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Thursday, 21 November 2019

The Husband is Accountable to God

I am really so very sorry for the inconsistency of sharing with you on the marriage blog throughout this year. It’s a big shame on me considering the fact that I know quite a lot of people take the time to read what I write. I could have given the reason of work for this but in truth, that isn’t good enough so I would simply just apologize.
We had started a series of learning from the marriages in the Bible and we will just continue from there. What I shared last was about Eve staying within the confines of the leadership of her husband as the head of the home. The importance of submission in marriage cannot be overemphasized but the wife alone does not make a marriage, so we need to have a look at the second component of marriage which is the husband and the head of the marriage. We will be looking at the husband from the viewpoint of Adam.

Genesis 3:6
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her.

Before going on with our study, I needed to, first of all, check another translation of this passage to have a clear understanding of what it says. Remember that Adam is the husband, he is the leader of the union, and then he was the one to whom God gave the instruction not to eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil. And then he was with Eve when she ate of the fruit of which God said they should not eat because the Bible says “she gave some to her husband who was also with her.”
When the serpent was speaking to Eve and he was with her why didn't he stand to her defense? Why didn't he rebuke that serpent and take the lead that he was assigned to take? Why didn’t he stop Eve from eating the fruit of the tree of which God said they should not eat most especially when he was the direct recipient of the instruction? These questions are what is coming up in my mind when it comes to the role of Adam in that marriage.  These for me are the failures of Adam. No matter how we try to blame Eve for her errors, I think Adam share a larger portion of the blame.

Genesis 3:9
But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Let’s now see this from the eyes of God. When the Lord was going to seek an account for the wrong that has been done, He didn’t ask Eve, He called out to the man. This is simply because the responsibility of the union rests on the head of the man who is the head of the marriage union and home. He is the one answerable to God over the affairs of the home.
In today’s world there are still so many Adam husbands around. It is so important that the husband and wife work together in agreement but the responsibility of the marriage union rests on the husband. If a marriage fails the world might seek accountability from the wife, but God will seek accountability from the husband. And that is why we read in Malachi 2:16-19 that God warns the husband to be careful and not break faith with the wife of his youth.
The husband is assigned by God to lead his wife, protect his wife, care for her and love her as Christ loves the Church and died for her and he is answerable to God over her life. This is deeper than just as simple as it appears on this blog and I pray the Lord will enlighten the hearts of the husbands and give them a divine revelation of the matter.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Eve Should Have Stayed in Lane

By common knowledge, the first thing that comes to mind when we speak of helpers is that they support, they mostly are the backend support that makes things happen. When you speak of a helper you don't first think of such as a leader. But moving from common knowledge, by virtue of God's arrangement in marriage, the husband leads and the wives follow. But she just doesn't follow blindly, she supports and helps. 
Going back to common knowledge, a leader gives instructions and the followers obey the same. Based on God's principles in marriage, the husband leads, and the wives submit. The dictionary meaning of the word submission means to willingly yield yourself to the authority of another. So as a wife what God expects of you as found in Ephesians 5:22-24 is that you willing yield yourself to the authority of your husband just as in the manner in which you willingly yield yourself to the authority of God. A deviation from this pattern is a road path to chaos in marriage. 
That was what happened when Eve decided to leave the path of following the lead of her husband. But before you go negative on me, just follow me closely. I very well understand that the husband makes mistakes and some husbands seem unworthy to be followed. I am a wife and I am no angel so I feel like every other wife feels and I have experiences too that are not perfect or near perfect. And many years ago I thought just like you might now that my husband was unworthy to be followed. And I began to pray. I knew God's word wouldn't change and if I want peace in my marriage I must obey that word of God that says I must submit to my husband as unto the Lord. So I prayed that God will fill my husband up with Himself such that the words of my husband will come in the form of instructions and will be God's words and instructions for me. And with confidence that what I have prayed for God will answer, I learned to submit to my husband even in the silliest things and it has really paid off because it has fetched me peace of mind in my marriage and helped me build the bond of unity in my marriage. 
I will share a story of my personal experience on the issue of submission. About 20months ago I began a business and my husband got me a shop to sell lace fabrics. He renovated the shop and did it so tastefully. I had assumed that with much beauty built into the shop he will give me a good sum of money to stock up the shop. But to my disappointment, he gave me so little that it was about a fraction of what he used in renovating the shop that he gave me to buy goods in the shop to sell. In fact what I got from him then couldn't even fill a shelf. I was pained but I remembered that notwithstanding I was still supposed to submit to him as my husband. And submit I did. 
But rather than getting hurt, I began to think and pray on how to kick start the business and grow it with the very little I had. To the glory of God, ideas started pouring into my head and I began to implement them. Then I learned to use social media to boost my sales and the sales I made using social media far outweighed what I ever thought of selling in the shop. 
Now the lesson there for me was that if indeed I had gotten the big money I wanted from my husband and stocked the shop with so many goods, the poor sales would have frustrated my business and I would have been perceived as a failure. But because he didn't give me what I wanted and I submitted to him irrespective, I was able to challenge myself, think outside the box and pray and launched my business beyond what I would have been able to do given that I had all the money I wanted. God used my husband to teach me and I am happy I didn't resist the lesson. 
If Eve had just stayed within the limits of following her husband, the serpent would not have had a hold on her. When you feel your husband isn't making sense then turn to God in prayer but never leave the covering of God's commandment for your life, never move off the position of submission to your husband as the Lord has ordained and ordered you to as a wife. Prayer without deed is dead and so prayer without submission is dead and also submission without prayer is powerless.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

There was None Found Comparable to Him

So will continue our marriage discussion by continuing our focus on the marriage of Adam and Eve. In the last post, we looked at one of the purposes of God for marriage judging from the first marriage, the marriage of Adam and Eve. We were able to conclude that based on God's design marriage was designed to help the couples in it to develop and grow from the position they were before marriage. 
There are many other lessons I have learned from the marriage of Adam and Eve and I will like to share them with you. So in the next couple of posts, we will be dealing with that marriage and learning from it.
The first interesting thing about the marriage of Adam and Eve is found in the latter part of Genesis 2:20 which says "But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him" (NKJV). The NIV version says "But for Adam no suitable helper was found." What I understand from this single sentence is that no matter how you view your marriage at this moment, for God to sit on His throne and watch your marriage ceremony take place without any disruption, then He knows for sure that you as a wife are the suitable helper that God has found or should I say made that is comparable and suitable for that man. Of all the living things God has made you are the one found comparable to that man who is your husband. 
Now, that does not translate to the fact that your husband is perfect and without fault, it doesn't mean that he is so sweet and husbandly and a dream come true husband, it only means that you are the one God has made to complete him. You are the one found suitable or should I say comparable to him to complete him and perfect him. God made you and place you in his life despite all the shortfalls in the life of your husband because He (God) knows you have what it takes to help him develop from who he was before God brought you into his life
What this tells me about you as a wife is that you are more than what you think you are. God thinks more highly of you than you think of yourself. God knows that you are more capable than you think you are. Your strength in God is beyond what you know. 
If you are in a challenging marriage situation, never think of yourself as the victim, because for God to watch you in that situation, it is because He knows that if you harness the potentials in you with His (God) support, strength and power in you, you are capable of turning the situation around for good and become victorious over that marriage challenge, being a change agent in the hands of God in bringing a glorious renewal in the life of your husband. Of all that God created that is living and moving around, there was none found comparable to him except YOU. Think about it. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

What is Your Marriage Producing?

It's been two months since I last shared a post on the marriage blog and I sincerely feel ashamed of that. But I can either stop making an impact in the lives of people or cover my face and yet start all over again. If any explanation is required for my absence, I will stay I took time off in pursuit of an income-generating venture. But while at it, I shouldn't abandon God impacting venture too. In all, I apologize for my long absence. 
Before I took off we had done a lot of learning from the book of Esther and just like you, I learned a lot. So we will continue into the year learning things from the marriages of the Bible. We will glean from the marriage of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Issac and Rebecca, Jacob and his wives (Leah and Racheal), Lot and his wife, David and his wives, Job and his wife and many other marriages we can glean from and try to relate what we learn from them in to our everyday life. 
So we start from the very beginning, the very first marriage which is the marriage of Adam and Eve. It is common knowledge what the marriage of Adam and Eve was like but the one thing we need to look at and learn from is what the marriage of Adam and Eve should have been as intended by God. 
From what we can see in Genesis 2:18, one of the reasons God created the wife for the husband was for support, as a suitable helper. So we can rightly conclude that the marriage of Adam and Eve was designed for developmental purpose as the wife was placed in the life of her husband to help him succeed in what he has been assigned to do. Noting that this is the first marriage with marriages following after that, we can that say that wives are placed in the life of the husband as a support and a helper and so marriage is designed by God for developmental purpose. 
My question following this conclusion is: Is your marriage fulfilling the developmental purpose for wish God designed it? We learn from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 that two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor, and then we read from Genesis 2:24 that "for this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and will cleave to his wife and the two shall become one." If two are better than one, then we understand better God's reason for saying that it is not good for the man to be alone. And two who labor together will have a better reward for their labor than when one labors alone then we know for sure that the design of God in bringing a man and woman together in marriage is for developmental purpose. So the man and his wife coming together as one laboring together with the wife as a suitable helper and the husband mandated to love and care for his wife as himself then growth and development are bound to take place in their lives as a single unit and in their individual lives. 
So the question again is this: In your marriage, is growth and development taking place like it should? Is your marriage producing fruits of development in your life and that of your spouse like it should? If yes, I congratulate you and bless God for your life. If otherwise, then it is important that you begin to search out the reason for the shortfall and start to deal with it. 
For your marriage to bring about the development and growth we are learning about, there must be a true cleaving between the husband and the wife in soul and spirit such that it can truly be said that they are no longer two but one. Been married to the world yet separated in mind and spirit does not bring about the development that God designed for marriage. Seeing your spouse as a separate entity from yourself and treating him/her as such does not produce the kind of reward of labor that we read of in the passages we have highlighted in today's post. 
Your battles in marriage are not battles you should target against your spouse, but that you working with your spouse on a common goal in fighting the external enemy. When you see your spouse as your enemy, then you are no longer one but two separate entities and your achievements in that marriage will be limited. On the long run, you short-change yourself ignorantly. For you to enjoy the dividends of marriage, you must make a deliberate effort at keeping and maintaining the unity of your marriage. God's word never lie, your marriage is designed to make you better than you were before it began

Thursday, 25 July 2019

It's Brilliant How Esther Did It

Another thing that caught my attention in the book of Esther was the wisdom in which Esther handled her issues. I can tell you for free that no matter how beautiful you can be, it is not enough to hold a marriage. But God’s wisdom embedded in good character and prayers will take anyone to the greatest height attainable in marriage. Proverbs 24:3 says, “Through wisdom, a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with precious and pleasant riches.”
The book of Esther chapter 3 was where Haman began to plot the destruction of the children of Israel and when this got to Esther, the first thing she did was to highlight her restriction, but that was not good enough for her Uncle Mordecai. But what really gave me so much respect for Esther was how she handled the matter.
For some, she should have just walked up to the king, demand her right as the queen and insist that her people be spared, and Haman be destroyed. After all, she was the queen. But Esther took a different route, a more subtle yet technical route. A route that was devised in wisdom and covered with prayers, that she knew could never fail.
So, the first thing Esther did was to pray. You might wonder why a wife would need to pray before approaching her husband for a request that she was entitled to. Well, I learned to use the prayer approach too in my marriage and it works well for me. Building a marriage on an entitlement mentality is not too good. Always have it at the back of your mind that your spouse owes you nothing except what God has laid in his/her heart to deliver to you. With that, you seldom get disappointed and learn to trust God more irrespective of your spouse. 
And after her prayer and fasting which she did along with the whole of the Jewish race on the land, she decided to take the bull by the horn and approach her husband whether tradition allowed it or not. Although the tradition of the land at that time did not permit Esther to approach the king when she was not called on but through prayers she had prepared her path, she knew that she had secured the intervention of God in the matter. And to the glory of God, she got what she wanted.
So many times, there are pressing issues that I want to discuss with my husband and with the emotional weight that I carry in me, I was sure the discussion would most likely lead to a fight. And all the time that I have prayed before speaking up it always ended in praise. You might wonder if I can’t approach my husband on issues without first praying about it, at least he is my husband and not my God. Well like Esther I love to choose the prayer route first so that I get to laugh after all said and done. Sometimes when I pray, I might not even need to discuss with him anymore on the issue no matter how pissed off I may be because the Lord will speak to him on my behalf and the matter is resolved without me venting my anger or airing my views.   
When I need something that I am sure my husband has to give like the case of Esther, I have learned not to trust that my husband will give me because he has it to give. With this approach, I seldom get disappointed because my expectation is little and I have killed totally any form of entitlement mentality that I should have in my marriage. So, when I have a request, I present it to God even when I know my husband has. It is now God’s choice to determine how He chooses to make available my request. He could choose to use my husband as a vessel to answer my prayers or decide to find other means suitable to Him. But one thing is sure He answers me when I call.
Applying God’s wisdom and praying in all situations brought about victory not only for Esther but for all the Jewish race in the 127 provinces. Applying God’s wisdom in your marriage gives you peace, joy, and love in your marriage far more than you can ever achieve in your limited effort. There is absolutely nothing too trivial in marriage to pray about. Disturb God about everything because that is what He wants you to do. When you free yourself of the burden and put it all in the hands of God things begin to happen for your good. Not because you did it, but because you let God do it for you.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

What About You

There is no time more appropriate to be mindful of one’s appearance as a woman than when you are married. I do understand the pressure of being a wife and a mother but in the midst of all the various important things that vie for your attention as a woman, the way you look and care for yourself is also very important. And that takes me to the third thing I learned from the book of Esther in the Bible.
After the exit of queen Vashti, there was a need for a replacement and a search began in the 127 provinces under the rulership of king Ahasuerus. In Esther 2:12 we read that each woman gets twelve months of beauty treatment before presenting herself to the king for consideration as queen according to the regulations for the women. So, in the days of Esther, the women were required to undergo twelve months of beauty treatment. I want to believe that this regulation is not only for those vying to be queen but for all women in the land as it was a regulation for the women.
Sometimes I just want to think if such regulation should be reintroduced in our days where it is compulsory for women to pay attention to how they look and smell. One of the things that qualified queen Vashti as a trophy to her husband so much that he wished to display her to the princes and nobles of his province was her beauty. It is so easy for a beautiful woman to relinquish her beauty if she doesn’t take time to care for her beauty. Just as it is easy for a woman who was considered ugly to become a beautiful pride of her husband when she begins to pay more attention to herself and her appearance.
The importance of one's appearance and hygiene cannot be over-emphasized. Your appearance does not just qualify you as a trophy to your husband, it also boosts your self-esteem. The way you dress and carry yourself goes a long way to determine the way you will be addressed. Beauty they say is deceptive but nonetheless, beauty attracts. Being a lover of God does not undermine the need for us as wives to take care of our appearance in a decent and modest manner. 
In as much as "character" is the number one value of a wife, but good-appearance is a value that is a wife must-have. Even if it on a ratio of 8:2, a wife must make efforts to look good for her husband. There is something about you that made your husband decide you fit enough to be his wife; always ensure you maintain the freshness of that one thing. I totally agree that beauty cannot hold a marriage and I preach same. But the way you look is a catalyst in marriage. A good look is required for you to earn the respect of those who see you, your husband being the most important one. So while not overdoing it and keeping your marriage and its health in focus, ensure you pay attention to yourself as a wife. It’s the least you can do for you.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

The Sin of Vashti

The next thing that caught my attention in the story of Esther that I read was the resolution of the advisers of the king over the punishment that should be dished out to Queen Vashti. As read in Esther 1:16-20, it's not the punishment to dethrone queen Vashti and give her place to another that is the big deal to me but the analysis of her action. The adviser of the king said it wasn't just the king that was wronged, but all the princes, nobles and the entire men within the 127 provinces under the rulership of the king.
You might then want to ask that how can a simple refusal of one’s husband’s request become such a big deal? Well, Memucan the king’s adviser explained it to us in Esther 1:16-20. He says, when the women in the province hear what queen Vashti did with no repercussion or consequence, they will adopt that kind of behavior and the impunity within the province will be widespread. That for me is the main focus of today’s post. In my last post we discussed being your husband’s trophy but today we will take it a little further to understand the impact of our private actions on the watching public, those we never knew were watching us.
One of the reasons I started getting interested in marriage issues is the way and manner I hear some pastors’ wives talk about their husbands just like an unbeliever would. They trivialize marriage as though there is no hope ever for a beautiful marriage simply because they lack the understanding of what it takes to make it work yet what they refuse to understand is that they are not just been hopeless about their own marriage but they are killing the hope of a good marriage for those who are watching them or looking up to them as role models.
One Saturday morning, I went for the Parents Teachers Forum meeting in my children’s school and was leaving. Another mother who lives close to me asked me to give a ride home and I agreed, while on my way home, I received a call from my husband who was babysitting our children in my absence. He wanted to go out and wanted to know how much longer before I got back home. Meanwhile, the woman in the car with me couldn’t help but hear my conversation. When I got home, she dropped from the car and trekked the little distance left to her home.
I met her a few hours later on the roadside talking with someone I knew, apparently, they were talking about me. I walked up to them and she couldn’t help but bare out her mind. She told me she was just discussing with the other person about her experience while inside my car. She had overheard my conversation with my husband and assumed I was talking to my husband due to the way I was talking on the phone. She said I spoke with so much respect that she thought it was my father on the other line but when I reached my house and she saw my husband standing at the gate waiting, she realized it was my husband I was conversing with all along.
She told me sincerely that she learned something new from me that day, she said now she understands what her husband meant when he was complaining of her not showing respect to him as her husband. She couldn’t imagine anyone speaking with so much respect to a mere husband. And till date, that incident has not left me. That I could unconsciously minister change into a marriage just by the way I handle mine has left me grateful to God.
In Proverb 31:23 we read something about the virtuous wife, it says, “Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.” Why this is included in the characteristics of a virtuous woman calls for thinking. Obviously, there must be a value-add in the life of a man married to a virtuous wife as a result of the positive actions of his wife. The NIV Bible version says, “the husband is respected at the city gate,” a wife who has learned to respect her husband as laid the precedence for others to respect him. And much more than that, she has laid an example for onlookers who might not know otherwise to learn to respect their own husbands too. And for this, she will be rewarded.  
You might say that as a wife your husband does not respect you so why should you respect him? Well in my world you don’t correct a wrong with a wrong and as a child of God, you are called to be the light in the darkness. When you shine your light no matter how little, you illuminate your husband’s world and drive away the darkness within him. Remember that God called you to be a suitable helper in his life. The more you respect him, the more you teach him to respect you in return.