HIM – By Mercedees A. Bowman

Well just when I thought nobody liked me or just when I thought I would never be able to love again here comes my “HIM” .. for years I’ve been hurt by other guys and I just felt like giving up and not giving anybody else the chance to break my heart again .

I go to Christ Haven and we have a fellowship on every 5th Sunday where we went to various locations and fellowshipped with about 5-6 different churches and my”HIM” was a part of one of those churches.. I noticed “HIM” but honestly I wasn’t a fan nor did I pay “HIM” any mind. But he said he was interested in me for the longest and made previous attempts to try to talk to me. His mom is the one who told him to give it shot. So the one day he decided not come to 5th Sunday fellowship in 2015, I was there and our choir had to sing and I led the choir. His sister recorded us and posted it on Facebook. Next thing I know I saw a comment from him on the post asking about me and after that he slid in my dm’s(inbox ). I was so over talking, dating or even entertaining guys at this point. He’s the First guy I ever talked to that wanted to get to know me as a person and not just what I had to offer.. I still had my guard up, was giving him one word answers like hey, ok, good, nothing, and yes. In March 2015 I stopped playing hard to get and that is when he asked for my number. I told him “as long as you don’t get on my nerves we can text,” and he’s been getting on my nerves since then!!!.. My “HIM” was Ricky T Bowman..

We started texting and talking on the phone every day, all day and night . I started falling for Ricky. He was just too good to be true lol. My previous relationships we made it official right away or weeks later, but I guess because I played hard to get he made me wait for him to ask me to be his girlfriend 8 months later, on Nov 2nd 2015. He texted it to me and I sent it to my close friends and was hype like “ITS OFFICIAL!!!!!!!” I started the hashtag #FutureBowmans .. We started talking about marriage and how we were going to spend the rest of our lives together and I just felt like it was all a dream.. He then moved from Coatesville to Philly to be closer to me and started going to Christ Haven with me.. We had ups and downs but our downs wasn’t between me and him it was the fact that we both weren’t working (due to me being injured at work and him just moving to Philly and having a fresh start), I lived with my god sister, and he lived with his dad, times where we couldn’t see each other and then I got the worst phone call ever! Ricky was arrested in Sept 2016! The worst three months of my life.. He spent our first year anniversary in jail!! Just when I thought things could get any worst I found out I was pregnant …… just kidding Lmboo we decided in our relationship that we wouldn’t be sexually intimate and we would wait on the lord!!! Ricky was then released from jail on house arrest for a couple weeks.. Last court date all charges dropped and I cried like a baby!! I didn’t have to see him in that ugly orange jumpsuit, talk to him on a recorded line and my conversations weren’t timed anymore!

 

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A month later in December on Christmas Ricky surprisingly purchased me a promise ring and asked me to promise him that I’ll keep riding this wave with him FOREVER and of course I said I promise.

A year later December 31, Ricky asked me to be his wife and I SAID YES! It was one of the Best days of my life, family and friends were there and tears of joy rolled down my face and then we had some planning to do .. Planning a wedding and planning to move into our new home was soooo much work and we only have 8 months to do so.. In the midst of that we were going to Pre-Marital where we learned a lot about marriage and still learning!! Ricky and I got married August 25, 2018 and the vow in sickness and in Health had been the first vow we had to live and our first test.. I was rushed to the hospital with severe pains I could barely walk, lay, or sit..and Ricky my husband has been there for me every step of the way .. He helped me get dress, cooked for me , helped me walk, fed me, bathed me, rubbed where it hurt, went to the store at random times for me, prayed for me, encouraged me to get better and sooo on and until this day he is still doing so!!!

 

God has been in the middle of our relationship and I just know as long as he is that we would last forever! !! I thank God for all of our supporters and prayer warriors and those who have believed in us. And may god continue to bless our union!

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Conflict Resolution In Marriage

There is no Secret that in marriage arguments will occur. Conflict in marriage can be poisonous if not handled the right way. Dominating an argument can leave your spouse feeling rejected, and fighting in front of your children can make them feel insecure and possibly develop attachment issues. In many marriages you will find that unhealthy conflict has become the norm. You may be the person who shuts down during arguments or perhaps you are the type that gets so mad that the whole neighborhood hears you. Maybe you are the type that brings up the past when you are in an argument or you might remain calm but calls another later to gossip. None of these are better than the other, they are all bad. As a Newlywed or someone contemplating marriage, you have to realize that fighting fair is a skill you have to master for a healthy Marriage. During the dating phase the relationship is superficial, both individuals are putting their best self forward, so arguments may be non- existent. When you get married and live together (I strongly advise not to live with your partner until marriage- another blog for another day) it’s a different ball game. It doesn’t matter how much you and your spouse have in common, you are both very different, even if you both serve the lord. You will find that the way you celebrate holidays and birthdays are different, your concept of Family is different, the way you handle conflict will be different.   You might find that the way your respective families handle conflict will affect the way your spouse handles it. It is key for you to identify your conflict style early to prevent hurting your spouse. I realized that my Family is very blunt and we say how we feel, if you don’t know us that can come off as mean and abusive verbally. That aspect of me didn’t magically go away because I said “I do”. We must find out what our style is so we will not offend one another. At the beginning of my marriage my wife was the type that would shut down whenever I had an issue with something, this created a problem for me because it made me think that my wife did not care about how I felt. It caused arguments to blow out of proportion, to the point where we forgot what we were initially arguing about. We learned that to help one another we had to change. I needed her to show interest when I wanted to talk to her about something. I had to use my words wisely, not use words that hurt her. I want to offer a few tips in this blog to help readers fight fair. Here they are

General Hot-Button Issues

  1. Never compare your husband to another man. This includes, but is not limited to, your father, brother, men you have dated and other men in general.
  2. Men, never Compare your Wife to another woman, especially your Mother. Understand that your mother and your wife play two different roles. Your mother Raised you and was always a nurturer to you, your Wife is your Equal, she did not raise you so don’t expect her to treat you the same way your mother does. Don’t compare your wife’s food to your mom’s food and foolish things like that.
  3. Never criticize a man’s ability to provide for his family
  4. Never criticize a women Ability to provide care for her family.

No Fishing

If you do find yourself in an argument, stay on topic; don’t use this time venturing into your spouse’s past. Bringing up his/her past is actually condemning him/her. If you are in an argument about spending habits, keep the topic on that, don’t bring up an issue from years ago, you will never resolve the issue at hand.

Respect one Another

Don’t yell , especially in front of Kids. Remember a soft answer will turn away wrath. Also give your spouse eye contact when you speak to one another. Sometimes a soft touch while talking will calm a situation down. Don’t call each other names; you’re not in elementary school. Do not bring up divorce and don’t say other things you are going to regret. Stay away from phrases like “You always do this” or you never help me out. Words like always and never are blanket statements and should not be used. Don’t walk away abruptly or turn your back when your spouse is speaking to you. Watch your body language; body language speaks volumes to your spouse.

Don’t argue just to Argue

Argue with a goal. Arguments can be healthy when done right. Always look for a resolution. If you can’t find one, talk about it another time. Timing is important; you can’t always talk when you feel like it. Never argue in front of family, kids, church, while at work or over the phone. Ask your spouse if it is a good time to talk about it and if they say no, accept it and pick another time.

                 Forgive

When hurtful things are done, learn to forgive. Do not over analyze forgiveness. Give a second chance. Sometimes we are so hurt we can’t forgive because we can’t understand how spouse can be inconsiderate of feelings. Don’t analyze every motive or reason, just forgive. Because honestly there are times when the motive was to hurt you, but if they are asking for forgiveness, forgive. If they are not Sincere, God will not allow them to get away with it. Trust God, he is sovereign.

Everlasting Love Through Seasons of Change

When me and my Wife found out we were having a child, we were very happy. The news has already changed us tremendously. As a man I have obtained a huge burden of responsibility that I have never had before. My purpose in life seems so much deeper than it has ever been.  The news has also burdened me and my wife to strengthen our marriage as well. I imagine this will be the fastest I will ever fall in love with a person, as soon as I see the little person, in record time I will love him/her.  I would argue that I already do.  I remember how my parents loved me through my development, when I was a toddler, in elementary school, middle school, high-school, college and now in my late 20’s. The way my mom and dad loved their children is the same way I am going to love my children the same. Thinking on this, God dropped this little nugget into my life regarding my marriage.

The lady you take as your wife is going to go through changes, wishful thinking would suggest that she will go through positive changes, but that’s not always the case. Life experiences will change us, sometimes for better, but sometimes worst. The question you need to answer for yourself is this: can you love her through the changes? Can you love her through her victories and defeats? Can you love her if tragedy strikes and it seems like she is a completely different person? Can you love her if sickness comes? Can you love her when God uses her?  When he makes mistakes can you love him? Can you love him when money is funny? Can you love him/her through growth?

Yes newlywed, your wife/husband will go through changes as he/she grows. If you married “young”, trust and believe that the woman/man who you married at 21 will not be the same woman/man at 42 or 64. You will play a huge part in your mate’s development. Always cover your spouse in prayer, love them through the good and bad. Areas that you are stronger in, help your spouse; let your spouse help you in areas you are weaker in.  I always find it interesting how God calls us to be so intimate and close with our wives and to become one with them, this is interesting to me because we are not the same genetically, meaning a close relationship is guaranteed to take work. What I mean is this, look at your children, they share some of your DNA, they look like you, they come from you, and your kids truly are made up of 50% mom 50% Dad. This makes us instantly connected to our kids.  Our spouse does not share our DNA, but God requires this relationship of husband and wife to be paramount and priority in our life, a true team. God requires us to love our spouse through their changes just like we love our children through theirs. Oh, what a challenge we have! Challenge yourselves to love your spouse through the changes, because God loves you with an everlasting love!

Marriage Tips -From Andrew Walker

Author :  Andrew Walker

 Starve your eyes…

In a world where we have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. there is way more temptation that we as men have to fight. We are men that get intrigued by what we see. For example King David seeing Bathsheba. He called to get her and committed adultery, EVEN when he knew she was married to a man that was fighting in the war for HIM! So with having these social media outlets, we need to be mindful of the pictures we “like” and videos that we watch. Lust can grow in our hearts and before you know it, you might be sliding in someone’s DMs. I know you can’t really control what other people post but you can tell how “crazy” they are by their posts in the past. Lol, I’m sure we’ve all trolled someone’s page before befriending or adding someone on Facebook. With that being said, be mindful of who you connect with on social media.

Passwords…

Another practical practice that can keep you accountable is giving your wife/significant other access to your passwords. Now that’s a touchy topic, because some of us might say that’s going too far and you need SOME privacy. But knowing that he/she could be looking, might help keep you from straying. If you need it…just as an extra precaution.

Birds of a feather…

Hanging out with other like-minded couples is another good idea. I would just be careful of doing the group thing too much because by nature, some people tend to be competitive and couples may subliminally compete with one another or even argue due to the lack of PDA in front of everyone else. I’m sure you’ve been on a group date and felt the pressure of putting your arm around your girl because the other male had his arm around his girl . And you know if you don’t do it, it’ll seem like you aren’t in as much love as the other couples. That’s why I suggest limiting the group things. Do them! But not ALL the time.

 

See the bigger picture…

If you find yourself in a potentially compromising situation, you have to see the bigger picture. Often times I joke with my friends and we talk about the fact that when we are single, NOBODY wants to holla at you. But as soon as you find someone and they like you back, all of a sudden it seems as if everyone that you were interested in before, starts to come around. It’s the same way being married (for the most part). The thing is, temptation will always be there. But you have to look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself: Is it worth going back on your vows? What would your children and family think? And most of all what would God say? So looking at the grand scheme of things will put things back into perspective to help you combat temptation.

Greener pastures?…

There’s a saying that the grass may not be greener on the other side. Now if the grass does look greener on the other side, WATER YOUR SIDE!!!! Do things with your wife/significant other that you like to do. Make your relationship fun for yourselves. Continue to date and impress your wife and watch your side of the grass (Wife) grow.

 

 

 

 

 

Vows over Everything.

At a time when I was at my lowest point in my life , God lifted me up.

Do you, Paul take  Sarah to be your lawfully wedded wife and live together forever in the estate of holy matrimony? Do you promise to  love, comfort, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse for as long as you both shall live?

 I do.

 I, Sarah take thee, Paul to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

 

 

 

Maybe your Vows didn’t sound exactly like the ones above, or maybe they did, perhaps you wrote your own vows. Whatever the case may be, imagine you are about to enter marriage, a world full of both uncertainty and excitement, and you are racking your brain for what your vows could be to your wife. My biggest piece of advice would be this, don’t enter marriage unadvisedly. Essentially what Vows entail is commitment, not emotion, but allegiance and faithfulness. Marriage is about forgiving one another, fighting through hard times and exercising the principles of God’s word that you have learned in singleness. The easy way out is divorce. To be frank, God hates divorce. Divorce is a disease that has hit the body of Christ and spread like wildfire. Many of our favorite singers and preachers openly get divorced and marry another, as if God is pleased with that course. The frequency of divorce should tell us a lot. One note it should tell us is that marriage is not easy, I don’t care if you never had a bad day with your spouse , “keep living” as the grown folks say. I can speak from my own experience. I entered my marriage with a ton of momentum. Everything was going well about half way through the year was when our first test came. I got fired from my Job, a job that I was at for Five years and was succeeding at.  I virtually lost all my friends and never got a chance to defend myself. The savings we had were running low, my wife in turn lost her job, and we were moving to a very dark place. There I was, very happy to be married, and all of a sudden I became a 28-year-old without money, no car (we lost that too) and a reputation that had been run through the mud.  The next incident was between me and my wife, the frustration and all the factors had caused friction between us.  Arguments were becoming the norm and divorce was brought up, we found ourselves attacking one another verbally due to the stress of life.  Those lessons of life led me to provide this thought to anyone who is thinking about marriage. We serve A God that will test you and we are at odds with a Devil that does not want to see you and your  spouse together. We ended up being unemployed for a total of 4 months. The time of friction between us was about 1 month but it felt like a year.  I decided that it was time for us to go on the offensive and she felt the same way.

It was during the time of intense friction that I was reminded of my vows. Vows that made me cry, Vows that I never intend to break.  God pointed me back to them. I laughed and told God “I would never Divorce my wife”. Vows aren’t just to prevent divorce; it’s not just a commitment for two people just to stay together for the sake of staying together. Marriage isn’t intended for two just to merely exist, but to live fruitfully, blissfully and more abundantly. To be companions, to be one and to be a ministry unto others and unto God. God wanted us to get the most out of our marriage. And God led  me to do something that my wife is not aware that I do, but she will be after reading this! He told me to read my vows every day. I literally renew my vows to my wife daily!  Every morning I read my vows before I go to work. All those things I lost, God gave us back.  I was given a car, I started a new career,  I renewed friendships and created new friendships . We realized that God had to move some things so that we would focus on one another. The vows that you will make to your spouse cant waiver because of life, your vows can’t waiver because you are tired of him or her. This is the biggest commitment that any man or woman will enter, I don’t care what anyone thinks or what the media says, when done right you will get a refreshing perspective of God that you never had before. And you will receive and operate on a  level of favor that was impossible to obtain when single (read Proverbs 18:22). I would advise all men and women to renew their vows daily, not every 20 years. We spend so much time and money on the dress, the flowers, the reception and the honeymoon and almost forgot the most important part is the vows. It’s fascinating that the most valuable part of your wedding is a part that is free, your vows.  There is no price attached to them just a commitment to God and your spouse. Let me drive this point home. Your commitment to your spouse supersedes every feeling, emotion, trial, tragedy, hardship, Injury, freak accident, death, boredom, sweetheart on the side and what ever else life throws at you. Please renew your vows Daily.

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“Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company of witnesses to join together this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, signifying unto us the mystical union that is between Christ and His Church; which Holy Estate Christ adorned with His presence and first miracle that He wrought in Cana of Galilee, and is commended of St. Paul to be honorable among all men; and therefore, not entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, discreetly, soberly and in the fear of God. Into this Holy Estate these two persons present come now to be joined