How Dr Myles Munroe Influenced My Marriage

On Sunday November 9, 2014,  the earth lost a great man, husband, father, teacher, and preacher to the masses, and heaven gained a faithful servant. It was reported that Dr Myles Munroe along with his wife, Ruth, and other ministry leaders were involved in a fatal airplane crash. All who were blessed with his teachings and infamous quotes are mourning this great loss. Prayers of comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding go out to his family, friends, and the entire Bahamian and Christian community.

Early on in my marriage, my husband and I got a hold of a 5-part marriage series taught by Dr Munroe, and God used that to open the eyes of our understanding on what it was to truly love unselfishly, give freely, and willingly compromise in order to have a fruitful and long lasting marriage. The best gift you can give your children is a happy marriage! I’d like to share with you 10 of those teachings & quotes that have stayed with us and have positively impacted our marriage. Dr. Myles Munroe, thank you for your obedience to your calling, for teaching us unabashedly about love, intimacy, and fulfilling the needs of your spouse. Heaven is celebrating!

HOW DR MYLES MUNROE IMPACTED MY MARRIAGE: 10 LESSONS & QUOTES THAT CHANGED OUR LIVES

  1. “God did not create woman from man’s head, that he should command her, nor from his feet, that she should be his slave, but rather from his side, that she should be near his heart.”
    ― The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage
  2. “Marital faithfulness involves more than just sexual fidelity. Being faithful to your wife also means defending her and affirming her beauty, intelligence, and integrity at all times, particularly before other people. Faithfulness to your husband means sticking up for him, always building him up and never tearing him down. Marital fidelity means that your spouse’s health, happiness, security, and welfare take a higher place in your life than anything else except your own relationship with the Lord.”
    ―  The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage
  3. “The number one need of a woman is affection. A woman doesn’t want affection, she needs it! Just like a car needs gasoline, a female needs affection. Affection is fuel to a woman’s tank.”  ―Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 1 of 5                                                                                                                           
  4. “A man is stimulated by what he sees. A woman is stimulated by what she hears. When a man sees a woman, it impacts him. When a woman hears a man, it impacts her. We are different creatures. Because of that a male has a natural desire to look for beauty. And he has a natural desire to want to protect what is his. Thus a desire to want something that is beautiful and worth protecting. He doesn’t want an attractive wife… He needs it! A man wants to be proud of his wife!” ―  Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 3 of 5
  5. “If you want a woman to function for you, be honest with her all the time and be open. Tell her everything that you need to tell her. Don’t ever tell any other woman something you didn’t tell your wife. Be honest with her. If you have a plan for business, tell your wife. She doesn’t want this,  she needs this.” ―  Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 3 of 5                                                                      
  6. “Jesus is the man. The church is the woman. The woman should be able to cast all her cares upon her husband.” ―  Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 3 of 5
  7. “Home is supposed to be a refuge for a man. A hiding place. Study your home. Is it a place your husband wants to stay and hide from the world? Do not make it a war zone! When he runs away from the world, home should be a hiding place.”  ― Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 4 of 5
  8. “A woman that is like a dripping faucet makes a man sleep on the roof. How does a woman destroy a man the bible says? With her own tongue.”   ― Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 4 of 5
  9. “A marriage and a family is like a business. A business operates on partnership and each spouse should give equal share to deposit into the general account. It doesn’t matter who makes more money.” ―Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 4 of 5
  10. “Your wife should never have to be under pressure to supply (provide). She needs financial stability.”  ― Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 5 of 5

***BONUS TIPS BY DR. MUNROE THAT WE LIVE BY!***

  • “A man doesn’t want respect. He needs it! A man does not need love. No where in the bible does it say a woman should love a man. Why? Because a man needs respect. A man interprets respect as love. Ephesians Chapt 5 says husbands love your wife. It never tells the woman to love the man. But it does say wives respect your husbands! How do you respect a man? Respect means to speak highly of. To hold in high regard. To praise. Here’s whats hurting in the church. Wives respect their pastor more than they respect their husbands. You are not married to your pastor.”                                          ― Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 5 of 5
  • “If your car needs gas, you go to a gas station and the station is closed. What do you do? You go to another station. Women, put a sign up that says “always open”. A man doesn’t want to fight for sex with his wife!”                                                                                                                  ― Understanding Men and Women’s Needs Pt 5 of 5

Which tips do you identify with the most? For my husband and I, its definitely the issue of properly expressing love, affection, and respect.

I pray that these profound and biblical marriage principles taught by Dr Myles Munroe will be the tools needed to reignite the fire, reestablish the principles of love, affection, and intimacy, and ultimately help you sustain joy and marital bliss. In Jesus Name!

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 25-33 (NIV)

My Three Sons

I’d like to introduce some of you to these kids, my boys, my three sons. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my 3rd son that I became aware that there was a TV show called My Three Sons that aired from1960-1972. I would be walking around with two toddler boys and a big bulging belly, and I would get approached by women in their 50s and 60s and wonder if I’m finally getting my girl, and when I say no its another boy, they squeal and say “oh! My Three Sons!” and I politely smile and nod in confused agreement, and in my head I’m like huh? Ok! And then it kept happening and someone finally said oh there was a sitcom in the 60’s! My Three Sons!  Photo below, funny!

Image of My Three Sons I found on google images.
Image of My Three Sons I found on google images.

So let me tell you about MY three sons. First there is Jabin (Jay-bin). He has always had a very mature, responsible nature. He can definitely get silly and make us roar with laughter, but for the most part, I describe Jabin as my intelligent know it all. He reminds me of myself! He loves learning new things and is so proud to display his knowledge when quizzed. He gets frustrated when he doesn’t pick things up quickly, but then there are also times when he just rolls with being silly and wants no part in doing homework, and his neck cranes for the den, itching to watch an episode of Power Rangers, but it has to be Power Rangers Megaforce. Or else, we gotta problem Houston! He is the best big brother a mommy could ask for… well most of the time. Sometimes I catch him strategically planting his leg in front of his little brother’s walking path and giggling with delight when they don’t see his trap he set out to trip them and make them fall flat on their faces. He thinks its funny… and I threaten to beat him each time. He stopped. LOL Jabin is also uber dramatic. He can cry in .5 seconds flat. And not just any ol’ tears. Fat, crocodile tears.  See exhibit A. *this will be deleted as soon as he is old enough to read this blog on his own*

 

He was smiling one second, and crying the next. Record-time cryer here!
Exhibit A: He was smiling one second, and crying the next. Record-time cryer here!
Couldn't do my boy like that, here's a happy photo too! HA!
Couldn’t do my boy like that, here’s a happy photo too! HA!

Then there’s Caleb, my middle child who was born with the fireworks on Memorial Day in 2011. This kid is downright cluelessly hilarious. He doesn’t try to be funny, he just is. He is wild, has selective hearing, boyishly curious, and so so sweet. He’s the kid that looks at his older brother with puppy dog eyes and says “I luv you JayJay!” and when Jabin in turn just looks at him and turns his head, he patiently repeats, “JayJay, I luv you.” And I’m watching them in my rearview mirror, heart swelling at the loving exchange between my two oldest boys, and then when I notice Caleb’s cheeks drooping and bottom lip poking out because Jabin didn’t return an “I love you” back, I meet Jabin’s eyes and stergently (a mix between stern and gentle…basically you better do as I say) say “Jabin! Tell your brother you love him!” and Jabin tries to hide his smile and finally says it back through tight lips and older brother nonchalance…you know that air that says “you are little and annoying but I tolerate you”.

But Caleb is not always my sweet, loving, middle child. He calls everybody Booty Heads and Butt Heads…and I mean everybody. I remember a time he called a complete stranger at Target a booty head, but he did so in that way where he smiled at her as he said it, as if he was giving her the best compliment his little mind could come up with. Thankfully, she was older and couldn’t quite make out what he said. And I’m that mom that was chastising out loud but my inner self was rolling with laughter. Please tell me I’m not alone…. you know, when it takes everything within you to not bust out laughing at your children’s badness. Oh, and lets not forget about the time when he stared at an older African American lady, who admittedly had very hard features. We were in the check out line, and he stared and stared, as if trying to figure her out. He finally said, “are you a boy?” and I almost choked on my Starbucks coffee. “Caleb, come here honey! Caleb!!!”  I call out. But he stood and stared. The older hard looking lady leans in and says “what you say babaaayy?” in a perfect old lady shaky voice. Caleb remained planted in his staring stance, and started to repeat “are you a boy?” but i finished my red card Target swipe and made it in time to save myself! But the 20-something-year-old male cashier we had got an earful, and his eyes were sparkly with humor and the ends of his mouth twitched with the threat that there was a deep bubble of laughter lodged in his belly that desperately wanted out. We exchanged guilty smirks, and I hustled them kids out of there as fast as I possibly could!

Caleb aka CayCayBoy!
Caleb aka CayCayBoy!

Now on to my sweet baby boy Elijah! He’s only 14 months now, so he’s still sweet…most of the time. He’s in that stage where he loves to kiss, and he gives the cutest little pucker upper you’d ever see! No one can deny kissing him! At family gatherings you may even see a line or two of all the little cousins lined up just to see Eli pucker up for them.

He’s also a mommas boy, who can’t quite talk and who’s tantrums are still minimal. This is my boyyyyy right now! When the other two are at each others throats and crying over who’s kicked who in the throat (true story), this little gooey toddler just holds fast to my leg, looks up at me with those big surprised like pretty eyes, and reaches out with a “mum!” And I smile, ignore the other two, and pick him up and cuddle. See Exhibit B taken on his 1 year birthday!

Sweet baby Eli
Exhibit B: My sweet boy!

But I’m afraid that life with brothers has already started to plant seeds of mischief in his little spirit. He will walk up to Jabin and Caleb when they are quiet and peaceful, and open hand slap them right on the head and await their reaction with absolutely no expression on his face. Or pinch them on their belly while their shirts are off, and even pinch their “wee-wee” when they are preparing to get in the tub. Or stare right at my husband, swipe him upside his head and reach back for me. I secretly like when he does that though, shhhh (stalker moms unite!). But raising three boys, Elijah has surprised us with being the first one to scare the living daylights out of me at such a young age. I expect toddlers to swipe all of the DVD’s out of the cabinets multiple times a day, and I even expect to see them climb on top of a chair or even a table here and there. But never did I expect to see him strategically unlock the oven door, stand on top of it, and play with the burners! OOOOOMG! My heart stopped! But why is he so cute?! See Exhibit C. Its probably not a good idea to get him out of the oven and then kiss him huh? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Elijah standing on the oven and scaring mommy!
Exhibit C: Elijah standing on the oven and scaring mommy!

These are small little descriptions of my little knuckle head boys, my three sons. They keep me on my toes, they make me laugh, they bring me to my knees in prayer, and I worship the Lord even deeper because of their being. ..most of the time its with a soul cry of “Lord help meeeeee!” but….whatever it takes right? hahaah

What are some of your funny stories of or with your kiddies? Post below I’d love to chuckle with you!

In The Beginning

Before there was My Life With These Kids, there was just us… Red & Steph, Steph & Red, our little version of Love & Basketball, except football is more appropriate.

Red, the little boy from Mrs. Timney’s 5th grade class, quietly reserved, popular without trying, naturally athletic, and graceful. Strange to describe an 11 year old boy as graceful, but he just was. He was polite, never used bad language like the rest of the little bad boys, he displayed manners, he never acted out in class for the sake of a laugh or a “class clown” title. He just was.  Quiet, attentive, observant, cool with confidence, and charmingAnd the boy they called Red, whom his mom named Jermaine (yes, after Jermaine Jackson – blank stare), had a crush on me! I never would have known had it not been for his mom visiting our classroom one spring afternoon in 1992. The sun was glaring through the classroom windows, and us students were jittery with the excitement that warm weather and spring and almost summer time brings! His mother chatted with Mrs. Timney, and then her eyes scanned the room as she asked, “which one of you is Stephanie?”

Let me describe Ruthie for you. My now mother in law. She is LOUD. LOL super nice, vibrant, and LOUD. To say she has a big personality is an understatement. Her personality is huge. So picture a shy 5th grade little girl, getting singled out by the loud vibrant mother of the cute, big brown-eyed, coolly confident boy in class who has never even talked to you. I was kinda scared! But I slowly raised my hand, and watched her eyes land on me. She gave me a big smile and proclaimed, “oh! That’s who my son likes. Cute little girl!” I’m sure Red would have liked to melt in the wooden floor at that very moment, but he remained silent, and the only indication that he was embarrassed was seen through him biting his lower lip.

And that’s how Red & Steph, the story of “us”, began! We took 5th grade graduation photos together, he chased me around on the playground during recess, we went to Washington Jr High School together, and it was in the 6th grade that my father first learned of some boy named Red. He knew because I shared a room with my older sister, Tres, and we had the privilege of having our own phone line way back in 1992! Now that was high class! But anyways, our family was eating dinner, and for some reason, my little irritating brother, Solomon, heard our room phone ring, answered it, and came bouncing down the stairs with excitement yelling “oooohhhh daddddyyy! Its a boy on the phone for Stephhhhhhh!!!”

My dad and I simultaneously jumped from the table, my dad racing up the stairs toward our bedroom, with me close behind, already dreading the impending doom I was facing.  He reached the phone, and spoke with disdainful authority “who is this! how did you get my daughter’s  phone number! She does not receive boy phone calls, do not call back!” Me, heart pounding and ready to choke the living daylights out of Solomon who I named “Man” as a 17 month old toddler because I couldn’t pronounce his name. And Man in return looking back at me and giggling his little annoying little brother laugh.

But, that was the beginning. We snuck and talked on the phone over the course of 4 years until my dad realized he could not not let me talk to Red on the phone. There were times I wrote Red letters, three to be exact, and broke up with him because he was still too shy to talk to me, but then we always found our way back “going together” somehow. We had our first, disgusting kiss right by my locker in the 6th grade (btw, reflecting on my 11 year old self kissing is really making me shake my head). In my head it was supposed to be a scene from The Young & The Restless (a soap opera I was forbidden to watch…but no one was home after school to stop me lol), but instead, after it was over I raced outside and spit in the grass, scraping my tongue with my finger nails, hoping to erase what had just happened. But….that was just the beginning. We’ve had plenty of practice over the years, hehe.

Red & Steph at 8th grade prom, in my Gantos dress.
Red & Steph at 8th grade prom, in my Gantos dress.

Today, I am sitting here thinking about our beginning, and I have flashes of memories in my mind that include the many football games and glorious days as Red as the most highly recruited HS football player in the midwest, him attending the prestigious all-boys catholic school while I’m at one of the city’s 2 high schools (Go Chiefs!), sharing our first “I love you” during our senior year, going to college together at the University of Michigan (he could have went anywhere…but HE followed ME to Michigan … what a stalker :0 ), the days we hung out on campus with his fellow football buddies, us taking catechism together at the church I grew up in (Straight Gate in the house!), him taking me back to Webster Elementary where we began and asking for my hand in marriage. I said “yes” on Saturday, August 9th, 2006, and we said “I Do” on Saturday, June 16th, 2007.  Our first dance was to “I Gotta Be” by Jagged Edge, and we’ve been doing our best to be that and more ever since.

After we said "I Do!"
After we said “I Do!”

Jermaine Maurice Gonzales, better known as Red, has been my everything. He is my first and only love, the one I can share my insecurities and fears with, the one that has taught me to give compassionately, the one who outside of my family, has given me unconditional love. He is hardworking, and so charming that once one is in his presence and engaged with him, they leave feeling like they just found their new BFF.  He loves the Lord, and you will hear him banging out to Christian rappers like Lecrae, Da Truth, and Bizzle on any given day. The one that picked up where my parents left off and enjoyed making me happy and giving me some of my heart’s desires. Three of those heart’s desires are little versions of him. Jabin Jermaine, Caleb Jermaine, and Elijah David Jermaine Gonzales. Our sons.  All two years apart.

And that’s how I am blessed to be before you today, and share with you the heart bursting love, joy, ups and downs, victories and frustrations, spiritual journey, of My Life With These Kids. I am so excited that this will be a place for me to share, encourage, uplift, and inspire like so many of you have done for me. Sure I will share the funny stories, the Caleb-isms (my Facebook family knows about these), but I will also delve a little deeper into topics and issues that God has laid on my heart regarding raising a Christian family, having all boys, finances, maintaining a prosperous marriage, health & wellness, and so much more.

Me with my first born, Jabin!
Me with my first born, Jabin!
Me with my 2nd born-Caleb!
Me with my 2nd born-Caleb!
Me with my 3rd son, Elijah aka Eli!
Me with my 3rd son, Elijah aka Eli!

I have to admit, I was so fearful to start a blog, because there are so many genius blogs out there, blogs that have made me ugly cry, gut laugh, and hold my head higher with inspiration. But there is always room for one more. Because I know that my desire and gift to write will make room for me (Proverbs 18:16). Until next time! Muah!