This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

RePost: 7 Marriage Truths You Will Not Hear in the Church

I came across this article yesterday, thanks to my FB friend Julia. It is written by Frank Powell on his blog. He runs a great blog, by the way. :-)

In light of a similar article I penned, this article is very much on-point. By reading, I learned so much...I hope you do too.

Ever wish you had the answers to a test before you walked into the classroom? Maybe some of you did have the answers, but you better keep that to yourself. I took some really hard tests during my college tenure. An engineering curriculum will do that. And if you spent time in college you remember review days. The professor would walk into a class full of students (some of which I had never seen) and give some insights about the impending test. Miss review day, and it would be foolish to expect a passing grade.
But it never failed. I would follow the guideline. I would study the handout. But on the day of the exam, the professor would put the exam on my desk…and there it was. A foreign formula or equation I had never seen. At least one I did not see on the study guide. Looking back, I realize something…the teacher did not intend for the study guide to be comprehensive. It was simply not possible to include everything from the required reading, class notes, and lectures.
Such is the case with the church and marriage. I am grateful for the foundation the church gave me in regards to marriage. It was a good study guide. But there some things on the test I did not learn until marriage began. So, I am going to give you some answers to the test that some of you might not expect to see. I grew up in church. I spent most of my time with Christian people. I was told much about marriage. But these 7 truths about marriage I never heard in church.
1.) Sex is a gift from God. Explore It.
Make no mistake…God created sex. But through the years, God’s people have allowed Satan to steal this gift. Without a fight.
I was never educated about sex…and I grew up in a Christian family. My framework for sex was built by my friends at school and the movies I watched. Big UH OH. I still struggle with enjoying the fullness of sex today because of the cloud of lies formed during my teenage years.
It is time for God’s people to take back the gift of sex. The lies surrounding it are ruining lives and ruining marriages. If you are married, let me challenge you to explore sex. Explore the fullness of it for the glory of God. Pray for sexual intimacy with your spouse.
Parents…it is time to stop allowing Satan to define sex for our children. Educate them. Start early. The average child is exposed to pornography at age 11. Eleven!! And many parents wait until high school to have “the talk” with them. At that point, you are not building a foundation for sex, but trying to destroy a foundation Satan has already built.
Church leaders…I am convinced of this. The situation in our culture today is too dire to allow parents to override you here. Talk about sex. If parents refuse to educate their children, then you do it. Do not let Satan beat you to the punch. A false understanding of sex is destroying our young people. It is destroying our nation. It is destroying our world. And we are doing nothing!
Sex is a beautiful gift created by God for a man and a woman that have vowed to spend the rest of their earthly lives with one another. If you are married…open this gift and enjoy the fullness of it.
2.) There is more than one person out there for you.
Soul mates are made…not born. I am not sure where this idea of soul mate originated, but it is false. Maintaining a healthy relationship is more about commitment than perfection. Every person on earth has imperfections. And the reality is we could spend our lives with more than one person.
Tiffani (my wife) is not perfect. There are nuances about her that frustrate me. But I have realized these frustrations are really a result of my imperfections. I love her so much. And I love her more everyday. I am committed to her.
I meet too many young people that are waiting for something that is not real. “I just couldn’t marry her because she smacked her food.” “He just wasn’t the one…he had this weird twitch when he smiled. But I know my soul mate is still out there. I just have to keep looking.”
Or you might have just missed him or her.
What if God does not want you to find a perfect person, but find an imperfect person that will draw you closer to Him? What if God desires you to marry a person with flaws to expose yours? What if God wants to teach you the value and life found in committing to one person forever, not the exhausting pursuit of searching your entire life to find the perfect person?
Soul mates are made…not born.
3.) The first year of marriage is hard…really hard.
What have we done? Are we going to make it? Why is this so hard? All questions I asked myself many times during my first year of marriage. We were arguing. We were fighting. It was really hard. And every day I thought something was wrong. I thought we had a bad marriage. Nobody warned me about the first year. But take this as a warning…the first year of marriage is difficult. If you are in the first year of marriage and thinking about giving up…congratulations. You are now…married!
But let me encourage you…do not give up. Everyone struggles. You are not unique. Persevere. There are better days coming. Your marriage will get better. Do not walk out. If you walk out now you disqualify yourself (and your spouse) from years of joy. Stick with it.
4.) A spouse does not complete you
I hate you Jerry Maguire. You have brainwashed a generation of people to believe a lie. Spouses do not complete people. I bought this lie, and it wasn’t until I let go of any notion my wife could fill some void that I was able to truly love her. Until then, I was always frustrated. I expected Tiffani to do something she was incapable of doing.
If you are empty, broken, or insecure, and you believe a spouse is the silver bullet to your problems…buckle up. It will be a bumpy ride. Only God can fill those voids. You will never be able to enjoy the beauty of marriage if your spouse’s job is to complete you.
5.) Marry somebody with similar goals, dreams, and passions.
Marry somebody that is a Christian, yes. But I would go even further. Marry somebody with similar passions and dreams. Now, I understand this breaks down at some point. People are not machines. No two people are going to want exactly the same thing in life. However, if you love foreign missions and your potential spouse hates going overseas, some tension will arise.
Synergy is extremely important in a marriage. If your spouse has the same vision as you, they will understand your struggles and support your pursuits. They will encourage your walk. They will be empathetic. There is much power in two people living life with the same goals, dreams, and passions for life.
6.) Marriage is not for everybody.
Paul talks about this in I Corinthians 7. He tells the church at Corinth to remain in the situation they are in. If unmarried, then stay unmarried. If married, then stay married. He later says this…
So then the person who marries his fiancee does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better. (I Cor. 7:38)
Even better? I never heard that in church. Maybe it is time for God’s people to accept the reality that God has not called everyone to marry. I have talked with young men and women that are so concerned with finding a spouse. It consumes them. And most of the pressure comes from…US. The church. Once a person reaches mid-twenties, we assume something is wrong with them if they have not married. They must have a terrible flaw.
“Bless your heart. You are almost 30 and not married? I know this must be hard!?”
Shame on us. I am worried many failed marriages are a result of people allowing the pressure of marriage to draw them into something God did not design them for. Marriage is holy and good, but it is also possible to follow Jesus without a spouse.
7.) The wedding day is a lie…don’t buy it. 
I love weddings. I love officiating them. It is a rare moment where I get to make a divine proclamation that forever changes the status of two people. Powerful.
But in an increasingly individualistic, “me” culture, weddings create a potentially dangerous situation. “Every girl lives for her wedding day.” It is all about the bride and groom. Everyone looks at them. Encourages them. Congratulates them.
Many couples have bought the lie of the wedding day…it is all about me. But marriage is at odds with this mindset. A successful wedding day is one where everyone serves you. A successful marriage is one where you serve your spouse. The wedding day is a day where the spotlight is on you. Marriage has no spotlight. The wedding day is about saying a bunch of words that most couples never take seriously. Marriage is about putting the words into action. The wedding day is joyous and celebratory. Many seasons of marriage are about persevering and not letting go through the storms.
Embrace your wedding day. Prepare for it. Celebrate it. But do not make the mistake of believing the lie. After your 20 minutes of fame, the spotlight is gone forever. It is no longer about you (and this is a good thing…you will see).
I would love to hear from you. What are some truths you have discovered about marriage the church never taught you? There were several more I had to remove because of length. Let’s continue the discussion!
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!
What are your thoughts?

Stay Inspired,

NwaVic – | |Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dear NwaVic, My Christian Girlfriend says my Religion is a Dealbreaker

Dear NwaVic,

I was a player few years ago but when my brother returned from the UK, he wanted me to change and I did so. So when he returned to the Uk, he (my bro) introduced me to a girl in the UK who happens to be a very good friend to his wife. We started talking on phone. I stay in Nigeria and the girl is African but stays in UK. Things got serious between us and we fell in love, spending nothing less than 8 hours on the phone daily. Soon, we started making plans on how to meet properly. I made attempts to travel but it didn't work. Her pastor told her not to travel for now  because the last time she came down to Africa, there were few hiccups. 

It's been over a year now since we've been in a "relationship" and the love keeps getting serious. I am a Muslim and she is a Christian. Recently, she has become quiet. At first, I thought she was missing me like I was missing her even though we spend lots of hours on the phone Skype, BBM, and Whatsapp. A few months ago, she told me she is quitting because of my religion. I tried to talk to her and begged her but she said no. I have always supported her religion. In fact, I wake her on Sundays to make sure she goes to church. It's now been month without her and it's been horrible because I am seriously hurt. Even after begging her for months, she is still saying no. I am angry at myself and it has really affected my work. Last week, I realized I needed to talk to her some more because she is the only person that gets everything out of me.  We've started talking again in the last few days but I don't know what to do. I still have so much feelings for her and nothing has changed yet. What do I do pls? Help me.



Dear Confused,

Thank you for writing NwaVic at Gone are the days when marriage or relationships were defined by race, culture, country, social status, tribe, religion, or language. These days, anyone can marry whom they like, nothwithstanding sometimes glaring differences. However, a successful relationship no matter the kind, requires that both parties not only understand their similarities but fully comprehend their differences and its implications long term. Further, both parties need to agree, and continually make an effort to manage it. In your case, your difference in religion bothers her and she doesn't seem willing to forfeit its implications. While it is heartbreaking, it is something you have to understand and respect. As you know, as with some other religions, some Christian denominations even consider marrying someone of another denomination a sin, talkless of someone of another religion. Relationships are complicated already and she may be worried that religious differences will complicate it further, especially with the long distance.

I think it's time you have another serious conversation with her. This time, however, you need to be open-minded. You both should have a virtual face to face conversation (Skype, facetime, etc) to discuss what you each want out of the relationship. This is necessary to access whether you are both on the same page. Just because you've started talking again, doesn't ensure she wants what you want. Listen to her responses. If she needs her time and space, be ready and willing to give it to her. In the mean time, move on with your life. I understand your pain and I realize my advice is easier said and done but trust me, trying to make someone do what they are not willing to do will only cause you more hurt and pain, in the long term. In case you ever need it, here's NwaVic's 7 tips on how to get over a breakup.

Best of Luck,

NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Live or Not: A New Normal?

From the past couple of months or years, a seemingly "new normal" has emerged. Gone are the days when only "older" people have cancer, heart attacks, high blood pressure, or similar deadly diseases and/or just drop dead. These days, it almost seems like we are in the hunger games: the youth are the target and your fate is unpredictable.

In fact, this year alone, 3 close family friends have lost siblings in their 20s and early 30s. I know a close family friend who lost a husband shy of his 40th birthday. I know a college friend who was found in his apartment and a law school classmate who passed on in a similar way, both in their 20s. Then, there is the vibrant young lady who met her ghastly untimely death while driving excitedly to a new city to start a new job.

I could give you the details about each passing but the purpose of this post isn't to muddle your day. Instead, it's so that you take it all in and LIVE it. The recent occurrences have brought a realization of a new normal for me....or rather a heightened sensitivity to all things life. The little annoyances that once gave me sleepless nights, don't matter much to me anymore.

People die, people are shocked, we cry, we mourn, but while those closest to them never loose the essence they left behind, the world doesn't miss a beat. People will only grieve for you for so long before they'll need to get back to paying their bills, work, getting married, giving birth, life and everything in between.

I say all this to say that in light of all this, ever so often we need to be reminded of a few things.
~Love yourself. There's no other "you".
~Live. Do what you want to do.  People will have an opinion anyway. It's the most they are entitled to anyway.
~Be kind. 
~Be generous. My mom swears it's what buys her success. 
~Accept help when you need it.
~Make the effort to reach out to a friend or family. It only takes a minute to say "Hey! I was thinking about you. Hope you're having a blessed day". At least once a week, I send out texts and emails to people I haven't heard from in a while. I try to have "date nights" with those close by. Woe it be to you that you come across an RIP on Facebook, while you were still "meaning to call or text."
~Find a purpose and pursue it relentlessly.  
~For every failure, stop to count your blessings. 
~Be consistent...In work, in friendships , in relationships.  But know when it's time to move on.
~ Listen a lot. Talk less. These days, I ask myself if what I want to say is worth the energy of dealing with its consequence. It helps a lot, especially in my relationships.
~Stop living to please anyone. That's an impossible task in itself because people will talk anyway.
~ Stop trying to be "perfect". Perfection is for hypocrites. Forget what you see on social media.....there's no such thing or person. 

In all things, remember one day we are here. The next day we are not.

Just do your best. It's the most you can do anyway.
Stay Inspired...||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dear NwaVic, After 2 years, Is it time to give up on my ex?

Dear NwaVic,

I am in love with a girl named Peace. I asked her out but she didn't accept for the main time so I gave it a break for sometime. Then, my friend who knew that I love this girl came and asked me if she is available. I gave him the go ahead just to know what kind of person I was dealing with. Before I knew it, they started dating. I couldn’t stand it. I was so angry that my friend and I stopped speaking to each other. After some months, they broke up. I asked her out and we started dating. I love this girl so much and she loves me. Also, she openly told me that she has so many boyfriends but she loves me more than any of them. I didn't bother due to my love for her. But just recently, she came to where I stay and entered my neighbor’s house that is a guy. I was so angry with her that we weren’t speaking with each other. After some days, we decided to talk and she said that she did that (though didn't have any intimate or sexual relationship) because I haven’t been calling her and visiting her like I used to do before. I know I am guilty of this. She was so angry that she called it quits. I begged her and she forgave me but I wronged her again by using my friend’s social media account to insult her and my friend went and told her it was me. Since then, I have been begging her for over two years and she keeps treating me like an outcast. She even told her friend that she doesn't what to have any serious date again and that she just wants to be a player. She vows to pay me back for the entire emotional trauma she went through because of me. The point is since she left me, I haven't dated any girl. I just can’t live without her. I want her and she also wants me back but she is scared. What can I do? Should I let her go or continue begging her? Is this love or fantasy? I would be glad to get a reply. Thanks.


Dear M,
Thank you for writing NwaVic at Your letter details a continuous drama-filled hurt exchange between two people who claim to "love" each other. My response would've been simpler, but since there are so many incidents/red flags, let me take them one by one.

Incident #1: When your friend asked to date a girl you knew you liked, you should have told him the truth, "I like her and I want to pursue a relationship ." If he went ahead anyway, then that would be on him. By lying to him, assuming he had no other way of knowing, you gave up all rights to be angry. 
Incident #2: You started dating her and she told you she had so many other boyfriends, yet you stayed. When a person, tells or shows you who they are, please believe them and act accordingly. 
Incident #3: In retaliation for your lack of affection, she went into your male neighbor's house. For one, if she had communicated her feelings to you, you would've avoided this drama. More so, you knew she had other boyfriends, so you were technically "cheating" with her. You can't get upset when she does the same to you. 
Incident #4: After she forgave you, you used social media to "insult" her under a disguise. I can't imagine that you have a plausible explanation for this. If I were her, I'd never speak to you again either.

At this point, I hate to be brash when I say, it's time to move on. It's been two years. Maybe she has indeed realized how much of an unnecessary toll the relationship  takes on both of you. You may love her but just because you love someone, doesn't mean they are the right person for you. Certain people are just hazardous to each other. This "cycle of pain" you call a relationship reeks of  toxins. And you are hurting yourself by not trying to heal from it. You say you cannot live without her, but trust me, when you came out of the womb, you were alone, so you can live without anyone. You just have to make the choice to move on and stick to it.

Best of Luck!
NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq