Pillars of long lasting relationship (Part one): COMMITMENT

8 Sep

Pillars of long lasting relationship (Part one): COMMITMENT
I have realized that no sooner than I think that I have met a great person that I can settle down with, a new exciting person appears who is better or more beautiful than the one I had seen. I start seeing weaknesses of my great person and they suddenly become familiar while the new person becomes exciting to be with. Unfortunately once I have become close to them then I realize that a better person than them exists and I cannot withstand their presence anymore and the cycle continues. This led to me to be inquisitive about great couples who have stayed with each other for more than twenty five years. How have they overcome familiarity and weaknesses of each other and remained together for years.
Great relationships take great work. The just do not happen. In my case studies on couples who have been married for more than twenty five years, there were some outstanding traits which were present in all those relationships. These traits are the values which have kept them glued to one another for such a prolonged time. In this article the focus will be one of the trait present in those great relationships. The trait which was amazing was the sense of commitment that the couples had towards each other. As a young person aspiring to have and be in a great relationship that will lead into marriage and not just marriage but marriage that lasts until death do us part, I have great interest in having a successful relationship. I therefore embrace don a journey to identify the values or pillars which held couples together till death separated them. Some of the relationship values which were upheld by this values included openness, trust, commitment, sense of gratitude and common interests.
In this article I will share about commitment and later discuss other traits in subsequent articles. Commitment is defined as an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. Commitment is therefore dedication to a cause which comes with restrictions from pursuing other courses. In other words a committed person has chance and opportunities to be pursue and be engaged to other courses pursuits and objectives but makes a rational decision to pursue only one course of action. In relationships commitment can be seen as the ability or the choice/decision to restrict oneself to focus on and love and share affection with one person despite having opportunity to share life, affection and love with as many people as they are available. Commitment is a sense of self denial and self-regulation to love one person through thick and thin or for better and for worse. It is loving one person even when you know all their weaknesses. Commitment in relationship is loving that one person even when you do not feel like it. According to Dr. Gonye, a marriage counsellor based in Thika, Kenya, commitment to marriage is unique because it is a lifetime commitment unlike in other settings where it can be contractual. ‘Commitment takes more than just feelings as your mind, body and soul must be involved in commitment. Initially commitment in relationships is not easy but it eventually becomes automatic after continually deciding to commit.’ Commitment is very fulfilling as it provides a sense of security to the relationships and builds strong ties that last.’ Dr. Gonye says.
There is no great feeling of fulfilment than knowing that someone you love is by your side when you are at your lowest moment. The bad feelings that coming from familiarity are common in all relationships, it how you choose to handle them that determines whether you are committed or not. Every relationship must therefore be tested to determine whether there was commitment or not and relationships based on convenience do not withstand the test of commitment. This ingredient is not present in many relationships yet it is vital to the growth of any meaningful and fulfilling relationship. Decide to commit to that one person for better and for worse.
You can read more about pillars of long lasting relationships from my book co-written with a friend entitled ‘So You Want to Get Into Courtship.’ You can get it from all bookshops in Kenya or write us an emails at courtshipbooks@gmail.com, and we will deliver it to you wherever you are. You can also like our facebook page for relationship quotes; https://www.facebook.com/pages/So-You-Want-To-Get-Into-Courtship/249854101696789?ref=hl

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What is your armoury and do you protect it?

29 May

I recently had a conversation with an army colonel in a barrack. Being an inquisitive fellow I had a lot of question for this huge fellow. I simply wanted to know too much. So talking to this huge colonel was flattering. One of my queries was what was the most important place or feature which they had to guard most in a battle field or even in the barracks. The colonel explained to me that the armoury was the most important place in the battle field. It had to be guarded and kept far away from the enemy as possible as this was their source of power. All the artillery and equipments and food were stored in the armoury. According to the colonel if the armoury was captured by enemy, there was no option but to surrender as this was the last stronghold or position which they held. They could no longer fight when the armoury was captured.

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From the soldiers description I realised that there were things in my life that if I had and energy and the enemy gained foothold over them then I would be finished. The first responsibility for fighters is to guard the armoury and keep it safe and out of reach from the enemy as possible. This is because even when there is temporal defeat, if the armoury is still safe, the enemy will find it difficult to overpower them.

Armoury is still necessary in spirituality and Christians should identify their spiritual armoury and guard it with zeal. A good example is Samson in the bible who was a Nazirite chosen by go to deliver Israelites from the hands of philistines. Samson was a muscular, strong and energetic. He could quickly overpower the enemy. Samson’s ending came when he disclosed the source of his strength to the enemy through Delila. Since his source of strength was his hair. The enemy shove him clean and overpowered him. Likewise each of us has strength and those strengths have a source. Which is the source of that strength and do you know it? If you know it, do you guard it?
In similar fashion we Christians are in battlefield and we have to identify our armoury. David in the Bible had identified the source of his Strength. He knew where his help came from ‘I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
Knowing where the source of your strength is helps to guard it and to cherish it. Many Christians have been worn out in their walk of faith because they are ignorant of their source of strength. Some folk’s source of strength is prayer. Others source of strength is worship and praise. Others derive strength and replenishment from reading the word of God and having daily meditations. Other are renewed whenever they hear the word form pastors or from men of God. Others it is by observing a quit time in the morning. If you do not know seek to identify and know it. Then treasure and guard it with all your heart. Guard your heart will all diligence for out it flows issues of life. Likewise guard your armoury with all thy strength for therein lies your strength.

 

Why I won’t lend any of my books?

7 Feb

A room without books is like a body without a soul. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero.

 

I like reading and I am an avid reader. However do not mistake my reading with reading for class work or in order to be examined by a teacher. I love reading as a hobby and as a way of extracting knowledge. I am a deep learner and I always want to have new knowledge and to remind myself of what I learnt long time ago. In fact, if it were possible I would have my own large personal library with all manner of books. When I can afford it I ensure that I purchase several books.

I have nevertheless noted that there are folks who do not purchase books. All they want is to borrow my personal copy and read it. ‘I cannot afford it.’ They say. Or other say, ‘I am a fast reader I will have finished it in week and given it back to you.’ I have been kind enough to them for some time until I realised that I do not have any books in my library. The folks I lend my books to do not bother to return and when I enquire about it they say they have not finished or are not in a position to return it. Those who are faithful enough to return it return it in a poor condition that I am ashamed to to consider it my own. For this reason I have decided that I will not be lending books. If I really want to share the knowledge in that book with a friend all I will do is to purchase it for them.

What folks who borrow books do not realise is that I bought the books because I wanted to posses that knowledge and to use the books as a point of reference when I wanted to remind myself about something I learnt from it. If all I wanted was to read it once, all I would have gone to the library and borrowed it like I do on many instances. I purchase a book because I want to reward the author for his great work. I also purchase a book because I want to refer to it severally not once or twice. I purchase a book because it contains treasure that I want to posses for a long time. Hey folk do not feel bad when I keep you out of my library.

See others who also discovered what I have discovered and I agree with their sentiments.  

For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them; they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. ~ John Milton.


Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time. ~ Barbara W. Tuchman.

Unless their use by readers brings them to life, books are indeed dead things. ~ Lawrence Clark Powell.

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting. ~ Henry David Thoreau.

 

Ten lessons in Ten years

23 Jan

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A time like now or a day like today ten years ago I gave my life to Christ. In lay man language I became a born again Christian; that is a Christian who loudly confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. I must say that this was my sixth or seventh attempt to get born again. The first time I was in class three after fire breathing evangelists from the city came to our village. I still remember how they made me feel as if the world was to end that day and I was not ready to go to hell. However I was to backslide a month later as I found the world was not ending soon. The second time I got saved I don’t remember who preached to me but my friends laughed to me loudly at my intent of living for Christ. You won’t last a week or month and so it was I did not last a month. I later became notorious in stealing, lying and fighting.  I would later give my life to Christ fully as I was about to join High School.  I intend to share some things that I have learnt in my walk with God.

Salvation is not about me.  It is not I who has sustained myself in it. There is a bigger force operating in my life that controls me. When I got saved at first I thought I will remain saved because of my good works like not drinking, not smoking and not talking to girls. My endeavours were to ensure that I did more good works than I did the bad. Later I came to know that my good works counted nothing, God did not save me to be good. He saved me because I believed in him. I have therefore learnt not to trust my good deeds as a guarantee of walking with God. You can still be good and not be saved as the purpose of salvation is not goodness, it is eternity. ‘And to those who believed in Him, He gave them the power to become sons of God.

Many are called but few are chosen. When I got saved this was a favourite scripture and it still is, only I cannot quote verbatim where it is and I won’t Google search now. Salvation is not a group assignment or team work. In fact you cannot survive as a Christian when walking alone. However salvation must be taken as a personal calling. I have been chosen for a particular mandate. God calls everyone to come to him. God asks in Isaiah 55: Who is thirty and who is hungry?  Jesus also invited people to himself: Come ye all that are thirsty and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Yes many are called to enjoy the rest, but only a few who respond to this call. The few who respond to it are the chosen ones. Saint Peter describes the chosen on as peculiar people and a royal priesthood. In traditional societies being a priest and royalty was not a personal choice as it did not depend on the individual but on unknown forces that predetermined their birth. Therefore I was chosen to be a priest and royalty even before my birth. This makes me feel privileged and honoured. It is one reason why I treasure salvation because not all are chosen. I think of it as being appointed by the president to a cabinet position or to an elite position without any personal effort.  Salvation is not earned; it is bestowed on those who believe in Jesus Christ. Oh my! Salvation is a privilege not an entitlement. I did not appreciate it as privilege until I went out to evangelise and met a boy who really wanted to get salvation. But his family would not accept him, already he was an addict and according to him it was his ninth attempt to get saved. He would be prayed for one day then go back to drugs the next day. Have you ever been that way or met a person who really wants salvation but cannot get it. I count salvation as a privilege.

Salvation is also a call to suffering. The neo modern evangelists colour salvation as a get rich quick scheme. They promise you houses, restoration, good family, and health once you get saved.  It may be close to the truth, but it may not be the entire truth. Salvation is a call to carry your cross daily and being ready to be crucified together with Christ. This is the most difficult part about salvation. The call to suffer was even explained by Jesus where he told his disciples that they will be persecuted, whipped and hated. He was very honest and did not sugar coat the gospel. Yes! People will hate when you make moral stands. They will hate you when they realise you cannot collude illegality with them. They cannot talk anyhow in your presence.  They will hate you when they learn that you cannot be bribed or bribe. Some will hate when they realise that you do not demand or accept sexual favours. Yes! You must be ready to be hated and to be persecuted for the gospel. Much more suffering is in crucifying the body and denying it its canal desires. Paul said that we must offer our bodies as living sacrifice which is a pure and acceptable sacrifice to God. Paul said for I am crucified with Christ, it is not I who lives but Christ who lives in me. Further suffering comes from undergoing trials designed to make us better. Count it all joy when you undergo various trials, for the suffering produces patience and patience produces hope. Even athletes must undergo trials for them to qualify for finals and the trophy. One must appreciate the role and value of trial in order to emerge victorious.  Then there are temptations, they too are a form of suffering necessitated by our carnal desires.  Nevertheless, the suffering of this present time is nothing compared with the glory to come. That is what keeps me going. I can see the crown that awaits me when Christ is revealed in His glory.

Salvation is not for wimps and cry-babies. It is sad that most people seek God when they are in their deathbeds or when they are really broke or when things are not working. Of course it is the right thing to do because God is a strong tower and a refuge to those who trust in him. However, the benefits of seeking God when your landlord has locked your house or when you are sick are short lived. Yes God will heal you and provide for you. However if that is all you wanted from Him you will certainly be disappointed. It reminds me of folks who followed Jesus because He gave them bread, and then one day He told them that there will be no bread.  This is the truth; there are times when there will be no bread; there are times when there will be no healing; there are times when there will be no provision. So what will you do if you had followed him for bread? Have a better reason to live for Christ and to follow Him more than wanting a job, family, or a good life. Follow Him because he is God and because walking with God is the best decision that you can make in this life.

I am child of the light and I have to walk in the light. Soon after I got saved I found it had to leave some of the bad habits I had like stealing. I  would consider myself saved but when avenues of stealing came, I would indulge in it without a second thought. Then one day in school, I was caught red handed stealing and I was suspended in full daylight in the presence of everyone. I have never felt ashamed the way I did that time. It was even more shameful because I had publicly declared that I am Christian. God exposed me and my bad habits which I had refused to confess and repent to everyone. So many Christians even today still struggle with darkness issues, there are weaknesses and secret sins that they entertain. Confess them or else shame and big time shame is coming your way. Let the light of God light your life.

I have fallen over and over again. Falling does not necessarily mean I did backslide or stopped confessing Jesus Christ as Lord or I became an atheist or committed sexual sins. No. Falling is failing to meet the standard that God expects of you. For he who knows how to do good and does not do it sins. Yes. On this one I have erred and failed. Walking with God as I have learnt is personal and God judges us as per the knowledge that we have of him. The more you know about him and his expectations the more is expected of you.  The more you know God the more God expects from you. That is why He seems to Judge those who know Him more harshly than those who do not know Him. It is a kingdom principle.

 Wisdom is the principal thing. Wisdom is highly needed in walking with God. God does not entertain fools. Ask fool Nabal.  God requires wisdom and even asks those who do not have it to ask it from him because he gives it liberally to all men.  Wisdom is not only important in our walk with God but also in our walk and interaction with fellow men.

Pursue peace with all men. This is difficult but God wants us to be at peace with all men if possible. That is why physical violence against our enemies is prohibited in the New Testament. Love your enemies Jesus said. Pray for those who persecute you. Instead of  engaging in physical violence, we are given spiritual weapons to use in our warfare activities. This is because our greatest adversary is not mankind. It is the devil who misuses mankind. If we can target the adversary with the spiritual weapons then we would be at peace with all men. Learning prayer warfare is imperative for every believer.

Forgive and forgive. Another major lesson I have learnt is to forgive. It is not easy and does not feel good to let someone who has wronged you off the hook. But vengeance belongs to God and trust you me He really knows how to avenge and when to avenge. You cannot outsmart Him at that.

God is looking for worshippers. Yes I have learnt how to be a worshipper. It does not mean that I am praise and worship member or a choir member of our church. Nay! I am a backbencher but I revere and worship God. Worship is the deep seated acknowledgement of his majesty and glory. It is exulting him above other things like your job or your children. It is letting God to occupy the first position in your life. He is looking for worshippers. I want to be a worshipper as there is shortage of worshipers in the Kingdom. God is looking for people who will worship in truth and in spirit.

These are some of the few lessons among the many that I have learnt in my walk with God. Make a choice to live for him if you have not. It is a great decision with eternal implications. Seek him and you will find him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEVER LET A MAN DESTROY YOUR LIFE!

31 Oct

A friend of mine shared with me this post and I decided to share it further. He had noted that people sacrifice a lot for love even when it is not worth it. Love is everything to some people but I do not think that it should cost your life or dignity.

It might be hard to get over the man you love, but you won’t know until you try. You women, you tend to continue relationships that destroy who You are – physically, socially and mentally .You give up your individuality, happiness, families, friends, pride, wealth and success- in order to satisfy us man in your lives. Can you face it girls, You are strong and can achieve so much without anyone’s help, so why let someone destroy what you worked hard for? Can you appreciate, love and believe Your ourselves. Elizabeth Nkau said: “I cooked and cleaned for him, stopped talking to all my male friends, came home early to him, bore a baby for him and what did I get? A promise to get married, which never happened, two other babies from another woman, a string of girlfriends calling his house and a Death sentence of HIV/Aids. Was it all worth it? No, I knew all along he was cheating, but I stayed because I loved him. I never realized he didn’t love me back. A man who cheats does not love you, he just likes you.”I am waiting for my last breath as I lie in my bed, helpless, knowing I will leave my child without a mother.”Ladies, please don’t end up like this.”Send this to all your girlfriends and male friends who can handle the truth.Every night, someone thinks about you before they go to sleep. At least fifteen people in this world love you. The only reason someone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you. There are at least two people in this world that would die for you. You mean the world to someone. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look. Always remember the compliments you’ve received. Forget the rude remarks.

MY OPINION: WHY KENYAN TEACHERS HAVE LOST PUBLIC SYMPATHY

2 Aug

I love teachers. I admire teachers. I was born by parents who were career teachers. I am a product of teachers. I therefore sympathise with the plight of teachers. I understand that they are not well remunerated compared with other government workers. I know that they are sneered and not appreciated by parents of the children they tirelessly teach. I know that teaching is not a career of the faint hearted and for self seekers. I also hold entrepreneurial interest in the education industry. I have therefore sided with teachers in their endeavour (STRIKES) to have their meagre salaries increased. However majority of the colleagues and general public are of contrary opinion and I sought to find why the public would be against people who equipped them with knowledge. 

Even as teachers seek to engage in another industrial action to defend their pay, I would like them to know that public opinion is not in their favour. Kenyan youths who are jobless are very bitter with teachers. They blame them for misleading them by teaching them irrelevance. How can one be jobless after spending seventeen years in school courtesy of teachers’ exhortation that good grade will secure good employment only to find out that employers are not interested in grades but experience and skills?  I wish every teacher’s goal was to ensure that what they taught was relevant and that each of their student succeeded or at least got employed in life. Teachers would be heroes, everyone would appreciate teachers.

Kenyan parents are equally bitter with the current crop of teachers in public schools. Recent survey by Uwezo Kenya indicated that majority of class seven pupils could not compute basic mathematics. The quality of education they are offering is not satisfactory at all. Absenteeism of teachers from class, conducting personal businesses during work hours characterise many teachers. This has made it difficult for teachers to defend their pay increase on the basis of performance. Teachers also refused to sign performance contracts which they would have used to convince public that they already have results. As it is now, the quality of education in public schools remains poor and unacceptable.

It is surprising that private school teachers who are paid lower salaries produce more impressive results than teachers in public schools. The public cannot accept the theory that students in public schools underperform because of teachers are poorly paid. Teachers should therefore justify why they should be paid more through good performance of their pupils.

Teaching is a career that is defined by morals. The public expects teachers to have high moral standing not only in words but also in deeds. The same teachers who punished us whenever we went on rampage in high school and in university should also be punished when they engage in an illegal strike. Otherwise teachers will lose the moral authority of punishing their students when they engage or go on strike. The double standard applied by teachers has created a sense of impunity among Kenyans where majority of Kenyans are law breakers. If you want prove it go anywhere with this sign “ Usikojoe hapa” you will be shocked with what you see.  Teachers are the moral compass in the society, they do not teach us skills alone they are responsible for instilling moral values. Picketing in the streets is inappropriate for teachers.

To cut the short story, teachers should know that teaching is like preaching as my father would say. You don’t do it because you are paid; you do it because it is a divine calling. Every teacher with divine calling is a great teacher. Teachers who teach because it was the most available job that they found are usually ineffective.  Teaching is not a career for every Tom, Dick and Harry and those who join it should not do it because of the material rewards. Even Saint Paul warned against having too many teachers, because teachers will be judged by a higher standard than the students. Teaching profession should be for those who derive much satisfaction from seeing their pupils or students becoming more knowledgeable, informed and educated. Material rewards should serve as a compliment.  

To all selfless teachers who devote many hours in their noble calling, don’t lose heart, keep at it, it is only God who can pay you.

Regards to Mrs Lucy Kimani, my lower primary school teacher, Mr. James Gichuru for instilling in me arithmetic literacy, Mrs. Rachael Kimani for your care, Mrs. Beth Maina for discovering my abilities; Mr. John Onguso my high school teacher for restoring my esteem. I esteem all of you highly.

 

 

Are you Addicted to Bad Relationships?

11 Jun

Do you often find that you involve yourself in relationships that disappoint you? Are you not getting what you need and desire from the people you choose to date? Does there always seem to be something missing? If you answered yes to one or all of those questions, you could very well be addicted to disappointing and bad relationships, setting yourself up for failure without even knowing it. There are ways you can determine whether you are addicted or not, and ways you can break the addiction and start getting what you have always wanted from a relationship.

Before we cover the symptoms of addiction, it is important that we cover the dangers of staying in a bad relationship. Since bad relationships lack what one or both partners’ need, stress becomes a regular part of your life, as well a gradual lowering of your self-esteem, which will make you unable to focus on your career and personal life with the concentration and care needed, in order for you to be happy. The constant stress will produce chemical changes in your body that drain your energy and make you more eligible for physical illnesses. Physical abuse in a relationship is obvious to cause a lot of physical harm, along with great psychological damage, but in spite of these facts, many people still choose to proceed with such relationships, finding themselves trapped and incapable of leaving. They find themselves depressed, on a search for some relief and unfortunately becoming depressed and possibly turning to drugs and alcohol.

So what are the symptoms of this addiction? Ignoring the truth would be one. If you truly know that the relationship you are in is making you unhappy but make no effort to exit from it, then you are in denial and are holding yourself hostage in a situation you do not have to be in. Making excuses for your partner’s disappointing and bad behavior will keep you trapped and is another huge symptom of bad relationship addiction, especially if the excuses you produce do not back up the facts and are unrealistic. If you do finally build up the courage to confront your partner to leave him or her but are overcome with fear and therefore back off from the confrontation, you are a high and sure victim of addiction because no matter what you attempt, you find yourself always giving in and holding on to what you know is bad for you. Suffering from both physical and mental discomfort once broken up, unless you get back together, is yet another symptom of addiction and should not be denied or ignored.

What causes addiction to bad relationships? There are several levels and everyone’s addiction is different and varies. One common reason is the feeling and belief that if you end the relationship, you will never find anyone else who could possibly be interested in you or love you. You grow so attached to your partner that you forgot your life before him or her, making you feel fearful of being on your own and taking care of yourself. Fear of criticism is another reason many people remain in bad relationships. They are afraid of what people will say, believing that ending a relationship means that they are a failure and being alone is unacceptable and terrifying. Other reasons may be financial support that you are receiving from a partner, making you feel that you should tolerate bad behavior from your lover, since they are supporting you. Having a child together can also blind you or cause you to deny a bad relationship, making you feel guilty for leaving your child’s mother or father. On a deeper level, you could be addicted to disappointing and bad relationships due to your upbringing or experiences as a child yourself. Perhaps you were not nurtured or loved enough and you now think it is normal to be neglected from love, care and understanding.

What should you do and how can you break a bad relationship addiction? Since this addiction is difficult and basically impossible for you to end on your own, counseling would be the best assistance for you. Find a counselor or service in which experts provide their services through, and take that first step in accepting the fact that you have an addiction and that you need and want help to conquer it. Start being a best friend to yourself and open the door to all the feelings you have kept locked up for so long. Stay focused and encourage yourself frequently by setting a goal, and picturing yourself away from all the disappointment and closer to all the happiness and good health you need, desire and deserve as a person. Never give up and know that you are not alone. There are people who can help you, know how to help and will help you. Mainly, keep in mind that there will always be a person who will be by your side and never leave you, always giving you the strength, love and support you need and that person is YOU.