Bullying

Change Is It Possible

Bullying has become an epidemic. It is seen in both children and adults alike. People have begun to use bullying as a way to make themselves feel better about whatever inadequacies they may have. I guess one could argue that it has always been used for this purpose, it is just more noticeable because of the internet and social media. Adults seem to be bullying more than the children, especially celebrities who should be seen as role models. It is very difficult to try and get a child to understand the consequences of bullying when that is all that they see.

Children have always had a certain level of teasing a cruelty, but once again access to computers make matters much worse. 20 years ago a child could be teased on the playground and that was that. They could escape to their home life. With the use us social media though, there is no escape. The ridicule is everywhere and can reach the entire world in a matter of seconds. The epidemic has become so bad that it has formed a new epidemic of suicide. All children are not able to cope with the mass humiliation that social media can bring. It is important that parents understand that depression and suicide are very real and that children can suffer from them just like adults. We cannot write of bullying as a childhood learning experience. I participate in a youth group at my church. In this group there is a young girl who is maturing faster than the other girls. As a result, the other girls, who are clearly jealous, tease here about her figure and call her ‘fast’. They have no proof other than the fact that she has matured faster than them and that the boys are noticing her more. I pulled the young lady to the side to try and talk to her to get a feel of how she was feeling. Her response was’ I’ll be okay I was told to toughen up and that is what I will do”. This broke my heart. Though it is important to have a thick skin this was definitely not what an adult should have told a child. What if she was not able to ‘Toughen up’ and the bullying led to something worse.

It is imperative that we come together in the fight against bullying because if we don’t our children will continue to be lost.

Unequally Yoked

What Is LoveSocial media is very entertaining for lack of a better word. I have witnessed today a couple break up over EASTER. Now being in the field of counseling I am sure that it was more than just the ‘Easter’ argument and more about being unequally yoked, but the break-up was played out on Facebook. The entire fight, though was over the relevance of the date. The gentleman was saying that Easter is just another holiday forced by the government. He said first of all Easter is supposed to be in April He also mentioned that it is a known fact that it rains on Easter and today was clearly sunny- I am not sure if this is a ‘fact’ but it does happen often. He finally ended it by saying that people keep saying it was three days when in actuality it was two nights and two days. His fiancé on the other hand, is a devout Christian and she found everything that he was saying to be blasphemous and embarrassing. Needless to say, since this argument played out on social media there were others involved, thus escalating the situation past what it should have been.

This argument reminded me of two things. One it reminded me of the importance of couples keeping their business private. Many relationships have been broken due to outside sources. It is a proven fact that when couples bring people into their arguments they are going to choose sides. Choosing sides can be detrimental because the other person becomes a target and it puts a rift between the couple; sometimes ending in a split up or a divorce. Two, it reminded me of the old saying about being unequally yoked (‎2 Corinthians 6:15). I can totally understand where the woman is coming from, yet as a Christian I have to wonder if this is something that she brought upon herself. The Bible clearly states that we are not to be unequally yoked. Had this couple been better familiarized with each other, this conversation may have been avoided. To make a long story short, when choosing a mate choose carefully, don’t be blindsided by love, and be open honest. Mates are supposed to be lifelong commitments. Relationships are hard enough on their own and as a result it is important that the playing field is equal as possible from the beginning.

Relationships

Maslow's Hierarchy of Need: Love and Belonging

Relationships are hard work. Whether the relationship is platonic or romantic the work is equally as hard. An actual committed positive and healthy relationship takes a great deal of dedication and commitment. People often get fooled by the puppy love stage and the honeymoon stage but relationships. Not to mention marriages, are no walks in the park. I was reminded of this this weekend. With Valentine’s Day on the approach my Facebook was almost like a soap opera. I say the usually love in the air post with people celebrating however many amount of years together but I also saw the biter I would like everyone to be miserable posts as well. When people break up I always want to know why. The why fascinates me. What makes a person after so many months are years say’ I cannot do this any longer’. I knew infidelity is a main issue but is it really the main issue. Most people do not cheat just to be cheating there is a reason. Whether the reason is insecurities, lack of communication, the spouse was unfaithful first, or childhood issues, most people cheat for a reason. So does knowing that a person has a valid mental reason for being insecure doe that justify the infidelity. Does knowing that the lack of faithfulness a cause and not an effect make it easier to understand. I would personally say no. I am a strong believer in free will. People do things because they want to. Even with the underlying issues a person has a choice not to succumb to them. The fact still remains though that relationships are tough. We should not throw relationships away because of mishaps. We should stick them out if possible. Wedding vows of for better or for worse should be taken more seriously. My grandmother use to say ‘Baby if the relationship is easy it just might not be worth it’. Back then I had no idea as to what she meant but as time passed on knowledge and life made this revelation very apparent. So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day know that your relationship is worth it and work on it all costs.

Date Nights

Valentine's Day Blues

Date nights are important at any phase of any relationship. Friends cannot maintain a relationship unless they hang out. Couples dating would not be successful if they did not maintain date nights in order to get to know each other and spend quality time with each other. The same is true for marriage. Many marriages fail because the romance is lost. We tend to sometimes get comfortable in relationships and forget what we did to get there. Humans are ever evolving and in order to stay a breast with each other there has to be a connection. Date nights can definitely help with that. You are probably wondering how many date nights could you actually have? Wouldn’t you eventually run out of things to do? It is important to understand that date nights should be catered to you specific relationship. Dates do not always have to be at the movies or dinner. Have a date night folding clothes…. Have a date night playing board games…Have a date night cooking…. Couples could even have a date night napping. Date nights should suite the couple. Date nights are designed to bring people/couple closer together. When relationships get comfortable people usually stop trying. The routine becomes the norm and the spark is lost. It is important to keep that spark going and date night is always a start.

Marriage 2.0

African-Couple-in-Love-219x146

Marriage was once considered to be a contract or institution between two people that was ordained by God. Marriage created structure, allowed for procreation, built families, and was based on love. Marriage was made to be permanent. It untied two people (man and women) permanently trough love and marriage with a charge to procreate. This model was based of the Christian view that church is the bride of God and together Christianity would be created and maintained. We have strayed so far from this concept. Marriage is no longer sacred or permanent and the ideal of ‘for better or for worse’ has completely diminished. Marriages used to last through the good time and the bad. The concept of for better or for worse was incorporated into vows because God and the ancestors knew it would not be easy but the commitment was worth it. Now marriage is more about the wedding and the dress. Marriage has become a contest. I cannot count how many times I have heard people, including friends of mine say, “I have to hurry and find ‘Mr. Right’… I’m getting old”. Age should not be a determining factor in marriage, love should be the main factor. We have become so trendy and liberal that cohabitation and divorce have become part of the norm. We have even strayed from the concept of the bride and her groom that same sex marriages are accepted. I am not here to judge just voice an opinion. Over the last few decades the factors of marriage have changed so drastically that even the Christian church has a contractual view of marriage that now prevails over a more covenantal understanding of the institution. This divorce rate is even with the marriage rate. That should not be and until we can get back to the sanctity of marriage this will continue to happen.

Ephesians 5:24-27; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2

Love And War

FEAR

I was just sitting up thinking about how love works in relationships. It is such a crazy and complicated emotion. The old saying is true – there is definitely a thin line between love and hate. I think the main issue of lovers today is they want their love the same way they want everything else – fast and easy. The problem is love is neither one. People want a love with all highs; they are looking for a happily ever after fairy tale. Contrary to popular belief, though, love is more of a reality show than a fairy tale. When I think of love the best recent explanation I’ve heard is Tamar Braxton’s song entitled “Love and War”. This song, to me embodies everything that love is. It is a roller coaster. It comes with love, disappointment, happiness, work, commitment, and a host of other ingredients.

Some of the lyrics to Tamar’s song are as follows,
“Somebody said every day, was gon’ be sunny skies,
Only Marvin Gaye and lingerie, I guess somebody lied
We started discussin’ it to fightin’ then “Don’t touch me, please.”
Then it’s “Let’s stop the madness, just come lay with me.”
And truth be told I’m wavin’ my flag before it goes bad”.
This is love and relationships at its finest. It will not always be sunny skies but with love, compromise and support a relationship will last.