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Friday, 17 May 2019

When You Speak Marriage You Speak Unity

One of the secrets to great success in life is the power of unity. Unity is so powerful when it is maintained in marriage. Jesus said in Matthew 18:19 that if as little as two agree on anything and they ask for it from God, it will be done for them by our Father in heaven. And then we read about God saying in Genesis 11:6 that if as one people (note that plural term PEOPLE, it speaks of more than one person), speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. And so, I see impossibility crushed by the power of unity. But you might want to say that Jesus did not imply that the two must be husband and wife and I will tell you that there is no better two that can agree on anything and ask God and He will hastily answer them than the two of husband and wife whom God has joined together in flesh and spirit as one entity, and made them His own.
So to say that, the agreement of the husband and his wife in thought and mind mixed with prayers creates a lifetime of successful achievements because what they ask in agreement they get from God.
Now, the devil knows this, and because he has come only to kill, steal and destroy he ensures that the husband and the wife don't agree on anything and so they make individual requests before God and have their prayers pending because such prayers or request requires they be done in agreement. And so, we will notice that alongside a messy marriage are a messy financial life and lost opportunities. It always looks like once the home front is not smooth, it affects all other areas of the individual lives of the couples.
But as children of God, we should not be ignorant of the devil’s pranks. God has given His word; it is our duty to ensure that we make ourselves eligible for the promise of God. God has told us that if we agree and ask then we will receive, the receiving is God's doing, but the agreeing and asking is our doing. God will not force us to agree, that is our own duty to ensure. It is our responsibility to make that agreement happen and believe me, it does not come easy, but it is very possible and doable.  
Quite a number of times I have viewed things differently from my husband, but mindful of the power of unity I make effort to see things through his eyes and align with him and believe me we have achieved great things simply by the power of alignment. And the interesting thing about this is that I get to win in the long run. Because after a period of time, he will be still turn around to see things from my own perspective. Yes, sometimes it takes years for him to see it my way but with patience and a good heart I get to win it all in the long run.
I want you to keep this thought dear to you, “it pays to lose the battle just to win the war.” Conceding to the will and instructions of your husband as the Lord has instructed us as wives to submit to our husband as unto the Lord might mean that you lose your conviction momentarily, but it's only to win the love of your husband, the peace and joy of your marriage and the progress and promotion of your life. And above all it means to win the love of God as you obey Him, it means to walk in unity with your husband and have all your request before the Lord answered without delay.
I have tried it and it works. I am enjoying it and I am reaping the benefits of that which I am sowing. I might be losing the battle every now and then, but I am winning the war. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

The Lady Has Got Guts

I was discussing with a lady some weeks ago, this lady did a very remarkable thing that a lot of people will consider foolish because it takes a lot of guts to do what she did. This is what she did; she left her very high paying job to relocate with her husband and children to another location on the face of the earth far from their home base, starting life all over again from ground zero simply because she wanted to help her husband discover his dream and feel worthy of being a husband. All she took along with her was her prayer and trust in God.
Because of her high paying job, she carries more of the financial burden of her family. It was a trend she didn’t like, and she wanted it to change. When her husband requested that they move to another country in pursuit of greener pasture, it wasn’t a greener pasture for her because life was already very green for her in the land she was in. But she gave it all up because she was a wife under submission. Quite a lot of people tried to talk her out of it because she was doing fantastically well where she was. But what of her husband?
This lady recognized that her assignment in the life of her husband was in the capacity of a suitable helper and not the primary burden bearer. But one thing she did was that she prayed hard. She sought God in the quietness of her spirit. She sought the leading of the Holy Spirit and then decided to leave all and follow her husband.
The last time we spoke she told her that her husband has secured two jobs and when she sees their bank account details and receive her husband’s call demanding to know what was needed in the house so he could buy them on his way home, she felt so much joy that finally she is able to help her husband find his worth and pursue his destiny. And they are happy. They have always maintained a joint account before now but she had been the one funding the account. But now her husband is the one funding their joint account.
I totally agree that a lot of women have done similar things and have gotten their fingers burnt but that does not make it wrong. I will only encourage wives to be more prayerful as they embarked on their support mission in the lives of their husbands. Whatever you want to do in your marriage do it first because you have prayed well and have received a leading from God over and above doing it for love. Those who did it and got it wrong did it for love and that is where we have the difference. With God leading and guiding, you can never get it wrong. For this young lady, it has been from one testimony to another.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Just a Little Secret

Still on the issue of finances in marriage, I have heard so many wives turn into being their family’s breadwinner with the husband doing close to nothing and sitting happy on the fact that his wife is able to meet up with the financial burdens of the family. And the wives give so much till they are heavily weighed down with the financial burden of the family and they can bare no more.
I will again want to say that the financial responsibility of the family is the primary assignment of the husband while the wife contributes in assist mode. But what can the wife do when her husband is just not yielding when it comes to the finances of the family noting that the wife by the auction of God on her life is supposed to submit to her husband as unto the Lord?
I have come to understand and also preach the same that life does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to it. So, to say that what works for wife A might not work for wife B and if this be the case, we need the divine intervention of God in our everyday life and most of all in our marriages. But before I continue in this discussion as we trust God for wisdom, it’s important to differentiate the two kinds of husband that might fall within this category. First, there are husbands who honestly cannot meet up with the financial burden of their family because they truly do not have a means of income or their source of income is insufficient to handle their burdens. So, they genuinely have it in their heart to do, but just don’t have a means to. And then, we have those who do not care. Even when they have to give, they have absolved themselves of every sense of responsibility towards the needs of their family. As long as their wives are taking care of the family’s finances, then they can just not bother anymore.  
As we trust God for wisdom in handling issues like this, I want to also implore wives that they need to be very prayerful and rely on God for the day to day running of their homes. I had shared in one of my blog’s post that wives should not be quick to take up and embrace the breadwinner role just because they have the income to do so. They can support when needed, but when the support is tending towards a permanent responsibility then there is the need to begin to trust God for divine intervention.
For as long as a husband genuinely cannot meet up with the financial needs of the family and the wife is in the know of the situation then she should be ready to fill in the gaps while they both wait on the Lord to lift the husband up financially. But in a situation where the husband is capable of handling the financial responsibility of his family but is deliberately not doing so, then I will suggest that the wife gradually, wisely and prayerfully begin to withdraw from the role that God has not assigned her to and then let her husband begin to understand that it’s his responsibility as the head of the family to financially care for his family and for that, he is accountable.
But this withdrawal must be done with great sensitivity because issues like this have affected marriages negatively. The wife if not careful will be tagged the wicked one and seen as proud and arrogant. But with prayers and the help of God a woman can successfully withdraw from being the breadwinner to being the financial support in her family, without it having a negative effect on the marriage. In fact, some husbands show so much love and respect for their wives for helping them while things were tough.
So as a wife, if there is a financial need in the home and you are certain your husband can handle it, don’t rush to handle it simply because your husband isn’t. First, with love, respect and wisdom inform your husband of the need, then give him time. If after a while he still isn’t handling it, remind him gently. If then he doesn’t handle it, you can either ignore it or find another route to solving the problem without spending money and if possible don’t let him know you have resolved the issue.
I am not encouraging wives to keep secrets from their husbands, but if there is a need to hold back information that will make the husband do what he is supposed to do for the health of the marriage and home, then it wise to hold back such information for the greater good of the family. But I will say this to wives, “know your husband” because there is no one-size-fits-all in marriage. What works for me might not work for you and so above all, we need God’s guidance and wisdom to run a marriage successfully.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Who Should Help Who

I am trying to trust God for solutions to possible grey areas in marriages. You know those things that are most likely to cause problems in marriages and I pray that the Lord will help us with lasting solutions to these issues. One of the issues that come to mind is finances.
Based on my interactions with wives, most especially the ones who are struggling with their marriages I have heard one common utterance, and that is “he doesn’t give me money.” But before I discuss these, I pray that you give me your open heart and understand this very carefully. It is true that we read in 1 Timothy 5:8 that anyone who does not provide for his own, especially those of his household, he is worse than an unbeliever, but just now I am noticing that what the Bible says is anyone and not man. So, unlike what we are used to referring to as man when we refer to this scripture, it is actually anyone. Now anyone can be a man or a woman.
But where I want to consider this from is the role of a man in the home as the head of the home. If a man truly is the head of the home, then he should be the head in making provisions for the needs of his family. There is no point being a half-baked head of the home or be head of the family just by mouth. But that titles comes with huge responsibilities. And making sure that the family is well taken care of is the big responsibility of the head of the family, the husband.
Then we read in Proverbs 31 of the wife of noble character. A wife who is an entrepreneur, one who is hardworking and earns income and with her income provides for the needs of the family. And so, a wife is designed by God to also be the financial support of her husband. So, if we begin to look at this topic holistically, we will find that even though the husband as the head of the home is the principal provider for his family, the wife who is his suitable helper is also a suitable helper in providing for the financial needs of their family.
Now with this fact established, I want to speak to the wives, and my first point of encouragement is that wives should not live their lives being dependent on their husbands, most especially when it comes to the issue of finances. A woman should not depend on her husband for strength, she should be able to build her strength from God and with that strength, she will be a suitable helper to her husband. If God has made you are helper, then you should understand that you cannot depend on the one you are assigned to help for strength and help. Your strength should be from a bigger and more powerful source which is God and then direct that strength to your home including your husband whom you are assigned to help.  You should not wait for the one whom you are assigned to help to be the one helping you.
Now the next question that arises is: Is Derin now saying the wife should take up the responsibility of financially providing for the home? Now, I need us to understand that the wife is not the principal/primary provider, but she provides for her home in the capacity of a suitable helper to her husband as assigned to her by God. When the husband is fulling his responsibility as the primary provider and the wife is fulfilling her responsibility as a suitable helper even in the issue of financial provisions then the home is secured against financial lack or drought. This is God’s mindset for our homes. This is His plan for our homes.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Your Reaction Matters

What you say, when you say it, and how you say it, are key elements of communication in marriage. Your communication with your spouse, especially at the point of emotional overload (either anger or joy) needs to be handled with great care. Words have the capacity to build up and at the same time, the capacity destroy. We read in Proverbs 18:21 that “the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit,” and we also read in Proverbs 16:24 that “pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
When your spouse offends you or hurts your feelings, believe me when I say they are well aware of what they are doing or what they have done (at least in most cases). Now, the big issue isn’t what they have done, but how you react to what they have done. Giving it back to them in the full measure of what they did to you is simply justifying the wrong they have done to you. Your wrong reaction has actually right the wrong they did to you, and then the two of you are even. The sad thing is that they will wrong you again and again and then your marriage begins to break down little by little until the center can no longer hold.
But then there is a measure of pleasant word reaction that gives the conscience the power to cleanse the offender. When you react right, you give God room to deal internally with the one who is wrong and then your right reaction produces right action in your spouse with the dealings of God in him or her thereby enjoying a win-win victory by what seems foolish reaction to the world but the wisdom of God put to display.
There is something that happens in my marriage that is so very interesting. My husband is a person who does not like to say sorry to me his wife and to tell you the truth, I really don’t mind. Because rather than say sorry, he buys me a gift instead, or credits my account. That is his own mode of apology and I am enjoying it all the way. Before now I have learned the secret of pleasant words; my husband can be impatient sometimes and harsh sometimes. But on most occasions, I watch myself not to react in the same manner of his harshness and then when he sees that I am not reacting to him in the measure of his actions to me, his conscience takes over. He becomes sorry and sober and just wouldn’t want to openly admit it. Then he goes to get a gift or credit my account, knowing that I will acknowledge what he has done and there the quarrel ends.
It might not be exactly like this for everyone because we also didn’t start so sweet, but with cultivation and growth, it gets sweeter every day and every time. Your marriage is worth every sacrifice that you can give to it, because, the yield is far more than the sacrifice.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Your Marriage Was No Mistake

What is your marriage standing on? What is the bonding glue that is keeping your marriage together in one piece? Is it God, or is it love? It is the common belief that marriage cannot exist without love and to this end, I agree. But what happens when you are married in love and then after some years or many years love fades? Does the marriage fade also?
I have heard so many people say their marriage was a mistake, and they believe and hold on to the fact that nothing else can make that marriage work. Even though I know that people are bound to make mistakes, nobody has journeyed through life more than once and going through a road you’ve never been before you are opened to missing your way and taking a wrong turn or follow a wrong route occasionally. But if that is acceptable in other areas of life, it’s not so with marriage. It's morally unacceptable to change spouse as though you were changing your clothing. Yes, you can change jobs, change career path, change houses, change cars, but you can’t change spouses in like manner.
And so, in making the life partner choice, you need a little more than mere love to hinge your decision on. You need God. Even though you are bound to make mistakes because life is a journey you have never embarked on before now and because everyone’s journey differs and so you can’t rely on another’s life experience, you are prone to mistakes. But God never makes mistakes, in fact, God is a mistake repairer. So, when you give your mistakes to God, He fixes them.
And this is why I am so against divorce (even though I do not judge or condemn those divorced), but when you hand over that mistake marriage of yours to God, He fixes it. He repairs it, and then He brings it back to you. And when He gives it back, it turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. We read in Malachi 2:16 and Matthew 19:3-6 about how God feels about divorce. If we then call ourselves children of God and we love God, then isn’t it important to put God’s feeling into consideration as we strive to deal with our mistake marriages?
God is a fixer of mistakes. He alone can fix any mess we make of our journey in life. No matter how messy those mistakes are, God alone can and will fix it if only we let Him. No matter how messy a mistake our marriage is, God alone can fix it and make it beautiful. Even more beautiful than what love alone can do. Are you willing to give your messy marriage to God to fix? Divorce is not the best solution to a messy marriage, God is. I have been there before, so I know.

Monday, 6 May 2019

The Power of Thank You

They say the phrase “thank you” is a magic word. They teach it to our nursery and kindergarten children but for us adults, the phrase “thank you” has totally lost its value. And then it has become none existent in a handful of marriages (being careful not to generalize). In fact, in our relationship with God, it's also just the same. When we don’t get what we want how we want it, appreciating what we have becomes a problem.
A man in his sixties walked into my shop to buy a lace fabric for his wife. It was his 60th birthday shortly before then and he got a handful of cash as gifts from well-wishers, and just decided to spoil his wife and appreciate her. And so he wanted to buy her a beautiful piece of clothing. He bought this lovely fabric and took it home. He also bought her a pair of shoes to go with the fabric. He called a day after to say the shoes were not the size of his wife, and so he was going to return it. And so, after two days he brought the shoe back and I asked him if the wife liked the fabric he had bought. The expression on his wife said it all. He was pained in his spirit over the fact that his wife didn’t appreciate the fabric simply because she wanted him to give her the money and let her buy for herself what she wanted.
Interestingly, he told me that if he had given her money, he wouldn’t have given her as much as he had spent buying the fabric for her. Her lack of appreciation spoke volumes to the man, and his ability to extend such a gesture another time. Even if he had to do, he wouldn’t. And if he brings himself to do just as a sense of duty, he wouldn’t do as much, simply because the initial one was not appreciated.
A lot of us wives make this same mistake, and when our husbands shut down on us, we begin to complain. We call them irresponsible and compare them to men who take good care of their wives forgetting that we are the architect of who and what they have become. For the husband who is doing so much for his wife, have you taken time to study what the wife is doing to make the husband continue to pour out himself for her?
I have learned to appreciate all that my husband does for me and our children even though it is his responsibility to do these things. When I thank my husband for paying our children’s school fees, he asks why? And then he comments that he is just doing his responsibility. But I tell him that there are thousands of husbands who are not paying their children’s school fees even though some can afford to and heaven isn’t falling because of them. So, he should allow me to appreciate him that he knows his responsibility and he is doing the responsibility of his own free-will. That alone is a morale booster for a man.
And the same goes for the wife. We as wives go ourselves beyond the limit to keep the home and family together. I know the feeling I get when my husband and I go out and return home very tired and I still have to go straight to the kitchen to make food while others are stretching out their legs and relaxing, and then my husband enters the kitchen to say well done and apologize for putting me through the stress. That alone drives the tiredness away and you find a little strength to just continue.
These are the little spices that make the marriage beautiful. It’s so wrong and in fact dangerous to take your spouse for granted. A little bit of appreciation here and there is just good oil for the shinning of your marriage. It's not all the gift my husband buys for me that I am crazily in love with, but I appreciate them all and wear these gifts as though I have longed for them all my life and sincerely what that does is that it gives him reasons to keep giving. He is also learning to know more of what I like and improving on the gifts. That is the power of “thank you” it makes the giver to never stop giving.