Tag Archives: relationships

1 Good Reason God May Remove Someone From Your Life

This afternoon, I was perusing my FB timeline for content when I happened upon a post from The Praying Woman. It was adequately titled, “3 Reasons God May Remove Someone From Your Life”.

As I clicked on the link to prepare myself to for a nice, quick read, I found myself scrolling over the times in my life where friends or significant others seemed to float right on out the picture. For some instances, the reasoning was clear, but for others, not so much. When I read down to the last reason listed in the article, I found this:

3. Because sometimes our loved ones become more of a distraction than our enemies. This is God’s way of keeping us focused.

Today, I ask you this: Where does God fit in your life? Is He #1, #2, #3, or a better question would be… Is He even a priority in your life at all?

Sometimes we place our relationship with God on the back burner without even realizing it. We don’t give it our all like we do everything else.

Try not to be so focused on earthly relationships that you forget about your relationship with God. Switch the energy you’re currently putting into your distractions and refocus it where it’s needed, on Him!

You know those times where you have a “feeling” you might be right about a situation but talk yourself into thinking you’re over analyzing it too much? YES? Then you’ll know that this is exactly what BINGED in my mind when I read this.

A recent loved one who parted ways falls into this category, and not bashing them, but I realized our personalities mixed with the constant need to ‘upkeep’ our friendship/relationship ultimately brought it to a close. I was willing to overlook a few struggles in order to maintain consistent communication while obliviously overlooking the fact that my focus on God was creeping down to 2nd place. I found myself not feeling like my jovial, bubbly, NORMAL self as fear and doubt hopped into the front passenger seat of my life; all the while ignoring the signs that God was sending me.

YOU WILL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BESIDES ME!!!

I was making my friendship/relationship with this person an idol without knowing it and found myself more preoccupied with pleasing them and MAKING myself BE the right companion for them, that I totally ignored God! Yep, it’s a hard thing to admit, but I had to repent because I pushed God aside without even knowing it. I was all up and in works of the flesh trying to MAKE this thing work. That’s why God shut it all down! After a series of arguments and disagreements, this person and I parted ways and almost immediately, an entire ton of feathers lifted! By the time the sun rose, I was almost back to my former self. Sure this person is a great person as a whole, but here me when I tell you God will allow NO ONE to block the works HE desires to do in us. So whether that’s a sibling, friend, significant other, co-worker, even a parent — if we place anyone above God in ANY way, God will show up and cool it down. He’s not a “backburner” God.

So whether you’re doing it intentionally or not, stop making people idols in your life. If you find yourself thinking about them more than God — chances are you’re placing too much importance on them. If you spend all of your time with them (even to the point whether you just go work/school and stay up under them or call them) — then you’re probably making them an idol. There is nothing wrong with a good healthy investment into your relationships, but when it consumes you…. handle it before God does; because He will.

Be blessed, Joc

 

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Date Based on Your PRIORITIES Not Your PREFERENCES.

If you had the chance to see comedienne/actress Niecy Nash’s appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show, you heard when Arsenio asked Niecy about her matchmaking skills  (and she does have a proven track record folks). When asked what ‘the trick’ was, she said that for her personally, if she was serious about finding a husband, she needed to start dating for her priorities and instead of her preferences. 

One Essence.com contributor published the list he was inspired to write after watching the very same interview. He said that after hearing what Niecy had to say, and taking a glance at her book “It’s Hard to Fight Naked”, he realized that he didn’t know how to separate his priorities from his preferences.  To be honest, a lot of people in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s have no clue which is which either!

What is a priority?

A priority is something we feel is more important than something else.

What is a preference?

A preference is something we simply like (or prefer) more than something else

Personally, I feel tons of relationships that don’t need to happen…happen because [we] as a society have a hard time deciphering the difference between the two. Some of the blame can go towards ‘not being taught better’ or ‘simply not being exposed’; however, the ultimate blame lies with ourselves. With the age of the Internet in full force, it’s super easy to get a hold of scholarly articles and breakdowns that can help you in the love department. BUT whatever the case, from this day forward, Niecy has challenged us all…myself included! I’m in the place where I have a good handle on my priorities and preferences, but to make sure, I actually took the time to make a physical list. Yep, that’s right, yanked out a piece of computer paper, sat right on down and honestly thought about what’s most important to me in a boyfriend/husband.

When I was done, I was successfully able to group all that I like, want, and need in a man into a PRIORITIES list and a PREFERENCES list. Here is the finished result.

JOC’S PRIORITIES :

#1 – Christ driven man of God. // #2 Faithful, loving, & caring towards me & his family. // #3 Intelligent, schooled, & responsible. // #4 Humorous, thoughtful, & creative

JOC’S PREFERENCES:

#1 Attractive // #2 Tall ( > or = me in heels) // #3 College grad // #4 Career savvy // #5 Artsy

There are not many items in my preferences because even before I understood what preferences were (aka types), I always approached dating with an open mind. Now that I’m older and wiser however, I know that there are things you SHOULD NEVER stand for ( ie/ men who are emotionally unavailable, laziness, men who cheat & steal to get ahead) — but all in all, what I desire is pretty simple. I also want to point out that I know I can fulfill everything on my PRIORITY list — that’s vital. I can’t expect someone to be and do all of these things if I can’t do them myself, so I make sure I can fulfill MY OWN list! 

What’s on your list?! Transparency is the word for today!

-Joc

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Wanna Know Why Smart Women Fall For Losers? HERE’S WHY…

Today on Facebook my right hand man Rich posed this statement to all of the ladies in FacebookLand:

“I’ll never understand why smart women fall for losers…”

 Well my good man, I will tell you why.

Being an intelligent woman myself I can share as to why I ( and some of my book smart sisters) have dated some of the unfavorable characters that we have. To be honest, there are tons of reasons I could give…but we don’t have that much time; so I’ll just list a few.

Reason #1 – We think they’re on our level. Not to sound all high and mighty but it’s the truth! There have been countless times where intelligent and accomplished women have been deceived by ‘sheep in wolf’s clothing’. You know the guy who ‘appears’ to have solid goals, one who ‘appears’ to support your dreams, one who ‘appears’ to be thoughtful, faithful, and loving?? Yeah these type of guys are pretty slick and often times weasel their way into our lives. By the time most of us figure out what’s going on, we’re slacking off at work, almost near broke, and distanced from the people who care about us. Straight up bustas!

REASON #1

REASON #1

 Reason #2 – We want to date “out of the box”. Hey, it might sound silly but it’s true in some cases. Being a woman of substance, most of the guys who can carry on intelligent conversations and have their lives together can sometimes seem – lackluster to some women. For lack of better words….boring. I know guys are like “well why in the heck would you pass up someone you KNOW is on the right track for someone who may be an axe murderer in the making?!” The honest answer: they are too predictable. Though I personally don’t feel this way, I’ve had these thoughts before in my college years. On one hand you know you need the stability, but you want to be excited, surprised; and sometimes men who have themselves together are more…organized. (just think if Logan Killicks in Their Eyes Were Watching God) In the end it comes back to bite, but oh what a ride!

REASON #2

REASON #2

 Reason #3 – We’ve been hurt so much in the past, we lower our standards. Lord WHERE oh WHERE is a choir when you need it! I have definitely been guilty of this in the past. This is mainly why I’m so excited for ‘Being Mary Jane’ to premiere next month, I can tell just from the first episode that this will clearly illuminate why successful women make bad choices in the romance department. Listen, after dating a few ‘unfavorables’, sometimes a gal is just plum ti’d…not tired but ti’d. You hope to find a suitable mate BEFORE your career takes over your life or try your best to beat your ever ticking biological clock – so you sometimes find yourself scrambling for some man…ANY man who at least resembles the type of man you know you need. Sometimes it’s like “first come first serve” – the first seemingly decent guy that comes your way, you pick that one and hold on for dear life! Sad yet true.

REASON #3

REASON #3

Reason #4 – We’re blinded by the physical appearance. THAT’S IT…I SAID IT…there are plenty of intelligent women who have been mesmerized by the good looking brothers out there. You know they’re bad for you. You know they aren’t worth two pennies; but you’re still with them. Maybe they’re abusive or no good, lazy bums (apologies but it had to be said); but you pray and hope that they’ll change. You can’t help but visualize him on your arm at a networking event, or at your high school reunion, or the presidential inaugural ball. (hey, it can happen **shrugs**) Those visions of naïveté convince you to stay when you really need to be running the other way quickly!

REASON #4

REASON #4

Reason #5 – He looks good on paper so we don’t question his motives. He’s moving up the ladder at his company. He has a secure retirement fund set aside for the future. He adores his sister’s kids and treats them like his own. Oh and his MAMA…if he treats her any less than a queen, he’ll whoop his OWN behind! The guy you’re with is heaven on earth….until you really get to know him. You find out that the only reason he’s moving up in his company so fast is because he’s swindling his colleagues and laundering money. The retirement fund he claims to have is virtually non existent because it’s actually in his dad’s name, but since they have the same name, short circuits the system. He really hates kids, but puts up with them for appearances. And the reason he’s so nice to his mom is because he’s hoping she’ll die off soon and leave him a huge inheritance and her house. A lot of the ‘good guys’ may think, “How can you NOT know these things”, but hey, if you watched ‘Think Like A Man’, the explanation is all in Taraji P. Henson’s character. She thought a CEO, big balling cat was what she needed because on paper, they were a match. But we all know how that ended. (if not, go see the movie!)

REASON #5

REASON #5

Reason #6 – We’ve been told we’re too picky and to let our guard down. I cannot adequately express how ANNOYING it is to be told this! I’ve heard it all from guys and girls! “Oh you think you too good?!”….. “Girl you need to stop being so particular, you gotta give somewhere.”…. “You must want a dude w/a 6 figure salary. That’ ain’t real life”….. or how about this one, “That’s why you single now, stop acting like you got it altogether and relax.” If you are an intelligent or successful lady who’s never heard some variation of these phrases, then you’re not really successful. lol But what do we do after years of hearing this hoopla?? Anyone? Anyone??! EXACTLY…we settle for the apples on the bottom of the tree. We’re tired of convincing people we’re not picky so we just pick SOMEBODY! Most of the time that somebody is a loser. THEN we’ll start hearing about how “we need to do better”. But hey,  you can’t call us picky any more.

REASON #6

REASON #6

 Reason #7 – Our careers and accomplishments don’t keep us warm at night. What you have to understand is when it comes down to a woman and her future…accomplishments don’t mean jack if it means she’s alone for the rest of her life. Fantasia Barrino is a perfect example. She was one of the most successful winners of American Idol. She had a challenging upbringing but ended up making bank without knowing how to fluently read and with a young daughter to take care of. YET…she ended up hooking up with a guy who was separated from his wife, but at the end of the day still married. You would think “girl, you’ve got all that money and all that fame, what is WRONG with you child?!” – but I know exactly why she felt that way…she was lonely. All of those accomplishments that pushed her towards the top, pushed her out by herself. She probably felt she couldn’t trust guys or even had time to date; so when she walked up in that Verizon store she was sold. She ignored the red flags waving so proudly everywhere because she just wanted SOMEONE to have. I’ve done this once in my life but once I got right with God and realized that dating out of loneliness is relationship suicide…I quickly changed. But there are women who seem to have everything going for them, yet go home and sulk because they don’t have the love that even the hoodrat chicks seem to be able to find. It’s not rational, but it’s the truth.

REASON #7

REASON #7

 Though I can go on and on and on – I won’t. My fingers need to get ready to head back to the office and I don’t feel like making you scroll down a never ending post. So guys…know that these aren’t excuses for smart women making stupid decisions in men, but they are reasons.

 

Let me know how you feel in the comments section!

– Joc

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At This Point In My Life, I Don’t Have Time To Play….

Today I came across a tweetgram that my good friend and author Peaches Dean posted on her page.

peach

When I read this, the wheels in my brain started to turn. I began to ask myself questions like…

“Can you identify with this?” “Who in your life has essentially taken up valuable time?”

“Have YOU beaten around the bush with a friend, in a relationship, or with a colleague?”

When the questions finally stopped rolling I had some time to absorb and drum up a few answers.

I can totally identify with Peaches’ sentiments and because I know her personally, I know that she is speaking straight from the core. The core group of people I run with all have goals…not just dreams to fantasize about day in and day out. We make them goals to set and to be obtained. Even if we have to take baby steps – at the end of the day, we know we’ll get where we need to be. Not trying to be a dream killer, but I have come across quite a few people who have dreams, but stop right there…at the dream stage. They convince themselves ‘they’ll get to it one day’ or ‘where they live makes it impossible to take any steps forward’ or ‘they want to grab their dreams, yet they’re not sure if they want to sacrifice their free time to get that hustle in’. So I am with Peaches 100% in feeling that I have a purpose to fulfill; so if you are my friend, romantic interest, business partner – realize that I will do what’s necessary to fulfill my purpose. If you are going to cause detours – you should exit stage left.

If you don’t really like who I am, don’t stick around trying to be nice or keep me around because you might need something later on – just keep it 100% truthful and go about your business. I will HONESTLY understand if we’re just not on the same wavelength; I respect everyone’s right to be different. But if you waste my time, I cannot respect you.

wasting

Because I am so driven (in my professional, spiritual, and romantic life) I have no time to entertain idleness. That’s it. I said it. It still sounds harsh saying (well writing really haha) out loud, but it’s the truth. Back in college I had all the time in the world to learn about people, make my mistakes, and amass a large group of ‘friends’ – hey, you go to college to learn and diversify right!? But once I graduated, I found that I have to be intentional about who I let get close to me. If I know you for a few hours…that does not automatically make you my sis or bro unless we have an instant connection of some sort. Otherwise I need to get to learn you – as you should want to learn me; because if you are a person who has an unclean motive – please don’t be a distraction. Just walk the other way and we’ll leave it at “we’ll do lunch”.

wasting1

Now I’m not going to go on a rant giving the impression that the street does not go two ways. There have been times where I have to admit I have not been totally up front with someone. I wanted to be nice and not step on anyone’s toes, so I’ve been guilty in the past of continuing business and personal relationships though my heart was not 100% in it. I may have strongly disagreed with that person’s morals. Or knew that the guy I was into had some drama and mess with him – basically sticking around giving the other person a false sense of our relationship’s dynamic.

So right now, if anyone who feels I’ve led them on in the past, I honestly from the bottom of my heart apologize and ask for your forgiveness.

These days I try to be as up front and honest with people as possible; even if I have to be the bearer of bad news. I know that when it’s all over, they’ll respect me more for being up front and honest. There have been people who have crossed my path THIS YEAR that I’ve had to give some hard truths to and we’re cool to this very day.

Now that I’m nearing the end of this commentary, I just want to wrap things up by highlighting the main points of this post:

  1. I am at a point in my life where I desire to connect with genuine people. If you want to be my friend for no other reason than to score connections – walk the other way. If you’re a guy who wants to date me to get the skirt, get over your ex, have a photog/writer gf, or for any other shallow reason – quickly exit.
  2. wastingtime1Since I have experienced dealing with people who aren’t genuine, I make sure that I’m as up front with people as possible – even if what I have to say stings.
  3. There aren’t too many things you can be selfish about these days, but one thing I am selfish about is my future. I refuse to have my future derailed, stymied, or knocked off course by any one for any reason. I trip on my on feet, that’s another story; but as far as wasting time allowing someone else to demolish the path God’s set in front of me – NEGATIVE.
  1. I love Peaches for posting this. Peaches keeps it real every second of every day. I’m so glad that I met her (thanks Drea) and so glad she’s around to post truth like this.

Good day all,

– Joc

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Life Lessons from Trey Songz

While flipping for a good radio station yesterday on my drive home from work, I came across a snippet of Trey Songz “Can’t Be Friends” before I decided to just pop in the newest Kierra Sheard cd. But as I waited for the first track to start, I couldn’t help but run through the lyrics to that Trey song in my mind. Up until a few years ago I was always on the latest and greatest when it came to R&B, Hip Hop & Rap — so immediately flashbacks bombarded my mind of my roomies and I back in college. It seemed like my junior and senior year, Trey was in full force and we knew EVERY word to that Pain & Pleasure cd. We’d say things like “oooh yes Trey, ain’t that the truth!” or “That song is for me!” or “I know how you feel Trey!”

But now with my renewed Christian mind, the song wasn’t just some good vocals and a nice track….I ACTUALLY understood why Trey was feeling the way he felt in that song. “Can’t Be Friends” is basically about Trey sleeping with a friend and tells of how everything changed from that point on. I knew on the surface that’s what it was about when he first came out with the song, but I never went into detail of realizing exactly WHY it was that things changed.

WELL I’ll tell you from a Christian standpoint why and how things changed…(ps. save your groans, YES I believe there is a spiritual explaination for every emotion we experience…and so what. Deal.)

S-O-U-L T-I-E

Soul ties are REAL…think it’s a game if you want to! Back in the day my friends and I used to talk about how unless you’re a cold hearted monster, there is NO way in heck you can be intimate with someone and then continue on with the same friendship you had before. From then on into history, they will always be ‘someone you slept with’. Not saying you would necessarily transform into a totally different person, but you would be lying if you said you wouln’t have in the back of your mind “I slept with this person.” Especially if you’re a woman. Women are always the ‘recievers’ when it comes to sexual intimacy, and not saying guys aren’t affected by soul ties (because they are) but since women are more emotional beings, we have to work extremely hard not to get at least a tiny bit attached to the guy we’re intimate with — ESPECIALLY if we were just friends with them before that line was crossed.

But back to “Can’t Be Friends”……

This song is proof of why it makes total since to wait until marriage for sex. (again, save your groans, yes I’m going there) Like Trey, we can start off friends with a person, enjoy their company and want to STAY just friends, but once we introduce sex…oh all that is blown to smithereens!!!! Either you or the other person, like Trey, may get caught up in the soul tie and start wanting more from the relationship when the other person just wants to keep it at friends and no more. COME ON I KNOW AT LEAST ONE PERSON OUT HERE HAS BEEN THERE BEFORE!!!! You may have had a good time and felt a ‘love connection’ but it’s just a soul tie tricking you into thinking you’re closer to that person than you are. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself thinking about them when you should be concentrating on work/school, and you’ll feel yourself getting a tad bit jealous if they end up dating someone else. You have no right to be mad or upset…but you still are. You sit there like Trey wishing you never slept with that person because your emotions have you between a rock & a hard place. You want your old friendship back; even though you know it’s not going to happen.

Let’s all take a lesson from Trey Songz and hold off on the intimacy until later because once that line is crossed, there is no turning back. Jumping the gun can put your friendships, happiness, and emotions at risk. Be wise.

– Joc

“Can’t Be Friends Lyrics” – Trey Songz

Look what this girl done did to me
she done cut me off from her good good love.

she told me that those days were gone ( gone, gone, gone)
now I’m sitting here going half crazy

cuz I know she still thinks about me too
and it ain’t no way in **expletive**, that I can be just friends with you (you, you, you)

And I wish we never did it
And I wish we never loved it
And I wish I never fell so deep in love with you and now it ain’t no way we can be friends.

The way it felt, no faking it
maybe we were moving just a little too fast.

But what we’ve done we can’t take it back (back, back, back)
now im sitting here half way crazy

cuz I know she still thinks about me too
and it ain’t no way in **expletive**, that I can be just friends with you (you, you, you)

And I wish we never did it
And I wish we never loved it
And I wish I never fell so deep in love with you and now it aint no way we can be friends.

And all I can say is
la la la la la la la (laaaaa)
la la la la la la la la la (la la la owwww)
la la la la la la (laaaa)
hey

ain’t no telling what we could have been,
ain’t no telling what we could’ve been (Noo)
and if I knew it’d end like this,
I never woulda kissed ya, cuz I fell in love wit ya,
we never woulda kicked it, girl now everythang’s different
I lost my homie, lover, and my friend thats why I wish we never did it

And I wish we never loved it (I wish we never loved it)
And I wish I never fell so deep in love with you and well now it ain’t no way we can be friends.

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Trust Yourself, Get Something Good. Trust God, Get Something BETTER

I am literally in awe of God. I woke up this morning inspired by the confidence I have in Him and it grows rock solid every second! It blows my mind how all knowing He is. I was just talking to my folks about God and of how He operates in our lives. If we ask Him enough, He’ll give us just what we ask for…even if He has something better. obstacles2

Check it…

We may want a bike, but He’s waiting to give us a car. We may want a job, but He’s waiting to give us a career. We may want just a little more money to get us through the month, but He’s planning to give us triple what we normally bring in. We may want a boyfriend/girlfriend, but He’s wants us to wait while He preps someone to eventually be our spouse. However…the key word is “wait”.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

If we are faithful and just, and really seek God for something that we want, He’ll honor our request – even IF He wants us to just wait a little longer to give us something ‘great’ instead of ‘good’. 

There have been NUMEROUSSSSSS times in my life where I’ve gotten ‘trigger happy’ and prayed and prayed….and prayed to God for something. Eventually, He may have given me what I prayed for, but then I realized it wasn’t all I thought it would be. I realized that if I would have waited a bit longer, I would’ve been able to cash in on an amazing blessing!

obstacles1I remember there was a time when I was in middle school where I prayed to God for ‘more friends’. I already had friends, but just felt like I wanted a few extra to hang out with when my other ones were busy… and that’s exactly what I got. More friends. Not necessarily GOOD friends – but they were ‘friends’ nonetheless. If I would have waited on God’s time and been grateful for the good friends I already had, I would have probably saved myself a lot of t[w]eenage drama. (you know how all over the place you were  back in those tweens years; don’t trip haha)

The same process happened to me after the hand-me-down car I was driving finally sputtered into the afterlife. I was praying, “God, I really want a car! I just need something Lord!” In my heart, I really wanted a nice, DEPENDABLE car, but my trigger happy brain didn’t want to wait around for one. I found one for literally $350 and bought it right on up! I think it lasted me a year (if that) and poof…I was out of $350. I really believe that if I would have waited and ‘struggled’ by carpooling for a bit longer I would have been able to get a nicer car.

So Joc, what is the purpose of this, yet another of your rants?

WAIT ON GOD!

Make sure you don’t make decisions based on how YOU feel. Take the time and patience to make yourself aware of what God wants for you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

obstaclesThere is a reason why I had my commitment ring inscribed with Jeremiah 29:11. It reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The purpose of the ring itself is to publically display the promise I made to God and myself to remain celibate until marriage (hey, it’s never to late to start – God can forgive your past if you choose to let Him) – but the scripture inside of it is to remind me to be careful and selective in who I date, court, and eventually marry. It reminds me to not compromise the values and promises I’ve made, just for the affection of a man. God has had my wonderful man of God brewing up for me since birth so there is no reason to offset my destiny by making dumb choices because of how my flesh feels at times. The same goes for YOU too, and in EVERY area of your life.

God knows what He’s doing. He’s no amateur and He is the perfect and only Creator. Don’t flub up the awesomeness He has planned for you by rushing Him along just to grab a hold of something that’s just MEDIOCRE. Hold out and trust Him for the greatness.

– Joc

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Forever.For Always.For Love – Traits of a Godly Marriage

marriA college friend of mine posted this photo on her Instagram and I immediately did back flips in my mind! I love every single last thing about this piece of art! When some people look at this photo they may say “Oh ok, yeah marry someone who loves God.” — but to me (and my analytical yet creative  mind), I saw SO much more than that!

I took notice to the cracks on the couple’s faces – to me, it shows brokenness and imperfections. But then also notice that the closer their faces are to the bible (and  each other) there are no cracks. This said to me , when you put God first in your marriage, two imperfect people can come together and be made whole in God. Their love will not necessarily allow them to tolerate MESS, but to be able to love forgivable flaws and help their spouse triumph over past hurts and mistakes. 

I also noticed that their hands are intertwined together beneath the bible – to me the artist is saying that the couple is in this thing called marriage/life together – equally yoked – and putting God’s word above their own “thoughts and feelings”. Also I took notice to the fact that their ‘free’ hand is place individually on the bible which could illuminate the point that when you are in a godly marriage….that once you give of yourself to each other…you won’t have to worry about “making sure your wants are met” because your individual needs will already be met by your spouse. 

Looking at this beautiful piece, I can also see that the lower half of their bodies are grayed out, but as I work my eyes up to the top of the photo they are in color. The symbolism that came across to me suggests that the colorless, black-and-white pigment symbolizes the old self and ‘their old lives’ – aka their pasts. Even though I’ve never been married, I know that when you truly love your spouse and have God in the center of your marriage, you will be granted the strength and grace to work beyond your spouses past and help build and empower the man or woman of God they are RIGHT NOW! The black-and-white color transforming upward also says to me that this couple is committed to  ‘dying to self’ and has been renewed as one with their spouse through the love of God. Love is not selfish. Real, godly love at least.

Perhap my FAVORITE part of this piece is that this is an image of a couple is kissing the bible! This to me not only states that this symbol represents the God in their marriage, but also drives across the message that they can love EACHOTHER THROUGH God. The artist could have EASILY depicted the couple kissing each other’s lips and merely holding the bible below in their hands,; but he didn’t. This man and woman are kissing each other THROUGH the bible which says to me that when you love God first, you will truly be able to love your spouse as you should.

 Anyone who knew me back in school knows that I LOVEEEEE breaking down poems, literature, and art for symbolism. When a piece can make me think, the person who created it is beyond talented. Anyone can draw a stick figure, or write a rhyming poem – but when it has a deeper meaning – it’s all love in this corner! 

I have decided that when I marry, this MUST be the first piece of art my future-husband and I will put in our home. Not only to remind us of why we love each other during the challenging times, but also get this principle engraved in the minds of our future-children early on. 

AHHHH I could honestly take this photo, tape it up to the sky, and look at it all day. Love is beautiful, but a GODLY LOVE….whewww children ain’t nothing like it! I can tell you that I am forever grateful to my Heavenly Father that He thought enough to bless me to be born in a household where my parents are the EPITOME of this picture and more! They have been together going on 36 years and the ONLY REASON they are together is because they made a vow long ago that they would put God first in their marriage and sure enough, everything else followed. They often tell younger couples around the town who are thinking of heading down the aisle “Marriage is a job. And like any  regular job you may have, some days you can’t wait to go to work, and some days you just don’t feel like it.” – but like any job, you think of the benefits that come with that job, and of how it enriches your life, and this motivates you to keep pushing through those “ho hum” days. The same goes with marriage.

Perhaps this is why I ‘love’ love. Especially black love. I had great examples and I want (and will have) the same for myself. In my late teens/early twenties I was in such a hurry to catch up with all my little friends who were getting married out the gate and kept wondering why I was still single. But now I realized that my life was a mess. I partied too much, drank too much, and did everything that would NOT attract a quality man of God. Yet I kept wondering why I always seemed to end up with clowns. Now years have passed, I am living as a woman of God ought, and all I can say is THANK YOU LORD from saving me from marrying into a big pile of mess!!!! (insert praise break here) haha

I have learned to be patient and use my time as a single woman to establish myself professionally and spiritually, so that when my designated man of God arrives, I will know it and be able to throw him a little leash to let him know “I see you boo and I’m ready”. haha This painting just got me all excited again for the years to come and of the wonderous blessings God has stored up safe for me!

WOOO HOOOOO!!!!

– Joc

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