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Category Archives: Relationships and Marriage

Christmas Without You

Christmas Without You
By Selvan Govender

Without much effort we remember
When we would gather together on the twenty-fifth of December
It didn’t take much to look and see
The greatness of your generosity

Another Christmas without you
A significant portion of our family glue
How we wish you could’ve stayed a little while longer
At least till we grew more stronger

Yes, if we had our way
We would have you stay
But God knows best
That’s why he called you to rest

“One last Christmas with us”, our hearts cry
“No my child!” You remind us, “This is not goodbye”
The seat at the table that belongs to you
Stares at us, reminding us of that missing person of our crew

Although we know death would come
It was too soon because with you we were not done
One last day, one last chance
Perhaps the privilege of one more dance

Death has come with its violence
Catching us of guard and stunning us to silence
We know there’s nothing we can do
But the pain is searing, you may not have a clue

I heard someone say that you are in a better place
And it is us who this foul world still face
We know where you are there’s no sorrow no pain
Leaving us we know is your gain

Another Christmas without you
Our hearts still cry but what can we do
For we know that this pain will soon pass
When together one day we will be at last

We want you to know
That in all the lights, the shopping or the snow
Amidst all of this glitz and glamour and fancy do
We wish this wouldn’t have been a Christmas without you!

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Love Dare – “He’s Worth It, She’s Worth It”

If you were to list all the gifts you have showered your spouse since you got married I’m certain it would amount to a fortune. If someone were to ask you for a reason as to why you shower your spouse with gifts you might respond by telling them that your spouse is worth it. We give our spouse gifts because we value them and we hold them in high regard. Giving gifts is a good thing! Don’t stop!

In fact I challenge you to take it one step further. Giving gifts are great but they don’t challenge the worlds system of thinking. To give gifts is normal and one could say that it’s even expected. Think about his for a moment. When last did you break your routine to rush out and help your spouse with the groceries? When last did you break your routine to mop the floor or pick up tidy up the lounge? When last did you break your routine to make your spouse a cup of tea or coffee? When last did you break your routine to intentionally just listen to your spouse as they speak? When last did you look at your spouse when then speak? The Kendricks (Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare”) tell us that to honor our spouse is to adorn them with great worth. This is what Peter speaks about in 1 Peter 3:7, “Live with your wives in an understanding way…and show her honor as a fellows heir of the grace of life” When you show honor to your spouse outside of the routine of giving gifts then you show your spouse how much you really esteem them. This dare will take most of us back to the basics!

“Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.”

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Relationships and Marriage

 

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Love Dare – “Putting YOU First”

A long time ago in South Africa one of the banks ran an advertisement which closed with this slogan, “Saving you time, saving you money, putting YOU first” They tried to communicate to us that they existed for our benefit and everything they did had our best interest at heart. Very often in a marriage the motto of having our spouse’s interest at heart is lost. Because we are sinful through and through we are inclined most of the time to think only about ourselves. This selfish thinking occurs also in our marriages. All too often the husband comes to a place in the marriage when he thinks only about his projects, guards his time and wants to spend time his own way. The wife is none the better! When this occurs then you find that the husband and the wife are moving in very different direction. In order to avoid that we must adopt a new motto in our marriage, “Putting YOU First” This dare will cause you to break out of the selfish spirit and break into the selfless spirit. You’ll start thinking less about pleasing yourself and more about pleasing your spouse.Try it and let me know how it goes!

“Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project they’d really like to work on. Just be together.”

Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare”

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Relationships and Marriage

 

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Love Dare – “Rules of Engagement”

Dare # 13

I must confess that there were times in our marriage when I became visibly hostile toward my wife especially in the presence of other people. This is not only counter productive in conflict resolution, it also sets a different tone for when you have to deal with the matter within closed quarters. I am still learning how to do this well especially if you’ve had a long day or if you’re under stress. In our marriage, whether it is talking about the kids or about other conflictual issues we’ve agreed to speak about them when we’re alone. The spark may fly out in public sometimes but we must be careful that it’s just a spark and only one spark at that too. Let’s work together at making this dare a reality in our marriages.

“Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to “fight” by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.”

Dear Reader, if you can, please comment by telling what your rules of engagement in your relationship is. It would be great if we can learn from each other in this area. God Bless!

Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare”

 

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in Relationships and Marriage

 

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Love Dare – “Agree to Agree”

Dare # 12

The fantasy years of courtship are soon shattered by the realities inside a marriage. couples do not have to be married a long time before they experience disagreements. The points of these disagreements take place over things that have been overlooked in the courting years or they may not have been spoken about and prepared for. Even if the couple did think about them, spoke about them and prepared for them, the reality of the situation will still thrust them to some sort of disagreement. My wife and I have disagreements too. To this day, after 17 years of marriage we still disagree on a few things. But disagreements don’t have to be “marriage breakers”, they exist because two very different people see the same thing in a very different way. And because we see the same thing in a different way, what the other person thinks about it and decides about it, especially if it’s not what you think about it and decide about it, affects you deeply and negatively. Marriages often take a huge hammering when one spouse wants to have it his or her way all the time. For the sake of the marriage and for the sake of the other persons value one of the things we must do in a marriage is to agree to agree with our spouses preference, especially if the preference is not going to kill you! This dare will be one that will test your ability to give in so that your spouse can win in the “preference department”. Enjoy the blessing of a great marriage as you willing give up your preference to adopt your spouses preference.

“Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.”

Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare”

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Relationships and Marriage

 

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Love Dare – “Meeting Each Others Needs”

Dare # 11

For me Sundays are the best day of the week. All week I prepare for Sunday and when everything on a Sunday is done I have no conscience of sitting hours at the lunch table or playing PlayStation with my kids and my brothers kids. We do all this at my moms home where we have a family lunch every Sunday. Then it’s time to go home. We usually leave for home mid-afternoon or early evening depending on what my schedule is like. Our routine when we arrive home is to unpack the boot (this is the trunk of the car for those American readers out there). Unpacking the boot is an event all on it’s own and it seems to take forever. After that is done I personally look forward to a quiet evening of relaxation. I might schedule some television time for me or play around with the kids and I also discourage my wife from doing household chores. I know my wife works hard all week at keeping the house neat, taking exceptional care of the kids and making the house into a home. I also know that on Sundays she would prefer that to be her “day off”. This is almost impossible when you got five people in the house who are looking to you to feed them and serve them. And it’s on this particular day my energy levels are low and my will power to help is virtually non-existent. My heart argues with my body when I see the pile of dishes lying in the sink that needs washing after a busy after dinner Sunday evening at home. One part of me wants to do it and another part says, “It’s okay Selvan, you don’t have to do it, just turn around and go watch some television.” Have you ever had this kind of war going on in your being? It’s the battle whether you should help your spouse of whether you should walk away and leave them to to deal with it themselves? From my personal experience I’ve gathered that our spouse’s spirit is lifted up when I help her. This dare will challenge you in this area especially if you are the kind of person who has the philosophy of “Every man/women for himself/herself”. Start with this dare and continue and you’ll also receive grace and strength in your marriage.

“What needs does your spouse have that you can meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or foot massage? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, “I cherish you” and do it with a smile.”

Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare”

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Relationships and Marriage

 

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Love Dare – “Practice Makes Better”

Dare # 10

When I was courting my wife I remember sending her six roses every Friday for almost two years. I would also do other things for her like taking her out to lunch or dinner. I would also buy her gifts. I remember doing these things and finding pleasure in doing them. Then we got married. After we got married my circumstances changed and life became difficult for a number of years to such a degree that I stopped buying flowers and I stopped buying her gifts. The circumstances that we were in prevented that, that’s what I’d like to tell myself but that simply isn’t true. I also remember that even during those difficult years there were glimpses of the dating years. They felt good and they brought pleasure. The dating years are exciting, fun and it almost seems that nothing can separate a couple once they’re married. This is true as long as the couple can keep some of the practices from the dating relationship and bring them into the marriage. In this dare the goal is to revive some of that. It would take lots of will power because we’ve been out out practice for so long.

Dare # 10

“Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse – something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy his favorite dessert. Fold the clothes. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.”

Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare”

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Relationships and Marriage

 

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