Tag Archives: marriage

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?

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To see the show previews, click here.

How to Know When You’re Ready to Date

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Up until now, I would hope you have been following the common thread each post carries – in order to find the relationship you’re looking for, you’ve got to be clear-minded and healthy in your own mind to be able to recognize the best fit for you.

It’s important to bring your heart out last when building the relationship because, as the saying goes, love is blind. “Love” or strong feelings brought about by coddling the ego, or eros, makes the woman make excuses for the man who is, not just wrong for her, but toxic in nature. “Love” is what makes the guy believing that the girl who says he’s just too nice for her holding on to hope that one day, she’ll come around and see him as that great guy.

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I’ve met many people who say they are ready to date, yet digging deeper and listening to them, many times they have unrealistic expectations set on the potential person – should that person ever decides to come forward.  And all that is really covering a fear of the unknown, a bit of hopelessness, and impatience while looking at their proverbial inner clock.

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So how does one know that he or she is ready to date?

Well, for starters:

1.) Do you feel comfortable enough to approach someone on your own and striking up a conversation to actually get to know the person, or are you mentally qualifying them in your mind? (p.s. ladies, this goes for you, too!)

2.) Do you feel your breathing get more rapid when you think about going out for the date?

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3.) Have you let yourself go in appearance, with the mistaken attitude, of “love me like this, or leave me!” ? (p.s. really, if you don’t expect to consider someone when they have let themselves go from being their best self to sub-par, stop with the double standard!)

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4.) Does it feel like work for you to enjoy being in the company of others?

5.) Are you involve in extra-curricular activities to meet people – where you can shine?

6.) Are you polite to those who serve you? (side note, a friend of mine ended up marrying the waiter who served her when she was out with her friend for lunch.)

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7.) Can you honestly say if you been “picky,”  which can be, without you realizing it be either snobby, judgemental, or unapproachable (i.e. would you be able to play the main character of, “The Taming of the Shrew?”)

8.) Can you go on dates and just enjoy it for what it is, or are you already interrogating them in your mind? (sidenote; MOST marriage minded people do, which puts them in a mindset of really not enjoying the moment)

9.) Are you polite enough to thank them for their time or are you thinking of how to get to kiss or sleep with the person.

10.) Can you flirt without being a tease or making sexual connotations? (hint: a smile can mean all the difference)

11.) Can you wear clothes for the first few dates that are modest enough to where the person does not have to be staring at your body all night, but actually hear what you’re saying, to allow them to get to you for you, or do you feel your body is what will keep the person coming back? (Classy, not trashy – that goes for both men and women)

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12.) Can you allow yourself to make mistakes and flub up the date and extend the same grace for the other person?

Well if so, you’re on your way.  Even if you’re shy, feel awkward, or have too much of a hectic schedule, you can still meet have amazing dates that will lead you to your “one.”

Ready to set up a complimentary 15 minute consultation appointment?  Go here.

Trouble in Paradise – Amen for Grace

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I wanted to stop and write this during the midst of my own personal storm.   Especially as being a relationship coach, I’m not sure how else to share the authenticity of real relationships and that every one has its storms, but survival is foundationally based on the decisions made long before the relationship is ever in existence.

My husband and I, are right now at the writing of this blog, not seeing eye to eye.  So much so, that he is at one end of the house and I at the other and not speaking.  I can honestly tell you, both of us are hurt.  Both of us had our well-intentioned words or actions we thought would make things better, but they didn’t help.

My natural “normal’ (in terms of how everyone else seems to solve this problem) self wants to throw in the towel, because, hey, why go through drama? Life is too short, right? I could get a nice, quiet divorce, take our daughter, move in with my mom until I get my own place and just go through the visitation process.  I mean, I was so mad today I couldn’t even look at him.  I wanted nothing to do with him.  That’s how mad I was.  And yet, he was also giving exasperated sighs and movements of frustration that I can only imagine he felt the same.  In the midst of it, our two-year old was happily running around the house saying, “hi mom!, hi da-dee!” 20141225_143728_resized

However, friends, I made a vow.  And I made it before the God I believe is the glue between us.

You see, I had a person who emailed me a while back who was considering my services, tell me that my questions seemed too Christian. She said she was not religious but spiritual and wondered if she should considered my service.

But I asked her, what is she basing her core values and beliefs on?  What if she and her partner could not see eye to eye, on grounds will she go on to have the relationship she so desires?  What was it she was looking for in a partner?

I’m not religious either. As a matter of fact, it boggles my mind why people want to fight over trivial things and think that an All-powerful God is going to care – ….well, I’ll just say whatever would make there be six different churches in a two block area, yet still all proclaim to worship God…..I don’t get it.

However, having said, I did, at least came to know of God in a church. Actually, I learned more about Jesus and how he was definitely out of the box.  And that He was God.  And that He died for me, not when I got it right, or when I wasn’t doing the sinning anymore.  He was there with me protecting me from harm as I smoked from the bong.  He protected me when I was stranded in the desert – twice and yelled out at him for being a sadistic god.  He was there continually pouring out Grace and Forgiveness when I showed Him no respect, all the way to today.  He is here with me now as my heart continually gets heavy at the anguish of suffering in the world around me.

Yet, He made me to be a fighter. Call me a rebel, call me weird, but normal just isn’t making it anymore* ( this was from this evening’s service http://www.echochurchnashville.com. Thank you, Brian! Hey, I’ll still share because I don’t know who needs it!) I’m choosing to honor the vow I made to the Lord (first) and then my husband.

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What that means is, no matter what –

– Divorce is not an option – (we both are solid on that)

– Being in control of my emotions and actions will always be before the Lord

– I will invite the Lord into my heart and actions

– even if my husband and I are not seeing eye to eye, I will respect him and his role as head of the household

– I will fight for the sanctity of our marriage and not let anyone, including our child, come in-between us. (we both agree)

You see when we (collectively as people) are like this, it’s important to go back to what you (individually) believe and who you believe.  Just as I believe in an All-Powerful God, I believe He has an enemy of evil.  Yep, I believe there is a devil.  And I believe that whatever God creates, the devil seeks to destroy.  He only seeks it because he has no real power, unless …. well, for now I will say, unless I give him power.

That power is given to him if I heed to his whispering in my ear, “what about you? he doesn’t appreciate you? you know all women has to go through this. If God really loved you, he would’ve given you a man who really knew how to do his role. You do so much. You’re getting bags under your eyes sacrificing for your family, you deserve more.”

Nope. I’m a fighter.  “Never let the culture define your identity,”  and “Never let the devil have the last move.”* (per this morning’s service, http://www.fourthavenuechurch.org, thank you Patrick!)

“Reclaim your identity.”

That cycle of divorce and broken marriages stops with me.  My daughter will benefit from watching two people love each other and know and experience her da-dee’s love in the same household.  She will see how a husband is to love a wife, but even if he isn’t, which he does, she will watch a wife take full responsibility of her part of the vows that she made.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I looked pretty in my dress, but that day means more to me than looking regal.  I am choosing to be regal.

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I am choosing to, wake him up and give him the biggest hug because regardless, I love him.  I am choosing to love him even when I don’t feel like it. Not because of him. I’m not going to stay with him for the sake of our daughter – (ughhh! That’s an annoying excuse – my opinion, though)  I’m going to stay with him and love him because I made a vow before God.  And when it gets tough, when I feel like I can’t give anymore, I’m choosing to make sure God’s Spirit is right there giving me that extra boost to kill my pride and apologize and love my husband. My posting of our happy pictures is to only remind me of the love I have for him and the gratitude that he is one that I don’t have to question his love for me.

For the upcoming blog, I’ll still write of the core value questions so that you can answer them on your own.  They won’t be right or wrong, they’ll be what you truly believe, and then there will be a scale to measure if you are ready for a healthy relationship, will you be able to recognize, attract, and maintain it.

Love you all and thanks for reading.

Love, Peace, and Happy Dating!

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Solid, Loving Relationships DOES NOT EQUAL Frequent Sex and Total Agreement

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Sure it’s exciting to have your sexual side titillated, your breath both hot and heavy. But call it what it is – a romp. Once you do, then you’ll stop complaining when “it doesn’t work out.”

This year, I want to ask of you a huge favor – PLEASE pass it on to your “seeking, lovesick” friend that just because he/she had sex with that hot (or even average looking) person twelve times already within the past five nights, that doesn’t equal “love.”  A sex life comparable to rabbits maybe, but not love.

That just because your friend knows where ticklish spots are and can name all the moles, tattoos, and hair on that person’s body, that doesn’t mean they were meant for each other.

That just because the two like long walks on the beach, like to travel, enjoy a dinner and movie, dancing, or volunteering at their local church doesn’t mean they qualify as the couple that will be there for each other when (not, “if”) the storms of life in relationships occur.

Please help them to minimize heartache and heartbreak (there’s a slight difference) this year by helping them to call it what it really is – an enjoyable time with another person that wasn’t meant to be longer than 3 months. (Even though I was being really generous there, I’ll even venture to say 6 months.)

Yep, Lust has a time limit.

The creator of this scene is quoted to say, "I am not the product of my circumstance. I am the product of my decisions."
The creator of this scene is quoted to say, “I am not the product of my circumstance. I am the product of my decisions.”

Why? Because even the most ‘surface-y, superficial’ person is fearfully and wonderfully made and deeply desires unconditional love.  This goes even deeper and beyond “loving” someone past warts, unwanted hair, bad breath and bad cooking. This is where your core beliefs, which usually are established from your childhood, come and take a life of their own.

I’m going to share this in terms of a marriage.

For example, a newly married couple (anything under 4 years) are having a hard time seeing eye-to-eye about what it means to express and demonstrate their love.  He, being straight-laced and quiet, believes when he sends her text messages professing his love, he is showing her love daily. She, more gregarious and lively, believes he needs to plan dates, wine/dine and woo her, every weekend.  He was raised that the husband provides a roof and try to lighten the stress  of the wife and be the “Head servant,”  however when asked what that word meant to him, he admittedly answered he didn’t know.  She was raised with the belief that marriage could fail at any time, so husbands must fervently tend to the marriage. At least when the wife is tending the family and home.

Both confess to love each other, but really, how they decide to handle the above situation is what will strengthen or destroy their relationship. How can I say that? Well, it all goes back to how they view one thing, the core belief – what marriage means to both of them.

Let’s be real here. More and more, people are becoming anti-marriage, but it’s not because it doesn’t work.  Some marry, I’m told, because there are tax breaks and benefits.  Some marry to escape their environment or circumstance.  As a matter of fact, I could be here naming off a few for a bit, so I’ll just make this into a list and you tell me if these ‘marriages’ are based on terms that are lasting.

– to spite another person,

– to inherit material items

– to control another person

– to ensure loneliness doesn’t come in their lives

– to make headlines

– to have what they think as non-stop sex

– to have someone home waiting for them, (and add to this one, while they are with someone else)

– to “lock in” playful and fun times with another person

– to give their children a parent

– to have a live-in babysitter, and/or maid

– to beat their biological clock

– to prove they are worthy

– to have children

– to keep up with religious standards and timeframes

– to keep up with secular timeframes and standards

– to ensure someone will always be in agreement with however or whatever they decide to live their lives

– to have the “daddy” or “mommy” they never had

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What’s so scary is that, I am sure, you as the reader, can think of other reasons to add to the above list.

These days are and will be more difficult to find true love on the fly.  My point is simply this: until a person, who truly wants a committed and loving relationship, can be real with what his or her owns reasons are for feeling ready for a committed relationship, that person will only get non-serious, non-committed people.  No matter how much your friend loves that wart on that cutie’s back or the bunion on that beauty’s foot.  A person has to ask him or herself, and be able to answer, the hard questions of what he or she truly believes.

Next week’s blog, Some Core Belief / Value Questions that MUST be Answered to Have and Find a Successful Relationship. (I’ll probably shorten the title.)

Tell your friend to read my blog and to send questions if I can help.  Or, you can for yourself. Remember it’ll be my opinion, but it’ll always be your ultimate choice to take the advice – just like for your friend when you see him or her get into relationships that you can see from a mile away a heartbreak is inevitable, and when it does, your friend throws out the whole idea of love with the bath water. Until the next time, and so the cycle continues.

Love is more than this and can be found and savoured.  Only the wise (not the smart – but wise and yes, there is a difference) find it, and once it’s found, it’s rich, juicy, and everlasting.

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I’ve seen it too many times to not believe that.  I’ve been promised that from my Maker to not believe Him.  And, although my husband and I have our own take displaying our love, I’m happy to say we’re living it.

sparkplug flat-prong-plug:  Want to have a FREE month of my personal matchmaking service and lots of great gifts?  There are two contests going on found on http://www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking.  1.) Sign up and buy the month service for an already deep discount before the 16th and be placed in the drawing for an extra month, and/or, 2.) post your own most creative 30 second video of YOUR definition of Love. Those videos with the most “likes” wins! (no porn, nudity, or videos in poor taste will be accepted.  It’s too bad I have to put that, but again, that’s the world we live in.  Keep it clean!)

Love, Peace, and Happy Dating to you!

Shakira “Arikah” Baly-Jensen, Founder Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking and Two Ships Dating App

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When You’ve Messed up So Badly, You Think You Can Never Be Loved

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Lydia* (* names changed) was ready planning for hers and Trevor’s* new life until she discovered by chance, his marriage wasn’t over, but in fact very much “loving.”  When she decided to end it and his wife found out, the barrage of hate calls towards her began from the wife, their friends, and his children, leaving her battling stress, depression, and her personal view towards God.

Am I crazy to think she can be forgiven and find true Peace and then her True Love?

Another story is one where Jake*, a young assertive businessman whose success was rapidly growing at exponential speed. He was accumulating many things and was enjoying the attention he was getting from the company’s bigwigs. One night, after a party at the local upscale restaurant, Jake, having a few too many to drink, lost control of his car and hit a mini-van carrying a mother and her two small children.  The impact killed the mother instantly. Jake lives constantly in torment and agony of the accident,  and finds it hard to believe the family would ever forgive him, though at times, he’s wanted to contact them.  He didn’t believe in God, but questioned that if he were real, why would He allow the mother’s death?

Jake can also be forgiven and receive the Peace he seeks.

Although these are two separate stories, the result of shame, guilt, despair, and unforgiveness still tend to stifle individuals when it comes to bonding in romantic relationships, and only those who connect the two prove to have an amazing track record in finding their true love.  Isn’t it true that all anyone wants is to be loved, cherished, and respected; understood and accepted?  A client of mine has many affirmations posted on her walls, which calls for the chanter to pull the strength from within, but if a person’s mind is negating the statements, (such as, “You are worth it,”) the mind has nothing solid to draw from, so it disagrees  – which tend to lead to the destructive choices people make, made ever so clear in matters of the heart.  Where can you draw from?

First off, knowing and understanding that even though you may not believe in God, there is nothing damaging in studying how He is said to describe love, which is actually what we all want:

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I say all this to say that even when you mess up, there is someone who claims to love you – right way – and gives you the freedom to choose to love Him back.

And from that Perfect Love of forgiveness, you will begin to feel from your heart that forgiveness, and that other people follow that same way of life, which leads to the open door of being able to love the right way and receive love the right way. This work is what is necessary in building the HEALTHY foundation for a loving, loyal and committed marriage.

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In short,

You are Worthy to be Loved.

There really is someone out there you were made for.

Allow yourself to accept that Perfect forgiveness, but take the time to admit your mistakes and take responsibility. The circle of influence your actions affect, expand past your immediate field of vision.  Accepting the mercy and forgiveness God gives has the power to positively affect into future generations.   th (2)

Then study the actions of unconditional love, (which is not being a doormat).

The work you do now in planning forever will help you find the one you were made for, instead of wasting time with those who are satisfying emotional and sexual needs, just to end in heartache. Is that what you want?

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If you need advice or a friendly ear, please contact us at Two Hearts.  We are passionate about making sure that every couple matched is done in a way for a loving lifelong commitment in marriage.  Modeled after how Jesus loves, we have witnessed countless success stories, and now, adding daily with our services by matching healthy, stable couples. Beyond that, it’s simply prayer to match the right ones with each other! (That’s the secret)

This blog was much needed and had to be said, so to give those caught in their minds that they are unloveable.

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Peace, Love, and Blessings to you!

And Happy Dating/Companion Building!

S. Arikah Baly-Jensen, Founder Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking and Two Ships

http://www.twoheartsoffline.com

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From Homosexual Dating to Marrying the Woman Who Became His Best Friend

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Rodney’s story continues to amaze me, but, that’s probably because of two things – the first being, he is an amazing man, loyal to his wife, friends and ‘strangers’ (which he doesn’t know!).  The second is his humility to put God as the number one reason for his story.

I met Rodney 14 years ago, when I first came to church and decided to take God seriously. He was living the single life, and I would often see him encouraging the other members of the congregation, making them laugh, giving them gifts. It was apparent how much he was loved. Really, I didn’t pay too much attention to him at the time because I was bringing in my own baggage of converting from the manipulating, dark sex world I was a part of for six years.  Coming in, I was nervous of finding the godly men I was attracted to, for fear of seducing them and leading them down a path that I knew would hold on my conscious. So I usually kept my insecure eyes down – though I was extremely vocal – about everything.

Rodney must have noticed this, because he was the first to ask me out on a date.  I knew the singles often did encouragement-type dates and I was so excited because with his tall frame and fun personality, I actually felt safe – and honored to be chosen.

We had a blast and somewhere in there, he told me that before coming to the Lord, he was actively living a gay lifestyle.  Since then, I’ve always been mesmerized by his story.  Partly because I found similarity with my own life that I was leaving. Though I come to find (after being a part of sexoholics anonymous), my addiction was being in a relationship.  I would do anything to be in a relationship and be loved.

How was he looking so happy?  I had so many questions but instead I just watched this confident, loving man continue to serve others in the congregation and community.  My shock came when I received his wedding announcement – to the woman who often gave me helpful advice.

I just HAD to know. What and how could he change? Did he still have those feelings towards men?   Well, I finally decided to sit down and ask.  His story, without knowing anything before now, served as an inspiration to me of faithfulness, self-control, and perseverance and always has me truly in awe of God.

Here’s his story.  (Answers stated are per questions asked.)

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How long did you actively live the homosexual lifestyle? I guess I always new I was different since the age of 9 and after wrestling with the idea (if homosexuality was ok with God,) i came out and started living the gay lifestyle at age 21.

 Do you believe a person is born this way or it is just a lifestyle? I believe I can only answer this question for me … I believe I was born with a different heart capable of loving another man more deeply than that of a woman i.e the pure relationship of Jonathan and David and I became tempted with the sin of homosexuality as any other person who chooses any sin that he or she is tempted with and given in to.
What was your turning point – what happened in your life to turn it over to Jesus?  I was enjoying my life before I became a disciple of Jesus.  I guess by some standards I was well rounded emotionally, physically, socially and otherwise.  I guess my turning point was when I was invited to go to church and at that time I was not looking, I thought I was spiritually good.  After several no’s, I finally said yes.  On that Sunday there was a woman who was sharing her life and she read a scripture Isaiah 55:8-9 “Your thoughts are not My thoughts nor are your ways like My ways declares the Lord.”  When I heard that I knew in my heart the way I was living wasn’t pleasing to God.  I didn’t immediately change or desire to change, but I think my heart became unbroken little by little and eventually, I let God change me from the inside out.
Did you believe you would get married even after giving your life to Christ? When I became a disciple I wasn’t focused on dating, marriage or anything having to do with relationships, I guess I was enjoying being surrounded with other believers and doing the work God had for us to do.  Over time I began to build strong friendships with women and 2 captivated me and I wanted to take one deeper.
Was race ever a factor in your choice? She was black, smart, beautiful and everything I felt I ever wanted in a woman and there was another – Latin, also beautiful, but not what I was attracted to, however our friendship was the deepest, strongest. secure, loving and everything godly.  When things didn’t work out with the the first woman, my friendship with the other grew even more but my eyes were still blinded to the thought of her being just a best friend and she was and is still my best friend.
How did you know your choice was the one? We spent so much time together as friends it became like a second skin, I guess other people noticed the potential dating relationship there but I was totally blind to it until God opened my eyes.  It was at a friends groom’s party…He got up to say how grateful he was to be marrying his best friend and how she was a best friend to him and how their relationship was like a best friend…Get the picture?  I was floored by his confession.  After that hanging out with my best friend seemed weird because I felt like she was my wife, we would go to the grocery store, out to eat, to church, practically everything we used to do as friends now seemed as if we were married.  It freaked me out!! Not in a bad way but in a way that was unfamiliar.  I knew I wanted to get married, have kids and all the blessings of family and now I felt it was here right in front of my eyes all the time.   We eventually started dating, got engaged and then married all within the year.  We’ve been married now for about 13 years and it’s been good and bad, but most of all it’s been awesome having someone to love and someone to love me unconditionally.
Do you still struggle with thoughts of homosexuality?  Yes I still struggle with the thoughts of homosexuality but isn’t that what we all do with whatever sin we are tempted by.  I believe you have to see sin is sin to God, He doesn’t say this one is worse off that the next or that one deserves more or less condemnation.  To God we all fall short and He gave His Son for all of us, not just the one who don’t practice homosexuality. Romans 3:21-31
How do you cope within your marriage with these struggles?  We both handle things thru openness, prayer and getting help.  We realized we can’t do marriage on our own, we need people who love us and are willing to tell up the truth about ourselves.  We also made a commitment to each other that we don’t believe in divorce, to make the decision to love each other and to keep God and His word in our marriage.  We had a rough year a few years back where I turned back to homosexuality and had sex with men.  It was the hardest thing I had to do but I told my wife and got open with friends and eventually my marriage got to a better place.
Now to answer your last few questions  in these few short sentences:
I believe we are not put here on this earth to discriminate in any form.  The world is not perfect and there are no perfect people in it, so how can anyone judge what is right or wrong for a particular person.  The only thing we should be concerned with is how we love God, how we love others and how we love ourselves.  I imagine it as  God seeing us as children, treating and loving us as such.  He wants the best for us, He hopes we will make the right decisions and He is gracious with us.  Isn’t this how we should be if we call ourselves God followers…want the best for others graciously, hope for others, that they will find the truth and be the extension of God’s grace since we are created in His image.  God doesn’t need me to defend His church or His word.  Who am I to think that I can stand in front of God?  The only thing I can do is Love His creations and follow the truth of His word 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and 1 Peter 4:8-11.  My nephew is gay and he lives with us.  I know he sees my life with my wife and how loving we are to each other, and to him and how gracious we are.  I believe when he has his turning point, he will look back on his experiences living with us and make the best decision for him and his relationship with God.
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See what I mean? I knew from this story, you would get a sense of why he is so admired.  I always wanted to ask these questions – without offense to anyone, and he allowed me.
Next upcoming blog, “I love God, He loves me, and I gotta have Sex with my Dates.!”  (Title pending.)
Happy Dating!
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S. Arikah Nash Baly-Jensen, Founder, Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking