5 Actions that Kill Relationships

For the past couple of weeks, we have been describing various ways of building relationships. While we build them up, it is important to keep in mind that there are certain actions that can also kill these relationships. Below are five such killers:

1. Introducing your partner to everyone in the early stages: In their excitement, a number of couples announce their relationships too quickly to the world which isn’t a bad idea but the best thing to do is to build the foundations properly before introducing yourselves to friends, family, work colleagues, etc. The more you introduce third parties, the more you open the relationship to varied opinions which may be contrary to what you saw in each other. You may second guess and that could be disastrous for your relationship.

2. Announcing on social media: One of the deadliest actions which kills relationships is this. We know we must have faith as Christians but changing your relationship status or the display or profile photos to your partner’s does nothing but attract attention to you and your partner. What if you announce on social media and the relationship does not go as planned? As much as possible, let us keep our relationships to ourselves. They are private and not meant for the world.

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3. Avoiding early warnings: Most of the time when we fall in love, our brains go on vacation 🙂 We avoid all the signs and allow our hearts to lead us. This guy is not generous; everything he acquires is for him. The lady spends all the money she acquires on clothes and make-up. You know you would have preferred the opposite but you are allowing your heart to lead you. These signs develop to something different and they kill relationships.

4. Not investing in the relationship: Building a relationship requires time, money and creativity. If you know you do not want to invest in any of these then don’t start one. You need to spend time with each other and on each other. The Bible mentions that in Proverbs 21:26the righteous gives and does not hold back.

5. Fornication: Most young people quickly give in to sex in the relationship. Guilt from the encounter normally kills what has been developed earlier. Having sex also takes away the innocence of the couple. Sex is addictive;  it has the power to take away a lot of things from the relationship including the time that the couple spend discussing and planning for the future. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, the Bible warns, Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.

Resources that Make Christian Relationships Work in Ghana

It’s been an awesome week for us here at Christian Blog Ghana. We appreciate the support and the “likes” that we’ve been receiving on our Facebook page. We hope the love we have received will extend to real testimonies and articles from you, our cherished readers.

Just as we are taken to school to acquire knowledge or read books to broaden our intellect, it is also wise to acquire knowledge in the field of relationships. It is amazing how much time and money we invest in our looks, clothes, food, other books among others but never spend any time seeking information on starting and keeping relationships, Proverb 19:2 says. “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” This is the reason we should seek knowledge as believers.

We may desire to have lasting relationships with the opposite sex but if we do not make time to learn about how it is done, then our relationships will not last.

As Christians, where can we seek the right information which will us build our relationships?

Books and Tapes – There are several books written by different authors on this subject. A lot of Ghanaian pastors and counselors have written books and recorded tapes on this subject. A few of them include Bishop Dag Heward Mills, Elder Amos Kevin Annan, Reverend Dr. Samuel Kissiedu and many more. If you are seeking books written by authors who are not Ghanaians, then look for Myles Munroe’s “Waiting and Dating.” There are several others by T.D Jakes. Just visit a good Christian bookshop and you will have a wide array to select from.

Radio and Television Programmes –  Helpers of our Joy is a relationship and marriage counseling programme which airs on Sweet Melodies 97.3 FM on weekdays from 9-10 pm. The programme features renowned marriage counselors who provide biblical insight into your relationship.

Mama Cathy also features on Sunny Fm 88.7 FM every Sunday at 9-11pm in a show dubbed Echoes of Hope Radio Broadcast. On Saturdays, after the 6 am news on Joy 99.7 FM, Edem Knight-Tay and her team discuss relationship and marriage issues on Home Affairs.

Counselor Luderodt is also one of the most vibrant counselors in the country at the moment. He features on several programmes both on radio and television.

Events

If you do not mind spending time with students at the University of Ghana then there are several events in relationships in that institution. What you need to do is to keep your ears wide opened and you will hear about them.

There are other events in other churches that you can attend. Just keep an open ear.

Have you been reading on the subject of relationships? What is your favorite book or programme on relationships, which you would readily recommend to anybody? Do share!

What to Consider Before Accepting a Proposal

In the previous post, we discussed the various factors that contributed to making a Christian relationship work. Apart from praying, keeping a checklist and developing the friendship, there are other factors that come into play for a relationship to progress and they will be considered in this post.

Friendship development in the early stages of the relationship cannot be understated. Ensure you are friends and to test if you are ready to move the relationship from one stage to the other, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will I be able to have all kinds of conversations with him?
  • Can I really call him/her a friend?
  • Do I care so much to help him out when he is in need?
  • Will I be able to introduce him to my family and friends?

In accepting the proposal, you have to bear in mind that you will not go back on your words. Deuteronomy 23:23 says, “You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.” Keep the promise.

Nobody is perfect. Even the most handsome, richest Christians may have an issue or two. Make up your mind that you are going to help him/her solve their problems and you will not run away 🙂

If you know you look for the nearest exit immediately a problem rears its head then don’t accept the proposal.  Do not test the waters, as some ladies end up doing. Be certain, before you take any step. Yes, counselors advise it is better to break up a relationship than marriage but don’t also lead a person on if you aren’t certain about them. When the guy proposes to you, tell them you are thinking and praying about it. Commit it to pray. Get convicted. It can take days and even months or years. If the person is the one you are meant to be with, they will wait for you and the relationship will surely work out. The Bible even testifies to in Romans 8:28 that “All things work together for good for they that love Him.”

It is important to seek the face of God especially regarding issues such as who you are going to spend the rest of your life with. As a lady, don’t be moved by the looks of the guy or his money or the fact that you are growing older and that person could be your only choice. Ask God, get convicted before accepting that proposal.

Marriage Series: Making that Christian Relationship Work

Achieving anything good in this life requires effort and dreams can only come true if you make deliberate effort to achieve them. The same theory goes for relationships. In order to build a long lasting relationship with the opposite sex which can lead to marriage, one needs to work hard at it. Every good relationship requires some amount of effort. If you do not have the time, don’t even start a relationship 🙂

How do you begin a relationship with the opposite sex? One which can lead to a relationship? I once had a conversation with a friend at Senior High School where she admonished me to start praying for my future partner. My reaction was, ” ah! how do I pray for someone I do not even know ?” Of course, at that point in my life, all I cared about was passing my exam and making it to college but my friend gave me a different perspective. I think I prayed for my “future” partner a couple of times. Looking back, I guess that was one of the best advice anyone could give to a friend. If you have not met that partner yet, why don’t you start praying for him or her? It is never too early to do that and the Bible says we should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Apart from praying for that one, it is important to list the qualities that you wish to see in him/her. Do you not make a list of items you wish to purchase before you go to the market? List all the qualities- physical characteristics, interests, hobbies. Do not forget about the fact that as a Christian you need to select another who shares in your faith. The other factors are only secondary but are equally important. It will prevent you from looking around at other people when you enter into the relationship.

One foundation that is helpful for every relationship is friendship. Friendship is the most crucial factor that can help your relationship progress from one stage to the other. Have regular conversations. Feel free to share your thoughts with each other. Talk about the regular things. When you build up the friendship, you will begin to enjoy each other’s company. You will miss the other person when they are not around. When you are friends, you hardly run out of conversations and the relationship does not get boring. Even when you decide to be quiet around each other, the silence is not uncomfortable. The Bible testifies to that, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV).

There are other tips that make a Christian relationship work. Tell us what you wish to see on the list…

Marriage Series: Christian Dating and Courting

Dating. What does this word mean to a Christian in Ghana? Well, in most developed countries, dating or going on a date is doing something fun with the opposite sex but in Ghana, dating is the very first step to getting acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. This is the period that a guy and a lady decide if they are right for each other. Dating may lead to courtship and later, marriage 🙂

During the dating period, a guy and lady discuss everything except marriage plans. The courtship period is when the couple is certain they want to spend the rest of their lives together and start making plans towards marriage. Also, they make their intentions known to their parents. According to renowned counselors, there are no clear-cut timelines for the various stages but to prevent pre-marital sex, it is advised the guy and lady do not court for more than two years (I know people who disagree to this).

How to build a successful relationship

So how do you even start a successful relationship? One which will lead to courtship and then to marriage? Even the Bible establishes that it is not good for a man to be alone, so how do you identify the right person especially if you are a Christian. The first character to look out for in a prospective partner is someone who shares in your faith. The Bible categorically states that believers should not be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). That peculiar feeling that you have especially at the beginning of the relationship, the butterflies in the stomach. Yes, that feeling – it fades away. It does after a few months of being with each other. How do you sustain the love if the person does not share the same faith as you?

As Christians, we base our love on 1 Corinthians 13 and not on that weird feeling at the pit of your stomach. People outside the faith have different opinions and beliefs on what love ought to be which is quite different from ours. Never compromise on that – do not allow the stomach flutter to direct you. Fall in love with someone who shares your faith and you will share your testimony with us 🙂

Watch out for other factors that account for successful relationships which lead to marriage.

The Marriage Series: Weddings

I would be a liar if I mentioned I wasn’t a big fan of marriage and wedding ceremonies. Wedding ceremonies are beautiful. I always get blown away by the colour combinations, the decor, the music, the bride’s dress, the bridal party and all that there is to the ceremony. Personally, I attend weddings to watch how the couple celebrate their love and my most favorite part of the ceremony is when the couple share with the guests how they met 🙂

Weddings are fun, no doubt about that. It is the period where family and friends gather to celebrate the union of a man and woman who have come to the conclusion they would want to spend their lives together. It is awesome but in the celebration of love, a lot of couples get carried away. They forget about the union and make the ceremony their main focus.

Interestingly, marriage is NOT the wedding ceremony. Neither is it the pomp and pageantry that accompanies the ceremony. According to renowned counselors, the wedding ceremony is the vows that are made by the couple in the presence of God, with the guests as the witnesses to the vow.

I am not saying spending money on the ceremony is not important. If you have the money and you can afford to feed the entire town during your wedding, why not? Just do it but if you are a young couple from a humble background with other dreams which requires money, then a smaller wedding is best option for you.

Couples who had small and very intimate marriage ceremonies provide the following tips:

1. Stick to your budget, no matter what”

2. Do not announce to the world you are getting married so you cut down on the numbers that attend.

3. Do not entertain too many opinions. They are likely to inflate your budget.

Keep these tips in mind when preparing for your wedding ceremony. There are other websites that provide additional information, tools and tips on how to reduce your budget when organizing a wedding ceremony. One of such sites is Pinterest .

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Instead of breaking the bank to organize a huge wedding, why don’t you invest some time into some “hot” prayers for the union itself? A couple getting married in September are are doing one of the most amazing things ever. The couple with their bridal party meet once in a week to commit the ceremony and union into the hands of God.

God is the architect of marriage. In Genesis 2:18, after He had created Adam, He saw that Adam was alone therefore created a helper (Eve) for him. If you have plans to tying the knot, why don’t you start putting everything into the hands of God, the one who initiated the union?

The Mystery of Marriage

I get subtly amused when I attend a wedding ceremony and the certificate is signed and presented to the couple. The words that usually accompany that is the fact that marriage is the only institution where the students are presented with a certificate before the actual course is taken. Upon serious thought, I know this comment is true. I believe there are a lot of couples out there who wish they had more information about this institution before they attended it.

Although I am not married yet, I sit down to assess ‘marriage’ and I am convinced it is a real mystery. I always wonder how two different people from different backgrounds are able to stay together all their lives. Looking back to boarding house in senior secondary school to college, there were moments I had fights with my roommates, some even good friends and in those times, what comforted me was the fact that we were going to part ways in a year’s time but in marriage, there is no way you can part ways after a year or two. Marriage is forever except for death separates the two.

To us Christians, marriage is not just a union of two people but a covenant with God where divorce is simply not an option. Men of God can only separate the couple only when alive is at stake. That is why it is important to really choose your partner with a lot of caution.

Who are you choosing?

For me, that is one of the most important decisions any person will ever make in life. The Bible does not joke when it tells us not to be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). At least if you share the same faith with your partner, the union is likely to succeed. There are other important factors that make marriage work and most of them depend on what you did during the dating and the courtship period. What are you talking about now that you are in dating or courting? Are you discussing the future when you meet or you are busily “touching?”

Marriage is not a child’s play. As my pastor correctly puts it, “it is not like going to a shop to buy items and if you do not like it, you come back to exchange it for something else.” Marriage is for a lifetime.

What are you compromising for the relationship that you find yourself in? For the women, it is important to bear in mind that your husband is going to be the head. Will you be proud to have this man lead you and the family in some years to come? Or you desperately want to get married so your family stops bothering you?

to be continued

This is the first part of the Relationship and Marriage Series. If you have any opinions on this mystery (marriage), share them with us.

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