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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

How I Helped My Husband Quit Smoking

Hello people, I trust you are doing well. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to be able to reach out to you again on marriage issues and to the glory of God our marriages will be a joy and a blessing to us in Jesus name.
Just as I was beginning to think of what to share and praying in my spirit for God to give me a timely word for a marriage, it dropped in my spirit to gist you guys on how I helped my husband to stop smoking.
When you read my blog, it’s important that you understand that I am not in any way different from the many people with diverse issues in their marriages. I have had my own share of marital heartaches and several times that I have considered taking a walk from my marriage and even contemplated suicide. But I am always quick to wake up to the fact that I didn’t send myself on this marriage journey, I am on assignment for God in making the life of a man better than how I met it. I possess the talent to make it happen and I am working my talent and with God on my side as a Guide and ever-present Help in times of trouble, I am seeing the positive results.
So, like I said earlier, I want to share with you guys my experience on how I helped my husband to stop the habit of smoking. But come to think of it, did I really do much in helping my husband bury the harmful habit of smoking cigarette? Well, my husband started smoking in his late teen years and that habit grew with him till about six years ago. I knew he was smoking before we got married and assumed that I could stop him from smoking once we got married. I banked so much on the love we had for each other and thought I had the magic wand.
Oh, was I so very wrong! Smoking became a major source of fights between us well into our married years. The more I complained and fought him on the issue, the more he continued and even got worse. There was nothing I didn’t say, but I just wasn’t making any headway. I even threatened to end the marriage and sincerely my husband called my bluff and continued smoking.
Now, we have had children and they were beginning to see their father smoke. I didn’t want that to happen and still I couldn’t prevent my children from wanting to be with their father. You know when children come to tell you that “mummy my teacher said smoking is bad for the health and now daddy is smoking”, and you have absolutely no response for them. For them, their father was their role model, they want to be like daddy someday, and smoking isn’t what I wanted them to see as okay. So, it was tough, and I fought the habit of smoking in my husband with all the strength I had in me. I hated the smell of cigarette on him, I never wanted him to come near me when he just finished smoking and believe me when I say it affected my relationship with him negatively.
And then I began to take on my last resort, I began to pray. I realized that by myself I could fail, but God never fails. I handed the battle over to him. One thing that I realized was that my husband had it in mind that if he stopped smoking because of me, then it comes across to him that I could control him. He didn’t want to give me the power to be able to control him. So, while I thought I was helping him by trying to force him to stop smoking, he saw it as me trying to control him. So, the more I complained about the smoking, the more he smoked basically to prove a point to me that I should not think that I can control him.
When I realized that I wasn’t making any headway with my complaints and naggings, I decided to pray more and pay little or no attention to his smoking. I sat him down one day and told him that he wasn’t going to affect me anymore with his smoking but that he should promise me not to smoke in the sight of our children. At that, we struck a deal and I maintained our terms of the agreement. But I never stopped praying. If my husband would not yield to me, he surely cannot resist God.
I watched my husband smoke for about two more years after I resolved to stop complaining and just pray and then one day from nowhere, he declared by himself that he was done smoking. When he told me, he wanted to stop smoking I didn’t reveal any emotion. I didn’t show him whether I was happy or sad. I was expressionless. It was just like a passing comment between us, and I did this for one reason, so I don’t show him that I have won the battle and then give him a reason to go back to the habit. My husband always wants to win and having that understanding of him, I make sure he wins all the time. The battle here was not for me to win the argument or for him to win the argument. The battle was for both of us winning together against that harmful habit of smoking cigarette. It’s been six years now that my husband gave up smoking and I am so happy that he could stay off it and kill its power of him for good.
I hope my experience has helped someone having the same challenge. For some men, they don’t mind being influenced by their wives, but some see it as their wives being overbearing and controlling. As a wife, its important to study your husband and understand the category he falls into and relate with him wisely. The fact that your husband does not like being controlled like mine does not make him a bad person, we all cannot have the same personality. But be sure that your husband’s personality is what suits you well otherwise God will not make him your husband. To achieve much in the life of your husband, it is important to know him well and treat him well with wisdom from God according to his personality such that you only get the good things out of the personality he possesses. Remember you are his suitable helper, God declared it so. 

Monday, 25 February 2019

Work Your Talent

It’s always a joy to have something to share with you on marriage issues. I pray as always that the Lord will touch you and your marriage mightily through this platform in Jesus name.
Today I want to share a little of what God dropped in my spirit concerning our service to God with our marriages. I have had to speak to a handful of people with troubled marriages who are so bent on throwing in the towel and just walking away. I pray that the Holy-Spirit will through this post reach more people than I can physically reach with this revelation.
One common thing about troubled marriages is that either the wife or husband is always quick to give up. The saying that “Marriage is not a do or die affair” is becoming quite common, most especially when violence is beginning to find its way into the already complicated situation.
But when I was talking to a young lady who simply told me that she didn’t want her marriage anymore and I was praying in my spirit for a response to give her, the Lord dropped in my spirit “The Parable of the Loaned Money” that Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable, a man was going on a journey and he entrusted his property to his servants. To one he gave a talent, to another he gave two talents and to the third, he gave five talents according to their ability.
We read in that passage that the servant who received five talents immediately put his talents to work and got five more. The one who received two talents did likewise and got two additional talents. But the servant who was given just a talent dug his in the ground and awaited the return of the owner. When the owner returned and asked what was done to the talent and why he didn’t put the talent to work, he replied by narrating how wicked the owner of the talent was. What a response that was.
Now, many of us would label this servant with so many negative names and its so easy that we can do so. But we are as equally guilty as the servant who has refused to put his one talent to work. What I am about to share in this blog post isn’t just for anybody, but for those who truly have the Spirit of God ruling in their lives.
So many of us believe that we met our spouses, fell in love and got married. But it’s a little beyond that, it's not as simple as we think and so waking up one morning to tell yourself that you want to walk out of your marriage is not as simple as we children of God take it to be. At the beginning in Genesis 2:18, God said it is not good that the man should be alone and after looking at all that He (God) had created and could not find a helper suitable for the man, He caused the man to fall into a deep sleep and from him, He made a woman as a suitable helper for the man.
The divine revelation that comes from is that as a wife you are on assignment in the life of your husband. This assignment was not given to you by your husband, it was not given to you by your parents or your husband’s parents, the assignment was given to you by God. It is the Lord God almighty who placed you in the life of your husband to fulfill His divine purpose in the life of your husband.
When God gave you that assignment, He never declared to you that the assignment would be easy, but one important thing about God’s assignment is that He equips you for the job and in fact proceed to stand by you as you execute the assignment, never leaving nor forsaking you. He is ever ready to uphold you whenever you are met with an obstacle on your way. 
Your marriage is an assignment to you from God. And every assignment God gives us is in line with the ability that He has put in us. God will not give you an assignment beyond your ability. When you look at your marriage and tell yourself you can’t take the stress anymore and so you want to walk out of it, you are simply acting like that servant in Matthew 25:14-30 who was given just a talent. You are simply telling God to take back that which belongs to Him. What you should have worked on and invested so much in such that it yields for you in multiple of what you have sown in it, you chose to abandon it in the ground and then return it back to the Owner.
Saying you want a divorce is like telling God directly to His face that this assignment He has given to you is an assignment you can’t see through nor wish to see through. And I know a lot of people will wonder what should be the approach in an extreme case of either violence or emotional abuse in marriage, but the truth is that the moment we truly let God take the led in any situation in our marriages and are diligent to follow with His instruction and most especially what the instruction says in His word, then you are bound to succeed and excel in your marriage. In the light of obedience to the word of God, violence and any other abuse will cease to operate any longer. 
One important thing we need to understand is that we can’t change our spouses, only God can. But speaking to the wives now, don’t think your husband can change just because you tried to advise him, or you tried to correct him. I have heard a lot of wives say their husbands don’t take to correction. When you are in a marriage with the mindset of correcting your husband’s fault, then you won’t go far in making a success of the assignment. Whatever changes you desire to see in your husband, you need to truthfully pray to God about it and listen to God’s instruction and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in bringing about the correction that you desire.
One prayer I never cease to pray for my husband is the prayer of wisdom. I always tell God that all that my husband needs to be a good husband to me and a good father to our children, the Lord should provide for him. For me, it’s an all-encompassing prayer. The Lord knows my needs even before they arise and so He alone knows what He would provide in the life of my husband to meet those needs. And just as I pray such prayer for my husband, I also pray for myself that all that my husband needs in a wife the Lord should provide them all in me. I pray for wisdom to be a good wife to my husband as much as I pray for wisdom for my husband to be a good husband to me and because I serve a living God who hears and answers prayers, I am seeing the manifestation of what I have asked of God in my marriage.
I have heard a lot of wives say they have prayed so heard for their husband without any result and so they are tired of praying. But in truth is, when we pray what do we ask the Lord for concerning our husbands. Is our request in line with the will of God for our marriage? And then when we pray, do we listen for a response from God in the form of instructions on what to do? Are those instructions in line with what we read in the Bible? Prayer without deeds, the Bible says is dead. And doing anything that does not align with the instructions of God for our marriages will only kill the marriage the more.
As a married person, be it the husband or the wife, what are you making of the talent the Lord has entrusted into your hands in the person of your spouse? Remember what God entrusted into your hands is in line with your ability. God never promised that working the talent to produce result will be easy, but one truth is that God will always be with you and help you through it. Just like working for money is not easy and working to raise wonderful children isn't easy, so also is it that working for a good marriage isn't easy.  Looking at your spouse today as a husband or as a wife how have you faired in the assignment God gave to you in the life of your spouse?
If you would pray and believe that God will answer your prayers over your job and finances, if you would pray and believe that God would breathe life on your business, then you can as well pray and believe that God would bring about the change that you seek and desire in your husband or wife. If God would hear and answer me, He will do much more for you.  

Monday, 11 February 2019

It's Time to be Your Husband's Best Friend

And so, we continue in our marriage gist and in today’s blog I want us to have a look at communication in marriage. There is so much to discuss when it comes to communication in marriage but today, I want us as wives to learn to be our husband’s confidant.
It is no gainsaying that most husbands find it hard to open up to their wives at home. In fact, it was one of the issues discussed by the male speaker at our last couple’s clinic program. Men find it easy to discuss issues that bother them much with friends and extended family members, but mostly not with their wives except for a very few of them. Now, if your husband is one of such people that would prefer to discuss his issues with other people rather than you is his wife and one who should be closest to him, then you need to start to learn to put yourself in the right place in the life of your husband. Other people are currently occupying your position in his life and it’s not their fault, it's simply because you let them.
One thing we as wives often overlook is that on more than one occasion our husbands have tried to discuss things that bother them deep in their heart with us, they have tried to be vulnerable before us, but the way and manner with which we handled that vulnerability has prevented them from trying it with us again.
As a wife when you notice your husband’s weakness (because everyone has one), what have you done with it? Did you absorb what you noticed and then take the issue to God in prayer or you tried to correct him and talk him out of it? Did you discuss with an external person simply because you could not handle the shock alone? Whatever you did with that information whether in secret or in open amounts to why your husband is finding it hard to confide in you or why you are his best confidant.
From my own experience in marriage, I have noticed that when my husband talks to me, sometimes he just wants me to listen, sometimes he wants me to give a suggestion and sometimes he wants me to act. But I have realized that most times he just wants me to listen. He wants to have in me a person he can talk to. Now the duty is on me to know when he wants me to just listen and not suggest or act.
In the same way in many other marriages, your husband wants to talk to you. He needs to pour out the load on his mind so as to remain sane, he might not necessarily want you to do anything about the information (other than to pray for him in your secret closet with him even knowing). Just listen to what he has to say. And sometimes he might be confused in a decision he wants to make and needs your help in arriving at a conclusion. Most times, your husband will not tell you why he is talking to you, he will just talk to you and then the responsibility is yours to know whether he just wants to talk, or he wants your advice or needs your action. When you act when he just wants you to listen, then you prevent him from talking to you next time and believe me you won’t like it when your husband starts keeping things from you.
Ecclesiastes 3:7b says, there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. And then Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinion.” In order to understand when to speak and when to be silent, you need wisdom and divine wisdom at that. You need to pray and let the Spirit of God fill you and direct you even when it comes to simple and ordinary things as little as communication in marriage. Because that very little thing called communication in marriage has led to very disastrous consequences.
It is as simple as asking God in your spirit man when your husband is talking to you, if you can speak or you need to just listen, and if you need to speak, then He (God) should direct your words right. I very well understand that you the man in your life is your husband and you should be able to chat with him freely, but in all things wisdom is profitable. You don’t take your spouse and the peace of your marriage for granted in the name of speaking freely. The right words at the right time will go a long way to give you a lasting peaceful marriage that becomes the envy of the world.
Then, I want to ask that, the information you receive from the communication with your husband, what do you do with them? I know so many times that my husband has come home to lament to me about things not working well on his job, and at such times I have little to say, but then my heart is praying. As soon as I can, I start to commit the situation into the hands of God, and I will not stop until he comes with the testimony that things are working fine again. His peace is my peace and we share the same joy.
I have come to understand and appreciate that I didn’t marry a perfect man and I don’t judge him. I take my time to downplay is flaws in the subtlest way I can, and I validate my husband and praise his effort. That way we are best of friends. He tells me things and he knows his talks are safe with me.
To get the best out of your husband in the form of communication, try not to be a judgmental or hypercritical, condemnatory wife. Don’t try to even show him his faults because even if he is not openly admitting it, he knows when he does something wrong and his conscience is already doing the judging, adding yours will be an over-do. Try not to teach him how to remedy the messy situation, when you do that you make him look foolish and he will resist it with a mindset that you are trying to control him. Men don’t like being told what to do by their wives when they didn’t specifically ask for your advice.
The first act of help you should render that will guarantee him coming back to you when he needs a friend to talk to is to pray and keep praying, then if you must act, you should ask God to lead your action into doing the right thing as against what your emotions lead you to do. This does not mean you shouldn’t help your husband in times of need, but it’s important that you help him in a manner that does not appear controlling or condescending. A lot of help can be done without your husband knowing you even did a thing, at least not till much later. But God who sees what you do in secret will reward you in the open. Don’t be the one to blow your trumpet at the expense of your husband, let God blow that trumpet for you. That way it's louder and more announcing. Communication in marriage requires wisdom and so as a wife you need to keep praying for wisdom to succeed in marriage. There is a place for emotions, but wisdom far exceeds emotions in making a marriage successful.
I will share a few Bible scriptures with you that will let you know the place of wisdom in communication as you relate with your husband.

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

Proverbs 14:3

A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect them. 

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

Till I come your way again, remain blessed.