Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Husband and His Marriage

In my last post, I was able to write a little on the role of a wife in marriage and I got quite some interesting responses to that post. In that post, I had addressed just the women, noting that I am a woman and I am inclined to discuss issues from a woman’s perspective. But that has not left out the fact that a man has a very big role to play in marriage. And so with all humility and respect for the men as the head over the women, I will write today on what God expects of a man in marriage and how the man can probably bring out the best in his wife.
I am convinced basically from what I have read in the Bible that the foundation of the home is the responsibility of the woman, but that does not put off the truth that God expects the man to have some input in the building of a success home. The fact that the man is the head of the home makes him accountable for most of the issues of the home. His contributions are not limited to providing for the family because even the woman has also been saddled with the responsibility to provide for the family as we can see in Proverbs 31. So in order to understand well what God expects of the man in marriage we need to go back to the Bible.

Ephesians 5:25-31 (NIV)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no-one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ the church - for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

Colossians 3:19 (NIV)
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:7 (NIV)
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.


Just as I did when I discussed on the roles of the wife, I have gone back to passages in the Bible where God explicitly gave His instruction to the husband through Paul and Peter. The instruction for the husbands is first of all to love their wives just as Christ loved the church. If God had just told the husband to love his wife, it could be any kind of love, it could be half love or a quarter love, but God said the love of the husband to his wife should be in the pattern in which Christ loved the church. So any love short of this kind of love from the husband to his wife is not what God expects from a man to his wife.
The kind of love God expects from the husband to the wife is such that the husband should be ready to give himself up for his wife, it is a kind of love that unconditional. Just as the church has betrayed the trust of Christ so many times and yet He loves them, God expects that the husband should love his wife despite her shortfall.
Now speaking of shortfalls in the life of the wife, the book of Ephesians 3 tells us that Christ made the church holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and then presented her to himself as a radiant church without stain, wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. If the church was holy without Christ, there will be no need for Christ to make her holy because she would have been perfect as she was.
But due the imperfection of the church Christ had to put in efforts in making the church (His bride) holy and blameless, by the washing with the water through the word. And He did this just that He might present the church to HIMSELF as a radiant church. Christ didn’t take the pains to cleanse the church for any other person or purpose, but for His own personal pleasure.
This is the pattern that God has set before the man as the approved pattern for the husband in marriage. He has been mandated by God to love his wife unconditionally and then just like Christ did, make efforts at cleansing her and making her holy and blameless, then presenting her to himself and nobody else as a radiant bride. This the husband will do not for the pleasure of anyone else, but for himself alone. As a man, the unconditional love that you have been mandated by God to have for your wife is to propel you to bring out the radiance in her. Working to remove the shortfalls in her life that you might enjoy to the full advantage what God has deposited in the life of your wife for you.
God through Paul also instructed that the man is to love his wife as himself. He says the fact that you love your wife is an indication that you love yourself, and in as much as you cannot hate yourself, you ought not to hate your wife.
This sometimes look like not the case with many men and it appears very possible to love themselves yet not love their wives. But in order to understand this a little better I will want us to look at two more Bible passages.

Genesis 2:18 (NIV)
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from God. 


When Paul said the man who loves his wife loves himself, he was not speaking out of context. If God who made man in the beginning has declared that it is not good for the man to be alone, then that goes to tell us there is a missing link in the existence of man that only his wife who is the suitable help the Lord has made for him can fill. So to say that the existence of the man is not perfectly complete without the wife who is his suitable help. Nobody but God made it so.
The problem with the man who does not love his wife is that he has despised that which the Lord has provided for him to make him complete and perfect. The wife is not just an ordinary entity to the man, she is not just like any other person who appears in his life, she is a portion of him that the Lord placed in his life to complete and make perfect his existence. And so Paul says you as a man cannot claim to love yourself when you don't love your wife. And this is so true because your wife is part of you.
Just as I asked in my last blog post to the women, before you write your wife off as a thorn in your flesh, in what way have you attempted to cleanse her, thereby presenting her to yourself as a radiant bride in the same pattern as Christ did the church? Before you approach the divorce court to annul that marriage, what can you say has been your input in the life of your wife to make her a better person for your own pleasure? What are the good seeds that you have planted in the life of your wife that you have prayerfully watered and nurtured from which you expect the harvest of goodness from her life? If you have not been able to do the needful in the life of your wife, then you will be just as guilty when you proclaim that she has not been the wife you expect her to be. May the Lord help the husbands to be all that He expects them to be.






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Friday, 14 March 2014

The Wife and Her Marriage

I kind of assumed that enough has been said on the issue of marriage, and I really bless God for the lives and homes that have been positively impacted by the topics that were discussed in my previous blog posts on the issues of marriage and the home as a whole. Quite a lot of people have agreed that in truth there is more they need to do beyond that which they assumed was more than enough contribution on their part in making their homes better places to live in.
But since there is yet to be a significant decline in the rate of divorce and cases of broken marriages, I will continue to write, and if its just a person or two that is benefiting from the messages preached by God through me then I will be grateful to God.
In my everyday life, I still hear of women who have very little or absolute no knowledge of what the Lord requires of them in marriage. They still carry on with the mind-set that in marriage they are designed to be on the receiving end. I have heard on quite a lot of radio programs where it is said that the wife tends to respond in direct proportion to whatever actions they get from their husbands. So since the Lord has instructed the husbands to love their wives as themselves, then they are to carry on that task first and then the wife will respond positively to the love shown to them by their husbands.
This is very good and agreeable by me when the men preach this kind of message among themselves. This is a message that should be preached solely in a gathering of men and not to women. I am saying this because in the institution of marriage the woman is not just designed to be on the receiving end of the equation, but to give more than she receives. As a matter of fact the woman has been designed by God to build the home and not the man.

Ephesians 5:22-23
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.

Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1-2
Wives, in same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.


In as much as I agree that for the wife to perform her duty effectively, it will be of advantage that her husband shows her love and respect and appreciate all that she is doing to make the home a comfortable home. But that said, the starting point in building the home is when the wives learn to submit to their husbands.
The three passages above are portions of the Bible where the roles of the husband and the wife are explicitly spelt out to them by God through Paul and Peter. But the instruction was not first given to the man, but to the woman. So if we are to think deep on this, we need to ask ourselves that why is God addressing the woman first? I am persuaded to believe that God made it so because the foundation of any marriage lies with the wife. And the foundation of a successful marriage lies in the ability of the wife to submit to her husband as to the Lord.
When a woman is in total submission to her husband and she is a good Christian with the fear of God rooted deeply in her life, then it will not be long before she draws out the love that her husband has for her if he is yet to start to show it.

Genesis 2:18, 21
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”


So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The second important role a wife should play in the life of the husband is that of a suitable help. God identified the short falls in the life of the man He created and concluded that this man needs a help. So from within him the Lord made the woman and presented her to the man to be his wife. But one interesting point that women miss on is that God never assigned the woman to help the man in specific areas of his life and leave the others. From what is recorded in the Bible the wife is a suitable help for her husband in every aspect of the man’s life where help is needed or required. So Solomon in his wisdom was able to say in Proverbs 18:22 that “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the Lord.”
So if as a wife your husband is failing, I dare to tell you that you are failing all the more because you have been assigned by God to help him in every area of his life where help is needed.
Before you write your husband off as a “never do well”, before you run to the divorce court for a certificate of annulment of that marriage, what have you done to help your husband become a better person and so fulfilling your God given assignment in his life?
In truth your husband might not be faithful to you in that marriage, that is a problem that you have recognized. So rather than opt for the divorce option, what have you done to help him overcome his infidelity problem? Because in truth you are his God assigned suitable help in all the problems he might be facing. Rather than stigmatize your husband as a poverty stricken fellow, running out on him for a richer man, what have you done to help alleviate his poverty? If you are not capable of works, you are at least capable of praying heaven down on him until the Lord hears your cry and delivers him.
In the book of 1Samuel 25, everyone knew Nabal to be a surly and mean fellow in his dealings. Though he was very wealthy yet he was stingy. But he had a gift from God in the person of his intelligent beautiful wife Abigail. Although everyone recognized Nabal for his bad attributes, one person who didn't write him off was his wife Abigail. When Nabal stepped on David's toes and was going to be killed, this intelligent wife of Nabal ran to his rescue. She did the needful, by appeasing David on behalf of her stingy husband, carrying food and other supplies to David and his men in the desert and pleading just that David will not destroy her husband and his household. This is an example that a good wife needs to hold dear. And just as I mentioned earlier if you are not capable of works, you should be capable of prayers until the Lord hears your cry and delivers your husband.
As a woman, your marriage is just as beautiful as you make it, you are the bedrock of that marriage and it will stand on the foundation that you build it on. Your home is all about you.  

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Bringing Up Godly Offspring; A Positive Contribution To A Healthy Society

I bless God for the lives of those who have been impacted by my previous post on the importance of raising our children for the Lord. I am sorry if I have to revisit this issue once more before moving on to other aspect of our lives and home.
I must confess that the things I have been reading on the news about the ways and attitude of the youth of this generation has caused a scare in my thinking. I read about a 16year old girl who was stabbed to death on her a way to school by her ex-lover over the fact that she called off a love affair they once had. This I read happened somewhere in Kenya. The first thing that came to my heart is what a 16year old girl needs a lover for at that age. And then the uncontrolled aggression of the so-called lover.
And in my own very own city of Lagos in Nigeria, an 18year old undergraduate was killed in her own residence by a group of boys living within the same area as she was, owing to the fact that she refused to give in to the sexual advances made to her by the boys. And these same boys had the boldness to send a text message to the mother of the girl informing her that they have killed her daughter to teach her a lesson not to be too proud.
These are some of the heart breaking things that are happening around us that has called for parents to wake up from whatever slumber they might be in at the moment and live up to their God assigned responsibility of raising godly offspring that the Lord seeks (Malachi 2:15). It appears that just under our very own eyes the devil is snatching away our children and we are doing very little about it. The new trend of child protection that has totally eroded the use of the rod as a form of discipline might be one of the reasons why we are beginning to have cases as the ones that we have in the world today with regards our children. But with the consciousness that we will surely render account to the Lord over the lives of our children, and the fact we are also mortgaging our own rest in the future requires that we wake and take necessary steps to start to do the needful in raising our children in a godly manner with good moral standard. And if that is all that we are able to contribute to the society that we live in, then we would have done so much in making the world a better place for all to live in.
I am not an advocate or supporter of child abuse, I presently have 3 wonderful children ages between 6-10years and I am expecting the forth in a couple of weeks, so I am too passionate about children. But that said I am also going to live my parental life based on Bible standard. Proverbs 23:13-14 says “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.”
Growing up for me was with stern discipline. I was not abused, but I must confess that stern discipline was not lacking in my parent’s dictionary. It was not easy at the time for all six of my mother’s children because my mum was a strict disciplinarian. We took the cane when required. In fact I must say that at some point growing up I concluded my mother was actually not my mother because she was too much of her disciplinarian for my comprehension. But today at over 40years of age, I bless God that I was trained in such a manner because it really helped build my moral values and that of my siblings. My mother is a joyful woman today advancing well into old age and happy that she has six wonderful children who are today her best friends and confident. Above all she knows so well that she is loved.
Just before I close up on this blog post, I came across a report both on the news and as a post on Google+ and I can’t help but make reference to it. It’s about an 18year old girl suing her parents for not paying for her upkeep and sending her out of the house. The parents on their own part claimed the girl moved out of the house voluntarily because she would not live by their rules or do any house chores. Interestingly the parents of the friend of the girl are sponsoring the court case between the girl and her parents. I have read a lot of comments on the google+ post blaming the situation on bad parenting, and some are of the opinion that the father might be too strict to warrant the girl’s behaviour. Although most of the comments didn’t go so deep because of lack of full knowledge of the background story of the family. But what I applaud so far is the ability of the judge to recognize the disrespect shown by the girl towards her parents and the ripple effects the case will have on the society, as children will now be at liberty to sue their parents for every flimsy excuse.
In as much as I will not exonerate the parents off faulty upbringing, still I will say that no child is above rebuke by his/her parents at whatever age they might have attained. In Job 1:1-7, we see the father Job purifying his children even when they were old and already living in their individual homes. Job understand that at whatever age his children had attained he still held the responsibility to ensure that they lived right before God.

1 Samuel 3:11-14
And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family - from beginning to end. For I told him that I will judge his family for ever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, “The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.”

The sons of Eli were no small boys, they were not toddlers or teenagers yet the Lord expects that Eli should restrain his sons from wrong doing. The Lord had warned Eli once and it was just time to punish the family. The sins committed where not by Eli as a prophet, but by his sons. The only sin committed by Eli was his inability to restrain his sons from wrong doing. So if a father thinks within himself that although he had initially failed in his parenting responsibility but now it's time to right his wrongs, then I applaud such a father. If an 18year old child is all of a sudden too old to live by instruction then she should be ready to live by the consequences.
I am of the mindset that a combination of discipline and love produces the best desired results in bringing up godly offspring, but removing the element of discipline and strict discipline when the need arises from the ingredients of parenting is acting in error. My children holds a major priority in my life and that of my husband's. We love them dearly and by the grace of God we ensure they don't lack the things they need and even want. We strive hard to provide their needs and wants but still make sure they are well disciplined. I have adopted a formula for my own children and I am trusting God that it produces good result. And that is: If I correct them over a wrong doing by word of mouth once and again, then on the third occasion of a re-occurrence of that same wrong doing I correct them with my cane and I make it a point of duty to make them understand why they are been caned.  
I will warn parents not to take out their frustrations on their children, and also to discipline their children with caution and with much love keeping in mind that the purpose of the discipline is to make the child a better individual rather than to destroy or harm the child. When this is the focus of discipline, then it is applied appropriately and correctly.  
In closing, I will say this: If we cannot contribute anything to the society, we will be making a very big and major impact in the world we live in by the quality of the children we produce for the society. If we all cannot be big role models in the society, we can be major contributors to a better society via the little things we do in the confines of our homes, lives, children and family.

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