Hmmm…So folks believe going to a member of the clergy before marriage, 1-3 times, is premarital counseling. Ohh…ok.

Even in a marriage, pot holes can be in found on religious roads. Sunday, we met with a couple planning to divorce, but wanted know how to incorporate religious tenements, co-parenting, a realistic divorce timeline and do all of it around the pending end of a rental lease. We presented the real and raw conditions of the mess they got themselves in, what could be done to remain in the dwelling while working on the marriage with us and meet their religious conditions. BOOM!

And what did they say? “Our (religious leader) did not tell us any of this…”

We weren’t surprised. The clergy gives religious and spiritual advice, as they should. The clergy doesn’t always dig deep enough to learn, “Is what I’m saying applicable and realistic for this person/couples life…Can they do this in real time?”

No. But we do.

Most who go to the clergy rarely get premarital counseling. The premarital advice may be sound and be a guide to a paved road to GLORY!
If we had a brick for every couple in marriage counseling with us who had been to “premarital counseling” with their pastor or imam, we could rebuild the yellow brick road!

THE HIM & I created & teach our own 6-week, State of Georgia-approved, premarital course covering eight “I-Didn’t-Even-Think-About-That” areas.  But for right now, we’re gonna give you some premarital info to help you navigate these heart highways:

1. Don’t go to premarital counseling because you PLAN to marry. 👰🏽🤵🏻Use premarital counseling to decide if ya’ll SHOULD marry each other.

2. Don’t wait until you have a wedding date, cake, dowry & the giggles to set up premarital counseling. If you do, you want premarital advice, not premarital counseling. There’s a difference! You can get good advice from a member of the clergy, married mentor or an elder. With premarital counseling, ya’ll may change or cancel that date!

3. Do not lie or embellish the truth to prevent heartache or out of fear someone won’t marry you if they know learn a previously unknown truth about you. Divorce causes more pain. 😔

4. Accept recommendations given by the premarital counselor. If you know you ain’t trying to hear it 🚫& your mind is made up, really think this through. Real talk…counseling is not meant to tell you what to do. You’re grown! However…a counselor isn’t there to lie to you because you paid them either. At least THE HIM & I don’t…

5. Know you may learn surprising 😳😔😖 information about the other person in the premarital process. Use a counselor who provides individual sessions, for each of you, so you can recover from the shock attacks you may get on the heart highway!

6. Be open! Don’t limit your thinking. Limited thinking limits your options! And we’ll guide you to the doors of LOVE Thang opportunities!  You deserve a solid plan for a happy marriage.

Believe it. Act like it. Hook up right before marrying wrong!

THE HIM & Naa’ila
“Ossie & Ruby Dee of Marriage Counseling”

Way too much relevance has been given to the influence, roll and influence of the world, social media, technology and all forms of media.
But we’re letting a greater source of power in your daughter’s life off the hook. You don’t want to do that and leave a stone unturned. This rock may be the one to hold your daughter down or to flip her over.
Mothers, that rock is YOU!

Listen to the whispered secrets, girl confessions and hurts young girls have shared with Naaila.
And then, make the change with your daughter today.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you sat in discomfort when He didn’t answer your prayer right away.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you went back to school and you trusted He’d pay the tuition.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you got the divorce because He never told you to marry that person, but He allowed you to.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you didn’t defend your child because your child needed that lesson.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you took care of your mother by yourself and watched other family members walk away.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you left that job cause it was never good for your faith and He pays your bills.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you took care of your health because your body deserves honor.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

When you stayed up at night crying and praying, He knew you knew loving Him is #squadGoals.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

Hard moments and hard choices can bring God closer even when it doesn’t feel like it.
We’ll believe it for you until you can. 

You don’t get to choose your relatives. For some folks, you would UN-choose them if you could. Not possible.
Blood ties can be confusing as you witness loved ones as very loving people. You have great memories with them from your childhood. You see them do the kindest things for one another. Their image is on favorite family photographs. Other family members have stories shared with you.
And you also hear and see the shame and judgment passed onto others.
Here are a few shiny gems for dealing with the vibranium levels of negativity from family.

  1. Admit it. You’ve been conditioned and shamed into not talking about Aunt Linda or Grandma. Good respectful relatives remain quiet about family secrets. Even when it hurts the family. You know full well how devious they can be with their tongues, but you recall their hugs and secret candies slipped into your hand as a child. You don’t have to talk about it with anyone else, particularly another family member, but be honest and crystal clear with YOU about what you see. Denial ain’t good for nobody!
  2. Set boundaries. You want to go to your niece’s graduation, family cook out or Thanksgiving dinner without the negativity, but it ain’t likely. Your fam has been a classic display of “Unforgiving Fam:The Series” for years. Not attending ain’t an option because you become the Bugga-Boo of the Family Bloodline at that point! Decide to keep your visit to a limit. Bring your potluck dish. Give your niece a congratulatory hug, gift card, smile at everyone and BE OUT! Give the gift of your presence and enjoy theirs. Even if for a New York Minute! Everyone won’t appreciate your light. Stop offering it up only to be put on dim. Be present and retain the lit parts of yourself for other areas and people in your life.
  3. Put a long-term pause on defending your right to be a person with your own mind and opinions. The judgement and shame from fam can be more taxing than the IRS. When you haven’t met their pre-set notions of success, spiritual growth, relationship know-how, perfect parenting and “what-chu-doing-with-yourself-now” status, you get differing opinions for who you shoulda been, when and how much longer you ain’t got to get it rights. This can be debilitating in life. Need help? We got chu! 
    When you hear the commentary, naturally you go into defensive mode. Put the brakes on it! Don’t get lured into the deadly endless dialogue of seeking to justify your choices.
    If that person can’t appreciate your choices for you, then…oh well. Nah…if you keep asking them for money to finance your choices…this ain’t fuh you. We expect you gon’ hear the noise. For those using their own coins for their own choices, this is for you!

    Now go and love you and those related to you as best you can. You won’t get another family!

None of us know how much time we’ve got left on this side of the realm.
Only God knows.

And we know, fo’ sho, no one will get out of here alive.
For many, this feels so scrary.
For others, the time on this side is used to safeguard the time in the hereafter.
For another, there is no regard for the here, now or the hereafter.
You may meet someone who says, “It is what it is…” and lives as this phrase implies.

How you respond is how you choose to be.
The time to live can have great benefit when you use it to serve another…to hug another…to serve another.

Basically, the time you have can be a hook-up for you. All around.

Yesterday, Naa’ila’s father was given up to 4 months to live. Her father had already called for a pastor to give his last rites. We were able to witness these crucial moments in life.
And for us, it was more than an emotional and spiritual moment.
We saw it as a moment when a man was working on his relationship with God in the way he felt good. He found people who “stood in agreement” with him in these moments.

Then, he ate a whopper with cheese and fries.
And while you’re here, look for people to stand in agreement with even when you disagree.

Look for what you can agree about.

Look for ways to find these people if you don’t know how.  

Look for someone to share a whopper with cheese.
Look for people who help you work on your relationship with God.
Look for people you can help feel good.
You don’t know how many 4 months you have on this side. Use it well. 

It can be real hard not to say what you want to say in the heat of anger. Telling someone you have to control yourself when feeling hurt, frustrated or witnessing the same raggedy behavior from your husband or wife again will take you to another place. The Sunken Place. Tied to a chair. With toile tea cups in front of you. With no way to GET OUT.

So, Hasan and Naaila…what can I do to hold my words back and propel my thoughts forward?

Fall back. Don’t say a word.

We live in a society that encourages us to, “Say exactly what you mean…Tell it like it is…Give the brutal truth.”
Does the truth have to be brutal?

Get your words together. Nicer ones. You can’t give a peak performance in this moment. And don’t you want your husband or wife to get the fullness of how full you are? They need to hear all of dis. And in a way he or she can hear it and respond to it, which is what you really want.
Don’t just hear me. Act on what it is I’m saying. This can be a juggling act if you’ve never seen it before or don’t know how. Here’s the moment in which we come in. 
You have a better chance of making this happen if you make better word choices.

Let us clear our throats for this one. We want to make sure folks hear and hear good. Lean in closer. Lil’ closer.

Ok. That’s good! Many believe the marriage retreat coming up any nothin’ the community needs. We gon’ tell the truth. Every community needs it, but the Black community has a need so big it reaches underground level.
We need to put this retreat on CD’s and sell them at the barber shop. The kick back, clap back and roll back like Walmart, all equaling divorce, flow like the plague. There is an antidote. You don’t even need ObamaCare to get it!

It’s all within you!

This video make the connect to the #marriageretreat we’re hosting with Imam Shadeed Muhammad. You don’t wanna miss the reasons behind it. It is “Shut-Yo-Mouf” real!

Learn more here. https://www.facebook.com/events/1172101806259299/?ti=icl

Even if you don’t go to the retreat, what OOPS! action are parents passing on to grown children? Parents, we gotta do more than food, clothing and shelter for our children. They grow up and take their gaps, bigger than Michael Strahan’s cute gap. Google him and see what we talkin’ bout!

Ok…take a sneak peek at retreat topics, such as, “How are you missing the good behaviors during #engagement that jack you up in the marriage?” You get the “how right now”, but not the “What-Chu-Should-Not-Do” info here.

Trust us! It’s something in this video for you or someone ya know!

Wanna know about err’thang the whole weekend so these 3 reasons can miss you with that? The ways to neutralize the toxins is in that link right there.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1172101806259299/permalink/1194283050707841/

What are you waiting for? Time’s a ticking!
Online options for the retreat are coming! TBA. You thought we didn’t think about the villagers at home? Nah Bruh! We got chu too!
#ThatClayCouple #Rawdah

When mature couples marry you bring all your stuff with you, including your kids, Ex’s, in-laws and the not-so-favorite Auntie. All of these equal the normalcies of life and become the starter-kit for the new Love Thang you’re about to create.

The merging families come together for the sake of you. These folks don’t know one another. They may have had a few introductions over time, but nothing makes you family more than…well, being family!
Your family members line up for the sake of you! The line may be crooked at time. A person may be assigned a buddy for the line. Someone else will jump out of line. And it is all ok!

You will learn how to manage over time. For folks who struggle in this area, no worries. We’ve got on our superhero capes. Help is on the way!

Here are some surefire tips to consider from us:

It was a normal evening of counseling clients, managing social media content, coaching teens to obedience, dinner, talking and me flirting with him in between the social media content. Then, Hasan sat down and said, “Baby, I’m blind.”
I didn’t know what to say. He’s been blind for a few years now. This was not new information, but in this moment, we were having a different experience with one another. I wanted to say, “Ok….” and punctuate this one word sentence with a deep sigh at the end. But that didn’t feel right in my common sense and in my spirit. Seconds were passing.

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I couldn’t google nothing captivating to say and what is the keyword for, “He said he was blind and now what do I say?”

He was blind, but he could still tell time. I needed to give the man something from me and it needed to be some really good viral content! The three words he spoke to me deserved a locked and loaded response concentrated with hope and resilience. And I didn’t have ish to say.

So, I said, “Yes, Baby you are. We don’t understand this overwhelming test. We just know we have one heck of a pop quiz on our hands and we trust in God’s infinite wisdom to let us get from this test all that we need to.”

Hasan said, “Ameen.”

Then, his words were as silent as his eyes have been for some time now.

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Seconds later, he arose to sit next to me with totally new, random and unrelated conversation. He was still blind, but in that “We-In-This” moment, he and I saw what we needed. We could clearly envision poppin’ up with emotionally intense topics the other person is completely unprepared for and feel unjudged and with a friend.

You don’t need eyesight for this kind of loving feeling. To hear more about our story and to get your own unseen love seen by only the two of you, SEE US.