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How To Avoid Living in Regret I walked into the Java Coffee house at Nyali Center not sure of what to expect. I was here to meet with a man who had called me early in the morning asking if I could accept to meet with him urgently....

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How Men Are Killing Themselves It was a sad funeral, a young man, Tim, just in his early 30s had committed suicide. His wife Mela became a widow at 29 and their son Mike was left to grow up without his father. Everyone was crying and...

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How To Avoid Messing Up Your Marriage Ann was unable to stop herself from crying and I could honestly say, I was feeling pretty awkward. Sitting in a restaurant with a crying woman is very unsettling. I was encouraged though by the presence...

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How To Avoid Messing Up Your Marriage Ann was unable to stop herself from crying and I could honestly say, I was feeling pretty awkward. Sitting in a restaurant with a crying woman is very unsettling. I was encouraged though by the presence...

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3 Important Lessons That Can Hinder Divorce David sat across the table from me with tears in his eyes as he lamented of the things he had done. He regretted divorcing his wife after six years of marriage but now, Sheila his ex wife and their four...

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How To Avoid Living in Regret

Posted on : 10-07-2014 | By : Edward | In : Blog Home

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I walked into the Java Coffee house at Nyali Center not sure of what to expect. I was here to meet with a man who had called me early in the morning asking if I could accept to meet with him urgently. I don’t get many such requests early on Saturday morning and I therefore had no idea what to expect.

Man flirtingDan was already at the restaurant when I arrived and after introducing himself, we made our orders and then he began telling me his story and why he wanted to meet with me urgently. It turned out that he had spent the night in an after-party of a rugby tournament in town and had ended up getting intimate with three different ladies before the night was over. When morning came, Dan had left with his friends and it was only after getting into his house that reality hit him and the consequences of his actions dawned on him. He had asked himself all the “what if” questions. He could not believe himself and wondered what he was thinking, how could he betray Sue like this. Sue was his girlfriend of many years and was now his fiance with a wedding planned for December. How will he even face her after the night escapades? What if she finds out?

Dan was full of regrets and I could see the pain in his eyes as we talked but the irony of the situation was that during the night of partying, a friend of his had tried to warn him to stop flirting and drinking but he had kept on going. His argument was, there is nothing wrong in talking to good looking ladies. How he wished he would have listened, however, the opportunity to turn away and turn from trouble was gone. Where an opportunity to choose differently existed was now a sea of regret.Would it have been possible to avoid all the regret? To avoid getting yourself where Dan found himself, you can choose to live by the following two thoughts or principles that will help you safeguard yourself from living in regret.

1. It’s Your Direction and not Your Dreams that Determines Your Destination

depressed-black-manHonestly speaking, I keep meeting people like Dan all the time. People who have chosen a road that has led to trouble and when they get there, they realize that was not the destination they wanted to arrive at. A husband flirts with a colleague and when things move forward, he turns around in regret. A banker begins altering records and when they find themselves at the dock in court, regrets set in. What about the young girl crying because the man is gone, she is still a student and pregnant? Truth is, it does not matter what dreams you have or what destinations you want to arrive at, the road you take, the path you choose is what determines where you will arrive. Dan chose a path that led to a broken engagement because Sue got to hear about it from one of her lady friends who was at the party. Heartache for Dan did not end with the broken engagement, one of the girls from his escapades claims she is pregnant with his child. He did not want to be a father just yet, had not planned to be a father outside of wedlock and had no plans to break up with Sue but his actions, the path he chose that night determined the results he got. All his dreams in regard to being a husband and father dashed and altered simply because he took a direction that led him to a different destination. Lesson for us, we have to carefully watch where we are going to avoid living in regret.

2. It is wrong to make decisions based on how you feel

Feelings change with the mode and the moment. You cannot trust your feelings to make wise decisions. I remember Janet crying in my office asking me what she could do. She was going to marry her sweetheart within two weeks but she had a tattoo on her back that read, “Forever in love with Steve”. She had gotten the tattoo while still in campus and madly in love with Steve. Tattoed legAfter Campus, they had broken up and she had never thought about it seriously until now. What would her husband think and feel after they got married? Imagine him seeing those words on the back of his wife every day for the rest of their lives. Well, when Janet was getting the tattoo, her feelings for Steve was all that mattered. She had argued that there was nothing wrong with getting a tattoo but now she was full of regret. Dan was also in regret, he had said there was nothing wrong with flirting, he had felt very nice while doing it but feelings cannot be trusted to make wise decisions. Dan had to learn to make decisions soberly and wisely and we need to learn the same in order to avoid regret. Feelings change but our decisions and their consequences stay with us.

Dan is slowly healing from the break up with Sue and preparing himself for what lies ahead as a father even though he is secretly waiting for the baby to be born so that he can get DNA tests and all done. He is also waiting for another test, planning to take a HIV test in the next two months or so and he has chosen to ensure he lives differently going forward. He is now carefully choosing his direction and making wise decisions.

I challenged his value system and got him to begin to read the bible and seek to live for more than just himself, selfishness leads to a life of regret. To make wise choices, you need to have the wisdom to do so and the Bible gives you that.

What other principles would you add to my two? How can we all live life and enjoy it without regret? I would love to hear from you.

Blessings

 

 

 

How Men Are Killing Themselves

Posted on : 08-11-2013 | By : Edward | In : Blog Home

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It was a sad funeral, a young man, Tim, just in his early 30s had committed suicide. His wife Mela became a widow at 29 and their son Mike was left to grow up without his father. Everyone was crying and it was hard for me to do the funeral without crying. What had driven this young man to do this to himself and his family? Why did he snuff out his life? Nobody seemed to know the answers.Man hiding from wife

I was disturbed about Tim’s death for several weeks as I wondered what had driven him to his death. I knew him to be a very driven young man with an ambitious dream, hardworking with a clear sense of direction. I was surprised the day Mela came to see me and as we talked, she told me the story of her last year with Tim. As we talked, I began to see telltale signs of what might have dragged Tim to his grave. I thought through my life and a few other men I know and I could see some of the signs. It was evident to me that men do push themselves to the grave early. Think about it, when you think about those in your family aged sixty years and above, I bet more often than not, the ladies are still alive but the men are gone.

Here are the signs I saw in Tim’s life. I trust that you will see these and choose to change your life and if you are a woman, you will learn how to help the men you know.

1. Riding Solo – Men tend to do life by themselves. They can have many friends but none of these friends really knows what is going on in their lives. As men, we almost think it is a weakness to share our frustrations and challenges. We talk less than women and tend to also share less than them. A man can be dying or his stuff is about to be auctioned and none of his friends know about it. Mela learnt this the hard way, after Tim’s funeral, she discovered that he had a debt of over 2 Million shillings. He had been borrowing to keep his business going. None of his friends knew about the debt. As men, we need to break free from this tendency and begin to do life with others, talk with your wife, let her know how you are and what is going one. Find another man who you can share stuff with. Don’t just go and watch Arsenal play, share stuff, open up and let other people into your life. You’ve got to stop riding solo.

2. depressed-black-manCanning emotions – When growing up, boys are taught that men don’t cry and showing any emotions is a sign of weakness. Men learn from a tender age to hold in every emotion especially when it has the appearance of weakness. Men hide their tears whether they be tears of joy or pain, excitement or frustrations. Mike had mastered the art of canning every little emotion but slowly by slowly, the Can got full and it could not hold any longer. If only he had opened up and shared life with others, talked about what he was going through and allowed others to see his pain, his hurt and his wounds, maybe he would be alive now to read this but he is gone. Men need to learn to open up before they self destruct.

3. Assuming Pressure – Men tend to think they can handle their pressure and therefore tend to do nothing about it. They will refuse to go to hospital because they can handle it, refuse to seek for help because they can handle it, refuse to ask for direction even when it is obvious that they are lost because “I have got this”! As they assume their situation, things become worse and then they are gone; the disease kills them or they get lost and end up in trouble or the pressure leadsĀ  them to suicide. Statistics from around the world confirm that men rarely visit the doctor when sick and this is said to be one of reasons men die younger than women. The American Psychological Association pins down “doctor avoidance” as one of the causes of early mortality in men. Depression is a disease that many men live with and never seek for help because they assume they can handle it. Man hiding emotionsIf you have never done so, just check out the depression symptoms and see where you fit in or you can take a depression test here. As a man, kill the pressure today by realizing you don’t have everything in control, you don’t have to be and if you are lost, the best thing you can do is ask for directions even if it is from a child. Recently, my daughter told me, “Dad, you need to sleep, you are tired”, and that was very good advice.

Mela is trying to make headway in life, trying to establish what they owned and what they owed. She is having an uphill task because her man was riding solo, canned his emotions and assumed his pressure. Everyday she discovers something new, a new debt, a new bank account or a new investment and she wonders what a mysterious man she was living with. Her cry is for men to stop riding solo and open up to their spouses, to stop canning their emotions and to stop assuming the pressure. I am walking away from this kind of living and heeding her call, would you care enough to join me? Let us live differently from here going forward.

Are there any points you would add to these that cause men to end up in trouble? I would love to hear them. Please add them below in the comments section.

Blessings

 

 

 

How To Avoid Messing Up Your Marriage

Posted on : 15-10-2013 | By : Edward | In : Blog Home

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Ann was unable to stop herself from crying and I could honestly say, I was feeling pretty awkward. Sitting in a restaurant with a crying woman is very unsettling. I was encouraged though by the presence of Steve, Ann’s husband but his indifference to her crying made us look mean and unconcerned. Steve was fuming and my spending an hour talking with the two had not helped him to cool of in any way. crying woman after affairTheir marriage had collapsed simply because of an evening of fun and “advice” that Ann had just before their marriage. It looked as though it was just an enjoyable evening of fun and indulgence as a single girl before she gets married but now, three years later, regret was the only thing she had about the night. Her friends, those that had encouraged her on were nowhere to be seen and the only shoulder close enough to cry on was Steve’s but he was too hurt to offer one.

Three months earlier, Joel, a long time friend of Ann had walked into their home with an envelope which she had given to Steve and then left. In the envelope were pictures of Ann and Joel partying and having fun on her bridal shower evening. They had danced together, drunk together and even gotten into bed together as a way of bidding single hood a bye. The encouragement given to Ann was, “do everything you fantasize about and then go get married” and she took the advice of her friends and did it all but now all that had come to haunt her. One of Ann’s friends had actually triggered this whole thing while they were at a party, she had tried to seduce Steve and when he could not accept her advances, she ridiculed him for being faithful to a woman who was not faithful to him. It turned out that Joel had been using photos from her bridal shower to blackmail and get Ann to bed whenever he wanted. Now the cat was out of the bag, Ann was in pain, heart broken, betrayed and deserted by the same friends who had egged her on.

As I sat there with this couple, I thought about the many other ladies and even guys that are replaying this same scenario or similar just because of wrong advice, a wrong act or choosing the wrong road all together. Stag nights and bridal showers do not make a marriage and from the many couples I have dealt with and stories I hear, these parties are destroying relationships at a pace that is quite alarming. It was supposed to be a night of excitement and fun but it had turned out to be one of shame, pain, betrayal and broken hearts. Was it worth it? Was that evening worth the pain and shame? Ann’s tears indicated otherwise. To avoid ending up where Ann did, you need to be careful regarding the following:

1. What road are you on – You may never end up in a situation like Ann’s, but I have come to discover that in life, it is the road you take and not the intentions you had that determine where you will end up. Separated coupleAnn’s intentions were for a great marriage with the love of her life but she took a road that went elsewhere. When you take a bus or a plane to go to a destination, you will arrive at that destination for sure not unless you get off the bus. Ann took the wrong bus and many people are taking the same bus and will definitely end up at the wrong destinations. What you sow, you will reap, what you do today affects your tomorrow and that includes dirty dancing and fooling around on a bridal shower or stag night. Have you realized it is called fooling around? Why accept to be a fool?

Choose to change course and begin rebuilding you relationship before destruction. If you have fooled around, check out this article that has pointers on how to rebuild after you have messed up, click here

2. Who is your driver – Many people in life allow themselves to be driven by others. They comfortably sit back and let their friends determine how they will dress, where they will go and even what they will pursue in life. If you are allowing yourself to be driven by others then I am sorry to tell you, you might end up where Ann did. Her friends organized everything, called Joel and other men, bought the beer and all and egged her on. She gave them the keys to her life and they drove her life fast and furiously to a place called pain and regret.

3. Where do you want to go – I have a simple approach to life, if you are not going where I want to go, I do not trust you to help me get there. The problem with many people is not that they get side tracked in life, the problem with many people is that they do not know where they want to go. Ann had no clear goal for her marriage, in fact, she had heard many stories of infidelity in marriage and broken promises and all (unfortunately the stories were from her friends, the same friends who she had trusted to organize her shower) and all these stories left her with images of broken promises and infidelity in marriage and it was therefore easy for her to end up on the same road. Couple working on their marriageI know many marriages that are working, many that are guarding against infidelity and they couples are growing and excited about the years ahead, I hang out with these couples and together we dream of where we want to go. When I close my eyes and dream of the next thirty, forty and fifty years, I dream of being with my wife, retiring, walking on the beach together hand in hand and laughing over the past years. I know where I want to go and I am not trading that off for anything.

Ann and Steve are working on where they want to go, they are taking charge of driving their lives and are slowing working on ensuring they are on the right road, I pray that Ann and Steve will be able to work through their mess but the damage done already will forever hang over their marriage. I believe they will pull through but you do not need to get where they have gotten, take the right road today and choose to go where you need to go, not where friends want you to go. In fact, choose to go where God wants you to go.

“What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” Romans 6:21

 

3 Important Lessons That Can Hinder Divorce

Posted on : 18-09-2013 | By : Edward | In : Blog Home

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David sat across the table from me with tears in his eyes as he lamented of the things he had done. He regretted divorcing his wife after six years of marriage but now, Sheila his ex wife and their four year old son were gone. Sheila had relocated out of the country to ran away from the source of her pain and heartache. She loved David, she had always loved him since their high school days and the divorce was a shocker for her.

As David narrated his story, I felt his pain especially because he knew his mistakes very well but I was saddened knowing that it was too late for him. All the pain, the tears, the heartache and the ultimately, the divorce were a result of several things that David was not careful about. These are actually things that many people ignore or take for granted. Consider Emma and Steve, they were a great couple, loved each other deeply and walked everywhere hand in hand yet two years ago, they parted ways in a bitter divorce that caused Steve to even attempt suicide. What is common to these two couples and many others I have come across is the following three points. David nailed these for me when he said that looking back, there are three things he would have dealt with differently. Bored with each otherThese three things are:

1. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder – David confessed to having stopped beholding his wife’s beauty. He started noticing other ladies and their beauty and would then notice how his wife fell short of them. When she was expectant, he did not like how she had added weight and longed for the slim smashing beauty she used to be. He now regretted it, he had come to realize how selfish he had been and wished he would change it all. The beauty he had desired and chased in other ladies caused him to even end up in a number of affairs with women he did not even like let alone love. He regretted it all and was ashamed but the damage had been done. Every married man or woman for that matter need to remember the adage, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, you stop beholding, the beauty will fade”. Learn to appreciate your spouse, they might have grown bald, added weight or the skin has stopped being as smooth as it used to be but if you keep beholding them, their positive attributes, the friendship that you share and the love that brought you together, their beauty will not fade in your eyes.

divorce2. Barriers form where they are entertained – With every quarrel, every argument and every disappointment, David had allowed barriers to crop in between him and his wife. Rather than open up and grow in intimacy, he had slowly drifted away and isolated himself until at some point the couple behaved like roommates. No meaningful conversation, no sexual intimacy and no emotional or physical connection. Even a handshake or hug became a rare thing for them. The divorce therefore happened long before they went their separate ways. David is pained to remember how they used to be good friends who would share everything but the little walls had started building until one time the wife had felt so rejected as though she was the ugliest and undesirable woman on the planet. I have come to learn that any married couple that wants to survive the pressures of life and have their relationship thrive should never kill sexual intimacy and connection regardless of what is going on. You can argue and all but don’t let that kill intimacy. Surprisingly, when sexual intimacy and romance are in the picture, barriers get destroyed easily and conflicts are easily resolved. Are you married? Try it out. Maybe you have not been intimate in a week, two weeks or even eight months like Sally and Frank, please go home and rediscover your romance. Bring down the barriers, get rid of the bitterness and don’t allow yesterday’s experiences to destroy your dreams of tomorrow. Remember, barriers will never form where they are barred.

Couple upset with each other3. Boredom creeps in when familiarity breeds contempt – David began taking his wife for granted within the first six months of their marriage. He would go out with the boys to watch a game or enjoy a sport and would leave her by herself in the house. Little by little, they got bored of each other and the excitement that was there when they were dating disappeared. It got so bad that they both got to the place where they loathed being in the company of each other. David wished he would have done things different. What if he had taken her out, had constantly worked on keeping the friendship and cultivating the love? what if he would have invested in a growing meaningful relationship? It is late for David but it is not late for you as you read this, you can change the game and begin to value your spouse, find fun things to do together and work on your relationship. You might even be early if you are not married, aim to love and cherish your partner when the time comes. Boredom builds an abode where it is welcomed and entertained and once it creeps in, it can kill even the best of relationships.

Don’t be like David, stop the divorce before it happens, learn the lessons and build that marriage. Let it thrive, don’t let it shrivel.

Are there other points you would add to these? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.