4 Words to Describe Marriage

Umoja: The Swahili term for unity appropriately describes the fundamental aspect of marriage. We are united for the purpose of making the world a better place, and to honor God. This is exceptionally important for me to remember in times of disagreement, discouragement, and discord. God has united us, and we are becoming one; a process that inevitably creates friction.

wp9dafb982_05_06


Sesa  Woruban: This West African phrase describes a symbol made of the morning star and rotating will. It reinforces the concept of transformation or change of character. Marriage will challenge, frustrate, and change us, however we decide if that will be for good or bad. I’m learning that in order to truly love my wife how God intends I have to be intentional about cultivating behaviors that produce a transformed life. And this is hard. Very hard. I’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t change who you are, but the truth is you must. Especially, if you’re like the rest of us with issues and you want to be different. If you’ve done what you’ve always done…you know the rest. Our character should always be on the refining wheel.  

Sesa-Woruban.jpg
Ujamaa: Although this term is primarily associated with economic togetherness for the greater good of society, there are many transferable principles to marriage. Similar to umoja, we are united in our ideologies, finances and economic power (ujamaa). We work to acquire so that we can distribute.  My wife and I lived many years raising salary for the work we did and it was a constant faith test. It was often uncomfortable depending on the Lord to work through our supporters. During this time we gained perspective that allowed us to know the value of money, as well as create habits that exhibit good financial stewardship. We now love to give. It’s a blessing to help remove barriers between God’s people and His work. Our savings, investments, and lifestyle are all meager attempts to position ourselves to be luxurious givers. We don’t want to live life making every major decision based on our finances. We stack this dough so we can help His kingdom grow.

ujamaa-africa-logo (1).png

Nkyinkym: Life is full of adversity, therefore we must adapt. Whether it’s internal or external; conflict will arise. How we deal with it determines who we become. In four years of marriage we’ve had to manage to financial hardships, unexpected job losses, family travesty, marital difficulty and more. The measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience but where he stands in adversity, and I once heard a pastor once say if you want to know who you will be in the future simply look at your character today. Ultimately, we are a sum of our decisions and how we respond to what life brings.

Nkyinkyim
I’m grateful to live life with someone that truly loves God, has a passion for helping others, and is committed to His design for marriage and purposeful ministry. Marriage ain’t easy but it’s a lot more simple and richer with the right one.

Advertisements

The Breakup: 10 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job

lead_large

There are few things worse than being stuck on a dead-end job you hate, and for far too many people this is exactly what they endure day after day. For many of us, the burden of working in a meaningless occupation, with an out of touch supervisor, and coworkers with whom we have superficial relationships is not enough to prompt us to leave. No, we have to be dropped from the nest and engulfed in flames on the way down before we get the picture. To avoid all of that, take a look at these signs to help you recognize when it’s time to quit.

10. You try hard to find reasons to stay: Chances are if you have a genuinely  good job you don’t look for reasons to stick around because leaving is the furthest thing from your mind.  However, if you constantly question why you’re still working there and try to convince yourself to stay, perhaps it’s time to go.

9.  You hate going to work: If you dread Monday mornings more than anything and days at the office make you depressed, you probably shouldn’t stay there much longer.

8. You frequently look for reasons to miss work:  Do you find yourself counting the days until the weekend or your next day off?  Do you like cashing in on sick days, vacation time, and personal days? Do you spend more time thinking about the reasons you should call in instead of focusing on work?

7. You avoid conversations about what you do: This is not for folks with top security clearances or G14 classified assignments. This is for the folks that really hate talking about what they do because it reminds them of the fact they work a depressing job. Some of their closest friends still may not know what they do for a living.
tommy
6.  You complain, complain, complain: Sometimes a grumpy attitude isn’t indicative of a dreadful  job; sometimes we simply need an attitude adjustment. Other times, it’s a sign we don’t like what we do. Instead of being the coworker that sucks everyone else into their vacuum of despair, change your situation and leave.

5. You emotionally detach from your work: People who detach aren’t emotionally touched by anything. No success, failure, setback, or incredible victory. If you find yourself simply going through the motions then it’s time to make a motion towards the exit sign. Save yourself some heartache and get out while you can.

4. You don’t have any opportunities for growth:  Does your current position offer any opportunities for professional development? How far can you advance in your company? Does your environment encourage you to learn new things that will help you improve the organization? If your company doesn’t have room for growth, invest in your education, or professional development that’s a huge red flag. Anything that isn’t growing is dead.

3. You are not challenged or utilizing your gifts: Can you do your job with your eyes closed and both hands tied behind your back? When was the last time you worked on a project that allowed you to employ your gifts, talents, and areas of passion?

2. You are hanging on for the paycheck:  You know something is wrong when the best thing about your job is the 1st and the 15th . Sometimes we can be slaves to money while still being broke. Harriet Tubman said, “I freed thousands of slaves and I would’ve freed thousands more if I could’ve only convince them they were slaves.” We can get so caught in the grind that we become oblivious to the fact that Franklin and Jackson have more control over us than we’d like. Just because you don’t know you’re a slave doesn’t make you any more free.

1. Your health starts to decline: I once worked with a guy that would get nauseous, depressed, and would experience high levels of anxiety every time he came to work.  He was so stressed by the job he was hospitalized. Life is stressful enough. You don’t have to add to it by torturing yourself with a job you hate! It’s simply not worth it.

Late-Quotes-–Never-too-Late-–-Being-Late-Quote-Its-never-too-late-to-be-who-you-might-have-been.jpg


Norman Cousins once said, “The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.” If you’re dying inside because you’re stuck on a job it may be time to develop an exit strategy. Do you know what you want? Do you know what drives you and makes you happy? Do you know what you’re passionate about? Faith is taking the first step without seeing the entire staircase. Now may be a good time to leap out of the safety of what’s familiar and into the glorious opportunities of the unknown. In the words of George Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Will you prepare for flight or wait to fall from the nest?

Whatta Man, Whatta Man: 7 Signs He’s A Keeper

Most women want to know how to find a good man, or at least, how to know when a good one has found her. Although each man is unique, there are some common characteristics of every quality man. Here are a couple of ways to recognize whether he is a knight in shining armor or a scrub in dusty denim.

Prioritizes his relationship with God. This is the most vital characteristic in identifying a quality MOG (Mand of Gawd). Does he set aside time to study the word and apply what he learns? Does his lifestyle reflect what he reads? A man who keeps God on his calendar will keep you in his heart. It was once said, “let God make a man out of him before you try to make him a husband.” If God’s love is intricately interwoven into the fabric of a man’s DNA, then his hobbies, character and desires will reflect what HE wants and not what he wants. 

“Let God make a man out of him before you try to make him a husband.”


He has integrity: Does he keep his word? Is he committed to demonstrating a lifestyle of superior character even if it’s only in front of an audience of one? Does he admit when he makes mistakes and is willing to correct them? Does he exhibit trustworthiness in his business, personal relationships and family? Perfection is unattainable; however walking towards it is something every man can strive towards. Integrity is a one way street without detours or exits. 


He works: According to Genesis, before Adam got a boo, he had work to do. This doesn’t mean he has to have a traditional 9 to 5, 10 to 8, or 12 to 12; it simply means he lives out Ecclesiastes 9: 10 every day. A man that understands the value of hard work and discipline doesn’t wait for opportunities to knock, he breaks down doors in pursuit of them.  This kind of work isn’t simply isolated to income generating activities; this is transferable to ministry and initiatives that produce spiritual capital. Employees can be downsized and given the cold shoulder, but a hard working man can create opportunities from obstacles .

incmedia_VOTW_1920x1080.jpg
He has vision and knows how to lead: A man without a vision is like a driverless semi-truck speeding at 85 on the highway. He’ll either fall short of his destination, seriously hurt himself in the process, or significantly injure others along the way. In most cases, it’s all of the above. John Maxwell said, “Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.” A man’s influence and ability to make decisions is critical to fulfilling God’s purpose.  Having vision and strong leadership are prerequisites for greatness, not byproducts. Can he initiate tough conversations? Does he speak up and stand up in the face of that which contradicts his personal convictions? There comes a time in life, and often it’s more than once, when a man can no longer remain neutral. Edwin Chapin put it this way, “Neutral men are the devil’s allies.”


Can he kill the bear: I recently had a conversation with a divorced woman and she said her husband was apathetic and couldn’t kill the bear.  At first I was confused. Was she referring to his inability to hunt or literally kill bears? No, she was simply asserting most women want to know their man can and will protect her in the face of danger. Be it economic, spiritual, or physical. A man doesn’t have to return from the woods with a bear paw to prove his manhood, but if it’s date night and Smokey wants to start trouble, your man better be ready to drop him. When you look at models of manhood such as David, Moses, Elijah, Joshua, and many others, they were all willing and able to kill the bear.

“Submit to one another, out of reverence to Christ…”
– Ephesians 5:21

He knows how to submit: Ephesians 5:21 tells us to submit ourselves to one another. In today’s society the big “S” is taboo, but submission in marriage simply means, sub-mission: being willing to walk humbly under the greater mission of God’s plan and purpose. Submission also relates to the way he acknowledges and associates with a strong, Godly community in which he receives wisdom, rebuke, and accountability. Submission isn’t being too weak to drive; it’s being strong enough to take the backseat.

He is a D.I.I. man:  In life we all go through the stages of dependence, independence and interdependence.  A man depends on God, walks independently from the opinions from others, and recognizes his need for interdependence. A Godly man doesn’t need a woman to become a man; he wants her and recognizes how God uses her to help him become a better man. There’s a difference between having real challenges and unnecessary drama. Godly men know the difference. A D.I.I. man has learned the art of keeping God at the core, using other men to help him grow and uses wisdom to make solid, biblical, grown-man decisions. When he becomes a D.I.I. man, he can truly move from success to significance.


Men aren’t born, they‘re made; and in today’s society it’s very easy to lose sight of this and have a hard time recognizing authentic, biblical manhood.  Men come in various packages, but the contents are all the same. They are the most powerful people on the planet, and when a man walks wholeheartedly in his purpose he is unstoppable. Good men can change their circumstance, but Godly men can change the world.