Bait ‘n Switch Business Moves. Wise or Not?

Written by ReAnn Ring, Entrepreneur and Business Coach.

Change, a word we either embrace or run from, can often mean a make or break for those of you in the business world.

Recently I encountered a few surprise unannounced changes that pretty much set the tone for a thumbs up or thumbs down, but certainly not a neutral response. Granted, change, if handled well and with plenty of notice depending on the situation, possibly incorporating feedback from the end consumer, employees of the company, and vendors,  prior to a big move, can be good, if not excellent, to ensure a happier work environment internally, a more dedicated and growing customer-client base, and certainly a surge in sales and popular name in the industry and beyond in the market place.

A good name, according to the Word of God, is about the highest form of compliment pinning a mature and seasoned name on a company. Wisdom looks far beyond the immediate to the ripple effect that an alteration in a business model can make on any level of operation inside of a company all the way to service provision standards to the public, to the product line itself out on the market.

On the flip side, change when not handled well, can ensure a big direct hit to a company’s credibility and ability to be trusted, when it goes unannounced and worse yet, when it’s done with the old bait and switch method. Surprised and once loyal customers lose confidence, and any more now, the immediate cancer of words can pour out with bad press on social media to the news media and more, with murmuring, grumbling and outright anger on social media and can most certainly doom a company to a reputation of unprofessionalism which take a long time to redeem. It’s not long before the influx of complaints flood the email box of the seller and even on up the chain to the company owner. Before you know it, the new task of putting out fires and responding to those messages, becomes a full-time job scramble to fix what was once thought a good move.

Sometimes is vastly obvious that a company’s last thought that should have been their first concern, is the response of their end users and even their employees. Let’s use a couple of examples I know of personally:

Example A. The “Think I Am” Company, www.thinkiam.com, had, I say in past tense, a wildly popular Vitamin B Energy Drink I and numerous consumers enjoyed called “I Am Energized”. For well over a year I have been hooked and even heralded the praises of this powerful healthy little drink offering a much more natural and safe alternative to the Monster Drinks that are now pinned with some shaky and scary bad press lately. The berry flavor of the “I Am Energized” was very pleasant and this three ounce liquid natural vitamin supplement filled bottle was an easy grab to throw in a workout bag even offering a great healthy replacement to just a plain cup of morning coffee to the start of your day. It truly enhanced a workout and sustained energy levels throughout a rigorous day at work.

From time to time, I could hardly find it locally at my closest Sprouts and began the trek to other stores for this favored drink, in order to beat the other customers to the punch, to wipe out the shelves where they were in supply. Often I would order the four-for-three deal on-line directly from the company itself and would scour the net if they too were temporarily out of stock looking for a secondary supplier. Back-orders so often on such a popular drink caused me to ration my current supply and certainly should have spelled a great big message to the creator of the drink that they were onto some good and profitable.

But wait a minute … what happened? Recently, unannounced, the I Am Energized Drink suddenly offered a surprise change, from the familiar berry flavor to a new semi tart unfamiliar flavor with an unpleasant aftertaste and a change or two in their formula. Highly noticeable mind you. After my trip to Sprouts yesterday, once again wiping out the last remaining box of drinks after the first Sprouts store was out of stock, I had the first sip of the new change this morning only to be met with a big fat disappointment.\

I had heard the rumor of this flavor change from a friend who loves the drink as much as I, and was holding fast that the new flavor and formula would rock my world as much as the other. Normally a pretty tough advocate for health products regardless of flavor, I can overlook such an offense, but this new flavor, which upon some investigating, turns out to be an indistinct lime taste, was a deal breaker for me. Thankfully I kept my receipt and a trip back to the store to replenish the empty box that sat from my purchase, is definitely in order.

So the emails began to the customer service contact. Reading the response from the company that my friend and I wrote asking what had happened, they tried to convince us that the effect of the drink was the same, that other customers had written the same complaint, and that it was just the flavor and other ingredient change that had taken place. Once this large supply of lime was sold out, the berry would be soon reintroduced again to the store shelves. Not sure how long that will be, but I can guarantee, the shelves won’t be emptying from the word of mouth sales I used to do on the product, nor my own pocket book, and can’t imagine the demand for this particular flavor being nearly as high as the previous.

So how should this have been handled differently for a wildly popular drink? I wonder, why would they not have put a different colored label to indicate that flavor offering rather than the switch of flavors in the same bottle? How about asking their favorite stories like Sprouts to give the new flavor a spin on a test market to see if it would be well received? And for certain, not announcing with one single word on the label as the to change, just proved to be another bait and switch and made me wonder if the company were having financial issues or something close to that effect.  I imagine if funds are tight the addition to the line in a totally new bottle and color of label might be cost prohibitive, but certainly pouring something new into a bottle labeled the same can literally and figuratively leave a bad taste in a customer’s mouth and now a loss of sales from a dedicated consumer such as I am – pun intended.

Thumbs down.

Example B. The other company I wanted to mention was the Invoiceable.co website that did the old surprise bait and switch into the newly developed Invoicely. co, https://invoicely.com/ that offers an on-line invoice service for business. Wow I loved that previous site, full of easy end-user buttons maneuvers, handy widgets, easy to function items for tracking sales, visually easy to read, and simple entering and updating client information for use of ease, and more.

One night while catching up my invoices I had literally logged out of the website that was Invoiceable.co, only to log back on an hour later to finish my work, to an entirely new format, new business name, new colors, and new website. I think I logged back out and in about three times to make sure I had not made a mistake in typing the URL. There was no inbox email as a warning, no formal announcement anywhere on the home page, and a sudden new heart racing panic as I searched for my previous three years of invoice transactions nowhere to be found. My company had done well into a million dollars in sales and believe you-me, there were more clients just like me with higher and lower business income that were facing that same shock and disgust as I was during that change.

Consequently, many went on a rant on social media, shared our infuriating experiences of having to figure out on our own how to merge our old records into the new, with only social media and an email to the new company inbox to get any answers as to what was what and certainly no answers as to why. The company gave a measly weak Twitter response apology and a link to the old website so we could at least “temporarily access” our old records to be sure things were transferred correctly to the new site as there were numerous glitches to the new set-up that even to this day, a full year later, I am finding.

Customer emails and entire accounts disappeared and even reappear, and there is really no way to reach anyone in customer service. They don’t respond well to your inquiries on line, with a natural concner that this could happen again. Since they didn’t handle the first steps with grace and a wide-spread stronger response to their paying clients, I doubt that they will handle our money and trust any better from the lessons they should have learned. I also learned that I needed to do more homework on this type of website as I am unable to transfer my data to Quickbooks or any other system to be sure I have a back up file.

Invoicely.co – BAD MOVE, this is the quintessential “no no” in business and the lingering comments on social media are there forever for anyone to read. Maybe you thought the quick change artist maneuver might have saved you some customers from a mass exodus when you were about to make your stealth changes in the night, when in reality it proved quite opposite – you did nothing but make good paying customers angrier than hell. To reference my notes above, the feature you might want to add for good measure and to make up for you poor customer service, is a way to merge our records off of your website into an Excel Spreadsheet or downloadable file so we can leave you, customer info intact, and go on to another safer and more dependable on-line service or at least allow us a form of back-up in case your company tanks without a word. For now we are stuck with you and I still can’t find some of my customer information that mysteriously disappears.

To conclude, one of the worst business moves a company can do for their own name and longevity, is to mess with customer loyalty, their money, their favor, their tastebuds, and their trust. Reputation spreads fast and thankfully for social media, comments and feedback are kept at the touch of the fingertips for a quick search to see what your track record has been. True they can gain a new following and certainly they can regain the trust of the old client base, but is it really necessary to go through something like this when an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

Here are some tips for change I would recommend to any company getting ready or even considering to do a change;

  1. Get a test group and do a trial run. I’m talking people who already love your product and services, and not just an employee who is looking to say “yes” for the sake of job security. See what they say, work out the glitches as much as possible, to avoid a rash of angry and frustrated feedack.
  2. Announce changes before hand when possible. Recalls on car parts that are dangerous are often announced and major car companies make it known that they are about to do an improvement to their line when they need do. Your company might not be that size to do a media announcement, but if you have an email or phone number, or business mailing address, giving your client the courtesy of a note that change is coming, it will say volumes about business etiquette and the fact you even care about those that spend money on you.
  3. Address the issues on line as well. Go public with social media and let people know what is going on, creating a buzz ahead of time.

Hopefully this will be helpful for those reading it to learn that communication of changes to come or even an option to give feedback with a demo of what changes could take place that are favorable, could save a company in the long run from a disappointed and enthusiastic end-user list. May you continue to be busy and prosperous.

Change

 

 

 

 

The Lies We Believe

(Written by ReAnn Ring)

I learned something a long time ago … a fact that I am still applying to certain undeniable areas of the mind, heart, and soul.
That fact is this – Satan will establish a platform of a lie in our life as early as he can — for his wiles and modus operandi. The earlier in our lives he can plant his bitter root, the better. He works diligently at keeping his agenda in place in our mind that naturally floods down into the heart. Throughout time, he and our own minds, our flesh, remind us of his and other’s damaging messages to keep us defeated and ineffective in God’s realm of work. If he can convince us to exchange truth, or even our lack of wisdom and knowledge of truth, for a lie that is highly self-and-other-destructive, then he spins well and with skill, his web which can be so difficult to escape. Jesus titled him the father of lies so many centuries ago (John 8:44). He is a master demonic manipulator and the king of smoke and mirrors.
Because our DNA is wired to be filled with love and acceptance, we are like sponges with the potential of complete saturation to the point of overflow into influencing others. We crave to be needed, useful, to belong, to be accepted, and in that quest, we can potentially hold fast to multiple tiers of platforms of deception we have banked on that are definitely erroneous and deprecating, all in the name of “self-fulfillment”.
Once we land on, or, are even placed by another, on a foundation of error, we build an entire belief system investing heavily in that platform which leads to our daily decision-making, behavior, lifestyle, our choice of peers and vocation, and choice of coping mechanisms dealing with life’s issues. It can either introduce us to a life of joy and unending satisfaction, or it can lead us to the contrary as is so prominent in the lives we witness every day with drugs, abuse, impurity, chaotic relationship patterns, any form of addiction imaginable, and on the list goes.
Personally I never have believed that addiction is a disease, as the Bible, the infallible absolute beacon of in arguable truth, teaches us. Here is why: addictions, poor choices and more come from the bottom line of believing a lie, and since our bodies are set up to search for the fulfillment of our need to be nurtured, nourished, loved, and for a routine, it can mean a vulnerable empty soul devoid of the proper direction to go, to end up in the danger zone. We can quickly latch on to something that looks promising, but will eventually kill us rather than heal or fill us as our bodies crave more of whatever we use to medicate our wounds and needs. We are starving and thirsty for that place of wholeness. The more we grapple with filling ourselves up with things that never satisfy, the more we search and experiment and become indulgent in whatever new or old behavior seems to promise peace. It never works, until we learn to grow roots in the promises of the loving Lord God. Our omnipotent, powerful, Warrior, and wonder filled Father always has our best interest at heart and there is nothing more adventurous and exciting than a walk with Him. There is no addiction on earth that can do what a loving Father who loves us can do.
So how is the initial lie established in order to trick us in to believing falsehood in the first place?
One prevalent way, is that it can come in the form of a comment or years of exposure to comments and actions made that settles like an arrow into our soul from someone we value and love and trust that can instantly evaporate a healthy belief system about our own worth and our value to others.  Be it a teacher, classmate, family member, spouse, boyfriend, business associate, or anyone else for that matter, words and actions have immeasurable power to break us or heal us.
Secondly, Falsehood can come in the way of messages told by our world around us, a world also in search for truth, that are highly contrary to what the Lord truly intended for us. We are told we have to make this amount of money, be this size, drive this car, go accomplish this or that, in order to have value.
Thirdly, it will further be poured into concrete with negative thinking and destructive living when we choose to re-expose ourselves even more to those that create damage in the way of seeking chaos as the norm. It’s what we have known,  and how we respond with our self-talk when we are hurt or are damaged by someone or something in any form that happens to us, lands us by default back to the original platform of  messages that are set up like a tape in our mind.
This is how a dark stronghold is established.
A stronghold is a fortified haven that we run to, and the Lord meant for us to use Him as the stronghold. However, often the enemy mimics a place of safety that holds within it’s walls the lies he has always told us and the on going messages we tell ourselves. Within that brainwashing we will be compelled to act on our feelings to deal with pain. A stronghold can grow to enormous proportions with deep deception even incorporating half-truths that can lend to even more lack of clarity and this mess of confusion, and invariably will always lead to a dead-end of more pain. Where there is confusion, there is often the work of the enemy of our souls. Piercings were never meant not to hurt us.
This is why it is so vitally important to run into the stronghold of God Himself, and swap our investment of beliefs out from the 401k of deception, and into His golden vault of the Word.  It’s without saying equally vital that we set proper strongholds up for our children. We can know healing and what HE says about our calling, our value, our body, our dreams, our families, our spouses, our income, our friendships measured by His Word, which brings the sweetest peace we can ever know. Not only that, but this investment has a fat return in treasures that are stored up for us in glory. Psalm 94:22 further proves, “But the LORD has been my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.”
Teaching our younger generations those truths and to be quite diligent and patient about that mission is critical.. Those next generations of souls are our future.  Being obstinate in telling honesty in love is critical for that to happen, but first, we must start educating and praying for and surrendering ourselves so that we are healthy and pure in order to spread the word on the Word of God. There is no better substitute. No drug, no relationship, not money, nor power, or anything else, can replace what Christ can do in our lives as the only and best form of healthy addiction.

That old haven of destructive stronghold thinking can be quickly dissolved by steeping deeply in the knowledge of the Word, and is highly effective even if it takes a mother load of work to undo the damage that was set up for us from the start. One glorious thing we know for sure, we can safely leap confidently on to the life-preserving foundation of Jesus Christ our Lord. We can never go wrong investing our mind, heart, and soul in the RIGHT thing and we can never go wrong paying it forward to those around us while we work through our own pain and are healing to become a warrior and overcomer.

When we deflect the arrows of the evil one with truth, no matter what form those arrows present themselves as, we begin the very healthy journey of tearing down destructive old ways, and those that could be established later on and even passed down to our children and children’s children.
As I have had deep life enriching encouragement from the Bible and wise counsel from those that take charge over my soul, to undo the work of the destructor himself, I have learned to combat the lies and even have mercy and pray for those that revel in a carnal approach with their lack of wisdom and unhealthy expectations place on me from the past and the present.  They didn’t know the truth to begin with in order to pass it on, and with a warped outlook on life, they did what they thought was best. Once I was introduced to the real deal of Christ’s picture for me, oh my word, the difference was staggering, and the changes were radical in my thoughts and behavior. The old ways have been tough to undo, but the Lord has consistently been giving me a long rope of loving patience to come around for His purposes.
II Corinthians 10:4-5, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have the power to diminish strongholds.We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Be encouraged and never stop surrendering to the truth. I want you to free!
Lies We Believe picture

Lies we Believe about the Christian Single

Having been “never married” for my nearly 50 years of life, by choice,  I have gained some vast first-hand insight, having been on the receiving end of a pretty broad range of assumptions from those who often make a swinging attempt to sum up the world of “singlehood” trying to understand it like it’s something easy to explain by their one and only viewpoint. Some of this ideation that has been given often without invitation sits somewhere on the grid of absolute encouragement and confirmation all the way to the opposite end with a summary of preconceived notions falling flat of any kind of reality – even down right insulting with ridiculous conclusions.

I know I am not alone, and on behalf of those that have encountered the same, my objective is to give a few responses to these assumptions and shed some light about what’s going on in the plain of reality.

As someone who doesn’t like to be branded a type of anything other than a highly unique individual, I get very weary of being classified as married, or single, or widowed, or divorced, as if the only way to file a person’s identity is by their marital status. The fact of the matter is, we are all people, above and beyond that of a marital status, and according to God’s Word, there are benefits to marriage AND to singleness, but often times others reach to marriage for reasons other than a true solid wise choice in order to fill up with something they are missing.

How many stories of those that got married thinking that this was the next step in life, and the cure for their ailments, find out that they have now compounded their existing issues with involving another imperfect human being into the equation? Being whole as a person above and beyond marriage is a highly favorable state to be in as it allows us to function as an individual dependent on the Lord as our source. Marriage can either compliment that, or, it can actually subtract from that in some cases.  Fortunately some of us had that one figured out a long time before we were faced with the decision to marry, yet still, we are faced with some pretty interesting thoughts from others and the following responses are designed for understanding, from what I typically have seen has been the case for many – wrong assumptions.

THE LIES WE BELIEVE ABOUT SINGLENESS:

“You must be anxious for marriage. Isn’t attending weddings hard for you? You are attractive and funny, but not married, what’s wrong with you? You must not be ‘ready’ yet for marriage (aka; mature enough).”

My response: Oh please …  aren’t we all adults here and able to think outside the box? Hello, this is the 21st century folks. By now, have we not seen that the average age for marrying has shifted to “much later in life” than ever before? And news flash, much of it is by choice and not because there is something wrong, or that we aren’t mature enough, or that we are secretly gay,  or that we aren’t good enough, or whatever other thing is assumed about someone else who is not just like the others that want to head to the altar.  Some of us have had some rip-roaring rough interactions with the opposite sex in our lives and marriage looks more like a noose around the neck, rather than a haven of partnership.

If anything, waiting for the right time and place to marry in our lives, even if much later, is a strong indication of wisdom, depth, and character about approaching carefully a decision that can shape the rest of a person’s life. If one happens to marry earlier and it’s successful, praise be to God, but, for those that have a mission before and outside of marriage for the time being or even for life, as well, praise be to Him. I stand in awe and in deep solid respect for marriage, so that is one area, I simply choose to approach with a reverent caution, not only to allow God’s perfect timing, but to allow myself and someone I may meet, to evolve to that place of being ready. We can be the most mature people in the world, but marriage requires a much steeper demand on those that are feeling particularly drawn to it in the immediate realm. Two different callings, with two very different lists of what is required for both – so the lesson here, and please let it stick >>>> being single doesn’t mean something is broken, and that marriage is the fix.

Let’s not forget one other factor. Life is vastly different from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s and we surely can’t exclude the blended family life out there. Blending lives can be a major gift for some and yet a tough area forced upon others. That can and does influence us vastly as to decisions on even wanting to look at marriage as an option for ourselves due to the “what-if” factor. Realistically, what is woefully apparent here is that we teach that marriage is easy to get out of with an attorney and disillusionment of marriage, but in the spiritual realm, it truly is a tearing asunder and it changes the fabric of a person’s history to one they didn’t necessarily plan on. Anymore, we allow an easy out and it’s not unusual for someone who has reached middle age to have been married and divorced more than once by the age of 40. So pardon me if some of us decide that it’s not necessarily the best option in the world for our every day in and day out of existence.

For me personally, having witnessed first hand or having seen the fall out of sixteen divorces in my immediate family, including that of my own parents, my enthusiasm for wedded bliss has been pretty much been rendered at the level of zilch for such a sacred act. As I said before, I respect it, I’m just not sure it’s for me right now, or even ever. Not everyone will respond such as I have, some will embrace marriage and have a successful and balanced experience with it, however, some have known the plague of the aftermath of a the divorce generational curse.

“Maybe you are afraid to get married – aren’t you lonely?”

One of the most critical and rare truths that we might completely forget and seem to look down on is that SOME of us are actually CALLED to singleness and are vastly fulfilled in that calling. Didn’t Paul pose the fact in I Corinthians that it is “good to remain even as I” – meaning single, and focused on God’s work and that it is indeed meant to imply that there are advantages to this life than to that of marriage. Look up the word “good” in the passages Paul wrote on the subject and you will be met with a deep definition in the Greek that will set the record straight! Unwed means time for the work of the Lord (aka: fun, travel, freedom, peace, etc), although marriage itself is also the work of the Lord, yes, more often we are busy trying to please an imperfect partner as opposed to being able to please a perfect God. This is exactly what Paul meant in the Word. Often times when I have given a relationship a spin, I have found it to be a complete distraction and almost invariably a means to an end for heartbreak I never wanted to invite into my world to begin with – I have learned a great deal from bad and good relationships.

Recently in the news, Vice President Mike Pence was criticized for being so “extreme” in his conservative approach about honoring his wife. The guy is trying to remain pure and true to his bride, and naturally, the media who is blatantly liberal, would make a mockery of such an incredible gesture of depth and wisdom. For the love, media, do you always twist something sacred into a sin? If I may take the liberty, fellow Christians, you also have a tendency to turn the call to singleness into something “extreme”, or wrong, as if it’s a sin or that we aren’t settled down or avoiding true bliss that we could possibly be partaking in. But some of us just don’t feel that it’s bliss … I see more work than I do harmony in most marriages. Let’s not twist God’s goodness and providence for another to look like a handicap when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Chew on that for a bit.

“You are divorced. What happened you failure you?”

So much goes into the reason of divorce, and often we hear that one person wanted out while the other fought hard to keep it together. What if the single you are making remarks to had indeed wanted to stay married and fought hard to keep things together? What if they are in anguish and feeling trampled at the moment with being rejected? What good does it do to remind them of what they don’t have and have longed for?

I hate divorce, it has been a huge part of the fabric of my life with 17 divorces in my immediate family, but just as much, I have seen some that never truly wanted a split have to face the fact it’s over.  It’s a sad day when a certificate of divorce is issued, and my advice to others, is to take some time to imagine what it would be like if their spouse decided to part ways against their will, or if even something extreme happened to tear them apart. Putting ourselves into the shoes of another with situations that are different from ours can help us use a little sympathy and consideration to keep quiet and not blame and point fingers.

“You are a widow. Have you thought of dating someone else? You can love again – let’s set you up on a date.”

What if they are a widow, and it’s a wickedly raw time for them grieving the loss of one not even wanting to entertain the thought of remarriage, yet, everyone around them is trying to push them into something new before they are ready?

Give people room, to not have to owe an explanation and to not have to prove anything with being in a relationship. Maybe they are profoundly lonely and might like to meet someone? Yet, maybe it’s not your place to pull that out of them. Give them time to offer up that desire if it’s meant to be, and, for all intents and purposes, make sure to pray first about the person they will meet and possibly even decide to marry. Sometimes remarriage after being widowed can pose an interesting new dynamic for them. Proceed with caution.  I have seen some great successes and have also witnessed some abysmal disasters in post widow marriages.

“You don’t have children, you must feel empty and sad. You never gave your parents children, they must be grieving.”

If there has ever been one that is as stinging and wickedly demeaning, but not for reasons you might think, it’s been this type of ridiculous assumption that blatantly proves a lack of basic 101 manners and couth. Maybe a man or woman was married and is single now and had a harrowing issue with infertility to the point they divorced. Maybe someone truly wanted children more than anything else, and they DO want marriage FIRST before babies, but God has not brought that into their lives yet. What if someone has had to survive and look back on an assault in their lives that yielded an unwanted pregnancy they elected to allow to come to full term and then gave up that little one for adoption? The list goes on and on of the what ifs. What a field of landmines we step onto when we make such strong judgements of others we know so very little about.

My advice to those that don’t understand –  just don’t go there.

Remember Hannah in the Word who was in earnest pain over wanting a child and was constantly harassed by Peninnah over Hannah’s lack of ability to conceive. Hannah was far more holy than I would have been, as I probably would have knocked Peninnah backwards for her verbal heckling. Be careful about inflaming a wound … steer clear and don’t be a Peninnah … a source of greater pain and immature annoyance, for you might warrant a response you weren’t prepared to receive.

Then there are those of us that never were really given the basic DNA to desire children. Yes, it crosses our minds, and yes we have the makings of a mother’s heart, but it’s not something we feel we missed out on. I am abundantly aware of the work that goes into marriage and parenting, but often if one is called to other things, the Lord gives that one a very satisfying life that even viewing children as a part of, would be an impairment, rather than a necessary part of the picture. The desire has simply not been there in the womb to want to procreate and know for a fact that myriads share that same viewpoint. If one wants children, generally they are wired and want to live up to all the demands that parenting requires.

Rarely do I share this and am careful for the sake of respect, but for the topic at hand someone else might be able to identify with my experience. One of my beloved family members gave me a look years ago, sneering about my proof of lack to provide a grandchild for my parents. Yes, I forgive, but truly, my respect dropped a hundred notches for them for their unwarranted and demeaning comment that nearly sliced me in half.  God was about to usher an amazing season into my life after that, and had kept me to Himself for that very reason.  I wouldn’t have skipped what the Lord was about to bless me with for that of a wedding ring, even if it were wrapped in Tiffany blue with a dazzling man to offer it to me on one knee with a Bentley as a getaway car. There will be time for that later, if it’s meant to be. The alternative gift God gave for the time being, was far superior to my being married at the time.

“You are single, you must struggle financially and need a man to take care of you. Your knight in shining armor has yet to come along.” 

Eyes rolling and a sigh. This is 2017 not 1960. Let’s make something clear, it’s not that we women don’t want or need men, it’s rather the fact we have more opportunities open to us to make money in this particular day and age then ever before, married or not, so finances really aren’t going to be so much a part of the decision to marry like they used to be. So many women jumped from home with their parents as their caretakers into a home with a husband as their caretaker. Not that this is bad, it could have worked out great for many, but sometimes women got married, just to get married, to escape the home, and then ended up in very unhappy situations, even abusive ones, and with few learned skills in order to make it on their own if faced with that challenge later after divorce. It’s a bitter pill to rely on someone else when it’s not God’s plan or His best.

Personally, I just cleared well over seven figures in my little company in revenue. No man did it, but God and God alone through my fingers, through ridiculously unmercifully hard work, and with the aid of incredibly talented souls I have hired to do it along with me. My clients are fabulous and I serve them with zeal and commitment, as a perfectly imperfect woman. I have much to be grateful for in this growth cycle, but not sure if marriage would have aided or hindered this amazing business experience for me and so many that benefited from it.

Most of the small start-up businesses in America, are founded, run and managed by … women. The majority of women outlive men, so at some point, they will be single again even if they marry. Look it up as statistics and data speak for themselves! Does it mean, we wouldn’t welcome some relief financially along with the blessing of companionship and someone to love at some point? No, but the options for truly Godly men to marry any more, are pretty rare. Women have been forced to do what they have to in order to care for themselves – so chew on that one one awhile.

And can we please drop the knight in shining armor life of paradise? People, that is the world of Barbie and Ken. Yes, I know there are some tremendous marriages out there, but we set our girls and boys up for a huge let down and unrealistic expectations teaching them to pin their hopes on a person alone, rather than that of the man Jesus Christ who never disappoints.  Then when man disappoints, we bail out! No we should never settle, but again, we need to be careful about making someone fit the role of a saint that is just as capable of the same issues of failures and triumphs we ourselves have – no one is capable of fixing another person. Also along that line, let’s stop pressuring individuals we might set up, as if they need to walk out of their first date with an engagement ring on and a wedding date set. It’s ridiculous and I personally avoid being “hooked up” on dates because of that type of pressure alone. The last time I did, I allowed myself to stay in a relationship far too long as to not disappoint everyone around me and it ended up being a very painful ending for he and I when we realized this was not the right match. Having once been the people pleaser I was, yes it can really go that far – I was engaged as he was an excellent candidate for a husband, but we simply were not compatitble over all. No one can choose for me what only God can with the perfect fit.

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My hope is that your brief read through this will give you insight and open new understanding that marriage isn’t a fit for everyone just as singleness isn’t either. Let’s support each other, not put a label of inferiority on either situation, as we all have a calling to fulfill be it with a spouse on earth or a Spouse that is perfect out of heaven. Pray and think before speaking … and …  remember what assume spells …

Read my previous blog – “To Married Men Who Cheat”

https://reannring.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/to-married-men-who-cheat/

 

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Vital Steps to a Successful Business

THREE STEPS TO STARTING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Countless people have approached me and asked about “how to” steps for their ownideas and interests for starting and managing a successful business. As an entrepreneur for over 20 years, aiding others in, or spear-heading my own start-up businesses, ranging from one-of-a-kind creations all the way to service-oriented ventures on-line, I opened up my “portfolio of collected experiences” and found three vital steps that have carried me from the inception of a new business idea all the way through to the launch and continuum of growth in any new or growing venture.

1. Prayer:

Oh what we miss out on in blessings and what could have been prevented, if only we had participated in the language of prayer. One area of prayer is about timing, about when and even if it’s right to start and execute a new endeavor especially under the guidance of the Creator of the Universe. Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is a “season fore verything” indicating that timing is a critical part of life and that there is a rhythm to the law of the harvest that intertwines with this truth. Knowing how your idea or product would fit into that rhythm is vital.The Lord may have an idea He has lent to you, but maybe it’s not until next fall that would be on point to get things rolling, maybe it’s tomorrow He wants you to start, or maybe your product idea could be a million dollar winner, but needs to be tweaked and placed into a specific niche market that could only be understood through the process of listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit of God. Proverbs 1:20-33 says that wisdom is “shouting in the streets” and whenever Scriptures says something in a dramatic fashion such as “shouting”, it’s best to understand that we need to be completely open and quiet and listening to God’s voice.

I think He has to shout because we are too busy talking and our minds too enthralled with plans, to slow down and hear Him. We can get so carried away by enthusiasm that we get ahead of the process, miss out on ingredients that make the final outcome a smashing success, skip inviting others in to help, and then spend time in bitterness and anger bewildered as to how we flopped and lost out on the investment of time and money, simply because we didn’t pray, didn’t listen, and didn’t plan accordingly for the right timing. If this has happened to you, learn from it, and get up on your feet and try again the right way.

2. Seek out a personal Elisha:

II Kings 4:1-7, tells us the true story of a desperate widow who sought counsel from the

well known prophet Elisha, as to how to prevent the creditor from taking her children as

slave laborers to pay off a sizable debt she owed. Elisha quickly pointed her in the

direction of what she already owned, a pot of oil, that became of value after she put it to

use via God’s hand. It was multiplied nearly over night and cleared her debt entirely, but

the point is, she needed to have someone point her in the way, and then she had to get

busy with that small pot of investment to get the maximum benefit it had to offer.

When I see a true story like that, it whips me to attention! The Lord loves to use people

to help other people as the mutual reward in any relationship, and seeking out

experienced counsel has a vastly rewarding dynamic we could miss if we didn’t reach

out and ask for help. Imagine if the widow kept trying to fix things on her own. There are

experienced gurus in business that would love to indulge in teaching us in the way that

they have learned and could prevent us from making collasol mistakes, not to mention,

as Elisha did the widow, teach us how to cut corners for a vast and faster profit. If we

skip this opportunity, not only do we miss out on gleaning methods of high return, but

we could also miss out on contacts and privileges in ways that we would otherwise not

be given simply through the connection itself. We don’t need to go in as a know-it-all,

and humbling ourselves to learn from a fellow willing entrepreneur dynamo could make

all the difference in the world.

3. Do your due diligence: This means do your home work fully before you embark.

Following after step two, one pivotal area I learned from, from one of my personal

Elisha’s in business has been the great Robert Kiyosaki #RichDad. This man has been

one of the single greatest influences in the marketing world to date. Having adhered to

his principles of laying down the proper ground work of due diligence before launching a

business, such as researching what is working in the market and how I could duplicate

that idea instead of reinventing the wheel with a new product, seeking out tax advisors

and setting up tax entities correctly, preparing for and planning for economic down

turns, and so much more, I am ecstatic to report that my business sales have soared

from the thousands in income, to well into seven figures collectively over a shorter time

span than I could have ever imagined. This wasn’t learned at home from my family, it

was learned through Robert while putting his teaching into action.

I highly recommend Kiyosaki’s books as part of your process of due diligence, ‘Rich

Dad Poor Dad’ and ‘Cash Flow Quadrant’, to gain life altering insight. I was enlightened

to information never heard of once I cracked open the cover of Kiyosaki’s work of

wisdom and further indulged in audio recordings of his talks with fellow gurus in his

sphere of influence that helped him along the way. What a learning curve to realize we

can go from clock punching employees to a business owners and investor viewing

money as a means to an end and not as a god that rules our lives because we don’t

have any. But what won me most about Kyosaki’s leadership was that he teaches

making the Lord your business partner and being faithful to tithe and give of our profit

where others can benefit. Having the Lord as a Business Partner, that is the best

alliance I can imagine.

When we involve our Lord God, the One Who owns it all anyway, and humble ourselves

as a student of others far more advanced than we are, then we will know when to

venture out at the right time, in the right place, having done our calculated risk

assessment through due diligence, and can invest our energy, time, talent, and

resources to make a business everything our Father meant it to be.

Stay tuned for my upcoming series of blogs that will teach the next steps of advice in

order to create a million dollar business.

For hourly individual or project consulting services – feel free to contact me directly:

reann@reannring.com

ReAnn Ring

Consultant for Safire Productions

Founder of Fresh Press – II Kings 4:1-7

No This Is Not Photoshop

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FJohnKuckoDigital%2Fvideos%2F1853260368277844%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Photograph by John Kucko Digital A recent windstorm in freezing temperatures swept across Webster, New York earlier this month, causing a house on Lake Ontario to become entirely encased in ice. The amazing sight was captured by John Kucko Digital who shared the photos and videos (embedded below) on Facebook. They have since gone…

via Crashing Waves, Strong Winds and Freezing Temps Encase Home in Ice — TwistedSifter

Rare Recording of Details on Corrie ten Boom’s Life

April 1995, marks the date that the Lord spoke His words into my life and set a direction for the future where I would never be the same. Pam Rosewell Moore, pictured with me on the right in the photo included, was assistant, traveling companion and nurse to Corrie ten Boom for the last seven years of her life. That day in April when she spoke as keynote speaker about her own testimony, entitled, Safer Than a Known Way, of the blending of her calling of missions with service to Brother Andrew and Corrie, made an indelible impression on all of us.  It was that day that the Lord inscribed on the tablet of my heart a desire to serve Him wholly and without reserve when I heard His mind-bending whisper, “I have a plan for your life”.

Immediately after that conference, the weekend that changed absolutely everything, fast forward through 17 years to include myriads of studies in God’s Word as a student turned Bible teacher, speaker, entrepreneur, and television personality, never dreaming that the Lord was about to touch my inscribed heart of Corrie’s and Pam’s story, with an addendum of His will to serve Pam as her assistant. The Lord spoke again, almost out of nowhere, and said, “… go help her,” meaning Pam Moore and the ministry in which she now still operates.

Feeling unworthy of His call, and after a thorough search online, there popped into view contact information for Pam, and nearly four months later after much correspondence between us, I was slowly gleaning an idea how the Lord was asking me to help her. It became obvious that I was to be one of many to carry the torch of Corrie’s message forward blending my own calling now with serving Pam in the current status as her assistant. The assistant to the assistant to the Corrie ten Boom? Never dreamed it … Pam often speaks and shares her books on her own story and that of Corrie’s all over the country and the world, and, need I say, I absolutely adore this woman, love to travel with her, and beyond my ability to even know to pray for something like this in the way of work, God has unfolded His promise of the words He whispered to me so many years ago.

I was and am enthralled and humbled at the prospect of being a part of a ministry for several years now that has touched millions of lives since the post-Holocaust missionary Corrie’s story hit the scene with her books and film surrounding around the theme of The Hiding Place. If you, my reader, are not familiar with this story, I HIGHLY encourage you to look into Amazon for the book and film, and prepare yourself for a mammoth blessing! It’s one of the most highly anointed stories still bearing momentum and weight even now all of these years later. It’s timeless.

This past weekend in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Pam and I both attended a women’s conference where she shared her testimony and a glimpse of life with Corrie in front of an audience of hundreds. We receive inquiries from all over the world about the historical WWII survivor story as well as many stories people share that met, knew and loved the Ten Boom Family. Your’s truly had the blessed privilege to share a question and answer session with Pam on some of the amusing, painful, and most powerful inside details of Corrie’s life during that time they traveled and lived together all the way to the end of the journey. We hope this will answer many of the questions people have asked for so long. Enjoy our recorded session, and may you be greatly touched, as I was, on the work of the Lord that has influenced over 70 years of followers. It is my deepest joy to share what our God has given in order to carry the torch and pass it on to anyone who will listen. Click link: Pam Moore and ReAnn Ring

As an added note, if you would like to hear that very conference talk Pam did that we heard in 1995, the three part recording from the 1995 tape-to-cd-to mp3 copy of her testimony is included here. It’s the old school flip tape style so it has a shorter section that is part two from the back side of tape one, but you will hear the entirely of the message over the three links. Enjoy – you will be blessed!

SAFER THAN A KNOWN WAY PART ONE

SAFER THAN A KNOWN WAY – PART TWO

SAFER THAN A KNOWN WAY – PART THREE

pam-and-reann-speaking-mlc-cryder

15 Highlights from the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest — TwistedSifter

Last call for entries! Contest closes Friday November 4, 2016 National Geographic invites photographers from around the world to enter the 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year contest. The grand-prize winner will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions and two 15-minute image portfolio reviews with National…

via 15 Highlights from the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest — TwistedSifter

To Married Men Who Cheat

WHERE IT ALL STARTS

All too often – married life has not turned out like couples had hoped it would. With the shortchange of dreams of happily ever after due to growing unforeseen conflict we find ourselves wondering what we ever saw in the person to begin with, that we married. Everything from health problems, boredom, a sharp contrast of our interests that allow us to grow apart, perhaps the wretched painful effects of the death of a child or fertility issues, meddling toxic in-laws, spousal abuse on every level, secret addictions with alcohol, gambling, drugs, or sex or all of it, we face the disappointment that the safe place to call home with a supportive loving spouse took a sharp turn from our original vision.  Marriage has become more of an albatross with coping mechanisms rather than a support system, and our desire to communicate and be heard, respected, and loved, begins to take presidentes in our mind, as we feel completely robbed of the entire original vision of what we thought marriage would mean. It’s not long before the area of enriching satisfying intimacy tanks on every level, and the finality of when mutual respect evaporates invites in bitterness and a quiet sense of desperation and boredom become our daily mindset while boundary lines are diminishing and being crossed all over the place.. No, our happily ever after definitely did not shape up the way we wanted, and our eyes begin to focus on the unhappiness of the situation, rather than the God who heals, and that is when we begin to become vulnerable to the enemy’s wiles. Satan loves to demolish marriages and disperse the family into despair in all directions, so before you blink, that desire for fulfillment might be found in another woman.

Or perhaps in lieu of the items listed above, something far more surprising might happen in that men actually do enjoy their marital companion, but still, somewhere along the way, got caught up in the forbidden extra relationship. It might be that fresh face with an exciting personality during a mission trip with our church, that gorgeous woman with the intoxicating perfume that works around the corner at our place of business, or maybe a connection on social media with a long time ago high school girlfriend, and soon the mind wanders into an unfamiliar enticing territory that numbs the pain and boredom. For men, it becomes an allure to a desire for something sexually charged that brings the worst out of us. Happy or not inside of marriage, seeking acceptance and the spice of life you have been looking for, may seem like a promising new venture.

REALITY CHECK:

This is not an opportunity to shame males for falling into an affair or would-be affair, but simply a chance to share how it possibly could be perceived through the eyes of the woman who is pursued outside of the marriage nuptials. It’s a message with the modus operandi to help give greater insight for men from the perspective of the women he finds as a perfect candidate, no matter his circumstances, and possibly without initially even meaning for things to graduate to a place of no return in his relationship with someone else.

Before we continue, we are not talking from the perspective of an Alex character type from Fatal Attraction, a woman with a Jezebel spirit woefully abandoned to her own demise, partaking in a conscience-free seduction, but rather, more from the perspective of someone less dramatic; the unhappily married lady next door with the husband who travels a great deal and needs of help with her honey-do list, the hot new face on social media that you spotted in a comment on a friend’s page, a high school acquaintance, a business connection at work, a child’s teacher,  an energetic fresh face at church deeply devoted to ministry work.

Before long, you are making the attempt to keep in contact with prospective women, exchanging phone numbers or emails, with the interactions culminating into a more interpersonal level with sharing things about your work, highs and lows of the day, and common interests. You find her exciting and mysterious and wanting to lure her into a more racy level of bantering in order to see how far this might satisfy the curiosity you have testing to see if she actually might have an adventurous wild side she is keeping under wraps until pursued.

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

It might surprise a man how a lady truly feels about passes and suggestions to toy with the danger of an affair, even if it’s just pushing the line of safe boundaries with a long time “friendship”. A woman not looking for a man to fix her needs or to partake in a side venture from a pure and upright walk, could be found as even more of a challenge, and what an incredible rush to actually see someone who never would normally indulge in such a sin, finally break down, and join you on this path of  choice. If she is of good moral character, that makes her even more alluring, slowly pushing through the barriers of the defensive wall of decency, that gives a man a new unchartered territory to conquer.

The harmless initial conversations have now been exchanged with wandering far and away into the forbidden territory and now you are in it, looking over your shoulder, deleting messages so no one finds them, sneaking around, longing, wanting, wishing, plotting and more. At this point, perhaps even both of you are dealing with the guilt and shame mixed with excitement of not getting caught, which only plays more heavily into the cycle of how it all repeats. The satisfaction of lust, all the more exquisite, as you feel alive, wanted, and appreciated more than ever before. The delight of the way it fills the bill, seems to offer promise of more of the same down the line if you continue in never getting caught.

Or, does it?

In reality, someone along the way is going to want more – and usually the woman. She wants a committment and will struggle to understand why a man plays the field if he is so unhappy in his status quo or even volatile and painfilled marriage. More often than not, something happens regardless of the exquisite promise of a new venture for your love life, in that in the end up – men often end up staying married to the original partner. The wanna-be new life starts to become the center of procrastination and excuses and before too long, your lover realizes, regardless of the loving exaltation, that she was used for something vastly in contrast to what the Word of God ever meant for a woman and was strung along to become another statistic in the world of affairs.

Emotional ties to someone your heart is not truly committed to, will yield to the fact that some day, someone is going to get burned, usually the woman, who looks far beyond the physical connection, and ties her value to how noncommittal the male lover is to her, as if an affair could offer a promising future of security anyway, be it that it’s birthed in a sinful time frame.  The other issue is, the wife may soon find out through a process of discovery, feeling devastated beyond remedy, children in the marriage are thrown into  chaos, and life as we knew it, is a bundle of disarray, raw emotions, and total uncertainty.

I also want to address the men who pursue other women and hide the very fact that they are even married, say it’s done through an online dating site. The level of energy it takes to juggle and hide each relationship from the other, must become quite exhausting in the over all scheme of managing and weaving tales. Whatever the issues that supplied a set up for a new romance, you now have a side relationship that appears to be a safe secure haven that engages your interests, emotions, and physical desires and yet hiding the fact of an existing marriage is far more of a cowardly act than one might like to admit. Even lying that your marriage is far worse off than it is, is also a way of seducing by way of deception.

As strange as it sounds to quote Bob Marley, but oh so true, “the biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her”, be it your wife that was promised “for better or worse” that you have cheated on for whatever the reason may be, or the one whom you have stirred into an emotional commitment to love you outside of your marriage, yet, knowing full well, you are not able to be faithful to either party. To entice another soul to fill the void, sooth your pain, knowing very well, everyone is denying the reality of a sad ending. It’s wickedly unfair to have lured an unsuspecting soul into a web of deceit to begin with – hence why the Word of God in Proverbs 1 discusses the sheep led to the slaughter and the fool who partakes in joining his soul to another person outside of marriage. Even if you have had a rare exception of happiness in an affair that ended up working out in the long run, no matter what, you live with the stigma of an affair in your present and past. Those infractions are rarely forgotten and go down in the historical account by family, children, and certainly the ex-spouse and both sides of your world, your’s and her’s ,will whisper of the truth of it, for quite some time.

Personally, having been the unwilling party on the receiving end of this type of pursuit in my history, I have found it completely cheap and disheartening to even be viewed in the most minor way as a surrogate wife to a married man. It short changes everything the Word of God says is pure and honorable of marriage, and towards women as a whole. Having experienced these passes of married men, men in the church especially,  who want a potential rendezvous, I have found the words they use as empty and nothing more than a smoke screen for what is going on in a broad range internally andcertainly would never promise a fulfilling future. Having the opportunity to be his cherished one and only one day seems quite ridiculous especially if he can’t cherish the one and only he is with currently.

LISTEN UP LADIES

Ladies, if you are reading this message, you know very good and well, that if he cheats with you, he will cheat on you. There are better ways to live on this earth, other than playing the game of being the one he hides and lies about in his world. If you are damaged goods by other men, do know that all be it rare, there are Godly men that will protect your achilles heal of past hurts, rather than exploit and use and become an added feature of even deeper scars on your soul.

Affairs, even if never carried fully into fruition of the actual act of full on sex, carries with it the surefire way to fail and be used. I resent men to the nth degree who think I would find their advances, of all things, flattering, knowing it could cost him and me everything, plus perpetuate generational sins already established rather than being the ones that are the catalyst to break that cycle.  Is the reality of all of this really supposed to be a turn on? As it looks, it’s a simple short fix that will amount to nothing more than a need for another fix.

Where are the real mean out there with backbone and inner strength who willfully decide to go the distance?

WHAT ABOUT YOUR HER?

A new-found secretive relationship could cost your partner in the affair everything , as there is no escaping the fact you both made decisions to act in this, unless it’s a girlfriend you hid the fact from that you are married. The fact a man would dull his own conscience to his marriage and the heart crush it would cause his wife, the price tag for his children, and the usery of the other ladies he chases, tells me volumes more about his lack of character than anything else. These actions help fuel the Gloria Steinem mentality that spews bitter hatred and self-righteous this and that, due to the inability to deal with and heal from pain with an attempt to guard and protect themselves from men they have labeled as “evil preying cheating monsters”.

Hey guys, let’s take a look at what women really want. We women need honorable men in our world. I, personally, want a safe covering for my life in the form of a faithful husband. Affairs dilute the institution of sacredness toward marriage as a whole, and for those in waiting for God’s very best like myself, failure to secure the borders against infidelity gives us one more reason to be disappointed in men and diminishes hope that there will ever be a “real man” that can be found anywhere in sight. Any more, it’s rare to find any man who hasn’t cheated somewhere in his lifetime.  The days of men protecting a woman’s honor, seems to have all but disappeared and is now used as a theme brought into films on the screen as an antiquated romantic ideal.

HOW IT WAS MEANT TO BE

People also forget the blessing that comes from the Lord by waiting on Him, for the best person, and in the sexual realm, keeping things pure before marriage and during marriage. There is a reward that comes from two people who truly work at making a long-term commitment priority and surrender the coping methods they have been using to the Lord, and allow Him to do the repair work needed and guiding into a renewed respect for the original spoken promises in our vows. It’s also the finest and the best of two people making a decision to marry, to marry the right person, at the right time for the right reasons. Oh the issues of life that could be avoided, if we prayed first, waited on the Lord for His best, and then proceeded into a life of blessings, rather than the constant challenges that marriages bring when not done in His will, with patience and a true reality check of what we bring to the table in the matrimonial world.

So let’s figure out where you are right now by answering these questions:

How does disobeying the Lord in the first place ever seem to assure a blessing in the long run?

Did you marry the wrong woman in a hurry due to lust and now there are great regrets shopping around outside of your marriage to see what it could have been?

When did respect for each other die in the way of protecting purity of another human being not to mention for yourself?

I personally love it when a man shows a serious level of maturity by realizing what is best for a lady, his own, and others. He opens the door for women, knows what good moral code is, and protects himself from his own weaknesses, even if the other party could never appreciate it. He will flee from the Jezebels that do indeed exist, and in contrast, also understands that if a vulnerable side of woman appears, it’s his duty and place to protect that by simply walking away, instead of maneuvering into a place to take advantage.Yes, she needs to guard herself as well, and as obvious in the situation, two people need to play the role of mature adults and simply flee from the temptation.

If he is my brother in Christ and knows better, and if you lady reading this know better, than why do we push the envelope into the affair level thinking it will ever bring a promise of a stable future more soundly than where we find ourselves now? It’s a lie from the Enemy to set one up for certain disaster.

If I were married, you are toying with another man’s territory, and if I am not, you are treading in the area of that of a future husband and the daughter of the King. Even if you dream of being that future spouse for a new lady, what kind of courtship is that – to be romancing someone while you are betraying your current vows, no matter what the excuse?

To add insult to injury, there is also nothing like the object of a husband’s affection that will guarantee the fury more of an anguished jilted and justifiably angry wife. Your other woman, will be regarded as the seducing villain, the enemy forever in the story, with no recourse, for no one can ever repair the feeling of being “less than”, than a wife that has been cheated on. This is one wound only the Lord Himself can heal.  And please, don’t tell me sir that you are totally forthright with your wife after being caught, only to lay a large amount of blame on the woman you had the affair with or almost affair with … because somehow she gets thrown under the bus no matter if she did or didn’t do a single thing to encourage your desire. Don’t blame your wife either for your stepping into infidelity.

Still feeling enticed to cheat?

What about our children? It sets up a major role model for our children to look up to and they will find themselves knowing that there is a higher standard to wait for in a husband. It’s about self respect as well and the best way to love a child, is to treat their mother with the highest level of integrity.

IS IT TOO LATE?

You may have already been there and done that, way past the point of no return, never having dreamed of having an affair, or even another affair, possibly wrestling with a huge sexual addiction, and are now standing in a position that makes you wonder how in the world this whole thing started. You are staying in a heavily broken and strained marriage by choice in the aftermath, or even ransacked by divorce proceedings, bank account drained, reduced to seeing your children every other weekend, or even more of a dagger in the heart, your children have decided not to have anything to do with you. Your job is in question, and if in ministry, you know full well this could and probably has cost you everything you ever worked for over the years.  And let’s not forget, perhaps an unplanned pregnancy or a surprise venereal disease pops into the scenario for you both to have to deal with the rest of your lives. The gift that keeps on giving. Plus this as well, what about the unbeliever or weak in faith who is watching, thirsty to see if anyone truly lives an authentic Christian life – how about what they perceive in the body of Christ to be true and dependable?

Let’s see first how the dynamic of infidelity is a set-up from the origin, and learn how to avoid the perfect storm of lies from the evil one before it ever hits – that faulty promise that the grass is greener on the other side. Marriage was never meant to fill what only God could fill. That should be the beginning of baby steps toward understanding the Lord is the only and all fulfilling God and marriage is a GIFT and a commitment between two very imperfect people. Everyone woman can produce a vulnerable side, and if inspected long enough you will find her weaknesses and strengths,  what makes her laugh and delights her heart, those areas which men are often all too familiar with – the way of her wounds and needs and past issues that she carries into her present. Isn’t that what attracted you to your wife? So when you see it as an attraction to a new person, it’s the same pattern of setting one up for emotional ties not meant for any reason other than for marriage.

Often men experience that innate desire to either protect or exploit that Achilles Heal of a woman in “befriending” her as a brother, to fulfill her at least with words and encouragement to help her feel whole, only to find himself gradually falling into an unintentional desire for filling that role himself. She will respond to you one way or the other and may even fight you for a while, but if she doesn’t run from temptation, she soon moves closer to you in heart. It’s the thrill of the chase and winning her trust and affection that keeps you both coming back for more. It could also be that she seems quite stable in her ways, and that helps you feel whole and completed drawing from her strength where you can no longer look to your wife for support.

So one has to ask himself, did the affair of the heart start with the first glimpse of each other, or was it when you decided that it was each other’s responsibility to play the fixer upper?  If you can no longer fix your own, you mine as well divert your abilities onto a life that could appreciate it – right? And somebody had to make her aware of how smoking hot and desirable she is – so let it be you to do the task. You feel that she needs to understand that she “deserves to be loved and appreciated”.

Oh danger – danger! This is where we go from flattery to forgery of God’s call on her life. That is not anyone’s place to make a woman feel desirable but that of her husband alone. Your actions will woe her into falling in love and wanting you on a permanent basis and it is woefully unfair for you to truly have no intention of ever following through. This is why the Word of God says to “guard your hearts” (Proverbs 4:23). Even if you have not found yourself intertwined emotionally with a woman, you may feel that an on-line participation of a sexual nature, but no physical touching, is less threatening and more credible as the non-affair type of affair.  However, let this be a glaring reality for all to know, cheating is cheating, no matter how you slice it.

We can dissect an even deeper truth of the vows you willingly took on your wedding day. You took the time to consider your wife, to court her, and convene with her in marriage, for better and for worse.  You are in it, although bored, restless, and wandering, feeling unloved and unconnected, feeling a fresh new face could fool you into thinking that this is the answer, even if just for a temporary fix. But beware, every relationship dynamic has areas that need to be examined, and carrying old baggage into the new, complicated by the very real fact this is an affair, can rarely ever transpire into something promising for the long haul. I will never understand why a man who wants to play the field, decides to marry and stays in it, and justifies all day long running around behind the backs of those that trust him the most. All of it, can go up in smoke with one phone call, a picture for evidence, or text copy – living on the edge of disaster smacks of nothing more than immaturity in character at its worst.

Are the Ten Commandments no longer applicable to adultery? The answer to that is an unequivocal NO. Those virtues of the standard of living in the Word of God,  in Exodus and Proverbs, and more, explains the consequences of this danger over and over again and prove to be right on the money for the 21st century beings we are today. It can and will cost more for the undertaking of it, than anyone ever could have prepared themselves to pay. The Lord put these rules of conduct into place in order to help His children avoid pain and disaster and never for the reason of causing you to live a life that is less than. 

Before you justify your actions to get your needs met outside of your consecrated vows, as yourself how adding another relationship into the equation help the matter?  If you are truly ending your  marriage, then take time to pray and seek Christ, and give yourself time to heal before entanglement with another potential divorce set up with a new person. Do you really want a healthy marriage as it is? Then give it all you have got. And if you do end things, don’t play around for the mean time.

Paul said it best in I Corinthians 7,  that in marriage, there will be “trouble” and that he was trying to “spare them” from that pain and derailment to their walk with God. Part of the subliminal footnote I feel Paul intended in that passage conveys that two imperfect people with a sin nature, enter into marriage and then place the other person in the marriage responsible for all of their needs to be met, and to make all of their dreams come true. I have had enormous pain just in the dating relationships, with “men of God” who most certainly would have been a disaster to have married. It’s pretty much curbed my appetite for ever wanting marriage and provides one fact I can rest upon: never married, never divorced, either.

Marriage is an ideal place to find out how giving or selfish we can ultimately be with another person, and the expectation levels we put on each other are far from the ability any human being could ever endeavor to meet, which leads to the obvious and highly expected let down that ensues. After all marriage is about how we can evolve in Christ together as a team, and not about how we can tear each other apart with the microscope looking for “the answer”. God never intended for it to be the whole picture for happiness, but rather a place where “iron sharpens iron” according to Proverbs 27:17, and for the sake of ministering to each other and with each other for those around you. If one falls down the other can pull them up for two are better than one as depicted in Ecclesiastes 4. It’s to glorify the Lord in the way Christ gave Himself up for His bride, the church as her Husbandmen, and for the wife to honor that role and that man. Remember, Jesus never cheats on His bride and she has certainly been a handful for him for centuries now.

Wives, you as well can play party to the problem of a cheating husband. Maybe you have worked as hard as you can on your relationship, slowly let down over time, by the reveal that the man you loved was not the man you thought you loved. But what if you helped set up this disadvantage for what is now a reality – did you happen to ignore the signs of what was coming?  Did that bitterness and the put downs, the male slamming and bickering happen to lead to a place over the years that your husband just got tired of the stress and felt driven away? Did you refuse counseling? Did you know better than to marry that guy that possibly was unfaithful before you said those nuptials thinking you could change him? Did you marry just to marry or escape another situation only to realize you two were not a life long match? Did you stop being a friend to him, and dismiss intimacy, and became the mother rather than the wife in the marriage? Do you hold past hurts from things of your childhood and other men in your life over your husband’s head as if he needs to pay the price for all of humanity? How about putting a leash on your spouse, did you think pulling him in tighter to your control was the answer? All of this is as self-serving as it can get.

“Perfect love casts out all fear” as I John 4:18 says, but that perfect love needs to be established carefully, with mutual agreement, done over time, and with open and honest transparency. Even if one person is working it harder than the other, at least they know they can put their head on their pillow at night knowing they are doing all things possible to make things work. But if all things are operating out of fear, it will serve as a sinking ship for the bottom of the abyss.

Men are visual, they like to be nurtured, we all like to be nurtured – yes, men, we women desperately need that as much as you do, and when we can’t deepen the communication and be respectful in our quest to get things out on the table for healing and counsel, we heighten the danger for either one in the marriage to seek solace elsewhere. Dr. Henry Wright, a champion on spiritual roots of healing in the ministry God gave him, points out many issues that are given for health problems due to lack of nurturing from those we are to receive it from, even including marriage. Check out his amazing ministry at http://www.beinhealth.or.

Men, do you put down your wives in the company of friends to fit in with their attitude? Does she feel valued, adored, needed, and protected? Have you set her up to feel bitter against you? And that thing we think is “harmless” with flirting, is absolutely untrue. For the small violation of trust with flirting with another, means a larger violation of trust is imminent. Flirting can turn into an all out affair and it is painfully disrespectful to your spouse. Caring, God-seeking friends – won’t set each other up for a fall into sin – so making someone who is a friend an object of your flirtation, can be a very dangerous risk.  One of the things we subliminally wish for in seduction is that even though the girl you are chasing may love the Lord and want total commitment to Him, we want her to respond. She is human, and can fall, so when a man who knows better, looks for insecurities, plays on emotions, trying to slowly diminish the boundary lines of what was once – taboo, and justifies his actions due to his miserable emptiness in his marriage, it creates a total breach of safety for all, and Satan sees that nothing and no one is off-limits. The key isn’t the empty marriage, it’s the emptiness within the people themselves.

The good news is, the Lord has equipped us fully and completely with the ability to be filled with His knowledge by His word, flee immorality, clean up our mind, cling to His Word, and learn from other’s mistakes or our own. One has to be on guard, instant in season and out, and it’s the toughest lesson to learn that the enemy of our souls plants his wiles among the pews and in ministries even outside the church walls, in businesses, and anywhere that people have to interact and where the Holy Spirit dwells. Target practice is common place especially if believers are not on guard. And honestly, I would rather see a cordial end to a marriage that is simply out of fuel, both parties completely spent and done, LONG before one tries out another new relationship, and only then, after a time of counseling and reflection. We don’t want a repeat of what just happened.

Again, my goal is not to berate, but simply to paint a sobering picture and provide a checklist in the mind for future reference that will give you guys something incredibly profound to consider before deciding to open the door to share intimacy with another woman.  The Scripture verse Hebrew 13:4 that says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous,” bears some pretty heavy weight with it and seems rather terrifying to someone who knows that unless they repent of this, get the help they need, and fall headlong into the Lord’s ability to heal, there is a sobering expectation in the long run. It’s even worse, when one does know that truth and still chooses to defy God’s warning.

Let’s look at the fact that there is hope, if two shall agree to get the help they need to safeguard against adultery, or the repeat of adultery. Infidelity, sin, for whatever reason, in whatever form, will never produce the righteousness of God. In the meantime, let’s do our best to remember that truth of the matter and work to overcome the desire to cause another one to stumble along with us. To finish off my ending note, what can we do to prevent a disaster and unwanted outcome in marriage, and when do men need to know that professional Godly counsel is in order to prevent further damage …

Checklist:

  1. For men and for women – do I need to get counseling in my marriage even if I am doing it alone? Do I have a sexual addiction? (There are volumes of places to help with this.)
  2. Do I spend time flirting with the opposite sex calling it harmless, and even convincing myself that this flattery is making them feel worthy and needed?
  3. Do I have a history of infidelity and should I avoid certain types of women that may trigger a desire to step out on my marriage? Should I really be on social media, or stay in the same realm of work on that floor of the church, with “her”?
  4. Am I calloused to my spouses needs and have I become less and less convicted about the idea of cheating? Wives are you pushing your man away and berating him with a honey-do list and income as his means of existence for you?
  5. Am I spending time in God’s Word daily and pursuing the heart the of the Lord to prevent issues even in thought, that could lead to infidelity?
  6. Is my marriage truly over? Have I tried everything to make it work, and have I been totally transparent with my spouse that temptation sits at the door if we don’t work on things together?
  7. Did I see some warning flags with my spouse before I married them? Could I have prevented heartache ahead of time? Was she cheating with you and now she is cheating on you? Were you the one cheating and thinking the next marriage would fix whatever it was that was broken?
  8. Am I lying to myself that flirting with anyone, is harmless? ) All marital infidelity begins with flirting.)
  9. Do I really want to hurt someone I say I care for? My wife, the ministry, my children, the church body, unbelievers who are looking for hope, and the other woman I encounter?
  10. Are there generational issues of infidelity in my family that I need to be freed from? Can I truly be the one that breaks the line of the curse? Of course you can!

I pray for blessings on you as you read this and take it to heart. There are so many blessings when we ourselves remain personally healthy and attach ourselves to the same. The Lord has a great plan for you, according to Jeremiah 29:11-13, and that would include freeing you from the stronghold of infidelity. God bless you as you endeavor to overcome.

Suggested reading: The Fantasy Fallacy – Shannon Ethridge

Love