Tag Archive: girlfriend


these are a series of posts i am sharing that i have taken from a series called ‘How to Love your Woman/Man better’ from a while back and also a series titled ‘One way to Love your spouse better’ that i ran more recently [with the input of some friends] – there are many incredible gems here that can help you as you look to contribute to a healthy and thriving marriage and i hope you will find them useful and if so, please feel free to share and pass on…

Arguing Well

The Defining of Love

Small Intentional Sacrifices

Verbal Blessing

Halting the Movement of the Sun

Amnesia

Choosing This Day

Saying It

When my “yes” sounds like a “NO!”

doing the next right thing [Dalene Reyburn]

my beautiful wife Valerie [tbV] wrote a couple of thoughts on how to love your man better and so i thought these would be good to include here as they have a distinctly different flavour:

How to love your man better – “Just love him…”

How to love your man better – “Respond to his character”

How to love your man better – “Be Nice”

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i want to briefly look at the whole concept of ‘the One’ which i used to refer to as my Neo girl ala the Matrix… is there that one specific person that God has hand picked for me to date and marry?

and i think the answer is no! …except when it is yes!

hm? well i think it links to the concepts of general will and specific will. a lot of the stuff in the Bible is God’s general will for us and applies to everyone – stuff like Love God, Love people; and Look after those in need; and Forgive people; and Go and Make Disciples of all mankind… that stuff is a command to everyone and so all of us need to be making sure it is happening in our lives.

then you get specific will – God tells Abram to sacrifice his son on the mountain [and then intervenes before he can]; God sends Jonah to Ninevah; a faithful guy called Jabez prays a prayer and God blesses him; God calls Moses to lead His people out of Egypt towards the promised land. Specific will for specific people – instructions that were only for them to obey.

and so when it comes to finding your husband/wife i really believe that generally it is linked to specific will – God gives a list of principles – choose someone that loves Me first, keep yourselves pure til marriage, find someone who will serve you as you serve them – but He doesn’t hand pick a ‘the One’ for you

we can put so much pressure on ourselves with that kind of thinking – because linked with free will, if there is a ‘the One’ for me and i somehow screw it up or miss my chance, does that mean i have to settle for number two? It really doesn’t make a lot of sense and I don’t believe it’s Gods way.

rather my understanding is that there are a bunch of “definitely not the Ones” [easy to spot through different religion or values or vision] and some “not the One right nows”

and then there are a number of “Possibly the Ones” and of those, the one who i choose and who chooses me back and who i grow in relationship and end up one day becoming engaged to and making a public commitment in front of God, family and friends on our marriage day, BECOMES MY “THE ONE.”

that is really how i see it. The beautiful Val is my ‘the One’ not because she was the only option and if I’d missed her and she’d missed me we would both have had to settle for second best. But because we made a commitment to each other based on a relationship that grew between us and so we both grew into each others “the One.”

the reason i said “no” except when it is “yes” at the beginning is that there are a few stories in the Bible where there is general will involved with relationships. Especially in the Old Testament God very specifically links up some people with other people. and so i do believe there are certain times when God can and does get specifically involved and tell two people they are right for each other, but i certain believe it is the exception rather than the rule.

i think one of the most exciting and dangerous and messy and heart-breaking and amazing and heart-inflating things in life is that God leaves it largely up to us. Yes, He cares a lot about who we marry and spend our lives with and how we treat them and how we live together and the respect we have for each other and those around us. But He lets us try. And get it wrong. And hurt each other. And get it right. And find each other. And discover and build and grow together and learn to love. And so on.

and i think one of the themes and threads that has been going around within the discussions that have been taking place on this dating blog is how the greatest responsibility and opportunity we have as individuals is to be the best ‘the One’ we can be as opposed to merely seeking for the best we can get.

“I’m talking ’bout the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change.” [M. Jackson]

[For some other helpful thoughts on different aspects of Dating, click here]

Belgium. i would say that Belgium is probably TOO FAR. Unless you’re in Holland, cos then it’s just like down the road or something…

But in our recent history or being asked to speak or lead workshops on relationships, THE ONE QUESTION that the beautiful val and i GET ASKED WITHOUT FAIL is this one: HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?

And the answer is very simple. ASK A BETTER QUESTION! Because with ‘How far is too far?’ WHAT YOU ARE REALLY SAYING is:

“I know there’s a line, there’s a cliff. But i want to know HOW CLOSE TO THE EDGE of the cliff can i get without actually being over it?”

or another way:

“How close to being bad can i actually get WITHOUT HAVING TO FEEL GUILTY?

or something like that… and because you are asking THE WRONG QUESTION, you will never get a satisfying answer.

and if there is a line or a cliff and you spend all your time hanging out right on the edge of it, then THERE WILL COME A MOMENT when you are not strong enough to resist temptation and it is just a step away from A LONG AND PAINFUL PLUMMET from which it is not possible to come back without some scratches and bruises.

Well then WHAT QUESTION SHOULD I BE ASKING? Well it starts with my premise that all dating is done with the possibility of this person being the one that i end up married to. With that in mind – and remembering everything that was said about good break-ups in the last blog [when you realise you are not a good match] – there is always the probability that if things do not work out for me and this girl, that she will one day be SOMEONE ELSE’S WIFE.

With me so far? If things don’t work out with me and present girlfriend at some stage she will be someone else’s wife. Now be that person and work backwards from there: If you are dating someone who is one day going to be my wife, what do you think i would be happy to allow the two of you to do? And the answer is probably NOTHING!! i would not want you to do anything – in the physically intimate sense – with the girl who will one day be my wife.

Now DO NOT PANIC!!!, I AM NOT SAYING DO NOTHING. What i am saying, is that if we are able to view our relationship with this person as someone else’s potential life-long mate, it MAY HELP US TO MORE EASILY AND THOUGHTFULLY DEFINE what those boundaries are.

Because i am NOT SURE THE SPECIFICS ARE THE SAME for everyone. And i am not going to give you a list of THINGS YOU CAN DO and PLACES YOU CANNOT TOUCH [altho reproductive organs and baby-feeding appendages are probably great non-negotiable areas to completely avoid] because i think there are some KEY PRINCIPLES that if you put them in place, will make the living-out-of-it’ness a lot easier.

So THE QUESTION you frame will sound a lot more like this – HOW CAN I LOVE AND RESPECT THIS PERSON i am in a relationship with to the extent that if the dating relationship ever ends, he/she does not walk away with A WHOLE LOT OF BAGGAGE [physically, emotionally…] and HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE OF MYSELF AND KEEP SPECIAL for the person who i am going to end up marrying?

[to be continued… by clicking here…]

i really believe this is ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL KEYS to a REVOLUTIONISED SYSTEM OF DATING

there is a trend that happens specifically in christian contexts (altho i am sure there are equivalent secular contexts that promote the same thing – like actors making a movie together for example) which contributes to a lot of debris in relationships WHICH COULD EASILY BE AVOIDED

the mathematical equation reads something like ‘bunch of christian guys’ + ‘bunch of christian girls’ added to short-term intense spiritual space [holiday club, weekend camp, mission trip] = ‘he/she is the one’alism’ = ‘relationship’

i’ve been there. it happens. because you are ‘forced together’ with a bunch of people in a situation which highlights their positive side [playing with kids, leading a small group, reaching out to the poor] it is VERY EASY TO BE ATTRACTED to someone in the group, altho in a lot of case the attraction is purely context-related and not person-related

and so you see an attractive girl and spend as much of the mission trip trying to spend time alongside her and you feel like you’ve found ‘the one’ and you have to be with her and so at the end of the weekend or week you ask her out and SUDDENLY YOU’RE DATING… and a few weeks goes by and the butterflies head north for the summer and suddenly you realise actually you don’t know this person…

[a spanner is thrown into the works if you have rushed into PHYSICAL STUFF (whatever level – holding hands, kissing, more) because then you might decide actually this person is not the one for you, but you have already entered A LEVEL OF INTIMACY on some level (physically, emotionally, spiritually) and it becomes much harder to break up with them]

now this doesn’t only occur on the weekend or week trips/event but they often intensify or speed up the process – i think ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS with the dating system we currently use is that we rush into relationships WITH PEOPLE WE DON’T REALLY KNOW AT ALL.

and yes, a huge part of being in a relationship with someone is getting to know them, but IT MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE TO SPEND SOME TIME (possibly in group situations so there is less pressure on the two of you) WITH THE PERSON GETTING TO KNOW THEM before asking them out. what this will do in some cases is eliminate a bunch of people as possibilities simply by taking the step of getting to know them – not necessarily cos they are bad people, but purely because you will be able to pick up that you are NOT WELL SUITED AS A COUPLE.

for example, if i am a complete outdoors nut – surfing, climbing, jet skiing – and i meet a girl and she is a complete indoors person – computer geek, playstation province champion, crochet fundi – then there is a strong possibility we WON’T BE WELL SUITED because we are PASSIONATE ABOUT DIFFERENT THINGS – and so just by spending a little bit of time getting to know each other we can pick that up and be saved even entering a relationship that is in all likelihood not going to go anywhere

GET TO KNOW THE PERSON FIRST
– both as an individual and in group settings – and at least get some idea of possibility of compatability – BEFORE YOU RUSH INTO A RELATIONSHIP blind simply based on some attraction that may be based on the context or your loneliness and ‘need’ for a person…

[click here to read the next part]

If you are married: Tell her you love her. Tell her often. Don’t ever get bored or tired or let it become a cliche (or a quiche cos that would be weird) and so mean it every time. But say the words. Don’t assume she knows. Tell her again.

If you are dating: Don’t tell her you love her, til you really mean it. And that might mean different things to different people but love comes with commitment. And so until such time as you are committed to her (and that doesn’t necessarily mean a ring on her finger but it does mean you know she is at least potential for it) in some way or form don’t say the words. Don’t rush to say ‘i love you.’ It is too important a statement and reality to just be blurted out. If you say it when you mean it she will appreciate it more. The relationship will benefit more greatly.

Oh and if you are married, why not tell her right this moment – phone, sms, email, write it in sand with your feet on the beach (in sand on your bedroom floor will not go down as well but you might!), but don’t think your actions are ever just enough. You have to mouthe the words.

that is all.

and that ends this series – however if you would like to be linked to the post on how to Love your man better, click here.

There is another verse in the Bible that says, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry” and since most of us have no real effect on stopping the sun from its nightly perceived movement away from us, i guess that means it makes a lot more sense for us to concentrate on the ‘stop being angry’ part… and it’s linked to the not keeping a record of wrongs.

And so one of the key principles in our relationship is that we never go to bed without dealing with any issue we have. No heading to bed pissed off or not speaking, or, as someone said in a recent talk we heard, on the extreme edge of the bed hanging on for dear life to be as far away from the other person as possible.

And it’s not always easy – because as much as we love each other we get it wrong – pride, selfishness, laziness, irritation, the tides, context-affected emotion (okay maybe not the tides, but definitely the other stuff and more) creeps in and we argue and say things we shouldn’t and have attitude every now and then… but we refuse to go to sleep at night without first dealing with it. In a loving and kind way.

In fact one of my favourite things about our relationship is our bounce quotient. How quickly we bounce back from an argument or irritation or disagreement or whatever. We really do it quickly which is great. And maybe a lot of that is possible because of the not keeping a record of wrongs and the returning to the starting point of ‘the other person loves me and would never intentionally choose to hurt me.’

And so i strongly encourage and urge you in your relationship with your girlfriend or wife or fiancé (and your best friends and family and kids if you have) to make that a key principle in your relationships. Don’t go to bed with issues left unresolved as far as it is possible for you.

and make it possible.

for the next part of ‘How to Love your woman better’ – Amnesia – click here.
Unless you don’t remember where to click, then click here.

in a nutshell if you refer to your woman (whether it be girlfriend or fiance or wife) as a ‘ball and chain’ or any similiar type negative reference you are probably in need of an attitude shift… or maybe a slap to the head (and i am more than happy to assist with either!)

as tbVal pointed out to me today it is often the very people who should be campaigning for the opposite who are the ones guilty of this – a pastor at a wedding ceremony, the best men (so good mates of the groom), the husband – and it is always ‘done in jest’ and light-hearted and just a joke… BUT i strongly believe that it can (and maybe always) have a negative effect on the relationship in various ways.

as they say ‘many a true word is spoken in jest’ which i don’t necessarily agree with in entirety altho i just realised they said ‘many’ and not all and so i guess i actually do… but as my buddy MJ coined it today, ‘many a true word is spoken undressed’ and that gives to me a clearer picture actually in one sense of what is really happening… cos often the jest/humour/barbed comment/negative stereotype is a metaphorical undressing or revealing of what really lies beneath.

and so referring to your wife as the ball and chain “ha ha ha” actually (if we could peer for a moment honestly into your heart) can display a hint of resentment or bitterness linked to stuff you had to give up when you got married or the way your time is no longer completely your own but now has to include the plans, dreams, priorities and movements of another… and so instead of changing your heart and dealing with the negativity you are feeling, you feed it by subtle innuendo and ‘innocent’ comment.

i was at a pastor’s breakfast today where the one pastor’s wife had come for the first time and when they said who she was wife to, someone loudly commented ‘ag shame’ or something to that effect. more negativity

quite possibly a curse.

i love my wife. and i want the world to know that. and more importantly i want my wife to know that. and so i tell her. a lot. i tell her when we are alone. and i tell her publically because it is something i want people to know and see and hopefully learn from.

why would i ever want to make a negative comment – even as a joke – towards her – that she may even in the slightest most smallest part in the back of her heart wonder if there is any truth to? why, for the measly pittance of a small (nervous? cos is that my real feeling, as the listener towards my wife?) laugh, would i risk selling out my immense love.

and people will throw ‘but you’re in the honeymoon period’ at us and i may need to administer a different slapping for that cos altho it is still early days in our marriage, this is an intentional, well thort out, muchly observed, taken on phenomenon of truth. in ten years time i will hold to the same stuff and hopefully still be accused of being in the honeymoon period (forget that, we’re in the marriage period and it IS till death do us part) because of how i treat Val, and how i speak to Val, and how i speak of Val and how i look at Val.

and so i want to encourage you and i want to exhort you and i want to stand up on top of a nearby mountain and SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS AT YOU… choose to bless and not to curse! Both publically and privately speak positively to and about your wife (fiance, girlfriend) – building her up, building up your marriage, giving a positive vibe to those who are not married that this marriage thing is an incredible thing (not always easy, sometimes really hard, sometimes very easy – a lot a lot – and sometimes a lot of work and other times so incredibly amazingly amazing) worth pursuing when the right person has been found.

do not allow the enemy even a foothold…

and i really believe that dissing each other publically, making negative to-marriage-or-to-each-other jokes and other stuff can speak curses, which, like seeds, are planted into your relationship, and altho there may be a long long time of not seeing any effect to them, will at some stage become rooted, and grow and eventually emerge, and by then it may be too late, or immensely difficult to restore what you have lost.

“what you water, you will grow” [chris the boss]

speak blessing, love, speak life, love, uplift, love, encourage, love, build up, love, add beauty, love, raise self-esteem/self-belief/ self-worth…LOVE!

for the next part of ‘How to Love your wife better’ – Halting the movement of the sun – click here.

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