Tuesday, 6 December 2016

You ARE Better Having Loved and Lost

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There’s a unique shame and brokenness associated with breakups. Relationships and love may be celebrated more in the church than anywhere else because we (rightly) love marriage so much. Unfortunately, these same convictions often make breakups an uncomfortable conversation — at best embarrassing and at worst scandalous or humiliating.
You feel like damaged goods, like you’ve been ruined in God’s eyes or in the eyes of others. The hard-to-believe, but beautiful truth is that broken-up you is a better you. If in your sorrow you turn to the Lord and repent of whatever sin you brought to this relationship, you are as precious to your heavenly Father as you have ever been, and he is using every inch of your heartache, failure, or regret to make you more of what he created you to be and to give you more of what he created you to enjoy — himself.
When one prize is stripped away, we can graciously be reminded of how little we have apart from Christ and the fortune he’s purchased for us with his blood. He has become for us wisdom for the foolish, righteousness for sinners, sanctification for the broken, and redemption for the lost and afraid (1 Corinthians 1:30) — and affection and security and identity for the lonely man or woman reeling after the end of a relationship. So even in the aftermath of a breakup we have reason to boast, as long as our boast is in everything Christ is for us (1 Corinthians 1:31).
In Jesus, God is always and only doing good to you. There’s no circumstance facing you that he’s not engineering to give you deep and durable life and freedom and joy. He loves our lasting joy in him much more than he loves our temporary comfort today. He’ll make the trade any day, and we can be glad he does. Know that God is doing good, even when we feel worst.

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Saturday, 19 November 2016

In Times of Conflict - Return to a Love Situation


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It is often the case that the people we love most are those that we have the worst conflicts with. Our most intimate relationships can touch upon our deepest places of hurt, mistrust and wounding often leading to misunderstandings, distance or fighting. Although these bumps along the path of relating may be inevitable, we can smooth the ride (or at least manage to stay on the path!) by remembering to return to a place of love in all situations of conflict.
What does this mean? Well, It means that no matter how you are triggered, how right you feel, how hurt you are there is nothing that will support your relationship (and you) more than being able to stay connected to the deep love that you feel for the person with which you are in conflict.
There are lots of ways to practice this but here is a step by step plan of how you actually make the physical, mental and emotional shift from negative emotion to a place of love. So that you can be more effective at solving the conflict and building trust and intimacy. These are the steps to take when you start to see red while engaging with someone you love. Whenever possible, as soon as you become aware that you are getting agitated, take a breath and a moment to do the following:

Step #1: Recognize where you are. See your desire to hurt, blame or separate from the other person.

Step #2: Switch your perspective. You don’t have to forgive, agree or accept them, anything they say, or what they are doing. Just remember what it feels like to love that person


Step #3: Think of what you would do or how you would act if you were feeling this love. In other words, if you were to choose loving connection over hurt, blame or disconnection what would you do.


Step #4: Decide what you want. Now that you have seen each of the options, which is the one that you want to choose?


Step#5: Love yourself for making the best choice you can in the moment regardless of what it is. 


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It is really easy in the heat of the moment to lose sight of everything that we valued and believed when we were not in the conflict. Simply by reconnecting with the memory of being loving towards the other person, it frees us up to find new options for resolution and connection.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

How To Make Online Dating Work For You

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Online dating... it's a love hate relationship isn't it? I'm sure you've heard of all the horror stories about online dating... girls being cheated, men spamming your inboxes and men who just wants to have fun... and I don't blame you for freaking out after hearing so many horror stories.
You will want to try it out if you are new to the dating scene or if you haven't been dating for a while. And going out to meet new people isn't exactly your cup of tea right now.  It's scary to suddenly get out of your comfort zone and go out there and be vulnerable.   

But here's an interesting fact... the ratio of men to women on the dating sites is 9:1. That means 90% of the people on those dating sites are men and only 10% are women. So if that's the case then YOUR chances of success is so much higher than the men.

First of all, if your impression of online dating sites is on the negative side and you think that all the men on those sites are out to cheat or they are not serious then naturally that will be your experience because that's what you belief and focus on.
Because that's your perception, then even if a nice guy contacted you, you'll doubt his intentions and you end up sabotaging yourself.
Secondly, if you are someone who judges a lot on the physical, the men you attract will also judge you on the physical. The same principle applies to dating agencies. They match you based on the superficial level.... how he looks, what's his job (tittle), how much he makes....

How can you make online dating work for you?
Get rid of the mindset that all the men on the dating sites are jerks. If you feel that way, don't bother participating.  

Get clear on WHY you want to participate on the dating site. i.e. To make new friends.
Your profile picture should be one that is able to show the real you. No bikini photo.
Write your profile truthfully. You don't want to attract the "wrong" kind of men.
Send out good, positive vibes and expect success.
If you haven't been dating for a while now, you may get all excited about going on your first date and lose yourself. Going on dates doesn't mean you have to pretend to be someone you are not to impress the guy. The purpose of these dates is to get to know the guy better and get clear on what you want and what you don't want. If he ain't the right one... move on... NEXT...
Remember... you are the prize and you totally deserve the best because you are worth it!

The Best Breakup Advice is the Simplest

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You should note that this doesn't say the best breakup advice is the easiest. There's just nothing easy about it. With most things in life, just like breakup advice, the simpler the steps are to follow the better the advice is.
Why is that? It's best because people will find it a little more difficult to mess up simple, uncomplicated steps for one thing. Another reason it's so good is that people will actually put it into practice if it's simple enough. The final reason simple is best. 
There are few steps and even fewer lines to remember this way. Nothing important gets left out.
So, what's this simple breakup advice that's supposed to be the best?

Be Consistent about Breaking Up
Going back and forth or changing your mind not only sends mixed messages but it also gives the person you're supposed to be breaking up with a clear message that you're not really committed to ending things or attempting to make changes. Since there is something amiss in the relationship or you wouldn't be thinking about breaking up, it's safe to say that this is not really the message you want to be sending.

Get to the Breaking Up Part
There's no point in "hemming" and "hawing" around the main message. Get to the heart of the matter so that you can move on to dealing with the fallout. Expect some sort of fallout. It hurts when relationships end and people deal with that pain in different ways. It could be anger, tears, silent misery, and a need for quick escape. You owe it to the person you once loved to allow them to deal with the break up as they need to. Delaying will only prolong the inevitable.

Be Honest but not Brutally Honest
There are times in life when brutal honesty is the best course of action. This is not that time. You want to be honest about your reason for breaking up but not at the expense of his or her emotional well being. This is a time when your ex is down. You just don't go around kicking people when they are down. It just isn't very nice. Be gentle but don't give false reasons for calling it off.

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These may not seem like much but they do make an effective method for breaking up. More importantly they are simple steps and that makes this the best breaking up advice you might see for quite some time.

Does Age Matter In Relationships?

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When it comes to relationships, there is an old saying that goes, “age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” What is basically being said there is that age really doesn’t have any bearing on a relationship unless you choose to make it one. That seems like a perfectly plausible argument, yet there are still plenty of people out there that just don’t think that people who are years apart can ever be in a relationship that will last. My feeling is that it really does all depend on the two people who are in the relationship, as it is their dynamic that will ultimately make their union succeed or fail.

Age differences in relationships are a funny thing that seems to become less important with the passing of time. For example, a 10 year age difference doesn’t seem that big a deal when one of the people is 50 and the other one is 40. Roll those ages back to 28 and 18, and you begin to get people questioning the validity of that relationship. There are those that would look at the latter of those two age pairings and question what the 28 year old was up to. Some would even look at the older of the two in a way that was less than favorable, almost with the feeling that they must somehow be taking advantage of the younger person.

The fact is that none of us should really get to judge a relationship based solely on the ages of the two people involved in it. Just because we don’t think that we could relate to someone much younger than ourselves, doesn’t mean that another person can’t. It’s also a little arrogant and foolish to believe that someone who is younger doesn’t have the maturity to be involved with someone who is older than they are. There are some 20 year olds that have their heads on better than people twice their age, yet there is still the feeling that they must still somehow be emotionally stunted at that age.

You would think that by now we would all have become somewhat desensitized to relationships that involve big age gaps, especially since we are subjected to them on a daily basis on TV and in the movies. It’s almost become the norm now that the leading man in any show has to have a partner who is a lot less younger than he, whilst also usually being way out of his league. Yes, this should desensitize us all, but what it really seems to do is add fuel to the fire for those who see that sort of age difference as some sort of abomination.

It doesn’t really help when what we see on film spills over into real life. There have now been numerous instances of a much younger person “falling in love” with someone far older than they. The intentions of those folks are usually questioned, if only because the person they choose to fall for usually has millions in the bank and is on their last legs. It certainly doesn’t help the cause of those who believe that love can ignite between two people, regardless of age, but that is like saying that all marriages are a sham because so many now end in divorce.

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There are plenty of couples out there who are far apart in years, but whose souls were somehow meant to be together. The problem is that we seldom get to see or hear about these couples, as it’s only the bad ones that get the spotlight on them as an example of how relationships like that work. We really don’t have any business poking our noses in and passing judgment on relationships that have a big age difference. We know nothing about what those folks truly feel for each other, and at the end of the day, all that really does matter is how they feel.

Planning a Date for Her? Here Are Some Tips


Have you met someone nice and you want to date her? Planning a date for her could be really stressful if you do not know what to do. With good planning, you can create a date that she will reminisce even years after. To save you of the stress and anxiety, here are some tips in planning a perfect date for the girl of your dreams.

Do not panic and relax. Although a date can make or break your future relationship with the girl of your dreams, relax because getting anxious cannot help you in the planning. You can think and decide clearly if you are calm. It is normal to get nervous thinking about the date you are going to have with her but do no let your nervousness rule you. Be positive and always think that everything will turn out well.

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If this is your first date with her, it is more appropriate to have a lunch date. First dates should not be stressful and you both should feel comfortable with each other. Dinner date on a fancy restaurant for a first date could be really serious and too much formality can be really uncomfortable for both of you. Choose a less formal venue and have the date at lunch time so your date will just be light and fun. With less formality, you and your date will get to know each other more.

It is important to be punctual. In planning a date for her, the venue and the activities you both want to do are important but if you appear late on your date, you will ruin a supposedly perfect time. So plan accordingly and make sure to show up before the scheduled time.

In planning a date for her, take note that this is about her. It can be overwhelming to think about the venue, the food you are going to order, your attire etc. that you may forget that this date is about her.  Always have her in mind when planning. Know what she likes to do and what will make her feel special. It will be great if you have a common hobby or interest that you can together to make the date interactive.

Clean your car and your place. If you offer to pick her up, clean you car if you want to leave a good first impression. Accept it or not, a man can be judged by how he takes care of his things. A well-kept and clean car can leave a good first impression on her. You do not know if she will end up hanging out in your place so tidy up just in case
.
Always have a back up plan. You will never know the circumstances, so it is best to have a back up plan just in case something goes wrong with your original plan. This will also show how flexible you are, a trait most women admire.

Be prepared to pay for the whole date. Some women are comfortable sharing with the expenses but you should be prepared to pay for the whole date. In planning, keep your budget in mind. Do not make plans for something that is beyond your financial capability. Remember that a perfect date does not have to be expensive. But if you can afford it, there is nothing wrong to be extravagant but you have to be careful not to send the wrong message.
Planning a perfect date is the first step in attracting the woman of your dreams.


Friday, 22 July 2016

Steps That Will Help You Rebuild a Broken Trust

 Have you ever disappointed someone or broken a promise? Was the incident serious enough to ultimately compromise the trust between you? We all have been untrustworthy at some point. That doesn't mean that we're bad or selfish. Sometimes, even under the best of circumstances, we let people down. We give them information believing it to be true only to discover it lacked integrity. "You lied to me! I'll never trust you again!" 


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There are some who will deliberately mislead others. While they reassure you they are trustworthy their actions contradict their words.
We've also been deceived by those we believed in. "I promise if you tell me about your brother-in-law's affair I won't say a word to anyone. You can trust me." "I promise to love and honor you through good times and bad all the days of our lives." (That one hits home for a lot of us doesn't it?) Or perhaps a co-worker steals your idea and receives company recognition rightly belonging to you. Your underage child assures you that there will be no alcohol at Saturday's party then stumbles home at 2 am reeking of beer. A minor infraction ("I know I promised to be at your retirement dinner but I totally forgot it was this weekend.") may be easily overlooked. One of a more serious nature ("I can't pay back the money you loaned me to buy a new car.") might require more than a simple "Oops, sorry!" to move beyond. 

A damaged trust can completely destroy an important relationship. 

There is a strong connection between trust and anger. My definition of fear is "a lack of trust". We are leery of those we find unreliable. "I have to watch what I say around Uncle Joe. He can get nasty and volatile." We may feel as though we are walking on eggshells around those we are suspect of. This anxiety (a mild form of fear - one of the three root causes of anger) can easily convert to anger as a means of self-protection.
Some believe that once broken a trust can never be rebuilt. I'm not one of those people. I've personally regained my faith in someone who deeply deceived me and restored a wonderful relationship with him that continues today. I've also witnessed couples rebuild their fractured marriages after a painful infidelity. But unlike respect, trust must be earned. Like many others I've learnt the hard way that not all people are deserving of trust. But there are specific steps one can take to restore a broken relationship:

1. Consider the true nature and moral values of the offending party. Was this an isolated incident or a habitual pattern of behaviour? Even the most astute people sometimes act imprudently.

2. Has the offending party acknowledged their mistake? Awareness is the first key necessary for any restoration to occur.

3. Have they offered a sincere apology and displayed a willingness to make amends or restitution? Saying "I'm sorry" is only the first phase. One needs to take the necessary steps to rectify the offence.

4. Does the individual fully understand the underlying issues that precluded their actions? By doing so, they are better equipped to prevent a recurrence.

5. Have they been willing to see the situation through your eyes? Do they fully understand the depth and scope of how this has affected you? Do they "get it"? Empathy and compassion lessens the risk of a recurrence.

6. Have they made the necessary changes and proven themselves to be consistent? Words are cheap; actions reveal. Only through repeated uniform acts can one prove they are reliable and worthy of your trust.

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If all of the above components are present then individuals can move beyond the unfortunate incident and ultimately repair and rebuild the relationship. Like a broken bone: the area of the fracture, once healed, is stronger than that which has always remained intact.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Keep Your Word


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God wants to help you keep your word.
Bible Numbers 30:2 Around 1300 years before the birth of Jesus the leaders of the Israelite tribes were gathered before Moses prior to entering the promised land. Moses reminded the tribe leaders that God had kept his word and they were about to enter the land that had been promised. Their lesson that day was to teach their tribal family the importance of keeping their word, like God does; to not make promises lightly and without intention of keeping them and for parents to teach their children this lesson as well.


All these years later, God expects the same from you and I. Keeping our word means to not knowingly:
1. Lie.
2. Create or imply distortions of the truth (no exaggerations).
3. Deceive others for financial or personal gain.
 

There are lots of excuses why we sometimes break our promises, but God has implored us to not make promises we cannot keep. Sometimes we say yes when we really wanted to say no:
• To avoid confrontation.
• To puff up our ego by saying something more important came up.
• We never really wanted to do it in the first place, but our "people pleaser" couldn't say no.
The consequences of not keeping your word are many and painful. Parents were right when they warned that every action has a reaction, or consequence. By not keeping your word:
• People will no longer trust you.
• God will find your words meaningless.
• You'll hurt others.
• You'll damage your character and your integrity will be broken.
• Your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health will be compromised causing you great unhappiness.
 

Instead of making promises, vows or oaths you don't think you can keep, you might try saying these five things instead:
1. I'll have to get back with you on that - and then get back to them quickly after you've prayed about it.
2. That doesn't work for me. I'm just not comfortable with that.
3. Say no.
4. Say maybe next time, if you really mean it.
5. Say that is not part of my values.
Keeping your word can seem unimportant when you're promising something as simple as taking out the trash after dinner and then "forget." But it IS important because now the person you've promised thinks you lie and "forgetting" is just seen as another excuse. Your word truly is your bond of character and integrity. Now the person you've made a promise to doesn't trust you and you can't be very surprised when you make them another promise later on and you get the old raised eyebrow.
 

Breaking your word is a weakness God can fix. If you look back over the last week and realize you didn't keep your word with someone, pray and ask God for forgiveness, ask for the strength to keep your word from now on and then go tell them the truth:
• I was afraid to say no.
• I didn't want to hurt your feelings.
• Or whatever your real reason was and I'm sorry.
By fixing your mistake you will regain the trust of the person you let down, you will stand in good grace with God and you will rest easy at night with a clear conscience when you lay your head upon your pillow. God wants to help you keep your word.
You are so loved.


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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Can You Change Your Partner?

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Many couples operate under the assumption that being in a relationship means to be bossed around, told what to do, and to loose their personal freedom and choices. I have heard references to young couples getting engaged as “he bit the bullet” and other similar degrading remarks.
I’m sure you have heard before couples complain about how their partner wants to change and control them and references to partners being “trained,” “whipped,” “on a short leash,” etc. All these really set up the stage to struggle in one’s relationship.

After the “infatuation” stage, the honeymoon period, is over and the “power struggle” sets in (the second stage of relationships), we get stuck in our perspectives and have repeating arguments and conflicts. We try to resolve and address this by wanting and trying to change our partner.
When we address our relationship thinking that we have to change our partner so that we get along better, so we’d like our partner better and to get our needs met we are setting ourselves up for dissatisfaction.

Partners CANNOT be changed. Yes, you read that right. They cannot be changed. Please, read that again: They cannot be changed. I can’t emphasize this enough. I come across this concept probably more so that the average person in my I work with couples and creating changes. It is very frustrating to watch couples beat each other up with hurtful words and actions because each partner is entrenched in their views and stance and they want to change their partner.
Why would you want to change your partner anyway? If they changed they would no longer be the person you fell in love with… Personality and people’s core are very difficult, if not impossible to change. What we really want to change is the partners’ behaviors and their reactions toward each other. These are changeable.
But, the catch here is that the partners cannot change each other. Whenever you see couples with partners who supposedly changed their partner what you are actually seeing is dynamics with baggage at work. The partners are actually not really satisfied in their relationship. Take a closer look.

If the couple looks very different from how they were and appear to be getting along nicely – then the partners have both mutually worked at changing themselves within the relationship. They have compromised and resolved issues. One did not change the other…
So, the point is you cannot change your partner and your partner can’t change who they are, but both your behaviors and reactions can be changed. AND, each partner is responsible for owning up to their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and the changes made in them. Stop trying to change your partner – it doesn’t work. Only they can change their behaviors and reactions.

Another very common and frustrating mistake partners make, is that once partners understand this concept they now wait for their partner to change their behavior. And they wait. And they wait. And the will continue to wait forever…

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Change in relationships happen when one partner owns up to their stuff and create their OWN changes. If both partners are doing this, then change in the relationship is imminent. If both partners are not working together as allies yet, the trick is to take ownership and change oneself, take the initiative – the other will have no choice but to change in response. This is the only way that you can actually change your partner – inviting them to change… Remember – It Takes Two To Tango!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Take Three Months Between Dating Relationships To Reflect and Learn

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The temptation to rebound with an immediate dating relationship after one has ended is enormous. Why? Because we’ve been in a relationship long enough that we’ve become accustomed to having someone to call, touch, and hang out with. To go from that to nothing feels like the rug has been pulled out from under us, and our first instincts are to get ourselves back into a relationship as soon as possible in order to avoid the awkwardness of readjusting to being single. But when we start relationships in order to avoid being single, we’re actually just using the new guy or girl for our own selfish ends. That foundation isn’t going to take us very far, and we should expect more heartache to come if we just rush into new relationships after ending old ones.

If a relationship doesn’t work (for whatever reason), it’s always important to take some time away from dating relationships and recalibrate our hearts and minds. We need to carve out time to reflect on what went wrong, and why. We should explore how we need to grow from our experiences in the previous relationship so that future relationships are healthier and more Christ-centred. Relationships teach us a lot if we’re willing to listen to the lessons. Be sure to carve out at least three months between dating relationships so that you can focus on learning whatever lessons God wants to teach you during your time of transition.

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Break up well.
This might be one of the most surprising and overlooked pieces of advice on the subject of building healthy relationships, but it’s so important. Nothing tests the genuineness of our discipleship commitment to Jesus than our willingness to refuse to blame, badmouth, or hurt the other person during a break-up.
A break-up usually results in a lot of hurt for everyone involved. Two people who once thought of each other as “true loves” now become enemies looking to strike back at each other. However, it’s exactly in this new and awkward context that Jesus’ challenge to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44) comes into play.
If we’re the ones doing the breaking up, we need to do so in a way that minimizes the emotional damage for the other person. We’re going to cause hurt, so we need to be as gentle, reasonable, and kind as humanly possible. Being rejected is a horrible feeling, and we don’t need to escalate those feelings (even if we think the other person deserves it). We should strive to be gracious and kind, and after the break-up never speak badly about the other person.
If we’re on the receiving end of the break-up, the emotions that flood into our hearts are going to make it very easy for us to justify hatred and retaliation. We need to fight those impulses with everything in us. That doesn’t mean minimizing how much it hurts to have someone dump us, though; it just means refusing to let the hurt we’re feeling morph into a cancer of anger and bitterness. Getting dumped sucks, but striking back through hatred and retaliation won’t provide the healing we’re looking for. That can only be found when we pour our energy into our relationship with the One who is “close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:18).

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Pain of A Breakup

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Some of a single person’s darkest days fall after a breakup.
You risked your heart. You shared your life. You bought the gifts, made the memories, and dreamed your dreams together — and it fell apart. Now, you’re back at square one in the quest for marriage, and it feels lonelier than square one, and further from the altar, because of all you’ve spent and lost.
No one begins dating someone hoping to break it off someday. The wiring in most of us has us longing for the wedding day. We’re looking, sometimes it feels frantically, for love, for affection and security and companionship and commitment and intimacy and help. After all, God seems to want most of us to be married (Genesis 2:18; Proverbs 18:22; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 9). But that sure hasn’t made getting married easy.

The Pain of Intimacy Without Matrimony

The reality is that good, Christ-exalting relationships very often fail before the ceremony, never to be recovered romantically. The pain cuts deeper and lingers longer than most pain young people have felt in their lives. I feel it deeply even typing these words. It’s one of the hardest things for me to write or speak about: the pain of intimacy that fell short of matrimony.
Breakups in the church are painful and uncomfortable, and many of us have or will walk this dark and lonely road. So here are nine lessons for building hope and loving others when Christians end a not-yet marriage.

1. It’s okay to cry — and you probably should.

Breakups almost always hurt. Maybe you didn’t see it coming, and the other person suddenly wants out. Maybe you were convinced it needed to end, but knew how hard it would be to tell them. Maybe you’ve been together for years. Maybe you love their family and friends. Without the ceremony and covenant, it’s not a divorce, but it can feel like it.
It feels like divorce for a reason. You weren’t made for this misery. God engineered romance to express itself in fidelity and loyalty — in oneness (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:9; 1 Corinthians 7:2–13). Because dating is only a means to marriage, God’s design for our marriages speaks to his design for our dating relationships. Dating that dives in too quickly or dumps too carelessly does not reflect God’s intention.
This doesn’t mean every dating relationship should end in marriage, but it does mean breakups will hurt. Sorrow in the midst of the severing is not only appropriate, but good. It’s nothing to hide or be ashamed of. God created you to enjoy and thrive in love that lasts, like Christ’s lasting love for his bride. So feel free to feel, and know that the pain points to something beautiful about your God and his undying love for you.
And if it doesn’t hurt, it probably should. If you can come in and out of romance without pain or remorse, something sounds out of sync. This doesn’t mean you have to be ruined by every breakup, but there should be a sense that this isn’t right — it’s not how it’s supposed to be. Hearts weren’t built to be borrowed. God needs to show some of us the gravity of failed relationships because of what they wrongly suggest about him and his love for the church.

2. Don’t try again too quickly.

Knowing and embracing God’s design for permanence in marriage and dating will help us feel appropriately, but it will also help us take healthy next steps in our pursuit of marriage. One of the worst and most popular mistakes is moving on to the next one too soon. Especially in the age of online dating and social media, we really don’t have to work very hard to find another prospect.
Affection can be an addiction. If you’ve been on dates, held hands, seen smiles, exchanged notes, experienced the sweetness of another’s attention and affirmation, you will want more. And the easiest way to find it is to rebound right away. But if we care about God, our witness, our ex, and our future significant other, we’ll wait, pray, and date patiently and carefully. It’s too easy to leave a trail of wounded people behind in our pursuit of a partner.
It’s a lie to think that you’re not moving toward marriage if you’re not dating someone right now. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your future spouse is to not date. If your history looks serial, you might need to break up with dating for a while. It can be a time to regroup, grow, and discover a new rhythm for your future relationship.

3. You may have failed, but God didn’t.

The relationship may be over because of a specific character flaw or failure. There are things about us — weaknesses or patterns of behavior — that may disqualify us for marriage with a particular person. But it does not nullify God’s grace to and through you.
Sin in relationships is some of the most visible and painful. As we let each other further and further into our lives and hearts, the sin is more likely to show itself and to cut the other person more deeply. In the right measure, it is the good and proper risk of all Christian fellowship. As people come closer, and we need this in true Christian community, our sin inevitably becomes more dangerous. Our mess is more likely to splash onto others, and theirs on us.
But whoever has done the failing in your breakup, it wasn’t God. Because of Jesus, his promises never to leave or forsake you are true every moment and in every relationship status. If you are trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of your sin and striving to follow him and his word, God has never abandoned you, and he will never abandon you. God didn’t take a break from loving you in your breakup — even if you’re the reason it’s over. His purposes are bigger than your blunders.

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Don't Let the Past Define You. Learn to let Go



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Life is a journey with many roads that lead to many different outcomes. The choices we make build the story that is our life. Sometimes you find yourself making the same kinds of choices over and over again and you feel like you are in a rut. This is because there is something that you need to learn before you can move on to the next chapter in your life. Problems will keep repeating themselves until you can acknowledge them and make the corrections needed to close the door on them.

Don’t let your past define you.
It is hard to move forward when you have so much attachment to the past. The past is something that happened and it is a memory that you will always have no matter if it was a good one or a bad one. Each person remembers the past in their own way to what is significant to them. You like all people are on this planet to experience joy and happiness. It is waiting for you but you have to allow it to find you. It cannot find you if you carry guilt or regret in your heart. You need to learn to forgive yourself for any mistakes that you have made in the past.
You have to let go of the guilt and move into the present, into the now. You must realize that you are standing in the middle of a spider's web and each strand of that web represents a possible future that you can have. You must decide how you want your future to be and then chase that future. You can't change the past nor can you fix it so you need to leave it in the past.
That means you need to leave all the things that happened to you growing up in the past too. Those things happened and made you who you are right now, but that is not who you will be in the future. You can choose to be happy and have a great life but it means forgiving yourself and leaving yesterday in the past as a finished chapter in the book of you.
Once you forgive yourself and move on, then you will be ready to have great relationships and life will start to become easier. How can you really love anyone if you are still holding on to an old story? Everyone else has moved on so it is your time now to say "It's OK, I am ready to start a new chapter"

You need to live in the now.
You need to start expecting more out of life than what you have right now. You need to be the person you were meant to be. It is time to take charge of you and stop accepting life as it is. The first step is to let go of the past and forgive yourself.
Mistakes are only there so we can learn and grow. They are designed to create lessons to make us stronger, better, kinder, tougher and more wonderful than we are today. This is one of the ways we grow. This is how we move forward.
There is someone out there that is waiting for you.
This person will be the real love of your life, but if you don't leave your past in the past you may never meet that person or you may not be able to keep that person in your life. You have to be ready to meet that person and have an open heart and be willing to give it to that person. You may think you have already met that person and now they are gone but I know without a doubt that this person has not come into your life yet.

Get ready to be that person’s soul mate.
Forgive all those that have let you down or hurt you. Forgive yourself for hurting the people you have even if they don't forgive you. You don't need their forgiveness all you need to do is forgive yourself and leave it in the past. Once you truly do that you will be ready to start a new chapter in your life. This is when you will see things turn around for you. This is when your relationships will become better. This is when happiness will start to grow in you and around you.
This is your mission, your goal, your job.
Do this for yourself and everyone in your life.

Let go of guilt and let happiness in.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Changing Your Attitude, Changing Your Life

Dr. Phil's work with his newest Dr. Phil Family has taken a critical turn. Although Stacy and Chris have struggled with infidelity and parenting issues, Dr. Phil is convinced that an attitude adjustment could work wonders for bringing them to a new level of trust and commitment. Below is his advice on starting that process.



Healing starts from within.
Part of the problem in many relationships is that neither partner is willing to take ownership of their mistakes. Dr. Phil tells Chris and Stacy, "If you're going to heal a relationship in a family, it starts with you." He advises the couple to be introspective, and face the personal barriers that have prevented them from moving their marriage forward. Ask yourself: How do you contribute to or contaminate your relationship?



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Face your control issues.
Dr. Phil tells Stacy that she damages her relationship with Chris because she feels the need to maintain a "death grip" on her marriage. He observed that her control issues stem from a need to protect herself so that she doesn't get hurt. "At times, that goes so far as, 'Get them before they get me,'" he explains. "Trust in others has so much to do with how much confidence and trust we have in ourselves." Often this includes letting go of the need for hypervigilance, and getting real about our fears.

Give yourself credit.We've all had to deal with those negative inner voices that tell us we're not good enough, we'll never be loved or we're not entitled to happiness. He advised Stacy to stop doubting herself, and stay plugged into the positive things she has achieved in her marriage. Despite everything that she's been through in her life, Dr. Phil tells Stacy, "You need to give yourself credit for saying, 'I'm still here.'" Silencing those inner demons requires a change in your perspective.
Understand your history.Many relationships are sabotaged when a partner brings in emotional baggage from past disappointments. In Stacy's case, Dr. Phil discovered that some of her trust issues stemmed from not having had a good relationship with her mother. "Everybody has a way of being in the world," he tells Stacy. "Yours is that you don't trust anybody." Recognize that personal barriers from the past may keep you from plugging in to your relationship.
Behave your way to success.
"There's a thin line between 'fake it 'til you make it,' and behaving your way to success," Dr. Phil points out. If you want confidence, you have to take on a confident posture. This can be as simple as putting more confidence in your walk and in your demeanor. If your issue is trust, put yourself in situations where you have to behave in a trusting manner. Real change comes from within.

What's your approach?
Dr. Phil reminds us that attitude is all about how you approach things in life. He asks, "Are you being open-minded? Are you considering the things that you may avoid out of fear?" He urges Stacy to take a different approach to communicating with her husband. Instead of yelling at her husband or testing him, Dr. Phil advises Stacy to give herself and her husband credit for their commitment to making the relationship work.



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Saturday, 5 March 2016

Contaminating a Relationship



Every one of us has an irrational and destructive emotional side to our personality. This dark side can sabotage your relationship in an insidious way.

Below are the most common characteristics and how they can impact a relationship.

You're a Scorekeeper Competing can quickly turn a relationship into an ugly battle of one-upmanship. How can you possibly be a winner if it is at the expense of making the person you supposedly love a loser? Solid relationships are built on sacrifice and caring, not power and control. Competitiveness can drain the joy, confidence and productivity out of any relationship.


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You're a Faultfinder There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism if it is designed to improve the relationship. But it can often give way to constant faultfinding — in which you obsess over the flaws and imperfections rather than find value in your partner. Get off your partner's back and you may see your partner moving toward you.

You Think It's Your Way or the Highway
If you've always got to be right, then you're ready to fight till the end. No truer words were ever spoken, says Dr. Phil; you will fight to the end — the end of your relationship. You can't be self-righteous or obsessed with control and do what's best for the relationship at the same time.

You Turn Into an Attack DogWhen you get in an argument, do you have a killer stare, a harsh tone and hurtful words? Attack dogs may experience short-term gain, but the target of the abuse becomes filled with bitterness and resentment. While it's easy to fall into viciousness, it's much harder to repair the resulting consequences.

You are a Passive Warmonger
Instead of fault-finding or engaging in character assassination, these toxic partners try to thwart their partner by constantly doing that which they deny they are doing — in such an indirect way as to escape accountability if they are confronted. A passive aggressive person is as much of an overbearing controller as the most aggressive, in-your-face person you could imagine — only they do it insidiously and underhandedly.

You Resort to Smoke and MirrorsBecause you lack the courage to get real about what is driving the pain and problems in your relationship, you criticize your partner about one thing when you're really upset about another. What is real never gets voiced, and what gets voiced is never real. The real issues will eventually burst forth in a torrid way.

You Will Not ForgiveWhen you choose to bear anger at your partner, you trap yourself in pain and agony — and the negative energy can crowd every other feeling out of your heart. If you wallow in resentment and refuse to forgive and move on, you will tear up your own life and your relationship. You can't change the past but you can deal with the resulting feelings and hurt by truly forgiving.

You Are the Bottomless Pit
Are you so needy that you constantly undermine your chances of success? Can you never get enough satisfaction, love, attention or appreciation? Your partner will be frustrated by never seeming able to "fill you up." We all want reassurance, but an insatiable appetite for it never gives your partner any rest. Free yourself from the internalized sense of inadequacy, and find other ways to feel your self-worth and value.

You're Too Comfortable If you're in a comfort zone, you are failing to meet your responsibilities in the relationship. You aren't contributing, you aren't stimulating, and you aren't energizing. If you don't make a move, it becomes easier and easier to stagnate. 


You've Given Up
When so many bad spirits crowd your life, you cannot imagine there being any way out. You become so forlorn, lonely, isolated, negative, cynical and far from your core of consciousness that you believe you are trapped. Be strong enough to confront your problems instead of giving up. 


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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Do You Know How To Apologise?

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Are you and your partner having a tough time getting over an argument? Here are some tips to help. 

1. Surrender to your responsibility. When you become aware that you have made a mistake, admit it and apologize. Use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. You don’t have to be afraid of punishment or rejection –- apologizing makes it easier to be forgiven.

2. Don’t be afraid to admit you're wrong. This fear comes from a culture of blaming and accusing -- where your early family or schoolmates may have picked a "culprit" when something went wrong, and focused on blame, rather than on fixing the problem and healing the hurt. Don’t approach every situation as if you're on trial, and don’t compulsively try to convince everyone you're not guilty. Apology and subsequent forgiveness is stress-releasing, and healthy for the relationship, which turns out to be healthy for the participants in the relationship. Relationships which include healthy apology and forgiveness are less stressful, more supportive, and therefore healthier for the individuals within them. 

3. Follow the following pattern for apology:

  • Admit your mistake: Speak directly to the person to whom you need to apologize.
  • State what you did (so the person knows you’re aware)
  • Say you’re sorry
  • Do a re-take: Describe what change you’ll make to fix it, and so it won’t happen again
  • Say “I hope you can forgive me.”
4. If that doesn’t work, ask the other person what he or she wants you to apologize for (in case you misunderstood your mistake).

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