Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dead Or Alive: How Is My Relationship?

Dead or Alive: How is My Relationship?

Toxic- of, relating to, or caused by a poison; poisonous.
Healthy- implies full strength and vigor, as well as freedom from signs of disease; emphasizes the absence of disease, weakness, or malfunction; prosperous, flourishing.
A toxic relationship is any kind of personal connection I have with someone that makes me worse and not better. (I call this a “Bobby/Whitney relationship).
A healthy relationship is any relationship that makes me better rather and not worse.

A. Toxic Relationships
2 Corinthians 6: 11- “Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians (we are hiding nothing, keeping nothing back), and our heart is expanded wide (for you)! 12: There is no lack of room for you, but you lack room in your own affections.
1) Our biggest problem in life is not necessarily other people, the pastor, our church, our job, our friends, or situations; it is our own affections that get us in trouble.
2) The real enemy is us, our flesh
3) We hurt or help our own selves by the things that we feed in us. We cannot continue feeding something that is killing us and expect it to die.
14: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith). For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness? 15: What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (the devil)? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16: What agreement can there be between a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God , and they shall be My people. 17: So come out from among (unbelievers), and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not any unclean thing; then I will receive you kindly and treat you with favor.”
I. Everyone that we allow to come into our lives will affect our purpose somehow.

II. Toxic Relationships don’t just happen overnight. They start with a “seemingly innocent” connection and then develop overtime. It was a toxic connection the moment it happened; a lot of times we’re just too “in love” or too desperate for company that we don’t want to accept the fact that it is toxic in the beginning.

III. Toxic relationships limit our usefulness for God and limit us to only benefitting the other person’s selfish wants. These kinds of relationships are manipulative whether they are friendships or romantic relationships.

IV. Our need to feel loved and accepted can cause us to ignore the signs of a toxic relationship in the beginning. The signs were always there; we just chose to ignore them because of things such as lust, insecurity, loneliness, the desire for attention or belonging, etc.

V. Signs of toxic relationships: a) controlling and manipulative b) they cause you to make decisions that you will regret later c) often forces you to isolate yourself from those who love you and can help you d) you can’t be free to be yourself; you feel you have to be something you’re not in order to gain something you can’t have e) often interfere with your physical health. You often feel stressed out from trying to please the other person because you feel like nothing you do is ever enough f) the happiness you may feel is fake and temporary and only contingent upon whether the other person is happy.

VI. A lot of us are frustrated with not being who we could be because everyone we’re tied to is less than where we are going. You cannot hang with people contrary to your purpose and expect to meet your goal.

VII. Many of us are loving people who are not our equal- we are unequally yoked.

VIII. Many of us act like children- people that don’t know how to restrain their emotions. We don’t know how to put boundaries on our passions. We continue in sinful activity and get married to justify it.
Examples of a toxic relationship: Samson and Delilah and Samson’s dysfunctional relationships: Judges Chapters 14-16.

B. Healthy Relationships.
I. Before we can have a healthy relationship with another person, we need to gain a proper understanding of who we are in the Lord. From that we can determine who we are to be in any relationship. Until our identity is in focus, our relationships never will be.

II. Signs of a healthy relationship: Love gives, lust gets. Love is patient, lust is impatient. Love is selfless; lust is selfish. Love is kind, lust is unkind. Love does things that it knows will benefit the other person and make them better not worse.
1 Corinthians 13: The Love Chapter (Scripture Reference)

III. I must learn to love myself before I can love anyone else. If I don’t like myself it will manifest in how I treat other people.

IV. Anyone who does not like their own self is not qualified to like you.

V. Signs of a healthy relationship: a) encourages you to be your best b) doesn’t intentionally do things to hurt you c) tells you the truth no matter what d) looks out for your best interest e) a good friendship is able to stand through hardships f) will not talk about you to others behind your back and not talk to you face to face g) does not add drama to your life but adds flavor.
Example of a healthy Relationship: Ruth and Boaz
Ruth 4: 13-15: “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord caused her to conceive, and she bore a son. 14: And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, Who has not left you this day without a close kinsman, and may his name be famous in Israel. 15: And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher and supporter in your old age, for your daughter in law who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”
Example 2: David and Jonathan- 1 Samuel 20: 12-17 (David was equally yoked with a brother and friend who was his answer and not his problem)

VI. Don’t be afraid to hang with people who are smarter than you. This is the only way you will get better. Get around people who make you feel dumb; however, at the same time, don’t feel intimidated or inferior (this drives some people away from healthy people to toxic people because of insecurity) Get around people that can stretch you and force you to grow higher.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Understanding Relationships: A Takeover Interview from Formspring


Where is a good place to meet good Christian men? That is hard to come by nowadays.

Hello. Appreciate your question. I always say in order to attract a man/woman of quality, one must first be a person of quality because you attract what you are. If you wish to meet people who are like minded like you are, you have to go where they are. There are actually a lot of Christian men out there, however one must be correctly positioned with God in their life and going to the right places at the right times and be doing the right things with the right people in order to find men of quality. The places that we go and the people we hang with often dictate the level of our character so being in the right places is essential to having a successful life and successful relationships. Dont expect to find the kind of man your looking for at clubs, bars, lounges, strip clubs and then wonder why youre dissappointed. Go where they are...churches, christian events, christian concerts, and go places where you can have good clean fun. However, I would also encourage you to not seek a GOD FIRST! Dont worry about finding a man. Chase God and blessings will chase you. When you seek the face of God and not the hand of God, the hand of God is already open to those who seek His face. Just as passionate as we become about finding our boo, we need to switch that passion to chasing after God, He has to be our first love and when He is, we will run into our mate as a result of being in purpose. Matthew 6:31-33: "Therefore do not worry and be anxious saying, What are we going to have to eat? or What are we going to have to drink? or, what are we going to have to wear? 32: For the gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. 33: But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you, besides. So when you go to these places I recommended, go with the right motives..not to find a man..but to give God glory.

Is there a difference between physical abuse and mental abuse?

Where there is physical abuse taking place, there is also mental abuse taking place as well. A person who is allowing someone to torture them physically is also allowing mental torture as well because they are allowing theirself to be torn down. Mental or verbal abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse because WORDS DO HURT. Our words have the power to cause someone to want to kill themselves because of the deadly things they have heard spoken to them their entire life. A person who is allowing theirself to be physically and mentally abused must first be honest with themselves about the situation they are going through by admitting that it is abuse and not saying that "its love" because its not. Then they must seek help from someone, pastor, counselor, etc. but seek God first. Then the person must love theirself enough to say no more and not allow theirself to be abused and put down. Sometimes you gotta stand up and fight for yourself and remove yourself from some people because they are doing you more harm than good.

Why are men such procrastinators?

This is a good question as well. Procrastination is not just a man thing. There are lots of women procrastinators as well. Procrastination is rooted in fear. People feel that putting off or delaying the inevitable will make things easier when it fact it only makes accomplishing the task harder. In order to conquer procrastination, one has to conquer the fear in them. I cant answer for all men why they may procrastinate because all men are different, I cant speak for every brother. I can say that a lot of people dont feel the resolve to do some things until the last minute tho and a lot of times its because priorities are not where they should be. A lot of men also dont feel the need to change somethings or make them better until it is too late as well. My answer, a lot of men, we struggle with fear, we just mask it very well but need to learn to be honest with ourselves so we can be honest with you ladies (Im assuming this is a lady based on the question, if not, do forgive me and God bless)

Question: Do you think its proper to advertise your relationship with ThePurposeDR so widely? Arent you a mentor, counselor and friend to the young? It seems to me you would use more discretion. You two arent married and there is a TIME FOR ALL THINGS!

Thank you for asking this question. Truly appreciated. Firstly, If one has such a good thing, why hide it? Everything that I do and say I see as a ministry to other people--even my relationships because my relationships should glorify God, and Jennifer (aka the PurposeDr.) and I have seen so many people blessed and ministered to- young and old because they have watched our relationship. If the world can so boldly publicize sex and pornography and sex driven media, as well as toxic relationships, why cant we as Christians boldly display godly courtships? We arent married yet, however we were already walking in our ministries as singles before we even met each other and now that we are together moving toward marriage (moving in purpose not just dating to waste time), its even more dynamic and the devil hates it. Godly courtships make God happy. Who said you had to wait until you got married to start walking in the ministry that God called you and your significant other to? Both individuals should already be walking in their ministries making God happy before they even attempt to make each other happy. TO everyone, if you are single and happy, stay happy! Only marry when you have found someone that will add on to that happiness. SO NOW IS THE TIME TO DISPLAY THIS RELATIONSHIP! LOL

Where did you learn how to treat women? What are your struggles in your current relationship?

I learned how to treat women from my wonderful mother Dee Dee. I love my mom with all my heart and next to God she is one of my best friends in the world. I would not know how to value women if it were not for her teaching me how. Most men dont know how to truly love and/or treat a women because they were simply not taught how to. You live at the level you are taught. Ladies, before you say I do or say you wanna be involved in anyway with a man, watch how he treats his mother and the other women in his life--how does he talk to them? Is he disrespectful? What does he do for them? Does he have female authority in his life to teach and speak into him. How a man treats his mother shows how hes gonna treat you.
I know that you're a virgin and I think that's wonderful, especially for a man your age. But honestly, have you ever felt any pressure to have sex or been ridiculed because of your decision to wait?
Good question. I really appreciate you asking this. I have definitely been ridiculed before but I made a decision a long time ago and am still working to stick to that decision to- divorce myself from the opinions of other people. You cannot stand out and make a difference if you base your life on the opinions of other people. I am personally proud and thankful to God that I am a male virgin because it is only by His grace that I am. I take no credit for myself. I have seen great benefits as a result of me waiting- I dont have to deal with soul ties to women I dont see anymore, no head drama or emotional drama, and God has rewarded me with a wonderful woman that he selected just for me. Pressure in life will come, but you cannot faint under the pressure. A lot of times people who ridicule you for the stand you take are the same ones who wish they were like you. Haters are only confused admirers- (Rev. Run quote). I honestly have been laughed at and ridiculed before but I have never felt pressured to do it because I know who I am and I dont hang with friends who pressure me to do things I shouldnt. I hang with people who help me succeed and stay away from people who help me fail. You are judged by the company you keep and bad company corrupts good character. A lot of teens who fall prey to sex fall to it simply because they were pressured to do it by fake friends. They were experimenting with it. They didnt really wanna do it and that is why for some folk, their first sexual experience is either painful or not all that great. I made up my mind a long ago that the woman God has for me (J. Lucy) is worth waiting for. She is worth it! And after we're married, we will have a lifetime of opportunity for me to prove to her that she was worth it...ah Glory!

As a man how do you manage to respect your girlfriends wishes to remain celibate without pressurising her? I know many men try but they always give up half way, how have you managed to hold on?

Good question. I really appreciate this question. I respect my ladys wishes to remain celibate because my desire to remain celibate before marriage is the same as hers. I love her which means that I am not going to pressure her to do something that is going to hurt both our futures. Guys, love does not pressure someone to do something just to make you feel good. Love is sacrificial- it will do everything it can to make sure the other person is happy and protected. Love gives, lust gets. Love is patient, lust is impatient. Love is kind; lust is unkind. 1 Corinthians 13. I do not push my lady to have sex because I love God and respect God too much to dishonor the precious woman he created by de-valuing her worth. If I have to have sex before marriage, I have to ask myself, do I really love this girl by respecting her wishes or am I being selfish and caring only about what I want. Most men dont realize that love is not selfish, love is selfless. Jesus is the perfect example of selfless love when He sacrificed himself for mankind. John 3:16, 1 John 4:7-8. The reason I have been able to not only hold on, but have fun doing it is because I have a good relationship with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and because of how my parents have taught me. You live at the level you are taught. If you are not taught how to love, you wont know how to love and a lot of men are not taught what real love is. They can only identify love through their lust and that is where they go wrong. I have managed to remain a virgin because of my relationship with God, spending time in His Word, praying, going to church, monitoring what I watch on tv and the music I listen to. What we hear, see, and speak impacts our thinking. It either feeds sexual lust or it kills it. You cant continue feeding something that is killing you and expect it to die. My suggestion, get with God