Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Respect’

What Else You Got?

Cover of "Love Is A Decision"

Cover of Love Is A Decision

We have good manners (or at least we should) we have possessions and things and we have potential to be the best we can be.

But we are living in a society with failed marriages all around us.  They fail – even when people have all the above things in spade.

We get married because we’re in love.

We are well-mannered, and well-meaning – even bringing material things and all kinds of potential with us.

And still – many marriages fail.

So I ask the question:  WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

Love – check

Good manners – check

Well meaning – check

Some material possessions – check

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

You see – every marriage that fails – started out with these things too.  Yours is no different.  Or is it?

I have learned a few things being married almost 30 years.  It takes much more than just love, good manners, material possessions and well-meaning to make a good strong lasting relationship – that can go the distance.

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

When the bottom drops out – life goes sideways and things aren’t fun anymore?

When crisis touches your family – financial security goes out the window and illness comes to stay?

When you have nothing else to give and the emotion of love is gone?

Here are some practical things to think about when contemplating marriage or in trying to better yours.

1. Love – ah the very word just makes us all warm and tingly, right?  It is something that great songs and Hallmark movies are made of.  “Love is all you need” and “Love means never  having to say you’re sorry” blah blah blah.  Nice sentiments – they sound so good and sing well – but they are NOT true!    I wish it was.  And there was a time not so long ago that I really thought love would be enough – but it was not.  Love is great but it can only take you so far.  Love is the great leveler – but it can also mess with your emotions and blind you. It is not enough when emotions can be fickle – and that feeling of romance and newness wears off eventually with anyone – especially in a long-term marriage.  This can be a  problem for people – if they don’t feel it anymore. Love – is a decision, therefore – not just an emotion.  It is an act of our will.

2. Friendship is wonderful and much more solid.  And friendship in marriage is a must. How many times have I heard that a couple was “in love” but as time wore on – they discovered that they did not even really know each other well – and they were startled to find out that they were not even friends.  When the emotion of love and romance wears thin – you must have something left to fall into – something safe and comfortable.  A friendship of heart and soul can save you when your marriage goes through a rocky patch – as all marriages do.

3. Respect in a marriage is also a must.  Many partners lose respect for each other when times are not exciting anymore – they withhold love – aren’t friends and don’t like each other anymore.  This leads to so many problems – the first and foremost is a sabotage of their own relationship.  Respect is given – as well as taken.  You must respect your spouse – but they  must also respect you.  And it is hard to hold that line – if you yourself are not respecting them.  How many times over the years have I seen couples talking badly to each other – even in public.  That is not good.  But you must be the first to respect. If you show kindness and proper respect for them – they will not be able to help but return it.  But you cannot have it only one way.  And respecting  means supporting your partner through good and bad times.  Finding a way to encourage the hopes and dreams of him or her and being that safe person that they can trust when life goes sideways.

4. Lead with your head and your heart will follow.  If you always allow your heart to lead you – you will be in trouble – as the heart is fickle and changeable – like the emotion of love.  We can feel love for many different people we have chemistry with. That doesn’t mean it is real. This is a hard one for many to deal with.  A long-term relationship isn’t always going to give you “tingles” – and if you get bored easily or need excitement 24/7 –  then long-term marriage isn’t for you.   But normally something needs to happen in you first.  You can’t always change things for the better – but that is the place to start.

5.  Be the person of integrity and character that you expect your partner to be. Living a life of character is hard.  We are not perfect and slip and fall in so many ways.  It is a daily choice – and sadly I have not always lived up to this – and maybe you have not either.  Don’t give up.  If you blow it – Jesus forgives – get up and try again.  He has promised to be with us on our daily journey and He will be there to help and guide us – giving us words of encouragement through His word and speaking softly to us through prayer.  He understands that it is hard to go through life without temptations – in fact we need to know that THEY ARE COMING.  No one is immune. Brush yourself off – and begin again – each new day is another chance to get it right.

5.  Don’t play the “blame game”.  That’s way too easy – and such a cop-out!  “They don’t respect me” or “They’re withholding” or “They don’t understand me” or “They don’t meet my needs” – are very common things that are said when going through a serious problem.  Instead of blaming – try finding out what is happening inside of you.  Have you stopped respecting them?  Have you withheld to punish or teach a lesson?  Have you failed to understand because they don’t understand you?  Do you meet their needs?

6.  Be the best person, lover, friend and confidant that you can be.  It starts with you.  Marriages still fail – but not usually when couples are sensitive to each others needs – putting their feelings and needs ahead of your own agenda and even your own happiness.  What you sow into them – in love, compassion, understanding, respect and friendship it WILL COME BACK TO YOU. And you CAN turn even a bad marriage around.  You can rekindle a dying relationship – bring a spark of life because of attention and determination – disciplining your heart and your mind to honor and love first – and let the feeling comes later.  Wait for it – it will come.

When couples wants to get married because “they’re in love” – this needs to be our question for them:

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

God Bless

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Who’s In Charge?

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”  Simon answered, “Master we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at your word I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets started to tear. So they motioned to thier partners in the other boat to come and help them.  And  they came and filled both boats, so that they were about to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For Peter and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s business partners.  Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” Luke 5:4-10

Heard an excellent sermon last Sunday on the subject of “Authority”. This passage brings many words pictures and images to our minds, doesn’t it?  I see Jesus down at the lake with these “rough” fishermen –  communicating with them in an open and easy way – that was both conversational and commanding.  They respected Him.  There was something different about Him.  They had seen Him teaching the people – they had heard about Him.  And now here He was – taking time with them!  I can see Simon Peter listening intently to what He was asked  to do – and then because he respected Him – he did it!  Amazing.  Just taking Jesus at His word – and doing it.  He recognized the authority of Jesus in his life.  That moment so changed Peter’s life – that the Bible says he left everything and followed Him.

What do you think of when you hear the word “authority”?  Various pictures pop into your heads such as parents, teachers, pastors or other significant leaders or mentors that you’ve had in your life.  There may have been times in your life when someone abused that authority and you now have a distorted view of anybody having authority in your life.  And you may question everything.

I believe respect is earned and not bestowed.  And I believe you cannot expect people to follow your leadership unless they respect you.  It used to be that children were told to respect their elders or parents (anyone in authority over them) with no questions asked.  But then several problems came about because authority was abused and fear became the motivator and not respect.

Today I believe that even when a child is in school there should be a careful balance between respect and questioning.  As a teacher I am very aware of the fact that respect is earned – and if a student does not like me – or even fears me – I will not earn their respect and it will be more difficult to get them to do as I ask them – or to obey me.  It used to be that children obeyed (feared) no matter what the personal consequences – because they didn’t question anything!  How wrong that was on so many levels.  And how easily that fear turned into loathing and stubborn silent refusal to yield on the inside.  I also realize that children need to obey teachers and parents – but there is a way to motivate without fear and abuse.  There is a way to be involved in a child’s life so that they know that you love and care about them – therefore earning their respect and love back.

Yes – we need authority in our lives.  We all do.  I believe that God places people in authority over our lives – and that He knows best for us.  I’m just dumb enough to believe the Bible when it says that God sets up leaders in authority over us – and that means our president too – fancy that!  I don’t have to like him – but I sure do have to respect his position because God himself said I have to – and I have a responsibility to pray for him too.  Wow.

I’ve had situations where people have tried to “push” their authority on me – to try to manipulate a posture of submission out of me.  And believe me – it was very difficult to sit and take it.  But I did recognize that even though they went about it in the very worst way possible  – at least for me – I still needed to respect them for their position, knowing that God himself had raised them up.  Now it would have been better if they had “earned” my respect first – or had that kind of relationship with me – where they could speak those things into my life – but sadly that was not the case and it left me very confused and troubled.  When people really know you and show you respect – then they earn a platform from which to speak into your life.  And that’s the simple truth.

Who’s in charge?  Ultimately God has to be the final word in my life and yours too.  People are human – capable of many flaws and shortcomings.  They can do much damage to us – especially those who are in “authority” over us – if it is abused – and if it is not respected.  I think this is why so many of us “question” and don’t just take people at their word – even when they are in position over us to do so.

Who do you have in your life that says something to you that maybe you disagree with  – but still you respond like Simon Peter did above, “But at your word, I will do it!”?  (Holman paraphrase)  If you are like me – not many.  Trust is earned.  Respect is also earned.

I am hoping and praying that as you are reading this you will be that kind of person/leader/motivator/encourager to others – to evoke a trust and respect so that you will have a platform from which to speak in someone’s life today.

God Bless

My Pesky Little Tongue

It happened again.  I said something I shouldn’t have said.  I tried to “hold it in” and then it just…happened.  I mean – honestly.  People can be SO stupid and I would be less than true to myself if I didn’t say what I meant!  And they deserved it.

Or

I know I shouldn’t have written that email or message to someone – but they’ll understand my tone because I do.  They shouldn’t think anything about it – I’m just being me – and to be me  – means being completely honest and everyone will just have to understand – I’ve got to be ME!!

Do either of these sound like you?  Yeah – me too.  The Bible tells us that out of the heart – the mouth (or tongue) speaks.  That pesky little tongue – it’s so little – how can it do so much damage?  If you are like me you have about a thousand or more words you wish you could take back – either years ago – last year 0r last night.

This morning we heard another great message from Pastor Greg at MRCC about “The Fear of God” – this time about the tongue.  In James 3 we read:

…So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions.  think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. and the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies.  It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence – and is set on fire by hell. For every kind of animal, bird, reptile and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind  – But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.

How much damage can be made by the tongue.  It is HUGE.  I am humbled and ashamed at how I have spoken over the years – when I was younger and much more feisty and hadn’t had life “season” me yet.  And I am keenly aware of the damage others have done to me too – even pretty recently.  In Mark 33 we read:

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is known by its fruit.  Offspring of vipers!  How are you able to say anything good, since you are evil? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart.  The good person brings good things out of his good treasury and the evil person brings evil things out of his evil treasury.  I tell you that on the day of judgment, people will give an account for every worthless word they speak.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

This passage should greatly alarm us.  Should humble us and bring us to our knees asking forgiveness for all the worthless words we have spoken.  We have all done it.  After all – doesn’t the world revolve around me?  Shouldn’t I be allowed to be happy?  Say what I want?  Let the chips fall where they may?  I don’t think so.  This passage says that at the judgement everything will be brought out in the open – what was done in secret – everyone will know.  Frightening stuff.

We need to:

Be careful what we say

Speak less and listen more

Learn to use our tongue like God uses His

We need to bless people – and speak life and hope

If you are one like me – who tends to have a big mouth sometimes – you need to know that you CAN tame the tongue – but it starts with asking forgiveness for the things that you’ve already said – and forgiving those things that have been said against you.  Ask the Lord to help you to really love people just as they are – no strings – no hidden agenda.  Ask Him to enable you to see others as He sees them – ask Him to help you to bless them and offer them words of life and hope.  A gentle word and encouragement from you can go a long way.

I am praying for you

God Bless

How Do You Handle Difficult People?

grumpy

 

 

How do we handle difficult people?  Those that we would rather just avoid?  Sometimes it is not possible.  Sometimes it is people you are forced to see everyday in the work place.  Sometimes it’s people in your neighborhood.  Sometimes folks that attend your church – or other people that are connected with your child’s school.  Sometimes it’s in your own family circle.  Almost everybody would admit to having difficult people in their life – somewhere.

These people can bring a little spice to our otherwise “dull” existence.  Or maybe not – No – sometimes they can just make life difficult.

I love the sign above – we encountered it when walking into a place of business today and just had to laugh right out loud!!  For it describes people that each of us know and have to “handle” in some way at one time or another.  And although humorous to us – there is a serious side to this as well.

People in the restaurant business know ALL ABOUT difficult people!  Just ask any server – and they will have stories that will make your hair curl.  We’ve all heard stories about servers in the kitchen of a 5 star restaurant actually SPITTING or worse in customer’s food before it is served – to uhhhh – teach them a lesson or something.  Yes – it’s true – they have hidden cameras in those places and it’s a sad but true fact.  It pays to be VERY NICE to your wait staff in any food establishment people!  I honestly can’t believe the grumpy rude people in places like this!  I’ve often heard them – sitting close enough to hear conversations – and it’s not pretty.

Last Christmas I was trying to return some perfume or something in Victoria’s Secret and the “girl” behind the counter didn’t even seem to be able to speak english – let alone try to help me get a refund for my product.  And I admit – I was not the most patient person in the world – but that’s the closest I’ve ever come to actually being rude to someone in sales – and my reaction was VERY mild compared with others in line.  It is not usually my way – but sometimes being just “nice” doesn’t cut it – when there is a very simple transaction.  So I know there are times that everyone has – we’re all human after all.  But it is when people are rude ALL THE TIME – everywhere they go that you have to wonder – what’s up with that?

I think we have to remember that when we have  those people in our lives – often times there is something else brewing beneath the surface – things are not always as they appear.  They may have just received some rough news – or just been fired from work – or maybe someone just broke off a relationship with them and said – I HATE you – I NEVER want to see you ever again.  Yeah.  That would make me grumpy and put me in a bad mood for quite a while – how about you?

If we remember to handle people with grace – and treat them like we would like to be treated – then I believe we can even get a smile from the grumpiest of people.  We need to hold our tongue – listen – listen – LISTEN – be slow to react to them – be quick to offer a shoulder.  Don’t give advice unless it is asked of you – don’t interject a lecture on how you think they should be acting around you – or in public – or at the workplace 0r anything else.  Let them be – show your support and love – rest your tongue – and win them over by being a supportive stable person in their life – you may be the ONLY one in their crazy mixed up world.  You have NO idea where someone else lives – what is waiting for them at home – what junk they have to wade through each day.  If they can find one true kind friend in their life – maybe it’s you – then when the time is right – you will be able to offer hope and life to that person.  They may eventually feel “safe” to ask you – “what’s your secret” – or “can you help me?”  Then, my friend – it’s ALL worth it!

Let’s be like this as the holiday season pulls in close.  Surround yourself with love and grace – so that you will have plenty to give away – when called on to do so.

I am praying for all my friends – grumpy and non grumpy 🙂

 

God Bless!

Two different Species…

Kid’s sayings on Love, Dating and Marriage:

Love is like an avalanche where you have to run for your life

John age 9

I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be so painful

Manuel age 8

Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife

Tom age 5

Most men are brainless, so you might have to try more than once to find a live one

Angie age 10

Shake your hips and hope for the best

Camille age 9

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other.  Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough

Lynnette age 8

Don’t forget your wife’s name.  That will mess up the love

Erin age 8

Be a good kisser.  It might make your wife forget that you never take out the trash

Erin age 8

Well it finally happened.  My dear husband and I had a little – shall we say – “snit”?  Yes – even us.  I know what you’re thinking – how could something “mess up” the love?  But it does happen occasionally – even to us.

I am still expecting him to really get me – after all these years together – and most times he’s pretty good – and then….it happens.  And I realize, sadly – that he DOESN’T.

So we’re in the middle of something last night and everything seemed fine  TO HIM – until – I just suddenly burst into tears.  Now of course he was perplexed and concerned (mostly for himself) wondering how in the world something so out of the ordinary could take place!  Now for me – it was gradually building up inside of me – slowly – slowly – festering and becoming bigger and BIGGER – until…I couldn’t hold it in anymore!!

Well of course he then inquires – (like a dumb guy) “What’s wrong”?  And I of course answered in the most predictable way possible – “Nothing”.  And I’m thinking to myself, “if he doesn’t know what’s wrong – I’m NOT going to tell him!”  and also thinking, “he doesn’t really GET IT at all – does he????”  *sniff sniff*

And you’re thinking – that’s hilarious – that would NEVER happen at MY house!  But I bet it does.  In ways that are very similar.  I’m starting to think that no matter how long I live with this man – he will never really understand me – and my way of thinking.  I know he’s exasperated   and will occassionally say, “Do you HAVE to be so…..FEMALE”??  Yes.  I do.  That’s what I am.

And to that I say, “Do you have to ACT SO DUMB”??  And he will say, “It’s NOT an act”  Dumb is a default setting for most guys – and Greg openly admits this.  Just when he thinks he has it ALL figured out – he realizes that he didn’t account for things like – mood – emotion – stressed out day – worry or fatigue.  And then let’s NOT forget about “that time of the month” that all men EVERYWHERE just DREAD.  It can bring a  grown man to his knees – where there is weeping and wailing involved.  He gladly “heads for the hills” – not to be found for about a WEEK.  And he is so RELIEVED when he isn’t the one in trouble – but walks very softly around the house after that.

And so – this is the mystery of love – and the agony.  It is two completely different species trying to live together in perfect harmony.  It is what makes the world go ’round.  It is – in fact…..Love.

I wish you and yours a day and evening of understanding.  Good Luck.

God Bless

Do You Respect those you Love?

I’ve recently come in contact with a great blog site:

http://whatsheneedsfromyou.wordpress.com/

A blog on a man’s perspective on relationships – to treat woman, namely your own wife – and how to view love and respect in that relationship.   It’s very good and has really fueled some real authentic conversation.  I found that as I read his “take” on how men should be treating their wives – I’m sadly aware of the fact that many men must not follow simply rules of respect and “common” decency.  So often I have taken the things that my own husband does – or says to me – or more importantly how he makes me feel – so much for granted.  I have found that “common” isn’t so common.

We live in a day and age where chivalry is “dead” – and woman who have worked so hard at getting equal billing along side men in the workplace – have left men feeling that they don’t have to treat women special anymore.  I have been treated “unkind” by a few such men in my life – and not because I was acting like a man – or anything close – but because he was so confused what his role was – and how it was with other women.  The wrong kind of woman will ruin it for that man – and he will never know how to treat the right kind of woman.

Woman want to feel special.  Period.  If they don’t feel special by the man that loves her – she will be very sad and wonder what’s wrong with her.  She also wants to feel like THE ONLY ONE in that man’s world.  Again – not an easy thing for some men.  It seems they do things on purpose to “get a rise out of” her – and sometimes it can go too far – leaving the woman a little confused as to why he has to “play” so rough.  I’ve had men do this to me – and they were only “teasing” – but there is a fine line between “teasing” and “hurting”.  The “checking out” other woman – as stated so great in the above blog site – is indeed very hurtful to most woman – if done in a deliberate way.  And most of the time it is a very insecure jerk of a guy that would do that in front of the woman he loves – it is not only rude – but very disrespectful to her.

Woman want to feel “safe” with the man that loves her.  She needs to know that he would never intentionally hurt her.  That her feelings and emotions are all “safe” with him.  That when he sees her – he just lights up and he doesn’t see anyone but her.  If a woman does not feel safe – then she will be insecure in not only your love for her – but in other areas of her life.  It will even stifle her from being all she can be.

If you are very lucky like me – the man or woman that you are with – doesn’t give you any reason to feel unattractive – or insecure.  Greg has only had eyes for me since college – and it seems that it is NOT conditional.  No – I’m far from perfect – and yet his love is.  Unconditional and steady.  Firmly resolved and strong.

I am praying for all of you today that you will not only give the proper respect to those you love – but that you will be lucky and blessed to have the same returned to you.  Show some love to those closest to you today!

Thanks to Ken for allowing me to “borrow” his topic and add to it my own thoughts.

God Bless

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