Saturday, June 25, 2011

Can The Difference of Religion Crash Your Relationship?

     Many practicing religious people have understood that a critical step towards a successful relationship is to have a partner with the same religious beliefs. That's why many practicing Muslims will not marry someone who is not a Muslim unless they convert to Islam, idem for Jews, Buddhist or Hindus but not so much for Christians.
     Hence, we've seen the birth of many "unequally yoked" marriages with the big majority going up in flames.
Disclosure: This post is not going to be some theological discourse with the goal to convince you not to date this non-believer or that spiritual but non-church going person. I'll just take a few minutes of your time to make some empirical statements.
      It had been an on and off relationship over a span of 3 years. We both knew where each of us stood on the religious domain. I was [still am] a hand clapping, tongue speaking, church going believer and him a non-practicing, catholic raised, non-church going unbeliever. Typical Sunday mornings schedule were spent with me driving off to church and him having a "service" with Tim Russert [R.I.P] or entertaining himself with The Sopranos on Netflix.
     Religion or God would barely make our conversation list, not because we were afraid to discuss it rather we had a silent, polite understanding "You don't mess with my God" and I won't mess with you non-church going "arse" and we never stepped on each toes, that was the agreement period.
     As long as the agreement was respected the peace-o-meter would measure the peace within the relationship to a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest satisfactory level. The disrupting peace factors could range from banal subjects like complaining about his missing scarf to non-hackneyed subjects like me accusing him [rightfully so] not to keep his word, with all these shenanigans, NEVER had religion carried the winning cup for disturbing the peace. However reality displayed a whole different scenario: although quarrels were medium rare, each of them consistently would leave the pernicious taste of rotten food. And what do you do with rotten food? You throw it in the garbage and that's where the relationship finally ended.
     After each altercation, I would always wonder about the root cause of the heinous words. It took a couple of years during a conversation with a man of God, for me to understand that, it's the difference in the essence of the Spirit that animates the believer and the non-believer that can create violent clashes. It is the spirit inside the non-believer, at times unbeknownst to the latter, hating anything that comes from the Light of Jesus, that will stir disputes and animosity. That's often why small missteps, unnoticeable peccadilloes could easily turn into unstoppable, unsurmountable, rains of repellent and venomous exchanges [between you the believer and your non-believing partner], dangerously flirting with the point of no return. And 9 out 10 those "mixed" relationships reached that point.
     So I guess the question is: Should a [serious] convinced and converted Christian-believer marry a non-Christian? Paul urges us to get married to avoid sexual immorality but it must be with a brother/sister who belongs to the Lord*. If you're already married to a non-believer, as long as the non-believer is willing to live with you, you must remain married to him or her period. Nevertheless, having a [serious] convinced and converted Christian-believer like yourself as a spouse, annihilates 50% of the battles, struggles and roadblocks you'll encounter in your relationship. Marriage, like sex is a divine concept that to succeed, must be honored by following the divine precepts ordained from God Almighty through Christ Jesus.
     This is no new teaching nor heresy but not everybody can accept or believe it. Some do accept but make different choices. Thus prompting the question What would induce a non-Christian to marry a Christian? That will be the highlight of the next post. For now, let's remember this: "People don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient and then they repent" [Bob Dylan]

He who has an ear, let him hear or should I say He who has eyes, let him read?


Tresor De Beaute

Friday, June 17, 2011

Got Hurt? Don't Rebound (Part II)

     The ultimate goal of the Non-Rebounding-period is to get ready for a successful relationship
SUCCESSFUL relationship,SUCCESSFUL relationship, SUCCESSFUL relationship.

Therefore it is very important to manage this period with a lot of care and precaution.
After all the crying, the cussing and the wondering are done, you'll get into, irrespective of your will, a reassessing state of mind where you'll be constantly playing back the film of the inglorious bastard or "bastardista" who has dared to hurt you. Although you'll be tempted to rerun different scenarios in your head, try not to and instead focus on determining the root cause of the crash. Why has s/he cheated? What led him/her to that? Bad financial habits? Inappropriate phone calls? Inappropriate requests? Flawed foundation in the relationship? (I will expand on this topic in a different post), for now remember this: "An inappropriate request reveals an inappropriate person" (Dr. Mike Murdock). Get to the root cause of the damages, do NOT excuse any of his/her behavior.
     Then answer this question honestly: what part did you play in the fall out of your relationship? Did you close an eye on "little" things that were going on? Did you bury your head in the sand and thought it would go away? Did you cheat either in this or a past relationship and now karma has caught up with you? As a christian did you infringe any covenant law? In other words, have you had sex before marriage or maybe you you thought it was ok since you were planning on getting married? It is capital that you answer those question with a sincere heart and write down your answer if you can.
     Finally, review them with your board of trustees, the people who keep you accountable and who will not hesitate to reprimand you [in love] when you're [in the] wrong. In reviewing with them, confess, repent and ask for forgiveness to God first then to whom appropriate starting with yourself. Forgive yourself for being stupid enough to trust him/her, forgive yourself for making bad choices because of him/her, forgive yourself for setting yourself up for failure. Forgive, forgive and forgive.
     I remember when I went through my "1929 GREAT emotional crisis". My trustees were there for me, telling me I had to let go and forgive, praying for and with me. I didn't want to hear anything about forgiveness, although I knew it was the sine qua non condition for total and complete restoration. But then, God in his almighty love started to move within me, reminding of my peccadilloes that were disqualifying me of his mercy, reminding of how much in LOVE He was still with me and that He has not given up on me.  I felt so convicted that I knew I had no choice than to truly, really, verily forgive myself for not trusting God with my choices, then my offenders. It took a long time, but I eventually got there. I can't describe the feeling of relief I had. One has to go through and experience it to understand.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Got Hurt? Don't Rebound (Part I)

     Got hurt? Don't rebound. Consider the following before you decide otherwise.
- You're wrapping yourself in a bubble: the bubble keeps you from facing the naked situation: the hurt, the pain, the rejection and the disappointment. Regardless of the cause of the separation from the already dead or dying relationship, it's important to take a step back to consider the damages, damages to your person and to the kids (if there are any involved). Mourn and cry all the tears that your lachrymal gland can afford. If you're the tough kind and would rather talk, then call your board of trustees, lament, rant and whine all you can. This is the period of your life when you're allowed to express your anger, your disillusionment and your failure. Even after that is done, you're still not ready to see someone, you're not ready to date nor to move on. If you do, then
- you're not different from the spider that ensnares its prey, sucks the blood out of it and leaves the carcass hanging. You could be meeting Mr. Right but it won't just be Mr. Right-Now. And what would start as an idyllic connection will undoubtedly expire with an acrid after taste. I remember Clementine who, after the most calamitous heartbreak, rekindled an old flame. It went from steam to hot, then hot to cold in a span of six months. Love yous and miss yous did not wait long to be replaced with yelling and fighting and suspecting. It went from flame to damn. Today, they're not even speaking terms.
- The bubble will eventually burst leaving you in a worse state than the beginning. At this stage, the repressed feelings of affliction and emotional damage, buried under the anticipation of a deeper, not-similar-to-the-last romance resurface. You have no chance to escape, you must confront them and kick'em away or as most of us do, bottle them up and throw the bottle in the river with the hope it'll reach shore at NotInmyHeartTown. That been said, how do you practically do? Stay Tuned for part II

Tresor De Beaute

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