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Posts tagged "relationship"

5 Things to Keep In Mind When Choosing A Spouse

So what is on your checklist for qualities that you look for in a mate?  Yes, you should have a checklist...not one that goes on for eons and covers to the inch how tall they should be or exactly what profession they should be in BUT  it is important to know what you are looking for in a mate.  Some people have only one criteria...that the person is a member of the opposite gender.  Well, that's not so good either.  Let's take a look at the most important questions you should be asking when choosing a life long spouse.

#1 - Do they share similar doctrinal beliefs?

This is a biggie!  If I could stress one area that many couples have trouble with (especially if one partner is more solid in their faith than the other), it would be this area.  No, we don't need to be spiritual twins but we need to be equally yoked.  If the person you are considering is not committed to serving Yahweh as much as you are and/or they expect you to be the spiritual giant while they stay contentedly a spiritual midget...this is a BIG red flag!   Talking about your doctrinal beliefs and your goals as servants of Yahweh is so important.   When one spouse is carrying the full responsibility for being the spiritual enforcer and teacher in the home, this causes a huge strain on the marriage and confuses the children about spiritual priorities.  Save yourself the heartache and talk about this important issue first when getting to know a potential spouse. 

#2 - How do they handle money?

If you think this topic is not important, think again!  Statistics show that more couples break up over money management issues than anything else.  Why?  Actually, it's not so much the money itself but the priorities that people have for money that causes the friction.  If you are a frugal person and are doing your best to save money only so that your spouse can go and blow it on spur-of-the-moment shopping spree, this will be very hurtful to you.  If you are the husband and your wife is spending your hard earned-money on stupid stuff like kitchen gadgets that are overpriced and end up in your yearly garage sale after being used only three times, you will get discouraged.  If you are a wife who tries to save her husband money by looking for sales, using coupons,etc. and your hubby is bringing the latest techie gadgets home every week just so he can keep up with the 'guys', you will feel as though your efforts to save are not appreciated.  Are you starting to understand my meaning? Personally, I think every one should learn to use their money wisely and I think 95% of the North American populace lives with too many things that they don't need.  I am a frugal person to a certain extent and to marry someone who, in my humble opinion, wasted his money on things the latest video games would drive me crazy!  I would have to try so hard not to seem as though I was nagging about his spending habits.  The best solution is to talk about spending habits and PLEASE...don't fool yourself in to thinking that they will be more self controlled in their spending habits just because they married a frugal saver like you.  Marriage does not change life-long habits, discipline and the Ruach do.

#3 - How do they treat their parents?

I had a friend who married a seemingly nice guy.  He had one issue...he did not show respect for his mother.  He made all kinds of excuses for it by saying she wasn't a believer and she had done some awful things to him in the past.  Less than 2 years in to the marriage they separated because he was showing her much respect either...he took her for granted and dragged her all over the map because he wanted to pursue his dreams.  Sad but not surprising.  Any person who cannot CHOOSE to honour their parents, will have little regard for the rest of the commandments of Yahweh.  It is a choice, not a feeling.  If you think that you can behave disrespectfully towards your parents but respect your spouse, you are deceived.   When you are with a potential spouse, listen to the way they talk about their parents.  Do they say that they are thankful for them (flaws and all)?  If the parents are not Christian, do they say that they are praying and talking to their parents about Yashua?   Do they do small things that show respect (ie. opening doors, giving up their seat, offering to help with dishes, etc) for their parents?   Personal respect is earned but parental and spousal respect is not...it is mandated in scripture.  If you are having a hard time with this one, ask Yahweh to help you be more honouring towards your parents.  If the person you are interested in does not show respect for their parents, it is very likely you will be the one on the receiving end of their disrespect after marriage. 

#4 - What kind of friends do they have?

'Do not keep the companion of fools', Solomon warned us.  If the person we are interested in is consistently hanging around fools (if you want the many definitions of a fool, read the book of Proverbs), we can safely surmise that this will not stop once they are married.  Sometimes, as Messianics, it is not a good idea to hang out a lot with others who ridicule our beliefs about following Torah or those who accuse us of falling away from grace and being under the law again.   Yes, we do need to be a witness and so we can't completely withdraw but wrong friendships can subtlely pull us back into wrong habits.  I know some people who can't find a Messianic fellowship so they attend a mainstream Christian church.  After a while, they meet someone there and end up marrying them and never leave.  The road we walk on is a lonely road and requires sacrifices of many kinds.  The people you call your friends will tell me much more about you than merely by my talking to you.  If you claim to walk in truth but have close relationships with those who walk in darkness, I question your comittment to the truth.  The exception to this is, if you are already married to an unbeliever.  In that case, you should not seek to be separated but fervently pray for them.  Choose your friends wisely, they will influence and shape your decisions in ways you may not even be aware and will wither strengthen your resolve or weaken it.  When choosing a spouse, their friends will become your friends to a certain extent so be sure that you are on the same page. 

# 5 - What are their views on children?

This is another biggie.  Do you want lots of kids?  What are your views on birth control?  Do you want to homeschool?  How do you feel about spanking?  Who do you think should do the disciplining?  How do you feel about adoption?  These are just a few of the many questions that should be asked before becoming engaged.  To find out that you have very different views on these topics AFTER you marry is not a pleasant surprise.  If a woman who wants 3 kids, finds out that her husband expects her to have 15 after she marries him, she will be really upset!  I can't understand why people would not talk about this issue but it seems that once the rose coloured glasses go on, nothing much matters.  You should talk, talk, talk before committing to a serious relationship and be sure that you are in agreement on this topic.  

I guess you can tell from this article that I don't believe in beating around the bush.   I believe that communicating and practicality should come first and love and romance should come later.  All too often, couples get sidetracked with emotion and romance before they discuss the important issues of marriage.  This can lead to compromise (marrying someone even though they know they aren't right) or heartache (breaking up because they aren't right).  Dating for fun, should not even be an option for people who consider themselves Torah followers.  If you want to go out for fun, go out with friends not a boyfriend/girlfriend.   The world believes in compatibility based on sex and romance...followers of Yahweh however, should base compatibility on spirituality and life goals & priorities.  I challenge you to be a cut above and talk about the important things...once you know that you are on the same page in regards to Yahweh, Torah, children, money, friends, respect and Yashua, you are free to fall in love with that person....again and again!

Dear Dad, I Always Wanted To Ask You...

You get basically three types of males

  1. Boys (0-13 years old)
  2. Adult boys and (13-120 years old Rebels, “Alpha males”, gangsters, etc)
  3. Mature men (13-120 years old)

You see, to make the transition form boyhood to manhood the boy must die. You need a father figure that can initiate you into manhood. Someone who can help you through the transition.

Most boys' story is: Mom is busy and dad is absent.

Dad & Mom might still be married, but dad is not too involved. He is absent, since he work or out with they guys.

Single mothers also fall in this absent dad category, since the dad get to see the child once in a while.

That is why you get grown boys that never grow up. They grow older, but they don't grow up. A great mother cannot help a son to manhood. Just like a man cannot bring a boy into the world a woman cannot bring a boy to manhood.

These boys become the “beggars" or "bullies” in relationships.

The “beggars” let women, and almost everyone else, push them around, they are the “nice guys”, the “people pleasers”, “The doormat”, etc.

The bullies obviously are abusive. They beat their wives, and are prone to anger and violence.

Woman might marry one of these adult boys, but soon they lose their attraction for them. Hence the high divorce rate, and high amount of rebound relationship.

Anyway, here you can ask any questions that you still want to ask your dad, so that one of our more mature men can answer that for you. Even mature men have questions other mature men can answer.

Some friendly Relationship Q&A so feel free to click the "comments link" above so that you can comment here. Then you can ask the question in that comment.