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. 🙂
Alright, so last Friday night I started having some crazy wisdom tooth pain. Had to deal with it all weekend (as no dentist was open on weekends). Called a dentist first thing Monday morning. For the last few years, my dentist has been telling me to get them removed (I only had 3: Two on top, one on bottom #freak), but I have been putting it off MAINLY because I have to pay out of pocket; I don’t have any insurance. The teeth never really gave me any problems….until last Friday (see pic of my wisdom tooth here: pic.twitter.com/RRvcsKU3aM). The pain got to the point where ‘it was time’.
So thankfully, by the Grace of God and some good friends (one who is a dental assistant), I got in at 11am on Monday morning. An exam ensued, X-Rays were taken and I was referred to an oral surgeon that day (thankfully for a real reasonable price as well). By Wednesday morning I was having wisdom teeth removed. I was also fortunate enough to find a company (Care Credit) to finance my removal (I can’t afford this ish all at once!!!). Dentist & oral surgeon consultation was about $150 combined and oral surgery was $1,000. With meds and everything, it was probably close to $1,250 in total for 2 bothersome wisdom teeth to be removed. Now I just have to find a way to pay it off in 6 months to avoid the cray cray 27% APR!! #DAFUQ !?
Long story short: Minus the hurt it caused my pockets, It was probably the most ideal wisdom tooth surgery in the history of wisdom teeth removal. All I had in my head was the dread, the pain, the horror stories…but in all honesty, I was in and out and it was painless. They numbed my mouth with novocaine, gave me some gas and the upper two teeth were extracted in literally :30 seconds (I left the bottom one in). My recovery has been astounding. Again, no pain, no complications, nothing. It was NOTHING like I anticipated, which was horror. I took 2 days to relax, ate soft foods and by Friday night I was out there working again.
All you ever hear are the horror stories of wisdom tooth removal, so being the positive person that I am…I wanted to share my positive, successful, painless experience!
Pic of my x-ray’s:
This past weekend I been going through an ordeal. My wisdom teeth have been coming in now more than ever causing me some excruciating pain. About 4 years ago my dentist took an xray of my mouth and noticed I had 3 impacted wisdom teeth (no 4th) and advised me to have them removed soon. Being the stubborn person I am, WITHOUT any insurance, I put it off…they never really bothered me much. Til recently. About a year or so ago..they started slowly breaking through my gums in the back of my mouth. This last Friday…they REALLY started coming through. Now I don’t know how many of y’all saw my documentary, but I’m a lil older than the average age where people’s wisdom teeth come in. Long story short, this weekend has been hell for me. Can barely open my mouth fully to eat, it hurts that bad. Only time I been in worse pain was when I dislocated my foot and broke my ankle at 19 tryna do some dumb shit on a skateboard. I was being a baby all weekend. Either way, I’m calling a dentist first thing Mon morning (so in like 4 hours). I was on the phone with my Mom earlier talking to her about it and she reminded me of a simple truth: There’s people who have it WAY worse than I do…cancer patients etc…people who would kill to be in my shoes. And it’s true…I am blessed and shouldn’t take the simple things for granted. Especially now during the holiday season..these are the times I really realize that there are a ton more people in this world who have it WAY worse than I do. And I never have problems giving to the less fortunate. Stay posted for updates on my wisdom teeth…