After reading my spbff’s blog, “I believe” I decided to write my beliefs…or my way of processing the world around me.

I wish I was cool enough to think of this on my own, but I’m not…someone told it to me and dared me to find my own set of “filters” to define my life.

Basically the concept is, figure out what’s most important to you and rank those things. Process your thoughts, beliefs, morals and situations accordingly and let the chips fall as they may.

For me – before August 23rd, 2008, my top three were that I’m a Christian FIRST, an African-American SECOND and a Woman THIRD. SO – I filter my beliefs, value system, conflicts, attitude, opinion accordingly. For example, let’s say my girlfriend tells me she’s thinking about cheating on her husband (who’s hasn’t been the best guy all around) because she’s fed up with all she endured in the past and she’s ready to move on. Some woman who are WOMEN first may say – You go girl…get yours.
Not me – the first test is moral – what would a Christian say or how would GOD advise you on this topic – then I would advise her.
Say the topic didn’t have a moral issue. Each topic filters by which of my personal filters means the most or has the most impact according to my hierarchy.
I hope that makes sense…
Well…now my hierarchy has changed (only not really). Now, that I’m engaged – I have to adjust it because I’m now embracing someone as a part of me. So I have to redefine how my hierarchy affects someone else. For the most part it works, only once the boo and I are officially ONE – I have to think what affects my family first. And that’s Biblical, Paul often warned about being married, because when you’re single you can focus all of your energy on God…but when you’re married – you have to consider your spouse and your family needs first.

Corinthians 7
32But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
33But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
34There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Or the Amplified version:

32My desire is to have you free from all anxiety and distressing care. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord–how he may please the Lord;
33But the married man is anxious about worldly matters–how he may please his wife–
34And he is drawn in diverging directions [his interests are divided and he is distracted from his devotion to God]. And the unmarried woman or girl is concerned and anxious about the matters of the Lord, how to be wholly separated and set apart in body and spirit; but the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs–how she may please her husband.

Paul goes on to say, he’s not saying your cursed if you’re married, but just warning you that things will be different and the way you used to look at things will change from God to the person you’re married to:

35Now I say this for your own welfare and profit, not to put [a halter of] restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly and in good order and to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord.

And it doesn’t just begin the day you say I Do – you basically start almost functioning as one unit because after you make everything official and let people know your intentions, you begin operating as one unit. Everything you do from that point on affects the person you’re with. You share monies for saving for the wedding, making living decisions for after the marriage, jointly decide career decisions, families meet and everything becomes….ONE.

SO my hierarchy has shifted now – to say:
First, how does this affect my family/husband (according to God’s word)? Next, how does this affect my Christianity?
Thirdly, how does my being an African American play into this? and lastly – as a woman, what will this mean?

Call it crazy…but it works for me…

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