"There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage." ~Martin Luther

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Recognising Red flags in a relationship

The soulsistas are back!!! Apologies for the radio silence but I think we are back :)

A while back we looked at what to do while waiting for Mr Right. I mentioned on that post that we will cover some ways to recognise Mr Right and not settle for less. however, I have modified today's post slightly to show how to recognise "Mr Wrong" by identifying some red flags to look out for in a relationship.

Many women who are married today and have marital issues most likely saw some red flags before they got married. They either chose to ignore the signs, think they could change the man or believed “love” will conquer all. The period of Dating/courtship is a prelude to what will happen in marriage so expecting that a man will change for the better after marriage is like expecting a leopard to change its spots because it moved to a new zoo.

I know some people pretend to be what they are not during dating/courtship however I believe as a child of God, he will show you signs to look out for. Besides, people- Christians or not reveal their true character when under pressure.

Dating is not the time to be kissing, smooching and sexing but the time to shine your eyes and watch out for any red flags that might later on impact your marriage. When you are busy having sex, it is harder to identify the signs.

Red flags are indication that something is wrong in your relationship and either needs addressing or an evaluation of whether the relationship should continue or not. Of course no one is perfect but it is your prerogative to decide if you can commit to your partner with their flaws. Remember marriage is a commitment. If you cannot tolerate a behaviour before marriage don’t delude yourself and expect it to change after marriage. It would most likely only get worse because at this point all the chasing and wooing has been done, the contract signed hence both parties are free to be their real selves.

Red flags include lying, distrust, laziness, inability to hold a job, and irresponsibility. Others include complaining, fault-finding, whining, clinging to parents, inability to make critical decisions, and lack of self-esteem. Some of these red flags can be addressed and worked through depending on the people involved and tolerance level. However some red flags that should not be disregarded or ignored include violence, uncontrolled anger & rage, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, drinking and drug abuse, gambling, or infidelities. My candid advice is if you see any of these signs RUN. All these signs have to do with the person’s character (also the earlier stated ones) which is usually hard to change. It is possible with the help of the HolySpirit but challenging. You do not have to wait till you are the object of abuse before you know there is a problem. Observe how he treats his mum, sisters and other friends. Soon he will be treating you the same way.

The earlier you recognise the red flags, the earlier you can assess how serious they are and determine the next step to take about the relationship. Always remember that a broken relationship/engagement is far better than a broken marriage. It is wiser to call off the relationship when you can then enter marriage and regret it for the rest of your life. Marriage as a Christian is for life so shine your eyes and do your due diligence before you sign the dotted lines.

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Still Here...

Aloted and Writefreak are still's been almost 3 months since we updated, life got really busy...but we'll update soon.

We're still here, just wanted you all to know that. We never left!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Let's talk about SEX

So we all know what this means and i definitely don't need to give a definition. This is one topic that is mostly talked about and also mostly 'shyed' away from. In some churches, the mere mention of the word sex makes you a sinner. Sex is a spiritual act, a connection between two souls that should not be trivialised and should be celebrated.

Sex as originally designed by God is supposed to be an act between a man and a woman, not just any man and woman but a man and woman joined together in marriage. I'm aware that this is contrary to popular belief but sex as ordained by God i reiterate is an act designed to be between to married people, a man and a woman. It's sad to see how such a holy act has been 'bastardised'.

In Genesis, God gave Eve to Adam as a help meet for him, they were naked with each other and not ashamed. Eve had become Adam's wife after God fashioned her out of him and they were naked with each other! The bible says in Genesis 2: 23-25

'And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed'.
Please note it says here a man shall cleave to his wife, not his girl friend, not his friends with benefit, not his friend, not his sister, not his fiancee, his WIFE.

The temptation to have premarital sex is so great, it takes the grace of God to say NO and be able to stand by it. I'm aware some people can do it by mere determination but for us lesser humans, we need to rely solely on the grace of God. Our minds are bombarded every hour of the day by sexual innuendos, some even very direct. Everywhere you turn, it's the sex talk. It's definitely not easy to say no. The philosophy creeping around 'if it feels good then it's right' also doesn't help matters. Lord knows sex gives a very good feeling, on the basis of that philosophy, then sex in any form is right, right? Wrong! Remember, we're making the bible our base and i just established the bible says sex is between a man and his wife or if you prefer a woman and her husband...

Now that we established that sex is between a married couple,I'm sure you're wondering so what should i do with all these temptations! For the unmarried ladies, there are so many fine brothas out there, in fact they wouldn't even date you if they found out you were celibate and for the guys, Lord knows the babes are revealing more and more cleavage these days! What's a brother to do? Well, a sister is to keep her values and a brother's to marry or keep himself. It's tough I know and like i said we need GRACE. But trust me, I've been there.

What qualifies me to write this? I'm married and all and do i even know what single people go through? Well, I was in a relationship with the Mr over 6 years before we tied the knot and although celibacy was a mutual decision since we base our lives on the word, we had our temptations and challenges. I'm glad to say we waited though, so I know I qualify to say Ring on before you let him in or if you're a guy, you both have to have given her that ring before you can ask her for sex.

I'll give some reasons why i totally support abstinence and why i think it's a good idea for anyone to wait for marriage.
1. As a Christian, you have a clear conscience towards God. God has said not to do it, what better reason not to do it. You can approach God with peace in your heart. We all know what weight it feels like when you know you shouldn't do something and you keep doing it.

2. Respect. you get to respect yourself as an individual and also the other person. You know that the other person is not only looking to get under your clothes. The fact that they respect you helps them to keep their hands off.

3. No emotional baggage: Sex is a spiritual thing. It is a fusion of two souls, a transference of spirit takes place when you have sex. Whether you have it with one guy or more, why become one with someone you're not married to? How many people are you going to be one with?

4. Trust and discipline. When you eventually marry, you're able to trust that guy or that woman more. If he can't keep his hands off you before marriage, how do you know he can keep his hands off other ladies after he's married to you? If he showed some discipline with you before marriage, he'll most likely be disciplined enough to keep his hands off other girls that tempt him after marriage. Trust me, the temptation doesn't end in marriage.

5. A clear sense of judgement. When you have sex with someone especially when you enjoy it, you have the tendency to overlook their faults no matter how major. This way you can end up marrying someone you shouldn't or wouldn't have married under clear circumstances. Sex gives you a soul tie to someone.

6. You enter marriage with realistic expectations. When you haven't had other sexual partners, it's hard to compare your partner to anyone. You get to understand how to please each other and not think like oh no, B was better in this sense.

7. You get to know the 'real' each other. Most people have bad marriages because the time they should have spent discovering each other, their likes and dislikes, they spend in bed. Spend that time outdoors instead of behind closed doors.

8. When you abstain from premarital sex, you don't have to worry about pregnancy and even sexually transmitted diseases.

I could think of a lot of other reasons but I think this captures the essence of everything.
This post is only a foundation to the Sex talks series, in my next post, I'll be talking about how to abstain from sex and also if you have any questions, you can leave them in the comment box or send a mail to our mail address and they will be tackled in the next post. If you don't want us to mention names, we won't!

Have a blessed weekend! Remember abstinence is possible!

Recommended reading:

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

While Waiting for Mr Right

You are single, anxiously (or not) waiting for Mr. Right to come sweep you off your feet. While you are waiting, what are you doing to get prepared? It is ironic how in life we prepare for almost everything except marriage. Before taking an exam you study hard; before doing your driving test, you have hours of practice on the road. Parents to be have nine months to prepare before their bundle of joy arrives. Before singing or acting on stage you practice for days. Yet we expect that in the matter of love and marriage everything will just fall in place somehow.

Granted no one is perfect and marriage is about two imperfect people working together with a Perfect God as their foundation. Nevertheless, while waiting are you doing anything to become a better person? Esther in the bible, who won the favor of the king and became queen of Persia, had to undergo twelve months of preparation before she was presented to King Xerxes.

Here are some key questions you should consider while waiting.

Know who you are. What are your strengths and weaknesses? By knowing yourself in and out, good and bad, you can easily discern a man that can compliment (note not complete) you and vice versa. You can tell what you need in a mate and what you can live without. If you are a talkative or the life of a party, you don’t need someone who will compete with you. You need someone who can caution you and let you know when you are going to far. If you are quick tempered, you need someone who is levelheaded. If you are good with planning, you can complement someone who sees the big picture only.

Another aspect of knowing yourself involves some deep soul searching. You might need a trusted friend to help you determine your best and worst qualities. Are you pushy/bossy? Are you selfish? Do you derive pleasure from helping others? Are you giving? The list goes on and on. Hone your best qualities and try to improve on the not so good ones. Pray to God for guidance.

What is your financial status. Are you a spendthrift? Or do you have savings and investment. Are you in any form of debt? If so make a plan to clear your debt today. You should not be a liability but should be an asset to your man.

Stop keeping things off like investing, buying shares, a car or a house till you meet Mr Right. I know in Nigeria and many African countries it is frowned upon but your Mr Right will not be intimidated by who you are or what you have. It might actually help you separate the wheat from the weed. Make a choice to live your life to the fullest.

Can you make informed decisions and stick by them? Do u depend on others- parents, friends, family etc to make important decisions that concern your life. If so you need to get to a point where you can make your own decisions and accept the consequences no matter what. Marriage is between one man and one woman and they need to be able to make their decisions without involving external parties.

Do you have any emotional baggage you are still carrying around? If you are still hung up on your past relationships it is very likely that you will carry the hurt or issues into your new relationship and your judgement will be clouded. To have a fulfilled future, you need to let go of any past hurts or betrayal. Forgive and let the love of God fill your heart. Be lovable.

How is your spiritual and prayer life? Is your relationship with God growing? He should be number 1 in your life. You should enjoy being in his presence. Learn how to hear him speak to you so that you can discern when you meet Mr Right.

There will be many times in your marriage that you will need to intercede on behalf of your husband and children. Learn how to communicate with God now before the days of adversity and trials come along.

Are you keeping yourself pure for your Mr Right? Are you conducting your relationship with potential guys you meet in a respectful way that will glory God? Remember your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit

Above all remember that God makes all things beautiful in his time. Just because Mr Right has not found you yet does not mean God is not working behind the scenes. He is probably getting Mr Right ready just for you! Keep trusting.

On a personal note, I always wanted to get married at the age of 24. I just felt that was an ideal age to get married but God’s plan for me was to get married much much much later than I expected. In retrospect, I am thankful my "grand" plan did not work out. Why? Because at 24, I was immature & selfish to enter into marriage. My life was just not ready to handle marriage. I needed to sort out my emotional baggage, anger issues etc before meeting Mr Right. I am glad I aligned myself to God’s timing, while getting myself ready for my man.
Next time, we shall be looking at some ways to recognise Mr Right and not settle for less.

This list is not exhaustive; please feel free to share other key points with us.

Thank you.

Recommended Reading:
Blog by Rita- Preparing for your King

A love worth waiting for-

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Becoming One Flesh- When?

Hello good people, I hope you are doing well?
Writefreak and I have a few poignant topics, based on the need we see on blogville that we will like to write about but some research is required. While we do our research, please enjoy this article I wrote a while back on my other blog. A few changes have been made.

Just My Humble Opinion! Feel free to agree or disagree :)

When the bible says that “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” I believe becoming “one flesh” in all areas should ONLY happen in marriage. Many single people especially ladies in relationships are jumping the gun and already becoming one flesh with their partners. Am not talking about sex, that is a diferent topic for another day (yes we shall be talking about this very soon). I am actually talking about ladies becoming one flesh emotionally with their partners. Ladies who do not have lives of their own any more but are glued to their boyfriends or fianc├ęs. I am saddened when I see ladies behave so carelessly.
Some ladies in the name of love abandon their girlfriends when they start a new relationship revolving their world around their men. The guy gets tired of the relationship, dumps girl and the girl is left stranded with no friends for support. Being in love is good, sweet, heavenly etc but we should not let our love become something else in the process. A good friend of mine said to me once: “In marriage 1+1 = 1 but in a relationship 1 + 1 = 3". I asked him to elaborate on this. He explained that when you are married you become one with your partner because you practically start a new life together, ideally start having sex (spiritual oneness..some deep stuff we can't go into now) but when you are single and in a relationship; the girl has "her life" (1), the guy has "his life" (2) and they “their life” (3). Meaning that both the girl and guy should have both individual and common interests. I totally agree with this analysis. This way there is a balance in the relationship. When there is no balance, one person will always feel choked in the relationship and this can be disastrous.
Some examples of "clingy" behavior:
- When most of the girls at your birthday gig are girlfriend's to your man's guy friends and not neccesarily your own friends.
- When a girl can’t go anywhere alone– parties, outing with other friends etc except Mr. boyfriend comes along. If boyfy can't come, she will find an excuse to back out of the outing
- When everything a girl talks about is remotely or directly linked to her boyfriend. She must always mention boyfriend's name in every sentence. Personally I don’t have an issue with girls talking about their men but am sure we can have a decent conversation without his name been mentioned in every sentence!
- Mr Boyfy has to endorse everything she does, wears, spends etc.
I can go on and on about examples but that is not the point. The point is ladies need to reach a point in their lives where they don’t have to rely on mr. boyfriend for everything. Ladies that are overly dependent on their men are setting themselves up for a BIG fall either now or in the future. The irony of the matter is that guys in relationship still hang out with their friends, so why can’t we ladies take a cue from guys…why do you feel that until you forsake every thing for a guy he won’t/can’t love you. That is a lie from the pit of hell. I implore you singles, in relationships, about to marry etc please note that a mature guy respects an independent woman and not one that clings. Get a life, get a hobby, get passionate about something outside of the man in your life. You need it! Even in marriage, becoming one flesh with your husband doesn’t mean not having a life of your own.

We have been called to live a purposeful life and this definitely involves more than the men in our lives.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Recipe for Love

I was inspired by a friend sometime last year to write this post. I have added and subtracted a few things here and there. Some of you might have read it on my other blog or not but I thought it might be a good read here, so here goes:

I asked if my friend had a girlfriend and he said yes. I asked because he was making me laugh a lot, very funny guy, anyway I told him I’m sure his girlfriend has a great time with him because he'll be making her laugh a lot. And then he said it is possible he makes other people laugh and no matter how much clowning he does, if his girlfriend is not happy with him, she is not. Sadly, this is true for a lot of people, they can converse freely with other people, laugh with them but their relationships with their partners are going awry or lacking spice. How many times have relationships ended because of these reasons: "we have fallen out of love", "he doesn’t appreciate me", "she doesn’t respect me" etc. You can add some of your own personal phrases if you like.

I think I might know some ingredients for a loving and lasting relationship. I haven't been at this long enough i know, i only got married 2 years and 3 months ago (can you imagine, I originally wrote this when we had been married six months) but i was in a relationship that lasted 6 years and ended in marriage to my wonderful husband. There are principles which do not change over time and i'd like to share them.

Here are some tips i think are important for a wonderful and loving relationship:

* Laugh together - Laugh at yourselves, there are things that happen everyday that we can choose to laugh about. Joke about your mistakes, don't be touchy...Just look enough you will see reasons to laugh.

* Avoid criticism- You really don't have to mention everything that goes wrong, criticism kills a relationship. Find loving ways to communicate correction (note I said correction not criticism). Human beings generally do not like being corrected, the only way it's palatable is when we're sure the other person is looking out for our interest and is not proving superior.

*Pray together- An old saying goes "a family that prays together stays together", i guess that says it all.

*Give gifts- "You can give without loving, you cannot love without giving". Your gifts don't need to be expensive; the thought does it for most people especially if you're like me. The past few days, hubby has been coming home from work with things he knows I’ll like, they’re not big things but they go a long way in saying ‘I was thinking about you’.

*Spice it up- Don't be dry, find interesting things to do with each other and share some interests. Your own interest might be watching movies together, do it as often as you can, it might be swimming, just think of anything you can do together for fun. Don’t get too old for fun!

*Respect- Respect, i beg to differ is not domination!! Respect according to the dictionary in simple terms is the condition of being esteemed or honored. The other person wants to feel like you value them. Show some respect. If you're married, don't invite guests over without notifying your spouse, it shows a sign of disrespect. The first time some people hear of something going on with their partner is when their friends say it to their hearing. Show some respect for each other! Always ask yourself before doing something, will it honour or show esteem for my partner? And women, massage the guy's ego. Every man likes to feel he's in charge, i know it's hard in these days of "girl power" but hey, what's most important to you: emancipation or a loving lasting relationship?

*Be open- Don't keep secrets. Try to be each other's best friends. It might be hard initially but it will get easier as you practise this and go a long way in making a wonderful relationship.

*Be committed- Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, a euphoric feeling which you want to have forever. You catch the guy's eyes on the other side of the room and current passes all over your body...girl believe me, this only lasts so much time! The reason most people claim to have fallen out of love is they they think love is that gooey feeling. I'm not saying the feeling will not be there but sometimes you won't have it...Love is most importantly a commitment!

These are a few tips, i could go on and on but they will all revolve around these few theories i guess. Most importantly, the bible teaches us a lot about love and if you're interested you can model 1Cor 13 :4-7 in your relationship, you will never have to fall out of love if you follow the principles stated there. This portion of scriptures says:
Love is patient, love is kind.It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Just ponder on those verses, do you think that with them you could ever go wrong in love? I sincerely doubt.

Falling in love is a wonderful thing, being in love is great and staying in love is awesome! It's like old wine, it gets better with the years.
I'm grateful i found love and i thank God for giving me a husband who teaches me to love daily. To those of you who are still looking for love, i pray you find it and if you have found it, i pray for the grace to hold on to it and be able to stay in it.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Is Submission Slavery?

'Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them'
Col 3:18,19 (NKJV)

Submitting to one another in the fear of God, Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her..'

'Ephesians 5:21-25 (NKJV)

Someone recently spoke to me about submission and hinted that we do a post on it so this post is a result of a bit of research and some head knowledge. Submission is a word that a lot of women frown at, and most people shy from or cringe when they hear it. By God's grace, it's not a word i have any problem with mainly because i understand it from the biblical point of view.

What is submission? Maybe we should start from what submission is not.

1. Submission is not a man lording it over a woman

2. Submission is not deffering to every man.

3. Submission is not demanded

4. Submission is not slavery

5. Submission is not the same as docility

There are lot many things that submission isn't but the above captures the totality of it

So what is (biblical based) submission? In my own words, i would say it is a deliberate yielding of oneself to another person. It is realising that in quietness is your strength as a woman. When you see a woman that appears to be meek, trust me

, she has the key to her husband's heart and sometimes people mistake this for the man being controlled by his wife. Submission is a wife putting herself under her husband not by compulsion but willingly.

I've heard a lot of men say women are to submit to us. I beg to differ and i usually take those men up on it. No sir, not every woman is to submit to you, only your wife is to submit to you, i don't go about deferring to every man. The bible says women should submit to their 'own husbands'. Period! And the man doesn't even have the right to demand it.

Firstly, the bible encourages that the man and woman both submit to each other. You should serve each other and defer to each other on matters and then the bible demands that the woman submit to the man. The man is the head of the woman as Christ is the head of the church. If you ask me, a man has more responsibility in the whole submission triangle. The woman submits to the man, the man submits to God and the man also has the responsibility to love his wife as Christ loved his church. How? He gave himself for it. The bible tells the man to be selfless in his love for his wife.

While a woman needs to be loved, cherished and pampered, for most men, respect is the most important thing. God knew what he was saying when he told women to submit and the men to love their wives. Submission is knowing what you want to do but waiting for your husband to agree before doing it. Submission is going to God in prayer to change your husband's heart regarding matters even when you know you're right. When a woman tries to prove her own point all the time in marriage, it brings unnecessary friction. The man's ego is wounded and he starts to fail in his command to love his wife selflessly.

You might say i'm an intelligent human being and i know what is right from wrong. Infact, most times we women by our God given intuition can tell when a move is not right or a man is going to make a mistake but it is not right to always want to prove a point and rub it in their face. Wise women would take a sensitive matter to God in prayer before attempting to discuss with their husbands. This is not because the man is stubborn or won't listen but prayer just wets the ground and allows the point to make sense to him and not to sound like questioning his authority.

Let me give an example at this point. Mrs A would like to go on a vacation at a certain time. She has everything she needs to do it, all she needs is her husband's permission. Let's say Mr A decides for some very good reasons that his wife cannot go for on the vacation at that ti

me, what should she do? Should she decide against her husband's wish to go or should she defer to him? This is my answer. A wise Mrs A will know that having a loving marriage with her husband is more important that going on a vacation. It is not a decision that will hurt her, so she can forego it. Yes, she has plans already and they are good but she has to be in agreement with her husband before she goes ahead. A wise Mrs A will go to God in prayer to touch her husband's heart. God works on people's hearts and for all you know, God might be saving Mrs A from trouble is why her husband is refusing to give her permission. We have to be able to let go of our hard headedness and let God.

If it is important to you to have a good marriage as a woman, then you have to learn the art of submission. It is quiet strength, it's knowing when to talk and when to keep quiet. It is asking for your husband's advice and blessing even when you know what you want to do.

Submission has a lot of benefits. Here are a few

1. Your husband will love you. Yes, love is a given in any successful marriage but it takes work to keep the flame of love alive. Notice God asked the wife to submit before telling the husband to love his wife, it's a chain reaction.

2. You avoid unnecessary friction in your relationship

3. Your home is filled with peace and a welcoming atmosphere

4. You get more out of your husband and your marriage.

5. You get a sense of inner peace, knowing that you and your husband are in one accord

You can say i'm still single, what does submission have to do with me? A lot. No i'm not telling you to start deferring to guys everywhere. Remember, i already established that only a wife is commanded to submit to her husband. You will one day get married and your mind has to be prepared for it. You have to plant the right seeds in yourself and know that the word submission is not a sentence to a life of absolute subjugation and not having your own voice. If you're in a 'serious' relationship, you can start to practice submission steps. N
No, don't let your fiance control your life because he doesn't even have the right to when you're married but in little matters, you can make sure you get his consent. but in little matters, you can make sure you get his consent.

Is it sometimes tough? Yes, but with God's help, we can do it and the dividends are far greater than the seeming demerits. Infact eventually, you get to a place where neither of you can make a decision without the other.

God is a God of order and He has

made the man the head of his wife for very good reasons. Imagine a situation where there are two heads of state in a country, won't it be a state of absolute confusion? May God give us the grace to understand and to do.

I hope i have women in the house who will use their quiet strength and submit...Amen!

Ps: Sorry guys, we took a bit of time to update, we've both been very busy but we will try to at least update once every week.

Note: Pls note that i do not mean your husband has the right to control you when i wrote ''No, don't let your fiance control your life because he doesn't even have the right to until you're married''...i meant to write even when you're married! So i have changed that part...apologies if that part offended anyone!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Boundaries, do we need them?

Without preparation, failure is inevitable. If u fail to plan, you plan to fail. A wise man once said 'begin with the end in mind'.

Have you been in a relationship where you started with no definition,and then wondered 'how did we get here'? You started out 'going with the flow', things seemed pretty cool and it was easier not to make any decisions, then all of a sudden you found yourself in a position you thought you could never be.

For instance Ade is your very good friend, you feel so close. Eventually, you do what everyone has advised you to do, you hook up somehow. Yay, do I hear wedding bells ringing in your head? You start holding hands, nothing wrong in holding hands, then you graduate to putting your arms around each other which is very cool.

One day you and Ade decide to take a walk in the night, you get to a point where you stop, while talking and enjoying each other's company, the atmosphere is just right for an embrace. You proceed, then somehow, you find yourselves kissing eachother, his hand somehow ends up in your blouse, your head screams an alarm but it feels too right, can something which feels so right be wrong? There's a pang of guilt but you go ahead. In a couple of months, Ade asks you to sleep over, you can't disagree, it will give you time together, yah? Remember you haven't even decided how far you want to go. At first he sleeps on the couch but it's too uncomfortable, so you snuggle together and it's a cold night. Ade puts his arms around you, then his arms start roving your body. Again, the alarm goes off but it feels so right yet so wrong.

When you do not set boundaries, you start resenting the other person when you feel like they have overstepped their boundary. Why? Because in your head, you have the boundary, the only issue is that the other person is totally oblivious to it! Also when you violate your personal boundaries, guilt sets in and you lose a sense of peace. Do I have a witness??

Here are a few tips for setting boundaries in your relationships (applicable to both men and women):

1. Begin with the end in mind- Decide how far you want to go in your relationship. Is this a lifetime relationship or not? Ask serious questions about the result of your relationships. Get to a point where you guys have verbally declared your intentions

2. Make sure you are in agreement - Amos 3:3 says 'can two walk together except they agree?' Agree what are the limits in your relationship. Do we want to stop at holding hands? Are we going to kiss? Make sure your beliefs are similar, else you will not be able to set any boundaries.

3. Have a vision for your relationship. Where do you hope to get? What is our aim in coming together? It might help if you write it down. Remember where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable!

4. Be accountable to someone- it helps when you have someone you talk to and can be a voice of reason or act as a check. No man thrives in isolation and when you start to go beyond boundaries, you tend to become more secretive.

5. Communicate. Be open and honest with each other. Share your thoughts. There will be times when you will might feel the boundaries are too harsh, share with your partner and let him or her know what you're feeling.

The benefits of setting boundaries are enormous. It gives a sense of knowing what you want, believe in and are willing to stand up for which ultimately will earn you your partner's respect. Start setting those boundaries. It's not too late to start.

'P.S: if you have a topic you would like us to discuss, please feel free to email us. We will do our research and then post on the said topic. Fear not, even secrets are safe with us! :)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Going with the flow...

How many times have you heard the phase “I’ll just relax and go with the flow”. Usually a lot of us say this when we don’t want to make a crucial decision especially when it comes to living our life to the fullest, or regarding relationships. We tend to cover up making a decision with “going with the flow.”

One common example of going with the flow-

You meet a nice guy, Mr A, you like him, you think he likes you. He calls you almost everyday, does all the nice things guys do, yet he does not declare his intentions. You can’t determine exactly what is going on, but he treats you somewhat like his girlfriend. Oh, well, you tell yourself, I’ll just go with the flow and see what happens.
Who is in control of the whole situation- certainly not you, my sister! Your life is literally on a standstill, waiting for Mr A to call or to say or do something. You can’t do anything else, you can’t think of anything or anyone else, you ignore other "potential" etc. When things don’t turn out the way you expect, you blame Mr A for leading you on. Well, Mr A might have led you on but you won’t feel as bad if you were "running things", right?
When you go with the flow, it means you have given control to everyone else or your circumstances. You tend to be reactive and not proactive. You only make a move, when the tides & waves of life are thrown at you, instead of creating exciting opportunities for your life. As a result, your decisions are uninformed, hasty, in a panic and might end up in pain or in a disaster. Yes, some people might be lucky enough to have everything work out by just going with the flow but do you really want to take that chance?

A lot of us find it very very easy to let others take control, while we take the backseat in our lives. “My daddy/boyfriend/husband/friend will sort it out”. By giving control to others, we are implying that we can’t make any decisions for our lives hence people will definitely make the decisions for us. Daddy chooses what course to study in school, boyfriend determines we should be having sex now; husband makes all the decisions and we have no say, friends put peer pressure on us to do the opposite of what we believe in. The list goes on and on

Please stop waiting for someone else to make your life happen. There is an endless pool of possibilities for your pleasure and fulfilling your life within your reach. As a single person you are blessed to have resources to living the life you want without having to check with anyone else. This is one luxury many married people do not have.

Some simple steps to help you stop "going with the flow"-

1) Know your core values and what you stand for. It is better to know this upfront, before all sorts of temptations come your way. Need I say more?

2) Be in control of your money by planning your financials ahead of time. List out your monthly expenses and settle that before you start spending. Save. Make a plan to pay off your debts on credit cards or with the lady you bought jewlery from last week. That way you won’t be saddled with too much debt.

3) Another one on money. Seek for investment opportunities and invest. As a single woman you should have your own money that is working for you. Doing this, means when you get into a relationship or get married no man can see you as a financial liability.

4) Be committed to improving your self- emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. If you enjoy self-help books, read them; exercise, read your bible, pray, get close to God.

5) Broaden your horizon by reading educative books and trying out new activities. Step out of your comfort zone. Join a cooking class, a dance class or try something you have always wanted to do.

6) “Tush up”, simply meaning start/continue looking good. Declutter! Get rid of your old clothes and upgrade your wardrobe, your hairstyle, makeup etc. You don’t need to have a man in your life to look good. Neither do you need a man to give you money to buy new clothes/accessories. Set a standard already for Mr Man to come and follow.

7) Learn to manage your time & resourcees- remember the 80/20 rule. Check
here for more details

8)Reach out to others. Be a blessing to others around you. Someone needs to hear a word of encouragement from you. It is not all about you. I usually feel happy with myself when I am a source of support to someone else.
The list is endless but I have listed a few that I tried to follow when I was single and this has helped me a lot over the years.

My sisters, please do not wait for your life to happen until a man comes into it. He should meet you busy. I can bet he will respect you even more. Stop going with the flow and take action today.

In what other ways can we stop going with the flow? Please feel free to share your thoughts. Thank you.

**Photo copyright Ian Beesley

Monday, 19 January 2009

Shout out from the soul sistas

Hi Y'all!

So we thought long and hard about this and we've decided to host a blog together! Yipee! We are two friends, aloted and writefreak who share the same core values and principles. We've walked different roads in life and we are willing to share from our heart. We aspire to be role models to other sistas especially singles. We believe we can make a difference and that someone's heart can be touched by our words.

The aim is to make this blog interactive, so please send in your questions or if you have a particular topic you want us to discuss or you want to throw open, please do not hesitate to contact us through our profile emails. We'll try and find the answers even if we don't readily have them.

Our principles are biblical based as we believe that the bible is God's manual for our lives. We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. To put your mind at rest, we will be real and down to earth. This is a FUN ZONE! :)

Brodas! we are certainly not leaving you out. We want to hear from you as we would like to know your thoughts on issues we discuss. Always good to have a broda's point of view.

Welcome to our world, we wish you a pleasant stay and hope you are blessed!

With Love,

Soul Sistas