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Courtship

I HAD AN ABORTION, I DON’T FEEL FORGIVEN

I-HAD-AN-ABORTION,-I-DON’T-FEEL-FORGIVEN

“I had a rough past, really very rough that I am not proud to talk about. Then, I got pregnant for someone I thought was in love with me as much I as I was with him. He didn’t deny the pregnancy but he didn’t want a baby. He didn’t want anything to do with me. I was just a sex toy to him just as I was with the other men. I wanted to keep the baby but my best friend talked me into aborting it so I would have nothing to remind me of my dirty past. 10 weeks later I did it and moved out of that area to start a new life. I became born again got busy with church activities, made new friends and generally tried to move on but I can’t stop thinking about that baby and how wicked I was. It would have probably been a boy and 2years old if I had kept the pregnancy. I pray every day for forgiveness and cry sometimes wishing I could turn back the hand of time. I once spoke to a pastor who assured me that I have been forgiven and I should push it behind but I wish it’s that easy. I just don’t feel forgiven, I am not even sure God will really forgive and love someone like me.”

 

Dealing with any type of guilt is never easy especially when we could have decided and done otherwise as in this case. One is left with the hurting vivid memories and wishing time could be reversed to make things right instead of focusing on the new opportunities ahead of us. Guilt robs of joy and deprives us of living a purposeful life. It prevents our moving from where we are to the place we should be, its burden weighs on our shoulders to slow us down in everyway. Guilt just makes us ugly! Some people gradually enter into depression from guilt, some even end their life or the life of the person they feel is directly responsible for their guilt. However, it is a choice to remain in guilt once we have repented and ask God for forgiveness.

Christ arrivesright on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Rom 5:6-8 (Msg)

 

God is Merciful

Whatever offence one has committed against God, it is pardonable even when humanity finds you guilty but God requires that we can ask Him for mercy. The above scripture shows that even when we didn’t know or acknowledge Christ existence, He already went to the cross for us. God knew that there would be a time when you would need His mercy, and He allowed Jesus to be crucified before-hand for your sake. This does not mean we should consciously commit sin or live in sin, “Shall we continue to sin that the grace of God may abound? God forbid!”

Learning from Life Experiences

As heartbreaking as your experience with all the men in your past would have been, there is no denying the fact that you have learnt valuable lessons both for yourself and others you will share with. By now you know that sex does not equate love and being pregnant for someone will not make him marry you. A pregnancy no matter how young it is, is human and when next you want to be pregnant you are going to make well-thought out plans if your partner if worth you and the baby or not. Never let your hurt blind you from the lessons in the pain.

Ask And RECEIVE Forgiveness

Forgiveness is made available for us once we ask but the problem is often not whether God has forgiven us but whether we have accepted that forgiveness. You will not feel forgiven if after asking Him for forgiveness you are still holding yourself in guilt. When we ask Him to forgive us He does INSTANTLY because He doesn’t see a guilty person, He sees the Cross, He sees Jesus who took our place and in His loving eyes we are sinless. Praying every day for something you did wrong two years ago doesn’t make you more forgiven than when you first said the forgiveness prayer. It is not like God forgives you gradually every time you prayed. He did it that first time you asked Him! If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Don’t Dwell On The Past

Let’s put it this way; He already made forgiveness available to you even before you aborted the pregnancy, it just only needed to be ‘activated’ by your asking. Much more than that, your RECEIVING it. Some people do not feel forgiven after they have prayed mostly because they find it difficult to forgive themselves. When you don’t forgive yourself, you keep playing the event in your head and making it fresh like it just happened. It is past and you need to treat it like PAST. “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.” Isaiah 43:18

Feelings Can Be Deceptive

The feeling of guilt is a lie of the flesh (your old life) to keep you bound in the shackles of the past. It is a lie to deprive you from enjoyingyour new freedom after being forgiven and you should not entertain such deception. Feelings are fickle, they are never real and you should never believe your feelings more than what God says in His word about you. If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.1John 3:20

Confess What The Word Says About You

Arm yourself with what the word of God says about you and make it a habit to confessing them. The more you fill your heart with the word of God the less lies you are going to believe about yourself. Fill your heart to the extent when the devil suggest a lie to you, you counter it with a corresponding truth from His word. His word says, “You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus…”, “You have been redeemed…”, “You have been saved through faith…”, “You have the life of God…!” The bible describes who you are, don’t listen to the voice of your past. If you need a reminder, write these in little pieces of paper in your purse or pockets and take them with you until you can memorize them by heart.

Don’t Live In Denial

Living in denial is the worst that can ever happen to you. It never gets the problems solved, instead makes it worse. Some Christians believe that you can actually ‘faith’ and ‘confess’ some things away, making it seem like it never happened. I am a woman of faith and I believe strongly in the power of confession but that does not mean that when something has happened I will not acknowledge that it did happened. I will, but I will choose not to remain a victim of my circumstance and that is what I am charging you to do today. You can say to yourself, “Yes it happened but I am no longer who I use to be because I am born-again. I have a new life in Christ, I am a new creation…” and that is what happened! Your old you has been exchanged. “…Old things are passed away and all things have become new”. 2 cor 5:17

He Loves You!

You have no idea of how much God loves you! I mean it is for your sake that Jesus hung on the cross! He loves you more now that you are born again and have decided to live for Him. He doesn’t judge you with your past He in fact doesn’t see you being associated with the past so stop dragging the past withy you each time you come to Him.No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, ( NOR ABORTION) will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Roman 8:37-39

God cares a lot about you, much more than you can ever imagine and He does not intend that we remain in hurt when we can receive His love and forgiveness. If you will like to be counsel privately or you want someone to stand with you in prayer send a private mail to me, emikeoyemade@gmail.com.

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How To Recognise And love A Sexually Abused Child

How-To-Recognise-And-love-A-Sexually-Abused-Child

While they are no sure ways to TOTALLY protect your child or ward from the chances of being sexually abused or even raped, however there is ALOT you can do to reduce those chances. Many victims didn’t ‘expected’ it when it happened, even when they ‘know’, as children there is not much they can do especially if the abuser is someone very familiar to them and someone they trust and look up to. When an adult (parent or guardian) is not watching out for the child, the abuser gets away. The child grows to become a hurting and bitter adult.

Not all children/teenagers will exihibit same signs and some will never admit been abused especially when they have been sexually active for a long time and if the abuser has threatened to hurt them if they speak. Of if the abuser gives the child money or gifts. Some of these signs includes;

  1. Shyness/timidness. Although not all shy/timid child indicate being sexually abused.
  2. A disposition of “I am a bad girl/boy” or “I am not good enough”. He/she sees him/herself as not just violated but‘filth’ compared to other kids that may have not had same experience.
  3. Self-consciousness especially when with the opposite sex. The memory is almost constantly present once alone with the opposite sex.
  4. Some suddenly become ‘big boy’ or ‘big girl’; displaying sudden maturity.
  5. Withdrawal sometimes resulting from a drop in academic performance and the fear of someone knowing what is going on.
  6. They fantasize and day dream alot especially of the experience. Often looking lost.
  7. Girls become terrified by the presense of a male (especially an older one). Some can even hate their brothers or men in general.
  8. Afraid to go home or hates going home, or hates family members especially if the child lives with the abuser. Or if the abuser is a neighbour or lives in the neighbourhood.
  9. Some teens become unruly and display disregard for their parents especially if the child feels the parents is anyway responsible for the abuse.

 

What Counselors and Parents need to know and do

  1. Overcome YOUR OWN fears of talking to your child/children/ward about sex. Teaching your child about sex is a responsibility of BOTH mummy and daddy or the adult in whose custody the child is in.
  2. Teach and practise godly principles; don’t just talk about it. Remind the child what it means to live ‘pleasing to God’ and why we should ‘present our bodies as holy and living sacrifice unto God’.
  3. Do not beat, threaten or punish the child even if you believe the child ‘enjoys’ it. They are already in a truama don’t make it worse.
  4. If a child makes a complain take it seriously, investigate without inflicting blames on him/her and give him/her a reassurance that you are doing something about it. Then TRY TO REALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. If she tells you and you do nothing, she may hate you more than the abuser.
  5. Watch out for their safety. Once they have opened up to you, they look up to you for ‘protection’. They have become your responsibility. Don’t bruise the child’s confidence in you.
  6. Talk to them like you do really UNDERSTAND what they are going through or what they went through and encourage them to talk. If they can talk about it, the easier it becomes for you to deal with and easier too for them to get it over with.
  7. Teach them boundaries. Emphasize the NO-GO-AREAS and teach them how to say “NO!”.
  8. If a girl is not comfortable being in a group task with boys, do not force her and vice versa.
  9. As much as possible provide for your child and teach them CONTENTMENT and discipline. If the child can be tricked with food or money, he/she will be lured with such.
  10. Cultivate open and direct talks about sex with your child/children/ward.
  11. If a child is not willing to talk, do not force it. Give the child some time. Or attend to it some other time. Be very observant.
  12. Be accommodating and interested when they ask questions about sex. Never assume they are ignorant or not old enough.
  13. For younger kids, keep emphasizing that certain areas (mention them) of the body are PRIVATE and should be treated as such.
  14. Give body parts names they can comfortably and openly mention when talking to you
  15. Follow up. When counseling a child, endeavour to check how he/she is doing. Most children fall victim a second time when no adult is watching out for them.
  16. Sex talks with wards/children should be as regular as possible until the child trust you enough to tell you anything happening intimately that may need your attention
  17. Pray continually for every child in your custody. If/when possible mention names.

 

Loving A Sexually Abused Child

Being sexually abused can be a very traumatic experience for an adult let alone a child/teenager and a victim needs as much love as possible to get over the  experience. When unattended to some teens become depressed, run away from home, become unruly and even contemplate suicide.

  1. Understand and accept that it is not their fault.
  2. Do not treat them differently from the rest of the children. They have not suddenly become aliens.
  3. It is not advisable to tell the rest of the siblings what happened, except in situation where siblings are old enough, can handle the situation and empathise with the child. Keep the ‘secret’ between you and the child to yourself.
  4. Speak loving words and encouragement as often as possible to regain the child’s self esteem.
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HOW TO END AN UNHEALTHY FLIRTING RELATIONSHIP

HOW-TO-END-AN-UNHEALTHY-FLIRTING-RELATIONSHIP

“I have been flirting with this lady in my office. She’s married and I am not. I observed that she is enjoying the attention she gets from me and I just enjoy how she response when I flirt with her. I am engaged to someone so it’s not like I want to have anything serious to do with her. I think I’m already attached because I am finding it difficult to stop flirting with her.”

There’s everything ‘harmful’ about flirting and you should avoid it. Well, except you are flirting with your spouse which is highly encouraged. If you are already attached to the person you flirt with other than your spouse, it is going to break your heart to break up, it will hurt you till you cry. If you value happiness, peace of mind and what you share with your partner then you will do it. This is not an overnight experience that you will feel everything will be normal and you will be instantly healed.  No way! It will take a lot of painful mind-fights and strong will. It is going to be a process just as it took to create. You are going to allow some time and space for healing and to realize the lessons in the relationship. Yes lessons! At least you have learnt that a temporary feeling is not worth putting your emotion and marriage under stress.

  1. Back off!

Just stop seeing the person! First take the decision and convince yourself that you can do it. Do all you can to stay away. Cry if you want but stay away.

  1. Bring back the Boundaries.

Before you got to being entangled, before the flirting, there were limits to the friendship you had with this person. Go back and reintroduce them. Cut the excess familiarity.

  1. Clarity of communication.

If you work in the same environment for instance, it means you will still have to come in contact and cannot totally avoid him or her but you should be able to talk and discuss in plain terms. Not using the same coded and intimate languages you were used to in the entangled relationship.

  1. Honest self-evaluation.

Know yourself and be honest! Are you the one who is seeking and being pushy about being loved and getting attention? Then get counsel before the other partner takes advantage of this need and turns you into a sexual partner.

  1. Guard your heart.

Don’t make your best friend someone you already have attractions for. Do not confide and share secrets or discuss personal issues with someone you already feel something for. It will encourage entanglement faster

  1. Know when to say good bye

This is the hardest for some people; they want to leave but do not want to close the door! Just in case they change their mind and come back. When you suspect that your feelings are leading you astray, say that goodbye and walk away.

  1. Know when to stop the conversation or be in control.

You do not have to answer the phone call if you cannot handle it. Ignore it. If you let the other partner be in control of the conversation when they are not ready to disentangle, they are likely going to talk you more into the relationship. So if you are not in control of the discussion don’t get involved.

  1. Get a positive distraction.

The truth is when in the process of disentangling, you are likely going to have your thoughts filled with this person than when you were in the relationship, this thoughts will make you feel you miss them and wish you can still continue. Instead of wallowing in this fantasy get involved in something that would get your mind off the thought. Get involved in what you love doing most, maybe your hobby.

  1. Move if you have to.

Don’t fight it. If you cannot seem to get over that neighbour, colleague or anyone you are involved with, change location if you have to. Don’t pretend about it or try to manage it especially when the other person is not giving up on you or respecting your decision to disentangle.

  1. Avoid being alone with the partner.

Attractions race faster when in private and the longing to kiss and touch sensitive parts of the body is at the tip of the finger when alone.

  1. Do not trust your emotions.

Sometimes when we think we are done with the person and the feeling we have for them, our emotions can betray us when we come in contact with that person. Do not let your emotions play a trick on you. Those emotions are really stronger than you think. Be wise enough not to throw a beautiful marital relationship away for something that is not worth it.

  1. Don’t keep talking about it once you have made the decision.

Do everything to stick to it. You have made the decision, so move on. Do not revisit it. A come back would be a quick ticket to marital infidelity.

  1. Do not apologize or give unnecessary explanations for deciding to break up.

It is your life, your emotions and you have to guard your heart with all the care you have. Apologies and explanations will make you seem like you are not sure of the decision you took and your partner would see it as your way of coming back.

  1. Call a trusted friend. Talk to someone.

Sometimes, disentangling can be a very TOUGH road and you do not want to walk it alone. After you have tried all you could and seem not to be able to get the person out of your life, talking to a trusted friend can not only be soothing but helpful. A friend may not be able to solve the problem immediately but will ease the burden off your heart.

  1. Cry, mourn if you need to but just remember to move on with your life!

Ok you felt in love but it was not right. The times you spent together were memorable but you had to stop. Good. Now face reality and get on with your life.

 

If you will need counseling on how to handle a break, or someone to walk the journey with you or just to stand in prayer for you, email me now emikeoyemade@gmail.com

Shalom!

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HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO END THE RELATIONSHIP

HOW-TO-KNOW-WHEN-TO-END-THE-RELATIONSHIP

Two years ago I had the opportunity of counseling a young couple who were having issues and considering separation; issues that were overlooked during dating and courtship. Some people believe that marriage will help they fix the issues they couldn’t handle during courtship, if this has worked for anyone I can guarantee you that it would be around 1% or less of married people. Never sweep issues under the carpet, deal with them as they come before they spoil the relationship. Before you get to where you will be talking about divorce and separation, read the following indicators to know when to end a relationship

  1. When Trust Is Absent

Trust is a major ingredient in any relationship. You cannot really love as expected in a romantic relationship if you do not trust your partner. If you believe he or she can lie to you in anyway, you may find it difficult to believe when he or she tells you “I love you.”Even when you remain in a relationship believing that you love the person irrespective of your inability to trust, it is only a matter of time, you will wish you had dealt with the trust issues from the onset. Sometimes, a partner’s inability to trust may be as a result of his or her own experience in past relationships. If your partner cannot trust you, he or she cannot love you.

  1. When Your Partner Cheats

There’s nothing as heart breaking as a partner who cannot be faithful to the one they claim to love. It’s a different thing if you find out that your partner is flirting on social media and you decide to forgive instead of quitting. But you should really consider quitting if your partner is having other relationships and you are just a number. Like I always say everyone deserves to be someone’s treasure and not just treated like you have no value.

  1. When You Feel Caged With The Relationship

Caged relationship is one in which you feel trapped. It deprived you of being who you really should and want to be. You are someone else because you are doing everything to please your partner and to save the relationship. You can never be happy being in a relationship in which you are not free to be you. The fun of a healthy relationship is that it brings out the best in you while appreciating your uniqueness. If you are often afraid of offending your partner because you are afraid of their reaction then you are in a wrong relationship. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18. In a caged relationship you cannot be free to make or keep your own friends except those which your partner approves of. You can’t take or act on any decision on your own. It is ok to have same friends as couple but there would have been some valuable friends in your life long before that relationship came into existence. Your relationship should not deprive you of your good old friends, you will still need them.

  1. When The Relationship Is All About Sex

Sex is a beautiful expression of love and intimacy created by God to be enjoyed in MARRIAGE, it should not be an issue when you are not married. However, if you find yourself in a relationship where your partner is all about sex, then it is time to quit. The truth is, even in marriage you will discover that sex is not an everyday affair. It is a beautiful gift reserved for marriage; it is not a sign that your partner loves you and not a guarantee to seal the relationship

  1. When You Are The Money Making Machine

It’s called a relationship because two people who are expected to make fair contributions and sacrifices on every aspect involved. Even when you are in a relationship with someone who has no job does not mean that you and your money should be taken advantage of. If you are in a relationship where your partner is in control of YOUR money and your bank details then you need to consider if you are doing what is right for you and your future. A relationship is a lot more fun when two of you can pull finances together to meet the needs and projects of the relationship.

  1. Your Partner Calls You Name

Name-calling is a serious verbal abuse, don’t take it lightly. How do you love someone you calls you, “idiot”, “fool”, “bitch”, “Ugly”…the list is endless. It is bullying and it makes you appear less of who are. When you accept whatever names your partner calls you, that is what you become to him or her. It is a different case if it is done out of anger and APOLOGY AND GENUINE REPENTANCE FOLLOWS IMMEDIATELY. When you remain in a name calling relationship, it’s just a matter of time and you will do same because you will no longer see anything wrong in name calling. This also opens the door for physical abuse.

  1. When You Feel You Are Not Loved Or Respected

Being treated by your partner like the most important person on earth is the best feeling you should get in your relationship. That is what romantic love is mostly about; that you are important, that you are always thought of and considered first, that you are treasured, that you and your uniqueness is respected and appreciated. If this is lacking, don’t even give it a second thought before you take the exit door. You deserve better. The lack of this will mean you being taken for granted and your partner may believe he or she is doing you a favor for remaining in a relationship with you.

  1. When You Are Not Sure If You Are “In Love”

The feeling of being in love cannot all be explained in words alone. Being “in love” is an experience. This is what makes you want to give the relationship your best to make it work. Every day you are energized with new ideas on how to express love to your partner and ideas to spice and strengthen the relationship. Once you lack the enthusiasm to do this because you have doubts about the person or the relationship itself then do not waste time in considering quitting. Are you in the relationship because you are lonely or because you feel age is no longer on your side? Life is too short to be in a relationship with someone who makes your life miserable, there’s never a good enough reason to be in a bad relationship.

  1. When You Are Physically Abused

Although there are other many abuses someone could experience in a relationship but physical abuse is the most dangerous. Many people have been maim or died from physical abuse. If you have a partner who when he or she is angry hits or slaps you, pushes you to the wall or make a punching fist at you or any other physical abuse signs, then you are in a dangerous relationship with potentials that can become worse as you get committed. In my years of counseling, I never encourage anyone to remain in an abusive relationship even when the abuser is claiming to repent. It is better if the abuser makes this change when not with you, because it takes a while for an abuser to fully overcome. While they are overcoming, you don’t have to ‘help’ them. It’s their battle and you need to let them fight it or else they will give the excuse that you are the cause of it.

  1. When Your list of dislikes for your partner is endless

God made everyone with uniqueness that should be appreciated by whoever we decide to be in a romantic relationship with. You can’t change anyone from who they are to suit what you want them to be. The same way you do not expect your partner to change you just to suit them. Changing a person is God’s business not yours. However, God can use you to encourage or initiate that change but it is not your primary responsibility. You shouldn’t be in a relationship where you want to change everything about your partner or your partner wants to change you. That is clear enough evidence that you are holding on to the wrong one. Quit.

  1. When Your Partner Is Manipulative. 

Manipulation is terrible, it is evil. It never has good intentions for its victim. Being with a partner who always wants things to be done their way regardless of what you feel is bad. There’s no superior or senior in a relationship. You should not be forced or cajoled to do what you don’t want to do just to satisfy the manipulator. Some partner once they are wrong they have a way of twisting to make it seem like it’s not their fault or make it seem like you made them do it. You can never be happy with someone who controls your life just to make them happy. Your happiness deserves expression too. Go for it.

  1. When You Have Been Dating For A Long Time With No Sign Of Commitment

Dating for a long time with no commitment is like fetching water into a basket. There’s no possibility that it would eventually led into a promising long term relationship. Why court for four or five years with no intention of getting married. If you are not ready, then don’t make the commitment. The length is of you friendship or courtship is no guarantee for a successful marriage

  1. When You Are Secretly Wishing You Were With Someone Else

No matter how beautiful a relationship is there would be a few times when you would be upset about something your partner did or didn’t do, you forgive and move on. That offense doesn’t want to make you throw away the relationship. There may even be instances of major misunderstanding but you are willing to make up and move on. This is not the same that your instinct nudges you that you may be happier with someone else because you are not getting desired fulfilment from your current relationship.

  1. When Arguments And Misunderstanding Cannot Be Amicably Settled

When there are incessant arguments with no one willing to come to a compromise is a bad sign. Each of you will at some time make sacrifices for the relationship to work, it can’t be just you or your partner. You can never avoid arguing with your partner on certain issues. Sometimes, ‘healthy argument’ maybe the only way to pass across your point. Each misunderstand must strengthen your relationship and not hurt you or make you feel responsible for it. If you cannot amicably come to a reasonable conclusion after an argument, then you would never have a partner whose views you truly understand. Arguments without settlement breed malice.

  1. When Your Partner Has No Relationship With God 

You cannot have a beautiful long term relationship with someone who does not know God or have no relationship with God. Except if you too do not also know God but the truth is you can never give or receive true love outside of God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8. Be sure your partner is has a relationship with God before you make a commitment.

Shalom!

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How Long Should One Wait To Court Again After A Breakup?

How-Long-Should–One-Wait-To-Court-Again-After-A-Breakup

It’s being three years since he called off the wedding without a reason and I am still finding it hard to say ‘yes’ to another man. There have been many dates and suitors but it’s tough believing that after eight years of beautiful friendship and proposing to marry me, he called it off just three months before the wedding. It’s still a big hole in my heart I don’t know how to move on.

We all sometimes get disappointed in life and these experiences leave us stronger and better if we don’t crumble in the process. Although, we never see the ‘benefits’ of disappointments while it’s happening in the end something good comes out of it. If you choose to remain a failure you may never know that good can come out of bad. So it’s a choice to remain disappointed. Someone says, not to trust people too much so they will not disappoint you; but can you really help not being disappointed?

Being engaged to someone is a big issue, for some, it’s more or less being married. Partners have agreed to get married and there is a wedding time in view. It is a serious affair, commitment is finalized and partners are just looking forward to the ceremonies legalizing and confirming the agreement. Although engagement is not marriage, it is the last step into marriage. When the partners love each other enough and are ready for the life time commitment they get engaged. This engagement time allows for the partners to officially tell family and friends their intentions and make necessary plans towards a ceremony. Adrenaline is high; dreams are coming to reality.

As beautiful as getting married can be, not all engagements end in marriage. Whatever may be responsible for the break up, partners are left heartbroken and in some cases find it tough to move on. Some people get more cautious getting into another relationship let alone getting engaged again.

How long really should one wait to get serious about a relationship after a broken engagement? As much as I am tempted to say, “That’s up to you”, here are some questions I would like you to ask yourself. First remember “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and to them that are called according to His purpose.” Roman 8:28

  1. HAVE YOU RE-INVENTED YOURSELF?Disappointments and hurts can reduce you into someone you are not. Some people become vengeful and hating; some take out their hurts on others, some conclude love is not worth it and every kind of hating attitude. It’s ok to be hurt but you need to get past it. Use the opportunity instead to rediscover your hidden talents and ability and focus on them. You can use those as stepping stones to move on.
  2. HAVE YOU PUT THE PAST BEHIND AND MOVED ON? This is not as easy as it is often said but it is something that must be done. You can’t keep looking at the past and expect to have a bright future. Stop reliving the moments you spent together no matter how precious you think they might have been. As long as you hold on to that ‘illusion’ you will never see when the real thing comes your way.
  3. ARE YOU IN A RUSH?There’s always the urge to quickly get into another relationship as an escape route to ‘ameliorate’ the hurts from the previous relationship. If you do this, you might end up hurting yourself even more. There is really no need to rush even if you think you are getting old. Give yourself some time to get over the previous experience.
  4. DO YOU TALK ILL OF MY EX? Talking ill is an indication that you have not forgiven your ex and you have also not moved on. It is a way of expressing your hurt and trying to get back; make your listeners sympathize with you while hating the other. You don’t need this. Let it go.
  5. DO YOU TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS MORE THAN MY FEELINGS?No one can be as truthful to you as your instinct. It is that small voice within you that tells you the right thing to do. When that voice says, “Hold on.” Trust it and hold on. Feelings are fickle and deceptive and can lead you astray.
  6. HAVE YOU SHUT THE DOOR?One or two bad experiences can make us want to shut the door of our heart and vow never to love or be serious with any relationship. Do you know how many times we hurt the Lord in our course of trying to please Him? Yet he forgives us and loves us again. Leave it open someone who deserves you may just be right at the corner.
  7. ARE YOU READY? When you are ready you know. I am not talking about just having that desire to start a family, but when your heart is healed and open again to start thinking about marriage you will know even without involving a counselor.
  8. DO YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO A COUNSELOR?Some people need to talk to a professional before they can get on the track again. Others, just talking to a friend or family member is enough. If you need to seek advice, please do and pour out your heart once and for all instead of bottling it up. You can inbox me if you need to vent, talk or just need someone to stand in prayers with you.
  9. ARE YOU STAYING CONNECTED TO THE DIVINE:God is not taken by surprise, your case is not different and He never neglects us when we need Him. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jer. 29:11. He does not only mend a broken heart, He can give you a better replacement for the former.

Shalom!

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I WANT A SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP

I-WANT-A-SERIOUS-RELATIONSHIP

I am 35 and I have never had a serious relationship. I cannot really say if I have even had a REAL boyfriend or what I would consider a serious relationship. It seems the guys I like and would love to date are not interested in me; none has dared to be intimate with me as I want. I had sex last when I was a teen. I miss and still crave the experience but I am afraid I do not want to give sex to just anyone but my husband. I am not that pretty neither do I have that kind of great shape that would make heads turn, but I do not believe I am ugly either. I am just okay for a lady but I do not know why none is yet to be serious with me. I feel am getting old and time is running out on me.

 

Looking For Love In The Wrong Places?

I am not sure you are as worse as you make yourself seem. You mention some very important things that suggest you may be looking for love in the wrong places and with the wrong ideas in mind. The first thing you said is: the guys I like and would love to date are not interested in me. That means there are guys that are interested in dating you but you are not interested in them!

 

Are You Desperate?

Then you talked about sex and how much you miss the experience and crave for it. I hope this does not mean that the next man that comes your way just asking you for a lunch date you are going to sleep with him assuming that he is theright person, your potential husband.

 

You added I am not that pretty neither do I have that kind of great shape that would make heads turn, but I do not believe I am ugly either  and ended with a desperate comment!

 

What Do You Want In A Man?

You need to examine what you are really interested in and what you are expecting. Know what you want in a man and what you are expecting from your man. There are many seemingly not-too-pretty women who are never without a man, the same way there are many very pretty women who have never been in a serious relationship.

The women without partner stay in their zone and wait patiently for the right one to come. That does not mean there are men who are too good for them; it means they do not force a compatibility that is not there.

Are Your Standards Unrealistic?

What are your criteria for your desired man? Are you looking for something that is just on the surface, tall, dark and handsome? Straight nose, broad chest, sparkling teeth?Must be working in a multi-national? Are you moving too fast? Are you expecting too much? Are you dismissing men who may be potential serious relationship because you are too focused on what has proven not to work or did not work in the past? If you want a different result, you have to do something differently. If the criteria you are using is not working, you need to rework your plan.

Every Woman Is Pretty In Her Own Way

You must have noticed or even know some women who you do not think measure up to you are either in serious relationships, engaged or even happily married with children.

A pretty woman like a model for instance, may be every man’s dream, but they also have their own share of heartaches. Not every pretty woman is in a relationship and not all of them who are in a relationship are having fun. Many movie stars and celebrities get divorced and dumped, worse of all in public! Don’t compare yourself to them. Your look does not guarantee your happiness and no man takes your heart with him when he walks out the door. Well, except you let him.

A Man Wants More Than Just Looks

Are men driven by looks? Can a man want to date you because of your looks? Yes. To their credit, but when they want something deeper, like a long term relationship with you they look beyond looks. Why are you assuming it is your looks anyway? What if it’s something different, something that has to do with your attitude, your approach to people, the way you talk or even your relationship with God? Every man wants a God fearing wife even when he does not know God. Do you have a walk with God; are you nurturing your relationship with Him? I will not encourage you to focus on being in a serious relationship with any man when you are not in one with God.

Don’t Become Desperate

If you hear your clock ticking, reminding you of how old you are and how time is running out on you, how you ‘urgently’ want a serious relationship chances are they (men) hear it too and to someone else whether it is a man or a lady, it sounds like desperation. That is a HUGE turn off unless you find someone who is as desperate as you and that is not good basis for a relationship. Men don’t like to be rushed into a committed relationship.

Take Some Time To Calm Down

You need to take a step backward and re-access. Look at what you want in a realistic way. Love is not something you rush into. Even if you have an instant reaction to someone, you need to make realistic decisions about how you will act. Enjoy the moment instead of projecting your future on the men you meet. Start by simply meeting with people. Get comfortable with that and you will start noticing realistically what men you attract and who you are attracted to. Then, you can start building towards friendship. Once you are comfortable there, you can start looking at long term relationships. It could take weeks, months or even years, but until you get there, you will be learning more about yourself, what you like or dislike in preparation for Mr. Right.

If you would like to counsel, or want someone to stay with you in prayer send email.

Shalom!

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15 signs that you may need to quit your relationship

15-signs-that-you-may-need-to-quit-your-relationship
  1. Lack Of Trust For Each Other

Trust is a major ingredient in any relationship. You cannot really love as expected in a romantic relationship if you do not trust your partner. If you believe they can lie to you in anyway, you may find it difficult to believe when he or she tells you “I love you.” Even when you remain in a relationship believing that you love the person irrespective of your inability to trust, it is only a matter of time, you will wish you had dealt with the trust issues from the onset. Sometimes, a partner’s inability to trust may be as a result of his or her own experience in past relationships. If your partner cannot trust you, he or she cannot love you.

  1. Your Partner Is A Serial Cheat

There’s nothing as heart breaking as a partner who cannot be faithful to the one they claim to love. It’s a different thing if you find out that your partner is flirting on social media and you decide to forgive instead of quitting. But you should really consider quitting if your partner is having other relationships and you are just a number. Like I always say everyone deserves to be someone’s treasure and not just treated like you have no value.

  1. You Feel Caged With The Relationship

Caged relationship is one in which you feel trapped. It deprived you of being who you really should and want to be. You are someone else because you are doing everything to please or partner and to save the relationship. You can never be happy being in a relationship in which you are not free to be you. The fun of a healthy relationship is that it brings out the best in you while appreciating your uniqueness. If you are often afraid of offending your partner because you are afraid of their reaction then you are in a wrong relationship. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18. In a caged relationship you cannot be free to make or keep your own friends except those which your partner approves of. You can’t take or act on any decision on your own. It is ok to have same friends as couple but there would have been some valuable friends in your life long before that relationship came into existence. Your relationship should not deprive you of your good old friends, you will still need them.

  1. The Relationship Is All About Sex

Sex is a beautiful expression of love and intimacy created by God to be enjoyed in MARRIAGE, it should not be an issue when you are not married. However, if you find yourself in a relationship where your partner is all about sex, then it is time to quit. The truth is, even in marriage you will discover that sex is not an everyday affair. It is a beautiful gift reserved for marriage; it is not a sign that your partner loves you and not a guarantee to seal the relationship

  1. You Are The Money Making Machine

It’s called a relationship because two people who are expected to make fair contributions and sacrifices on every aspect are involved. Even when you are in a relationship with someone who has no job does not mean that you and your money should be taken advantage of. If you are in a relationship where your partner is in control of YOUR money and your bank details then you need to consider if you are doing what is right for you and your future. A relationship is a lot more fun when two of you can pull finances together to meet the needs and projects of the relationship.

  1. Your Partner Calls You Name

Name-calling is a serious verbal abuse, don’t take it lightly. How do you love someone you calls you, “idiot”, “fool”, “bitch”, “Ugly”…the list is endless. It is bullying and it makes you appear less of who are. When you accept whatever names your partner calls you, that is what you become to him or her. It is a different case if it is done out of anger and APOLOGY AND GENUINE REPENTANCE FOLLOWS IMMEDIATELY. When you remain in a name calling relationship, it’s just a matter of time and you will do same because you will no longer see anything wrong in name calling. This also opens the door for physical abuse.

  1. You Feel You Are Not Loved Or Respected As Expected

Being treated by your partner like the most important person on earth is the best feeling you should get in your relationship. That is what romantic love is mostly about; that you are important, that you are always thought of and considered first, that you are treasured, that you and your uniqueness is respected and appreciated. If this is lacking, don’t even give it a second thought before you take the exit door. You deserve better. The lack of this will mean you being taken for granted and your partner may believe he or she is doing you a favor for remaining in a relationship with you.

  1. You Are Not Sure If You Are “In Love”

The feeling of being in love cannot all be explained in words alone. Being “in love” is an experience. This is what makes you want to give the relationship your best to make it work. Everyday you are energized with new ideas on how to express love to your partner and ideas to spice and strengthen the relationship. Once you lack the enthusiasm to do this because you have doubts about the person or the relationship itself then do not waste time in considering quitting. Are you in the relationship because you are lonely or because you feel age is no longer on your side? Life is too short to be in a relationship with someone who makes your life miserable, there’s never a good enough reason to be in a bad relationship.

  1. You Are Being Physically Abused

Although there are other many abuses someone could experience in a relationship but physical abuse is the most dangerous. Many people have been maim or died from physical abuse. If you have a partner who when he or she is angry hits or slaps you, pushes you to the wall or make a punching fist at you or any other physical abuse signs, then you are in a dangerous relationship with potentials that can become worse as you get committed. In my years of counseling, I never encourage anyone to remain in an abusive relationship even when the abuser is claiming to repent. It is better if the abuser makes this change when not with you, because it takes a while for an abuser to fully overcome. While they are overcoming, you don’t have to ‘help’ them. It’s their battle and you need to let them fight it or else they will give the excuse that you are the cause of it.

  1. Your list of dislikes for your partner is endless vice-verse

God made everyone with uniqueness that should be appreciated by whoever we decide to be in a romantic relationship with. You can’t change anyone from who they are to suit what you want them to be. The same way you do not expect your partner to change you just to suit them. Changing a person is God’s business not yours. However, God can use you to encourage or initiate that change but it is not your primary responsibility. You shouldn’t be in a relationship where you want to change everything about your partner or your partner wants to change you. That is clear enough evidence that you are holding on to the wrong one. Quit.

  1. Your Partner Is Manipulative.Manipulation is terrible, it is evil. It never has good intentions for its victim. Being with a partner who always wants things to be done their way regardless of what you feel is bad. There’s no superior or senior in the relationship. You should not be forced or cajoled to do what you don’t want to do just to satisfy the manipulator. Some partner once they are wrong they have a way of twisting to make it seem like it’s not their fault or make it seem like you made them do it. You can never be happy with someone who controls your life just to make them happy. Your happiness deserves expression too. Go for it.
  2. Been Dating For A Long Time With No Sign Of Commitment

Dating for a long time with no commitment is like fetching water into a basket. There’s no possibility that it would eventually led into a promising long term relationship. Why court for four or five years. If you are not ready, then don’t make the commitment. The length is of you friendship or courtship is no guarantee for a successful marriage

  1. Secretly Wishing You Were With Someone Else

No matter how beautiful a relationship is there would be a few times when you would be upset about something your partner does or didn’t do, you forgive and move on. That offense doesn’t want to make you throw away the relationship. There may even be instances of major misunderstanding but you are willing to make up and move on. This is not the same that your instinct nudges you that you may be happier with someone else because you are not getting desired fulfilment from your current relationship.

  1. Arguments And Misunderstanding Cannot Be Amicably Settled

When there are incessant arguments with no one willing to come to a compromise is a bad sign. Each of you will at some time make sacrifices for the relationship to work, it can’t be just you or your partner. You can never avoid arguing with your partner on certain issues. Sometimes, ‘healthy argument’ maybe the only way to pass across your point. Each misunderstand must strengthen your relationship and not hurt you or make you feel responsible for it. If you cannot amicably come to a reasonable conclusion after an argument, then you would never have a partner whose views you truly understand. Arguments without settlement breed malice.

  1. Your Partner Has No Relationship With God

You cannot have a beautiful long term relationship with someone who does not know God or have no relationship with God. Except if you too do not also know God but the truth is you can never give or receive true love outside of God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8. Be sure your partner is has a relationship with God before you make a commitment.

 

Shalom!

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How Do I Choose a Spouse?

How-Do-I-Choose-a-Spouse

Give me some practical suggestions for the selection of a husband. I sure want to get it right and don’t think I should depend just on looks or personality. What are the factors I should consider before saying “I do”?

Let me list a few things that you might want to consider:

A Sunday school teacher gave me some advice when I was thirteen years of age that I never forgot. He said, “Don’t marry the person you think you can live with. Marry the one you can’t live without.” There’s great truth in this advice. Marriage can be difficult even when two people are passionately in love with one another. It is murder when they don’t have that foundation to build on.

  • Don’t marry someone who has characteristics that you feel are intolerable. You may plan to change him or her in the future, but that probably won’t happen. Behavior runs in deep channels that were cut during early childhood, and it is very difficult to alter them. In order to change a deeply ingrained pattern, you have to build a sturdy dam, dig another canal, and reroute the river in the new direction. That effort is rarely successful over the long haul.

Therefore, if you can’t live with a characteristic that shows up during courtship, it may plague you for the rest of your life. For example, a person who drinks every night is not likely to give up that habit after the honeymoon. If he or she is foolish with money or is basically unclean or tends to get violent when irritated or is extremely selfish, these are red flags you should not ignore. What you see is what you get.

Of course, we all have flaws, and I’m not suggesting that a person has to be perfect to be a candidate for marriage. Rather, my point is that you have to decide if you can tolerate a quirky behavior for the rest of your life– because that’s how long you may have to deal with it. If you can’t, don’t bank on deprogramming the partner after you’ve said “I do.” I advise you to keep your eyes wide open before marriage and then half-closed thereafter.

 

  • Do not marry impulsively! I can think of no better way to mess up your life than to leap into this critical decision without careful thought and prayer. It takes time to get acquainted and to walk through the early stages of the bonding process. Remember that the dating relationship is designed to conceal information, not reveal it. Both partners put on their best faces for the one they seek to attract. They guard the secrets that might be a turnoff. Therefore, many newlyweds get a big surprise during the first year of married life. I suggest that you take at least a year to get beyond the facade and into the inner character of the person.

If you are a deeply committed Christian, do not allow yourself to become “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. You may expect to win your spouse to the Lord at some future date, and that does happen on occasion. But to count on it is risky at best, foolhardy at worst. Again, this is the question that must be answered: “Just how critical is it that my husband (or wife) shares my faith?” If it is essential and nonnegotiable, as the Scriptures tell us it should be for believers, then that matter should be given the highest priority in one’s decision to marry.

  • Do not move in with a person before marriage. To do so is a bad idea for many reasons:

First, it is immoral and a violation of God’s law.

Second, it undermines a relationship and often leads to divorce. Studies show that couples who live together before marriage have a 50 percent greater chance of divorce than those who don’t, based on fifty years of data.1 Those who cohabit also have less satisfying and more unstable marriages. Why? The researchers found that those who had lived together later regretted having “violated their moral standards,” and “felt a loss of personal freedom to exit out the back door.”

Furthermore, and in keeping with the theme of marital bonding, they have “stolen” a level of intimacy that is not warranted at that point, nor has it been validated by the degree of commitment to one another. As it turns out, God’s way is not only the right way–it is the healthiest for everyone concerned.

Don’t get married too young. Those who wed between the ages of fourteen and seventeen are twice as likely to divorce as couples who wait until their twenties. Making it as a family requires some characteristics that come with maturity, such as selflessness, stability, and self-control. It’s best to wait for their arrival.

Finally, I’ll conclude with the ultimate secret of lifelong love. Simply put, the stability of marriage is a by-product of an iron-willed determination to make it work. If you choose to marry, enter into that covenant with the resolve to remain committed to each other for life. Never threaten during angry moments to leave your mate. Don’t allow yourself to consider even the possibility of divorce. Calling it quits must not become an option for those who want to go the distance!

Adapted from: drjamesdobson.org
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21 tips for a healthy courtship

21-tips-for-a-healthy-courtship

Courtship: The activities that occur when people are developing a romantic relationship that could lead to marriage.

 

  1. Avoid co-habiting. Living together before the wedding does not only spoils the fun of the relationship but it is an offense against God because it encourages living in sin.
  2. Build a healthy communication. This will help form a solid foundation for your marriage. Marriage is about communicating love, affection, security, needs etc. Communication is not only with words but gestures.
  3. Give. It is said that you can give without loving but you can’t love without giving. Give time, gifts, and anything that is in your power that can strengthen your courtship and prepare a ground for a good marital friendship.
  4. Be focus. Once you become committed to that person with marriage in view cut off other people that may be interested in romantic relationship with you. It does not only provide security for your partner but it proves that you can be a faithful husband or wife and helps you maintain your sanity.
  5. Encourage each other. Everyone needs encourage to thrive. Whatever is your partner’s calling or profession, deliberately take time to give encouragement. It even has a way of cementing your relationship. An encouraging partner is one who would do anything to see that the other succeeds.
  6. Plan. Courtship is a planning stage. Yes the bible says that we make plans and God determines the execution. This does not mean that we should live without a direction for the future. Decide a family path way and begin work at it while you are waiting to wed.
  7. Don’t be carried away by extravagant weddings and receptions. It’s amazing how much people save for their wedding that does not commensurate the lifestyle they live afterwards. When spending for your wedding remember that there would be financial responsibility after the beautiful music and guests.
  8. Discuss alternative sources of income. Except you have a job that would sustain the family till you start having grand children or a bank account for that purpose, your family is going to need more money as it expands. A child is enough to add significant financial pressure on your income. You can make that plan now and factor the possibility of it even if you are not putting it in motion immediately.
  9. Get a counselor. You do not know everything even if you are well read. Counselor also helps you to plan and prepare you for the reality of marriage. A counselor also prays with you and encourages you from the word of God.
  10. Avoid pretense. You don’t expect to get the best in marriage if you pretend about the courtship, except you want to live in pretense the rest of your life. Being transparent and truthful is going to help you give and receive sincere love. Don’t give your partner the impression of something you are not, don’t give them the opportunity to disbelief you for the rest of your relationship.
  11. Befriend his or her people. Although you are marrying an individual, you must remember that he or she has family and friends. Your association should not make him or her cut off from their love ones before you came into the picture. Become friends to your intending partner family and friends. This does not mean you allowing them have influence in your relationship but you would not like your partner to be caught between you and these other people.
  12. Talk about money and sex. These are the two big issues in marriage and there is possibility and when you win in these areas you win most battles in marriage. It is believe that a man wants more sex than woman, be prepared to give it. A woman maybe better in managing home finance. It is time to discuss your views so you will not become over taken by surprises later that will negatively affect your marriage.
  13. Accountability. Be accountable to your intending partner and your counselor. If you say you are at the mall when you were with a friend then your partner finds out you give him or her the chance to doubt you. Doubt injures trust that can affect your relationship.
  14. To kiss or not to kiss. Kissing is an expression of affection. It is not a sin itself but when it can lead you intense hugging and to fornicate then you should stay away from it. Flee sexual sin.
  15. Attend events and ceremonies together. Maintaining a healthy social life in marriage is important because for most couple once the children starts arriving they can drift apart, social activities can help put back the spark and that can start building from the courtship
  16. Seek knowledge. Read books or listen to messages that relates to all the issues on marriage; money, sex, children, in-laws. You can never learn too much or be over prepared.
  17. Be romantic. Romance does not start on the wedding day but at the moment when you accepted to be husband and wife. That look, that affectionate hug, that unexpected gift or visit, that simple but remarkable lunch date. There are endless romantic ideas during courtship.
  18. Stay committed to the faith. If you were faithfully serving God before your commitment, now is the time to even be more committed and fervently serving the Lord. Marriage is not a destination of happiness. You will need God to succeed in marriage.
  19. Stay away from sin. Sin has a way of destroying so many things within us. It puts an obstruction between us and God; reduces our stance with God and makes the devil mocks us. Avoid pre-marital sex.
  20. Pray together. Don’t be carried away by the electric feelings you get when the two of you are alone together. Marriage requires much more than that. Begin to commit that future into the hand of God through prayer and asking God for the wisdom to be a godly spouse.
  21. Not all courtship MUST lead to marriage. If there are indications that there are issues you both think would cause unhappiness in your marriage. Brace up, pray and talk to your counselor about it. Don’t remain in a relationship that is capable of causing you pain. It is better to hurt now than suffer later in marriage.

For counseling, prayer or just to stand with you on your relationship email us.

Shalom!

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