My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for married

Relationships – If he thinks like a dog and acts like a dog, just maybe…

Help make him a man

We all have our stories...

“I can’t believe I let another man fool me….”

We all have our stories and the way we live our stories determine not only the quantity but the quality of the baggage we lug around with us.

One look at him and she had decided she wanted him. When she found out he was already dating someone she and her friends would invite him out and exclude his girl friend. She was determined to have him. She finally got him, for a few short weeks anyway, then he moved on to someone else.

“….I had promised myself I won’t let this happen again,” she continued bitterly, “he’s such a dog…”

It’s interesting how differently we view things depending on where we are looking from. I’ve heard our women call our black men many negative things but I’m convinced that our men can only get away with some of the crap they get away with because we help create that space.

There’s this guy I had known for about 10 years and had dated him for several months when we first met. When it became evident that our values were not the same we ended the relationship. I was therefore surprised when earlier this year he said he wanted to talk with me, he had something to say but did not want me to say anything until he was through. He told me he had gotten married but had known all the time that I should have been the one. He knew we would have been happy together because we had so much in common. He wished he had been mature enough to know what was important then, he knew he would have made me happy because he would have been a good husband…

I’ve never called a man a dog. I believe if a man thinks like a dog and acts like a dog, just maybe he has not been taught how to truly be a man. I listened quietly, mentally examining everything he said, labeled them the rubbish that they were, reminded him that he had chosen the woman he was with and making HER happy was his chance to prove he could be a good husband, and ended any further communication with him.

How does a male grow into a “man”? I found myself pondering that question again this morning as I devoured the waffles my brother had made. What makes them responsible, dependable, honorable, committed, strong? So much of who we are is determined by the things we’ve seen, experienced, been taught or not taught. Where do they learn how to stay put and give support, how to be there and do the mature thing and not the easy thing?

Where did my brother learn, I wondered? He had not had a father figure, yet last week when I was ill he’d brought homemade soup and this morning before I left for church he’d showed up with homemade waffles. Where did he learn how to be a man?

In so many communities where our families bear the challenge of fatherlessness, I guess some of our men are disciplined enough to stick to the course they’ve set for themselves, some learn by trial and error, and some, I’m convinced, who seem bent on carrying on in the ways of their absentee fathers, as we, women mature, we’ve got to help by administering tough love and nudging them in the right direction.

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Relationships — Moving pass failure

It was Saturday, about 8:00pm, I was dressed in my favorite four and a half-inch high-heeled sandals, a little black dress and too much self-confidence for my own good. I was comfortable, at home, my surroundings familiar. My friend who was working at my desk turned and said “We should get married tomorrow.” I laughed and replied, “I hope you don’t throw that around to everybody, someone might have you down the aisle before you finish that sentence.” Then, “what would you have done if I had said yes?” I asked. “We would get married,” he stated simply. I really like him, he’s laid back, has a great sense of humor, a keen business mind and one of the most focused persons I know. We’ve known each other for several years, we are friends — I was comfortable. So comfortable that I kept ignoring the little voice in my head.

The next day was Sunday. After church I took a different exit because of where I had parked, I had been late for church. I had used that exit only once before but I lived about 7 minutes from the church, so feeling “comfortable” I drove. Finally, I came to an area I knew, I had driven 25 mins  in the opposite direction.

Saturday evening before I left home, I had been totally exhausted, that’s what the voice had been trying to tell, or remind me rather. One of the boundaries I’ve set for myself is not to go out when I’m so tired, when I’m tired I’m vulnerable — I like closeness and comfort.

If we are honest, we would admit that normally on our way to the course that leads us away from what we have determined to live by, there are several warnings. When he had asked if I wanted to postpone, I should have listened to that voice, and said, yes. Before we left, I had leaned my head on his shoulder as we talked, I should have listened to the voice that said “Girl, you’d better sit up straight!” When we got to the restaurant, at the dinner table and I realized I was playing footsie beneath the table…, well, I did stop, but I should have listened.

One of my favorite verses. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life,” comes to mind. There has never been a time when I’ve failed to guard my heart, that I have not failed. Whether it’s a physical act of flirting too close to the edge of right and wrong, responding with a bad attitude, or giving in to anger, guarding my heart is absolutely necessary to living a life that represents God well.

Failure for me is saying no when God says yes or vice versa, forging my way when God says to wait, choosing what I want instead of yielding to God’s word. You see, God’s word is the standard, it’s unchanging, everything else vacillates. So when I fail, God’s word does not shift to make my wrongs right but I have to shift, repent, to meet His standards.

Over the years I’ve learned when I’ve chosen my own path that finding my way back to God is easier than finding my way home. For His word says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I’ve realized that when we fail, the challenge is not to allow shame, guilt or pride to keep us stuck, reluctant to admit our wrong doing, hinder us from making it right with God. I believe that’s really the enemy’s winning card, to make us feel we can never go back, to silence our voices, put out our lights. If you have failed in any way, I am Dona Halliday, challenging you to refuse to stay there, to get up and go back to God, for what I was reminded of in Church on Sunday is that covenant relationship, God’s kind of relationship never gives up on us, neither does it passively wait for us to return but He comes seeking those who lose their way.

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