Living Life As a Woman In Ministry

Archive for June 8, 2009

The 80/20 Rule

I learned about the 80/20 rule in Tyler Perry’s new movie Why Did I Get Married? It makes perfect sense and so I want to blog about this rule today.

In the movie the men are talking about why two of the men cheated on their wives. The men who don’t cheat gave the reminder that they needed to remember the 80/20 rule. So here it is in a nutshell for you.

If you are married, you are probably getting about 80% of your needs met. The other 20% don’t get met for whatever reason. You’re tired, he’s tired, kids, too much work the possibilities are endless but that 20% seems like a big gap.

Suddenly a person comes around and begins to give you that 20% of the attention that you needed and it FEELS GOOD! That 20% was missed so much that you are just enthralled with that 20%. You can’t get enough of the 20%. What happens though is that you begin to neglect the person who is giving you 80% and therefore risking losing 80%. In the end it comes down to a simple math equation. You lose 80% to gain 20% and you lose more than you gain. It doesn’t seem worth it doesn’t it?

Now, apply the 80/20 rule to the rest of your life. In sales, 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your sales staff. In ministry 80% of your problems will be caused by 20% of your members. In life 80% of your time can be consumed by the 20% of those things we think of as fires.

It’s time to do some backward thinking here. Let’s begin to make the equation more like 20/80. To cause the 80/20 rule to work in reverse make it so that 20% of your time can be used to do 80% of your workload! It’s called working smarter and I know you can do it!

Don’t Awaken Love Before It So Desires

Song 2:7 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Song 3:5 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Song 8:4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Whenever God tells us anything and feels that it bears repeating I think we should listen up. It’s important. We see where Jesus speaks and says, “Verily, verily” in that time it meant it was important. It was like saying, “Hey listen up!”

So we see here that God is saying to women, Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. He doesn’t just say it twice, he says it three times which makes me stand up and pay attention because if two times means it’s important, then three times means it’s super important! So let’s spend some time today and break this down. It’s important that we get this train of thought in our heart and that we teach our young girls this principal.

First off, what is God talking about when he says do not arouse or awaken love? How does this happen? I mean seriously we’ve all been told that we “fall” in love. But the only way to fall off a cliff is to walk along the edges. So to fall in love means we are walking along the edges of it. When the Lord tells us not to awaken love until it so desires, it means we aren’t supposed to walk along the cliff until the time is right. When is that time and how we do we know that it’s that time?

That’s the million dollar question because it’s different for everyone but there are some solid guidelines that we can be sure of. First off, there isn’t a magic age at which you can point to and say it’s time. So it isn’t about numbers. There are some things that can’t be denied though. Getting married by age has these statistics according to the National Center for Health Statistics;

the age of 20 puts your divorce rate at 27.6% on average
20-24………………………………………36.6%
25-29………………………………………16.4%
30-34……………………………………….8.5%

So we see that before the age of 25 it’s a risky proposition to get married. The reason is you haven’t yet come into your own yet. There are still changes to your personality going on. Think about it, at the age of 18 you became what society thinks is an adult. You finally reach an age where you are responsible for yourself but what does that mean? At the age of 18 most people still aren’t able to financially support themselves without some help from their parents so they aren’t truly their own person. This is the time to discover who you are as a stand alone person. At the age of 21 you no longer have the same perspective as you did at 18 and you by now are on your own and determining your course in life. There are still lots more questions than answers but at least goals are becoming more cemented in your life. At 25 you are a quarter of century. You’ve seen a few things, experienced a few things and know yourself a little better than you did before. You know what personalities work with yours and you are beginning to think about buying a home and settling into a career and making goals that are longer than just a few months.

For some people this process gets speeded up or slowed down by circumstances, God understands this. Love comes when it so desires. We need to walk in wisdom waiting for that time, but not manipulating it, to make it happen. As women we want so desperately to be in love but are we ready for it?

How do we awaken love before it’s so desires? We don’t practice modesty and we sexualize ourselves confusing love and sex is the main issue. I often see the girls in our youth group trying so desperately to be part of the crowd, wearing provocative clothing and too much makeup as they try to conform into what the world is telling them is sexy. Only to sexualize yourself is to sell yourself short. We attract the wrong person and in the wrong timing and order. We don’t wait for the man God chooses, but instead we pick the one who is good enough and we pray for the best. We don’t take the time to grow up.

If any of these shortcuts are taken, then what happens is, we awaken love before it’s time. When we do that love awakens as immature and ill-prepared to handle the ups and downs of life. Love can’t sustain itself. Think of an orchid, there is a way to flick the petals where they open pre-maturely, it’s beautiful but it also withers sooner than it would have if it had opened during a natural progression of time. Just as that orchid can’t be closed again, love can’t be put back to sleep once it’s aroused. God is crying out to his daughters in these passages that we need to wait for correct timing. Everything done in order and timing thrives. Love birthed in correct timing is lasting. God isn’t being a party pooper, instead he is saving you a hurt, pain and a broken heart. Take heed to what he is saying and let him guide you through the process of love.

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