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Day 18 – Love Seeks to Understand February 16, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love.
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School is the perfect place to go when you are lacking knowledge of a particular subject. In places of higher learning you are afforded the opportunity to ask questions and to receive answers. In short, we seek out understanding, especially when continuing our education beyond high school. It is our choice to attend school, just like it is due to our own free will that we enter into various relationships. So, it just stands to reason that we never cease in continuing our quest to understand those that we love.

In the beginning of any relationship, we don’t really know the other person. Most times there is just something unique and/or awesome about them.  Something that attracts us, whether it is friendship or relationship geared. Initially we do everything possible because we are sincerely interested in getting to know and understand this newfound relationship. However, once the conquer is over, we sometimes lose admiration for the people in our relationships. Our differences become quite evident after months or possibly years of knowing the person.

It is no longer our goal to seek understanding in our relationships.  We no longer ask the pertinent questions of what makes them happy. We stop caring about drawing our spouses closer to us or we are no longer concerned about their struggles and dreams.  It is during these crucial times that we must remember that love continually seeks to understand and grow within our relationships.  It is during these trying times that we should steer closer in God’s direction.  It is important that we use patience and kindness as our stair steps to understanding those within our given relationships. Never let us cease in going to school in order to further our own knowledge about our partners and spouses.

A few critical thoughts:
Desire to really understand our mate. Continually ask God for discernment. Make a personal commitment to understand those that we love.  Way to unlock the heart is through love. Relationships are a life-long journey.

Biblical Verse(s):
Proverbs 3:13 – How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.
Proverbs 13:15 – Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
Online Resources: Joyce Meyers Ministries – Daily Devotionals

Challenge:
Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you.  The dinner can be as nice as you prefer.  Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, prehaps in areas you’ve rarely talked about.  Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.


Q: How do you seek to understand those that you love, especially when it appears that the love is long gone?

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

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Day 15 – Love is Honorable February 6, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love.
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Is there anything left in this world that is honorable. A rhetorical question.  Really, what do we really honor? Your answer??? To honor someone or something means to have the highest level of respect and esteem.  Is this true Wedding Bandseveryday in our relationships? With the divorce rate rising far beyond the marriage rate, where has the concept of honor and respect gone – outta da window.  “Holy”matrimony, means entering into a commitment to set this person apart from any other.  This ceremony also means treating your spouse with the highest level of respect possible.  This person should be sacred to you, and no one else should stand on equal footing. It is important that your marriage is valued by everyone. Cheating devalues not only the people involved, but also God. Why? Because marriage is sanctioned by God.

And I know this concept may seem a bit lofty for most to even wrap their brains around, however, it is one of the truest forms of love that we can show our partners. What about the children, my sick parents, my friends, my job, my this, my that.  All of these people are secondary when you enter into a holy and committed relationship with your life-long partner. Think about this – if your foundation (relationship) is sturdy and strong, then it will support anything that placed on it. I say this to the non-believer: If you don’t think that it is possible to share your entire world with another person, then STOP and don’t do it. That is one reason to stay single because you don’t have to be responsible for another person, only yourself.  I digress…

When you love someone, it also means valuing them and what they bring to the relationship table.  What they think should matter to you.  Regardless of the fact that you may not always feel honored nor may you feel that your love reciprocated, you continue to show love and honor within your relationships. Always, the focus is on you and your behavior – and not necessarily about the other person.  You create the atmosphere of love. Just as you do at work, take control of your relationship situations and be the first to show your mate that they are sacred to you and that you value them completely.  Just as God does for us, we too, should do unto our loved ones. Imagine what one day would look like if for one second God decided not to honor and love us – because we made one or one-thousand mistakes.  Don’t know about you – I don’t even want to think about it. Make the choice now to honor every love relationship that is present in your life today!

A few critical thoughts:
Words have powerful meanings. Give your mate your undivided attention. Love honors even when rejected. Marriage should be honored by all.

Biblical Verse(s):
I Peter 3:7 – Live with your wives in an understanding way . . . and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life.
Romans 12:10 – Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
Hebrew 13:4 – Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
Online Resources: The Bible as inspired by God

Challenge:
Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine.  It may be holding the door for her.  It might be putting his clothes away for him.  It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication.  Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.


Q: What does sacrifice mean to you?

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

Day 13 – Love Fights Fair February 4, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love.
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Have you ever gotten sucker punched?  You know, thought the fight was over, and you were the victor.  You turn around to walk away from your opponent and pow-wow.  All of a sudden, you are down for the count because they have caught you in the midst of your victory dance.  Instinctively you jump back up ready for another shot at this chump.  You are seriously pissed at this point and nothing will hold you back from taking this person out – even if the person is your spouse.

Sometimes relationships are just anchored in turmoil and conflict.  Each person wants to get the upper hand and outsmart the other.  This type of conflict is inevitable whether it is a marriage, a civil union, a partnership, a living situation or family gathering.  At some point in every relationship there will come a time for real battle that include real tests.  Now, this is the perfect opportunity to allow love to take its proper place.  It is important to remember why you are in the relationship and to reiterate to yourself the purpose of you loving the person.

This does not mean that there will not be any conflict.  It is just about how you deal with the other person whom you are committed to loving.  It is suggested that you set up some boundaries to deal with the appending conflict.  Decide in the beginning how each one of you will respond to disagreements.  Such as, no cursing at one another, resolve never to become physical with one another, or to even go to be angry.  You can also set up your personal rules of engagement because you know yourself better than anyone else.  If you know that you have a violent temper, make it your business to use a different approach when dealing with conflict. God does not look for winners, He looks for achievers!

A few critical thoughts:
Work through your relationships.  Fight fairly and set rules of engagement. Love steps in and changes things. Love reminds you about the value of the marriage.

Biblical Verse(s):
Mark 3:25 – If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
Proverbs 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Matthew 7:13 – You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
Online Resources: How To Enrich Your Love Life With A Fair Fight via Selfhelp Magazine

Challenge:
Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to “fight” by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.


Q: What weapons do you use when fighting?

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

Day Eight – Love isn’t Jealous January 27, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in Jealousy, love.
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Sing with me…

Oh, I don’t wanna share you with
nothing else–I gotta have you to myself
Oh–I can’t help it–I’m so in love–
I just can’t get you close enough, no

[Chorus:]
When the sun’s on your skin–
I can’t hold it in

And I know it’s a sin–
but I’m jealous of the sun

As I sway back and forth to this Shania Twain song, “I’m Jealous” and attempt to recite these lyrics (see I am vocally challenged), I think about situations where many of us find ourselves in, due to our jealous nature.  I must confess that in those moments, I really don’t realize that I am acting out of jealousy.  Maybe because the behavior has just become so second nature. I’m not speaking about acts of jealousy that are sparked due to someone attempting to steal or covet our partner’s heart.  It is fair to say that you have a justifiable right to be angry if someone is seeking the attention of your better half.  This is the same type of jealousy that is experienced by God when we as His children do not recognize Him as our first priority.  For He is a jealous God who loves us deeply.  No, this is not the type of jealousy that I am referencing.

I am speaking of what the book illustrates as an envious type of jealousy.  The feelings that are expressed when a co-worker is promoted ahead of you.  Instead of being happy for them, for they deserved it just as much as you did – you’re a little sore about it and may even complain of the “non-evidence” unfairness of the promotion.  Jealousy erupts when we believe that we have been upstaged in some sort of way and that only leads to selfish behaviors.  It is quite easy to get caught up in acts of jealousy if we loose sight of what is really important in our lives.  Being envious of others when we don’t get what we want sets up poison within our relationships.  We plot, plan and devise schemes to get back at the people who we feel have wronged us.  This most certainly in not love, for love teaches humility and is born in the heart.  If we are not very, very careful, jealousy can lead to serious actions that have long-lasting repercussions such as murder (the death of Cain), abandonment (Joseph being sold away by his brothers), and death (crucifixion of Jesus).

We should never be jealous of anyone, and especially those who we hold near and dear in our relationships.  When they are successful, we are to lift them up and join in their celebration.  It is wise to realize that jealous acts in our relationships are like poisonous vipers!

A few critical thoughts:
Become your spouses biggest cheerleader.  Love puts others first.  Love completes not competes.  Jealousy of others is rooted in selfishness.

Biblical Verse(s):
Song of Solomon 8:6 – Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.
James 3:16 – For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
Proverbs 27:4 – Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
Online Resources: How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship by Ron Zvagelsky

Challenge:
Determine to become your spouse’s biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy.


Q: Is it hard not to be jealous of those who are doing so much better than you?

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

 

Jack and Jill From my Perspective… January 24, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love, Reflection.
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Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water, Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.  It is amazing how a simple grammar school rhyme can have such an eloquently hidden message.  If only the true meaning associated with Jack and Jill was discovered during adolescence. This is a rhyme about relationships…

No matter if you replace Jack with Jennifer or Jill with John, or leave as is – the message is still the same.  When one partner falls in a relationship, the other is sure to follow.  How did I get that from such a simple school yard chant? Let us analyze this together.

The two are a couple in a relationship of some sort and they start off together, thus Jack and Jill went. The hill is synonymous for everyday life occurences – bills, the kids, the job, in-laws and the list goes on, up a hill.  They are doing what it takes to keep up their household, to fetch a pail of water. One person in the relationship looses their balance – laid off, sickness, family crisis, and such, Jack fell down.  Whatever the material thing that was in his possession is now lost, destroyed, fractured and/or broken, and broke his crown. During this time of crisis, the partner that was following closely also is caught up in the landslide, and finally, and Jill came tumbling afterwards

Whatever happened to the happy couple that started up the hill of life together, merrily swinging their pail?  Did they get up and brush themselves off and regroup to head back up that hill to successfully get that water?  Is Jack still in search of his broken crown and thus had to abandon his relationship?  Maybe Jill climbed that hill by herself only to discover that no water even existed at the top.

I want to believe that Jack and Jill landed at the bottom and realized that they forgot to take the Holy Spirit with them on their journey.  They landed at the bottom on their knees and together they prayed for the right foot holes to make it back to the top of that hill.  They tossed the Bible in the pail so that when they were weak, they could read about how He is a provider during the midnight.  I want to believe that the couple made it back up that hill and once at the top they witnessed another who had also traveled the steep hillside.  There was Boo Peep helping Jesus attend his sheep for she too had some challenges in which she overcame.

I found a Jack and a couple of Jills’ who concurred to the testimony of love during our first five days of the Dare to Love Challenge.

Love is Patient:
Relationships only work and have longevity when one becomes disciplined and mature enough to take SELF out of the center. “Patrick”

Love Shows Kindness:
Sometimes the very people who are not kind to us, are the very people that we need to release from our inner circle. “Poetiscian”

Love is not Selfish:
I was being selfish to my own dreams…As woman we sometimes fail to see how much we sacrifice ourselves for many things. “California”

Love is Thoughtful:
I’ve resolved to say If someone can’t treat you right,love you back, and see your worth LET IT GO. “Walking on Faith”

Love is not Rude:
I really enjoy reading your words of wisdom and encouragement. “Shae”

I hope you are enjoying a very blessed Sunday and that you are keeping our Lord constant in all that you do and say!  I look forward to blogging with you tomorrow as we continue our 40-Day Challenge by Daring to Love.

I love You (unconditionally).
Dawn

Day Two – Love Shows Kindness January 19, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in Kindness, Patience.
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How often are we just mean and don’t really take each others feelings into consideration.  We say things that we should not say and do things that we simply know are not out of love?  If I am honest, I can admit it is more than it should be.  I was recently hospitalized for a few days due to surgery.  Initially I was very scared and almost canceled the surgery because I felt that I was alone.  However, when you have God in your life, you are never alone.  He is a provider in the midnight hour, and He never sleeps.  So, my prayer partner met me at the hospital.  She took off a day after being off for two-weeks to sit and talk and pray and dance and laugh and just be – just be with me.  This was an act of kindness.  She had nothing to gain.  Out of her love for me, it sparked her to act in a kindly manner.  I didn’t realize how many branches my tree has until I came out of surgery.  My mother, daughters, cousins and friends showed up and allowed God to show out in my life.  People have been sweeping in and out to assist in my recovery and although I am “single” I still do have a multitude of healthy relationships.  I recognize that the Higher Being has to be a part of every single task that I perform in life.  If I let go and let God, He will direct my path and hold my hand.  Are there instances where you did not act in a kind manner, when it would have cost you nothing?  How about a time when you acted out of kindness and yet felt it go unnoticed?  That does happen too…

A few critical thoughts:
Kindness is how love acts. Kindness creates a blessing.  When you are kind, people want to be around you. Kindness is gentle (be careful how you treat folks), helpful (when a husband steps up to assist his wife without being asked), willing (listening first), and finally kindness takes initiative (greeting first, forgiving first, taking the first step) in order to demonstrate love.

Biblical Verse(s):
Proverbs 3:3-4

Challenge:
Say nothing negative and do one act of kindness today.


Q: How harsh are you – honestly, and more importantly what are you going to do about it???

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn