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Thursday, 12 December 2019

In Conclusion

In the midst of too many things to do, I have been struggling with keeping pace with the marriage blog. But just two days ago I discovered tons of comments on the blog that was awaiting moderation. And to the glory of God and to my heart’s delight I read so many of them and praise God that people are been blessed by the content of this blog. I will try to add the checking comments for moderation as part of my routine, may God help me to be consistent in it.
In the past couple of posts, we have been looking at the marriage of Abraham and Sarah and personally, I have learned a lot from Abraham’s wife Sarah. And so, we will move to the next couple of interest which is Isaac and Rebekah, but before we do that, we will try to summarize all that we have learned from the marriage of Abraham and Sarah.
The first thing to understand about that couple is that Sarah single-handedly built her marriage without the support of her husband. Marriage is not a 50-50 contribution quota. It is a 100-100 contribution quota; by simple arithmetic, when you add 50 to 50, you arrive and a 100, but when you add a 100 to another 100 you arrive at 200 which is twice as much as what you get when you only give half of you into the process. Irrespective of Abraham’s shortfall, Sarah didn’t allow that prevent her from giving her all into her marriage and as such God will not allow her to go into her grave without reaping of the harvest of all that she had sown into the marriage. Because God is faithful, if you are not yet reaping the desired harvest from your marriage whether you are the husband or wife, its important that you check the quality of your seed.
Another lesson that I learned from that marriage is that Abraham being a friend of God didn’t translate to Abraham being a good husband. His desire for an heir totally blinded him from his responsibilities as a good husband. And so that man being a pastor and being passionate about the things of God does not automatically make him a good husband. As a wife to a pastor or non-pastor, you need to always be in the place of prayer for the leading of God on how to manage your marriage well. Relying alone on the fact that your husband is a man of God who truly fears God and as such would be an excellent husband is dancing on self-deceit. Always trust God to perfect all that concerns your marriage.
Another lesson that I took away from this is the fact that just because your spouse is failing in his/her responsibility to you as a wife or a husband doesn’t mean you should fail in your responsibilities as a wife or a husband also. Two wrongs never make a right. We will all give an account to God and you can’t tell God that because your husband or wife failed then you failed also.
I very understand the fact that its really a good feeling when you show love and respect to your spouse and you get love and respect back in return. Its not just a really good feeling, but it’s a booster to your will to commit yourself more into the marriage. It encourages one to give more as you know that you are a priority to your spouse. But the work of building a successful marriage is not hinged on emotions alone. The bedrock of a successful marriage lies in divine wisdom, the wisdom that comes from God alone.     
When you give so much in your marriage and it seems there is nothing to show for it, that is not the time to stop giving your best, understand that seeds take time to grow. And the seed that is not well nurtured will die a seed and never germinate. So, you keep sowing and keep praying.
Sarah laughed last, and that husband Abraham must have loved and respected his wife dearly after God finished vindicating her. The Bible said he wept and mourned Sarah for days after her death and then bought a special burial place for her. The seed of Sarah, Isaac, was the only child God reckoned as Abraham’s son.

Sometimes it can be tough to be caught in the position in which Sarah was and still maintain one's cool and trust in God, 
having faith in the marriage. But there is always grace available in God if we try and not give up. The God who stood by Sarah is ready, willing, and available to stand by you and with you as you sow your seeds in your marriage.


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

The Seeds of Sarah

This is my first post for the month and before we discuss the marriage issue, I will want to appreciate my God, the giver of life and the giver of His word for the abundant grace we have to see the last month of the year 2019. God has really been good to us despite all the challenges of the year. Through the times are tough, but we are tougher. We give all our praises to God.
So, we continue in our discussion on the marriage of Abraham and Sarah. It is interesting that when Sarah asked Abraham to take her maidservant as wife and have a child by her, he agreed without hesitation, but what got my attention again in this story is that when Sarah told Abraham to send the bondwoman and her child away, he became reluctant.
But before we discuss that, we will notice something interesting about the husband Abraham in Genesis 17. It was in Genesis 16 that Hagar and Ishmael came into the picture of things, and the first thing God was going to say to Abraham in Genesis 17:1 was, “I am God Almighty; walk before Me and be blameless.” Between the time of God's visitation in Genesis 17 and the birth of Ishmael in Genesis 16 was about 13years. If God ever spoke to Abraham in the 13years that he fathered Ishmael, we don’t know but there was no record of such speaking until Genesis 17.
From my observation, the purpose of God’s visitation in Genesis 17 was to reinstate His covenant of making Abraham a father of many nations and at this time God demanded circumcision from Abraham and his entire household as a constant reminder of that covenant. He also changed Abraham's name from Abram to Abraham, all in the bid to instilled in Abraham's consciousness the covenant between them. It appears to me that Abraham probably didn’t understand God’s mission and so he kept whining about wanting a son till he got himself into sin.
But the interesting part of all the communication between Abraham and God is the position of God with regards to Sarah. Yes, there was a covenant that Abraham needed to be constantly reminded of, and a covenant can only be fulfilled through a covenant partner. As far as God was concerned the promised child can only come from Sarah the covenant wife. In God's faithfulness, Sarah could not have made all those sacrifices for nothing. What profit could her obedience to God and her husband yield to her if she went into her grave childless? God would never allow His children to trust Him in vain and He brings the harvest when it is sweetest the most.
In Genesis 17:15-19 we read about the discussion between God and Abraham on the issue of the covenant child, and in Genesis 17:17 Abraham fell facedown and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” and then he went on to beg God to pour the blessings on Ishmael instead saying, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
That for me was a selfish way to think by Abraham. He had fathered a child and that was just okay, but as Sarah mothered a child? Did that bother Abraham at all? Did he care if Sarah went to her grave barren? If he believed God when God promised him a child in Genesis 15 and it was credited to him as righteousness, then why could he not believe God on behalf of Sarah in Genesis 17. Was it all over and okay now that Ishmael has been born? These are my reasons for respecting Abraham so much as a friend of God and as a man of faith but not as a husband.
After all of this analysis, what is the lesson to hold onto in this part of the story of Abraham and Sarah’s marriage? Again, I will focus on the wives. To be a wife like Sarah takes a lot of effort but to reap the same reward as Sarah did is a very sweet experience. Against all the odds that we see coming from Abraham who happens to be her husband who should love and protect her and also is a friend of God without changing status, yet Sarah stayed by his side as his wife, obeying God and obeying her husband and when the time came for God to bless her came, He found her at the right place. She was still situated within the covenant of God in Abraham’s life.
So many times, as wives we seek the validation of our husbands, and in truth, we are not wrong, doing so. But when we don’t get the validation we need what do we do? When their love is not coming forth or their cooperation is lacking, do we just pick our bags and move. There is are blessings that your sacrifices have accrued to you but those blessings need to meet us at the right place.

The situation in your marriage will not always be pleasant but the sacrifices of obedience, submission, patience, positivity, perseverance and long-suffering that you have sown into it, will yield a bountiful harvest of joy and laughter, peace and love for you as long as you always keep God as your focus.