Before the wedding of Felipe and Maria began, the groom spoke to the priest.
Felipe said, “Father, I’d appreciate that during the wedding vows, you’d omit the difficult parts.”
“What difficult parts?” the priest asked.
“You know Father, just don’t say anymore the for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health thing. Just leave those lines out.”
Felipe then slipped a crisp P1000 into the priest’s pocket and walked away, smiling.
During the wedding vows, the priest looked at Felipe and said, “Felipe, do you take Maria as your lawful wedded wife for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, serving her breakfast in bed everyday, washing the dishes and doing the laundry everyday, cleaning the house everyday till death do you part?”
Felipe appeared like a train ran over him. With a very weak voice, he croaked, “I do.”
After the wedding, Felipe walked up to the priest and asked, “Father, I thought we had a deal?”
The priest slipped back the P1000 into Felipe’s pocket and said, “Sorry, your new wife gave me P10,000.”
Change Your Life
By Changing Your Relationships
Today, I start a new 7-week series entitled Relationships Reborn.
Here’s why you need to take this series with me: I believe that if you change your relationships, you change your life.
Because if you squeeze out the essence of life, you realize that life is all about relationships. Your happiness, your success, your health, and your dreams depend on relationships. Give me a person with very happy relationships and I’ll show you a very happy person. Give me a person with miserable, dysfunctional relationships and I’ll show you a very miserable person.
Felipe and Maria had great vows, with some very unique amendments.
But would vows help them?
Not unless they renew them everyday.
I’m going to spill the beans here and tell you the central message of the next seven weeks: Relationships need renewal or they die.
In fact, not only the relationship will die, but a part of us will die. Why? Because you have a Heart Wound that can only be healed by love–a love that can only be found in relationships.
So you want to change your life, keep reading.
Are You Malnourished For Love?
Have you ever seen a malnourished child?
I believe you have–you just didn’t know.
Here’s the problem: When you hear the word “malnourished,” you automatically think of the starving kids in Africa you see in pictures. A child living in a famine-stricken dessert that has absolutely nothing to eat.
But there’s a second type.
The person could be your next door neighbor. He doesn’t look malnourished. He could even be fat. And yet, amazingly, he is malnourished.
Because he’s eating the wrong type of food.
Let me stoke your imagination.
Let’s say you love cotton candy.
And you decide you eat nothing else but cotton candy.
Cotton candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
What would happen to you?
Your hunger will disappear. You’ll probably have lots of energy from the sugar. But over time, you’d be killing yourself. Because you’ll be terribly malnourished.
Spiritual malnourishment is very similar.
If our bodies hunger for food, our hearts hunger for love.
Food is the fuel of the body. And love is the fuel of the soul.
Without food, our bodies die. And without love, our hearts die.
There are people today who feed “cotton candy” to their souls.
I want you to look at this list below.
What is common among these people?
· Judy Garland (47)
· Jimi Hendrix (27)
· Janis Joplin (27)
· Marilyn Monroe (36)
· Elvis Presley (42)
· River Phoenix (23)
· John Belushi (33)
· Heath Ledger (28)
· Michael Jackson (50)
Two things are common among them.
First is that they’re all dead.
Second is that they all died of a drug overdose.
Most of them were taking either illegal or prescription drugs for years.
Most of them had the world in the palm of their hands. They had everything–money, pleasure, fame, cars, homes, and excitement. They had fans that would worship the dirt on their shoes. I remember 4 years ago, someone bought the used chewing gum of Britney Spears on Ebay for $514. (That’s P25,000 for someone’s spit.)
But that’s not the love that will fill a human heart.
Again, that’s like eating cotton candy the whole day.
Your heart won’t get nourished.
Let me tell you why.
The Wound In Your Heart
Every human being has a Heart Wound.
We’re all wounded people.
We may look strong on the outside. But deep inside, we have a Heart Wound that must be healed.
Note that some people have a deeper Heart Wound than others.
Perhaps they had an alcoholic father or a very selfish mother.
Perhaps they came from a broken family.
Perhaps they were abused as kids.
Don’t be shocked, but filling up your Heart Wound is the most basic motivation of all that you do. It’s also the reason why people are addicted to drugs and alcohol and money and sex and power and food and fame and romance.
Let me tell you three tragic stories.
The Crazy Things We Do
Because We Want To Fill Our Heart Wound
Zeny (not her real name) is a twenty-seven year old beautiful and intelligent woman. She’s a brilliant marketing manager in her company. But her superior IQ and brilliant logic flies out of the window when it comes to love.
She jumps from one romantic relationship after another. The moment her boyfriend breaks up with her, she gets hooked into another relationship. Zeny will grab the next guy available, like a woman drowning and gasping for air. Even if that guy was a serial killer.
If there’s no guy available, she’ll get a girl and get into a lesbian relationship. Because Zeny just can’t stand being alone. But despite having all those guys and girls chasing after her, she’s terribly unhappy.
Why? Because all that is cotton candy.
I also remember Jake, a forty-eight year old multi-millionaire. Jake has many companies under his name, many beautiful cars, many beautiful homes, and many beautiful girls.
But Jake is terribly unhappy.
Why? Because all that is cotton candy.
My third example is more confusing.
Not All Religious Activity Can Nourish The Heart
When you mention the words “spiritual malnourishment”, people instantly think about people who don’t receive God’s Word–because they don’t attend religious activities.
Well, what about Yolly?
Yolly is a forty-four-year old woman who is immersed in religious activities. She goes to Mass in the morning, reads her Bible during lunch, and attends her prayer meetings, doctrinal classes, and novenas in the evening. In between, she prays the rosary.
But unfortunately, Yolly is one of unhappiest people I know.
One day, I realized why. Because everytime Yolly prayed, she always heard God tell her, “You’re a sinner. You’re wicked. You’re dirty. You’re not worthy of my love…” Yolly was projecting her own self-hatred onto God. Her God was judgmental and always angry. All her spiritual activities were her way of appeasing this God.
Friend, your Heart Wound won’t be healed by religious activities. Your Heart Wound can only be healed by an experience of God’s love found in these religious activities.
In other words, it’s love found in a relationship.
What Your Heart Wound Is Longing For
When we fill up our Heart Wound with sex, with money, with drugs, with romantic relationships, they don’t work. Because there’s only one thing that will heal your Heart Wound.
As corny as this may sound, that thing that we long for is love.
That’s why another term for Heart Wound is “Love Tank”.
If you want to function well in life, your Love Tank must be filled.
When I meet someone who has problems handling life, it’s usually because the person has an empty Love Tank.
It could be the jobless person who doesn’t have self-worth.
It could be a millionaire who doesn’t have friends.
It could be a people pleaser who has no backbone.
It could be a guy controlled by his fears.
It could be a person who is having marital affairs.
It could be a drug addict.
It could be a girl who jumps from one jerk to another jerk.
It could be a greedy politician who has come to believe in his own lies.
I’ve realized that all these people have empty Love Tanks.
They’re desperately finding a way to fill up their wound and are doing it in the wrong way.
Let me tell you now how to heal your Heart Wound.
What Kind Of Love Can Heal The Wound?
At the end of the day, the love that can heal your Heart Wound is love that is found in relationships.
Your relationship with God.
Your relationship with yourself.
Your relationship with others.
Friend, your relationships will determine your happiness and success in every area of your life.
So let me ask you a big question: How are your relationships today?
How is your marriage?
How are your relationships with your parents?
How are your relationships with your kids?
How are your relationships with your siblings?
How are your relationships with your friends?
How is your relationship with God?
How is your relationship with yourself?
If you tell me that your relationships are happy and deep and blessed, then in my book, you have everything.
No doubt about it. You’re one very successful person.
Why You Need This Series,
Some of you may be saying, “Hey Bo, I’ve got lots of relationships! But why is my Heart Wound not being healed? Why is my Love Tank not being filled?”
Here’s the big problem with relationships: They’re organic. They’re not inanimate objects. They’re living, breathing things.
Let me give you an analogy.
There are two types of toys: Battery-operated and wind-up.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that relationships are like battery-operated toys. They think they could just slap a double A battery in their relationship and viola, off it goes, humming its tune forever.
But that’s not how relationships work. They don’t go on autopilot.
Relationships are like wind-up toys.
If you don’t wind it up, the ballerina stops dancing and playing music.
When your relationships aren’t working, it’s because you’ve not been winding them up.
What am I saying?
Relationships need renewal or they die.
And dead things can’t give you love and heal Heart Wounds.
In the next seven weeks, I’ll lead you into a brand new series entitled Relationships Reborn. Each week, I’ll email you an article on how to renew your relationship and thus heal your Heart Wound and fill your Love Tank.
I know it’ll bless you immensely.
Let me end with one last personal story.
Death Will Tell You What Is Most Important
Three weeks ago, I flew to New York.
Reason? I was invited to the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations.
I know, it sounds like a joke. But it isn’t.
I’m in the harvest season of my life. For 30 years I was planting, and I’m now receiving a deluge of blessings. This was one of them. A giant one.
Being inside United Nations, seeing the Presidents, Emirs, Sheiks, and Prime Ministers of 192 countries blew my mind.
Not only that, but I stayed in Waldorf Astoria, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. And guess who was staying with me in the same hotel? President Barack Obama and a few other Heads of States.
Of course, they stayed in humongous suites found on the upper floors. Mortals like myself stayed in regular room.
For breakfast, I got the buffet of bread and fruits which cost $38. I also ordered one soft-boiled egg which cost an astounding $8. My gosh.
The experience was surreal. I was in the cusp of luxury, staying in the centre of the world, seeing Presidents of the world, and eating $8 eggs!
No doubt about it, that trip was definitely a high point in my life.
And yet, here’s my reflection: I’m totally sure that on my deathbed, I won’t remember this experience. At all.
I’ll remember instead the hug that my son gave me, his little fingers at the back of my neck.
I’ll remember the times I dated my mother in her old age, the drive going to the restaurant, the two-hour conversations we always have.
I’ll remember how early on in our marriage, my wife and I had our romantic dates in cheap fast-food joints–and still had to choose with care what we ordered because we couldn’t afford all the items there.
I’ll remember how I took care of orphaned children for a year, living with them in a bamboo hut.
In other words, I’ll remember those moments in my life when I gave love and received love.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what life is all about.
I’ve realized that if you fail in your relationships, you fail in life.
That’s why I’m inviting you to work on your relationships…
Assignment: Pick One Relationship In Your Life
That You Want To Renew and Refresh
Reading this article will do nothing for your life.
But if you apply what you read, it’ll create miracles.
Therefore, I’m giving you an assignment.
I want you to choose one relationship in your life that you want to deepen and strengthen. Perhaps it’s your relationship with your mother, or your sibling, or your husband, or your child, or a friend.
Here’s what you do: Go right up to that person and tell that person, “I want to strengthen my relationship with you.”
In the various FEASTS here in Metro Manila, we gave away a small “Gift of Renewal” Card to each attendee. I asked them to write the person’s name on the Card and give it to that person. The Card stated, “I want to deepen, strengthen, and renew my relationship with you.” It was just a simple tool. It gave people courage because they don’t go empty handed.
Hey, you can make the Card yourself. Or write a short note.
When you do this, you might get shocked looks, questions, laughter, or even ridicule from the other person.
Or you might get a hug or some tears.
It doesn’t matter.
Just go out there and tell someone your prayer for a relationship reborn.
May your dreams come true,
PS. Living in Singapore? We now publish a Singapore edition of Kerygma magazine. Isn’t that cool? For more information, go to www.kerygmasingapore.com You can also call Jimmy Cruz at (65) 6466 7718 and (65) 93852 912.
PS2. Get a mountain load of blessings for your spiritual life. Join www.KerygmaFamily.com now and get daily Bible reflections.
PS3. Learn how to gain abundance. Join my last How To Be Truly Rich Seminar for the year on November 7, 2009. Create a new financial life! For more information, click here.