Posts made in May, 2012

Love Your Wives: We’re Not THAT Complicated

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Family, For the Brothers, Uncategorized | 8 comments

Love Your Wives: We’re Not THAT Complicated

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The morning after I posted “Love Your Husbands” I received an email from one of my close writer friends. He commented that he was interested to see what I’d come up with for the men. I responded saying that the men’s list would be much shorter and simpler.

His actual reply…. “So women’s needs are less complex (looking outside to see if it’s snowing Smile)?

At the risk of folk laughing me off Twitter, Facebook, and my own website I’m going to say YES… and NO! Shoot… I don’t really know. I just had to sucker you in to reading this post.

What I can say with CERTAINTY is that most menfolk are not about to read and implement 21 different things to do for their women… It’s just not part of a man’s make up. And to be perfectly honest, if you can do a few simple things in addition to being a provider, protector, and priest of the home, we’re good to go.

If your heart is right towards your wife, then the actions will follow. Keep in mind that the Bible warns against menfolk mistreating their beloveds. God explicitly says He will not hear your prayers.

In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.
She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life.
Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7

Selah.

Having said that , here are five things you can do to show your wife (or maybe wife-to-be) that you do really love her. Many women know they’re loved in word, but not so much in deed.

  1. Train your eyes to be only for her. I made the heavy-hitter number one on this list. Men, you’ve got to understand that no matter how strong and secure your woman is she will never be ok with you looking (and lusting) after another. That goes for real life, social media, television, websites, porn, MMS’s, Instagram, imaginative SMS’s. Some of the things that I see posted by married/engaged men are downright disrespectful. (But if your woman is cool with it, who am I to pretend like it’s not acceptable?) While you may go home to her, another woman’s image is in your head. And scripturally-speaking, that’s adultery (Matthew 5:28). Love your queen enough to divert your eyes when you see “trouble” from afar. And when she says to you “Did you see what that woman had on?” you can honestly reply “What woman?” There is a great reward for the man who can grasp and practice this concept.
  2. Respect her feelings. We know that you’re logical by nature, and we tend to be a little more feel-y. Despite what you may think, our feelings are just as relevant as your reasonings. Have you ever come home late after promising to be on time? You had the best, most logical response planned, but it just wasn’t enough to calm her. No? Man, please… you don’t have to lie to me! Let’s really be logical. If you know something you want to do will bother her, don’t do it. One thousand reasons isn’t enough to explain why you caused hurt when the situation could have been easily avoided. Honesty means next to nothing, and you’ll have to endure more than just a argument if you continue. The flip side to that is that you may feel you’re losing out and it’s unfair to you. But you promised to lay down your life, and again, there’s a reward for being considerate and kind to your bride.
  3. Try something new. I say this jokingly, but on a serious note, stop doing the same wrong thing over and over and over and over. Sorry doesn’t mean anything after the umpteenth time. If you’re going to slip up, please do so in a different and very minimal way, i.e. not replace the toilet paper roll.
  4. Unlock your phone. This right here could rival number 1. Trust is a major issue in relationships. If you are, in fact, living a life according to God’s statutes there is no reason for your phone and email to be kept private from your spouse. You’re trusting that person with your body and soul, and so it is their obligation and responsibility to cover you in those areas. If you can’t submit to that, then perhaps some fasting and separation is in order. I realize this requires a serious heart change for some, but truly, what do you have to hide? It’s going to come to light anyway.
  5. Clean her car, and make love to her. This is a two-fer. Something about a man taking care of domestic things that we ourselves are too busy to do ignites the passion in a woman. I have a friend who often comments on the reward her husband gets after taking care of the family’s dishes. Don’t complain about not getting enough if you aren’t willing to help out around the house or with the children. It really can be that simple.

So gentleman, might I suggest you choose any one item from this list and test it out. See what happens when your queen notices a change in you, and trust me, SHE WILL NOTICE!

Ladies, let me stress this to you!! Do NOT send this to your man in hopes of proving anything without first sending the “Love Your Husbands” article. Let him see that you are wiling to make some changes for his benefit before requesting he do the same for you. I might even suggest allowing him to pick a few items with which you can start. It’s alright to be transparent because none of these techniques work by magic. If he knows you’re overlooking a snide remark because you want better and not because you neeeeeed him… you can figure out the rest.

 

What does your wife need most?
Your time? Affection? A greater demonstration of your commitment to her?
Which of these items could you implement first? 

If this blog has helped you in any way, please subscribe via the form on the right hand column, SHARE this with a friend, and leave a comment. I LOVE to hear from my readers, even when you all disagree.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your marriage,

 

Alana

 

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Love Your Husbands: 21 Things You Can Do to Keep Things Interesting

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Family, For the Brothers, The Best Of CTheLily, Uncategorized | 5 comments

Love Your Husbands: 21 Things You Can Do to Keep Things Interesting


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Before I was married, I remember sitting in church and hearing that scripture that tells the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands. I thought “I just don’t understand why God would say that. Wouldn’t we love them already if we married them?”

Then I got married.

And with marriage I began to understand that this fried-chicken brown man with 9.5 of my 10 listed qualities was often unkind, insensitive, and downright unlovable. In those moments I learned it was especially important for me to demonstrate my devotion to him. I knew I’d end up divorced eventually, but God told me that he wouldn’t allow me to leave that marriage until I’d learned to treat him right when he did me wrong.

God is just so unfair at times… Just, but unfair.

Many of you have a great partner but with daily stressors,  it’s easy to overlook and under-appreciate his efforts, as meager they may be. After all, he is a man. He doesn’t do things the way you’d want him to. He’s sometimes emotionally disconnected and downright rude. Why would you want to put in extra work?

I know these sentiments well. (And to be perfectly honest, things are sooo much easier on this side. You mad? Not today? Well maybe tomorrow then…) But still, when I do marry again, I’ll have to come back to this list, swallow my pride and take care of my commitment.

Take what you can, and leave the rest…

  1. Wear something attractive when you leave the house. This includes make-up and jewelry to his tastes. Sometimes they say they like one thing when they really like another. Takes time to learn this skill, but start off small.
  2. Wear very little when you’re at home. It won’t kill your kids to see you in a halter top, sundress and leggings. No mu-mu’s, bulky bathrobes, or flannel pajamas. You don’t want him looking elsewhere, do you?
  3. Wear nothing (or next to nothing) in your bedroom. Make this a rule… please. As your children grow older, they should spend less time in your bedroom.
  4. Dismiss his jerky responses five times out of ten. After you get good at five times, work your way up to eight. Eventually he’ll get the point that he can’t touch a naked woman if he’s been a jerk.
  5. Have sex the night before or the morning of church. Ya’ll come in looking like ravenous wolves and the poor single folk can’t take any more of your abuse. If your husband is a minister, you really need to take care of him because the devil will walk in and try to catch his eye.
  6. Get in and/or stay in shape. Of course men are visual, but really, you’ll feel better about yourself and everything around you by doing this.
  7. Feed him his favorite meal… lightened up. Men like lasagna, meatloaf and stuff covered with barbecue sauce. Let him eat it, but lighten it up a little without telling him what you’ve done. And if you don’t know how to cook, then by all means, learn. Email me, and we’ll work something out.
  8. Romance him. If you don’t already know his love language, learn it and communicate it to him. If he likes to be touched, then touch him. If he needs to hear how handsome you think he is, tell him. If he likes to have his shirts ironed, then take them to the cleaners because most of us don’t do that anymore… lol.
  9. Celebrate him when he comes home from work. Brush your hair. Fix your make-up. Get the kids at the door and cheer for him as he comes in. Tell him “thank you.”
  10. Re-stock his favorite foods and drinks before they’re empty.
  11. Keep your car clean. Who am I kidding? This will never happen.
  12. Say “Ok, baby…. whatever you want” at least once a day. Get it over with early before the stresses of the day make it too difficult.
  13. Conform to his mood. If he’s being goofy, then join in. If he’s a little somber, then downplay your emotional highs. Don’t do this all the time, but it helps.
  14. Make dessert at least twice a month. You don’t want to be gluttonous, but figure out what he likes and have some every so often. If you’re doing #3 and #6, then #21 should take care of the extra calories.
  15. Send him loving texts during the day. If you could just modernize and personalize a scripture or two from Song of Solomon, that’ll do.
  16. Argue with him… logically. Now women tend to be emotional, and there’s nothing wrong with it when our emotions are balanced. But if you could just give him one good logical argument, you’ll watch his jaw drop. This really is more for you than him, but do it anyway.
  17. Play dumb sometimes. A man’s self-esteem is important. Sometimes, when you know he’s wrong, play dumb instead of demanding the truth. Getting him to admit something shameful (or pressuring him and causing him to lie) may be more damaging than just overlooking it and playing dumb. A “Hmmm… I wonder how that happened” should suffice.
  18. Don’t argue with him in front of the kids or talk about him in a negative way. You probably have a friend or two with whom you can vent, but be sure these people won’t carry your tales or treat him differently when they see him.
  19. Be faithful to him. In word, emotion, deed, sexually… all that.
  20. Have a quiet spirit. Being overly emotional and excitable will cause him to shut allll the way down when you need him to communicate.
  21. Have sex. You don’t have to make love allllll the time. I think men get tired when we make an event of everything, and so they resort to simpler measures. You don’t want to discourage your mate with your “romance novel” fantasies just like you don’t want him bringing porn star images to bed.

Fret not, ladies. A list is coming for your dear hubbies, but if you want him to read it, you should get a head start on a few of these items.

Which items are easy for you? Which are challenges?
Is there anything you’d like to add?

Please please please comment and share your thoughts and forward to your friends even if it’s just for giggles.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for lasting marriages,

 

Alana 

P.S. I will not be accepting any marriage proposals via text, email, Twitter, Facebook, or GChat. I will, however, accept “thank you” cards and gifts from men whose lives have benefited from the list, even if the benefit is nominal.

Photo credit:

Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Mixing Faith & Politics: Don’t Believe the Lie

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Being Saved, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Mixing Faith & Politics: Don’t Believe the Lie



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Two weeks ago I wrote about personal rights and righteousness, but this time I want to discuss our legal rights as they pertains to our freedoms and liberties. This post is political in nature, and though I hate politics with a deep, burning passion, I will blog on the matter while my rights to do so are still in tact.

Here’s what I won’t do in the post.

  • I will not share my voting preferences for parties or persons.
  • I will not address any of the issues that are currently being discussed in the media.
  • I will not define or discuss politics from a political science or even legal point of view.

So what the heck am I going to do?

I’m going to remind you of WHO YOU ARE in Christ and WHY it’s of the utmost importance for you to take your faith to the polls.

Being a person of faith, regardless of which faith, requires more than just weekly attendance to your house of worship, prayer, and reading of a holy text. Regardless of whether you’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu… to be a good *insert religious affiliation here* you have LIVE according to your belief system. And your belief system infiltrates EVERY area of your life right down to voting.

As a Christ-follower, I believe fully, completely, and totally the doctrines that Christ taught and lived. What’s more I believe that the Old Testament God and New Testament God are one and the same even though His covenant with us has changed. Therefore my Bible dictates every aspect of my life included finances, relationships, business, and politics… This is not a mark of weakness or inability as some would assert. Keep your negative opinions to yourself until you’ve read all of what I have to say.

I strongly believe that faith and politics do mix. After all, if you don’t take your belief system to the polls, who will? Who will represent your God?

Not convinced? Ok… walk with me.

God has ordained YOU to bring His will into the earth.

People often ask how God, if there is a God, could let such horrible things happen in the world. The scripture very clearly states that God has given the earth to MEN (Psalm 115:16). If we permit injustices to happen in the earth, He will also. So that means the depravity, sickness, poverty, etc., that so heavily grieves us is our own fault. We KNOW that God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect so we have a twofold duty…

  • To pray THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE (Matthew 6:10), and
  • To allow God to USE us in the answering of the prayer.
Exercise your kingdom authority in this earth. How can we pray for one thing, and then act against the very thing you prayed? Oh God, save our nation’s children… *casts vote for…* (I said I wouldn’t do that… sorry.)

Separation of church and state was never intended to remove God from the picture.

The purpose of this clause is to prevent any religious organization from dictating the laws of a nation and the rights of a people. It seems to me we’ve only used this clause to remove the rights of a set of people so as to not offend others. I guess we all have a right not to be offended, but is that a reason to remove prayer from schools or to stop kids from wearing an American flag to class? Ugh… that offends me!

This land is MY land.

Don’t try to dictate what I can and  should do in my own nation when you are not a citizen. I know being a “global citizen” is popular right now, but there’s something to be said for patriotism. America was founded on strong Christian principles, and not those “watered-down, wimpy, let’s be friends with everybody” sentiments that I’m seeing in my Facebook news feed.

Your skin-color is temporary… your kingdom purpose, eternal.

God knew me before the foundation of the earth. He knew you too. He chose your Black/White/Asian/Hispanic parents for the purpose of building His kingdom, not to give you a limited perspective of life from which you would vote. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Before anyone fought for my rights to vote as a Black person or woman, Christ DIED so that I might live. My loyalty is to Him first!

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

This statement, as common as it used to be, rings true! Christians often say they accept things that are contrary to Word of God because they don’t want to IMPOSE THEIR BELIEFS ON ANYONE ELSE. I really don’t understand this mindset… at all. It’s hard for me to even formulate an argument because of the gross fallacy represented here. But here’s my attempt…

  • If voting for or against a particular issue is, in fact, an imposition of beliefs then those who disagree with you are imposing their beliefs ON YOU… so you let the other person win and give up your rights? That’s not smart.
  • The Bible says that peaceMAKERS, not peacekeepers, will be blessed. It’s your job to stand for what’s right even when it makes others uncomfortable, because through the fight you will be blessed and others may be saved.
  • To agree with people doing whatever they wish just because they “can” is anti-God. This is not Christian love, people. I don’t care how you try to justify it, God is not pleased.

Standing up for what you believe is hardly an imposition on others. Don’t be so naive. Let the other side squirm, squeal, and cry… You stand and speak out, or else their whinings will eventually silence you. In case you haven’t noticed, our freedom of speech is being taken away little by little.

United we stand, or divided we fall.

When President Obama took the office, White Christian America went slammmmmmm off! Whether he is or isn’t the man God wanted in office was a moot point after the election… The Bible makes it very clear that we are to pray for our leaders so that we may have peace. Agreeing with him or her is not a requirement. Pray God’s will be done! (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

 

After all is said and done, God still reigns. And you and I will have to answer to Him. My earnest prayer is that God will say to us “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into my rest.” I know this piece doesn’t address the obvious challenges in our system and that no one candidate represents all of what we’d like, but I wanted to, at the very least, stir up your faith and remind you of what’s really important.

Let us reconsider our position on these critical matters.
Are you who you say you are?
Do your actions line up with your beliefs?
Do your beliefs line up with Christ’s?

With love, sincerity, and hope for our nation’s future,

 

Alana

Photo credit

Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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So You Want a Ruth?

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized | 2 comments

So You Want a Ruth?


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I have to giggle when single men claim to be Boaz’s waiting on their Ruth’s. The sentiment is sweet and heart-warming. You’re on the search for love, but is a Ruth truly what you desire?

Last week some young, preacher-like fella was retweeted into my Twitter timeline proclaiming that he was a Boaz and demanding God to send his Ruth. This guy couldn’t have been more than 25 and quite immature which was made evident by the fact that he demanded anything of God at all. I thought, “Dude, you’re not even close to being a Boaz. What would you do with a Ruth?” I replied to his tweet inquiring as to whether he really wanted a woman who’d suffered loss, carried emotional baggage, and didn’t fit in with the crowd. His reply… “Well, maybe not a Ruth.”

In Scripture you find that Ruth was a woman from a foreign land who married an Israelite. Her husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law died in her home country, a place known for abominable sins. She returned to Judah with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and took care of her until God sent her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz. You know the rest of the story. (Just in case you don’t, you can find it here.)

While I originally intended to write this post for women, it seems I’m going to delve into the qualities that make a man a Boaz and offer you fellas some other options as far as women of God go. While Ruth’s are incredibly valuable and significant to the kingdom, this type of woman may not be right for you. More importantly, you may not be a Boaz.

Let’s break this down…

  • Boaz was a wealthy businessman. Don’t get upset with meeeee! It’s true!! Several men have approached me claiming to be my Boaz, yet I live better than they do. To be a Boaz, you must have reached a place beyond financial stability. If you’re still living with mama’nem, you cannot call yourself a Boaz… You may have some of the other qualities, but until you’re financially stable, should you really be looking for a wife at all?
  • Boaz was a man of authority and influence. He owned and managed fields, workers, threshing floors, and everything in between. He was a man of authority and influence because he built a name and reputation for himself. Not because he had a big ego– Sorry, Bey! What kind of leader are you? Are you humble or cocky and arroagant? Do people fear you or respect you? Do you take care of the needs of your workers? Or are you insensitive, cold, and demanding?
  • Boaz was compassionate. Woe to us who see a need and refuse to meet it when it is in our power to do so! If you’re not willing to give and provide for the woman in whom you have interest, you are far from ready for a Ruth. If you’re courting a woman, or even dating in some cases, to what extent will you give her help when she needs it? If her car breaks down, will you run to her rescue? If a family member gets sick, will you just pray with her and hope for the best, or actually make yourself available for emotional support? Compassion for another will cause you to give of yourself even when you may have to sacrifice.
  • Boaz was humble. I’ve never really understood why Ruth uncovered his feet or what that even means outside the literal sense, but Boaz says something to her that really strikes me as profound. “You have not gone after young men, neither poor nor rich.” Boaz was aware that Ruth could have easily found another mate. She was obviously very attractive or he would not have had to warn the young men not to touch her. Though he was well-suited to be  a husband, he respected her right to choose and was thankful that he was the one she chose.
  • Boaz was diligent. Once he was aware that Ruth was interested, he “made haste” to resolve the matter. He exercised wisdom in dealing with his shrewd family member, but secured Ruth as his wife. I wonder what Boaz might have gone through before the account of this story. There’s no record of his having a family prior to Ruth, but whatever challenges he had as a man prepared him to recognize the value in Ruth.

Are you prepared to do this for a woman who has suffered loss and needs protection and covering? Nothing wrong with saying “no” because you have to know where you stand on the matter. Perhaps a Mary would suit you better… sweet, mild-mannered, chaste. But are you a Joseph— Discerning, discreet, and self-sacrificing?

Or a Sarah who was submissive and had no problem calling her husband “lord”? But you’ve got to be the man who has no problem displaying affection for his wife.

Or an Esther who is mentally stimulating, beautiful, and brave? But are you sensitive enough to hear her heart on important matters?

Unless you’re seasoned, have been through some challenges, and find beauty in rare things, you probably don’t want a Ruth. And there’s nothing wrong with that… What type of woman is it that will suit you best?

Better yet… find what type of man you are.

 

Identify your areas of growth, and begin building up yourself so that when your bride comes…
whoever she may be…
you, man of God, are ready to meet her needs and cover her as God has ordained.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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A Man’s Response to “Righteousness Over Rights”

Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A Man’s Response to “Righteousness Over Rights”


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The morning after I posted “Name Your Price: Righteousness Over Rights” this email was sent to me by a close friend and fellow writer. Ladies… here it is! A man with life experience, triumphs and failures, tells exactly WHY we end up on the losing end of relationships far too often.

 

This is my Jiminy Cricket… that’s all I’ll say for now. Follow him on Twitter @TheBlackWriter.

 

 

Hey Beautiful One,

 

I absolutely agree with your new article. One of the greatest detriments to relationships – and maybe especially black relationships – is that women have given up their power (Yeah, I know I’ve said that to you before). But it’s not just the power of their sexuality. It’s also – and more important – the power of their dignity and self-respect. I hear a lot of black women calling themselves queens, and my thought is usually, “Queen of what?” They’re not even queens of themselves in word, deed or dress. Demanding respect never works when you give up your power in all other aspects of your life. Any man who pretends to show respect to that kind of woman is only doing so so that she’ll shut up for a minute and give him some. Then he’s on to the next “queen.”

 

I know it’s hard for women who want to be in relationships and want to be loved. I’ve met a few who have that (so-called) old school way of conducting themselves. They have respect for themselves as ladies, and without demanding it, let a man know that he’s going to have to put in some work as a gentleman before he gets close. These women say that when most men realize this, they run. They don’t want to put in such work when so many don’t require any effort. So it’s hard for a true lady looking for love. It’s sad too, what we’ve become.

 

Men are at fault in this, too. But I give them more of a pass because my feeling is that as long as you feed a dog freely it will eat, and won’t guard your house. He has to be made to understand that if he wants to eat, then he’d better be respecting and protecting you. Women have to be the ones to teach that lesson and change the state of things.

 

We’re not going back to the days when a man had to pay a dowry to his new bride’s family. But the least a man can do is be able (and willing!) to be a man. Times are tough. The economy sucks. It’s almost impossible for most people to live a certain lifestyle without two incomes. But the least a real man will do in a relationship is to work in partnership with his woman to support their household…not live off her.

 

Okay, I’m climbing off my soapbox and getting to work.

 

Have an excellent day!

 

Chris

There are a few tidbits in this email that I don’t agree with completely just because I’m a woman that likes to question everything, and one spot that really rubs me the wrong way… yet I believe Chris is telling us the truth. Maybe I should change my perspective on a few things.

What’s YOUR opinion on the matter? Are women given too much?
Or are men asking for too much?  And how do we fix this problem in our society? 

 

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Photo credit:  Some rights reserved by Ariaski

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