I would lie to you if I said I’ve never been a religious person. I have been. I don’t consider myself religious now, but rather, a very spiritual being. I have come to understand that by no means religion is a synonym for spirituality. I think I’ve mentioned this before. I have come to know the God of my understanding, yet religion has offered me a well of knowledge and I can never seem to forget this verse:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.And if I give all my possessions to the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
In a Fast Food Nation, where most things are categorized as instant gratification, marriage can often turn into a difficult road to endure. Feminism freed women from infidelity, telling them “Don’t take that crap from anybody sista’!”. Laws protected us women against domestic violence, and still women die each day from this. What ever happened to forgiveness?
Excerpts from The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick:
Love is built on two pillars: patience and kindness. Love will inspire you to become a patient person. When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper. But patience stops problems in their tracks. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil. Anger is often an emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness, foolishness, or evil motives. Patience helps you give your spouse (or loved one) permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it. It gives you the ability to hold on during the tough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under the pressure.
I’m not saying: “Go out girls! Get beat up by your boyfriends or husbands.” By no means I would ever say: “It’s just another woman. Big deal!” Domestic violence, infidelity, disrespect, and other great offenses are deal breakers for me and go against my rule book. Respect is as vital as air for a relationship to survive.
I heard once that “when people say for better or worse, they usually mean for the better.” I understand that now. My grandparents have been together for 54 years. My parents have been together for 27 years. There is a saying in Spanish: “Nadie sabe lo que está en la olla. Solo el que la menea”. It translates to: “No one knows what lies inside the pot. Only the one that stirs it.”
I recognized there is a mystery in every lasting, good relationship. I will never know what my grandparents and parents have gone through to learn unconditional love. Nowadays, such love seems like a myth. People such as myself ask themselves daily: “How much is too much?” “What if there is someone better out there?” “What if I’m making a mistake?”.
Truth be told, you are the only one who will know when too much arrives. There is ALWAYS someone better out there. The only problem is, once you find that someone better, there will always be someone better out there. What if you are making a mistake? I believe nothing in this life is coincidental.
Life is a tough school to master. Whatever the lesson is, you have to give it your best, or else you will fail. And by you, I mean… ME.
Abuse is never a one time event.
Excerpt from DomesticViolence.Org: Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; living together, separated or dating.
Examples of abuse include:
* name-calling or putdowns
* keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
* withholding money
* stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
* actual or threatened physical harm
* sexual assault
Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.
The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs listed on the “Violence Wheel.”
ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.
If you are being abused, REMEMBER:
1. You are not alone
2. It is not your fault
3. Help is available