PAULINE and Geraldine met at church one day. They seemed immediately to have much in common. Both had a baby and another child each under six. And their respective husbands, Brice and Doug, seemed to get along together as well. Both families spent much time together over the ensuing five years, at church, in each other’s homes, serving others for Christ together, and serving and loving each other. Both couples were active in their serving within their church, much to the extent that between the four of them they were nearly three fulltime equivalent pastoral roles (senior leaders) on the church staff. Each couple was not only an ideal complement for each other, but both couples were an ideal complement for their church. Everything worked so well. And, best of all, the church was growing in reach into the community, and in spiritual depth.
But then something happened, which happens in a lot of relationships. A misunderstanding occurred, a theme of poor communication developed, and the relationship disintegrated.
Geraldine and Doug experienced a sudden loss within their family, and they
Fellowship has its barriers within any community of care. But this could be the chief of them. It begins as the very first words are uttered from the mouth of a would-be, could-be, or sadder an actual, friend.
Those words are, ‘How are you / going?’
Don’t get me wrong. Those three or four words can initiate a wonderfully intimate conversation, except for two circumstances where they break intimacy in half.
1. Where the conversation stops at ‘Good, thanks,’ and there’s no more enquiry entered into, apart from ‘Okay, great,’ more as to say, ‘I don’t have the time for you,’ ‘I don’t have the time right now, and generally don’t ever,’ or ‘I wasn’t really interested in any more of a response than “Good, thanks” to begin with,’ there’s a problem. The problem should be obvious. Should the question have been asked to begin with? Should we feign intimacy?
2. Where the conversation stops because, awkwardly, the person being asked doesn’t feel comfortable answering honestly. That’s okay. Nobody should apologise for needing to avoid the question. The answer could be a polite, ‘I’m well, thank you,’ if indeed they were well.
RATIONALITY has nothing to do with how life in relationships work.
Relationships do not work on principles that can be weighed. There is rarely the point of right or wrong in relationships. There is no black and white in relationships, only myriad shades of grey.
It’s because of perceptions… and points of view… which are all different… and differing values mean we apply differing weights of importance to the same matters.
So why do we consider that someone else should suffer the indignity of being humbled when we won’t? Why is another person to forgive us when we don’t feel led to forgive them or another person or people?
Forgiveness is not about justice any more than justice is about reality. Justice is about right and wrong, whereas forgiveness is about reconciliation, and there’s not much justice in this broken world of ours.
Disconnecting forgiveness from justice eases all our impossible expectations.
Someone does us ‘wrong’ and then we become imprisoned in our hurt until we get an apology. What if it never comes? It would have been better not to think of what they did as right or wrong, just or
There are many cosmetic products on the market that claim to transform one in unbelievable ways. For example, some claim their use could make one look ten or more years younger. Product manufacturers claim that using their product as directed could be more beneficial to their users than other brands of the same product on the market. Most of these products do not hold up to their claim, and even if they did, the results are only temporary.
The Bible talks about an authentic transformation that is necessary in each individual’s life. It does not cost individuals anything to obtain (though it cost Christ His life), the result speaks for itself, and lasts forever. This transformation is guaranteed through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Why do we need this transformation? This transformation is necessary to restore our relationship with God; the relationship that was interrupted by sin. Before you even think you have no sin, listen to what the Bible says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our
Families are the essential building blocks of any society and happy families make a happy society. Everyone wants to live in a happy family as family is the place where human beings find the accomplishment of life. Modern families often face multiple relationship issues which have emerged as contribution of the changed lifestyle and les intense relationships.
Living in a happy family is important to mould each and every human being into responsible social beings. Home and families are places where kids and elders live with a feeling of security and also places of sharing, love, care and concern. Mutual understanding, adjustments and love creates the unbreakable bond between family members and if taken care of certain aspects, any family can be made a happy family
Making a happy family is no magic as it requires just an extra strained nerve, to nurture love, to facilitate communication and to make each feel contented and secure. Let us see few of the inevitable building blocks that make a happy family
Financial management within the family is a hard nut to crack for many of the home-runners. Though the income is high, several families find they run out of financial resources and helpless at emergency situations. Proper financial management within the family and maintaining the financial health is essential to be well supplied with economical resources when in need.
It is because of the failure in managing the financial resources many families get bound to bank loans, and often bankruptcy. Improper management of wealth sources will raise possible risks in life and will create unwanted situations in life. Managing money is not a tough concept, if approached well and remained adhered to the budget and decisions constantly
Many people never consider or foresee the possible future expenses and drain out all the savings and resources for present day life. If reserved a bit of extra consciousness on the money matters, maintaining a healthy financial family is a possible tas
Romance is an integrated emotion and urge in human life. Human body and psychology is designed to attract members of opposite sex. This intelligent design is the key to human relationships and sexuality which further works as basic element of human continuity on earth through procreation. Usually male and female counterparts feel the buds of romance germinated within at the beginning of adolescence itself.
Sexual maturity has no role in bringing romance on ones minds as people may feel romance much before they attain puberty. Romance is a psychological application imprinted into your brain which is stimulated even in the childhood itself. There are several social and psychological aspects behind a person’s inclinations to fall in love
Breakups are heartbreaking for both men and women; still men and women dump partners at times. There can be reasons or no reasons at all. Whatever it is, very fewer relationships are found to be ever sustaining and ever progressing. Women, many times, drop the relationships with obvious reasons. They are sensitive to the maximum and at the same time bold to the extreme.
As they do not forget trivial mistakes, never-forgivable actions can be ignored by them. The unpredictability of women makes it harder to analyze the most common reasons for them dumping the men. Each woman approaches the relationships in a very much subjective way, thus what makes a serious enough reason for a woman to dump her man may seem ignorable by another
As a single male in my mid-twenties, I find myself consciously and unconsciously thinking about and searching for that special someone. My goal has always been to be friends with my future wife for at least a year, date for a year, engaged for a year, which includes being married by the time I’m thirty.
This goal may seem far-fetched and I admit it is, so I’m open to altering it. I know what I want in a future spouse (I think) and I definitely know what I don’t want. But the older I get, the more I realize that the challenge to find someone who fits what I want and what I don’t want seems like “mission: impossible.” My impatience steps in which seems to prolong my wait to meet this future wife of mine.
Occasionally, I reflect on the thought that she is out there somewhere so I wonder what she is doing at that very moment and if she is thinking of me. As much as I am actively trying to find someone, I’m reminded by my friends how they found their special someone when they were least expecting to. I have to
This is a common concern in our society for single people of any age; how to make contact with someone that we like on a soft matter without being forward. The truth of the matter is that we have the opportunity to meet that special person everyday; at the bus station, at the grocery store, at church, at a class, at the gym, at the coffee shop, at the library.
1. Eye contact
There has to be a little game of eye contact. He looks at you. You look at him. You look away. You look again. He looks at you again. You smile. He smiles back. And so on…
And Men, you keep your eyes on her until she looks back… and maybe, smiles. Then, approach her and introduce conversation. The easiest way is to say: “Hi! My name is _______. What is yours?” And say something nice about her. Something about her hair, something about the color that she is wearing, or the make up. Whatever you find nice and feminine about her appearance.
Later on, VERY IMPORTANT, say something nice about HER personality. Not on a physical level, but on a
This quiz is based on key areas of communication and intimacy in relationships. The easiest way to take the quiz is to print it, so that you can circle your responses and add up the results. Use the scale below to gauge the health of your relationship.
The questions are designed to assess the likelihood of your relationship being a success in the long term. Take the results seriously, but realize that no quiz can take into account everything that may important to you. Please do not feel completely discouraged if you don’t score well. Instead, use what you learn from the questions, and let the results motivate you to identify patterns of negativity and areas needing improvement.
Please answer the following questions using the 3-point scale provided. Answer according to how often the experience occurs in your relationship to either you or your partner. For more honest results, take the test alone before comparing results.
1 = Never, 2 = Sometimes, 3 = Always
1 2 3 We speak freely to each other and don’t hold back feelings to avoid conflict.
1 2 3 We show each other respect even when we
. Be predictable. When do seeds of suspicion emerge? When one begins to think, What’s up? Why is he doing that? He’s never done that before. That is so unlike him. He loses 30 pounds, buys a new wardrobe and comes home late from work. He changes his patterns. His behavior becomes unpredictable. You get the picture? Any movement away from predictable behavior can become suspect and trust can deteriorate. Focus on acting predictably if you need to build trust. Be consistent in what you do. This doesn’t mean you must be boring. If there is a twinkle in your eye and a dose of spontaneity every so often, for goodness sakes be spontaneous and fun loving. But, be spontaneous consistently! Be true to who you have always been and be that consistently, whoever you tend to be!
2. Inform your significant other when you become “unpredictable.” No one goes through life the same person. We all make shifts and changes. Frankly sometimes we may be fairly clueless about what is happening and where we are going. Those times may be very intense and we do some silly things or make some downright dumb decisions. Life can
A strong, healthy relationship is one in which the partners show respect and kindness toward each other. The relationship forms a rewarding and enduring bond of trust and support. Here are seven power skills that will help you form stronger alliances and bring more closeness, authenticity and trust to your relationships.
1. Relax Optimistically
If you are comfortable around others, they will feel comfortable around you. If you appear nervous, others will sense it and withdraw. If you are meeting someone for the first time, brighten up as if you’ve rediscovered a long-lost friend. A smile will always be the most powerful builder of rapport. Communicating with relaxed optimism, energy and enthusiasm will provide a strong foundation for lasting relationships.
2. Listen Deeply
Powerful listening goes beyond hearing words and messages; it connects us emotionally with our communication partner. Listen to what the person is not saying as well as to what he or she is saying. Focus intently and listen to the messages conveyed behind and between words.
Listen also with your eyes and heart. Notice facial expressions and body postures, but see beneath the surface of visible behaviors. Feel the range
Before writing this article, I stopped and thought hard. By writing this, would I be putting potentially harmful information in the hands of abusive men? Would I be putting more women at risk? The answer kept coming back ‘no’ – although the question did bring to mind another characteristic of abused women that I’ll come back to.
The thing is, although abused women aren’t usually aware of what’s special about them, abusive men are. In fact,it would be hard to teach an abusive man anything he doesn’t already know about choosing a victim.
Abusive men often come across, initially, as the unusually sensitive ones. This they undoubtedly are – to their own real and perceived hurts; and also to their partner’s vulnerability.
Whether you choose to explain it as a sixth sense, a powerful conditioned response, or something akin to pheromones, doesn’t really matter. Abusive men are exquisitely attuned to pick out vulnerable, susceptible women, however these women may present themselves.
It’s unlikely these men could put the process into words. But they evaluate the responses of their prey very carefully. Whatever appears to be happening at the verbal level, at a deep level