Tag Archives: christianliving

Happy Anniversary!

2 Apr

Happy Anniversary to our Founder and visionary, Terry Cato and her husband Lloyd on their 13th wedding anniversary. Wishing you many more!

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He Caught My Attention

27 May

By: Joyce M. Jones JoyceJones_headShot

(originally published in the Zoe Life Inspired Devotional (2012-16))
“Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;” -Romans 12:10 (NKJV)

My husband loves to tell his story about how we met, when I was the new member’s clerk and program coordinator, at our former church. As the new member’s clerk I collected contact information; and as program coordinator I worked closely with the new members to organize quarterly programs. I took my position very seriously. That may have been how we met, but he didn’t get my attention until later when my mother and I were in a car accident.  While I was home recuperating, he called to see if I wanted to go for an outing.  I consented. He took me for a lovely ride in the hills where he once delivered mail. On our way back, he made a stop. We then proceeded to an early seafood dinner. When he took me home, he gave me a beautiful, fragrant bouquet of  2½ dozen red roses (that he had apparently picked up when we made the stop).  “How thoughtful”! That kind gesture got my attention and was the start of our friendship.

Disney coupleIt was the phileo love (means brotherly love, in the Greek) that caught my attention. The love that is a tender, affectionate kind of love that friendships are based on. We were brother and sister in the Lord first; then friends, sharing our everyday experiences, getting to know one another, accepting one another, and encouraging the best in one another.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the love of friends that inspire us to be all You would have us to be. Use us to encourage one another and build each other up. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Meditative Reading:  Proverbs 27:17

Marriage Equity

25 Apr

You must make a deposit before you can make a withdrawal …

Marriage_image

Marriage is much like a vehicle, it can not run on E = EMPTY.

Box_ILoveU

Is It Okay for a Woman to Ask a Man to Marry Her?!

1 Aug
Woman asking man to marry her

Marriage Proposal

This photo has caused quite a stir on social media over the past few weeks – a woman on her knees asking her boyfriend to marry her. The original caption and story that accompanied this picture when I first saw it stated that the gentleman had already proposed to the young lady, then at their engagement party, she reciprocated the gesture. All of this aside, and not surprising that after a few shares on Facebook, the original caption and story disappeared and just the image is being shared asking, “is it okay for a woman to propose to a man”.

I’ve actually discussed the issue of a woman pursuing a man, Loveclick for post, and should a woman ask a man to marry her, click for full post in previous blog posts.

What are your thoughts? In this day and age is it okay for a woman to ask a man to marry her?

Tis the Season to Be Jolly

4 Dec

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work the switch board at a hospital during the holiday season and witnessed the number of attempted suicides peak during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. This is the time of the year when many people find themselves feeling sad and depressed instead of being jolly and full of cheer. Some because they have lost close loved ones to death and the holidays are just not what they used to be, then there are those who are divorced and struggle with loneliness during this time of the year and others because the holiday season brings back memories of too many family gatherings that went wrong. Then add in the financial stress that many families are feeling right now and understandably so, the holidays can be a time of loneliness, stress and anxiety for many.

If you’re finding that you are beginning to feel sad, depressed or lonely I have a few suggestions to help you get through the holidays:

  • First and foremost, spend within your means; the joy of Christmas should not be overshadowed by overspending then stressing about credit card debt,
  • If you have children, start your own family traditions (i.e. pick out a tree together and decorate, prepare dinner/desserts together, volunteer as a family),
  • If you are single (or a widower), get together with other singles (widows) and have a potluck,
  • Volunteer at a local food bank or shelter,
  • Get out of the house at night, and drive around town admiring the Christmas lights and decorations,
  • Go on an exotic vacation or trip out of the country, especially if you don’t want to be a part of the commercialization of Christmas, or
  • On Thanksgiving or Christmas Day go to a sporting event.

The holiday season should be a joyous occasion that should not be met with stress, anxiety, or loneliness; the focus should be about giving, not receiving. If you find that you are feeling sad, lonely or depressed take some time and focus on someone else. More importantly focus more on what you do have instead of what you do not have. Happy Holidays!

COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE

26 Nov

There is clearly a blessing in being able to effectively communicate and being on one accord with your spouse. So much so that in the bible in Genesis 11:5-8, the people of the land communicated using the same language began to build a tower that would reach to the heavens. Their actions resulted in God confusing the language, because nothing would be impossible to them who speak on one accord.

Communication in marriage or lack thereof has been cited for years as one of the primary reasons for divorce. Being able to effectively communicate your thoughts and feelings to your spouse is not only necessary to make a marriage work, but essential to maintain a harmonious household. Furthermore, good communication skills are necessary in every aspect of life.

For those who have issues communicating with your spouse whether it be difficulty expressing your thoughts or difficulty being a good listener there are some things you can do to become a better communicator. Listed below are a few tips to effectively communicating with your spouse:

  • Take time each day to talk to each other.
  • Openly talk to the other person, and actively listen.
  • Express feelings without getting angry.
  • Don’t be mean.
  • Don’t give advice, unless asked for it.
  • Watch your tone of voice.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions.
  • Don’t interrupt.

In closing remember that “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV)

Kim K’s 20.5 kt Wedding Ring

12 Nov

There has been much talk since Kim Kardashian announced that she had filed for divorce from her husband Kris Humphries after only 72 days of marriage. Most of the gossip has been about her lavish 20.5-carat wedding ring which is a 16.5-carat emerald cut center stone set between two 2-carat trapezoids. Considering the short duration of the marriage and the cost of the ring, should she give the ring back? Is it right that she keeps the ring after only 72 days of marriage?


The line tends to be pretty clear concerning the etiquette of giving back an engagement ring if the bride or groom-to-be calls off the wedding, however, the water gets muddy in a situation where the wedding actually happens, but the marriage is short lived as in the Kardashian situation. Many are saying she should give the ring AND her wedding gifts back.
Regarding the engagement ring, apparently there is a prenuptial agreement between Kim K. and Kris Humphries; if Kim wants to keep the ring – sounds like she does – she will have to pay Kris the original purchase price, a reported $2 million. As for the wedding gifts, Kim K. has reportedly donated their gifts to the Dream Foundation, a charity which grants wishes to terminally ill adults. This donation unbeknownst to Kris … the marriage really was over before it even started!

Is It Ever Okay to Lie in A Marriage?

2 Nov

I recently had a discussion with someone who has the belief that ALL relationships have some measure of deceit. I asked the person why they felt that way; they explained that after reflecting on past relationships of their own and observing the failed relationships of others, came this conclusion. I don’t agree with this stance that ALL relationships are  deceitful. The act or practice of deceiving is defined as concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; or cheating. So to say that ALL relationships are deceitful is a strong statement.  This conversation did give me food for thought for this blog and that is – is it ever okay to lie in a marriage? If so, when?

There is research that shows that the average person lies at least two times per day – that is if they are telling the truth about how often they lie (smile). Experts on the subject assert that a little “white lie” here and there is not harmful if the intent is not to save the person telling the white lie. For example, many parents tell their children that there is a Santa  Claus, Easter Bunny, and/or Tooth Fairy – these are all lies, but the intent is not to save the person telling the lie therefore no harm, no foul. A researcher shared a much deeper example such as, what if you were in Germany and the Nazis came knocking at your door and asked if you were hiding Jews, you answer, “no I’m not” when you really are. In this example, most everyone would agree that this blatant lie is okay considering the situation and that you are saving someone else’s life.

As it relates to marriage, most would agree that it is never okay to lie to your spouse although many do. How many times has a wife asked a husband, “honey does this dress make me look fat?” and the husband responds, “no” when he’s thinking otherwise. This could be considered a little white lie that is told to protect the feelings of the wife. On the other hand much deeper issues such as money, debt, and having an affair are issues in marriage where lying is
almost always detrimental to the marriage.

There appears to be two different thought processes regarding telling lies. The occasional white lie that is free from selfish motive is okay, however, lying about more serious issues is in a marriage or relationship is not acceptable. So, is it ever okay to lie in a marriage? If so, when? I want to hear from you.

Top 5 Reasons for a Divorce

25 Oct

A few months ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to teach a marriage enrichment class to the married and engaged couples at our church. My husband suggested that we cover communication in marriage and tasked me with researching the topic and starting the outline to our notes. After researching communication in marriage and starting our notes, I soon realized that our subject matter had greatly expanded. Not only did I cover the topic of communication in marriage, but I expanded it to include the top 3 reasons why people divorce, and one reason being communication issues.

After finishing our notes, I proudly emailed them to my husband for his review and input; he wanted to know how our topic had morphed from communication in marriage to the top 3 reasons for divorce in marriage. My explanation of how I incorporated the other material and expanded our topic didn’t quite convince him that I had correctly interpreted what he said – at this point we were working through our own little “miscommunication,” needless to say after much urging on my part, he understood my point and we
went forth with the top 3 reasons for divorce.

I recently revisited the top reasons why couple’s divorce and have listed the top five reasons for divorce as of 2009:

  1. Infidelity – topping the list was infidelity or unfaithfulness in the marriage.  Most everyone has a theory on why spouses cheat, whatever the reason, infidelity is usually a deal breaker for the spouse who has been the victim of a cheating spouse. Despite this being the leading cause of divorces, there are many couples who seek out counseling, forgive and move on with their lives after an affair.
  2. Finances – financial difficulties and/or differences in spending and saving habits was the second most common reason cited for divorce. The present economic climate has put a lot of strain on marriages because there are many households where one or both spouses have either been laid off or one of the spouses may be underemployed.
  3. Communication – poor communication or lack thereof in a marriage has caused the demise of one too many marriages. Oftentimes, a husband and wife will have different communication styles, there is nothing wrong with this, however differing communication styles will take understanding from both partners to correctly interpret what is being said in a conversation. I once heard the saying, “what you don’t say, sometimes speaks louder than what you do say.” Remember silence can be golden or deadly!
  4. Incompatibility – some say opposites attract and perhaps this is a good thing for those who appreciate the difference in their spouse. However, incompatibility is not a trivial matter. There are some basics that every couple should agree on such as: money management, how they will raise their children, religious beliefs, and their career goals and aspirations.
  5. Physical, Sexual, Emotional Abuse – abuse in marriage is seldom talked about until it involves a celebrity and is in the national news. Sadly there are many women and some men who endure years of abuse in an attempt to make their marriage work. Without a strong commitment and desire to change from the abuser, the victim in many abuse situations walks away from the marriage.

Other popular reasons cited for a divorce in 2009 were gambling and substance abuse. In 2011, as evidenced by recent research regarding trends in divorce, social networking is making tracks considering it was not even on the list in 2009. We now know that social networking and Facebook is being cited as the cause for many divorces.

Suggested Sites:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/

http://www.healthymarriageinfo.org/index.aspx

http://www.preventingdivorce.com/

HELP! I Married Mrs./Mr. Wrong

18 Oct

For most people their wedding day is one that they  will never forgot. It doesn’t matter if there was some sort of mishap or if the day went off without a glitch, most have fond memories of the day they exchanged  nuptials. For those of us who are married –and have been for any number of  years – know that after every wedding comes a marriage.

For some couples their marriage has its share of ups  and downs; for other couples they unfortunately realize sooner rather than later that they married Mrs./Mr. Wrong! We all know them, the people who were married for what some term a “hot minute.”

One such person that I spoke with who was married  for one year, and knew her husband for one year prior to marrying, stated that she soon realized there were major issues in the marriage when he would not accept her children from a prior relationship. Her ex-husband made no effort at all to have a relationship with her children. For this person, not accepting her children was a deal breaker – she felt the marriage was not worth saving. Her advice to those desiring to be married is to seek God first, pray and meditate before marrying anyone.

My advice to anyone desiring to be married is to first of all work on becoming the best you that you can be, second as my interviewee stated seek God for direction and guidance, third keep your options open – sometimes what we need is not always what we want, and lastly during the dating phase of your relationship with anyone you are strongly considering marrying, use that time to collect data.

The dating period should be the time when you find out as much about a person as you can. Such as do you have the same views on religion, money, sex, child rearing, and career goals/aspirations. During this time nothing should be off limits for discussion. If a potential mate wants to continue delaying a particular topic, proceed with caution, this is a potential red flag.

My advice to those who are currently in a marriage and they feel as if they married the wrong person is to seek out marital counseling; bring in an unbiased third party to help you sort out your problems. Some marriages are not salvageable, however, there are many that are, this will mandate that both partners put their pride and egos aside and do what is best for their marriage in the long run.

In situations where a marriage can be saved, both partners must agree on the course of action they will take to make the marriage work.

Additional Resources:

http://www.counsel-search.com/resources.aspx

http://www.strongmarriagenow.com/FixYourMarriage/?gclid=CKu56J3m8asCFR5CgwodjmHRKA

http://www.marriagesherpa.com/marriage_report/optin/4238?pid=www.counsel-search.com&cid=5316070170&gclid=CK27lM3m8asCFSVpgwodyRquIg

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