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Saturday, November 16, 2013

God Didn't Tell Them to Get Married - Their Flesh Did

Someone in the family announces that a relative is getting married and the news is great until you meet the future marriage partner.  "Something just isn't right with that person..." you say to yourself.  But you don't want to be the one that looks bad if you were to tell someone how you truly feel about the union, so you keep things to yourself.  Then one day, as if someone in your circle is reading your thoughts, out comes, "God put them together..."  Sure.  Now your mind is really going at this point, did the person notice that you aren't sold out on the couple getting married?

As much as we would all like to think that every relationship that has led to marriage God had something to do with, we are wrong especially when neither party was even thinking about God, religion, faith or anything like it when they first met!  No, the couple had everything to do with the connection when they got naked one night and then many nights afterward.  Then they reasoned, "God is for us, who can be against us."  Even if someone was against the relationship, would it matter?  Sex has a way of clouding one's judgment.  The couple in La-La land thinks everything is rosy after many passionate moments in bed.

God is not one for ordering people to get married who are unequally yoked, but wayward, backsliding, hypocritical, and legalistic Christians are!  "You should get better not need to get married..."  Some will mention it is better to marry then to burn with lust.  But what they fail to quote are all the scriptures that talk of listening and obeying God in the first place.  The issue isn't about going down the aisle in record time, but the real issue is, "Who is this person that he or she is marrying really?  Should this person even be in the family?  What is my loved ones reasons for really marrying?" 

Many couples are having an ear to God when they are planning their weddings.  Prior to, they are listening to pushy parents and other relatives who don't want to look bad not having sons and daughters married off.  Yes, there are still older parents and grandparents around who don't want the town to shame them or God hold them responsible for their sons and daughters not getting married--even if this isn't the case, but you can't tell them any differently.

"What God said" is thrown around loosely nowadays.  Going to church doesn't make one a good listener when it comes to doing the things of God.  Consider this, God is more concerned about kingdom business and if two people are willing to work together and with God to make some spiritual things manifest in others' lives, not just their own, then God bless their union.  However, with all the troubled marriages and divorces, this is just not the case.  Instead, we have many selfish individuals getting married, void of God, and hoping to capitalize off of one another--mentally, physically and spiritually in a way that doesn't serve anyone but themselves!  Then when the money is spent, attraction lost, and life challenges come into their La-La romance like a flood, now they are questioning, "Was God even in this?"  Most likely he wasn't, but your flesh was in it alright!  Whether one was married five, 10, or 15 plus years ago, the truth of the matter is not every marriage was ordained by God no matter how many times you repeated "under the eyes of God" or how often you attended church prior, during, and afterward.  It's unfortunate but the holiday season only pushes the deception like they do when it comes to Santa, Jesus' birth date, and Christmas being a time for giving. 

If you are a believer, use the holiday season to remind the lost couples in your family to turn their hearts toward God, rather than on things like:  how much money they spent on a gift, where they will be going for their honeymoon, and when they will be having children.  It is through Him they will find peace--everything else is added stress.

Nicholl McGuire also maintains a blog entitled, Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

6 Signs It’s Time to Stop Taking Advice from Relatives or Friends

You love your family and think much of them.  When problems arise personally and professionally, you just might have a relative or two that you can confide in about your life challenges.   Sometimes one may continue sharing details of his or her life with certain individuals even after being repeatedly forewarned about them.  Trouble arises, the confrontation takes place, yet one still seeks advice from those who don't mean him or her well.  When does one stop taking advice from troubled loved ones?

One. When they are often proven wrong.

How much proof do you need when something a relative says proves to be incorrect on an frequent basis, or an exaggeration and a lie are told to you without a blink of an eye?  When you see the writing on the wall, quickly speak truth to your advisor, and then gradually start creating distance from him or her so that you won't be hurt again.

Two. When their track record shows they have yet to learn from past mistakes.

Some people are very good about advising you on what you should and shouldn't do, but do they take their own advice?  When you often see that one's counselor is often in disputes with others, can't seem to come up higher in his or her life, and is often critical of those they claim they love, you just might want to close your mouth on the specifics concerning your own life when speaking to him or her.

Three. When they claim to have a faith but rarely listen and obey their Maker or read and apply biblical text to their lives.

When was the last time your friend visited a church, read the Bible, or did something related to kingdom business other than sit on the phone and talk with you?  It is very easy to bring God into a conversation even when one isn't following His precepts.  Notice the hypocrite's ways, then put a brake on spiritual dialogue with him or her once you see that his or her "fruit," so to speak is spoiled.

Four. When people have warned you not to tell these people your personal business.

Most often relatives and friends have warned you of this because they either feel or learned that your trusted advisor has been sharing your private information with others.  Take heed and cut off personal details of your life.

Five. When they have shared confidential information about you with others without asking for permission.

This is similar to point 4, but is related to those people you may work with or have fraternal connections.  Unless you told an advisor "it's okay to share our discussion..." you have to wonder why would he or she take the liberty of doing so?  Watch what you say to these individuals, they may have recorded your conversation, and plan to use it to benefit them in the short or long term.  If you have a faith, pray.

Six. When they lie or avoid truth when confronted about questionable things said and practices.

This is a clear indication that
the person who you thought was a trusted friend is really a foe.  Why would they feel the need to lie if they weren't covering up something that they did or covering for someone else?

With so much evil speaking going on in our world, be cautious when talking about yourself and family with others.  Don't let a nice atmosphere, good food, and emotion cause you to drop your defenses in the presence of one you think you can trust.  Many marriages, family relationships, jobs, friendships, and more have been negatively impacted because of what someone said.

Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual perspectives on a variety of topics related to: relationships, family, business, and more.  Listen to her audio messages on Youtube and Sound Cloud

Sunday, November 3, 2013

5 Things You Might Want to Start Doing Now Before the Holidays

Far too many people wait until the last minute to do things.  Don't be one of the excuse-makers telling relatives, friends and strangers, "Why I had no time to..." during the holiday season.

Most often people do have time to do things, they just don't prepare and rather procrastinate by doing things like: watching TV, talking on the phone, going out with friends, etc. when they were really supposed to be handling their holiday "To Do" or "To Don't" lists.  Depending on your relationship with others will determine whether you will be using either list this year.  A "To Don't" list is simply what you won't be doing/putting up with this year.  So what do you have yet to do?

1.  Share your holiday plans with your partner and children, then talk with relatives and friends.

Some people will make Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's plans with everyone else while forgetting about a partner and children.  If you want to cause upheaval in your house, start planning to do all sorts of things without consulting with those you live with first.  Have various ideas in mind and be willing to compromise when you share them with others.

2.  Save money and make necessary arrangements for things like: travel, shopping, gift buying, home decorating, and cooking.

If you hope to spend money on other events, rather than save for the holiday related tasks that will cost the most, you just might be that one saying, "I'm sorry, this is all I could do" as the holidays near.  Plan a little better--you still have time.  Stop spending money on things you really don't need and put the money away for now.  Chances are something is going to come up that you will say to yourself, "I'm sure glad I didn't spend all my money on XYZ."  Shop for bargains and use coupons both on and offline whenever possible.

3.  Avoid making promises you can't keep, so say, "No," instead of maybe.

The excitement of getting together with family and friends can make the mouth move faster than the feet.  Before you commit to doing anything else for anyone else, practice saying, "No."  Otherwise, you will find yourself resenting the holidays instead of appreciating good times with loved ones.

4.  Donate or sell unwanted items, then clean/organize and make room for guests if you plan on entertaining.

One of those annoying issues that tend to come up around the holidays is unclean, disorganized homes, and irritable hosts.  If everything is handled in advance, the host and visitors just might have a great time.  Be sure everyone knows and understands that certain things have to be done when entertaining and visiting.  Unwilling parties shouldn't be forced to welcome others into their home especially people they don't like or get along with or go traveling when the timing just isn't right.  Save your family some drama, if everyone isn't on board, consider staying home or rearranging plans.  Don't miss out on opportunities to bless someone else, make some money for your pocket and space in your household.  You will be eliminating some future stress for all.

5.  Put in for personal and vacation days if you haven't already.

Don't disappoint relatives and friends with, "I got to work that day..."  Take the day off or make plans to leave work early. 

Make good use of your free time, consider your loved ones' needs, and don't sleep on potential headaches prevent them, do what you can to ensure that the holidays come and go in peace!

Nicholl McGuire author of When Mothers Cry, visit her blog here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

7 Reasons Why Parents will Limit Visits or Stop Permitting Children to See Grandparents

Some parents have a short memory when it comes to the negative things they do and say to their children and grandchildren whether to their faces or behind their backs. People who feel negative emotions from others will not stay in their presence for long. They will attempt to rid themselves of further pain, shame, anger, and more by keeping their families away from hurtful people. Although siblings and other relatives and friends may not comprehend why a parent would limit his or her visits with grandparents or cut them off altogether, consider this, they have good reasons as to why they do what they do. So before one judges, be mindful of the ungodly people and things you are exposing your children to on a daily basis. Could it be that you and your family ought to do some cutting too--possibly in different areas of your lives? As with all people, titles are to be earned. What might have caused a rift between grandparents and their children and grandchildren in the first place?

1. They despise the grandchildren’s parent(s) and the parents despise their parents/in-laws.

Much heartache, headache, and upset stomach worrying over the years about one’s rebellious son or daughter or "no good" son or daughter-in-law, doesn’t make anyone feel good. Sons and daughters turn on parents and vow to never come around them for one reason or another. Some grandparents think of money used over the years to bail out one’s son or daughter and other helpful things done, may not look forward to seeing son, daughter or children, because money wasn‘t paid back, favors weren‘t returned, or negative gossip reached their ears. A grandparent holding feelings of resentment and anger will not be easy to get along with and neither will the children; therefore to avoid argument, back-handed remarks, and other issues, a son or daughter won’t bother to come around often, if at all, with grandchildren and grandparents won‘t encourage or invite them either.

2. They are jealous.

Believe it or not, there are parents who are jealous of their sons and daughters’ lives especially if they have far exceeded their expectations. If mom or dad was the one who was always bad-mouthing their children as they grew up, he or she may not be that proud of them as one might claim. Parents notice negative behaviors, favoritism of other siblings, and will hear statements that sound more like put-downs then praise; so to keep their children from having to see how mean-spirited mom or dad can be, they limit visits with them until they can’t stand to come around anymore.

3. They are controlling.

Sons, daughters and grandchildren aren’t permitted to do or say much in the presence of certain grandparents; therefore, a parent will feel constant tension bringing one’s children around his or her mother or father. Since there is no way to make one’s parents stop doing something that is causing friction between parents and grandparents while scaring young children, some families will just stay away.

4. They don’t like children much.

As much as we would all like to think that grandparents look forward to seeing grandchildren, think again! Not all like or want to be around them. There are those grandparents who have spent most of their youth helping others raise children, then they had children of their own that they didn‘t plan for. With so many children and little time for self, some have reached a period in their lives that they are quite burned out with small misbehaving children, rebellious teens, and know-it-all young adults. Don’t be offended, if anything, consider this a warning not to drop your children off with someone who is burned out, otherwise deal with the consequences.

5. They are impatient.

Children require patience, but some adults just don’t have any and will blow a short fuse over the littlest of things. A parent who doesn’t want his or her children witnessing or experiencing things he or she may have saw growing up with an impatient parent will keep them away from anger outbursts comprised of yelling, violence, swearing, etc. Most parents don’t want their children growing up with similar negative memories.

6. They are too busy/ill/lazy to maintain household, much less, welcome company.

Some parents simply won’t bring children around grandparents, because they are unclean or often sickly. Bad odors, dirty floors and walls, stained tables, and clutter, parents don’t want to have to manage their parents’ household in addition to their own every time they come for a short visit. Besides, an unclean, cluttered home that could be managed by an able-bodied grandparent says one thing, “We didn’t bother to clean, because we aren’t interested in you coming to see us.” While others, who can do for themselves, don’t bother to do much, because they hope that children and grandchildren will come to one’s home to clean, repair and organize it.

Parents who are cautious about the well-being of their children won’t continue to bring them to environments full of harmful bacteria, allergens, illness, rodents and insects. If a grandparent’s health isn’t very good, consider checking into programs that assist the elderly with errands, house cleaning, meals, healthcare, etc. Some services are free if a grandparent income qualifies, meets age requirements, lives in a certain area, and other things.

7. They are unforgiving.

From what a child broke during the last visit to a liquid spilled on one’s expensive area rug, the last visit was a disaster; therefore, the bitter grandparent(s) has acted in unforgiving ways toward one’s grandchildren. To flippant remarks to finger-pointing about most anything, the family notices the grandparent’s negative disposition and will visit less frequently until eventually giving up altogether. No parent wants to hear about everything that is wrong with one’s child every time they visit a relative or friend.

A grandparent should not worry over why a son or daughter is not interested in family celebrations, attending funerals, assisting an ailing parent, or anything else related to them when he or she knows what one’s relationship with a son or daughter really looks like. A son or daughter who doesn’t feel comfortable leaving one’s children with grandparents or in-laws shouldn’t. There are other ways to connect children to grandparents via telephone, mail, school events, parks, family restaurants, etc. other than one’s home. Further, if the visits with grandparents are bringing on upset emotions every time you bring your family around them, limit the time you are spending with them or cut them off completely. As a result, feelings of guilt may surface, old memories might taunt you, but whatever you are going through, find ways to bring peace to your mind. Utilize your faith, speak truth to parents, hear your family concerns, and most of all protect your children.

There are those fantasy relationships that parents create, based on others’ positive experiences with their families, and then there are those painful scenarios that include grandparents who are not what they appear to be. Therefore, a son or daughter who doesn’t want to revisit the past, but rather continue to heal, while having hope for a positive future, will protect his or her children from the verbal and/or physical abuse that he or she endured growing up from misguided parents.

Nicholl McGuire is a blogger, internet content producer, and does other things on and off the Internet, learn more about her here.


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