Leaders are readers. Upgrade your library here!

Click the link to get some of my best recommendations for your library!

From Idea to Ignition!


Masterminds and Expert Coaching

All the best performers in any field have a coach. Shouldn't you? Mastermind Groups and one-on-one coaching are both available for those interested in partnership and accountability in working on their vision and goals.

Visit the Live BIG! Die Empty. Store!

Check out these great resources from the mind of Mark Anthony McCray...with more in development every single day!

Invite Mark to share at your next live event, workshop or seminar!

Each keynote or workshop session can be customized with relevant examples, anecdotes and solutions to match your audience and your needs. Just ask! If you want Mark to come and speak at your meeting or conference, just e-mail!



Is She Wonder Woman or a Witch?

Is she Wonder Woman or a witch? Honestly, it's a trick question. I'll explain why in a moment. I know how social media works. Bitching and complaining work a lot better than truth and compliments. Most people clicking on this blog want me to list out all the ways to tell whether a woman is a good woman or whether she's horrible. Like I said, though. It's a trick question because the answer, men, is largely up to you.

Man, you have the power to determine what she's going to be more than you know. Much of what she's going to be is according to what you call her.

I believe women have the unique, special ability to multiply the harvest of the words sown into their lives. If you want the woman in your life to be kind, nurturing, supportive or whatever, call her that. Call her that even when she isn't that. Never relent. Never back down. Never confess anything except what you want to see manifested. Ever!!

On the other hand, if you make a habit of labeling a woman with your words as "mean-spirited", trifling, or (God forbid) the "B" word, guess what you're going to get more and more of over time?! And not only that, but you'll get it in multiples! Quite honestly, I've been amazed my whole adult life at how giving, patient and kind most women can be when given the chance. Most put up with all kinds of hell that I know I wouldn't! If want to experience a woman at her best, call her the best.

So, what's it going to be? Do you want a Wonder Woman or a Witch? Often, it's your choice! You'll get what you say. If you always call her a witch, don't blame me when she's cursing you.


Is He a Superman or a Joker?

Is he a Superman or a Joker? Does it matter? Most people begin to respond to what they are called repeatedly. If you want him to be your Superman, if you treat him that way, he'll become more of that - even if he isn't already.

"Men don't marry a woman because of how she looks - he marries her because of how he feels when he is around her..." ~Dr. Mike Murdock

This quote touched off quite a discussion between some friends of mine recently - both men and women. The men felt like it was 100% true and the women felt like it was 100% hogwash (for the most part)! Talk about a difference of opinion! I didn't feel like it was 100% true, however. I answered that it was 1000000% true. I don't even know if there is a such thing as a million percent, but if there is, put me down for that answer.

When a man chooses to move past casual dating and make a commitment, it's always about how he feels when he is around that woman. If you're a man, you know I'm right. If you're a woman, you might be feeling conflicted right now. You've heard about how men are visual and think we can be mesmerized by a woman's beauty like some kind of magic spell. Not likely. I've never, ever, ever, ever seen a man choose to be with one woman over another because of her looks. Not ever.

A woman who knows how to make a man feel like a king will always have the top place in a good man's life. She will always be the apple of his eye even over another woman who might be sexy, rich, well-educated or anything else if the sexy, rich, well-educated woman either doesn't know how to treat men or he just doesn't feel like the king of the world when he's with her.

Because that's what the woman whom a man chooses does: She makes him feel like he can do absolutely anything, like he can be anything, like anything is possible. And that's what every man wants - to feel like Superman. If a woman can do that, men will fight for her, protect her, beg her to be around him and generally risk everything he is, everything he has and everything he can be to have her in his life. This is especially true when so many people - male and female - treat him like a Joker.

Most important for you, it is possible to tell the difference between Supermen and Jokers.  That's why I created this program!

Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful.

All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted! He can be reached in the following ways: Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/markmccray/

For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://livebigdieempty.blogspot.com/p/about-mark_29.html


The Proverbs 31 Man

I am told that I don't write "to" the men enough. I'll own that feedback. Women tend to be more verbal and it's tempting to speak to the audience that is the more responsive. As such, I really want to go back to a topic I've written about before but bring some more focus to it: the man about whom Solomon was writing in the final chapter of Proverbs.

In Christian circles, so much is said about the "Proverbs 31" woman without actually reading and studying the passage.  I can appreciate all the T-shirts, organizations and "Proverbs 31" posters that we Christians like to sell and buy, but every now and then we've got to get back to the basics of the scripture and what it teaches.

Here's one basic: as we see in verse two from Solomon's most well-known passage: the Proverbs were compiled by a man to his son.  (We'll come back to that in a moment.) Most scholars I've read consider Lemuel to be a pseudonym for Solomon, so there isn't much new there. However, consider this: this section of Proverbs were learned by King Lemuel from his mother (Verse 1)!

I've always thought it was interesting how we tend to handle this one chapter from Proverbs by ignoring its first nine verses. There is a lot more to it than the virtuous woman. I'd almost forgotten that myself that Chapter 31 doesn't start at verse ten. I highlighted some of the most important teachings for men below:

#1 -  The primary audience of for the chapter is MEN...it is a book written to a son. Let's stop beating women over the head with one under-understood chapter. If anything, it is supposed to help us identify a GOOD woman. It doesn't appear to be a manual for us to ridicule women.

#2 - "Do not give your strength to women." means we have to be disciplined and maintain our discipline. The mother alludes to her son displaying kingly behavior and whoring after women is definitely not for kings. We men have to be about our missions.

#3 - Drinking to excess is for those who are perishing. It isn't for rulers and kings, like you are. Get it together and put down the Patron. Most of verses one through nine deal with maintaining sobriety. How fitting in a day wherein so many people retreat to various drugs.

#4 - Defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.  Elsewhere, the passage teaches that it's only the righteous who even understand justice. We must stand up for those people who can't speak up for themselves. This is kingly behavior, my brother and kings.

I can't ignore that the bulk of the passage is describing a wonderful woman, wife and mother of virtue.  I can only remind the reader that she is seeking to show her son what such a woman looks like and how she carries herself.  I don't know where she got all of these great qualities.  Perhaps she was taught by her own mother?

Suffice it to say we have no license to run around showing random women how short they fall of the Proverbs 31 standard.  The chief pupil, men, is the man reading these words.  We must ask ourselves, therefore, are we disciplined, sober and just in all of our actions for these are the character traits to which Solomon, the Koholeth, is trying to inspire us.



Why Get Married at All?

I got up early this morning again. As I write this entry in our series called "31 Days to Healthier Relationships" I realize our time is drawing to a close and I've got a few final things to get out of my heart and onto a "page"...so to speak. I don't suppose it was a coincidence that one of my favorite Bible teachers, R.C. Sproul, was talking about "What is Christian Marriage?" on his broadcast this morning.

Very timely! As Christmas falls into the rear view mirror and the new year approaches, this topic has been heavy on my heart and mind. I guess watching "Divorce Court" on television yesterday is a factor, too! After watching people plead for divorce for among the stupidest reasons I've ever heard ("He lets the kids sleep too much, your honor!"), I've decided to come back to marriage again.

Marriage is under tremendous attack. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the world, the side of the ledger evaluating reasons not to marry are outweighing reasons to marry. There has never been a time like this. Even teachers and writers who are the biggest advocates for Christian marriage sometimes struggle to stand against the passionate arguments against jumping the broom that many people make these days

...including women who've had their hearts beaten to the point of bruises and permanent scarring and men who've been stripped of everything earthly and struggling to hang onto their very manhood. Add to it that so many married people are challenged to stay in the commitments they've made, millions of people are asking themselves "Why get married at all?"

I've written about this before, but I'm compelled to do it again...and again. My emotions often fuel my writing and that's the case this morning. I find myself tired and more than a little bit lonely as Christmas has passed and the New Year comes around the bend. I'm one of the millions of people who are both grateful for what I have yet longing to have someone special of my own to spend these sacred seasons with. (I know that's a dangling participle but give me a break.) I heard myself in my spirit vowing to not be alone next Christmas and I caught myself! It's time to reevaluate my motivations and drives. I'm not an old man, but I'm too old to spend a lot more time doing my relationships wrong.

Know what I'm saying?

In any regard, to the matter of "why get married?" I want to offer these reminders and encouragements as we head into a new season...

God gave mankind marriage after seeing Adam's condition. Adam was overwhelmed with the mission God had for him apparently and also lonely. Further, when Adam saw Eve, the first thing he noticed was how she was different from him. Let us not forget that God designed every difference! Accordingly, I believe there are at least four powerful clues as to why God gave us marriage right in that small section of the creation account...

1. We marry to accomplish something greater than we could accomplish on our own. Adam didn't look for or receive companionship until he had already been solidified in his purpose.

2. We marry because we are social creatures who thrive in companionship. After pronouncing everything He had created as "good" it was God who looked upon Adam and said it was "not good" for him to be alone.

3. We marry for spiritual and sexual intimacy. We were created as sexual creatures...not as the same, but as something like puzzle pieces that fit and interlock. Pairing is a part of our very design. Remember: it was not Adam who said "It's not good that I'm alone" but God Himself.

4. We marry to expand the family (and family of God). Just as Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, likewise the kingdom of God thrives best when the people of God are in happy and healthy relationships. Wounded soldiers don't typically fight well.

Now...can we have the benefits of marriage without being married? Perhaps some of them. Read my previous blogs and call me a skeptic. I suppose many of us can have someone to spend time with, save on some bills, and keep our hormones in better balance. On the other hand, there is an intimacy and sense of purpose that "life partners" will never achieve because it only comes to husbands and wives.

Just as the Bible says "He who finds a wife finds a good thing..." I am convinced there are blessings set aside especially for those who choose to walk in the covenant of the marital bond! Those are my thoughts. You're welcomed to disagree. I talk to people who are wrong all the time!

Now, here's something you can for me...

1. Send me your questions and/or post comments below!

2. Join me on Facebook, if you haven't already!

3. Retweet, repost or send this to your friends!

We're building a community and we're dedicated to helping as many people as we can have happier, healthier and more fruitful relationships!!


Day 25: "Five Pillars of Healthy Relationships"

By Melissa Rich

When we get beyond the surface of that man, after the attraction and the infatuation, what is left? Is he capable of being in a solid relationship? So often we jump in without getting to know a person. Our heart becomes intertwined before finding out if this is someone with whom we can see building a future. Better to find out before our hearts become too involved because these things will come up at some point.

Although these subtitles can apply to the man or the woman, I wanted to speak to women about men on this one. It is okay to desire some very basic qualities in a man (or women) before making a long term commitment. These are some of the things I look for which are foundational to healthy relationships. Even if they are not all 100% there in the beginning, they begin to take shape as you learn one another more and grow in the relationship but they are absolutely going to matter once you are fully committed.

1. He Loves God- This goes without say if you are a Christian but when I say “loves God”, I am not talking about words. I’m talking about a man who has a healthy fear of God and is continually, desiring to know more. It isn’t about how many verses he can quote or whether or not he is always referring to God with his words. Everyone expresses themselves differently. It is about who he is from within. How he makes his life decisions.

A man who loves God will always be pursuing more of God. His full intent will be towards God’s purposes for his life.

2. He keeps his word- This is necessary to build trust. When he says he is going to do something, he does it. When he says he is going to be there, he is there, on time. When he makes a commitment, he keeps it. When he is not able to do what he said he would, he communicates with whoever is involved that needs to know. It isn’t about perfection so much as integrity. He must be able to stand by his word, how else can you count on what he says? A man who keeps his word is dependable.

3. You feel safe with him- What does it mean to feel “safe”? This all depends on where you are emotionally and what your history is but there is something comforting to a woman when she is with a man who’s arms are wrapped around her or even him standing behind her; it makes her feel safe. She is not afraid that he will in any way try to bring harm to her. She knows he will be protective of her. When he speaks with her, it doesn’t leave her feeling small or dishonored but safe and secure. He is strong within and without but his true strength is not in overpowering her, it is in providing a safe place for her to come to him. A man’s true strength is not in his ability to display it, but in his ability to harness it.

4. He is always learning- If a man is not a “learner”, how will your relationship continue to “grow”? Whether it’s formal education or books and seminars, he has a hunger for knowledge and growth. He understands that there is so much more to know and he is always, desiring to be a better man. This will show up in all areas of his life. He will want integrity in all areas, especially his relationships. His heart and mind is pliable for God.

5. He is approachable- A relationship without communication is doomed before it starts. Most men do not have the capacity to sit and listen or engage for hours (although I know some who do), but you can talk to him. If this man is to be the head of your home, you will need to be able to approach him without feeling like a burden or bother. It may take some time to establish good communication and boundaries with him but ultimately, he understands how much you need him as your covering to be approachable.

I’m sure this is not a comprehensive list but it is 5 very basic things to consider as you are getting to know this man. I am always reminding everyone that it is never about “perfection” it is always about continual growth. Some of these areas may need to be worked on in the beginning but by the time a permanent commitment is being decided on, they should be well under way. Every relationship is different but these 5 apply to all relationships on some level and if you remove one, the relationship will “tilt”.


Day 24: "He Can Trust Her"

By Melissa Rich

Her husband can trust her; she will greatly enrich his life. Proverb 31:11 (NLT)

Trust is earned and established over time but it can be lost in a mere instant. This is very basic but some things just need to be verbalized and acknowledged. Keep in mind that I am most often presenting a position of heart more than anything. When two people are actively pursuing the same goal and moving in the same direction, so many things have a happier ending.

He Trusts Her With His Heart:
We are not responsible for another person’s actions or reactions but we are fully responsible for our own. When a good man comes along and chooses “you”, it is no small thing. Men don’t tend to choose women they can’t trust (unlike us women). If he is choosing you, he likely believes that you have what it takes to enhance his life and to make his home a safe and welcoming place to return to everyday.

Now, you are a “wife” and God has entrusted another human heart into your care. Be intentional about you and your home being a safe place for that heart because his humanity IS going to surface. His nakedness, just like yours, will eventually be exposed and he will need your tender and trustworthy presence in his life. As a husband or wife, we are called to cover our spouse’s nakedness, not expose them. So when it comes up, don’t be surprised. Don’t expect him to be perfect, neither of you will be. Extend grace and keep his confidence. (I always disclaimer these for woman who are in abusive relationships. That is an entirely different situation).

He Trusts Her When She Speaks:
Practicing deceit with your husband in any way is never going to benefit you. Nothing good can come of it. It is disrespectful to play him for a fool. Honor him with your word.

You want him to have confidence in your word. This comes over time. When he does, he will continually realize that he can trust your judgment, your perspective and even your advice. He will begin to ask you for your input, you will not need to beg to be heard. He “trusts” you when you speak. Are you beginning to see the benefits of being trusted?

He Can Count On Her:
She is reliable. She keeps her word. He knows that if he needs anything, she will move heaven and earth to accommodate him. She keeps her agreements with him and stands in the integrity of who she is. He knows whether things are easy or hard, he can count on her to be there with him and for him. She’s got his back and he’s got hers.

Maybe this sounds like a “fairy tale” to some people but this is what “trust” looks like in a relationship. This is how it is when two people walk in unity. This is how it is when two have submitted their marriage to God and walk in peace with one another no matter the cost. It goes without saying that difficult times will come. These are some of the tools for when they do.

He Can Confide In Her:
Recognize how vulnerable he is in opening his heart to confide anything in you. Remove the “spouse” hat for a moment and be “friend” so that you will not take what he is saying personally. Provide a safe place for him to open his heart because it doesn’t take much for him to close it off. It is an honor that he trusts you enough to be open and honest. A man will never do this if he questions your confidence. He just wouldn’t expose himself like that.

When he speaks, make it a point to listen attentively and non-judgmentally. He’s not necessarily looking for suggestions or a hug. Allow him to just speak. And no matter what, no matter where the relationship ends up…never, never break that confidence. Be a woman of integrity. Spilling his secrets all over the place only makes you less-integral. So many think they are exposing “him” when they do this but really they are exposing themselves. They are exposing their own malice.

A Godly woman “desires” that her husband be able to trust her fully. She automatically assumes this as a critical piece in marriage and she understands it as an obligation to God even more than man. Earning and keeping his trust makes you even more valuable to him because with trust comes peace. When a man is at peace in his own home, there is no telling how much can be accomplished. A man’s heart, at peace, will open wide and you will see all the benefits of being the kind of wife that God carefully designed to bring about the greatest blessings in your marriage.


Day 23: A Gentle and Quiet Spirit- Setting the Tone in Your Home"

By Melissa Rich

I suppose being married to the wrong kind of women could be compared to a man wearing very tight pants that are so restrictive that every step reminds him of his discomfort. He needs room to BREATHE.


I spoke with a woman recently. She has sat in counsel with two specific married couples where the men were weeping because they loved their wives and didn’t want to leave but they were miserable. Both of them said, “I love you but I can’t live like this anymore. I just want peace.”

No man or woman wants to live with someone who continues to be a raging storm, unpredictable or worse, easy to predict because they are always upset or discontent with something. Simply put, this man can’t fix you so if you are not working on your own demeanor and emotional growth, it will begin to wear on him. He may stay, but he will be even more emotionally unavailable. I am NOT advocating men leaving their wives, we are never advocating this. All that we say is with the intentions of helping marriages to stay TOGETHER.

A gentle and quiet spirit does not mean we do not have a voice; it means that we have learned how to hold our tongue and submit our concerns to the Lord before trying to address them in the natural, that we pursue peace with God and that we cultivate a peaceful home.


Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth will speak so however you cultivate and maintain your peace will determine what your overflow is. If your spirit is agitated and you have a list of things saved up in your “resentment file”, they will eventually come out. When they do, it will likely not be pretty. Lose the “resentment file”.

Learn how to bring things before the Lord and leave them there. Let go and stop trying to control everything, including him. This will go a long way in keeping your marriage happy. Choose your battles and don’t make everything into “an issue”.


It is not hard at all to push a man away with your words or your tone. Not hard at all to cause him to shut down. Across the board, most men would sooner withdraw than to confront or banter. It’s just not in their general design to make every conversation a marathon. The sooner a solution can be reached, the more comfortable they are.

Tone matters. The way you choose to approach him and/or respond is going to make all the difference in the way he responds to you. You do not get to determine the way he responds or judge it. Allow him to speak and/or think it over. Learn “him”, specifically and always, always speak with and show respect. He will respect you more if you speak to him in a mature and respectful tone and attitude. Otherwise, you may lose your audience before you get your first sentence out.


Assume up front that a man will be very sensitive to the words and/or criticisms -of the woman he loves until she crosses the line. He’s not likely to give you a second chance to humiliate him, choose your words and actions wisely. Once spoken, words cannot be retrieved. If there is damage done, it may not be repairable especially if the man feels humiliated by your words. It isn’t that he will necessarily up and leave you, but he may begin to withdraw. And the more you press him, the more he withdraws. He’s not likely going to say, “Honey, you really hurt me by your words”. He’s just going to do what he needs to do to avoid that pain again. Most men are not verbal processors; they introspect and then move on, often without verbalizing. Give him that freedom but watch his responses to your interactions. Learn to read him. Choose your battles wisely and pray about EVERYTHING.


It is important to listen to the Holy Spirit in your relationships as well to learn that man so you can know when is or is not a good time for him. What time of day or week is good for him? You can even ask him as a means to get to know him better. Don’t approach him with something significant when it is not the right timing. Learn when to let some things go or to ponder them in prayer until you have a release from the Holy Spirit to address it.

In the end, it isn’t about you or him; it is about God’s purpose for marriage and family. Interesting that God set things up so that we would need to "involve Him" in order to succeed. It isn’t who you are on the outside that will set the tone in your home. It is the inner beauty of the heart that will cause your husband and children to rise up and call you blessed and he will praise you. A gentle and quiet spirit is just as much for “you” ladies as it is for your husband and home. What cannot be addressed in words can always be addressed in prayer. Marriage is a beautiful thing, if we invest ourselves appropriately.


Day 22: "Loyalty, Unity & Boundaries"

By Melissa Rich

I saw this on a post of one of our readers the other day. It describes what I am about to talk about PERFECTLY!

A relationship should be between
(^_^) & (^_^)
NOT ---> (^_^) & (^_^) + (-_(-_(-_-)_-)_-)

I once heard a married woman counsel that you should never tell other men/women you & your man’s business because they may take opportunity when they see the two of you struggling and when your marriage is vulnerable. You just never know. Be wise.


You will not always agree, nor will everything always be perfect but loyalty is still possible even amidst imperfect times. The marriage cannot stand if the two attach their loyalties outside the covenant of marriage. There is a power in that bond and commitment not even just to each other but to the “whole” of who the two of you now are. Marriage requires a sense of abandonment to one another. You leave and cleave. Now everything stays within that circle. (Obviously excluding any type of abuse).

Once you have entered into that “one flesh” realm, things change. You are now bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. As we said on Day 20, you are now two parts to a whole. Your first priority after God is your husband/wife. From that relationship, everything else flows. Having complete resolve in your heart now that you will be taking on a new role; your allegiance will always come back to him/her.


One flesh is one flesh. There is no “you” and “I” any longer. It is now “we” in everything because the two are now, “one”. There will be times when you aren’t even sure you agree but you cover the “marriage” because everything that is about him/her is still about you. Protecting the marriage now becomes intentional. You fully understand that by acting against him/her, you act against the covenant you have agreed to. You have to retrain your brain to hesitate before making decisions sometimes without considering the “whole”. It is a new life. A new way of living in every way and that will also require a new way of thinking and acting. Learning to be one takes a mind shift. Unity doesn’t come without intention. It is purposeful.


Cover one another’s nakedness, don’t expose it.

Learn to be quiet, prayerful and introspective. There are some things that just should never be said or repeated. As tempting as it may be, refrain from calling your sister, aunt, mother, best friend every time something does not go your way or every time you are just upset in general. If there is going to be loyalty and unity, the two must have each other’s backs. Remember your loved ones will take sides and long after you and your spouse have resolved they will still have too much information about your relationship.

Your marriage is a binding covenant. It is protected by the terms of that agreement. When the agreement between two is broken in any way, it puts the marriage at risk. Always have each other’s backs not allowing anything in to break that barrier of unity you have between you; unless “by agreement” you invite an additional person/s in to your situation for counsel.

Marriage is a “team”. Loyalty, Unity & Boundaries are team principles. We do not need to wait until marriage for some of these habits to be formed.

From the moment two people say, “I do”, they become subject to the binding laws of marriage. They become one flesh. The Bible is clear, we “leave and cleave”. It is a new world; a new life, new guidelines and especially, new benefits. Having loyalty, walking in unity and maintaining proper boundaries with those outside your marriage will do more for your marriage than all the talking in the world. Learn to trust God and one another if you want the union to grow stronger and be secure.


8 Keys to Talking to Men

No great build up to this blog. It's been a long week already and I'm tired. To jump right into the point, I got a question that I thought was very intriguing: How can I talk to a man without hurting his ego and so he will hear me?

Awesome question! It deserves a response.

First, a note to the men: It's hard. I know you'd rather be test driving a new car or sawing something, but learn to give her a few minutes without being prompted, asked or begged. Also, listen without judging...listen without criticizing...and listen without trying to solve the "problem" whatever it may be. In other words, part of the communication piece is on us, too. We have to make it easier to deal with us.

This reminds me of maybe the best "relationship" scripture ever written!

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger." ~ Proverbs 15:1 (NASB)

When someone is heated, more heat will only spark a fire. Try going the other way the next time. Answer gently. Don't meet her words (even if she's angry) with more anger. Now you've just got two people yelling and no people listening.

We can so much more peace if we just learn how to "dial it down" instead of "dialing it up" every time things get intense. The Holy Spirit is a good guide in this. He is often in our spiritual ear saying "Don't go there!" when we take the time to listen. I know! I've heard Him. I've also ignored Him - so I know what I'm talking about. It's better when you listen!!!

Finally, guys, some conversations can't be avoided no matter how distasteful they are. Not only must we be courageous to have the tough talks, but sometimes we need to initiate them. I've had to learn a lot in this area and I still have a lot of growing to do. Sometimes the emotion and heat of a situation make you just want to avoid it altogether. Sometimes I'd rather be anywhere else in the world than talking about (feeling like we're talking about) all the ways I suck at life! You can make it through. Communication is necessary!

Many times we men will avoid talking until everything is absolutely at the boiling point. Not good!

Now...how do you talk to a man? Here are some tips in no particular order. But if you follow some of these, I know he'll thank you for it!

1. Break it down into bite-sized pieces. Most men don't process as much raw data as most women. Our brains are wired differently. There aren't as many synapses between the left and right hemispheres in men's brains. That means he'll have a harder time processing information that mixes emotion and data at the same time.

2. Don't require him to respond immediately. Men like to think through their thoughts before responding. He may not even know his thoughts yet. Give him some time to search things out. When you do, everyone wins. I've rarely seen pressing a guy to talk before he's ready work out very well.

3. Be clear. No code. No guesswork. No "if he loved me, he'd know what I was thinking!" allowed. He doesn't know what you're thinking! You change your own mind often! How is he supposed to keep up? If he's supposed to know, tell him!

4. Don't assume you know what he's thinking. Just like he's not a man, he's not a woman. He doesn't think the way you think. His mind sees the world differently. We've talked about this before! You might think he sees the details you see, but you're likely missing some perspective that he has, as well. Grace!

5. Set an appointment. If you know it's going to be a tough topic, don't spring it on him. Set an appointment. Say to him "Hey, let's talk about whether we should let Pookie move in with us soon. Can we do it Tuesday evening?" That's much better than either A) having Cousin Pookie already on the couch when he gets home from work Tuesday or B) a screaming match about how much he doesn't like your family anyway.

6. Don't wait until you're boiling over. Don't wait until the situation needs emergency repair. If there's a leak, let him know before the pipe bursts. (If you were clear and he does nothing about it, that's on him). What I've seen a lot is women will wait until they are PAST the point of no return to bring up certain issues. Then there's often nothing anyone can do.

7. Talk during an activity. A lot of men listen and engage better while doing some activity. It's been said that "Men bond shoulder-to-shoulder while women bond face-to-face" and I've found this to be true. One great way to talk to him is while doing chores, mowing the lawn, cleaning the garage, etc. Try it!

8. Be safe. The main reason a lot of men don't talk to you is they are concerned about the backlash from sharing their true feelings. I've said myself that men can often tell two versions of the truth. The "true" truth and the version he knows you can handle. A lot of guys feel stupid, disrespected and looked down upon when they share what they really think. Work on being safer to talk to.

Talking to men can be difficult if you don't understand how they are wired. Talking to men is difficult for other men, too, because we really just don't talk that much anyway. Even if your guy is very verbal, he still may not be comfortable or good at sharing thoughts, feelings, or sentiments.

What do you think?   Do any of these surprise you?  What have I missed?

Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful.

All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted! He can be reached in the following ways: Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/markmccray/

For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://livebigdieempty.blogspot.com/p/about-mark_29.html


Day 20: "Oneness"

By Melissa Rich

God will challenge you more than any human being ever will.

Why do I say this? Because He is the only One who knows what you are really made of. He is the One who put that capacity in you. He is the One who designed you.

What does this have to do with relationships? EVERYTHING!

I have come to realize that when God asks you to do something, He also meets you there and adds to what you have to offer. He never asks for what you do not have, but He asks for all that you do and then He fills in all the gaps. Growing in the ability to listen to that still small voice is one of the greatest keys to better relationships because He will act as a personal coach…if only you will listen and heed His voice.

Every principle has a promise. God’s truths are packaged in love and yet, He is a God of justice.

For the past few days, I have really been pondering the whole concept of giving and receiving. I have been pondering the mindsets that people have about relationships in general, including but not limited to marriage. I have been pondering the reasons why people hold back instead of giving freely all that they have to offer. And I have been pondering the love of God and how it all comes together. I was reminded how we are one body but many members and how the two shall become one. With that thought, I posed the question on BWF this morning:

If the Bible says "the two shall become one", why is it that so many married people continue to try and be "two"?

If we truly believed that we were hurting “ourselves” when we acted in a particular way towards another, we would likely not act that way. If we could really catch the true concept of being “one body” and when married…“just one”, we might respond differently. Loving your neighbor as “yourself” takes on a new meaning entirely.

So this is where I landed in my thoughts as it relates particularly to marriage and the things God is showing “me” about preparing myself for marriage. The thing is, what He requires of me in every area of my life is more than what is being challenged outwardly. God doesn’t require just compliance, although there are times for just compliance; He knows that agreement yields better fruit. Agreement, oneness, unity.

Jesus set the example of how to serve one another, how much more in marriage if you have made the decision to “covenant” with that person? One does not need to be married to understand that this principle applies also to the marriage relationship, maybe even more so than it does with less significant relationships.

Think with me here for a moment about the idea of “oneness” and the importance of understanding what “unity” really is and how that changes everything about the way we approach one another. We are no longer interacting with a separate being we are interacting with a “limb” from our own body. And when married, everything we do impacts the “whole” of who the “two” are as one. Let me say again, when married, being that we are now “one flesh”, everything we do impacts the whole of who the two are as one. This means that whether building or tearing one another down, you are impacting your own self equally. When one part hurts, the whole hurts.

I knew this was what I was going to post on today and then I just happened to stumble upon a post response from one of our partners Jerry Kelley this afternoon. He was talking about the word “tzela”. What he said was that you are not just a rib, you are a side or sidewall, the whole side of Adam, not just a single bone. The term implies an equality with the whole, or another equally important bearing wall on the opposite side. Then he said, “Of course man can live without one or two ribs, but not without half of his body…The Creator did not intend that the man would be however independent from his “rib” but that he would be incomplete without her and she without him…”

This alone gives an entirely different perspective on what it means to be “one” for both sides. But my point being in all of this, we need to really remember how much it harms “us” when we withhold what God has placed in us. When we withhold something that He has given freely to us and especially when we withhold that from our spouse (when that time comes).

What I have learned while writing for this page is that God is setting a standard of conduct. He is preparing hearts. Mine being first and I am just sharing what He shows me openly; the standard He has shown me and how we, simply put, can enjoy the fruits that God intended in our relationships if we would only learn how to love God, love ourselves and then as an extension of “that” love relationship, we are well able to love another. And the amazing thing about extending ourselves to another is that it is the principle of sowing and reaping. If our heart remains open, it doesn’t matter what that person does, we still gain something more from giving because whether or not they give back, we are still a part of that which we either gave to or withheld from.

Romans 12:5 So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.