Anticipation - What can I get from what I can see? When anticipation comes to mind, I think of Valentine's Day. Both parties are waiting and anticipating something, but both have different expectations of what the day or evening will entail.
Now women anticipate Valentine's Day to represent gifts such as jewelry, cars, etc. And on the bottom of your wish list is intercourse, (usually). Women love the attention because they know before the day even gets started, that their Spouse is stressing about what the right gift will be? Men know that the right gift will produce the right results later. LOL. It's really a game, like if you try hard, you will obtain a prize. Remember when you two were dating; How everything seemed to go perfectly? (Again with anticipation but with two different views.) The Music seemed to be playing the perfect tunes. The Dinner was perfect and the Look of each other was Flawless. Both Secretly looking for the Prize.
Coming from a man's point of view, we are thinking of one thing. We view everything from a Physical perspective. You know what's on our mind before, during and after Valentine's Day. And when you are married, the Anticipation is greater. Greater because no matter how long you have been married, you get use to one another, you know one another. Both of you know what it takes to have a very happy ending to the evening. Whether it's expensive gifts, jewelry, candy, lingerie or even the "blue pill" and a warm bath. You both already know.
It's all a game nonetheless, but through the eyes of flesh. Anticipating deals with what I see and what can I get? My flesh needs to be satisfied and we will go to great measures to obtain that goal. No matter what, there will always be a drive to try to please the flesh, but it will never be satisfied. Whether it's work, home, money or prestige, the desire will never be fulfilled. That's when we start having fantasies about how we anticipate our flesh will be satisfied. Anticipation are just like fantasies, not real. Thirst always attracts Thirst. Running around with Dim Lenses. It's all about me and mine. Romans 8:13 NIV says, "For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live."
When you add Jesus to the equation, only then will you add the Ultimate Thirst Quencher. The anticipation does from what will I get if I do? to What can I do for you just because I Love You? Jesus said that with His Water, we will never thirst again. (Incidentally, water is a natural Thirst Quencher.) We progress from sacrificing just because. Marriage has many ups and downs and short and long term anticipations, but only what you do for Christ will Last.
The commercial says, "Stay Thirsty My Friends." Jesus says, "Don't worry, I GOT You" my Brothers and Sisters. Anticipate Love for each other, but expect nothing and all these things will be added unto you.
Flirtation is something that all of us have dabbled with at one time or another. You’re sitting in class, and the popular guy comes in and the girls all sigh. He looks at you and you kind tilt your head to the side, give him a slight smile and flip your hair. Or the Brother with the nice suit is sitting on the pew at church and you rush to sit next to him, you make eye contact, both smile and you slide by him and accidentally on purpose put your assets in his face. After all, it’s harmless right? Well unfortunately there are still instances of people flirting even after they get married, saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit. After all, it’s harmless right? For some, the Holiness is having a constant battle with the Hoe in you. For others, the Righteousness is having a constant battle with the Ratchet in you.
In case you were wondering, according to www.urbandictionary.com, the definition of ratchet is “A diva, mostly from urban cities and ghettos that has reason to believe she’s every man’s eye candy. Unfortunately, she’s wrong.” We’re no respecter of person, there are some men out there who feel the same way towards women. Unfortunately, their wrong also. How many times have you been wrong?
Flirtation is defined as behavior that demonstrates a playful sexual attraction to someone, a short or casual relationship or a short period of casual experimentation with or interest in a particular idea or activity. When I think of Flirtation, the image of the cartoon of the boy teasing the lion in the cage comes to mind. The more the commentator told the little boy not to tease the lion, the more he did it. Until finally, the lion ate the little boy.
The world tells us that flirting is fun, but harmless. Now and days, singles and married people flirt with one another. Oh, it’s harmless, but for every action, there is a reaction that is either good, bad or harmless. Yes, even harmless. Every action starts with a thought. Thoughts bring images and images bring the willingness to take risk. “Hmm…Will I get away with it?” is the thought that resonates in one’s head. The fantasy becomes a reality, and now…
The devil creeps in subtly. The cost far outweighs the risk. The craziest thing is that we don’t just flirt with each other, but we also flirt with our Destiny, Dangers and Diseases. Sometimes risk pay off, but Ungodly risk will cost you everything. The chorus in the song the Gambler by Kenny Rodgers says, “You got to know when hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your money when sittin’ at the table there’ll be time enough for counting, when dealings done.”
Our relationships are most fun when we flirt with our Spouses. At the end of it all, the only risk is more of each other’s company. So when flirtation occurs between married couples, it’s fun appreciation or “Peek-A-Boo! I see you!” No matter what, everyone likes to be appreciated. Don’t stop flirting with your Spouse. As you know, the grass is not greener on the other side. And playtime with your Spouse increases positivity and kills off the very appearance of evil. Believe it or not, when the two are in agreement, no male or female THOT will have a prayer of breaking up a Happy Home.
David flirted with his Destiny with Bathsheba and it almost cost him his full Destiny. Every relationship takes Work, Time, Blood, Sweat and Tears. But it works together for the good. Flirtation is teasing, but at the end of the day, I would rather have a sure thing than a thought. It happens in all of our lives, but it’s how we handle it that dictates the outcome.
Every year at this time, Educators are given an opportunity to reflect on the closing school year. At current, it is the Professional Development and Appraisal System that is completed at the beginning of each school year with a Teacher’s Self-Report Part I Section and ends with a Teacher’s Self-Report Parts II & III and an Administrator’s evaluation.
I have made it a habit of reflecting on my Teacher’s Self-Reports at the end of every year. We all have majors plans on how we want are classes set-up, what type of technology we would like to incorporate and of course, the ever popular Rules and Consequences of how the class is to be conducted. There are also non-negotiables on this report. Curriculum or the TEKS Objectives and Assessments are non-negotiables. You must deliver instruction using the state objectives and/or curriculum and conduct assessments.
It got me to thinking… When a couple first gets married, what are your non-negotiables? What are your plans in the beginning? How are you going to assess whether you’re meeting your objectives? And how will you make adjustments when things don’t go according to plan?
Over 15 years in the Field of Education has taught me that you can make all the plans in the world, but the real test is when the bell rings at 8:30 am and you have a classroom full of bright, young minds just waiting to be awakened staring at you. After all, you are the Expert, aren’t you? Believe me when I tell you that is what all the students are thinking. And FYI, first impressions are lasting impressions. How you begin is how you need to end. All of your blood, sweat and tears are about to be tested in ways you never even imagined and whether you’re a novice or a veteran, each year brings about different challenges and triumphs.
Just like a marriage, when the Clergy pronounces you husband and wife and presents you to your family and friends. Everyone is thinking, wow… they made it! This is so beautiful! And because their novice, they are only thinking about the blood, sweat and tears it took just to get married. No one is really focusing on what it’s going to take to stay married. After all, it’s till death do us part. Speaking as a veteran of 26 years this year to be exact (Shout out to those of you who are keeping track and praying us onward.), we are tapping each other and saying, “Now, let’s see what this couple is really made of.” After all, they are now the Experts, aren’t they?
Reflection is defined as serious thought or consideration; contemplation or meditation. What are you contemplating or meditating on? In mathematics it is defined as a transformation in which a geometric figure is reflected across a line, creating a mirror image. What lines have you crossed?
Reflection brings me to the mind set of what you see when you look into the mirror. Everyone sees different things when they look into a mirror. Some see perfection, some see the need to fix something; either on their face or somewhere else, and some see complete disasters. WOW! But as a Husband sometimes I see a Reflection of my wife. Oh yeah, I said, "sometimes." Because I see flaws in me as a Husband that needs a lot of corrections, my failures that have occurred during our Marriage, and sometimes I see Ugly Male Pride that has stood in the way of Conflict Resolution.
Reflection means to look back… what's looking back at you? Spouses want their partners to see perfection at all time, but inside we really know that we are like little children reaching for the goodies on the top shelf but it’s just a little out of our reach. We know it’s up there but, "will we ever get it?”. We carry on each day with the mindset that perfection is coming constantly asking, when? While also answering, "It’s almost there".
The Joy of Reflecting also enables us to look forward and not repeat. If that didn't work the first time, then it might not be a good idea to do it again. You know, looking into the Mirror Dimly, I Cor. 13:12 NKJV says, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” The only problem is that without the right cleaning solution you could really end up with just a big blur, then you won’t be able to see anything clearly. Kind of like that Ugly Male Pride I spoke about earlier. In order for it to really get Clean, it has to be wiped away by using the Forgiving, Healing, and Sustaining Blood of JESUS!!! Then we can see perfection more reachable and the sheer Beauty of our Wives.
“Lots of couples ask us how we make it and it really isn’t a secret — it's made with love. Yeah, lots of love, faith in God and caring deeply for one another…that's the real secret.” Just because you haven’t heard the full story, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Ecclesiastes 3: 1 KJV says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” In God's timing, we'll be able to be a blessing to other couples by sharing our testimony. For now, you'll only get glimpses that we hope will ignite a fire to unite as one.
All this talk about Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” Project got us to thinking. This post is no shade to Bey at all. We have much respect for her gifting, creativity and family. She is without a doubt, the undisputed Queen Bey and we believe there are a number of wives that concur with her sentiment. It just got us thinking about what type of drink would describe our marital relationship for the past 20 years plus? We would like to encourage other married or engaged couples as well, to think about what drink describes your marital or premarital relationship and why?
It did not take us long at all to select our drink. We chose “Sweet Tea”. As you already know, sweet tea is a style of iced tea more commonly consumed in the Southern United States. Sweet tea is made by adding sugar to bags of black or green tea brewing in hot water while the mixture is still hot. The tea is traditionally served ice-cold with only sugar. It may sometimes be flavored with raspberry, lemon or mint.
In the early 1900s, sweet tea was an item of luxury due to the expensive nature of tea, ice, and sugar. Ice was possibly the most valued of the ingredients since it had to be shipped from afar at a time when access to cool drinking water was already a relative luxury. By "sweet tea," we mean "sweet." Some of the sweetest glasses can hit 22 Brix of sugar. That means that 22 percent of the liquid consists of dissolved sugar solids, or, to put it in more meaningful terms: close to twice what you'd find in a can of Coke. Still, there's a balance to the flavor--the tea is brewed long and strong, so it gets an astringency that can only be countered by lots of the sweet stuff.
Although in the South it was called “sweet tea”, it is a type and shadow of how we look at each other. Because tea was at one time a very sought after commodity, only the Aristocrats in Europe could enjoy its many different flavors. It was so rare an item that it was smuggled, people were arrested and jailed for having it in their possession. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” The commodity is a wife, not a woman with a ring. The rare find of a woman that brings value spiritually, physically and mentally, to the relationship. And the rare find of a man that brings not only value, but protection, guidance and Love. Together, it makes everything in their relationship SWEET.
As you may know, tea does not start off sweet. It actually starts off bitter. It takes a little work, but it slowly becomes good and refreshing. It becomes a good thing. The tea itself has very high medicinal properties and that’s why it’s so good. Is your marital relationship like medicine to your body and soul? Tea helps the body even before the sweeteners are added. The value is in the tea. Just like people, the real value comes from the inside of a person not how much money they have, the people they know or even their circumstances.
Tea helps to quench your thirst. The kids are using the word “thirsty” to describe a girl who desperately craves the touch and attention of a man. Now is drinking sweet tea going to cause the thirst to leave? No, but it is a working process that gets rid of the thirst. And the more you work together, as husband and wife, the sweeter it gets. No one needs to be thirsty. It deprives the body of any value and that is surely not good.
The true challenge is to find the right drink so that you are not trying to make something out of what you settled for instead of what God truly intended.
The Chef and The Ref, as we are more affectionately called, are just two individuals who God joined together in the Spirit and then in the Natural to walk through the challenges of life together. We have been married for 27 years and have four amazing children. We get many calls, text and emails asking us questions about a variety of topics as it relates to marriage. This blog was inspired by the Holy Spirit and an answer to the growing demand of couples who inquire about our experiences in marriage as it relates to their own. We do not make any claims of being anything more than two sinners, saved by grace who wanted to give couples an opportunity to have safe conversations that will make their marriage stronger. The Chef and The Ref are both licensed and ordained Ministers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ who wanted to create a safe platform for married couples to converse about a variety of topics.