrate her love for him. The couple marries, and the woman, as her expression of love to the man, willingly submits to him. She knows she is safe, that he won’t harm her, that he will always protect her because he has already demonstrated this WITHOUT marital benefits. So if he did it then, surely he will do it now. Woman says “I can trust this man, so I will love him and submit to him.”



Hindsight is 20/20. And you’se married nah….


Looking back to your courtship may help identify where things didn’t go quite the right way, but doesn’t tell you how to fix the situation you’re already in nor does it tell you how to change the future. You’ve exchanged those til-death-do-us-part’s and you meant them. But you may often feel that submitting to him just doesn’t feel right. You know you’re supposed to let him lead, but his leadership abilities may be in question. But first, let’s chat about what submission looks like.


Or better yet, what it doesn’t. Submission is not doing everything he says, being everything he wants you to be, giving when he demands that you give, and taking whatever he demands you take. It is not compliance, nor does it force one to become a doormat. You are an adult women with your own sensibilities, personality, and goals. Submission simply means you support his mission for building a life for your family. In submitting to your mate, you gladly defer to him and support him as the leader and protector of your home. 


At the risk of writing a blog that’s entirely too long, I will make the following statements and allow you to dissect them for yourself. 

  1. He’s your husband, not God.
  2. If he doesn’t demonstrate Christlike love for you, be careful about submitting. It could cost you more than you’re willing, or even able, to pay.
  3. If his life is out of order, he cannot be your head. Don’t allow someone who lacks self-control to control you.
  4. Submission is mutual. He needs to submit to you as well.
  5. If he is not submitted to God and your pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you.
  6. You don’t have to agree or even take his advice for yourself. (I’ve got a story for this, but I’ll save it.)
  7. If he’s not pleased with you now, then he won’t be pleased with you after you do everything he claims he wants you to do. That’s not your issue… it’s his! Bigger boobs, longer hair, more/less make-up never changed an unfaithful heart.
Final thought!

Churchfolk tend to get submission wrong. Don’t mind them… It’s what mama’nem were taught by some passa generations ago. Passa couldn’t read, so he had to take his passa’s word for it. But now it’s time to get these things in order. 

Submission is not the laying down of your life. It is an attitude of gratitude, a natural response, to one who has already laid down His, and his, life for you….

Selah.

And with that, I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please post, share, tweet, retweet, and email if this has helped you! I look forward to reading your comments below! Take some time to fish through my previous posts as well… I’m as nutty as I am serious. 

Happy Sunday to you all!


With love, sincerity, and hope for the future,


Alana 

Photo Credit:
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How to Break-Up and Stay that Way

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized | 2 comments

How to Break-Up and Stay that Way
Some of us are in bad relationships. If this is you, check out  “Entangled” & “He’s a Good Man, but…” before you read how to break up. Those posts may help you sort your emotions. Others of us have made our way out of bad relationships only to be seduced into flirtations and manipulations after the commitment is long gone. This blog is especially for m— you.

This may be the only time I call myself an expert, but yeah… I am THE break-up expert from both ends of the spectrum. And from my experience, I have learned a single overarching truth.

They always come back.

Always, always, always, always! Even if you were dogged and dragged through the mud, they will come back ready to take you for another ride. But, here’s how you can break up the right way and minimize the foolishness:

  1. Make up your mind before you open your mouth. Emotions need to be dealt with apart from the other person. Seek counsel and comfort from those who love you. Cry, snot, sob, and yell until you get it out. After you’ve dealt with your feelings, make an objective decision. Sharing your feelings with the break-upee before you really know how you feel will open the door for emotional games.
  2. Your decision is NEVER contingent on what the other person will or won’t do. Ultimatums are a no-go. You don’t need anybody to change for you. If you’ve been in a relationship long enough to see that a person isn’t interested in growing together then you have more than enough data stacked against a possible “happily ever after”. If you try to stay to make the person change, they will resent you and you will still be unsatisfied. Make a choice based on what you can or cannot tolerate, not on what they might or might not do.
  3. Tell the truth and shame the devil. This is hard for me. While I am honest, I do not like confrontation. Partake in a confidence-boosting activity (prayer, hardcore rap, push-ups, etc.) before sitting down to have the talk. But when you do have the talk, be direct and clear on your decision. The reasons are less important to express unless the other person asks for them. In that case, I give my personal heartfelt opinion of what didn’t work for me while NEVER passing judgment on them. My way is not the right way, so I just highlight that compatibility is lacking.
  4. Don’t promise to be friends. Not only is this often impossible, it’s just downright dumb. If you’ve slept together, hurt each other, betrayed trust, etc., you can’t be friends. Don’t waste your breath. Let life take its natural course so healing can begin in both of you. You may cross paths again, and at that point in time, you may decide a friendship is appropriate. If you can be friends because you kept your intentions clean, then make the genuine effort to maintain the friendship. Kudos to you for doing things the best way!
  5. Ignore any texts/calls/emails until you are OVER it. You can’t get over the disappointment if the person’s constantly in your thoughts. After you’ve been hurt, your first duty is to forgive so you can heal. People who continually nag and pick at you are predatory in nature. Block them if you must. They other party is responsible for handling his or her own emotions at this point.
  6. Not responding is often the best option. Sounds a lot like the last, but here I am over a year after a (minimal) break-up and receiving surprise texts. I’ve even received a few FB inbox messages and one text from an unknown number. While I’ve responded kindly to some and ignored others, there’s really no need to respond. It’s alright to be mean when it comes to saving your soul. Plus, is it really mean when you know their intentions are wrong?
I write all this in hopes that my loves find their way out of misery and emotional torment and into a safe and secure relationship where you are free to give and receive love as God intended. Never believe the lie that no one will love you or that only one person is right for you. There are many people on this planet with which you are compatible. Think enough of yourself so those options can be presented.
With that said, I hope I don’t have to use my advice again, but if I should, I’ll be less krazy than I was when I didn’t know these things.
I wish you all the best. If you enjoyed this blog, please share, text, email, re-tweet, and post it EVERYWHERE you can! I need more readers! :) I’m also eager to read your comments.
With love, sincerity, and hope for the future,
Alana
Attribution Photo by by EliJerma
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Keeping Your Heart

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Being Saved, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Keeping Your Heart

To be perfectly honest I had felt disqualified to write about spiritual things even though I was commissioned to do so. Well, last week I was rebuked for NOT writing, so I must do as the Lord leads.

False teachers are springing up EVERYWHERE today. They’re on my tv, in my ear, in my family’s ear inviting us to try their wares. Try my manna bread and holy spring water. It’ll heal your body. Try my little prophet friend who can call out your credit card number. Try my miracle while I promise you miracle money just for listening to how great I am. 

While some of these ploys are obvious and meager in their attempts, others are much more pervasive and, ultimately, more dangerous. You see or hear a so-called man or woman of God and they acknowledge Jesus Christ as the son of God. So they pass the first test. And they preach the written Word. They pass the second test. The signs and wonders follow… seems to be a bonus there. But your spirit man knows. Something. Just. Ain’t. Right.

In this dark spiritual hour, we must be cognizant that demonic doctrine has slipped into the church and even some of our most respected national ministers may teach falsities from their pulpits. Some of these teachings have passed down from previous generations because “mama and daddy and ‘nem” couldn’t read and had no choice but to believe “Passa.” Others, however, have turned their backs on the kingdom platform that Christ explicitly stated in the Word, and because of their influence, many believers still accept them as part of Christ’s body.



So how can WE as believers guard our souls from such artfully-crafted lies? Here’s what the Lord has placed on my heart.

  1. We must learn to identify and recognize the voice of God. How does this happen? First, by reading His Word, particularly the Words of Jesus. His words always revealed the heart of God as it pertains to love for the lost and hatred for sin and hypocrisy. Second, through prayer and by prayer I mean you send your requests, then stop and listen for His. The Father’s words have a certain tone about them. They bring peace, yet they turn your mind upside down. His Words pierce and convict your heart of wrongdoing, yet comfort you at the same time. Learn to recognize this tone, by inclining your ear and quieting your spirit. (John 10:5, Isaiah 55:3)
  2. We must do what the Spirit says. Have you ever helped someone through a difficult problem, but they didn’t take your advice? They just wanted to talk and talk and talk, but never come to a resolution. Some people don’t want to do the right thing. Some don’t want to do anything at all. So I’ve learned to stop talking to those folk. I believe God handles us the same way. To keep the communication open, you have do more than listen. Obedience is the key to keep the spirit speaking. (Isaiah 1:17-19, 1 Samuel 1:22, Psalm 51:11)
  3. We must deal with our personal lusts and any desire that leads us away from Him. We tend to think of sex as the only source of lust, but this isn’t true. Anything that we desire so much that it causes us to miss God MUST be put into its proper place. Lust is the result of an imbalance or lack of prioritizing. Put your desires in their proper place, so every seemingly good thing that comes your way doesn’t lead you astray. (Proverbs 4:23, Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4)
  4. We must have a solid spiritual covering. Without having the foundation of a solid church home, we are all prey to enemy. God gave us pastors as shepherds. Shepherds guard the door to keep predators out, AND they protect the sheep should a prey sneak in another way. If you are NOT in a Spirit-led, Bible-teaching, fire-baptizing, people-loving church where the pastor(s) seek the face of God, it’s time to search elsewhere. (John 10)
  5. Pride HAS to go! Nothing sets one up for deceit quicker than pride! How many scriptures warn us against thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought? The one that speaks loudest to me reads something like this…”God resists the proud.” Ouch! So you can be a child of God, loving Him, thinking you’re doing the right things, but because of your pride, He will resist you. And most people in this situation think it’s the devil. I check myself fairly often for this, and I always find that in some capacity I’ve gotten a big head even if I haven’t communicated it to others. (Proverbs 16:18, James 4:6, 1 Corinthians 8:1-2, Romans 12:3)
  6. Inspect the fruit. With so many proclaiming to be ministers of the Gospel, it’s no wonder people are being led astray. Jesus gave us ONE litmus test for these situations. You shall know them by their fruit. In other words, not everyone who claims the name of Jesus, preaches His Word, and operates in signs and wonders is a follower of Jesus. You must check their fruits of the spirit. It doesn’t matter how gifted a person is if they lack maturity, joy, peace, and love for mankind. Keep your hateful, squawking Gospel. It’s not true to form! (Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 7:15-20, Jude 17-25)

Regardless of what takes place in the heart of others, God commands us to keep our hearts with ALL diligence. That means we must spend time questioning our own beliefs, casting down anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Furthermore, we must keep our pastors, other ministers, and our brethren (and “sisteren”) in prayer when we see them starting to drift away.

I truly believe that God is not willing that any should be led astray, and for this reason, He will restore our lost loved ones to us. But in the meantime, it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and to intercede for those who haven’t made it back home yet.

Thanks for reading. If this post has blessed you in any way, please please please repost, re-tweet, email, share, and forward. Comments are welcomed also. I’ll be glad to answer any questions to the best of my Scriptural knowledge and as the Lord leads.

Your sister in Christ,

Alana

 

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