Archive of ‘Relationships’ category

How to Deal with Difficult People

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In my job as a real estate broker I get to deal with different types of people everyday. Most of my clients are a pleasure to deal with. Some, however, are a bit difficult.

I remember a few years ago when I was working on this deal in Xavier Estates. My client wanted to purchase this 5-bedroom luxury house overlooking Cagayan de Oro. It had a huge lawn with a swimming pool. It was one of my favorite listings and ever since we got that listing, I’ve praying that I would be the one to sell it. Now my client was a 24-year-old businesswoman named Maria (not her real name) who was a bit on the tough side. She would shout at people (yes, even at me) and was generally difficult to deal with. At first, I felt a bit resentful towards her. I was raised in an environment where shouting was not a normal part of our routine.

Then one day, as we were waiting at for some documents, Maria told me her story. When she was eight years old, their village Healer told her parents that she was bad luck and that they had to give her up or else the entire family would suffer. So her parents took her to her grandparents house and left her there. Since her grandparents were already old and had little money, she had to work to take care of them and herself. She started to grow vegetables in their backyard and sell them at the night market. In the mornings she went to school. On weekends she would man their small sari-sari store. Sometimes Maria’s male cousins would storm inside her store and take away all her earnings for the day. Since they were bigger and stronger than her, she couldn’t fight back. So instead, to protect her earnings, she put her money in tin cans and buried it in her backyard. All throughout grade school and high school, Maria worked hard to fend for herself and her grandparents while at the same time, using her wits to outsmart her cousins who would drop by from time to time to bully her.

Maria’s first house

When Maria reached 13 years old, she happened to pass by one house for sale in Carmen which she liked very much. She liked the quiet environment and peaceful neighborhood. The house was being sold for 3.5 million. Maria thought for a moment. Where would she get that kind of money? After a few minutes, she went home and started digging. She dug up every single tin can she had buried over they years and started counting the money she had accumulated. The total amount was 3.5 million. And that was how Maria bought her first house.

Nothing beats hard work

Over the years, Maria engaged in a variety of businesses until she found one where she really hit the big bucks – the textile industry. She started buying RTW’s from a factory in Korea and selling it wholesale to boutiques and malls in different cities. She had clients from Pagadian, Ozamis, Dipolog, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Davao. Her business was so successful her clients actually had to get in line to purchase her products. The factory didn’t have any other buyers as it sold everything it made to her. Despite not being able to go to college, Maria’s dedication to her business and willingness to work hard enabled her to succeed where so many had failed.

Put yourself in the other persons shoes

Maria’s story not only inspired me to continue reaching for my dreams, it allowed me to understand her better. It was only when I put myself in her shoes that I was able to see where she was coming from. At a young age, she was rejected by her family. Over the years, many people tried to trick her and take advantage of her. It’s no wonder why she would so easily get defensive and angry and suspect that people were trying to deceive her. We are shaped by our environment and experiences. I could see that although Maria was, by worldly standards, successful she was still struggling with trust issues because of what she went through as a kid. And so, instead of feeling resentful I started to feel compassion towards her.

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Are you dealing with a difficult person in your life now?

When dealing with difficult people, instead of reacting, try to understand where that person is coming from. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. My experience taught me that people are the way they are for a reason. Perhaps that person who’s mistreating may just be having a bad day. Or maybe he’s going through a huge family problem. Or maybe he’s up to his ears in debt.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.
Dale Carnegie


Because I made the effort to understand Maria, we were able to keep our relationship. I was able to help her buy the house she wanted and now she’s living in her dream house. A beautiful 2-storey, ridge-view mansion in Xavier Estates that overlooks the city. The little girl who was supposedly “bad luck” became the good luck charm of her family. Last time I saw Maria, she was with her family. She had forgiven her parents and is now building a relationship with them again. 

beautiful-house-1Photo from (not the actual photo of her house but it looks similar to this)

Never burn bridges 

I believe in never burning bridges with people. You never know when you might run into them again. The world is becoming smaller everyday. If you have a person in your life now that’s difficult to deal with, try to understand that person. Decide to love them.

John 15:12

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life


On Finding True Love

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Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it.

Before I met Christ, I used to think I was ok. I was basically a good girl who did well in school and only broke a few rules. Being a very goal oriented person, I tried to find fulfillment and happiness in achievement. But no matter what I did, there always seemed to be something missing. Coming from a Roman Catholic family, I’ve known about Jesus since I was young, but I’ve never really had a personal relationship with him. I felt like God was someone you praised and admired from afar.

Then a friend of mine invited me to a Christian church. I was still a college student in Silliman University then. That was when I first had an encounter with Christ. I was amazed by how happy they all seemed, how fulfilled.

Time is God’s paintbrush as he paints his masterpiece in the hearts of humanity.

-Ravi Zacharias

I had no idea then, but God was already painting his masterpiece in my heart. My personal relationship with God didn’t happen in an instant.

Like most relationships, it blossomed through time. My first impression of Christianity, was wow, they have nice music here. They had a full band and all the musicians from the drummer to the bassist to the singer were so good. I’ve always loved music and the excellent playing of that church’s music team was what kept me coming back. I became friends with band and eventually joined the music team. I guess you could say, music lead me to God. When I accepted Christ in my life as Lord and Savior, it was only then that I realized what I was missing. The joy I felt in having a relationship with Christ eclipsed everything else in my life.

After I graduated college, I was in a limbo as to what I really wanted to do with my life. I tried a lot of things. Eventually, God lead me to real estate and together with my partners, we founded Truly Wealthy Realty. At the time, I didn’t have a church here so without meaning to, I started to lose my way. I began to focus again on trying to achieve fulfillment thru worldly success: Through winning Toastmaster contests, closing deals and making money. And yes, I achieved these things. But the happiness was not only shallow, it was fleeting. I was like a dog running after its own tail – chasing dream after dream with no end in sight. No achievement, no matter how lofty, seemed to be enough to make me happy. Then a friend of mine, Eddie, invited me to CCF. It was here that I found the Lord again. I started attending Dgroup and eventually, with the encouragement of my Dgroup leader, I started to lead my own Dgroup.

I remember what Ate Mel Santos told me, “Lex, start leading. You’re ready. Trust me, leading your own Dgroup is more fulfilling than closing deals.”

You know what, she was wrong. It doesn’t even come close. Through being part of a Dgroup and leading my own dgroup, I regained my balance. I started to focus on what is truly important – Jesus Christ.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it.

Being a Christian all these years has made me realize 3 things:

First, a Christian cannot be a lone ranger. We need each other to grow in Christ. Even super heroes have their own groups. Justice league, Fantastic 4, even Batman had Robin. Superman had Louis Lane. We need the intimacy, accountability and the emotional support of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. That is why it is crucial to be part of a Dgroup. When you’re part of a discipleship group, you can watch out for each other and help one another during tough times.

Second, we need to share the gospel and disciple others. As believers, we need to bring as many people to Christ as we possibly can. It is both our burden and privilege. It was only when I started discipling others that I became more committed to honoring and obeying God. A teacher must practice what he preaches. Being a discipler has allowed my faith to mature in ways I could never have thought possible. Many are content to accept Christ as savior but not as Lord. But God calls us not to be timid disciples but bold witnesses. That is the great commission. That is our mission.

Third, God + 0 = more than enough. Everything else is just a bonus. A great career, financial security, a Godly husband… These are all just bonuses. I’m not defined by what I achieve, the amount of wealth I own or in having the ideal husband, but in Christ Jesus alone. He is my rock and my salvation. And in Him, I will not be shaken.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it.

I have found my identity in Christ-and never again am I letting go.

This is love, in the highest and truest form, in every sense of the word.

May you find Christ like I did and live a truly wealthy life.


The Hopeless Romantic

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I’ve been raised on a steady diet of salads and novels. Books have always been a huge part of me. My mom loved to read and she passed on that same love for books to me. One of my favorite past times was reading romance novels. I love fairy tales and happy endings. Dashing dukes and beautiful maidens. The romance, the glitz, the promise of forever. I’ve always dreamed of finding my prince charming.

When I was in college, I described my ideal guy to one of girl friends. And she said, “You know what, you’ll never find him. He doesn’t exist! There’s no such thing as Mr. Perfect.” At the time, I was adamant that, yes, my Mr. Perfect did exist!

Then I did meet him. My ideal guy. He was perfect on paper. He was handsome, fun to be with, smart, knew all the right words, a good speaker, rich and he even had abs. But when I got what I wanted, I realized that it wasn’t what I really wanted. Yes, romance is important. But it’s not all that matters.

You really want someone who will stick with you through thick and thin. Someone who makes the effort to care about the things that interest you. Someone who will make time to be with you despite his busy schedule. Someone who will take the time to read the books you share and watch the videos you send. Someone who will comfort you when you’re down and help you find a solution to your problem. Someone who will lead you, love you and provide for you. Someone who loves God more than you.

A true Prince Charming is someone who will love you no matter what.

Sometimes women have crazy notions about what love is. But really it’s about commitment. The promise to be with each other for better or for worse. Yes, I’m still a romantic at heart. I love moonlit walks on the beach, fancy dinners and flowers. But I know now what truly matters.

Love is about creating the kind of relationship where both of you can be honest with each other and grow together.

What about you? What are the things that you look for in your ideal man?

There is no one size fits all Prince Charming. Because they come in different packages. There is no “perfect guy”. There’s just the guy that’s perfect for you. Your best match. The one who’ll accept you for who you are, grow with you and truly commit to you.

One day, out of darkness, they shall meet, and read life’s meaning in each other’s eyes.”
-Susan Mara Spalding

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Cheers to New Beginnings

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I love weddings. It’s the promise of forever, the exciting adventure a couple has in store for them and the blossoming of a new life, as one, that has me all starry-eyed. I’m really a romantic a heart. It must have been all those novels I read back in high school.

Last weekend, two of my churchmates at CCF decided to tie the knot after 5 years of being in a relationship. It was a beautiful wedding. The venue was on a hill, overlooking Cagayan de Oro City. It was intimate, with only the bride and grooms family and close friends in attendance. And when they said “I do”, it was during sunset. I felt like I was looking at a lovely painting with the sky bursting into a myriad of red and orange colors.

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I love weddings. Most people do. But sometimes we can get so caught up in the wedding, we fail to prepare for the marriage.

Back then, my idea of love was candle light dinners, barefoot walks on the beach under a star-lit sky and surprise dates. I thought this was what love was. But then someone shared Jesus to me, and his way of loving totally changed my perspective. Love was much more (and much harder) than what I thought it was. He taught me that love is patient, it is kind. It does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.His definition of love was so far from my feel-good, fuzzy definition of it. Love is about humility and commitment.

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I loved their wedding. But what I loved more was their courtship. At the onset of their relationship, both the bride and groom committed to honor God and put Him in the center. And that included maintaining their purity. There were a lot of struggles and temptations. But at the end, they shared their first kiss during the ceremony.

I was greatly encouraged by their story, because although they are far from perfect (no one is), they proved, that keeping your purity during courtship is possible. Their desire to honor God was like a glass of cold, fresh water on a scorching hot day – refreshing and inspiring. The attitude I see today is “It’s too hard, why even try?” But as this couple proved, it is possible. But only through God’s grace.

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It’s not really about being righteous or comparing yourself to others. We all have our own journey to make. This is about having a close and personal relationship with God. It’s about putting him in the center of your life. Because once he’s your priority, you will want to obey and honor him.

Marriage is a gift from God to us. The quality of our marriage is a gift from us to him.

-L. Whitney Clayton

I love weddings. But what I love more is the endless possibilities that will come after it. Sugar and Kileab, I know that you’ll have an even more beautiful marriage, as long as you both keep God at the center of your relationship and allow him to continue writing your love story.

May you live a Truly Wealthy life.



50 Shades of Love Session 3: Love and Marriage

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If you are single and you want to get married, I have an important question for you. What are you doing to prepare for it?

Last Friday, Ptr Mel Santos tackled the 3rd topic on 50 Shades of Love: Love and Marriage. A lot of singles out there want to get married. But only a few prepare for marriage.

Preparation is key to success.

When you want something, you prepare for it. Preparation is vital because intention is not equal to ability. You may intend to do something, but if you don’t prepare adequately then your chances for success will be diminished.

For example, if you want to run a 42K marathon, you don’t go out and run it immediately. You need to prepare for it everyday. You run regularly going a little further each day until you are able to run a 42K.

In the same way, just because you say “I do” doesn’t make you capable. Promises are no substitute for preparation. Marriage is the most significant relationship we can have next to God. What are you doing to prepare for it?

Intention is not equal to ability.

-Pastor Mel Santos

Whatever you do today influences your future. We continually look for Mr. or Ms. Right, but have you committed to growing yourself to be the right person?

Would you marry, you?

It’s not about being perfect. It’s simply about having the desire to change for the better and working at it everyday. You become what you continually do.

Commit now to becoming someone who can keep commitments later. If you want to be a good spouse, start preparing yourself now.

So how does one prepare for marriage?

Address any unresolved childhood or current issues.
If you get married without resolving your issues, you will bring your emotional baggage into your marriage. This is not only unfair to your spouse but also damaging to your marriage.

If you attempt to build intimacy with a person before you’ve done the hard work of becoming a whole and healthy person, every relationship will be an attempt to complete the hole in your heart.

– Les and Leslie Parrott

Check your most important relationships.
How is your relationship with God?
How is your relationship with your parents?
How are you with work?

Get out of debt.
Starting your marriage while you’re in debt isn’t a good way to begin. So if you are in debt, get out of it first before getting married.

Get involved with a local bible-based church in terms of ministry and serving others.
Once you start serving other people instead of just thinking of yourself, your character grows. You will acquire patience, kindness and true joy of serving others – traits that are needed in marriage.

List of qualities we should look for in a future spouse:

  • Loves God and others
  • Spiritually mature
  • Emotionally mature
  • Spiritual leader
  • Able to provide (man)
  • Respectful (woman)
  • Responsible
  • Has integrity and character

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Commit now to start becoming the person you should be. Take steps to change your habits. Grow. Be better. When you do this you will become the worthy person that you are looking for.

“In His wisdom, God brings two people together to balance each other, to fill each other’s gaps. They are stronger as a team than they were as individuals. They are two independent people who choose to become interdependent.”

-Davie Boehi, Preparing for Marriage: Discover God’s Plan for a Lifetime of Love

Commit to the process of becoming the person worth pursuing, worth winning and worth loving.


How to Discern Gods Will In Choosing a Job or Life Partner

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Wisdom is needed to make Godly choices. But the question is, how do we discern what God’s will for us is?

I was talking to my accountability partner, Mandy, the other day and she recommended to me a book by Kevin DeYoungJust Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will. In his book, DeYoung enumerated 4 steps on how discern which job or life partner to choose. For example, if you are choosing between 2 careers how do you know which one God wants you to take?


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Step 1: Search the Sriptures.
The bible won’t say, Thou art must become a nurse and work in Canada. So look for principles. Is the job righteous? Will you be able to use your skills to honor God? If, for example, the job requires you to lie to people or pose in skimpy underwear, then obviously it doesn’t glorify God and is therefore out of the question. But if both jobs are morally ok, then you’ll have to ask other questions like, “Will I be able to provide for my family?” or “Are there churches near the area?”

If anyone doesn’t provide for his relatives, and especially for the members of his household, he has denied the faith and his worse than an unbeliever.

-1 Timothy 5:8

When I was deciding whether to continue on as a nurse or become a real estate broker, I checked my attitude towards both careers. As a nurse, I would only be mediocre. Nursing is a great vocation. But I just wasn’t passionate about it. When on duty I would often pray for my shift to end as quickly as possible. Excellence in your field of work is one way to glorify God and I knew I would never be excellent as a nurse because I didn’t enjoy it. Real estate, on the other hand, was something that had always interested me. And since I loved sales and dealing with people, I could be excellent in this career if I worked at it.

Step 2: Get wise counsel
Before making a big decision like which job to take, talk to people who know you well. What main skills do you have? Will you be able to excel in this job? Does your personality fit the job you want to take?

If for example, you’re tone deaf, then you probably shouldn’t quit your job to be a singer. Ask your parents, spiritual mentors and trusted friends. These are the people that know you best and they’ll be able to provide valuable inputs.

Step 3: Pray
Prayer is very powerful as it provides a direct line to God. When I was still deciding whether being a real estate broker was for me, I prayed about it. I didn’t ask for a road map. I didn’t even ask for a guarantee for success. I knew that I could fail as a broker just as easily as I could fail as a nurse. But I felt that real estate was more for me because of the circumstances – everything just happened to fall into place. My skills and interests also leaned more into sales and marketing rather than the medical field. And I felt that this was where I could truly make a difference.

Step 4: Make a decision.
Don’t overanalyze. Deciding not to decide is also a decision. Once you’ve prayed, asked for advice, read scripture and weighed the pros and cons, then you need to decide. The whole point of having a job is to honor God. So whether you choose to be a nurse, entrepreneur, teacher or real estate broker (like me), just make sure you give glory to God through your work. Excellence in the work place is a great testimony to people and it can show them who God is in your life without you having to say a word. And you can only be excellent if you love what you’re doing.

When I started Truly Wealthy Realty with my partners, I didn’t really know what exactly I was doing. I was new in the field and knew next to nothing about it. Since we were still building on our skill set and experience, we relied solely on our values in making decisions. Is this the right thing to do? Is this fair for everyone? Our values acted as our compass and it still holds true today.


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According to DeYoung, choosing who to marry is a lot like choosing a job. It may sound unromantic but that’s wisdom for you. It’s not about romance but about focusing on God’s plan for you.

Step 1: Search the Scriptures.
The Bible won’t tell you whom to marry. But it tells you “how” to marry. First, marriage should be between man and woman only. Second, marry someone with the same faith. You want to be with someone who you can grow spiritually with. The spiritual maturity of both parties should also be taken into consideration before engaging in a relationship. We must first grow in Christ on our own to avoid being distracted. On the practical side, you may also want to check your personalities. Do your personalities complement each other? Do you work well together? Will being with this person make you a better person? Will he be able to provide for the family?

 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

-2 Corinthians 6:14

Step 2: Get wise counsel
Do your spiritual mentors feel like you’re ready to be in a relationship? Do your parents approve of your choice? Do your friends think you’ll be a good match? It’s important to get the opinion of the people who know and love you because you can be sure that they’ll have your best interests at heart. Courtship involves more than just the two of you.

If, for example, you’re parents don’t approve,then you’ll have to rethink your choice. The bible says to honor your parents and going ahead with the courtship without their approval doesn’t honor them.

Step 3: Pray
Ask God for guidance. Check your motives. Are you getting married just because “it’s time” to get married? Or because you think that this person will be a good provider? Or because you’re physically attracted to the person? Attraction and looking at his ability to provide isn’t necessarily wrong. But this should only come second to “Will this person allow me to grow in Christ?” and “Does he love God more than he loves me?”

Whether we are single or married, our mission is to honor God first and foremost, so this must always take first priority in our lives. If being in a relationship allows you to honor God more, then go be in one. Just remember to honor your parents, ask for counsel and discern about it in prayer before making a decision. And before praying for Mr. or Ms. Right, you may want to consider becoming the “right” person first. Most of the time, the delay is not with God but with us.

Step 4: Make a decision.
According to DeYoung, if a guy likes a girl, you’re both spiritually mature Christians and your friends and family aren’t panicking that you actually like each other, then you should probably go for it. Once you’ve prayed about it and asked for counsel, what’s left to do is act. You will never really know what the outcome will be unless you try.


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“Love is not really a mystery. It is a process like anything else. A process that requires trust, effort, focus and commitment by two willing partners”

-Elizabeth Bourgeret

DeYoung’s take on discerning God’s will is practical and applicable. I think the bottom-line in making decisions, whether it’s in choosing a career, a spouse or something else is to seek God first and commit to honoring Him in everything we do. When we do this, our decisions, no matter what they may be, will be pleasing to Him.


The 4 L.O.V.E Styles – Which One Are You?


According to Charles Morgan, “As knowledge increases, wonder deepens.”

I was browsing through Passages this afternoon and came across an interesting book by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott entitled L.O.V.E – Putting Your Love Style to Work for You.

When it comes to relationships, I believe knowledge is power. It’s important to know yourself and your partner so you’ll be able to work together as harmoniously as possible. With knowledge, comes understanding. Once you know why a person is the way he is, you’ll be able to be more patient and considerate. Loving another person is intentional and takes a lot of hard work. The more you know about each others personality, the better your chances for success as a couple will be.

L – Leader
O – Optimist
V – Validator
E – Evaluator

Please note that you are not exclusively one personality type. People are usually a combination of all four. But we usually have a dominant personality type among the four. Understanding what type you are will help you improve and be a better person.

Type 1: LEADER – The Take-Charge Spouse
Deepest need: Control
You like taking control and often expect every one else to follow – including your spouse/partner.
Motto: If it’s worth doing, do it now.
Descriptor: Doer
At your best: Goal-oriented, Focused, Self-confident, Visionary, Hardworking
You are goal-oriented, competitive and disciplined. When you set your sights on something, you cut through everything else to get to it. You have a clear picture of your future and you set out to create it.
At your worst: Stubborn, Insensitive, Easily annoyed, Hot-tempered, Domineering
You have a strong will and can become obstinate. Because you like to move fast, you have the tendency to put down those who don’t move or think fast enough. You are easily irritated and can be domineering and opinionated.
How you’re hardwired to love: You like being productive and treat your relationship as a means to be productive. You operate on a to-do list and like to deal with conflict immediately. Because you are a visionary, you like to initiate experiences and create memories by planning trips and adventures. You can commit to a vision without understanding the details of how it will be realized. You simply have the confidence that the details will come in time. You’re hardwired to love by doing loving things and making a positive influence through your actions.
Definition of Love: Love is…being intentional and active about building our future together.
Your approach to relationships:
Communication – direct to the point, can be an impatient listener
Your approach to conflict – direct, you want to resolve conflict immediately
Intimacy – you are likely to be upfront about your sexual needs and initiate it when you desire it
Finance – you have a financial goal and you will do everything to achieve it
Free time – you barely have any free time. Because you like being productive, you often multi-task and fill up all your time with activity.
How you can improve in relationships:
Cultivate patience
Slow down
Put a lid on your anger

Type 2: OPTIMIST: The Encouraging Spouse
Deepest need: approval
You desire to please people and want affection. You also like to have fun.
Motto: If it’s worth doing – make it fun.
Descriptor: Talker
At your best: Fun-loving, Positive, Persuasive, Sociable, Encouraging
At your worst: Avoids conflict, Dramatic, Easily distracted, Prone to procrastinate, forgetful
How you’re hardwired to love: You love romance and expect passion, excitement and enthusiasm from your partner. You desire an affection marriage, free of tension and overflowing with joy. You express love through affection and encouragement.
Definition of Love: Love is…being fully attentive and giving each other affection and acceptance.
Your approach to relationships:
Communication – love to talk. You feel most loved when your partner listens to you
Your approach to conflict – you tend to avoid confronting the issue at hand event when your partner wants to discuss it
Intimacy – you are likely to be fun, energetic, creative and eager to please in the bedroom
Finance – you seldom take time to plot out your finances and are casual with money
Free time – you love free time and thrive on it
How you can improve in relationships:
Be willing to disagree
Be more upfront and honest
Talk in moderation and allow your partner time to talk as well
Respect any plans you’ve made together

Type 3: VALIDATOR: The Devoted Spouse
Deepest need: Harmony and peace
You are designed for loyalty, union and agreement. You need stability and consistency. You don’t like change unless there is a good reason for it.
Motto: If it’s worth doing – we’ll do it together.
Descriptor:  Watcher
At your best: Loyal, Agreeable, Thoughtful, Attentive, Tolerant, Nurturing
At your worst: Withdrawn, Indecisive, Resistant to change, Aloof, Unable to say no
How you’re hardwired to love: Calm and peaceful is your approach to relationships. You don’t want to rock the boat and desire stability in your marriage.
Definition of Love: Love is…being reassured that we are on the same team and working together.
Your approach to relationships:
Communication – you tend to be on the quiet side and hide your true feelings to avoid conflict
Your approach to conflict – you internalize your struggles and keep your true feelings bottled up
Intimacy – you view sex as an expression of love
Finance – you have a financial plan and stick to it
Free time – you like planning out your schedules and expect your partner to follow it
How you can improve in relationships:
Express yourself more
Be flexible with your plan
Learn to say no
Join in the excitement

Type 4: EVALUATOR: The Careful Spouse
Deepest need: Perfection and quality
You have a deep need for perfection and take a lot of time to decide on something. You examine all the facts and study all options before making a choice. When you do decide, it’s hard for anyone to change your mind. You seek excellence and feel a deep need to do things the right way.
Motto: Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
Descriptor: Thinker
At your best: Orderly, Conscientious, Thorough, Scheduled, Purposeful, Factual
At your worst: Obsessive, Critical, Moody, Suspicious, Rigid
How you’re hardwired to love: You have high ideals for your marriage and want the best marriage possible. You analyze your relationship and evaluate what each of you is doing. For you, love is something to improve. You are a conscientious partner who like to know what your spouse wants from you – the more detailed, the better. And you’ll work hard to meet those expectations and desires. You derive pleasure from knowing precisely what you can do to make your spouse feel appreciated and loved.
Definition of Love: Love is…having time to gather my thoughts and feel good about a decision.
Your approach to relationships:
Communication – You like a sensible conversation, especially when it’s deep and intellectual. You like to focus on the facts but you’ll also probe for the “hidden meaning”. You’ll often ask your partner specific questions to understand him/her on a deeper level.
Your approach to conflict – You can be very detailed and rigid. Many of your fights are the result of feeling criticized.
Intimacy – Predictable and intentional
Finance –Highly organized and detailed
Free time – You are studious and often prefer to read or study rather than interact with people.
How you can improve in relationships:
Lighten up
Relax the rules
Excuse incorrect details
Allow for interruptions
Minimize criticism


Session 1 of 50 Shades of LOVE: Human Love vs Gods Love

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It’s the month of love once again and sure enough, all around are signs that Valentines Day is fast approaching. Falling in love is something that most of us dream of doing. How can we not when the movies depict love as something that’s exciting and wonderful and exhilarating?

But, what does love really mean? Is it the candlelit dinners, chocolates and flowers and stuffed toys? Or is it much more than that?

To define the real meaning of love, let’s go back to the author of love. This is Session 1 of 50 Shades of Red – as shared by the speaker Mr. Mel Santos – Human love vs God’s love.

This is how God defines love.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

-Romans 5:8

Love is so much more than what we feel. Love is action-oriented. It’s selfless, something that is to be channeled towards others. But we need to know God’s love first before we can give it to others. We can’t give what we don’t have.

For relationships, this is a good standard of what love is.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

-1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

To truly love others we need to have the right definition of love. Love as God defines it.

Romantic (World) Biblical (1 Corinthians 13)
Emotional (centered of feelings) Commitment (a decision)
Hasty (whirlwind romance) Patient (willing to go through the right process)
Self-serving (what can I get?) Unselfish (what can I give?)
Temporary (until I’m no longer happy) Enduring (forever)
Self-motivated God motivated  (God as the center)


When it comes to romantic love, it can be hard to separate what’s real from your emotions. It “feels” right, so I should be with this person. Or, he makes me so happy. He must be the one. But how do you know if a person is your Gods Best? You must go through the right process.

Friendship – Courtship – Marriage

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These days courtship is no longer done by singles. Instead, it has been replaced with “dating”. And no, its not the same thing.

What’s the difference between dating and courtship?

Dating is based solely on attraction

Courtship is based on attraction and trusted counsel. You need to ask your parents, spiritual mentors, close friends if this person that you’re thinking of courting is right for you. These are the people that know and love you and they only want what’s best for you.

Dating is about impressing the other person. It’s putting your best foot to make that person like you.

Courtship is about being honest and building trust. It’s showing the other person who you truly are.

Dating involves only the two of you.

Courtship involves God, parents (blessings), mentors (advise) and friends.

Dating is secretive. You go out and tell no one. You don’t really share your love life with others.

Courtship is public. Its about being open to the people you trust about what’s happening between the two of you.

Dating is impulsive, short sighted.

Courtship is intentional. Planned > engagement > marriage. The intention of courtship should be marriage.

Dating puts intimacy first before commitment.

Courtship puts commitment before intimacy.

Courting is about intentionally building a foundation for marriage.

You may think it’s hard to find love these days. And if you look for it in the world, you’re right. Because the world defines love in a very different way. But if you look for love in the right place, the author, Jesus – you will never be disappointed.

Seek him first and all else will follow.

If you want to fall in love, by all means, do. But be sure to follow the process so you’ll avoid unnecessary pain and have your happy ending.



This is only Session 1 of the 4 Series of 50 Shades of Red. For those who want to join the remaining 3 sessions, you may drop by Elevate Hub, CCF, Limketkai next Friday at 6:30pm. Bring a friend!

50 Shades of LOVE Series
Session 1: Human Love vs Gods Love (Feb 12)
Session 2: Love and Sexuality (Feb 19)
Session 3: Love and Being Singe – Mr. Right/Ms. Right (Feb 26)
Session 4: New Rules in Dating (March 4)




On Choosing God’s Best


Photo from http:shutterstock

I can only follow a man who follows Christ. A man who loves Jesus above all else. For I know, that’s the man who will love me most. When you follow Christ, truly know Him, you become selfless.

You’ll love more, give more, be more.

I’m not talking about the lukewarm kind of love. I’m talking about the passionate kind of love. A love that burns so brightly it puts the sun to shame.

When a man loves Jesus like this, he will be able to love his family in a Godly manner.

When a man loves Jesus, he will love you from the inside out.

This is the man I choose to love and follow. A man who follows Christ.


How to Find Your God’s Best

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God’s Best is a term I hear a lot at church. “You need to wait for your God’s Best.” Or “How do you know if he’s your God’s Best?”.

But what does the term “God’s Best” even mean?

Does it mean that out of the billions of people here on Earth, there is just one person destined for you alone? Or does it simply mean, choosing the “best” among the rest?

My friend, Stef and I, were talking about the God’s Best concept on our taxi ride from Sucat to NAIA. We had just attended a friend’s wedding in Manila and so it brought about the whole God’s Best conversation.

I have friends who believe that love is about destiny – that there is just one person meant to love you and for you to fall in love with. But our take on that is, love is a choice. You choose who to fall in love with. You just need to make the best choice based on the values important to you.

The man I choose to love, I choose to love. Love is a choice, not a matter of destiny. It is a choice renewed each day.

Destiny isn’t something we have control over. And since God has given us freewill to make our own choices, the concept of destiny goes against that. I believe the gift of freewill includes making the choice on who to love. Of course this decision should be made with Godly principles in mind. Because love isn’t all about passion or romance. Love should be guided by principles. It means doing what’s best for the other person. It means pointing each other towards God.

How will you know if a person is God’s Best for you?

Get to know that person.

Check his spiritual maturity.

Find out what his values are.

Look at his character.

See the real him and not just how you want to see him. And in order to get to know someone, you need to spend time with him. Preferably in a group so as to minimize temptation.

Getting to know someone is like walking on a tightrope. You need to hold back just enough to avoid diving in too soon and at the same time, you need to open up so you can really get to know each other.

You’ll also need to ask unromantic but necessary questions like:

Is he responsible? How does he handle money? Is he a family man? How does he treat the women in his family (because that’s also how he’ll treat you)? Is he someone I can grow with? Can I handle his worst traits? Do our personalities complement each other? Do we have the same core values? Is he spiritually mature? Does he love God more than anything/anyone?

“With or without God, good decisions can be made; But only with God will great decisions be made.”

-Damon Thueson

You don’t fall in love by accident. There is always a desire to take the plunge. Just make sure that love sticks around, to pick you up when you fall. In the end, it still falls on us to make the choice.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!


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