Hey there, world. Rip here. I don’t tend to clog up my own blog here on my site with personal stuff, I like to keep it music orientated for the most part. But every once in a while something life changing comes along that deserves a post. I knew when I started making music almost 20 years ago, that there would be a possibility that privacy in my life would be slim to non- existent. Especially when a lot of the lyrics I write are drawn from real life experiences. So, with that said…the last few years of my life have seen some serious mental, emotional and spiritual battles & growth. A few years back I became intentional on becoming a better person. The first self-help book I ever remember reading was “The Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman in 2012 after a breakup. I got so full of myself, I said I finally knew the secret to love…the next woman I date I will marry with this new found knowledge (after reading 1 book)! 😂 Something in me shifted to becoming intentional about succeeding in love (not just music.) Fast Forward half a decade later, probably 20-30 different books, 100’s of blog articles read and thousands of hours of YouTube videos & podcasts later…I think I know just a LITTLE bit more than the info from that one book. 😉 HAHA (which is a must read, btw.) Then, last week I was turned on to this 4 part series on Love, Sex, Dating, and Marriage that not only opened my eyes, but it also broke me down, in tears, on many different levels. Some of this info is stuff regurgitated from other sources I read…but as a collective, this series hits on most everything you need to know to start becoming intentional about love, sex, dating, and marriage. It’s not ALL you need to know…but it’s a HUGE kickstart!! So, I want to provide you with this 4 part series on Love, Sex, Dating, and Marriage, by Andy Stanley, along with a short breakdown of each video’s content. I’ve come to find Andy Stanley a very personable guy who delivers this message in such a perfect manner (It doesn’t hurt that he DM’d me on Twitter as a response to one of my tweets about part 3 breaking me down in tears– saying “Real men cry. Thanks!”) To those intentional about their love life and future, I hope you enjoy this series and can take as much away from this as I did:
– “Are you the person you’re looking for is looking for?” is the main question to kick off this series. More or less: Are you the person you need to be to attract and be with the person you desire to be with?
– Another key takeaway from this video is: “The PRESENT will be your PAST which will be PRESENT in your FUTURE.” Basically…right now..everything you’re doing is going to be your past but it’s going to show up in your future. Deep. Think about that.
– He also says he never met with a couple that had “marriage problems.” He discovered that individuals with problems (that began when they were single) get married. So they don’t have marriage problems, they had problems that they brought into a marriage.
-He talks bout the right person myth: “If I marry the right person, everything will be all right.”
-Your focus should be becoming the right person NOT finding the right person.
-He tells a story about a young woman that finds a man who was a “total package.” He had it ALL. She was enamored by him. A few days later she was at home going on and on about this guy and her mother turned to her and said: “The problem is, a guy like that is not looking for a girl like you.” She fell to the floor in tears because she knew her Mom was right. But it was a defining moment for her. From that day forward she was going to be a woman that a guy like that was looking for. Game changing moment for her!
-He breaks down 1 Corinthians 13 (“Love is patient, Love is kind…”)
-He breaks down the “Happily Ever After” childhood mentality and said most people that think this way are thinking and dating like a child.
Overview: This one is for the guys.
-He talks about becoming a man and putting the ways of childhood behind (1 Corinthians 13:11)
-He talks about the Biblical view of women and how women were made in the same image of God as men were
-He talks against men looking at and viewing women as a commodity (sex object, in lamens terms.)
-He breaks down scriptures about treating your wife with honor and respect.
-He breaks down how looking at porn and other naked woman programs the man’s mind to not appreciate your wife’s body.
-He talks about men taking a year off from dating to completely working on themselves before getting out there and dating again.
Overview. This one is about sex. This is the episode that broke me down because I had a sex addiction myself that I finally faced. It brought tears to my eyes 3 times throughout it’s duration. The main focus of this video is: “Sex isn’t just physical. It goes deeper than that.”
-He talks about how having pre-marital sex hurts yourself and your future spouse. Then their marriage becomes plagued with consequences from those past behaviors and most times they can’t even connect the dots.
-He asks questions to really make you think hard and understand the gravity of ‘sex is not just physical.’ Like:
“Why is it, that when a child is sexually abused…when they’re an adult, why is it so difficult to shake that off?”
“Why is it that rape is more devastating to a woman than simply being beat up?”
“Why is it that men with the deepest sexual issues/addiction usually have uninvolved or missing fathers? What’s the connection?”
“Why is it that people’s greatest regrets are sexual?”
-Because sex is NOT just something “physical.” It goes way deeper than that. It’s rooted at the deepest level of your being & soul.
very deep part of the series, watch below:
Overview: This one affected me almost as much as the last one. He starts off saying “I’m going to explain the #1 reason why most romantic relationships fail.” It focuses on marriage.
-He starts off by saying that most people aren’t prepared to get married. Promises (“nuptials”) are no substitute for preparation.
-He outlines how you should “commit now to becoming someone who can keep commitments later.”
-He gives a specific list of “single people assignments” to commit to now so when you make a commitment later, you’ll actually be able to keep your promise:
1.) Address your unresolved childhood issues (“If you attempt to build intimacy with a person before you’ve done the hard work of becoming a whole and healthy person, every relationship will be an attempt to fill the hole in your heart.“)
2.) If you have any left-over drama or angst with your parents (Mom or Dad), your spouse will receive the brunt of that. They (your spouse) don’t know why you’re so upset and you can’t understand why they don’t shape up and you cannot end this. REPAIR BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS WITH PARENTS.
3.) Ladies: Don’t dress like a commodity and don’t put up with being treated like one (If you fish with your body, you’re going to catch body snatchers every single time!)
4.) Men: Memorize Part 2 of this series
5.) Get out of debt. You can get out of debt a LOT quicker as a single person than as a married person.
6.) Break Your Bad Habits. Marriage was NOT designed to solve any problems. In marriage, the great things become better and the bad things get worse.
7.) Postpone the physical components of your relationship ALAP (As Long As Possible)
8.) Avoid Living Together. There is no evidence at all that living together prepares anyone for marriage. The opposite is true. Couples who live together have a far higher chance of divorce. This is not a path to happily ever after.
9.) Non-Christians – Don’t date a Christian unless you plan to become one. Basically, he says you should not be unequally yoked and breaks it down.
10.) Get involved ar your local church.
He then reassures singles that no matter what they’ve done wrong in the past..they have the chance of getting things right in the future.
This series really made me realize what else I need to be doing. For the most part, I have been exercising most of these on this list for some time now. But this series did prompt me to get on the phone with my Mom, before writing this blog, and hashing out a incident that happened a few years back. We got it all situated and everything’s all good. I hope this series was able to transform your outlook in your love life and will help you become a better you for the future. Thank you, Liz, for turning me on to this transorming series.
As always, God Bless. 🙂
This week I share 23 things I am thankful for…one for each day of the month thus far!
This week I go on a very logical rant after the @ChicagoBears pretty much lost the season after their loss in Green Bay on Sunday Nov 9th!
After 3 long years of promoting his “Sellout” album with 9 different music videos, it is time to release the final music video from it and finally put the album in the past! It’s been one heck of a journey. Thanks to all those who supported the ‘Sellout‘ album as well as the re-release including the ‘Making of a Sellout‘ documentary. On to the next chapter… #ShowsOver
This week I had an encounter with someone who helped me earlier in my career that I haven’t seen in over a decade. It reminded that you should never forget who helped you when you were nobody and to never forget where you came from. Check out my story and message on this weeks episode of Sellout Sunday.
Some weekly advice on this weeks episode of Sellout Sunday. I’ve been wanting to deliver this message for a while now, but this week seemed like the perfect week to do it.
This weeks advice on Sellout Sunday: Enjoy the present moment and don’t stress about the past and future!
When executive producer Beth Kille of the MAMA’s (Madison Area Music Association) asked me to perform at the MAMA Awards this year, I was completely honored and excited for the opportunity. It was under wraps for some months and it was very hard to keep it a secret. This was definitely one of the more prestigious performances I’ve been asked to do and I was looking forward to it for a long time. Originally we were scheduled to perform at the end of the night but due to scheduling conflicts with my violinist, we had to reschedule our slot (they wanted to do sound check in reverse order, so the final act would sound check first and the opening act would sound check last. We needed the later sound check time to ensure my violinist remained a part of the performance). I didn’t care if we were opening the show or going on later in the evening, that is irrelevant, I was just happy to be there. However, when starting a show, more times than not, you’re likely going to run into issues on stage regarding sound and kinks that have not been worked out yet. And that is exactly what happened during our performance. Two times during our performance, an issue arose that I still can’t pinpoint because it’s something I’ve never experienced on stage before. Originally I referred to it as a flange in my monitor signal, but I think it was more than a flange… It was more like an extreme delay. And it came and went 2 different times during our performance. It was something we didn’t experience or have an issue with during sound check and every person on stage with me can vouch for the problem. There was also a point where my drummer lost his monitor signal. In lamens terms: We had multiple issues with the sound on stage (in our personal monitors) which made it almost impossible at times to follow along with our track and it was reflected in the performance. Being a perfectionist and holding this opportunity in high regard, it’s safe to say I was completely flustered and disappointed. But it happens. That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. As a professional performer you need to be able to roll with punches while maintaining composure and that’s what my team did. I’m proud of them and we appreciate the opportunity presented to us. I’m blessed to have the people on my team that I do.
Hats off to Beth Kille and the MAMA’s. They produced an excellent show. I was impressed with everything and had a great time with my people last night.
Thank you Beth and the MAMA’s for considering us and having us this year, it was truly an honor and a memory to cherish forever.