Category Archives: Religion

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Would You Date a Man Who Makes Less Than You?

This is just a quick post to ask the following question: 

 Ladies: 

Would you date a man who makes less than you?

 Men:

Do you think it’s okay to date a woman who makes more than you?

 Feel free to quote the Bible, share personal experiences or tell us what your pastor/spiritual mentor or friends think.

After I get a few responses, I will let you all know what I think.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

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Update:

Thank you all for your responses.¬† The reason I asked this question is because I’ve been noticing a trend where women are becoming the higher wage earners in their relationships.¬† This seems to have led to a variety of good and bad changes in the marital relationship, as well as in the dating relationship.¬† Role changes, respect, etc., etc. (I’ll probably address this in more detail in another post.)¬†¬†Even though¬†this is the case, I still hear a lot of women say they want a man who makes a certain amount of money, has a certain type of degree or has certain type of assets, when the reality is that many men simply don’t have it like that.¬†

That made me wonder what we really value about our men – is it their income or their level of spirituality?¬† We all choose mates for a variety of reason, but in today’s changing economy (with downsizing, layoffs and businesses closing down and merging), it seems like income is the last thing you can depend on.¬† Much more important seems to be the content of your prospective mate’s character – is he or she a hard worker, does he or she love God and is he or she a loving person?¬† Not to say¬†a good-hearted person who refuses to work is a good choice, but a¬†materialistic workaholic is probably not a very good choice either.¬†

There is no security to be found in a paycheck.¬† Ask the Silicon Valley IT workers.¬† Ask the dot-com entrepreneuers. Ask the people who used to work for Ford and Chrysler.¬† Ask yourself if you’ve recently experienced a ‘downsize’ in your paycheck.

Doug – I’m really sorry for the experience you had with a Christian woman.¬† And, to answer your question, I do not think that most of us realize what a ‘covenant’ really means.¬† To many of us, a marriage covenant only lasts until we no longer ‘feel like it.’¬† Now, I’m not saying there are not valid reasons to get divorced (the Bible covers that), but I know of many partners who go into it lightheartedly and head out at the first sign of trouble.¬† God’s idea of covenant involved personal sacrifice, dedication, continuity and faithfulness.¬† His covenant to us was so powerful that He carried it out even when we thought nothing about Him (while we were yet sinners).¬† He personally sacrificed His own beloved son in agreement with His covenant to be our God and to save us from this world and from sin.

How many of us are willing to sacrifice our very lives to honor our commitments?  Not very many.

This has truly been an interesting debate.  Please feel free to let me know of any further thoughts you all might have.

Players in the Church

I wrote this article a while ago, but I think it is still pretty relevant.  I would love to know what you think, so please comment!

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Are there ‘Players’ in the Christian church? We all know some guy or girl whose life was utterly changed after meeting someone who ‘blew their mind’ and now their nose is ‘wide open’. And, as hard as they try, they can’t seem to let this person go, even though it costs them money, sleep and wasted time. In this article, we expose these ‘players’ for what they are, identifying the three levels of ‘playerism’, tactics and techniques of the player and ways to avoid falling into their traps!

¬†¬†¬†¬† First, who are these ‘players?. I define players as those who are doing just that – playing. They play at relationships, they play at commitment and they play with your time. They are not serious, they are not likely to get serious any time soon and simply enjoy the game too much to ever fully give it up. There are three levels of players in the dating game:

¬†¬†¬†¬† 1. ‘Dog’ – Yes, I know this term is offensive to many, but more offensive than that is how the ‘dog’ treats his or her conquests. A ‘dog’ is a player who will date anybody, at any time, under any circumstances. Morals? Values? Forget it. The ‘dog’ will take advantage or your feelings, your best friend’s feelings and then hit on your mom or dad. Most ‘dogs’ are always broke and always looking for a ‘come up’. A ‘dog’ is to be avoided at all costs. Signs that an individual is a ‘dog’:

a. They ask you to dance and if you say no, they ask your friend; 
b. Their pager or phone rings off the hook;
c. They are always checking other people out when you are together;
d. They have several ‘baby mamas’ or ‘baby daddies’;
e. They have no particular ‘type’ – they think short or tall, big or small and¬†everything in between is fine.

¬†¬†¬†¬† 2. ‘Player‘ – The ‘Player’ has gone beyond the level of ‘dog’. They have developed a little more discretion in their dating choices and can afford to be a little more choosy. As a result, the ‘Player’ often dates nice-looking men or women or someone with money.¬† The ‘Player’ has acquired a few toys, has a nice car or a nice body, which he or she will use to part you from your time, your money, or sexual abstinence.¬† They are not ready to settle down and will only give vague responses when asked when their last long-term relationship was. ‘Players’, though nice company, are a waste of time and should be avoided. Signs that an individual is a player:

a. Their phone or pager vibrates constantly (they’ve learned how to be quiet about their other men or women);¬†
b. They say things like ‘I want to settle down when the time is right’ (translation – no time soon and not with you!);
c. They will take you out to nice places or make you a nice dinner, but they always expect something in return; 
d. They are very casual about when they can see you again (because their schedule is filled with other people and other events); and 
e. They respond to your declaration of love with ‘I care about you as well. But I told you I wasn’t ready to settle down’ and then hope that you never bring it up again!
 
¬†¬†¬†¬† 3. ‘Mack‘ – The ‘Mack’ has mastered the dating game. He or she is ‘sharp’ and well-dressed at all times. They have a nice houses, nice cars, and they usually have outstanding personalities. They have an inflated sense of their own self-worth and will remind you of it every chance they get. They are charming, sincere, but non-committal. ‘Macks’ are the most problematic of all the players, because they fool you into thinking you are ‘special’.¬† And you feel ‘special’ until you realize they treat everyone else the same way, too!¬† Have fun, go out on a couple of dates, but forget about long-term commitment with the ‘Mack’. Signs that an individual is a ‘Mack: ‘
 

a. You are never sure where their cell phone or pager is (they have discreetly turned it off or placed it in another room to avoid detection);
b. They have always been left heartbroken by some other relationship, which is why they can’t commit to you;
c. You can rarely catch up with them (after all, when they are with someone else, their cell phone or pager is turned off to you as well!);
d. They always behave as if going out with them is an honor; and 
e. They say things like ‘I really care about you’, but their real philosophy is ‘out of sight, out of mind.’

¬†¬†¬†¬† How can you avoid these players and beat them at their own game? Easy – spend a lot of time when you first meet someone carefully evaluating their statements. Ask yourself these questions – When was the last time they were in a serious relationship? How many children do they have (and by how many different people)? How do they feel about marriage? How often do they call or spend time with you? And definitely don’t rely just on what comes out their mouths – look at their behavior as well. Do these individuals call when they say they will? Do they schedule ‘prime time’ with you (6:00 p.m. on weekdays or afternoon/early evening hours on the weekend)? Or do they call you only during the ‘booty call’ hours (9:00 p.m. on weekdays and even later on the weekends)? I know it’s hard to realize that someone you care about may not care as much about you, but it’s better to face the truth now than pay the consequences later.

¬†¬†¬†¬† If your main squeeze is failing to show signs of being a commitment-minded, Christian-led individual, then let him or her go. Right now! And learn from your mistakes. Know that your true love is out there, somewhere, and this person will not play games to win your heart. Keep praying, keep going to church and keep talking to God and you can avoid all the traps of the Christian ‘Player’!

Witnessing From the Bedroom

I’ve been an (adult) member of a church since 1997, so I experienced the Christian dating scence up close and personal for many years.¬† And, as scary as it is on the ‘outside’ (in the world), it sometimes seemed even scarier on the inside.¬† We think when we are newly saved that God will send the man or woman of our dreams who will respect our boundaries, fall in love, commit and then we will get married.¬† Or we think that dating a nice Christian brother or sister will somehow be significantly different than¬†dating someone who doesn’t know Christ.¬† And it is in many ways.¬† You have someone who understands your commitment to God, that hopefully enjoys church as much as you do and can be counted on to help you get through your crisis.¬† But many times these relationships don’t work out.¬†¬†So we turn to Plan B.

Which I call ‘Witnessing From the Bedroom.”

What exactly is Witnessing From the Bedroom?  When we begin to date in the hopes of getting married, but get distracted, side-tracked and caught up in the sexual relationship.  Somehow, we think that, okay, if I stick with this for a while, he (or she) will eventually come to realize they love me and that they want to take this relationship further.  That by giving my body to him or her (or providing a sexual service for him or her), I am showing my seriousness and tying him or her closer to me.

I only have one thing to say about this practice:¬† it doesn’t work.

If a man or woman want to commit to you, they will.  Sex does not make anyone more committed.  Sex will not make anyone stay in a relationship with you.  And, finally, sex is not an effective means of taking the relationship to the next level.  Sex in the wrong context is just that Рsex.  A meaningless physical act between two people.

I’m not one of those people who talk about being a born-again Virgin or the evils of fornication (we all know that sex in a loving, married relationship is a thing of Beauty as God created it to be), but I am one of those people who say: Be Smart!¬† Take care of yourself and your body.¬† And recognize the consequences of your actions when you engage in a sexual relationship with another person.

Next time, I will talk about the physical, emotional and spiritual changes that come when you are sexually involved with another person.

 Until then РBe Blessed!

What Do You Have to Offer?

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t been around for a bit – school has got me into somewhat of a bind (I’ve started back full-time).¬† But I’m back – and, believe me, I have a lot on my mind!

Okay – here is one of my pet peeves.¬† I will hear a woman say how she’d like to meet a tall, handsome man, with a good job and a good education.¬† And he should love children and get along with his mom and be spiritual and, you know, just¬† fill in the blanks (think: perfect).¬† And I will take a look at her and she is still living with her mom, working at McDonald’s, taking the bus to work and only going to church to catch¬†herself a ‘good’ man.¬† (Not that there’s anything with working at McDonald’s or catching the bus.)¬† My point is that I always want to turn to this woman and say, What do you have to offer?

Why, oh, why do we think we can attract a ‘perfect’ man when we are so far from it ourselves?¬† Why do we never think of the fly in the ointment (which is sure to come) as we detail how tall he should be, what type of school he should have attended and what type of car he¬†be driving.

So let me ask you (and maybe you should ask yourself) – What do you have to offer this gorgeous, spiritual man you’d like to come into your life?¬† What kind of car are you driving?¬† Where did you attend school?¬† How is your spirituality?¬† No, I don’t think you have to be rich, gorgeous or a size 2 to attract a man, but I think we sometimes need to take a good hard look at ourselves before we advertise for this ‘perfect’ one.

The sad truth is this – we attract what we are.¬† If you are attracting no-account losers, you need to ask yourself why.¬† If you are attracting people who never go to church, while all the spiritual brothers ignore you, you need to ask yourself why.¬† And if you can’t seem to attract anybody, you need to ask yourself why.

I think we would all be a little better off if we took some of that energy we use to fantasize about the perfect guy and become the ‘perfect woman.’¬† Find your passion and follow it.¬† It may be going back to school, getting a better job, traveling the world or losing a couple of pounds.¬† Be the type of woman who could get a date with a classy, spirit-led guy.¬† Drive your own nice car and let him be wowed by your style.¬† Or read all the classics and learn a foreign language so that you can hold you own in any intellectual conversation.

I’m just keeping it real – I had to figure out for myself why certain men were attracted to me (married, non-commital, etc.).¬† Until I finally realized it had a whole lot to do with me.¬† I didn’t seem like I was interested in anything serious (this was during my serial dating phase), so they didn’t take me seriously either.

I don’t believe every woman is too picky when it comes to dating men, but some of us definitely are.¬† And I know that if we could devote just a little of that energy to improving ourselves, the results would be much more worthwhile.

What do you think?

10 Signs a Woman is Not Ready To Commit

Okay, ladies, I’m sorry to have to do this to you – but, I have to expose those among us who are dating guys with whom we have no intention of committing.¬† And not just any guys, but guys that actually want to be in a committed relationship with us.¬† They call us, they take us out, they are devoted, sweet and kind.¬† And what do they get in return from us? Games, drama and inconsistency.¬† Now, I don’t believe that means most of us – I admit I am a bit biased, but I truly believe that most women want to be with a man who is ready for commitment.¬† But, for those among us who don’t, this list is for the men in their lives.¬†

Fellows Рfollowing are ten signs that the woman you are dating is not ready to commit to you:

1. She Spends More Time With Her Girlfriends Than With You

Like most women, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriends.¬† They are fun, they like to talk as much as I do and I get to watch girly movies to my heart’s content (try dragging a guy to see ‘Something New’).¬† But as much as I like hanging with my girls, there’s something I usually enjoy just as much, if not more:¬† Hanging out with my man.¬† I love seeing him, talking to him, just chilling out, holding hands or whatever.¬† It brings me happiness.¬† It makes me feel content.¬† And it builds the bond of our relationship.¬† So, guys, if you find that the woman you are dating seems to enjoy hanging out with her girlfriends way more than she enjoys hanging out with you, it’s your first good sign that she is not ready to commit to you.

2. She Doesn’t Return Your Phone Calls

Now most women complain that their men don’t call them enough.¬† They complain that they are forced to wait by the phone for their men to return their calls, their men fail to call when they are going to be late or that they don’t call just to ‘talk’.¬† So for a woman not to call you back?¬† That is beyond odd.¬† It is abnormal.¬† And¬†it’s impolite.¬† And most women, even if they’re not interested in you, will at least call you back.¬† If a woman is not returning your phone calls, it is a very clear sign that she is not really interested in you.¬† Maybe there’s another man or maybe she just has other things on her mind, but you are not a priority.

 3. She Shows Up Late For Dates

Okay, so you’ve met a young lady you like.¬† You’ve taken her out a few times.¬† And you feel she is just as interested in you as you are in her.¬† You just have one problem – she’s always showing up late for for your dates together.¬† Sometimes she calls when she’s going to be late, sometimes she doesn’t.¬† She only shows consistency in the amount of time¬†it takes her to arrive at your house, get ready when you get to her house or the time it takes her¬†to meet you some place.¬† What should this say to you?¬†¬†That¬†either a) she is so self-centered that she thinks the world revolves around her (in which case you probably wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with¬†her anyway) or (more likely) b) she doesn’t care very much about your feelings.¬† And a¬†woman who can’t even show up to meet you on time is clearly telling you she can’t be dependable in other areas (like¬†being faithful, being¬†loyal,¬†etc.).¬† And do you really want to be a¬†someone like that?

4. She is Vague & Non-Committal About Her Feelings

This is a trait both uncommitted men and women share – when¬†asked¬†how they feel about you (and the relationship), they¬†can never quite answer the question.¬†They are vague (‘I like you’ or¬†‘I think you’re okay‘ and definitely beware of ‘You seem like a really nice guy’) and non-committal (‘Why don’t we just see how things go’ or, my favorite, ‘Let’s just play it by ear’).¬† And this is particularly egregious in the case of women because¬†women love to talk. Especially about our feelings.¬† We talk to our girlfriends, our co-workers, our moms and our sisters all the time about our feelings! About everything from how we feel about the new latte at Starbucks, to how we feel about the war in Iraq to how we feel about the weather.¬† In fact, 90% of our conversations are probably about how we feel?¬† Yet the¬†woman you are dating can’t share her feelings with you?¬† That is totally bogus.¬† Trust me when I tell you – she is not¬†with you¬†for the long haul.¬†¬†

5. She Spends All Her Time at Church

Hey, I can’t fault a sister for wanting to devote her time to the Lord.¬† And church can be supremely busy, between choir rehearsal, usher board meeting, belonging to the new building committee and trying to do Sunday worship, Wednesday Bible Study¬†plus the Friday Night ‘Refresher’.¬† This is a sister to be admired.¬† This is a sister to be respected in her devotion to the things of God.¬† This is not, however, a sister who is ready to be in a committed relationship with you.¬† No harm, no foul – but when she is ready (spiritually and emotionally), she will make time for a special man in her life.¬† Until that time, she is best left alone (or just treated as a good friend).

6. School/Career is Her #1 Priority

There comes a time in every person’s life when you realize it’s time to get yourself together.¬† It’s time to start school or go back.¬† It’s time to switch careers or put some new energy into climbing that corporate ladder at your current job.¬† You realize you need a bigger house.¬† You realize you need to move out of your parent’s home.¬† You realize you want to travel the world (and need some money to do it).¬† You’re tired of traveling through Europe and are ready to grow up.¬† Whatever the case may be, you (finally) decide to focus all your energies and pursue your goals for success.¬† And, usually, that means it becomes the most important thing in your life.¬† Guys – if the¬†woman you are dating are at that point, you simply have to accept that that’s where her head is.¬† She needs to focus her energies to make her first million, write her first book, get her PH.D. or whatever.¬† But she needs you to understand that is where her time, attention and energy will be devoted.¬† And it probably means she is not in a position to give you the attention you deserve in a committed relationship.¬† But it’s okay.¬† Support her, love her, whatever, but know that the relationship with you will probably¬† not progress until she reaches at least some of her goals.¬† Patience (in this case) may be a virtue – waiting her out might just be the ticket for you.¬† But that’s a decision you have to make for yourself.

7. She Has Too Many Ex’es Around

Yes, ladies, I said it.¬† I know you spent all that time explaining to your guy how you and Gary used to date, but now that he’s married with kids, you guys are ‘just friends’.¬† And I know you’ve explained to him that having ex-boyfriends in your life don’t mean anything.¬† That the romance is over and you have now settled into a mature, life-affirming, God-fearing, spirit-led relationships with them.¬† And I know it is something you would like him to believe, but we all really know the truth:¬† many times having ex-boyfriends in our lives just serves as a crutch for our new relationships.¬† A possibility.¬† A back-up in times of trouble.¬† It ain’t pretty and it ain’t cute, but many times it’s true.¬† Not all the time, but many times.¬† But, any time a woman has a lot of men in her life (particularly ex-boyfriends) it is not a sign that says she is really ready to begin a new phase in her life with a brand new man.¬† What it is probably saying is that she is content right where she is –¬†in her comfort zone.¬† And whether the relationship with you works out or not, she will be just fine.¬† After all, when you don’t act right, she can just call Robert, John or Peter anyway.¬† They understand her just fine.¬† And they are more than willing to give her a shoulder to cry on – or whatever else she might require.¬† I’m just telling the truth….

8. She Constantly Talks About Her Past Relationships

Can you say ‘it’s over’?¬† Well, apparently she can’t.¬† She talks so often about how Mark mistreated her by cheating on her with other women, you are starting to feel like it was you who had been betrayed.¬† And if she’s not talking about just one guy, she talks randomly about multiple men she has dated.¬† You are starting to feel like you are just one more person in a whole long line of failed relationships.¬† And you know what?¬† You probably are.¬† If you are dating a woman who cannot seem to realize that she has met a brand new guy who deserves a brand new chance, she is not even remotely ready to be in a serious relationship with you.¬† Make your exit quickly – at least so that when she does talk about you, she won’t have so much to go on and on about to her new guy.

9.She Constantly Puts Men Down

Even worse than a woman who constantly talks about her past relationships (and how they did her wrong) is one who thinks all men are bad Рperiod.  They are all dogs, they are all unfaithful, they are all liars, they are all abusive, they are all Рyou fill in the blanks.  Nothing you say can change her mind and no good deed on your part will ever be enough.  This woman is far, far gone and only an act of God can bring her back.  Be nice, be sweet, and be on your way.

10. She Is Only Interested in What You Can Give Her

You ever notice that you can only see your girl over a fancy dinner?¬† Or how she calls you right around the time a new movie comes out or a good tour is in your city?¬† Here’s the truth – she’s using you.¬† She sees you as a source of food, movie or concert tickets.¬† Or, even worse, as a rent check, a down payment for a car or a good-looking man to be on her arm.¬† She is very interested in what you have.¬† She is not interested, however, in you.¬†It’s a cold thing to realize, but you’re better off in the long run if you admit it to yourself now:¬† your girlfriend is a gold-digger.¬† See – there you’ve said it.¬† You are free to go or free to stay, but at least you know the truth.¬† I hope you decide to go…

So those are the top 10 signs that a woman is not ready to commit to you.¬† Feel free to comment and let me know about any other signs I might have missed.¬† And, ladies – if you see yourself on this list, it’s never too late to change your ways!¬† It’s okay to play games – sometimes – but not with another person’s heart.¬† As the Bible says – treat other people the way you would like to be treated.¬† And that should always be your guide.

Do Open Relationships Work?

I was inspired to write this post after reading Actress/Comedian Mo’Nique’s remarks about her marriage in Essence Magazine.¬† (A link to an excerpt of this article can be found here.)¬† In this article, Mo’Nique says:

I married my best friend. Sid and I don’t put a label on what works for us because it’s ours. But some people might say that we have an open relationship. Some people consider sex outside of marriage to be cheating, but I think you’re cheating when you lie and keep secrets. We’re honest with each other.

Now I’m not trying to judge Mo’Nique or anyone else, but I have to admit her words took me by surprise.¬† Why?¬† Because I don’t understand why a person would enter a traditional institution (marriage) just to have a totally¬†unconventional outlook (an open relationship).¬†

Which makes me wonder how people define ‘marriage’ nowadays.¬† A marriage (for believers) is a covenant between two people that is ordained by God.¬† Where two people become one.¬† Where a husband is admonished to love his wife like Christ loved the church and the wife is advised to submit and obey.¬† And, where adultery is forbidden.

Now I know we live in 2006 (and not 1006) and that people cheat all the time.¬† And, yes, I understand that people often have sex before marriage, get divorced and re-marry and¬†that we have many forms of non-traditional ‘unions’ and blended families.¬† I understand that we live in a modern world.

But does that mean we can marry someone, have an open relationship and expect that relationship to work?¬† I don’t believe such a relationship lends itself to success.¬† A relationship should be built on openness, honesty and commitment.¬† How committed can you be when your partner is entering into that same type of relationship with other people?¬† Would that increase your faith in him or her or decrease it?

You know what I really think about people who are in ‘open’ relationships?¬† That it’s just easier to have an ‘open door’ policy because you just assume (nowadays) that your spouse will cheat.¬† Better instead to just allow him or her that freedom than to set yourself up for the inevitable pain of unfaithfulness.¬† Or, conversely, that it’s easier to excuse your own unfaithfulness if you go into the relationship with the understanding that you are still ‘free’ to pursue other interests.

What it seems to come down to for people in these types of relationships is an unwillingness to try and make it work in a one-on-one, monogamous relationship.  And again, if you feel that way Рwhy get married at all? 

I hear a lot of celebrities (and non-celebrities) say that traditional marriage doesn’t work.¬† That men are by nature unfaithful and everyone has a natural curiousity about having other sexual partners.¬† And that no one can reasonably expect to be with the same person for 20, 30 or 40 years.¬† We’re living longer, I hear them all say – we should have more partners and more options during those longer lifespans.¬†

We are unwilling to accept that such an old-fashioned institution such as marriage can stand up to the pressures of a modern society.  So why even try?

I don’t know about you, but I still think the institution of marriage still has merit. God intended that a couple should marry, raise children in a Godly way, and that families become the building blocks for a healthy, God-fearing society.¬† That marriage imitate the relationship Christ has with the church – one of eternal love, sacrifice and sanctification.

I don’t think having an open relationship can even begin to capture God’s idea of marriage.¬† What do you think?