Saturday, July 19, 2014

Don't Let the "Aphids" Destroy Your Relationship

As I was scrolling through the blog today, I realized that Josh and I never explained the meaning behind the title nor did we explain the role that it plays in our lives.  For starters, Showing Hearts was completely Josh's idea.  We like to read the Bible together, trade verses, or read relationship books together.  Yet, a blog wasn't something I had truly considered until he brought the idea to me.  And it was one of the best decisions we've made.  Now, as for the title, that was more my idea.  You would think that choosing a title for the blog would be the easiest part.  Not so!  After we threw around several titles, I finally came up with the perfect one.  At the time, I was listening to the song All of Me by John Legend.  Towards the end of the song he sings, "Cards on the table, we're both showing hearts.  Risking it all, though it's hard."  That's when it came to me.  Showing Hearts!  It was perfect, and Josh completely agreed.  As stated in the lyrics, both of our cards are on the table and they're showing hearts.  It's often hard to share the deepest part of yourself with someone else, let alone on a blog!  Yet, that's exactly what we're doing.  We're showing our hearts.  We're allowing ourselves to be open and vulnerable.  And we don't regret it.

As for the role that the blog plays in our lives, it has become an outlet for our innermost thoughts, a place where both Josh and I could share our "uncensored" thoughts on life, love, courtship, and marriage.  We've chosen not to promote the blog via our personal social media accounts because we'd prefer it to remain a relatively personal and private outlet through which we can express ourselves without potential scrutiny and criticism from our more negative, doubting friend group.  If, down the line, some of our friends and loved ones happen to stumble upon it, we hope it will be a blessing to them.

Too often in life, there are people that criticize your every move and try to shove their negativity down your throat.  Maybe these people are your  siblings, your close friends, or even your parents or guardians.  It's like no matter what you do, you're wrong (in their eyes, at least).  You don't know anything.  Who are you to talk?  Why should I even listen to you?  You're too young.  You're just going to fail anyway.  They may not explicitly say these things, but believe me, they are implied.  I like to compare these people to a tiny but lethal bug known as an aphid.  For those of you who don't know, aphids are tiny insects that are the bane of every gardener's existence.  These creatures like to plant themselves (pun intended) on roses, honeysuckles, and any flowering foliage.  They latch onto the plants and don't let go until they have literally sucked the life out of said plant, leaving only deformed leaves and flowers in its wake.

I'm sorry to say that there are people in our lives who can act much like these treacherous aphids.  Whether consciously or subconsciously, these people cut you down, belittle your talents and abilities, and try to set you up for failure.  There are people that especially try to do this to your relationship or marriage.  It's destined to fail.  You'll never make it.  Just give up now.  Like I said, it's most often implied.  They (or you!) may not realize it, but much like the aphids, they're crippling you or your relationship.

If possible, it's best to either completely ignore their negativity or if that's too difficult, you may need to reconsider your relationship with these people.  That being said, I don't think it's always wise to try to cut these people out of your live.  Oftentimes, they don't even realize that what they are doing is hurtful and negative.  Instead of blowing up in their faces or trying to prove them wrong, it's best to trust in God's will and know that He has great things planned for you, regardless of the criticism you may face.  After all, is there anyone that knows more than God?  Is there anyone that can tell you what you can and can't accomplish or what your future will hold?  No one but the Almighty knows and what He places upon your heart is for you only.  

Personally, I know that I am guilty of acting or speaking negatively, quite often in fact!  At times, I inadvertently become the aphid, choosing to focus on harsh criticism and dwell in my discouragement.  When this happens, Josh repeatedly has to remind me to readjust my focus.  The same is true for others.  Sometimes we just have to remind them to readjust their own perspectives.

Though Josh and I have had problems and have faced our fair share of criticism, we've learned not to let it faze us.  We like to let the criticism challenge us and strengthen our resolve and commitment to each other.  While the "aphids" in our lives may threaten to destroy what we've worked for, we always remind ourselves to put God first and rely on Him as our primary source of strength.


We hope that you've been enjoying our posts and will continue following us on our journey.  Thank you for each of the wonderful emails that you've sent us and for allowing us to be vulnerable and show our hearts without restraint.  Feel free to contact us at if you have any suggestions for future posts, if you'd like advice, or if you need prayer.  We look forward to hearing from you!


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