Yesterday I celebrated sixteen years of marriage. I want to attempt to offer sixteen pieces of unsolicited relationship advice that’s worked for us…
1. Avoid people for whom marriage or being in a relationship is a personality trait, because they are frequently toxic.

I know this will make some folk mad, but I mean it. If they don’t have a personality besides talking about marriage, they are unhealthy.
2. Use your words. The other person doesn’t know how you feel unless you tell them. They shouldn’t have to guess or divine. If you can’t use words establish a clear line of communication.
3. Engage in healthy conflict. Be clear about what you disagree on. Engage in disagreements in a healthy way. Active listening is an important or necessary skill.
4. Be real. Don’t be out here so afraid of hurting somebody feelings that you can’t tell them the truth. Don’t be so invested in maintaining a false self that you don’t know who you really are.
5. It’s okay to have interests, hobbies, and responsibilities outside of your person. You don’t have to be together or doing the same stuff 25/8.
6. Find at least one thing you can do together. You don’t have to be with them all the time, but you can enjoy some things together.
7. Laugh. Ugly laugh. Laugh a lot.
8. Don’t let others define your relationship for you. You are who you are. You don’t have to fit into social role expectations.
9. Do what you’re good at. If one of you is good at cleaning and the other at sorting laundry, use that to your advantage instead of expecting one or the other person to do and be everything.
10. Don’t let other people project their shortcomings onto your relationship. Know who you are and who you are as a couple.
11. Have clear expectations and boundaries with your families of origin. You can’t possibly be in everybody’s life the way you were before marriage. You might have to disappoint people from time to time. That’s okay.
12. Don’t lose yourself. Marriage is not a personality trait. Being a parent is not a personality trait.
13. Don’t try to live above your means. Capitalism will convince you that you need a certain standard of living. You will be happier if you live below your means.
14. Being poor and married is stressful. Try to find and prioritize happiness where you can. Enjoy the sweetness of small things together. Try hard (and it’s really hard) to not let money talk and concern dominate your time together.
15. Talk about your dreams, fears, joys, and concerns.
16. Set goals together. I’m not talking about the ambiguous concept of “building” as a couple. I’m talking about setting goals for things that are’s important to you and going after those things together.

Decide who y’all want to be and try to be it.

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More from @thearmchaircom

18 Jun
As an Episcopalian, I really try not to talk bad about my Anglican siblings in the ACNA because I came into Anglicanism after the split and I did not live through the tense times and really don’t think it’s a good look for me to critique them because of how some might perceive it
I am going to make an exception to my general rule right now, because…well.

So while y’all were out here worried about what the Southern Baptists might say and do, the Anglican Church in North America somehow managed to our SBC the SBC.
I don’t know who was in the room advising the ACNA Archbishop when he formulated his remarks at their Provincial meeting this past week (which seems to be at the same time as the SBC, ironically), but this ain’t it fam.
Read 15 tweets
22 Jan
My spiritual practices are what have kept me grounded during this difficult time. Is there interest in a thread where I share some of my spiritual practices?

FYI: These are Christian practices, but there might be some things that anyone can find useful.
Ok so there is definitely interest. I’m pretty sure y’all will get tired of it but here we go.

I again want to state that these practices and some of my recs that go with them are overtly Christian but some can be adapted.
So first of all, I am a dyed in the wool Pentecostal and Charismatic that has become an Episcopalian. I have some intersections with the Baptist, Lutheran, and AME traditions. I was introduced to more of the Catholic and Orthodox traditions while I was in seminary.
Read 52 tweets
21 Jan
As a lot of y’all know, I grew up in a small rural town in the Midwest.

I was at my 15th year high school reunion a couple years ago, which was on the patio of one of the local taverns.
Suddenly a country song started to play and EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, started losing their minds. Now there had been OTHER country songs playing. But people lost their minds after the first note on this one.
Me, being the lone negro (none of my other black classmates were there but anyway), started looking around for an explanation. I even looked to my husband, who also grew up in my town and is white but seriously uncultured, and he seemed to know what the song was.
Read 6 tweets
16 Jan
It’s funny how, when Black people leave toxic church spaces we are the ones called “divisive.” We always have to bear the weight of judgment and have to explain ourselves.

When you see Black people leaving a predominantly white church space en masse, you should be asking...
Why are so many people walking away? Why are their stories all similar or exactly the same? Why is this not being addressed by leadership? Why does it feel like it’s being swept under the rug? Why is Black folks’ departure deemed as their issue or fault?
Why does the leadership of my church or organization only take the slightest of responsibility (if any at all)? Why do the sermons end teaching in my church seem to change for a season directly after departures? Why are the Black folks who remain given promotions or visibility?
Read 11 tweets
16 Jan
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Read 4 tweets
16 Jan
As someone who has embraced a more progressive and “liberal” part of the Christian tradition, I can fully attest that this is true. I’m sure that some of my friends who knew me at a different part of life feel that o have changed. But no.
I went to seminary at an institution that I would not consider at all progressive, though I had many professors who were. But I learned how to read and understand scripture in a much different and healthier way in seminary.
I didn’t lose faith or orthodoxy. I learned even more how to think and how to be a Christian. I learned so much.

I am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to think about and explore my faith.
Read 6 tweets

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