Tag Archives: heart

Is This Growing Trend in Marriage Working?

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Yesterday, while driving home listening to the radio, the DJ mentioned that there is a growing trend on married couples nowadays – happily, living apart from each other. Like thousands of miles apart.  The couple he referred to had one living in New Zealand, the other in the United Kingdom and she was happily pregnant. He didn’t say anything about the duration of time apart, but, from how he was segueing into the topic, the couple each had a home, signed a contract, and figuratively speaking, happily went their separate ways.  My mind, almost automatically, went first to, “Is it his?” to, “Is he military?” and then, was searching for a way this equaled happiness among married couples.  I had arrived home by then, and didn’t stay to hear the listeners’ call-in response, so this is a question still left unanswered to me.

This morning, I tuned into a preacher’s sermon and he mentioned how he had been told by fellow believers and members in his congregation, that God had given these individuals “signs” to prove that they needed to get a divorce.  He emphatically stated, “Let me be clear, God is NOT giving anyone signs for divorce…”

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Different Strokes for different folks, yes, I get that, but I guess why I’m having a hard time understanding the choices the above individuals are making, is because I have come to the understanding that marriage is an outward display to show others what patience, kindness, encouragement, trustworthiness, is supposed to look like towards another human being. All relationships do this in some way, but this is one where a stranger, not joined by blood, must connect with another and be these things to each other. I have personally watched and (unbeknownst to them) studied couples, (when I didn’t believe in marriage and what it represented,) and have seen them, not be envious, but supportive, protective, and bring out the best in each other.  They were the ones who gave me a shred of hope.

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You see, whether or not a person likes it, they’re being watched (I’m not even talking about Big Brother or Alien Life Forms here), I’m saying closer to home.   A person may think that when they finally decide to be exclusive to another person, it is based on their personal happiness, but it’s not.  I think there’s a part inside each of us that watches and hopes that person, those two people who seem so happy at the moment,  has this “love thing” figured out to give us hope.  And every time a marriage ends, a little part of our hope dies.

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During the days when I was an unbeliever in marriage, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were my hope that even Hollywood could have stars maintain a healthy marriage.  To say I was crushed to see the tabloids at the checkout line, of their breakup, was an understatement.  I thought to myself, if they couldn’t do it, and they seem like two really nice people, why try?

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After that, I saw the trend.

Every time Hollywood gets too involved in a married couple’s business, (or, a married couple are a little too out there in their marriage), I’ve noticed that it adds another chink in their armor.  The armor they vowed each other to protect, regardless if they mentioned God, or not.  It is implied that, in all the world, this one person standing next to you will be one who you can proudly and confidently say, “we finally found each other!” as the definitive statement and not a question.

I lovingly put these questions out there, not just to the readers, but to myself; when inside, I’m gnawing with frustration toward my own husband; sometimes audaciously, other times legitimately – What is it that you want? When will you ever be satisfied? And, why must the other person “get it,” but you expect to have grace when you mess up and fall short? Ugh..

I’m glad to say that my eyes at that point began shifting upward.  I began to understand that there were two school of thoughts about the human definition of “love” (regardless of language). Of course, there’s eros (sexual, physical love) , phileo (brotherly love)  and agape (unconditional love), but in regards to our heart, we want agape.  We know we want and deserve someone who is forgiving and patient with us.  We know when we’re misunderstood by that one person, we feel a million miles apart from our own heart.  We know how it’s suppose to feel – because when we don’t get it, we notice.  But how is it suppose to look?  It’s so rare, and we feel as though we’re the only ones struggling to get it right. Perhaps that’s why we look at other relationships so closely.

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That’s why I am passionate about helping others find peace within themselves so they will seek out relationships that have the foundations set to mutually be solid, loving, peaceful, and lasting. And in the same the home. Consider this a sign to be encouraged.
Want to see if you and your honey are truly compatible, or find areas to work on?  Contact us here.

Love, Peace, Hugs, and Respect,

Arikah

When Marriage Became More Than Paper to Me – Part 1

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The fairy tales that ended with “and they lived happily ever after,” represented some sort of cruel, sick joke to me once I reached my late teenage years.  All around me, and I mean in the tabloids and media, I was seeing people getting divorced for reasons varying from “falling out of love,” financial gain/loss, just not in agreement, and finally infidelity, that I truly didn’t see the point of why two people would even want to commit themselves to each other.

I saw it as a way to further muffle the woman’s voice, who was supposed to be helpless, unassuming, and a domestic demi-goddess to be able to look good and handle the household without complaining.  And since there were always several kids in this kind of family, she was always ready to have sex because she wanted more and more kids. If she was called “self-sacrificing,” that meant she was a martyr that was everything to everyone, whenever and however they needed her.

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I saw it this way until I wanted a relationship.

In the deep abyss of my mind, I, at least, knew the concept of marriage meant a vow to be with the other person for rest of each other’s lives;  to have each other’s backs, and as much as I opposed marriage, I wanted someone to want to vow to be with me for the rest our lives.

As crazy and as wild as my life was, one thing stood true – as I kept chasing after unconditional love in all the wrong places and the wrong people, I really didn’t know how to give the kind of love I wanted, because I didn’t know how to receive it.

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I don’t mean this in other people, because yes, there were some wrong choices there, but there were also some great people out there who cared deeply for me. (That didn’t mean they were “the one”).

In fact, I remember qualifying candidates as “the one” because we got along great and they seemed nice, but until I realized me own pattern, within 3 months, we hit turmoil and usually quickly it was over.

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No, when I say I didn’t know how to receive it, I mean, in a Higher Power kind of way.  (Now before I lose you, let me explain!)

I knew there existed a Higher Power who ‘loved’ me, but in this world, I felt I had to fend for myself.  I had to make a way for myself, provide for myself (even when I was sleeping in my car and eating mayo/sprouts sandwiches), and I definitely had to figure out who can love and accept me with all my imperfections, and many a night I spent in the arms of a new lover trying to find it.  However, I was still quietly suffering from bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts. I was raped several times.  I compromised my own dignity in order to have a relationship, more than once. And although I wanted this ‘imaginary perfect person,’ my own measuring stick of qualifying candidates ranged from making excuses for them (saying things like, ‘who am I to judge?’) to they better love me, warts and all – but be easy for me to love.

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Somewhere in there, in my search, I bypassed all the people who were telling me what I should do and I decided to delve further into my knowledge of God – mind you though, that was by happenstance because really I had just prayed, “Ok, God, I have nothing to show for my life, so you can take it now!” (which, by the way means something totally and wonderfully different to God, I believe!) Without meaning to, after being graced with “cords of human kindness,” who wanted to help me without return of favor but out of sheer joy and even protected my dignity, who extended help without my having to perform or just be “on,” but because it was it was on their hearts, really, it was too much for me during this humbling time.  I even prayed that God stop it because I didn’t know how to handle “so much love,” I prayed.  These were people who first showed a love that was one of respect and integrity.  The romantic love had to be on hold during this time, because honestly, I was a mess and still didn’t understand or recognize a love that meant respect for another being in a selfless way. More than that, I didn’t know why anyone would want to do things for the sheer joy of helping someone else.  I was still doing things for others because 1.) It made me feel good in a way where I was a good person to help someone else, meaning that eventually, I would be thanked or recognized in some way – if even cosmically; 2.) I felt I had to and with everyone being a part of a charity, not only could I get a tax break, but be called a philanthropist and 3.) somewhere in me I felt I should do it.  But more times than not, I never intentionally went out of my way to help or love others. And once I became a Christian, Heaven help those that didn’t ‘agree’ with my understanding of God. Regardless, I had enough problems of my own, and didn’t want to involve myself with others – yet, I still wanted a relationship.

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So, in reflecting how marriage became more to me, I believe it came somewhat in this order:

1.) I had to understand the type of Love I wanted – even more than that, the Source, and who really set the standard of the type of Love I yearned for;

2.) I had to demonstrate that love in a way where I did not expect to have it reciprocal, but because I was willing to do so for the sheer joy of it;

3.) I had to learn about boundaries – mine and others, and learn how to respect those.

4.) I had to be open to the concept of forever be forgiving of others and take responsibility without feeling shame when I asked for forgiveness

5.) I studied again the dictionary definition of the word ‘love’ and what the biblical standard of ‘Love’ if, and than set out to see if I could see it demonstrated on a consistent basis between two people who professed their love for each other.

Let me just add, I DID see it! I saw so many husbands loving their wives, while still being ‘men,’ and fathers to their children. I saw their wives stand majestically beside them, respecting them and encouraging them.  I saw it over and over again. I saw how when they were apart from each other, that wasn’t their time to rip apart their spouse and complain of their spouse’s shortcomings. I saw the mutual respect they had for each other to strengthen each other.  I saw them show respect for the vows they made to each other and before God. I witnessed them growing together in their walks with God to impact and encourage others.  Their children were polite and loving.  Trust me, for a moment I thought I was in a bizarro world, but it was right there in Los Angeles – of all places, and then again in Franklin, Tennessee.  Only because I saw it over and again did I believe it was achievable. So I made up my mind that I was going to have that.

(to be continued) – Forcing My Dreams of Marriage to Match My Vision – Part 2

Hugs, Peace, and truly love,

Arikah, Founder, Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking (www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking)

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Can you relate to this apology video?

The dating app and interactive comedy sitcom, based on a true story – (mine and Bob’s) where you choose the adventures the couple must make, Is coming up and we need your participation! Like and get notifications on our Facebook page  and follow our Youtube channel, Love Support (to see an online dating submission video!).

To see the show previews, click here.

When You’re All Prayed Out for Finding a Spouse

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Lisa* (name changed), a single woman in her mid- 40s, attends church regularly.  She knows and calls on God being her all.  She attends single’s events and women’s events, gets along well with her co-workers – even known in the office as the “one to ask when you need prayers.”   She’s been on several dates in the past that never worked out but had always prayed for a husband and children that came from her own womb to love and call her own.  She’d been walking the conservative life as a Christian for over 20 years and even though she knows things are in God’s timing, there is a tiny part in her that believes that she has to pray a certain way or learn a certain thing before God gives her the husband she’d been asking for.  All this is done while keeping her distance from being approached for fear of “falling” for the wrong guy or getting involved too quickly. A first time “coffee date” involves an interrogation for why he may not be the one or if he could be one – which she mistakenly and innocently disguises as conversation.

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Peter* (name changed), in his late 40s, has been out with many Christian women and tried many times, without realizing it, to be the guy that could fit each potential woman’s life in case she was “the one.”  He even was engaged a couple of times. He had been telling God repeatedly he was ready for a wife and believed that God answers prayers, but each time he would consider a woman to be even his girlfriend, the woman would usually end it.  He would hear, “You’re too much of a good guy, I guess part of me wants a bit of a bad boy.”  He then believed that the answer, slapping him in the face, was that 1.) he must become a jerk to even get a dating relationship because Christian women want that now, and 2.) God doesn’t answer prayers for a spouse.

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THE NUMBER ONE reason for romantic problems…

Who’s guiding you?

In my business, I come in contact with many people in all walks in life – believers and nonbelievers, and on a grand scale, I try to reach out to all and speak about something everyone wants – unconditional love, acceptance, and to be understood. The most surprising thing is that there are more Christians who truly struggle with the journey of receiving the desires of their heart, especially in regards to finding a spouse.  Many think it has to come in a formula prayer or life-point, while slowly building resentment, or depression and grief, or bitterness and even pride in their hearts towards God and give up on prayers being answered.  Many cry out in deep agony outwardly and internally to God but after months and years they begin to doubt. Pride, at this point, has taken its toll and either the person takes matters into their own hands to make things happen, saying they don’t need God to make things happen in their lives (think Sarah, Abraham’s wife when she was promised a son, and because it was taking too long, took matters into her own hands. A move that still affects today and why there is war in the Middle East) to swinging in the absolute opposite side of the pendulum and subconsciously hide, making it impossible to meet possible candidates (think Moses’ attitude in Exodus 4: 1-24)

I’ve been asked many times what qualifies me in this profession.  How would I know the relationships would last? How would I know the two were meant for each other?

While nothing in this world is guaranteed, there are no apologies for believers yielding humbling themselves to the actual need of the Power, Grace, and Direction of God.  The Proverbs are filled with the importance of wisdom and discernment and even gives important and life-altering information on how to find and keep a spouse.  Many times, it is very easy in the Christian world to intellectualize the need for Jesus’ Power, but our hearts do not believe.

But here is something I want to leave you with: when you are all prayed out, let it go and believe.  The hardest part about prayer is the actually believing that it is being answered.

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And if you don’t know His character perhaps that should be your focus, instead of trying in vain to improve yourself and judge others?

Why would God, who makes no apologies for being vehemently passionate about preserving the sanctity of the marital covenant, why would He be lackadaisical – impasse, even when it comes to ensuring strong marriages are created?  With our vows being committed to HIM, as God being the third cord and glue to bond and hold the marriage, why would He not answer prayers?

“You don’t get because you don’t ask God. When you do ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:2-3.

This can be applied in all circumstances.

“…Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, you words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia.” – Gabriel to Daniel, Daniel 10:12-13.

Let go and believe.

Humble yourself and active aligned yourself with your Maker so to be a part of His plan.

Repent of the pride that may be subtly building.  Ask God to search your heart and make clear to you any pride that may have taken root.  Ask others around you (the wise has many advisors) who can be honest with you what is apparent about your persona involving your singleness.  And allow a date to just be a date to be encouraged and to encourage another without qualifying the person as a spouse too soon.

I pray with you.  I pray for you.  Part of the matchmaking with my clients, is being an objective party both candidates can confide in and pray.  The goal of the company is NOT simply to matchmake for the sake of doing it, but to do it right, with setting God as the actually compass in connecting the pair.  Clients, if anything, learn about themselves, past choices and why they made the choices, which serve as a break in the walls that had been built up from repeated heartaches.

I want to hear from you.  Go to the facebook page to stay posted and encouraged. Apply for assistance in finding your love here. 

Love and peace,

S. Arikah Baly-Jensen, founder of Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking

Coming Home – Forgiveness Through the Mad Search of Finding Love

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“A certain man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the inheritance.’ Then the father divided his estate between them. Soon afterward, the younger son gathered everything together and took a trip to a land far away. There, he wasted his wealth through extravagant living, wild parties, drugs, and loose women. 
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“When he had used up his resources, a severe food shortage arose in that country and he began to be in need. He hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill from what the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, but I’m starving to death! I will get up and go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I no longer deserve to be called your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands.” ’ So he got up and went to his father.
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“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion. His father ran to him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
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“Now his older son was in the field. Coming in from the field, he approached the house and heard music and dancing.  He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant replied, ‘Your brother has arrived, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he received his son back safe and sound.’ Then the older son was furious and didn’t want to enter in, but his father came out and begged him. He answered his father, ‘Look, I’ve served you all these years, and I never disobeyed your instruction. Yet you’ve never given me as much as a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours returned, after gobbling up your estate on prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’
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 Then his father said, ‘Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive. He was lost and is found.’” – Jesus, Luke 15:11-32
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