Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Marriage Series (6)

I appreciate the Lord for another wonderful opportunity to share with you on the marriage series and I pray that the Lord Himself will open His word to us all in Jesus name.
In today’s post I would want us to look at the importance of unity in marriage. The interesting truth that I have discovered is that when a group of people are united on a particular mission or purpose they always succeed. A society whose people are united in objective and goal always meet target on their collective goal. But we will look into this unity issue from the marriage perspective.

Genesis 11:6
The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no-one to help him up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Matthew 18:19-20
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them. 

There are some very vital secrets to success in life that we are so ignorant of and the devil has so capitalized on our ignorance and used it as a mean of robbing us off a lot  our many blessings. Unity is synonymous to success, and where there is unity the barriers of impossibility are broken. There are so many problems in the world today because there is so much disaffection. People have so turned against each other that rather than growth themselves, they would rather expend energy destroying the other person. The resultant effect of that is the chaos we have the world over today.
But bringing it down to the smallest unit which is the husband and the wife, things are not any better. These are two people that are suppose to come together to form a unified force and make just one entity and work together such that nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. But even with as little as two that form the foundation of a family unit, coming together to speak with one voice is almost impossible. So rather than both of them putting together their talents, resources, abilities, knowledge and gifts to pursue common goals with better results, they would rather chase after individual goals with their limited resources, talents, abilities and knowledge and arrive at close to nothing. In every pursuit of the individuals, even if they are working together, the hidden thought is always “what is in it for me or what do I stand to gain” and not “what is in it for us or what do we stand to gain.” Selfishness has now overridden selflessness.
But what we have failed to know and understand as a secret to success is that we have more when we pursue the goal as us and not as I; the goal is more attainable collectively than when pursued individually. Even Jesus said that a house that is divided in itself cannot stand.
Going back to the Bible passages above, the first thing that came to my mind was that why would God give His approval with just as little as two people? Jesus said if two of you on earth agree on anything you ask for, it will be done for you by God in heaven, what a wonderful thing to note. And what a secret to success that we are always so ignorant of. The trick of the devil is to ensure that even those two do not agree, because if they do, they will succeed. So he fills them up with pride and selfishness that they will always pursue their goals as one and not two; as I and not as Us. This is one of the reasons why marriages fail, companies fail, friendships fail, relationships fail. This is because the smallest unit of all which is two cannot even be achieved.
Try sampling a marriage where there is genuine love and togetherness between the couples, you will surely find prosperity there. It’s not that the husband and wife don’t have their individual differences, but they play it down for the common goal of the two rather than individual pursuit. With them ours is more prominent in their speech than mine, and they use more of we than I in all they say and pursue. And in such a marriage like this, the aroma of peace, love and joy always fills the air. They might not be material rich, but they are rich in love and contentment and if they search deep and seek God more, material wealth is not far from them.
Look at the world around you, when you find disagreement, disaffection and distrust, you find destruction, and where you find destruction, you find poverty. No matter how rich a man is  as an individual, there is a limit to the growth of what he has when he strives alone. A wealthy man who desires to own a house cannot achieve his dreams without an architect to design the house for him, without an engineer to interpret what the architect has designed, without manual labor to lay the foundation and put up the structure. In achieving his dreams, he will need a bricklayer, a plumber, a carpenter, an interior designer to mention just a few. When one part among these ones that I have mentioned decides to opt out of the deal, work stops on achieving the dream of this wealthy man. So God did make a mistake when He said “if as one people they are able to do a thing like this, nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
Are you a man desiring success in your life? Then partner with your wife first. Key your dreams and desires with hers and marry your goals and with hers. Form a tight bond of your goals and hers and let the two of you agree together on a common goal and then present this same goal to God and see if He will not answer you speedily. What you will be doing in wisdom is killing two birds with a stone with less effort. God is very passionate about His words, if you want to hold God by the balls (if that is ever possible), then get familiar with His word. God will always honor His word, He will break protocol to honor His word; Heaven and earth will go, but the word of God will never go unfulfilled. Now if God said that if two of you on earth agree concerning anything you have asked for, it will be done for you by God, then you better be quick to come into agreement with someone today and form a bond in presenting your case before God. And who else is more ideal and more approved by God for you to come into agreement with if not your spouse; that one sure partner that the Lord has provided for you to help you be the best in life and fulfill your destiny.
But unity as a key to success requires sacrifice, it requires making compromises, it requires playing down on what you think should be for what it actually should be. The problems that often surfaces in marriages when it comes to succeeding together is that the wife or husband so believe in themselves that they don’t want to give up their dreams in order to help the other pursue his/hers. Submission on the part of the wife and love from the husband are very important ingredients of unity in marriage. But you really don’t have to give up your dreams for the other, you can both succeed together taking turns at success by helping one another. As a matter of fact you can agree on both dreams and goals, marry the two together, pray to God about both goals after you have married them together, and helping each other achieve these goals as long as there is no competition, no resentment, no strive and no hatred. Whatever success is achieved is for the good of two and not one.

The key to every form of success in life is unity, determination to succeed and the intervention of God. For marriage to succeed unity also plays a very key role. 
I believe we have learned a very vital key to success in this post. So we will continue to look at other key things that make marriage a beautiful thing. I believe sex is one of them, so we might just be looking at the issue of sex and how it affects marriage in my next post. Please just stay tuned and have a blessed day.  

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Marriage Series (5)

It’s another beautiful day and another glorious day to thank God and bless His holy name. It’s another opportunity to share the word of God and I trust the Lord that so far we are enjoying the messages of this marriage series and hopefully picking valuable lessons from them.
So this is the fifth episode of the series and we will be learning and understanding what God’s instruction to the man in marriage is? In the last episode we learned above God’s instruction to the wives in marriage and why God gave His instruction first to the wives and not the husbands. So in order to know what God's instructions to the husbands are, we will go back to the scriptures we started with in our last episode.  

 Ephesians 5:22-33
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 Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
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 this 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 does 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.” This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Colossians 3:18-19
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:1-7
Wives, in the 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 the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outwards adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
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.

In all the Bible scriptures above we have the same instruction for the men, and that instruction says “Husband love your wives just as Christ loved the church,” then Peter said “be considerate with your wives and treat them with respect.” For a man who understands the word of God in Proverbs 18:22 that “he who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from God” will know that to retain the favor of God that he has received, he needs to take good care of the wife that he has found.
From Genesis 2, we learned that a woman was formed from the rib taken from the man and then presented to the man as his wife by God. So we understand why God through Paul instructs the man to love his wife as he would his own body because in the deep truth of the matter, the wife is a part of her husband’s body. God pronounced them one in flesh and spirit, because He who created them at the beginning created one from the other as a part of the other.
The interpretation of the Bible passages Genesis 2:18-25, Proverbs 18:22 and Ephesians 5:25-33 is that God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, took a rib from the man and formed a wife for him and then packaged in her all that the man needs to succeed in life and handed her to him to be his suitable helper. That for me explains why Solomon would say that a man who finds a wife finds what is God and receives favor from God because God has just handed him what he needs to succeed in life.
The wife is God’s favor for the man personified, but it is the responsibility of the man to retain the favor of God for his life in the manner in which he treats his wife. A man who wants to enjoy God’s favor for his life till eternity will be a man who has perfected himself in the act of taking care of his wife. A man who maltreats his wife erodes God’s favor from his life. Paul said husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies, and he who loves his wife loves himself, because in truth the wife was formed from the husband’s body. He is one with his wife in flesh and spirit.
I would like to make referral to the man on assignment illustration I used in my last post. Let us assume a man has been given an assignment to build a huge structure and the one who gave him the assignment gave him a single multipurpose tool to carry out the task successful. Now this single multipurpose tool is all that the man needs to successfully carry out this assignment and subsequent assignments and in fact all the assignments the man would have to do in his life time. The One who gave the assignment has done His own bit by providing the tool needed to carry out the assignment, but it’s the responsibility of the man on assignment to take good care of the tool he has been given, which is his tool of success.
Now I want us to relate this illustration to the man and his wife. We all know that in order to achieve success we need favor, and the Bible tells us that a man who finds a wife receives favor from God, in other words he receives in tool of success from God. So a man who loves his wife and treats her with love and respect is a man who is making efforts at retaining God’s favor for his life and who will be successful.
Before you start to raise questions, I very well agree that some women are quarrelsome and troublesome. And that brings me to questioning the method you used in arriving at the choice of a wife for yourself. If the Lord had been allowed to choose for you, He will not give you a wife that will drain value from your life but add value to it. But whatever the case is, the Lord can still bring about a positive and beautiful turn around in your marriage if you are ready to follow His rules for marriage.
The Lord did not give an exception to the command He gave to the husbands to love their wives as themselves. He did instruct the husbands to love only their wives when she is submissive or obedient, but simply that the husband should love their wives as Christ loves the church. I so like this example of love that God used as a pattern or should I say a measuring rod for the amount of love that God requires from the husbands to their wives. I like it because in every way we look at it, the church has done nothing to deserve the love Christ has for her. We have not in any way tried to measure up to a fraction of the love that Christ has for us. But despite all our shortfalls, despite the fact that we don’t even reciprocate the love of Jesus for us, yet He loves us and has not stopped loving us, He has not stopped fighting for us, He doesn’t wait for us to ask before He provides, and till this moment, Christ is still bearing our pains, bearing our worries, fighting our battles, interceding for us. This is the way God wants the husband to love their wives, with absolutely no conditions attached and without any expectation of reciprocation from the wife. This is huge love I can tell you, in fact it is a very huge love.
I once heard a message by Joel Osteen and he said “whatever you give a woman; she multiplies it and returns it back to you.” I kind of agree with this saying. Now is you also agree to this saying, and then try to imagine when you give such huge love to your wife, what you are likely to get back from her in return. As a woman I can tell you for free that it is so very easy and joyful to submit to a husband that shows us love and respects us. The best way to make your wife release to you all that God has deposited in her for you is by loving her. The key to unlocking and releasing the favor of God for your life deposited in your wife is by showing her love and respect. When you show love to your wife, she will not just submit to you, she will give you her all willingly and joyfully.

I believe the men are getting a better picture of why God has instructed the husbands to love their wives unconditionally as Christ loves the church. And so in my next post we move on to the power of unity in marriage. Why did God make the man and his wife one in flesh and spirit? Please don’t take your attention away from this blog. There is so much more to learn, we are just beginning. Praise the Lord

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Marriage Series (4)

I feel so very blessed and grateful today, not that I won a jackpot, but being alive is a gift from God that I have done nothing to earn. Being well in my body and soul is not a right, but just underserved grace of God. And that I am not worrying my head out over any sickness in my body or my family is enough for me to show gratitude to the living God. And above all that I have the privilege to call God my Father and have Him call me His child makes me so loved that I can't but feel blessed today and always. No matter what you are going through, as long as you are not in the grave, you are very blessed. So look beyond whatever problem you think you have and look to God who has in Him the power and the ability to surmount your problems and give God a big embrace with your heart of gratitude.
Today we continue in our marriage series and we will be learning about God’s guiding rules for the man and wife in marriage. These rules as given by God are simple and if only we can follow these rules and abide by them, we will be assured of a very successful marriage.

Ephesians 5:22-33
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 Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
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 this 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 does 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.” This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Colossians 3:18-19
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:1-7
Wives, in the 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 the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outwards adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
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.

Before I write further, I will crave your indulgence that this will be a lengthy post because we will try to have an in-depth consideration of the rules. 
The scriptures above are places in the Bible where I find God dish out His instructions to the husband and wife in marriage. This the Lord did through two different vessels: Paul and Peter, and the instructions are just the same, there was no change despite coming from two different vessels.
One would have thought that since the man is the head of the home he should be the first to be addressed by God it would have been assumed that God’s instruction to the husband should come first. But that seem not be to the case. God issued His instruction first to the wives and I believe this is so for a reason. So it will help us better to understand the role of the wife in marriage if we are to know why God gave His instruction first to the wife who is the suitable helper and not the husband who is the head. 

Proverbs 14:1
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears her down.

From this scripture we will notice that the duty of building a home belongs to the wife. So to say that the foundation of any home is built by the wife, and if it is the wife that hold the responsibility to build the home we will then appreciate why God needs to address the wife first. The success or failure of any marriage depends on the foundation laid for it by the wife as she carries on the task of building the home.
The first core requirement that a wife needs to build her home successfully is submission. This is a very vital requirement for a successful marriage and I will explain why. In the foundational scripture we looked into at the beginning of this marriage series, we learned that a wife was created by God from the man and for the man to be a suitable helper to him. We will agree that for a wife to effectively be a suitable helper to her husband she needs to be in submission to him. It is impossible to be a helper to a husband that you are not submitted to, and when you are not helping him then you are not adding value to his life and if you are not adding value to his life, then you don’t have any business being his wife.
Since the instruction for rules in marriage was first issued to the wife and that instruction says that wives should submit to their husbands as to the Lord, then the success of any marriage begins with a wife submitting to her husband as unto the Lord. I would like to use the illustration of a man that is given an assignment to do, and has been given a single multipurpose tool with which he will perform the assignment effectively. So for every assignment he has to perform, this one tool is all he needs to succeed, there is none like this tool to this man and none can ever be like this tool to the man.
The message of this illustration comes in two parts, the first lesson I will share when we deal with the instruction to the husband, but the second lesson I will share now.  From this illustration, I will liken the wife to that tool that a man needs to be able to make a success of his life. But we will notice that a tool in itself without being held and used by someone is idle and of no use. But she becomes vital to the man who needs her to his assignment when she is used by him. Taking another example, a spanner cannot unscrew a nut without being held by someone, and a man cannot unscrew a nut without a spanner. Such is the relationship between a man and his wife. A wife will only be effective when she is in submission to her husband. She is the spanner without which the nut of his life cannot be unscrewed. She is most effective when she is in the service of her husband through submission.
The fact that God has asked the wife to submit to her husband in everything does not in any way mean that the wife is a slave to her husband. This is not and should not be a master-slave relationship. Rather the wife as the suitable helper and being a part of her husband in another form is placed in the life of her husband to compliment and complete him. Remember, she was formed from the missing rib taken out of the man.
Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from God,” as a wife, you are not just any woman in the life of your husband; you are a container carrying the deposit of favor of your husband. As you submit to him you fulfill your destiny and release the deposit that God placed in you for him.
One interesting fact that I have come to realize is that submission and respect look similar but in truth they are different. You cannot submit to your husband without respecting and honoring him, but you can respect your husband with submitting to him. The instruction of God to the wife is to submit to her husband as to the Lord, and the dictionary defines submit as “to give over or yield to the power of another,” but the definition that I really like defines the word submit as “to yield oneself to the power or authority of another.” Some words that are similar in meaning to submit are: obey, agree, comply.
What God expects of a wife is that she willingly yields to the authority of her husband, she accepts him as her head which he truly is. And the interesting aspect is that because it is God and not the husband who has given the instruction, it is the Lord who will assess your performance in carrying out this instruction.
In today’s world, we have a lot of wives who claim to submit to their husbands but yet are treated very badly. In fact to these ones, preaching submission to them as a will of God is something they do not want to listen to based on their experience. But I want to say at this point that submission in isolation will not solve your problem, it will just make you a punching bag to your husband and you might be an emotional wreck. But submission with prayer is a perfect mix for victory for a godly woman. Submission is the tool of a godly woman in winning her husband to the Lord, so when you want to apply the tool of submission in your marriage, apply it like the godly women do; they apply it in prayers.
A godly woman in not known to fight physical battles but spiritual battles which she fights on her knees in prayer with the right attitude of obedience. You cannot go to God in prayers and expect Him to answer you when you are disobeying His instruction. So plenty prayers without submission in your marriage will not yield for you the desired result, and when you are submitting without being prayerful, you are like one with the right substance yet without power.
To submit is to obey, when God says submit to your husband, He meant that you obey him. Follow his lead as He follows Christ. And this is why you need to pray hard and well before you marry, so that you don’t follow a wrong lead for your life. If you are married to a man who does not know God, it is your prayers and submissive life style that he sees and ministers to his conscience and causes him to be drawn back to the Lord not what you say to him or the fight you engage him in that will bring about the positive change that you desire. You cannot fight God’s battles for him, rather He’ll fight His own battles and fight for you too and obtain victory with no effort.
There are a lot of women who are prayerful and respectful, yet disobedient to their husbands and still things are not the way they should be in their marriage. Submission to your spouse is obedience to him, it is beyond respect, it is following the lead of your husband, obeying his instructions and then praying. What we women often term as submission is just respect. When you feel what your husband has asked you to do is not right, you ignore his lead and do it your own way not necessarily with a fight. When you carry on like this and then pray and things don’t happen the way you have prayed for it to happen, you say God is unfair. But in truth you know that you are far from obeying God’s instruction for you in marriage. God is very fair to all, but He won’t bend His rules to accommodate our disobedience. It has to be God’s way or no way at all; when you believe you are more knowledgeable than God, He leaves you to your knowledge (which in reality is foolishness) and He holds on to His power. When you don’t feel the power of God in your marriage, ask Him to open your eyes to things you are not doing right, make the necessary changes and keep praying. When you obey God and pray, His power will work for you.
Lastly, I want to draw our attention to the warning Peter gave to the men in the scripture above, he said that the men should treat their wives right so that nothing will hinder their prayers. Just like God will not listen to you when you pray and do not submit to your husband. So will He not listen to the prayers of a husband who does not treat His wife right. Do not worry yourself over a husband who is not treating you right, just keep on praying and keep submitting as God has asked you to. When you don’t stop, one of two things are bound to happen: 1) Your husband will change and become a better person who fears the Lord and loves his wife dearly or 2) he will be punished severely by God if he is unrepentant and does not change his ways. But whatever it is you should be rest assured that God will fight for you if you hold on to Him.

There is still so much to learn and I am sure God wants to undo what the enemies has infused into His marriage institution. God’s desire  so strongly to correct the misconception in marriage. I expect a lot of questions from women after reading today’s post and I trust God to help answer them if you will drop them as comments on the blog. And in the next post we will be looking at God’s instruction to the men. Please just keep checking in on the blog and share with as many people as you can, be a change vessel in God’s hands. 

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Marriage Series (3)

It’s another beautiful day, and by the special grace of God we continue on our marriage series, and I trust God that many lives will be changed by what will be learned in the course of this series to the glory of God alone.

Genesis 2:18, 21-25
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 made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of the man.”
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

So we will continue with our foundational scripture on marriage found in Genesis 2. So far we have learned that the woman was not created independent of the man like all the other male and female living creatures that God made. And there was a good reason in God’s mind when He made it so at the beginning. This then makes us understand why God says in a number of places in the Bible that the man and his wife are one both in flesh and in Spirit. This was a mind blowing revelation for me, and if you have not read that piece of article, I will encourage you to do so as it is still not farfetched on the blog.
The second lesson we have learned is that when God made the woman out of the man, He didn’t put her in a place and ask the man to go fetch her out. Rather the Lord took the woman He had made from the man and for the man and handed her to him. And so we understand that God will not put a man through the trouble of going to look for a wife for himself, rather the Lord who knows the woman He created from each man and for each man will bring each woman to the man He created her for at the right time. When we run ahead of God to look for a spouse for ourselves, the chances are there that one will make mistakes and run into trouble. The important thing we need to do is prepare ourselves and makes ourselves ready for the marriage journey ahead. When the Lord sees our preparedness for the journey, He will bring the partner we are to journey with our way. He alone is able to carry out this task without error because He knows how He had ordained it from the beginning.
So the last lesson the Lord will have us learn before we leave this foundational scripture and move on to the roles of a man and a wife in marriage is when the wife stops to be a woman and becomes a wife. Interestingly when God created a woman she was a woman, when God brought her to Adam she was still a woman. But when Adam decided it was time to leave father and mother, she became a wife.
And this brings us to the issue of preparedness for marriage. When a man decides to take a wife, he must have been prepared and ready to leave father and mother. Until you have gotten yourself ready to take on the responsibility of a husband then don’t bother to make that woman your wife. In fact don’t bother to go searching for the wife, God will bring the woman your way when He sees and knows that you are ready to be a husband.
What beats my imagination in today’s world, and one of the reasons why I believe the Lord dearly wants to the change the adulterated orientation of marriage is that many men have married for the very wrong reasons. There are so many men who are not ready to be husbands, but have gone searching for women to marry. Some marry women because they see the lady has a good job  and have seen her as a money bag and a means of income without labor. These men without honor have resolved to living off their wives and some to the point of defrauding her. Some other men in the bid to gain citizenship to other countries have entered into unwanted marriages and have gotten their fingers so badly burnt.
This same misconception applies to the woman, so many women have seen the act of not been married as a stigma that they need to get rid of and so they offer themselves cheap to men who don’t deserve them and entered into hell holes in the name of marriage. A lot of ladies just like the men marry because the man is rich and a means of income without labor. I watched a video clip on facebook where a survey was carried out in Nigeria and women where asked if they would rather marry a rich man riding a Range Rover jeep who treats them badly or a loving and caring husband who is poor and rides tricycles. To make shock of close to ten ladies interviewed, only one of them said she would rather marry a poor but loving and caring husband. For the rest of the pack, money comes first before their peace of mind and so you shouldn't be alarmed at the rate of domestic violence and even death in marriages. These are some of the many issues the Lord wants to change about marriage.
Whether you are a man or a woman, all that you need to do is show God your readiness to carry on the responsibility of being a husband or a wife and He will direct the right spouse to you, or direct you to the right spouse. God is not a partial God; He won’t give to one and not give to the other. But of what use a quarrelsome wife to a man in dear need of help. If God is sure you are not well trained to be a wife, you can be sure he won’t hand you to a husband to be his help. And if God knows that you are not ready for the responsibility of a husband, then you can be sure He will not give you a wife to maltreat rather than love. But if on your volition, you take a woman and make her your wife then you can’t hold God responsible for the outcome of such a union.
It is very true that at whatever point your invite God into your messy marriage situation He will come in and turn things around, but when we speak of the foundation, there is God’s pattern and you will save yourself a lot of stress when you follow His pattern.
A number of people have lost their lives to messy marriage, but we can’t blame God for an issue we didn’t consult Him on before we walked into the evil trap. So if we are dealing with this issue from the foundation, this is the foundation: When God sees that it is no longer good for you to be alone, He will bring to you the woman that He has made from you and for you. In order to take on the responsibility of a husband it is important for you to leave father and mother and cleave to the woman God brings to you. Then she is no longer a woman but a wife.
As a woman please it is important that you are sure that the man you are cleaving to has left father and mother to journey with you, and it is important for you also to leave all distractions behind and focus on your assignment of a suitable helper in the life of your husband. This is a precautionary step to avoiding future stress in the union.
 And so this is the third in the series on marriage and we have taken valuable points from the foundational scriptures on marriage. I assure you that these are lessons that if adhered to, will be a total turnaround for the better in many upcoming marriages. And they are valuable lessons that existing marriages can use it remolding itself if those in it are willing and ready to make a change in themselves and in the right direction.

In the next post we move on the rules for the husband and wife in marriage. These are fundamental rules that are sure to bring and retain peace, unity and love in any marriage. They are simple rules, but we have found them too cumbersome to follow and so we live in a miserable marriage just because of disobedience. Please stay on with me on this marriage series, invite your friends to join in reading and learning from this series and teachings and together let’s begin to take steps to positive changes in our marriages, homes and societies. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

The Marriage Series (2)

I am thanking God for another day and another opportunity to be of service to Him and a tool in His hands in making a difference in the homes and lives of His loved ones. I thank you for keeping a date with me on this blog and I implore you to share this blog with your friends and bless their lives with the valuable lessons you are learning here.
So we continue in the marriage series, and we are still picking up lessons from the scripture I shared in my last post starting from the foundation of marriage.
With a quick recap of the last post, we learned and understand the fact that a woman was created from the man and not independent of the man as we have with other living creatures that God created. And we also learned that God made it so for a reason. Understanding and appreciating the reason why God created the woman as a unit of the man will help us understand and appreciate God’s basis for marriage and what He expects of us in marriage.

Genesis 2:18, 21-25
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 made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of the man.”
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

In today’s post the lesson I want us focus on is the making of a life partner. Several times when a man and a woman are getting ready to marry, the first question that is believed to affirm their decision to marry each other is if they love each other. Love has been a major criterion in arriving at that decision of whether or not to marry. Several months into the marriage you find the same man and wife at each other’s throat and at the point of divorce and one wonder where is the love that seemed so strong as to bind this man and woman together for life several months back.
From what the scripture above says, the Lord made a woman from the rib He took out of the man, and brought her to the man. And this brings me to God’s method of bringing a man and woman together for the purpose of marriage. In the course of a man looking for a wife, he is bound to make mistakes, this is because all he sees in the woman he chooses outside a consolation with God is what the woman presents to him or permits him to see. If she is pretending or being real he does not and cannot know. Even God says that the heart of man is wicked who can know it.
But when a man allows the Lord to present to him the woman He formed with the rib taken from him, he cannot never get it wrong. When God said it was not God for Adam to be alone, God made a woman and brought her to Adam. He didn’t make her and ask Adam to go search her out. As a man, if you are sensitive enough you will know when the Lord brings to you the woman He has created from you and for you to be your wife. I have heard men say that from the very first day they set eyes on their wives they knew she was going to be their wife. This is beyond love at first sight; it is God impressing in your spirit what He has prepared for you even before you knew it. If the Lord directs the steps of the righteous, He will surely direct your wife to you or direct you to locate your wife.
When you see a woman and you feel in your spirit that you have met your wife, it is important to pray and get a reconfirmation from God to distinguish between lustful attraction and divine direction. It is then that you will get it right and not make a mistake.
Also as a woman when you see a man and you feel within you that you've meet the man you want to marry , it is important to consult with God first before agreeing to any marriage proposal. There are troubled marriages everywhere, and the fact that you prayed does not guarantee a marriage without trials and challenges. But if you have prayed before going into that union, you are sure that when the trials come God has already made a way of escape for you ahead of any challenge that might want to threaten the peace of your union. If the Lord led you into that marriage, you can be sure that the Lord will sustain you in that union and keep you through the troubles.
Love in marriage is essential and important but believe me, it should not be a criterion on which a marriage decision is based. This might surprise you to read, but it is a fact. If it was strong enough to base a marriage decision on, then we will not have the high rate of divorce as we have it today. Even though love is very essential for the smooth running of any marriage, it is just a means to an end. When God brings a woman to the man He created her from and for, He will infuse love in her for him as a catalyst in enabling her perform her duty in the life of the man effectively.
A good example of what I am trying to explain is the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah in the Genesis 24. From what the Bible reveals in this passage it was God who brought Rebekah to Isaac through Abraham’s chief servant. Rebekah didn’t have any problem loving Isaac and their marriage was almost trouble free because it was the Lord Himself that facilitated their union. And even when Rebekah was barren, it was not a problem she bore alone; it was a problem that her husband also prayed to God for.
Love will appear in a marriage union that has been facilitated by God; when it is God that has brought the woman to the man to become his wife, He will infuse love in that union that will perfect the joining that He the Lord has made happen.
I want us to see love as glue that joins two objects together. Using this illustration, when we use glue to hold an object to another object, if that glue is not strong the two objects will fall apart. Even when the glue is strong, there is the tendency for it to lose its strength over time and when this happen, the objects fall apart. This is the role that love plays in marriage; it is just an adhesive that hold the union of the man and his wife together. But when the originator of that marriage is God and not just love, then you are sure that the eyes of God is on your union and when the adhesive of love weakens out, God is available to renew the love in that marriage. When God and not just love is the basis of your marriage decision you are guaranteed of a lasting union. When the storm comes and strong wind of trials blow the way of your marriage, you can be sure that your home will not fall because the One keeping your marriage is God over the storms and strong wind.
This is the second lesson that we are taking away from the foundational scripture of marriage. Who or what is the basis of your marriage? On what foundation is your home built and on what basis have you decided to marry that man or woman? It is not too late to rebuild your marriage and lay the right foundation for it. It doesn’t matter if you are married already, you can still rebuild your marriage with the right foundation which is God; there is no time you invite God into your marriage that He is not willing and ready to come into it and turn it around for your good. So invite Him today and experience the difference.
This is just the beginning; we still have a long way to go in our marriage lessons. There are exciting things to learn I assure you, so keeping following the series as every post is worth your read.  

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Marriage Series (1)

Hello wonderful people of God, it’s a new week and a wonderful time and opportunity to do the will of God and what actually give me great fulfillment. Beginning with this post, I hope to start a new series of marriage teachings starting from the very foundation of marriage. This series I believe is very valuable to those who are not married but of marriageable age, and also valuable to those who are already married.
These series of teachings is not just valuable for the women, but also for the men. I am trusting God that through this series, the living God will breathe life into every dead marriage situation and by God grace what looked like irreconcilable difference will be a beautiful beginning for every home in Jesus name. So I beg you to please share this marriage series with a lot of your friends and those whom you know that needs this. It’s a helping hand that does not cost you money.  
Over the weekend I found myself talking to three men on the topic of marriage, two of these men are not married, and one in particular has had very bitter experience with the ladies she has dated in time past and so in his words, he is giving women matter in his life a long break. According to him he is enjoying his space and he is not ready to give up the peace he now has for another relationship that is destined to cause him misery.
From what this man told me, his first girlfriend died in a car accident several years back, he caught his second girlfriend in an affair with another man and the third girlfriend was abusive and while they were dating, they had a misunderstanding, and just as little as “dear check yourself, you could be the problem in this relationship,” earned him slaps and beatings in the presence of some of his family members. He was just being civil not to have given her the beatings of her life for what she did as he told me. But after that incident he gave the issue of women a big halt in his life and it has paid off.
It is for many people who have negative perception of marriage such as the man I meet over the weekend either already married or yet to be married that the Lord has laid it on my heart to start all over again from the foundation of the issues in marriage. The Lord desires to touch our lives and our society and bring about the desired change that we have been crying to Him for, and He desires to start from the home.

Genesis 2:18, 21-25
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 made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of the man.”
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

I have made several references to this scripture in so many of my blog post, but in this series where we speak about everything that has to with marriage starting from the beginning, we will begin to talk still from this passage and the foundation of marriage.
There are many lessons to learn from this scripture above, there are a lot of things the Lord has opened my heart to in this scripture that is helping me understand marriage better and has been the starting point for me in rebuilding my marriage to the success that it is today.
I have shared this first lesson more than once on my blog and I am still going to share it again as if I had never done so before.
When God formed the animals, the Lord made them all in twos; the male and the female. So we have the male and female beasts, the male and the female insects, the male and the female rodents, the male and the female birds, the male and the female fish. All species of living things that God made where paired in twos, male and female. But when it was time for God to create the human, the Bible records that God formed the man from the dust of the earth and breath in him and he became a living being. Then God put him in a garden He had prepared for him and asked him to work it and care for it (Genesis 2:7-15).
Probably as an afterthought or just in the wisdom of God, the Lord realized it wasn’t okay that the man should just be by himself, and so He declared that it was not good that man should be alone. But of all that God created, from the beast of the ground to the birds of the air, to the fish in the sea none was found a helper suitable for Adam (Genesis 2:19-20). But what beats my imagination is that God could have formed the woman from the dust of the ground like He did all other creatures He made, but because this helper had to be a suitable one (in stronger words: a perfect fit) for Adam, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, and from within him took a rib and from that rib He formed a woman.
I am trying to find a way to explain this in a way that it will create an impression in your heart and give you a new revelation of what the Lord did in the cause of creation and in the foundational institution of marriage as it did to me. God would have create the woman independent of the man like He did for all other living things that He created, but in the case of man it was different. This is because the man and the woman where not created to be independent of one another. The husband and the wife are not separate entities but are one and the same spirit in two different body forms. The flesh and spirit of the husband and wife are two part of one entity.
And if only as husband and wife you understand that your spouse is you in another form, you will appreciate him or her better and understand that whatever you do to hurt your spouse, you hurt yourself too.
It is very natural for a female animal to have sexual relations with any male animal they come across. The Hen can mate with any chicken it sees when it is on heat; different dogs can mate different bitches when on heat, any male lion is free to mate any lioness when on heat, nature does not frown at such, but it is not so with humans and this is because our formation at the beginning is different. God did not create a woman independent of a man. There is a specific man from whose ribs you were formed as a woman. With this man you share the same spirit and flesh. That is why nature does not permit a woman sleeping with just any man she sees and it is also wrong for a man to keep mating any woman he sees and comes across. We are humans and not animals.
So this is the very first foundational truth and lesson I am picking up and sharing from the scripture above. As a married man or a man intending to marry, know for sure that your wife or wife to be is a part of you. She is you in another form. She shares with you same spirit and flesh (Malachi 2:15, Matthew 19:4-5). She is bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh. When you hurt her, you hurt you; you hurt God’s favor for your life (Proverbs 18:22), you hurt your destiny. If you are still unmarried and you never knew this about what you are about to do, take a pause and soak it in properly. Your wife might think differently, rationalize issues differently, understand concept differently, look different from you, come from different parents (which is obvious), come from a different ethnic group or even a different country, she might be a different race or color, but she is you in a different form and that is the wisdom of the supremacy of God displayed for you. With this revelation, you have a better understanding of how to treat your wife when you marry her.
For the woman the lesson is a bit different, several times we always wonder why the men have it easy in marriage than we do and this has made us push for equality in marriage now more than before. But if you agree to the Bible scripture that is above, you will notice that if the man and the woman where created independently like all other animals, we can claim equality. As a woman you are made from the man, you are a product of the man, you are a substance from a man and so you can’t rationally claim equality with a substance that you were brought out of. But that does not make us women inferior to men, in fact there are no basis for comparison or competition because why God made the woman out of the man was to be a perfect fit to help him. It was that she might be his suitable helper; another being from out of the man to understand him better and so be suited to help him better.
This man from whom you are formed and for whom you are formed was not pronounced perfect. As a matter of fact it was on the basis that he was not good enough as he was alone that God thought it out to create you from him to help him become better and perfect if that is attainable. So you were not created out of the man to be his worst nightmare but his suitable helper. You were not created for the man to drain value from him but to add value to him. You are in the life of that man not because of your doing but because of the will of God and you are on assignment for God to make the life of that man better than the way you met him. That is your duty as a suitable helper and it is to God and not your husband that you will report on the issue of this assignment. As you agree to marry that man if you are not ready for the assignment of a value added agent please take a step back and clear yourself of the blinding love that you feel. If you are not ready to be an agent of change in the life of your spouse please you are not ready for marriage yet.
In my own definition, I love to define marriage as two people brought together by God to pour of themselves into the lives of their spouses to make their spouse better than they met each other. Now I want to ask, on what basis are you founding your marriage? What is the basis of your marriage decision? If you have a clear understanding of your divine mission in marriage, whether married or yet to be married then you brace yourself for what lies ahead. But if you are not ready to add value to the life of your spouse, then you are not ready for marriage. No matter how bad mannered your spouse is, if you are not ready to enter into his or her life and make a positive difference then you are not ready for marriage.
You might want to ask if you can change your spouse? My answer to that is yes. First you need to put up a positive front, a loving heart and plenty of prayers into it. You can’t change a negative attitude with negativity, and you can’t put out hatred with more hatred, you can only conquer hate with love and love that you never get tired of giving. (This bit I believe is for those in troubled marriages).

So we continue on this series in my next post, until then remain blessed. 

Friday, 5 August 2016

Husbands And Wives Are Not Equal

I am so very sorry that I had to take another break, but it’s all in the bid to do something new. I am working at starting a new voice platform called Silver Lining and it’s going to be a regular podcast on marriage and other life issues. And also stay tuned for our marriage counseling platform coming up soon by the grace of God. I am trusting God to find me a worthy vessel to bring hope and positive change into the lives of His children in a dying world.
So much has been said so far on marriage issues, but the truth still remains that more still has to be said until the impact of what is being said is felt in the homes and lives of many. Christ needs to be seen and felt in our marriages and homes such that many will want to know the God we call on who has made such powerful and positive impact in our lives and long to know Him more just because of the good things they see Him do in our lives.
Marriage has never been at it lowest since the inception of the institution, just like moral life is also nose-diving and the economic life is at its lowest too. The cry of wives to be equal to their husbands has never been so loud as it is today.
The first thing God desires to deal with in our lives as we pray for His intervention and help for relieve and revival in a world of total economic and moral decay we have found ourselves in, is our marriage and homes. Whatever we encounter in the outside world whether good or bad is a product of a home and a marriage working well or gone bad. Every individual originates from a home constituted through marriage and the outcome of that small unit is what we see reflect in the world we are in today. And so if there is going to be a meaningful change in the world, then there must be a more meaningful change in the orientation of marriage from what we have today back to what God had in mind for it at the beginning.
I mentioned earlier than women are beginning to clamor for equality with the men in today’s world more than ever before. This issue of gender equality is trending in almost every part of the world. Although I do not support or subscribe to men running away from their responsibilities as fathers and husbands, I also do not agree that men and women are the same. But more importantly is the fact that husbands and wives do not share equality in marriage. The hierarchy is that the husband is the head of the home and his wife is his suitable helper. This is most explained in the fact that God formed the wife from the husband. This is so that the wife will know and understand that she came out of her husband and she is not independent of him, but rather complements him and not compete with him. 

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. 

Genesis 2:18, 21-22
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 from the man, and he brought her to the man. 

It is very true that the husband should be considerate in dealing with his wife, he is to love her like Christ loves the church and died to save her, he is to respect her and treat her tenderly as the weaker sex, but still the husband and wife are not mates in marriage. The husband is the head of the wife as the Lord has stated it to be.
As a matter of fact the woman was made from the man as his suitable helper so she knows, understands and appreciates that she is a portion of her husband and not a different entity from him. And that should be an indication for her to submit to him as her head of which she is a part of. In all that I am seeing in the passages above there is no portion that equates a husband to his wife or a wife to her husband, rather they are one and the same entity is different forms complementing each other.
As a wife if you have a problem with this equation and you totally disagree with this pattern, then the right place to channel your grievance is to God who made it so at the beginning. But fighting this order is challenging God as to His wisdom and pattern of arrangement at the beginning. Yes, I know and understand that your husband is mean and surly; I know he is impatient with you and treats you badly, but still he is your head and God didn’t make a mistake arranging it so. Try submitting to your husband like the Lord has asked you too and see if He’ll not turn around the situation for your good.
Before the men start to give me a thumbs up on this matter, it is true that the husbands and wives are not equal, but if you will lead in the pattern of Christ, then you have a lot of service to render to your wives. If you remember well, Jesus didn’t lord Himself over the church but rather lead them via his exemplary life style and through His service to the church. He provided for the church, He even washed the feet of His disciples and then offered the ultimate sacrifice with his life for theirs, that they may be saved. All these He did as the head of the church with unconditional love for her. Jesus led the church through service.
Such is the leadership that God requires of a husband to his wife. Not one that enslaves rather than promote, not one that looks down on rather than lift up. I strongly believe that a husband who leads his wife with love and respect through service is a husband that will enjoy his wife well and reap all the benefits that the Lord has stored up in her for him. What you sow in your wife with germinate for you and multiply for you to reap as a harvest. May the Lord bless our homes in Jesus name.