Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Doing it Queen Vashti's Way

We looked at the submission of Sarah in my last post and I want to use this medium to apologize for typo errors. With that said, we will be considering another woman in today’s post who did the direct opposite of what Sarah did in terms of submission to her husband and that woman is Queen Vashti.

Esther 1:1-5, 9-12, 15-19
This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.
For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest, who were in the citadel of Susa.

Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of king Xerxes.
On the seventh day, when the king was in high spirit from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him – Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zetha and Carcas – to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.

“According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked, “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”
Then Memucan replied in the presence of the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ This very day the Persian and Median women of nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.
“Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she.

And there goes the reign of queen Vashti as queen over the 127 provinces under the rule of her husband king Xerxes. One very interesting thing is that what Queen Vashti did is what any other woman in this generation would do.

Let’s consider the scenario: The husband was displaying his vast array of wealth, splendor and glory, he then gave a banquet to cap up the event of six months. It was a time of feasting, drinking and in fact getting drunk, because it was a season of partying where anyone could drink whatever they wanted, however they wanted to and in what quantity they wanted. So you can picture in your mind the scene where everyone was free to drink and get drunk; even the king who was giving the banquet was already drunk as the Bible tells us that he was already in high spirit from wine. So for a king who is already drunk, what meaningful instruction can come out of him except for senseless talk. It was in this spirit of brain drain from wine that the king sent for his queen to come for a one-man show fashion parade in front of his friends and subjects; the nobles of the land. 

I want to believe that the first thought that would come to queen Vashti’s mind was that, “what an insult it was on her person for the king to summon her to parade herself before drunk men.” Looking at this from a normal point of view she shouldn’t be wrong, she needed to protect her self-image and dignity as a woman and so she had to refuse the command of a drunken husband. But from God’s perspective she was very wrong and the thought of this makes me fear God. Sometimes I am tempted to think that the teachings of God are hard and following God is hard and delicate. But in truth, all that is required to follow God is simply obedience; just a strong trusting obedience and faith is all it takes to follow the Lord. 

When God gives a command, it requires no self-help. The Lord says a wife should submit to her husband in everything (Ephesians 5:22-24) as she would to the Lord and God never gave a but to that rule neither was there any exception to the rule. In fact the rule says to submit in everything. Now God did not say to submit to your husband only when he is righteous or with a clear head and mind. But whether your husband is drunk, mad or insane, as long as you are married to him and he is still breathing and alive you are to submit to him. And like we learned in the submission of Sarah, you are to submit to him even when it hurts.

This might sound very hard to cope with, but the big picture is that God will never leave you to go through it all by yourself. The Lord who loves and protects you will protect your dignity and pride as a woman even when your husband isn’t protecting it. But when you decide to fight your own battles yourself just like Vashti did when she refused to honor the king’s command, you leave God with no choice but to let you handle it your way and bear the consequences of your actions yourself.

When your husband gives you a bizarre instruction to follow, he is wrong and every one including God knows that he is wrong. But if you do not obey such bizarre instruction, that makes you also wrong and if no-one thinks you are wrong, God knows that you are wrong and would not justify your disobedience out of pity. He is a just and objective God. Now when your husband is wrong and you dare to do what is right even in that awkward circumstance, God steps in and comes to your rescue. Rather than you being the victim you become the victor.

Queen Vashti did it her own way and she lost her crown, she lost her position as a queen to another who is said to be better than she, and that was the last we heard her name mentioned in the scriptures. But Sarah did it God’s way and she did it in pains too, but God came to her rescue. First the Lord ensured that the two kings who took her as wife never touched or defiled her. Remember what the Lord told Abimelech in the dream, that it was He who prevented him from touching Sarah (Genesis 20:6). And after she was restored to her husband, the Lord opened her womb and restored her dignity as woman; she finally gave birth to a son. And not just any son, she gave birth to the fulfillment of God’s covenant to Abraham; she gave birth to the promised child. She became the one everyone rejoiced with; she became the love of her husband’s life. Finally, Abraham loved, respected and valued her as his wife and all these are as a result of obedience even when it appeared senseless to obey.

This is a big lesson for us as wives, and when I say us, I mean myself inclusive. I am still in the learning process but I can tell you that I have put this obedience and submission thing to test in my life and marriage and it has really paid off for me. Sometimes it hurts to obey some of my husband’s instructions and sometimes those instructions appear very much meaningless but obeying them has earned me the joyful marriage that God has blessed me with today.

Don’t let anyone convince you that you are foolish by submitting to your husband; like in every other aspect, the things of God are always foolishness to those in the world. But when you begin to enjoy the dividends of your godly foolishness as I would like to term it, you will become an envy to those in the world, they will seek you and seek your godly foolishness; you will become a role model for being foolish in following the instructions of God for your life. So keep at it; for the pay day is at hand. 

Monday, 30 January 2017

The Obedience of Sarah

It’s another gist day, and in today’s gist we will be looking at the obedience of Sarah. We will be considering the kind of obedience that Sarah had for her husband Abraham that made her a reference point of godly women of old (1 Peter 3:5-6).

I have found an ideal story that I pray will give us insight into the obedience of Sarah. And that story is found in Genesis 20.

Genesis 20:1-7
Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”
Then God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die.”

When you read this story, the first thought that is likely come to your mind is “What was Sarah thinking of that would make her play along with Abraham on a sensitive issue such as that?” Was she so dumb or stupid to agree to such foolishness in the name of submission?

The first thing I want us to be reminded of is that Sarah was just as human as you and I; she was not a spirit being and she was no angel. She felt like you and I feel; she had emotions like you and I have emotions; she got hurt like you and I get hurt and believe me, she cried like you and I cry. Yet she is the height of reference for submission in marriage.

I want to believe that like every other woman, Sarah was very hurt by this development. She must have felt like just a mere person in the life of her husband and not a wife that he should love and protect, and this feeling would have been buttressed by the fact that she had no child for Abraham. So to say that Abraham no longer attached any significance to her as his wife because she was unable to give him a child that he so longed for. That most likely would explain why he was willing to let her go without a fight. This was the Abraham that went to war for his brother's son Lot and defeated four kings in the rescue of Lot in Genesis 14, yet he was afraid of just Abimelech the king of Gerar and could not fight for his own wife Sarah.

Now if you were in Sarah’s shoes, how would you feel? But I have huge respect for Sarah and now I understand why she is the reference point of all godly women of old because she put her hurt, her anger, her hatred, her disgust and whatever else she could have felt for her husband on hold and still submitted to him in line with God’s will and instruction for her life and marriage.

Yes, she supported her husband’s claim at the detriment of her dignity and pride as a woman and allowed herself to be wheeled into the house of another man as one of his wives against her wish or will because she knew it was more important to obey God and let God fight her course than to fight it herself. And interestingly she sought no revenge even after God came to her rescue; and no divorce.

Now, this is not the first time Abraham was doing this to Sarah, he had done it once in Genesis 12:10-20. And like I mentioned earlier, she must have felt the hurt, the pain, and the betrayal, yet she stuck to her marriage. I can bet you that its either her tolerance level was very high or her fear of God must be very strong. For Sarah to obey God and submit to her husband even when he was inflicting so much pain on her emotions, is phenomenal and worthy of emulation. This is an example for all women to copy.

Will you now blame God for insisting that the promised child, through own all nations on earth will be blessed; the embodiment of all that Abraham had and would ever receive from God, the covenant of God fulfilled in the life of Abraham should come from Sarah and not the bond woman Haggai. Can we then understand why at the age of 90 Sarah must also give birth to a child? God will not cause her to suffer so much emotional trauma and not laugh at the end; that is not the nature of God. Those who put God first in everything will surely have a crown here on earth and also in heaven.

By the time Isaac was born the attention Sarah got from Abraham improved from zero level to a hundred level. When God decided to wipe the tears of Sarah she became like one who just got married and was being loved by her husband like a new bride that when she died Abraham mourned and wept beside her body. This was the same Sarah he had offered to kings on a platter of gold when he didn’t appreciate her value.

I wonder how many women will dare to have this kind of submission to their husbands as Sarah did. This is not submission when everything is okay, but submission even when it hurts and feels awful to submit. This is submission when submission itself is not making any sense. I once inquired of God how possible it is to submit in a circumstance such as this, and what the Lord laid on my spirit is that if we can’t submit to our husbands that we can see, how then can we submit to Him (God) who we cannot see?

You will agree with me that it’s not all of God’s instructions that makes sense to us, and submitting then wouldn’t make sense too. But submission when it does not make sense is the submission God is calling us to. That is the submission that pleases Him; that is the submission that moves our lives forward and stands us out as children of God.

Can you dare to submit senselessly to your husband, not because he is perfect and never does wrong, or because he is a very wise man that commits no error or mistake; but you are submitting to him senselessly because the Lord has asked you to submit to him. So you are submitting to your husband not because he is sooooo good, but because you fear and reference the Lord who has asked you to submit. When you do, you will laugh like Sarah, rejoice in your old age like Sarah and have love in your marriage like Sarah had.

May the Lord bless our homes in Jesus name. 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

In Choosing a Life Partner

Genesis 24:1-7, 11-16
Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord has blessed him in every way. He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had. “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”
“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land who spoke to me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’ – he will send his angels before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.’”

He made the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was towards evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
Then he prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink and I’ll water your camel too’ – let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
Before he finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

Today I want us to consider the way and manner by which we make a choice of a wife. This post is so appropriate for those yet to be married and looking up to God for a life partner, and also for parents who will approve of a wife or better still a spouse for their children and wards when they are of age.

We read that Abraham was old and grey and needed to tidy up his house before his death. One of the things he needed to put in place was getting an ideal wife for his son Isaac. I would say that if Abraham has not gotten it 100% as a husband, he did a lot better as a father. No wonder God declared Genesis 18:19 that He chose Abraham that he might direct his children and his household to keep the law of the Lord. What Abraham wanted in a wife for his son Isaac makes me respect him a lot and it’s an example worthy of emulating by all parents and also those planning to make a choice for a life partner.

The most important criteria for a wife for Abraham’s son was that she must come from among his people. And why was it so important for Abraham that a wife must be chosen from among his own people; from his own land? This is because the gods the Canaanites worshiped was in contrast to the Almighty God who has called Abraham to a life of separation. Any association between Abraham’s son and the Canaanite’s daughter meant bringing an idol worshiper to be one in flesh and spirit with the anointed of God. There is no association between darkness and light. If Abraham had taken the time to teach his son the ways and laws of the Lord then it will all be a wasted effort if a wife comes into the life of Isaac to kill and destroy all that Abraham had taken time and effort to build into him. The word of God says we should not be equally yoked with unbelievers.

If your son brings a girl home from another faith other than a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and he says he wants to marry her in the name of love, I tell you humbly that the future is not guaranteed. A marriage built on love cannot stand the test of time. I can tell you for free that love fails, and that explains the reason why we have the rate of divorce surging high by the day; these marriages are products of love without consultation with God. If you are going to choose a wife, it’s just safer to choose one with the same faith and believe as yours unless you are willing and ready to change your faith.

The second issue of note from Abraham that makes him earn my respect is that he acknowledged God in his pursuit of a wife for his son. He said, “The Lord will send his angel before his chief servant to choose a wife for his son.” So the chief servant was just a courier person in this whole matter, the one to actually make a choice of a wife for Isaac was the Lord himself. I hope a lot of parents would understand just like Abraham and his chief servant that the task of finding a suitable spouse for their child/children is not your responsibility, but the Lord’s. You don’t have to loose any sleep trying to arrange a wife or husband for your child, just hand the matter to God and he will take care of it far better than you can ever do.

Now I really appreciated the chief servant who knew that his only task was to identify whom the Lord had chosen for Isaac, beg her hand in marriage on behalf of his master and his son and take her back with him to Isaac. So he asked for a sign; and the sign he asked the Lord to show him is another food for thought on its own.

The chief servant did not ask for a sign that shows the girl as a beautiful well shaped girl befitting as a wife for the son of his wealthy and blessed master, but he asked for a sign that shows forth what the character of this wife to be is. He asked the Lord that if he asks the girl for a drink and she goes the extra mile not just to give him a drink but also to water his camels then she was the one.

Note that by the time the chief servant approached Rebekah she had gone to the spring drew her water and was returning home. Any other girl would have thought of the stress of giving him a drink and having to go back to the spring to refill her jar. But Rebekah didn’t consider the stress. She was not even asked to water the camels but she offered to do so, on her own volition. And that tells a lot about her character. It shows how kindhearted a woman she was, who would go the extra mile to help and assist a complete stranger without even considering the stress on her person and the assumed waste of precious time. These are some of the characteristics of a wife of noble character. These are better traits to watch out for in a wife to be above her physical appearance or beauty.

But the Lord did not just give Isaac a kindhearted woman for a wife; she was also very beautiful woman and she was a virgin. That is what you get when you let God do the choosing for you. The marriage of Isaac and Rebekah was not based on love; they never even met each other before getting married. But because it was based on God and it was God who made the choice and united the two, that marriage never lacked love.

If you are concerned about getting married or for your child getting married, take the issue to God and leave it there. The Lord will make all things beautiful for you in His time and what He will drop in your laps will forever make your heart leap for joy. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Learning Patience Through Marriage

I have heard of marriages that lasted for just six months, and I have also heard of wives at the point of giving up on their marriages. I have heard of wives who have concluded that it’s not worth it praying for their husbands. They just co-exist under the same roof and carry on the little of a wife with the prefix Mrs. added to their names. These are the people I pray the Lord will touch with this post in Jesus name.

Ruth 1:3-7
Now Elimelech, Noami’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
When she heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

What gave me so much respect for these two daughters-in-law of Noami is their respect to their marriage vows. These are not Israelites by origin or birth who are supposed to be the chosen ones of God, who were given the laws of God, yet they respected and honored their marriage vows even after the death of their husbands. I understand and appreciate the fact that once death occurs, the marriage vows can be done away with and the spouse still alive is free to marry another, but these ones went above board. They put their own personal gains aside to care for the mother of their husbands, filling up the gap caused by the death of their spouses.

These ones stood in their marriage even long after they has been released from the covenant they entered into, yet we have people today who lack the long suffering to see the covenant through to the end not to talk of long after they covenant has expired.

Ruth 1:8-14
Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”
Then she kissed them and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”
But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me – even if I had another husband tonight and then give birth to sons – would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has gone against me!”
At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth clung to her.

In as much as I have huge respect for both Orpah and Ruth, I will say that Ruth has earned my one thousand percent respect. What on earth made her remain in a marriage that was non-existent and even after so much persuasion she just would not let go? I am so very convinced in my spirit that the Lord included this story in the Bible for a time like this; for those who need to understand the gains and benefit of long suffering in marriage even when everything isn’t going right and you have all the perfect excuses and every moral justification to take a walk out of that marriage and just go.

The moment Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye was the last time her name appeared in the Bible. Two women started the race but one dropped out and she was not committing any sin by dropping out but she lost the accolade. The one who stayed received the crown. She does not just have her name written in the Bible, her name is also in the lineage of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I want to ask; has your marriage dealt with you so much blows as it has dealt on Ruth? If yes, can you dare to stick it out and persevere and endure it as much as Ruth did so you can receive the crown. I am not implying that a widow remains unmarried, but that you just don't run out of your marriage at the slight hint of trouble. When things don't go right, because you will have times when things won't go right, you earn yourself the crown when you embrace the challenge and don't just run out of your marriage.

Everyone who is married has a story to tell, and no marriage is without its challenges and struggles. When you see a marriage that is rosy and sweet, sit with those in it and let them share the secret of their success with you. You will find stuff like patience, long suffering, perseverance, tolerance coming from them before you begin to hear words like love, trust, care and so on.

If a successfully married person will tell you the truth, he/she will confess to you that nothing has thought him/her patience and perseverance in life as much as their marriage. This patience and perseverance that I speak of is a seed that you need to sow in order to reap the harvest of a successful marriage. If you are intolerant, then you sure are not ready for marriage yet.

May the Lord bless our homes in Jesus name. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Effective Communication in Marriage

Good day beautiful people, I hope, pray and believe that you are having a very blessed day. In today’s post we will consider the issue of communication in marriage. Communication has been said to be very important in marriage, but this issue needs great wisdom in application. From what I have learned in marriage, there is a time to speak and there is a time to be quiet.

Amos 3:3(NKJV)
Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

Ecclesiastes 3:7
A time to tear and a time to sew; A time to keep silence and a time to speak.

Proverbs 17:28
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

This past weekend I was with a friend who confided in me that her marriage was shaking and one of the major issues was lack of communication. Her husband never tells her his plans and she almost does not know her husband’s next move. She is like an outcast in her own marriage and it was eating her up. I so very much agree that communication is very important in any relationship and a lot of problems in marriage will be averted with proper communication. The Bible says how can two walk together unless they are agreed; and if we agree that two are better than one and unity in marriage is a foundation of a successful marriage which ultimately leads to a successful personal life then we must also understand that there is no unity without a healthy communication.

If there is love in a marriage then expressing yourself to your spouse will not be a problem. But what you express and how you express it can either destroy the love of a marriage, or encourage and facilitate love and togetherness in a marriage.

Two factors are important for a healthy communication in any marriage and they are: What you communicate and how you communicate it. If you want to say something to your spouse and you know within you that what you are about to say is capable of hurting him/her, then it’s better to pray about it and keep silent. If the Lord has laid it upon your heart to speak to your spouse about an issue, you can be sure He would have prepared the heart of the recipient to receive the message to be conveyed.

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

In as much as I do not encourage you to encourage sin in your spouse, I will say that what you say to each other in marriage and how you say it is very important to the success of that marriage. Words alone have the capacity to heal or kill. A lot of people dying of emotional torment in their marriages are not necessarily because of physical assault, but because of the words of mouth that has succeeded in causing great emotional wreckage in the life of the spouse.

I was having a deep discussion with my husband a few weeks ago and he opened up to me that some things I said to him in my anger still eat deep within him and they still hurt. And even though we are best of friends now, when he remembers them, they affect him badly. He has said worse things to me that I have chosen not just to forgive but also forget, but I can’t fault his feelings. If I didn’t say hurtful things to him in anger, there will be nothing for him to reminisce on and there will be no wrong words for the devil to keep reminding him off. Because I have chosen to forget what he said to me does not automatically translate to the fact that he has also forgotten what I said to him. So now I have to pour in more sweet words into his life constantly to erode and erase the negative words that rings in his head. These are key factors of communication in marriage.

For the case of my friend who knows almost nothing about the man she has been married to for about 13years; the secret is that communication is a two way thing, and a man will communicate with a woman he loves. For as many as might be having a similar issue as this one, I will encourage you by saying that you should do all that you can to earn the love and trust of your husband. He definitely has love rooted deep inside of him and that love was put there by God for you; it belongs to you to enjoy. Dig out this love with prayers to God and submission to your husband. Be a wife of noble character and you will earn his respect too, then in love he will open up his heart to you like a river of flowing water.

Communication is also action sensitive; they say that action speaks louder than words. It is not just what you say that is important but also how you say it. When you take the time to fill yourself with positive values, then positive words will come out of you in a positive way. Let you right actions carry the weight of your right words to your spouse. Your spouse is just as affected by what you say as much as how you say it.

Also consider the mood in the air before you communicate. The mood your spouse is in will also determine how receptible he/she will be to what you are communicating to him/her or what you are saying to him/her. You will agree that sometimes your words might be right and your presentation or approach also right, but because he/her is not in the ideal mood to receive what you are communicating, the communication is not effective. So sometimes it is just wise to hold your words for the right moment. So the right words spoken with the right attitude and at the right moment makes an effective and healthy communication in marriage.

Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinion,” a wise person knows that it’s not all about airing your views and saying it as you think it is, but that you show caution as you air that so-called view of yours so that it becomes sweet as a honey comb and not just words that will bring strife.
The purpose of communication in marriage is to foster unity and love in the home but this can only be achieved when you do it right. May the Lord bless our homes and marriages in Jesus name. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

I think I Got it All Wrong

Its another story day, and I pray and trust that we had a restful God-filled weekend. So I believed we are fully refreshed for the new week, the last week of the first month of the year 2017 and pray we still remain focused on giving the best to life and getting the best from life in return.

So today I will share another story and I pray to God that this story will bless your soul and impact your life and marriage positively in Jesus name.

Issue
I was dating this guy and we were so very much in love with each other. Everything seem so fine and we had begun to make wedding arrangements until his parents kicked against the marriage stating that they would not allow their son marry a nobody and that they have picked a wife for him from the daughters of their rich friends and that was final. My fiancé stood his grounds for me and insisted I was the one he loved and I am the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with but all these fell on deaf ears and the fight between him and his parents because of me started and began to grow.

In the course of all these, I became pregnant and my fiancé took full responsibility for the pregnancy. He rented an apartment for me and my unborn baby and gave me the full attention I needed. In truth I didn’t lack anything from him, but the pregnancy didn’t make his parents change their mind and the pressure on him from them didn’t reduce. Eventually he gave in to their demands on the condition that they will also him to marry me as a second wife. He explained to me and pleaded with me to understand what he was going through but that though he will marry the lady his parents are forcing him to marry, he will also marry me and never stop loving me. 

I gave birth to our baby and our joy knew no bounds. But the situation brought about by his parents was beginning to eat up the once loving relationship we had. Though he took care of me and his child and gave us all the love and attention we needed, but I still could not bring myself to face the reality that was playing out before me; that the man I love with my life was going to be a husband to someone else. I could not stand the thought of sharing my man with another woman.

Soon he got married to the other lady to please his parents but showered me still with so much love. As a matter of fact he had started making plans for us to get married quietly since that was the condition he agreed on with his parents. But as some point I could not take the madness any longer. The thought of sharing my man with another woman was not what I bargained for. Life had not been fair to me, I had just being deprived of the man that I have loved with my life and I didn’t see the need to fight anymore since he has married another woman. I called off the relationship and moved out of the apartment he rented for and our baby. He begged me frantically and pleaded with me to stay, but my mind was made up. He was not mine after all, because if he was, he won’t be married to another woman.

But the worst of the blows that life has dealt me is that I got married to another man who is a far cry from my fiancé. He lacks the knowledge of love, and does not know how to take care or love a woman. I have become his constant punching bag and I lack peace and love in this marriage. I have a good mind of taking a walk from this marriage but where do I go from here. How do I begin again? Is there something that I have done wrong to deserve this fate? I am really confused and I need help.

Response
At times like this, the ideal person to run to is God, and when you do, you must be prepared to listen to His voice and do exactly what He tells you to do because with God, you can never get it wrong.

You don’t have to do anything wrong for life to throw it’s darts of challenges at you. These challenges are designed not to break you but make you stronger. It’s sad that the man you love had to go that way, but the hidden question is that is he really God’s choice for you? In all of this submission I have not heard you talk about prayers, so what that tells me is that you have been trying to solve your problems with the limited knowledge that you have which obviously is not adequate for the issue at hand.

Your former fiancé may be a very nice and loving guy, but he made his decisions and he has to stand by it. I am sure he is not aware of the very many headaches attached to polygamy for him to take such a gamble on his life and destiny. But no matter how loving and caring he is, the fact still remains that he is married to another woman and you are too special to God to be a second wife.

On the issue of your husband, I will say to you in truth that there is an element of love logged very deep down in his heart, the assignment for you now is to begin to dig deep into his heart and bring out that love; bring it to the surface where you can enjoy it. The love belongs to you, it was put there for you, so search it out, dig it up and make it work for you.

The two most effective way of digging up love in a man is through submission and prayers, these two will do the job for you. And then when you begin to exhibit the values of a wife of noble character that we finished a series of discussion on as found in Proverbs 31:10-31, you will not just earn his love, you will also earn his respect.

So I will advise that you forget what is past, make the best of what is at hand and lean on God for wisdom, power, strength and support to pull you through. These challenges are not designed to break you but to make you stronger. You are a victor and you need to begin to see yourself and treat yourself as one.  

Saturday, 21 January 2017

What Is Your Take on This?

Today, I will share a story that a sizeable number of people have heard before as a number of people have narrated the story to me and asked for my opinion on it. I don’t know if this story happened in real life or its just one of those social media stuff that flies around, but so that we might learn something from it, I will give my opinion on that story in this post. So here is the story.

Issue
There is a married woman who has been faithful and submissive to her husband. She happened to be the breadwinner of that family as she earns more than her husband. This faithful, loving and submissive wife is very wealthy but has no child. In the spirit of submission she invested her hard earned money in real estate property and this she did at the prompting of her husband. Her husband advised that they buy the properties in the name of their unborn children and whatever name he suggested, that was the name in which the property was bought.

Soon after the husband died and while the lady was still mourning her late husband, she was presented with children her husband had out of wedlock with another woman without her knowledge. The hard reality that hit her is the fact all the properties she invested in, in the name of assumed unborn children were actually in the name of the children he had with another woman outside of the marriage. So the lazy husband trekked his wife into investing for the product of his adulterous act. And the this strange woman and her strange children want possession of what their late father deceitfully for the them.  

What is the fate befalls this faithful wife with the heavy betrayal and the stabbing on the back. How can she reclaim her fortunes back when it appears she has labored hard for deceit and total strangers? And then was she wrong to have submitted to her husband and obeyed him in buying properties in the name of unborn children? These are questions I pray the Lord will help us shed light to; I believe it will be a good lesson for us all.

Response
She has done nothing wrong by submitting to her husband and obeying his instructions, all she has done wrong is not praying for the spirit of discernment to know the evil hidden agenda of the man she calls husband. I believe that it is in order to stop the deceit and avenge the course of this woman that the Lord took her husband away and exposed the evil he has been doing in secret. It is only God that can and will avenge beyond whatever action that woman knows to take or is able to take. And I believe He has begun to avenge for her.

As long as she truthfully bought those properties with her hard earned money, and she is in possession of the title document of the properties, then she still has nothing to fear, all she needs to do is pray and hold firmly to God.

I have learned and shared one important truth about the marriage covenant which I will share again and that is: Marriage is a tripartite covenant relationship. It is a covenant between a man and his wife in the presence of God as a witness, a guide, a protector, a provider and above all a judge. God is in your marriage covenant overlooking it to pay every one according to how they have been faithful to keep the terms of contract/agreement of that covenant.

At no point in time is God folding His hands and watching the unjust getting pained, but He is a long suffering God who gives second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh etc chances for repentance. He forgives and teaches us to forgive; yet He is a God who punishes and corrects and that much He does as the Overseer of our marriages. The husband’s role is to love is wife unconditionally, and the wife’s role is to submit to her husband and God’s role is to judge between them and repay each according to how they have performed.

If this lady had taken action by herself, she would also be an offender. She would probably have divorced her husband which is a sin before the Lord. (Remember the story of Nabal and Abigail, it was the Lord himself to took the life of Nabal). But the all-knowing God fought for this faithful wife by by calling her husband home Himself (the death of the husband I believe is to avenge him and vindicate and protect the wife from further pain). The Lord had begun to fight for her even when she didn’t know she was in any trouble and the Lord who has begun to fight for her will perfect that which he started and give her to a man who is better fitting for her and will be to her all that God had intended a man be to his wife.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Your Reactions Matter A Lot

Hello blessed people, trust you are doing very great. So today we continue with our discussion on the life and marriage of Samson’s parents that we started in the last post. We learned a very important lesson in the last post that relates to the importance of communication in marriage and significance of your spouse being your true soul-mate. Today we will learn a little more.

Judges 13:6-11
Then Manoah prayed to the Lord; “O Lord, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”
God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her.  The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day!”
Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the one who talked to my wife?”
“I am,” he said.

What I want us to consider in this passage is Manoah’s reaction to the exciting tale of his wife. The way and manner this man handled the issue in this story tells a lot of about his personality and characteristics.

First Manoah didn’t dismiss what his wife told him as a fallacy or a fairy tale, he wasn’t too busy to hear her out and he didn’t think that what she said she saw must have been a figment of her imagination owing to the fact that she was sterile and that could have its psychological effects on her. Rather Manoah listened to his wife and then prayed.

Another lesson I am learning about this man Manoah is that he didn’t take offense at the fact that the angel of the Lord appeared to his wife and not him. Some self-consumed men would have assumed that as the head of the home they should be the one that God would appear to and relate with on matters that concerns his family. But this man accepted the words of his wife, believed it and ran with it as the Bible tells us that he prayed.

When we read the content of Manoah’s prayer, we will notice that when Manoah made reference to the angel, he said of him as “the man you sent to us” and not “the man you sent to my wife” because he held on to the truth that he is one with his wife; as long as the angel appeared to one, he has invariably appeared to the two of them and so he used the word "us". A handful of men still see themselves as separate entities from their wives and this is so very wrong.

And the God who honors the marriage union and holds the unity of marriage so very dear heard and answered Manoah’s prayers and the angel of the Lord appeared again. It is this same faithful God who heard and answered the prayers of Isaac on behalf of his barren wife Rebekah. And these are the exceptional excellent qualities of a loving and caring husband named Manoah that caused the Lord to bless him with a gifted child who was born a deliverer of Israel.

But for a man who breaks faith with the wife of his youth, the Lord says He will not hear or answer the prayer of such a man or accept their sacrifice with pleasure (Malachi 2:13). A man who treats his wife with disdain, he sits on his own prayers; his actions have constituted a hindrance to his own.

May the Lord bless our homes in Jesus name. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

As a Married Person, Who is Your Confidant?

Good day my lovely friends, how has your day been? I believe you have had a very fulfilling day so far to the glory of God.

In today’s post we will be looking at a story in the Bible found in Judges 13. It's the story of a man and his wife; precisely the story of Samson’s parents. This is one couple that by the grace of God we will be learning a thing or two from their union. 

Judges 13:2-6

A certain man of Zorah named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was sterile and remained childless. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are sterile and remain childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazarite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philitines.”

Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very handsome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. But he told me, ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazarite of God from birth until the day of his death.’”

I will like to title today’s message as: “As a married person, who is your confidant?” This is the first thing the Lord is dropping in my spirit concerning this couple as we begin to have a look at the marriage of Samson’s parents. 
The Bible tells us that Samson’s mother was sterile and so childless, but the Bible did not tell us that Samson’s father had another wife except his mother and so that automatically tells us that Samson’s father was also childless as the wife who was supposed to bear him children was sterile. 

Interestingly, this situation or challenge did not appear to affect their union as the Bible never said anything to imply, that though we don’t know for how long they both had to stick it out with each other and their common problem of childlessness. I will say that I have big respect for Manoah because he didn’t allow pressure from this situation make him loss faith in God or deny his wife. Though she was sterile, yet she was his wife and she remained his wife.

But the big beautiful lesson in this story is that when the angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and gave all the instructions about the coming child, it was natural that she was consumed with joy and excitement. And the first person she ran to was her husband to share her joy and her excitement. For me it is beyond mere giving a report, it was a conveyance of joy as she narrated her tale to her husband. And that brings to mind one important factor in marriage. As a wife when you hear a good news or a miracle has just been dropped on your laps, who do you run to first to share your excitement with? This goes a long way to tell you who the most important person to you in your life is. 

It’s just natural to gravitate towards where your heart is. When you get a news that makes you leap for joy just as this one received by Manoah’s wife, the first person you want to share it with is the one closest to you. It’s a shame that not every married couple will run to their spouses as times such as this. Some will even share the news with their parents and siblings before their spouse gets a wing of what could be going on, yet they are supposed to be bone of same bone and flesh of same flesh. 

There are a number of husbands who do not have the time for the excitement in the lives of their wives, what excites her are trivial to them, over time the wife finds another soul-mate to share her joys with and that becomes the beginning of a broken marriage. 

But Manoah seem to be a special breed of husband, despite the challenge in the life of his wife, he still remains her soul-mate; the one she runs to in good times and bad times. The man she shares her joy with whenever she finds one. And this makes me doff my heart in respect of this sweet loving husband by the name of Manoah. 

I came across a man who ended up with an extra-marital affair as a skeleton in his cupboard owing to the fact that when he needs someone to talk to his wife is always too tired for him. He eventually found another friend who was always willing to lend an ear to him and listen to his bags of gist. She gives him advice when necessary, and so when he needs someone to talk to he turns to this lady and gradually the friendship grow beyond what he has bargained for. 

According to this man, the strange lady is in no way better than his wife at home, but she is there for him to pour his heart to whenever he needs to talk. She became his confidant and eventually his lover. Even though I do not exonerate this man of wrong doing, I will say that his wife shares in the blame. Her husband is her business; she should never get too tired for her business. 

I am sure a lot of us have read the story of the birth of Samson, but just like I have and so very surprised at the hidden lessons contained in the story. So tomorrow we will learn some more and pray that God opens up the truth of His word to us and reveal to us the hidden things therein to help us improve our marriages. But in the meantime take a moment to think, “Is your spouse really your soul-mate, someone you run to when your heart is heavy either with joy, sadness or worry?” If not, that is an indication that something is seriously wrong and needs attention and correction. May the Lord bless us as we strive to build our homes and marriage in preparation for a better life to the glory of God. 




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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

God's Law for Marriage 2

It’s another glorious day and another glorious reason to thank the Lord. Big of all, it’s another talk day as we make effort to a better life beginning with a better marital experience.

So without any long intro, we will continue our gist on God’s rules for marriage. We started with God's rules for the wives in the last post and today we will look at the rules for the husbands. In doing that we will be going back to the theme scriptures of the last post were we found God’s rules for marriage.

Ephesians 5:22-30, 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 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.

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 their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine cloths. 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 own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed her Abraham and called him 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 hat nothing will hinder your prayers.

It feels so very good to be the head, being the head or the leader of a team accrues some level of power to it and it’s so easy for pride to set in and overwhelm a person when you know that you call the shots and you have people who are answerable to you; they take instructions from you and obey just as you have instructed.

But what is easily forgotten is that with such power comes huge responsibility. For those people who are answerable to you, you are also accountable for them. For anything that goes wrong you take the blame whereas you might not necessarily take the accolade for things that goes right. In truth, "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown."

The first thing I noticed concerning God’s instruction to the men is that as a husband he is the head of his wife and then the entire family. That automatically makes him accountable for his wife and his entire family. The wellbeing of his wife and his entire family are his responsibility; the growth and development of his wife and his entire family both physically and spiritually is his responsibility.
That is why when you see a woman who has added a considerable amount of body weight after marriage and maybe giving birth, it is often said that her husband is taking good care of her (even if that is not be the case). And you will also notice that in the Old Testament God is always calling on His men to hold fast to the His laws, and the same laws should not depart from their mouths but that they should teach those laws to their child and their entire household. That is God calling on the men to develop their household spiritually. Now you understand that the development of the wife and the entire household is the responsibility of the husband.
But the major rule given to the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Quite a number of men love their wives, but just a few of them love their wives as Christ loves the church; that is the unselfish, unconditional, sacrificial love that keeps on loving even to the point of death.
This love that God speaks of in this rule to the husband has no condition attached to it; it’s not the kind of love you have for your wife because she respects and obeys you; it’s not the kind of love that she earns as a result of her submission to you; it’s not the kind of love that you show when you are in public and your wife is glowing like a masterpiece of all of God’s creation; it’s not the kind of love that requires that your wife knows how to cook delicious meals and her presentation is on point; it’s not the kind of love that you show because your wife is the managing director of her organization and she is at the peak of her career. This is a kind of love that requires no clause and no sentiment attached to it. This love is without prerequisite, it's a love you just give and keep giving despite all her shortfalls in the same manner Christ loves the church.
It is a love that is pure and real and a love that is worth dying for. A love that is diligent and will keep on loving even when it gets nothing in return. Christ is the epitome of this kind of love; He is the leading example of this kind of love. And if by your own strength you are unable to give this kind of love, then go Jesus, with Him in your life running the show to love like this becomes very possible for you.
God is not going to drop the standard of love required by the husband to his wife just because the husband is unable to meet up, but rather God will lift up the husband to the approved standard of His ideal husband so that he is able to match up with what is required of him.
But should a man keep on loving a wife who does not respect or submit to him; a wife who is too demanding and never satisfied or contented with the best available; always taking and never giving, a wife who is lazy and cannot lift a finger but expects that her husband slaves himself for her? 
Well like I mentioned in the last post, a marriage covenant is tripartite covenant arrangement and everyone has a defined role to play in this triangular relationship. The role of the husband is to head the wife and the family and his rules of engagement is love unconditionally, and the rule of engagement for the wife is to submit to her husband as to the Lord and then God is the overseer of that union and judge of both of them.  God never fails and He is never late and He is always just. So when either the husband or wife fails in their rules of engagement, God punishes the offender after much room has been given for repentance, and he judges according to the weight of the offence.
If a man decides to take action against his wife’s misbehavior, he is going beyond his scope of engagement in this triangular relationship and infringing into God’s area of engagement and even that comes with its consequences. So also it is that failure for the woman to perform her role well and obey her own rules of engagement in marriage comes with its consequences. 
The ability of the man to obey his own rules of engagement in marriage is not found in the actions or inactions of his wife. Though it is his wife that the man has been asked to love unconditionally, but this love is not subject to what the wife does or does not. So when God calls the man to account over his failure to obey the rules of engagement for his marriage, the man cannot give his wife as an excuse for failure. When as a husband you fulfill your own side of the covenant by obeying the rules of engagement and your wife fulfills her own side of the covenant by obeying her own rules of engagement, your marriage is at peace and there is nothing for God to judge, just a peaceful union for Him to protect and guard.

May the Lord bless our homes and marriages in Jesus name.




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