To honor God in my writings

Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

I DO, Cherish You

It was a blessed time yesterday at the Before and After I Do 2018 seminar. Despite hearing these topics for numerous times (at least 8 times). God broke me yesterday and showed me all my sins: #1 Pride (from the transparency and authenticity of the speakers, sharing their struggles and life testimonies), #2 He showed me how distant Maggie and I were and how far we have drifted apart. I was reminded of how she was my best friend and how she became an enemy (Topic on Communication). I was humbled by God and that night, I repented to my children, my wife, and especially to Him, with whom I have sinned the most. I had a wonderful intimate conversation with my wife that night. I have hidden my thoughts from her because I was afraid of being judged and conflict might arise. I admitted to her of how she was right all along and I just didn’t want to listen to her because of my pride and insecurities. I ended the conversation with a renewal of my marriage vow to her – “I promise to cherish, nurture, and love you as Christ love the church. You are the love of my life. ”

Today is a new beginning for us as a family. I accepted the fact that I have drifted away from intimacy with God and my wife because of gadget (games and social media), my insecurities, view differences, hurts, and so on. I chose to forgive and let go of the hurts (Topic 3), asked her for forgiveness: for being a lousy husband. I have not loved her as Christ loved the church, which is unconditionally and sacrificially (Topic #1). I was selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed.

But in all this, I go back and thank God for the hope, His mercy, His faithfulness, and His steadfast love through Jesus Christ my Lord. Praise Him and glory to Him alone for the Nth chance that He has given me.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45 (NIV)

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How Do I Love Thee…

Do you love your wife? Or do you love your children? Yes, of course I love my wife! That’s why I married her in the first place. Of course I love my children. And so I thought…

At one point in my life, I wanted to be a doctor. Since it takes a very long time to be financially stable and to marry, I opted not to. I wanted to marry at a young age so that I can get what most men desire, sex. Because of this “expectation”, I have given my wife the power to make me happy and make me unhappy. I will treat my wife nicely, give her flowers, bring her on a date… For what purpose? That same purpose in mind. I do something for her so that I can get what I want or need. Don’t get me wrong, we need to treat our wives like queens of course. So as we explore my real motives – I DO NOT LOVE MY WIFE, I LOVE MYSELF. My love is selfish. I loved for me – to get.

As I learned this from the seminar, I broke down… I realized why I was so angry at home lately or most of the time because I love myself. I went home, I talked to my children one by one. With tears I said, “I’m sorry, I have been selfish… I loved myself that is why daddy has been so angry with you…” My daughter first, then my son. After they slept, then to my wife. I have given them the power to make me unhappy because of my selfish love, my unmet expectations. My expectations were high and so my disappointments and frustrations were many too and that made me irritated and annoyed with a single mistake they make.

In contrast to my love, God’s love is unconditional, uni-directional, and has no expectations. HE LOVES ME. HE LOVES YOU. He loves us no matter what. Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He didn’t tell us to be good first before He would die for us. He didn’t die because we were righteous. He died because HE LOVE US, you and me. Despite of our past, despite of our sins, and despite of our failures, God’s love is unconditional. He doesn’t love you because you are talented. Your talents are nothing to him. He can make the rocks and the rivers do His bidding. There is nothing that I can do for God that will make Him love me less or love me more. His love is not based on our performance so we can relax in His love. Doing His will in our lives is important, but you can be rested as you do it because He tells you “I love you, my son.”, “I love you, my daughter.” Nothing you can do to make Him love you less because He has given you His Son, Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice to redeem us from sin and slavery. He has set us free to receive this love of His. GOD LOVES ME unconditionally. And that is how we must love: un-expecting, unconditional, uni-directional.

We cannot love like this apart from God. Do you want to have His kind of love? If you like to receive it, you can do so today. Just pray from the bottom of your heart something like this – God, thank you for your unconditional love for me, sacrificing Jesus to die on the cross to save me. Forgive me for all my sins. Thank you for your forgiveness. I need your love in my heart. Come Lord Jesus, be my master and my Savior. Help me be the person that you want me to be. Fill me with your love, so that I can love my family as you do. In Jesus name, amen.

Welcome to God’s family. May God’s peace, joy, and love rest in you and your family. For the rest of us, may God continue to fill us so that we may be able to love our wives and children selflessly, and serving them with joy. God bless.

#TheWorldNeedsAFather – A Father Provides Security part 1

What is there with Computer Games and Men?

Men just love playing computer games. It doesn’t matter how old they are, young and old alike loves them. Why do men get hooked at playing computer games? I think it has to do with the hard-wiring of men psychologically. Games boosts our ego, raises our self-esteem, and gives us a sense of pride when we experience success and victory in the stages and levels we go through. It gives us the opportunity to use our brains to strategize, analyze, and execute the plans that we developed. The nice thing about it is, nobody judges us when we fail. We just try and try again. The challenges and competitions that are built-in it just appeals to our ego – to be number 1, to be the very best.

In reality, these qualities are the instincts of men. These are the very foundations which men use in daily life – looking for jobs, executing our careers, finding a girl, marrying a spouse. Everything revolves in these life skills – analyze, strategize, overcome challenges, competition, triumph, success, and achievement. Games has appealed to these skills that is why men are easily hooked, or should i say addicted to these games.

With these facts, i wish i could end on this high note but sadly to say I cannot. The downside of gaming is “IT JUST ISN’T REAL.” The digital world we live in, is not the reality that we perceive it to be. Being number 1 there doesn’t have a bearing in our “real” standing out here. It will be foolish for us when we trade the physical world for the digital world.

The disadvantages are as follows:
– For the youth, it will be in their skills/talent development.
– For the adults, it can be distraction from fulfilling their full potential.
– For married men, quality time with their wife and kids.

Because games take up our time, we can’t practice our sports or music skills. We are not able to use our creative skills in arts and literature. We cannot spend time with people and our families, with our wife and kids because we are busy in isolation, excelling in the digital realm. You can be the best at NBA but don’t even know how to catch a ball in real life. You’re a great sniper but don’t know how to fire a gun. Games has the deception of making us feel good but in really is nothing. Instead of spending time, reading story books, playing board games, playing imaginative role playing stories, leading devotions, modeling prayer, we become contented with everybody busy with their own technology – watching YouTube, doing Mine Craft. Recently, I am playing Clash of Clans and it allows me to converse with my son but what about? – the levels of the city, the warriors involved, and so on. We talk, yes, but is it deep conversation about spirituality, about deeper relationships, and important life issues? No! So i wouldn’t call that real conversation. It’s not even quality time. I may reason with myself that I’m still in control, I still get my responsibilities done, i still spend time with the kids, and even be in denial that I’m not addicted. I have it under control… Since my wife doesn’t want me to play, i play when she’s not around, and even play in the bathroom. It has become a secret, modeling lying to others. Despite of being allowed to play by your spouse, the concerns I mentioned earlier still is true.

I hope you can agree with my prayer and pray it from your heart.
Our Heavenly Father, I pray that you open my eyes to see that I am in bondage. Remove my desire and interest in these games. Let me be bored with it. Help me to know the truth about the use of my time, the talents you have given me, and the purpose of my life. Allow me to obey you radically. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may be set free and empowered to live a life of freedom and productivity. Our lives are yours, may it bring glory and honor to you. In Jesus name, amen.

What will be the best thing to do? Delete it and never open it again. Replace the old habit with new habits – spend time with your family and friends, enhance your skills, read books, engage in sports, and so on. If you have other ideas do let me know… God bless.

TANGLE

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As i was untangling the rope that i had so i could use it to tie my box, it is easy to become impatient and just keep on pulling any part of the string that causes the rope’s tangle to get tighter and more difficult to remove. An easy way to solve it is to cut it but it wouldn’t be useful anymore. So it is with the relationships in our lives. The choices we make causes our lives to get entangled. The more wrong choices we make, the messier it becomes and our status becomes “complicated”.

Conflicts in relationships are inevitable. We will surely encounter them in our lives – with our families, officemates, friends, even strangers. Sometimes we want to follow our own ways, in our own time, we just say what we feel and do things that are hurtful to others. It is like cutting the rope.

Dealing with relationships and conflicts really needs a lot of patience, strategy, and time. It requires analysing the problem, thinking of ways to solve it.  We need to talk about it, gather insights and advice from godly people with wisdom, getting a fresh perspective of the situation, and even taking a break or a vacation. It is easy for us to talk to anyone and aggravate the situation all the more. When we want people to take our side and hear what we want to hear. This cause the rope to tangle all the more. So seeking advice from godly people with wisdom are very crucial in solving our problems. They can give new perspective and solutions that we cannot think of ourselves.

We cannot control other people but we can control our own actions and reactions. One of the essentials that we often neglect is prayer. We need to pray to God and lift things up to Him – ask Him for wisdom and guidance on what actions to take. He alone can change people’s heart. It doesn’t happen overnight, it really takes time – weeks and even years. That is why we need to be patient. Often times, we want to give up on ourselves and others saying “Walang pagasa yan.” or “It is hopeless.” But we must remember that with God nothing is impossible. We must keep on praying and hope for the best.

Another key element in resolving conflict is communication and open dialogue. I’m used to being an authoritarian dad and what i say stand. But it cannot work that way especially when kids grow older and enter teenage years. Even now, i can’t force my son to do things that he doesn’t want to do. I cannot use my anger and shouting to make him comply. It may work and get the job done but it wouldn’t have a good effect on him. This thing I’m still praying and working on improving. Open dialogue and communication allow us to have different opinions and views on things as long as it is not bad and wrong. All of us have different views and principles that we follow so we have to respect one another. Some principles are better than others but we cannot force it on other people. They have to accept and embrace it in their own time. We have to be gentle in bringing our point across. Hurtful words and actions will build up walls rather than sort things out. In God’s time, with a lot of work, communication, and prayer, things will get better.

Voila! My rope is untangled. 🙂 God bless.

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An Appeal to Wives

“Who are the best – boys or girls / men or women?” This was a question being debated during my elementary and high school days. Ever since i have been pro-women. I do believe they are better, smarter, hard-workers than men.  My expectations are indeed proven right by what we see in our societies today – women police, athletes, workers, pilots, counsellors, senators, even president of companies and countries.

With that, i like to express my heart felt “Congratulations!” to all you women who have done a great job, especially to homeschooling moms. You have exhibited excellence at the workplace, in the communities, and also at home. You are able to fulfill the Proverbs 31 characteristics. I know it has not been an easy journey. There are a lot of sacrifices along the way.

My appeal and gentle reminder is that let us not forget our role as a wife to our husband. This is one of the task that we can not delegate to others, so is our walk with God. In the busyness of all the responsibilities you handle, I humbly remind for you to remember to minister to your husband, his needs – emotionally, psychologically, and physically. In the US, there are many divorces and some of their reason is because of homeschooling, mom’s just too busy with the kids. I know you are emotional beings and sometimes it is just so difficult to do with all the problems in the relationship. In behalf of the husbands, I sincerely ask for your forgiveness – for the times of abuses, of harshness with words, of neglect and indifference, of being demanding, and even of unfaithfulness. I do pray that you would release forgiveness for our short comings. Together, we lift them up to God. May He be the one to transform both our hearts so that we can have a “whole” family, one that is founded in love and care to both spouses and children. May our lives bring glory and honor to God. God bless you all.

Leave and cleave part 3

Leave and Cleave part 3

Truth #4: IT INVOLVES EMOTIONAL CLEAVING

Aside from not leaving physically, a bigger problem will be not leaving emotionally. We love our parents so much (that is good) that we don’t have emotional independence from them. We look to them for everything. This is a hard fact to deal with – “Are you a mama’s boy?” My wife’s dad was like this so she left her family and went back to his mama. She never met him.

We need to cut the emotional dependence we have with our old family so that we can cleave to our wives emotionally. We are not able to become a new unit because we did not leave our old unit.

When conflict arises, we grind our wives instead of being one with her. A principle that i learned is that “We should have a united front.” This means that we discuss matters privately and present it as your decision specially to your parents. This will protect our wives from being the bad guy. Ex. She doesn’t want to go to the party. You’ll both agree and say we decided or i decided not to go specially when talking to your parents. You don’t go saying ” we won’t go because she doesn’t want to.” Then she becomes the bad guy. And when there is something good being done, it should be presented as her good. Ex. My wife wants to give this gift to you… Etc. We build them up and carry the flaws to ourselves. This is being a man for our wives, sacrificially loving her. This isn’t even to the point of death, these are just small issues.

Be one with your wife, physically and emotionally. Leave your old family, detach from them and cleave to your wife – be united in goals, in purposes, in decisions, and in handling the finances.

Leave and cleave part 2

Truth #3: It DESTROYS RELATIONSHIP.

One thing that men always say “My mom is kind. My wife won’t have a problem getting along with her.” How i wish this was true but this is not often the case.  We don’t understand the pressure that is put on our wives who has to conform and watch her every move. There is a hidden test being put on them to see if they are really good for my son.

I know some good moms who still don’t get along with their in-laws because of simple expectations that they have – like she should know how to cook and do household chores, and many other stereotypes that are so different from our culture today. The stereotype of a wife has had a big transformation. We now have working moms than just the typical house wife that cares for the home. We have women that are career oriented, managers of corporation, and so on.

These unmet expectations, no matter how small leads to misunderstanding and bitterness that builds up over the years. Ex. Wife can’t cook like mom-in-law so she doesn’t want a confrontation so she hides in the room which is then misinterpreted as disrespect… And the frustration just keeps on building up.

Problem with in-laws are specially encountered when it comes to raising children. There is a saying “grand children are reward for parents who didn’t kill their children.” So grandparents are enjoying their grandchildren and spoiling them, giving in to all their wants and demands. They don’t have the pressure of disciplining them which results to conflict with the parents. You would be blessed if you have grandparents that knows how to set limits and respect the jurisdiction of the parent’s role to discipline. If they have wise counsel and biblical strategies in sharing to you about parenting.

I have been traveling around the country and it a been the same stories whether in the province or
in Manila. These stories have the same outcome – strained or damaged relationships, emotional agony for the wife or a spouse that moves in.

Again, the argument of economical reason is too cheap to exchange for the value of relationships. God knows what the design for marriage is. This is an appeal for obedience to Leave and Cleave. Love your wives, save them from the pain that they should not have to bear. You don’t need to buy a house to obey. You can just rent if you like. The truth of the matter still remains the same Leave and Cleave. Then you will experience the joy of obedience. Financial management will be a different issue to tackle.

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