By Stephon Chaney
The idea of becoming a father can be extremely intimidating. Yes, it's very exciting to find out that your wife is expecting (even if she informs you via text message), but for me that initial excitement lasted all of 5 minutes. After praying to God for my first born to be a boy, I immediately began to convince myself that I wasn't ready to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood, I even provided supporting arguments as to why I was not qualified. I pointed out areas in my professional life that had yet to fully develop into anything suitable for a father; one that would be responsible for financially supporting a growing family. I emphasized the fact that I was nowhere close to purchasing my dream home; one sufficient enough to comfortably house that growing family. I thought about extravagant vacations that Christina and I had planned to take, and that we would soon be required to factor in the existence of another human being prior to actually being able to go. I constantly reminded myself of everything that was lacking, which led to more thoughts of inadequacy and doubt. What's interesting is that several first time fathers that I speak with can relate to this experience. The good news is that I now have a new perspective, having completed a full year of fatherhood. My son, Luke, is now a thriving 1 year old and I had a little something to do with that! Simply put, at some point over the past year I found my New Dad Swag, and I've outlined a few tips that might help you in finding yours.
By Christina Chaney
My husband and I initially planned on waiting at least 4 years before we brought a baby into the world. We wanted to be at a certain level of success in our careers, having reached certain goals, and traveled to a number of countries. Most of all, we wanted to simply enjoy life as a married couple; just the two of us. .
By Christina Chaney
The Bible mentions that marriage is sacred, but it wasn't until recently that I actually understood the significance of that statement.. In the first year of my marriage, I learned a lot about myself (the good parts and the not so good parts). I will admit that the world had influenced my view on marriage by means of its fairytale depiction. You get engaged, have an extravagant wedding, a romantic honeymoon, lots of babies, and you live happily ever after. Then, in fine print, it suggests that you should resort to divorce at the first sign of trouble. Well, God shut all that down during my time of consecration, and later exposed to me the truths about marriage…and He started with my honeymoon.
By Stephon Chaney
When I share with people the expedited timeframe in which Christina and I were able to go from dating to marriage, and that it was celibacy that propelled us, they tend to look at me like I'm crazy. But coming from my previous lifestyle (that of a manwhore), I understand COMPLETELY how absurd that statement may sound.
In fact, I recall a time when I first heard a similar story. Back in February of 2013 (the day before Valentine's Day/Single Awareness Day) I decided to visit what I thought would be "mid-week bible study" at One Church LA. Surprisingly, I walked into a packed house of young people who were seemingly too excited to be in church on a Wednesday night (at least the type of "church" I was accustomed to). As it turned out, in addition to taking part in mid-week service, everyone had gathered to hear DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good provide insight on their journey to marriage.
By Stephon Chaney
It’s common to hear single women accuse men of being “afraid of commitment”, and three years ago I would’ve agreed with the notion. On second thought, I would’ve argued that I wasn’t “afraid” of commitment... I just didn’t want it. After all, what dude wants to be stuck with the same woman forever? Why be locked down when a man can have as many women, as often as he likes? But as I revisit this discussion from a renewed perspective, I must admit that my viewpoint was inaccurate. Here’s why… One definition of commitment is “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.” When you put it that way, I was committed to MANY things. So “commitment” itself wasn’t the problem. This definition reveals that there are two parts to the equation: 1. the dedication component, and 2. the entity to which I am devoting that dedication. Understanding the definition of commitment helped me get to the root of why I had such a negative outlook on long term relationships.
By Christina Chaney
I used to turn to pop culture magazines or romantic movies for my daily bread, reading and watching as I filled myself with its empty substance. I thought that with the help of gossip columnists, I could be delivered from bad breakups or gain wisdom on how to attract the right man. Little did I know, those influences would dictate my every move. I've come to learn that we not only digest through our mouths, but through our eyes and ears as well. Our physical health for instance, is a result of our diet and exercise (or genetics for the blessed and highly favored); while our spiritual health is a direct reflection of what we read, listen to, and with whom we surround ourselves.
When I was parlaying in the world, it seemed so difficult to get out of the "live fast" lifestyle. After all, I was partying with the rich and famous, dating the eligible bachelors, and wearing the latest fashions. Living for Christ was the last thing on my mind...
Are you instagram stalking someone? Checking your phone every five seconds for text message updates, or deleting a guy's number just to keep yourself from calling him? Did your heart just skip after reading those questions? I've got news for you... It's time to let go and let God! You've been waiting all day (if not all week) to hear from a guy you really like (or slept with) and as soon as you're preparing for bed, your phone goes off with a text message from him. You're excited, yet at the same time you cant help but wonder, ''Is this a booty call?" Then, you lie to yourself... "I'm just going to go over there and 'talk'." I don't know about you, but I have put myself in that type of situation time and time again. Simply put, It never ends well.
When I was single, I was extremely picky. If I encountered a man who met all of my criteria,
We hear the term thrown out quite often as it relates to the requirements of a wife, but what exactly qualifies a woman to be considered "wife material?" To be honest, it depends who you ask. The Stephon of 2012 would've told you that she had to be smart, sexy, and look a certain way. Her hair would have to be a specific length, eyes and skin tone a particular color, and she would have to have just enough attitude to keep me on my toes but not too much that it would become annoying. Her waist would need to be a particular size, her breast and hind-parts a desired look and feel, and she would have to have at least a four pack in the mid section. But the fact of the matter is that I had met several women who fit that description. From the time I began college, through the 6th year of my bachelor life in Los Angeles (the peak of my sex life, which occurred over a 12 year period), I had encountered many women who met every physical and sexual requirement known to MAN... they even had great personalities and nice feet.
First off, there's a difference between being celibate, and going through a "dry spell." Whenever I would experience a dry spell (period of time without getting any), it wasn't due to lack of effort by any means. I was still seeking the action, just falling short. That said, celibacy is not only the act of abstaining from sex, but more so the intention to do so on purpose.
"So, the two of you've never had sex? Why are you waiting? What if it's bad? What if he's small?" These were the popular inquiries during my time of celibacy while dating Stephon. Of course, any person in their right mind would ask these questions. After all, everyone has sex with their significant other... And anyone who doesn't is just another religious freak who condemns everyone and judges everything, right??? WRONG! I too once felt the same way (after all, I was a sexual person who believed in being intimate with someone I cared for). But if this was even half true, then our bodies can be compared to casual dine-in restaurants: You go in, feed your flesh,, and then leave. Don't forget about the "we have a right to refuse service to anyone" sign. I'm sorry but my body, also know as a temple according to the bible, is of more value than that. I had to step out of what I thought I knew, and see myself from a different perspective. My decision to become celibate (absolutely no sexual contact whatsoever) happened long before I met my husband.. I'm reminded of past relationships that led up to my decision, I would find myself pursuing men, when they clearly had commitment phobia. Why did I do that? Why was I rsvping to heartbreak at club deja vu?