Welcome dear friend, we are sitting in the warmth of our Autumn sun today…under our flourishing Jacaranda tree introduced in Tree of life…

have an interesting tea blend called Prince of Wales for us to try & I have baked a Gf Earl Grey tea Date loaf…sliced, still warm & spread with lashings of real Lf creamery butter for our treat…

Prince of Wales tea is a rare treat as I can’t seem to find it readily available in my area…it is a black tea blend that has a roasted nutty flavor…the date loaf is so moist & delicious I have put out two slices each!

Well now we have our tea, treats & are settled under the Jacaranda, let’s begin our reflection.

Dates of a different kind

My husband & I have just celebrated our wedding anniversary. We went for a drive out to where we had our first date the other day, a few days before our anniversary, it was through the beautiful ranges we have surrounding the area we live.

We took a picnic just like that first date…we chatted about the years we have been married as we drove, the many challenges we have faced over those years, how we have grown, what our dreams & plans for the future are together!

This is called relationship…spending quality time together, chatting about past, present & future dreams…seeing where we have grown & what areas we still need to grow in…raising issues for discussion before they become contentious…is all important.

I believe where a relationship really reveals its truth, is behind the closed doors of the relationship, where only the two dwell…away from others eyes…where mutual respect, kindness, gentleness, dignity, consideration for each other & how one speaks to the other.

Marriage is a relationship of equality

A relationship of equality (within the differing roles of marriage) & mutual love…is truly demonstrated or not!

“For this is true relationship; being kind, considerate, gentle, loving, caring & in giving each other dignity! It should never be controlling & abusive in any way what so ever!”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Refer

You see God Himself does not control anyone in relationship to Himself, He has given each one of us the freedom of choice in relationship with Him, we are free to choose to have that relationship with Him through His Son Jesus or not!

So….then….if God the Creator of the universe does not seek to control us in relationship to Himself…then what right does anyone think they have, to control another in their relationship!

As we sat & ate our picnic lunch, looking out over the most picturesque quaint little country village…we dreamed & planned together, we chatted about our desires for the future individually & as a couple…we wondered where God would lead us & discussed where we are at…in Him…individually & as a married couple at the moment.

As we returned home, we felt at one with each other & in Him…having renewed those all important bonds of relationship, friendship & love.

Really listening to our partner

It takes time…to listen to your partner, to give them your undivided attention, to see where they are coming from, to really enjoy their company & to appreciate them for who they are…the person you fell in love with….to be able to see where you both are within your relationship presently…make time to do this often & regularly…you won’t be disappointed with the results!

Note; If you are being controlled & abused in any way in your relationship, please seek professional help as soon as possible, you need to protect your physical, emotional, mental & spiritual wellbeing! A professional can help you with strategies to address the situation safely…while your partner either gets the help they need (if they seek it) or lives with the consequences of their behavior apart from you…God does not expect anyone to be in a relationship that is controlling & abusive, ever!

Well, with the delightful tastes of the tea & the fruitiness of the loaf still lingering upon my tongue…our sun has moved its warmth…its now time to go inside!

Until next time dear friend…


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45 thoughts on “Relationships

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  1. Beautifully said Jennifer. I feel blessed that respect is the cornerstone of my almost 29 year marriage. I just find it sad that people I know are living in abusive relationships, they name some of the inequalities yet continue to live with it or don’t insisting the other party seeks therapy. It is difficult to see people you love living miserable lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words!

      It is very difficult to watch, however there is a certain dynamic in controlling & abusive relationships that causes the victim to lose their self worth, value, esteem & confidence which in turn keep them in the relationship far longer than is healthy…there may also be valid concerns for their or their children’s safety on or after they leave the relationship…especially when the children have to see the abusive partner on their own (who may not have necessarily witnessed the physical abuse of the victim directly but the fear & mistrust has already been well established in the dynamic of the abuse which creates real fear & concern), as State Supervised Access/visits are only a recent occurrence in western society & does not exist in many parts of the world.
      There may be cultural, familial, religious, societal practices, ideology & stigmas or even financial reasons that may hold the victim in the relationship. Shame is also a huge factor in the dynamics of abuse.

      The victims of abusive relationships… need our continuing love & support until they can reach the point to seek professional help to safely address the situation.


      1. Thank you for your detailed response and I totally agree, particularly with cultural norms, shame and erosion of self confidence and self esteem being the barriers to change. I particularly try to be non-judgemental just offering lots of love and points of contact for professional advice and information. I have to accept that change will only happen if and when they are ready.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is an absolutely perfect course of action Marie, you are doing a great job!
        I felt your pain & sadness behind your words for your loved ones ♥ & I know bullying is a topic of great passion for you.
        It is a subject close to my heart too, being the professional in these situations, can be both rewarding & painful at times. As we have clients who go on to lead healed & happier lives away from the abuser & also clients who return to the relationship….sadly with a negative outcome.
        But we have to respect the choice of the client, they may not be quite ready to safely address the relationship just yet…respecting them & their choice though is the first step of empowerment they may have had in a long time.
        Sending you blessings dear friend, ♥

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Very true Jennifer, showing respect by being non-judgemental, allows for growing space! Thank you also Jennifer for sharing your authentic self and for your abundant kindness!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Anniversary. We celebrate thirty years on June 18. The best news we ever received was at the church as we took our vows. We were promised that God would always be the third person in our marriage. That allowed us always to turn in prayer with all of the many struggles that come when you combine two families.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Elizabeth…
      I love that verse from Ecclesiastes 4:12b “a three stranded cord is not easily broken” in other words God is the third strand in our Christian marriages, if we but allow Him, as you stated above! Thank you for that lovely reminder.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Anniversary! You gave such an excellent description of a relationship (especially in the context of marriage). I love the way you celebrated the day together. On our 50th anniversary our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren planned an afternoon where they took us on a drive stopping at significant places in our relationship….the university where we met, the football stadium where we had our first date, the restaurant we frequented in college, etc. It was such a treat! Have a blessed weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great thoughts, and thank you for your sensitivity to those who are in controlling and unhealthy relationships. We should never normalize that, and it was great that you put in a tiny word for anyone in that situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all, congratulations on your anniversary, Jennifer! Secondly, thanks for the tips on tea and date bread. I do love an English tea party! Thirdly, thank you for challenging us to spend quality time with our mates getting to know one another even better and forging deeper bonds. It’s just so important and something that my husband and I try to do. In fact, we are about to celebrate our anniversary with a trip this coming weekend. It will be a great time to do all the things you and your hubby got to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jennifer, I’m here from your comment at Messy Marriage, and I’m glad I came; this is such a thoughtful, hopeful, loving essay!

    My wife and I are in a different place, as I’m terminally ill with a couple of truly unpleasant cancers (pancreatic and non-H lymphoma). There are no shared dreams; there will not be much of a shared future, and quality time together is usually quickly interrupted my by doubling over in agony.

    But I can still pray for her, and even though talking is hard for me now, I can listen, maybe that’s enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrew,
      Lovely to have you drop by, I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Thank you for your kind words.

      You sound like you are traveling a difficult journey with your wife alongside…a wonderful dream to share together at this time is your future hope together…
      Let me explain;
      I was a widow when I married my present husband, as my late husband, Gint, died from a Glioblatoma Multiforme grade 4,..In the time we had together before he graduated to glory… we shared the promised hope of our future in spending eternity with Jesus together…
      Even though our time was very short during his terminal illness (12 weeks from diagnosis to his passing) that time was precious & is a treasured gem forever in my heart.
      I’m sure your presence, prayer & listening is very precious to your wife. Your prayers will continue to be heard long after you cannot utter them…yes more than enough…


  7. Happy Anniversary Jennifer! You share such beautiful thoughts about a loving, Christ-centered relationship. I really appreciate that you have included the word “dignity” here, as It struck me that God is teaching me more about that as my husband recovers from knee replacement surgery, and I deal with chronic illness. Neither one of us can do for the other the things we might have chosen in our healthier, younger years. And yet we can help our relationship grow through these days as we treat each other with the dignity that the Lord Himself gives to us. Thank you for these beautiful words!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its a pleasure!
      It is difficult when you are both unwell, I do understand…& you are correct Bette, we can give each other dignity as we care for each other within our differing capacities….this is so important.
      I hope your husband recovers quickly!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennifer, I came right over for the inspiration! I just saw a box of Prince of Wales tea — trying to remember where I was. I will think of you each time now when I see it! Loved the GF bread too – as we do try to eat GF. Lovely post and lovelier cuppa!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy anniversary to you and your hubby, dear Jennifer. Thanks for the reminder to cherish my relationship with my husband and to make the time for simple pleasures like a leisurely chat. Isn’t it amazing the little things we take for granted but that could have such a huge impact? Thanks for your beautiful encouraging word.
    Blessings to you!
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marva,
      Lovely to have you drop by, yes quite often it is the simple things like just spending companionable time together with our hubbys that we are too busy to stop & do…
      Blessings to you too,


  10. Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful post. I will definitely be sharing it this month on my social media. I love what you said about relationships.

    “This is called relationship…spending quality time together, chatting about past, present & future dreams…seeing where we have grown & what areas we still need to grow in…raising issues for discussion before they become contentious…is all important.”

    I am getting ready to spend two weeks with my husband celebrating our 30 years of marriage. I don’t think we have ever spent that much time away.

    Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Prince of Wales is one of my favorite kinds of tea, but it’s been awhile since I had it. I will have to look for it again. And that date loaf sounds scrumptious! You have good words of wisdom here concerning relationships, esp in marriage. We will soon celebrate our 45th anniversary. I think it would be a wonderful time to review the past, present and our hopes for the future. Blessings to you, dear Jennifer! I’m your neighbor at #TellHisStory this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gayl, congratulations on your forthcoming 45th wedding anniversary! It’s lovely having you drop by & yes the date loaf was delicious 🙂
      It’s always a blessed exercise to reflect past, present & future of your marriage with each other, it shows the growth in your relationship & the areas that may need a little more attention 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jennifer, happy anniversary to you and your husband. How awesome it is to be in a place where you can spend time in actual relationship with each other. My hubby and I have arrived at that place of relationship after many years of struggle. Its such a blessing to truly be at the center of each other’s hearts. God has blessed us richly and restored us to each other and to Him. Thank you for linking this post to the #GatheringofFriendsLinkParty 5

    Liked by 1 person

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