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Posts Tagged ‘love and marriage’



Enjoy Valentine’s Day—Avoid the Blues

© Fred R Lybrand, Author of Glaen


Jeremy visited a florist’s shop which showed a large sign that read, “Say It With Flowers.”  “Wrap up one rose, please,” Jeremy demanded of the florist’s assistant.  “Only one?” she enquired frowning.  “Ah yes just the one,” Jeremy replied.  “I’m a man of very few words.”

Market researchers deduced from their survey that eight million Americans send Valentine’s Day gifts to themselves.


Valentine’s Day is a day of amazing impact.  Almost everyone who plays up the day experiences the “Blues,” you know, feeling sad about a loss or failure.  Blues music grew up as a way to cope with the plight of such feelings and literally tries helping the Blues listener to “feel good about feeling bad.”  Unfortunately, nothing takes the Valentine’s Blues away except time and the hope that next year will be better.

So, what are the Valentine’s Blues and how can we avoid them?  The Valentine’s Blues come because of disappointment in one of two ways.

The first kind of blues comes when you don’t have a Valentine on Valentine’s Day.  It starts in early February, building up to the “big day”—hitting rock bottom on February 14.

No matter how you pitch it, it makes you feel left out and unloved on some level if everyone else is getting flowers, going out for the evening, or being treated special.  It stinks to feel left out.  No wonder eight million Americans send themselves a Valentine’s Day gift.  However, it doesn’t seem so bad on February 15th once the stores move on to Easter decorations.

The second kind of blues comes to those who celebrated Valentine’s in a big way, only to start clutching the disappointment the very next day (and the days to come) because it’s back to life as usual.  When it comes to love and romance, “usual” is not what we want.

The blues can be worse for the second group because they’re long-term.  We’ve all experienced it in some way or another: the excitement of Valentine’s Day, the romance, and the presents, similar to Christmas, but all about romantic love.

We humans like to feel special, and on that special day there is nothing more exciting than the build-up to the event—one incredible evening, just you and that one person.  The two of you in love and enraptured with all that special day could offer.

Fast forward to the next day or two.  How do you feel?  The next day you are smiling for a moment at the memory of a day when his/her attention was only on you.  But now, back to work, and a lurking feeling of sadness is peering over the fence at you.  Will it be a whole year before you have another night like that?

You try to be logical and sober-minded, telling yourself that it was a good memory to bask in, and yet you know deep down something is amiss.  Something is wrong.  Finally, you scream inside (and try quickly to forget it), “Why can’t we be in love all year-long?”

The Cure for the Valentine’s Blues

The blues you experience are invented, because the Day itself was invented.  It’s marketing, that’s all.  Yet, with Valentine’s Day there is something more—it is a day built on romance.  Oddly enough, romance often works counter to true love.

Consider what romance is in reality.  My friend Robert Fritz observed that, “Romance is the suspension of the norm.”  Think about it this way: romance is where we clean up (don’t smell like ourselves), dress up (don’t look like ourselves), and go somewhere special (and don’t act like ourselves)!  None of this is bad as long as you realize it is not real, that it is just a game.  Okay, it’s a fun game, but it is still just a game.  True love happens in the “norm.”  It happens in the real world of your daily experiences.

In reality, I don’t believe there is much “real” about romance as it is commonly pitched.  In truth, it damages both our dating relationships and our marriages to make romance itself the goal.  The romantic standards can get so high that we can’t appreciate the real things right in front of us.  Romance can be an equal opportunity destroyer—harmful for both men and women.

I’ve known men whose romantic standards were so high they would never go out on dates, or they wouldn’t ask the woman out again.  I’ve also known women who live for the fairy tale wedding, but in time divorce to seek out the wedding-fantasy all over again.

The cure for the Valentine’s Blues is to simply recognize that it is a made up day.  If you don’t have a special someone in your life on one particular day, why should it feel different than the day after?  If you want to play the romance game, then play it, but remember it really is just a game.  Pretending the Day itself proves or influences the love in your life, however, will really suck you into despair most of the time.

If you have a special someone, it is far better to find the love in every day.  The day-to-day normal world is with you all the time in terms of work and laundry and colds and tragedies and funny moments.  This is where true love grows and binds and matures.  If you seek love in the suspension-of-normal world of romance, then you can only experience the diminishing return of, “But what have you done for me lately?”  Each experience must top the last one when you fall into a quest to escape from life.  True love is not an escape; it is nourishment to see us through the mundane parts that make up our daily lives.

Pause for a moment and notice that a love relationship is about building a life together.  Tell the truth, both the good and bad, and work through it together.  If you want to play the game, then dress up and go out!  Pretend you are rich, or just met, or just got back from being a contestant on Survivor.  It doesn’t much matter because you are playing a game that you take for what it is; it’s merely Valentine’s Day.  A day brought to you by the card and candy industry…with some hope that you will find a special moment, made better by a special purchase!  Make it great, but make it important!  You’ll thank me in the morning.

-FRL

Free Audio on Love & Relationships: www.glaen.com

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Author Fred Lybrand takes an in-depth look into relationships and dating, plus offers a little common sense for the real day-to-day world, in his book, Glaen. Lybrand wants others to know the freedom that can be found in relating to others truthfully and without pretense. In his presentation of thought-provoking ideas, Lybrand first uncovers the lies of a secular world-view and then counters those lies with the truth of God’s design for the marriage relationship.

The life-changing principles found in Glaen are the gems Lybrand wants readers to take and experience in their own lives and relationships. The book serves as a great teaching tool for parents to use with their children as well as for church leaders guiding couples who are seeking a more satisfying marriage relationship. The Glaen Small Groups Study Guide is now available as a free download at www.glaen.com.

For review copy and interview information, contact:

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Cedric Miller of Living Word Christian Fellowship laid down the law in an effort to help marriages thrive.

Here’s the USA Today article link: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/11/pastor-worried-about-infidelity-tells-church-leaders-to-quit-facebook-or-resign/1

When I first saw this I thought, “Jeepers creepers.  What will we ban next?”

However, as I pondered a little more I began to appreciate exactly where Pastor Cedric Miller was coming from…and I don’t blame him at all.  As a pastor myself for 24 years (I retired from my Northeast Bible Church, Garden Ridge, TX, in January to speak and write more), I know what he is talking about.  I, too, have counseled with folks who have reconnected with old flames through Facebook.  It makes sense that if they didn’t reconnect there wouldn’t be a problem.  Unfortunately, faithfulness in marriage involves a little more than being careful to not make a place for temptation.

The monastic life is the extreme…steal yourself away from the world and being righteous will be easier.  Even as I type these words the news of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria getting a divorce is all about the web (apparently Tony cheated…I guess: http://www.hollyscoop.com/eva-longoria/source-tony-parker-begging-eva-for-forgiveness_25783.aspx).  I live in San Antonio, so it’s a local heartbreak too!

So, what’s the answer?  Commitment for sure.  Building a solid relationship, definitely.  Staying away from temptation, of course.

Yet, there is a bigger word we need: FREEDOM

This is the heartbeat of what the book Glaen: A Novel Message on Love, Romance, and Relating is all about.  Freedom means that we learn to honor one another and completely get off the doomed path of trying to control everyone around us, especially the person we love in a couples-kind-of-love.  When we start putting controls on the relationship (any relationship), we are simply engaging in MANIPULATION.  All manipulation does is cover up true love.

While the goal is understandable, making it a law is not.  ASKING his leaders to volunteer abandoning Facebook is quite different from demanding it.  We will never RULE sin out of people, nor will we create enough rules to force someone to love us and be faithful.  It’s this crazy GOLDEN RULE (rule = principle here) that will make the difference.  Be faithful and grow love because that’s what you’d want!  Does that guarantee success?  No, nothing guarantees success.  But, don’t you want someone to be faithful to you because he WANTS TO?  If everyone HAS TO behave, then it isn’t real or authentic.

I know this is an incomplete answer, but we live in an incomplete world (the next one will be perfect!).

If you’d like to hear a free audio message of these wild ideas about true love and authentic relating, then please click here to get it:

http://bit.ly/a1DBm5

Having someone love you because she wants to is awesome.  Loving someone because you want to is awesomeX2.  Trying to make yourself or the other person ‘behave right’ doesn’t cultivate this kind of love…only FREEDOM does!

God bless,

Fred Lybrand

http://www.glaen.com

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No More Manipulation

The Key to Authentic Relationships

By Fred R. Lybrand

How do you find the right person for a romantic relationship? Once you’ve found that individual, how do you figure out if he or she is the one God ultimately wants you to marry? And for that matter, how do you learn to relate authentically so you can actually get to know each other and decide whether you belong together?

These questions have eternal implications. If you get married, so many major elements of your future—your place of residence, work, children, and grandchildren (not to mention the dreams, joys, suffering, and hopes you’ll experience) are all connected to this one “simple” factor: the person who will be your partner in building a life together.

Since the stakes are high, it’s no surprise that for many, the focus of dating (or courting) as well as prayer about a future spouse tend to be on trying to secure guarantees, even from God. You might find yourself hoping that compatibility on personality tests, family background, and degrees or jobs, along with a by-the-book courtship and engagement will insure the success of your marriage—and that it will be better than other marriages. Or, because you’re so focused on guaranteeing the future with the person you feel is “the one,” you begin to treat dating like marriage. This presumes a depth of commitment and relational identity that isn’t appropriate and, in turn, invites jealousy and possessiveness.

I’ve known far too many people who focused on doing all the “right” things but whose courtship or marriage didn’t work out. The truth is, no one formula comes with a surefire guarantee. And that’s because relationships, contrary to what many would like to think, aren’t built on formulas.

The way to counter such misconceptions is to focus on truth. If you’re sincerely open to what the Lord wants for your life, you can relinquish trying to be in control. Then you’ll be free to relate genuinely to others and will enjoy healthier, more authentic relationships. You’ll also experience greater freedom as you walk on the path God opens up for you.

LIE #1: If you follow the right process, you’ll have a successful marriage.

TRUTH: When you fall into the trap of trying to guarantee how your partnership will go, the future becomes the focus in everything you do. But then you stop living in the present, where relating really happens. This is not to say that thinking about the future is bad; it’s actually important. But if it’s the main focus, and you spend all of your energy planning and scheming, you’ll likely miss out on truly connecting.

Married couples can actually do the same thing in a different way. If they concentrate all their energy and time on securing their future retirement, it’s easy to miss out on enjoying and working on their relationship in the present. If something doesn’t go as planned (like a health crisis or collapsed investments), they might not even get to enjoy their saved wealth or free time—and nothing can buy back the years they missed out on each other.

Only the Lord knows your future. By coming to terms with that truth, you can start to rest in Him and give up on manipulating the outcome. You may even start to enjoy the friendship as it is in the present!

LIE #2: If we act just the right way and say just the right things, we can get others to respond the way we want.

TRUTH: Control-free relating derives from simply speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), with no agenda. Truth is the lifeblood of real relationships. When you’re not preoccupied with what to say next or how to elicit a certain response, you can start connecting effectively and actually get to know each other.

Often, people chain relationships to personal goals. When this happens, you are motivated by an agenda that is self-serving, and the partnership is no longer balanced. Furthermore, if you use the other party to achieve a personal goal but don’t admit it to yourself or that individual, your friendship becomes dishonest. This is fertile ground for problems.

Manipulation occurs when you’re not acting truthfully and as a result aren’t supporting the other person. If you insist that he or she act or react a certain way, you harm the possibility of genuine connection (something which can occur only when you both speak truth).

It takes two people for manipulation to happen, though. Even if only one person is overtly controlling, the other is enabling. Both types of dysfunction are serious hindrances to a healthy union.

In order to connect genuinely with someone else, it is essential that you communicate what you honestly think, and that you act without any pretense. And allowing the other person to do likewise produces trust—which is the key ingredient for healthy love. Truth, love, and freedom are the basis for strong, successful relationships.

Are you inadvertently derailing healthy relationships? In his book Glaen: A Novel Message on Romance, Love, & Relating, Dr. Fred Lybrand offers insight and advice in this unique and fun-to-read story. To purchase, visit our online bookstore or call Customer Care at 1-800-789-1473  (US) or 1-800-323-3747 (Canada).

Glaen

Softcover | $15 (U.S.)

THIS ARTICLE COMES FROM IN TOUCH MAGAZINE: http://www.intouch.org/magazine/content/topic/no_more_manipulation

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