Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Maintaining Relationships

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Just Say No, to a Bad Relationship
"The one who cares the most.
Is always held hostage.
By the one who cares the least."

"Love is a many splendored thing." "It's so easy to fall in Love." "Love is blind." "Love without faith is superficial." You can see the downward progression. I'm sure you know how easy it is to fall in love, especially at that certain age. Young people desperately need education in knowing how to choose a mate, today more than ever. What is the first prerequisite for a relationship to work? Spiritual compatibility. Then intellectual compatibility, then physical compatibility, then sexual compatibility. I'm sure most of you know also, that most couples, first get it together, backward from this.

Please don't misunderstand me. This is not about ending, it's about maintaining, fixing, and improving relationships. This is kind of like the ultimate challenge. I've strained and strained my brain for years, thinking about it, and wondering if I should ever attempt it. It seems like people fall in love and then learn to live in misery and perversion, or they get divorced and enjoy even more misery and perversion. What this is really about, is saying no to the bad things that make bad relations, identifying them, and never going back. Bringing heaven down to earth, so to speak.

First we have to identify. I know it's painful, but let me start with this illustration about the three types of women. The good, the bad, and the ugly. You could turn around and tell it about men too, but it would be a little different.

There's the good woman, she'll love you to death, and follow you anywhere. Remember, "A man needs a woman to love him ALL the time." Johnny Horton song, 1960. She's content to have a man, and babies. She has faith in life, in God, and in you. She's too busy to worry. She always knows what time it is. She's usually married to some useless, shiftless, no account, arrogant, knothead!

Now the bad. She's a workaholic. There's only time to work or sleep. She has no faith, so a husband is just someone to harass, because he's not rich enough, perfect enough, or affectionate enough, and never works hard enough. She's insecure and makes up for it by working till 9 or 10 every night. Work is her drug of choice. Instead of the children learning to do things, she does them for them. She's always the martyr, no one else ever does enough. Her first priority is keeping up appearances. She's jealous of any friends you might have, that might absorb your time and money. She doesn't know how to tell time. She's married to her job, her parents, her house, her idols, and you, in that order!

Now the ugly! She's lazy and spoiled. She was born and bred to be a princess. Marry a doctor or lawyer and have a maid and a butler. The American dream. Only slaves work. A husband is just someone to hate because he's not rich enough and makes her have to work. She has no self-control so she resorts to food and drugs. Consequently she's overweight and temperamental, and hates herself. Children are a nuisance, and in the way.

Well, you get the picture, not a pretty one, definitely not what love started out to be. You can imagine how all these problems are compounded when drinking, fighting (idolized sports), and gambling are added. Then comes lying, and cheating, and stealing. Abe Lincoln said it best, "It appears our progress in degeneracy, is becoming quite rapid."

I'm not going to talk about all the bad and the ugly reasons you can't get along, or all the bad and ugly excuses there might be for quiting, or the fact that you are unequally yoked which makes everything bad and ugly!

I want to talk about you! The one that feels so abused and mistreated.What should you do if you find yourself in a bad relationship.

First of all, it's not about you. You are a hostage. Marriage is not about freedom, being single is about freedom. Now don't let me scare you, there is a wonderful compensation for all of this. It's called family, children, teamwork, dignity, and respect.

Second, nothing is fair. Who said everything has to be fair. If you think everything has to always be fair, you're not going to be happy. It's so easy to start playing that game. Pretty soon you have to take turns changing diapers, cleaning the toilet, feeding the horses, talking to your mother, sleeping in, partying, paying the electric bill, etc. This is childish nonsense. Don't be looking for the easy job. What goes around comes around. Everything does turn out fair in the end. The truth is, only God knows who are the good, the bad, and the ugly.

A man should be true to his calling, and not be condemned if he wants to be a poor hard working farmer, or whatever. Unfortunately it's a crime to be poor. It doesn't matter how hard you work, or how smart you are, or how talented you are, it's easy to run aground if you have any true principles. Conversely it doesn't matter how idolatrous, or despicable, or perverted you are, you are the "...sweetest guy in town.", if you have money. Laziness used to be a crime, now laziness is a virtue, only stupid people work. "There's a place (hell or prison) for people who only do what they want to do. This aint it." We still can't judge, maybe it's better to be in prison now, rather than later. Hell is the grave, eternal death.

That brings me to the next item. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." Don't be a terrorist, don't be toxic, don't get even. Always remember, "...never return evil for evil." Here is another one to memorize, "It doesn't take a very big man to carry a grudge!" The worst temptation for me, is to be passive aggressive. You know, the sly underhanded little tricks to beat people over the head without touching them, or facing them, or talking to them. My name is Mark, which means warlike. I can hardly resist a fight, and I like none better than the quiet strategy for getting the upper hand. I have to constantly remind myself, "Sometimes it's a noble thing to fight evil, but this is not our task, our mission is to bring more light." It's so easy to get into a love hate relationship that can get out of hand, especially if one partner is spiritually retarded, or even spiritually dead! Maybe I better explain that a little. "....the natural man receives not the things of God, they are foolishness to him." I Corinthians 2 : 14. The problem is, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." "Some go in search of the truth, others can be lead to it, most will not tolerate it." What is truth? Do you know the seven things by which you judge all truth? "His creation, His Spirit, His Law, His prophets, His people, His story, History."

This is where it gets crazy. What do you do when you find the one you love rejects the truth and clings to the lie, and chooses to remain ignorant and in the dark? What do you do when you realize your in love with the devil? How long do you maintain a bad relationship? When and where do you say no, and where do you draw the line? You know how serious this can be, when children are involved, innocent victims of violence and abuse. When is a broken family the lesser evil?

Here is a little poem I made up, that goes along with this.

Family Man

Now listen close to what I say.
There's much to learn.
From the old farm ways.

I'm saying a farm aint worth much.
Without a good husband and wife.
And when the going gets tough.
You don't need trouble and strife!

Now a good team of horses.
Will do the work of three.
But if they can't pull together.
They can't do any, you see.

I fell in love with a pretty little thing.
I know love is blind.
But we're still together.
After all this time.

Now the process of multiplication.
I'm sure you know.
Children are God's gift.
To make love grow.

It hasn't exactly been easy.
Sometimes it was pretty sad.
But the good times.
Have made up for the bad!

What's the real secret?
To our success?
Lots of hard work and,
Forgive and forget.

To know how to give and take.
And try to understand.
What it really means.
To be a family man.

You know the best reward.
Though it might be slow.
Is to know your children.
Are as good as gold.

To reach a ripe old age.
With some wisdom to impart.
To know your friends and family.
On the world have left their mark.

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