How do I get past the pain of the past years? I do not think I can forgive this, this is too much! Can you imagine? She … He…
These are the voices of many people in different forms of relationships today. Everyone has been hurt by someone they thought they could trust. It hurts because we trusted, and got disappointed!
The effect of the rolled over pain and unattended disappointments have left strains in a lot of families.
Many marriages today are very far from their places in destiny because of one disappointment or the other. Spouses are unable to get past the pain of disappointment to healing and fulfillment. How do we get to this place while being led by the Word of God? This is the question I pray this article will answer.
Every relationship thrives on the ability to forgive and forget. Everyone must come to accept forgiving and forgetting as a lifestyle and the key to having fulfilled relationships.
For some time now when I see couples, I keep seeing the wonder of what lies between them. For every couple having a great time together, laughing and working together, there lies forgiving and forgetting. Hurting one another is inevitable where two people are working closely with one another and especially in marriage. A friend used to say,” I can only step on your toes because we are close enough to each other”. Offense is inevitable in any relationship of any kind: the closer the relationship, the greater the possibility of offense. Someone once said there are very few people who can hurt you like your spouse and children. This is the fact of life we must live with. But when there is an offence what do we do? How do we get around it to get to our perfect destination of Peace and Harmony?
So many families are under the captivity of unforgiveness, brothers and sisters in discord because of longstanding sibling rivalry, husband and wife relationships heavily strained because of past offences. And in some cases, the marriage ends in divorce. How do we ensure our relationships do not become part of the statistics?
- Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
- And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
- And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
- For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
- And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
- And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
- And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, what is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
- And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
- And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
- And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, here am I.
- And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
- And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, what seekest thou?
- And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
- And the man said, they are departed hence; for I heard them say, let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
- And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
- And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
- Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
- And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
- And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
- And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
- And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
- And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
- And Judah said unto his brethren, what profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
- Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
- Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
- And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
- And he returned unto his brethren, and said, the child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
- And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
- And they sent the coat of manycolours, and they brought it to their father; and said, this have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
- And he knew it, and said, it is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
- And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
- And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
- And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard. (Genesis 37:3-36).
Just like Joseph I am very sure you have the right to feel offended. Being angry really is not a sin. Scripture confirms it to us in Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Really you have a right to feel offended but how do we ensure that SIN does not take hold of your anger.
Offense always leads to bitterness where not properly taken care of.
We cannot prevent offenses but we have the power to take care of them when they occur. Our Lord
Jesus taught us through the Bible that we should forgive as many times as we are offended.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Mat 18:21-22
Just like Joseph, you have every reason to be offended but going further down the passage above, our Lord Jesus told a parable of a servant who refused to forgive little after he had been forgiven so much. Jesus concluded that the servant was WICKED. To refuse to forgive is to act wickedly, unfortunately we do not act wickedly against the person alone but even against ourselves. Nelson Mandela said “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
Keeping offense takes us off the path of trusting God! When we keep offense we take over, instead of allowing God to defend us.
I hear someone say this lady does not know what she is talking about, I should just forget that I read this. This is the more reason you must forgive.
Why we must forgive
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.(Matthew 6:12)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14 -15)
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
We forgive first for our own sake, for our own healing. When our Lord Jesus Christ was teaching us how to pray He said forgive us just as we forgive others!
We need to forgive just as much as we require forgiveness ourselves. And do not we all need God’s Forgiveness?
We need to forgive because we must get to our place in destiny. I believe Joseph got to destiny because he forgave. He had forgiven his brothers even before his first encounter with them after they sold him off.
The story of Joseph is one that thrills me every time I read or think about it. After reading and meditating on his story I wondered how he was able to forgive his siblings.
He had every right to be bitter against them and even God. He got revelations from God about his future and instead of having things fall in place from then on, his life seemed to go haywire. His own brothers sold him into Slavery, his master’s wife wanted to sleep with him and when he stood his ground in the fear of God, he landed in prison.
At some point I thought he would have just given up on God, but he did not. Rather, he held on to God the more; and little wonder, even in the prison he was interpreting dreams.
We cannot afford to lose hold of our God-given promises because of bitterness. As I write, I sense some people are not just bitter against their spouses, but even their in-laws and this is creeping into the relationship they have with their spouses. I pray that healing will come for every hurting soul.
We are forgiven as much as we forgive ourselves.
Forgiving after a broken heart!
It can be very difficult after a heart has been broken too many times by the same person. I will not just speak scriptures and walk away. Nothing heals the heart more than the Word of God! Yes your heart has been stepped upon without care but you need to take responsibility for your heart.
What do we do about the unrepentant we need to forgive?
How do we forget?
Decide to Forget
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (Isaiah 43:18)
You and I have the responsibility of choosing to forget. Choose to let go. You will have flash back of the pains and disappointments but as you decide to forget and act contrary to your feelings of revenge you will get to the place of healing and wholeness.
- And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
- And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
- And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
- And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
- But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:15 -20)
See everything as working together for your good. As much as people act wrongly against us, it does not change God’s plan, it is part of His plan. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Corinthians 4:17). When we face injustice as Christians, we should remember that Jesus Christ suffered much more injustice for our sake. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” (Philippians 1:29)“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Things work together for good only when we are in line with God’s love and purpose. Being in line with God’s love and purpose is to forgive and forget.
Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”(Luke 17:4 –The MSG)
What to do next?
This is the very difficult part. There is no simple answer other than letting the Holy Spirit guide you in all your ways.
Our Lord Jesus promised never to leave us without comfort and He keeps this promise through the Holy Spirit, the Seal of our redemption. The person you need to forgive may not be repentant, and may be your spouse or someone you cannot readily get rid of. Yet you need to keep on holding on to the Word of God and allowing His Spirit to guide you in all your ways. Ensure you have no resentment and be open to God about your feelings. Sometimes we are hurt and heaven knows we are, and we ought to feel hurt. The best part is that we have a High Priest that is moved by our issues. He understands betrayals and hurt more than you think. He can get you through this also.
Pray sincerely telling God exactly how you feel and watch a miracle begin in your heart! He will fill you with so much love than you can ever imagine! You are on your way to healing!
Rules of Engagement for Couples
From experience I have found that it is necessary for couples to set rules for what can and cannot happen in the event of any disagreement. It is interesting that often we assume our marriages will just work out fine, especially for Christians, but today we have found that it takes a deliberate attempt by both partners no matter how Spirit filled to make it work.
Decide as a couple limits of how far you will ever go in the case of a disagreement.
No Physical Abuse, name calling, bringing up the past except that is what the discussion is about. No dragging of third parties into the argument, stick to the matter that needs to be addressed. Respect your partner’s feelings. There is so much that we could share, here is a link you can go to for more information.
Maybe you are reading this article and your marriage just came out of a terrible storm and the wounds are still fresh, this is good information for you.
To the Forgiven
You know you have done wrong and you have been forgiven, it is not time to forget completely it ever happened. It is time to build back confidence into your partner. Your partner is trying to do the right thing by forgiving you, so you need to make it easy by “bearing fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Make deliberate efforts with the help of the Holy Spirit to take your family far away from yesterday.
To the Forgiver
Thank God you have taken the road to freedom which is forgiveness. Now, it is time to forget. Forgetting takes deliberate effort not to go back there, for your own sake! Your mind will wander back to the pain, please make deliberate effort to offload your mind of your hurts, do not push them back, bring them up and deal with them. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you do the right things to renew your love. Fill up your being with God’s Word. Nothing heals like God’s Word.
Years ago, I walked past my grandfather’s dead body as he was laid-in-state during his final rites. I remember how he lay there stiff and immobile. The world around him could not do anything that moved him. He was dead, separated from the human world with all emotions and instincts gone. We all stood there and watched with mixed feelings,but he had no sense for what we felt. He would not have moved even if the building collapsed on his body. He was dead.
Death has a great punch that takes the life out of us. Little wonder, those who have an idea of the implications of death, try as much as possible to live “long and prosperous”. To the dead; the wish is for them to “Rest in Peace”. In other words, humans would wish to live long and prosperous, then rest in peace when they’re dead.
Just as I pondered the effects of death and the importance of a long and fruitful life, the implications of Apostle Paul’s comment in Galatians 2:20 dawned on me. He said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gavehimself for me.” (ESV). In other words, it is possible to be dead to human tendencies, unmoved by the cares of the world, yet still live by the absolute realities of the new life, through faith in the finished work on the cross. This status is what I love to tag the Living Dead.
The living dead is the person living in awareness of the divine nature, and by this, subjects the desires of the flesh to the grace of God. As such, righteousness, peace and joy always radiates in our dealings (Romans14:17-18). As children of God, we succeed in this world by constantly subjecting the desires of our flesh to the desire of the spirit of God, who lives in us.
It is common to see tales of wars and various forms of anarchy in the news these days. We get various renditions of sexually explicit commercial adverts. There is an escalation in the forms of corruption, from political authorities to organized religious authorities, from educational citadels to financial houses, the list is endless. Also, we find limitless shortcomings in our humanity. As imperfect human beings by nature, we have varying senses of insecurity and a knack to outshine and outdo ourselves. Pride takes center stage as we rate ourselves by our abilities. Accordingly, it is no surprise that our world, made up of humans, is plagued with so much trouble.
As children of God, we have an obligation to live above the intrigues of the human story. To do this, we need to be dead to default human survival instincts, and live by faith in Christ Jesus. Just as my late grandfather lay motionless irrespective of what happened around him, the Christian, who sets their sight on endless life in Christ, will be unfazed bythe daunting requirements of the world (Colossians 3:1-3).
I want to encourage us, as the children of God to always remember that we can do all things by the help of Christ (Philippians 4:13) and all things are possible to them who have faith in God (Mark 9:23). We have been crucified with Christ and we have risen with Him to live a new, impactful, successful and vibrant life through Him (Romans 6:4). This is the heritage of the living dead – full of eternal life and prosperity in Christ.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians5: 16-17 ESV).
God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the Bible is loved and taught,
Homes where the Master’s will is sought,
Homes crowned with beauty Your love has wrought;
God, give us Christian homes;
God, give us Christian homes!God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the father is true and strong,
Homes that are free from the blight of wrong,
Homes that are joyous with love and song;
God, give us Christian homes,
God, give us Christian homes!It’sFamily month in my church and this has been the Hymn for the month so far.The more I sing this hymn, the more I realize that this is what all my strivings for my family is about. Maybe you are like me too! So I decided to share my interpretation with us. I pray this is a blessing to someone and please share your views too as comments!
A home where the Bible is loved and taught!
I remember going shopping for a Bible with my 5+ plus son. We wanted something in print big enough for him to read and simple enough to read too. We found one! We have since read it, fought about its care and so much! Lagos is hectic so every Saturday we try to read it together and I encourage him to do so too on his own. Baby brother is jealous now and wants to read the Bible like his big brother; I hope I am doing something right. My prayer is that these boys one day will be well taught and read in the Word, living the Word in their Generation and same for everyone who passes through my home.
How are we making the Bible Loved in our home? Do we have long lasting structures to enshrine God’s Word in our homes? We need to evaluate this.
A Home where the Master’s will is sought!
How often do we question the actions in our homes, especially our own actions in line with the Word of God? What standards do we employ in making decisions? How do we correct the wrong we see in our home, in our spouses, children, helps? Are we seeking His will? Can my child or yours see that God’s will is your priority?
A Home crowned with Beauty Your love has Wrought
What kind of home will have beauty wrought by God’s Love? Would it be a home that never had a bad season or a Home that has risen beyond all the pains, hurts, and deaths to become a beauty only the love of God could work out?
A Home where the father is true and strong
Home where daddy has risen above the knowledge of this world and has become a true father haven learnt from the best Father (Jehovah God) about how to be a true Father. A father who relies not on his own strength but lives through the faith in Jehovah God and the work of the cross. A Father who has moved on to be seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus!
A Home that is free from the blight of wrong
Could it be a home that has escaped the corruption in this world because every fabric of the home is tied to the WORD of God? Or could it be a Home where No decision is made without seeking God’s will?
A home built purposely on the WORD of God!
A Home that is joyous with love and song;
Home where the Spirit is in abundance and wells of joy are released from time to time! Dad bursts into singing, children love to sing! Hymns are a source of entertainment! Praise and Worship is not a Sunday –Sunday Event!
This is what every Christian couple should be about! This is the song both husband and wife should sing, asking God for strength to be that person who will allow God work out the answer to this prayer in his or her marriage.
Next time we will continue with the next two verses!
May His peace reign in every troubled home in Jesus name.
Marriage from the Scriptures III
TEXT: I Peter 3: 7
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
I Peter 3:7 KJV
“Likewise in the same way, HUSBANDS dwell with your wives with knowledge…..” what knowledge?
Knowledge means familiarity with someone or something, this includes facts, information, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. The scripture is saying study your wife, get to know her and deal with her based on this knowledge. So, the next time she behaves in a particular way you do not like, remember that it is in her to behave in that manner, so you do not see it as an offence targeted at you.
“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.” Proverbs 24:3-5
Spend time trying to know your wife. This line reminds me of a film I strongly recommend,Fireproof. And not just know your wife; know what God is saying concerning her too. The next verses that follow explore further…
Giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel ….
Appreciate that she is a weaker vessel. She is not like you, she is strong in her own department but not in yours. She needs to be pampered. She cannot carry the family burden like you can. Women have tried to prove a point of being just as strong but truly they are not. God has created each person uniquely to fulfil a certain purpose. Have you ever seen a man trying to simultaneously carry four bags and a woman doing the same? Or have you seen a woman trying to drive a nail through wood and a man doing the same? God has created each one uniquely for His pleasure. The fact that both male and female are created for His pleasure drives home the next point.
As being heirs together of the grace of life
You are both heirs called of God; she is under your authority but she belongs to God first. Ask God what He would want for her and be sure to support and ensure His will is done in her life just as in yours. Give her your full support. Sometime ago while meditating, I heard in my spirit, that God calls his daughters home (that is, to eternity) sometimes because of this reason. Culture has taught men to keep their wives in subjection and Christian men have brought this idea into marriage thereby hindering the expression of the fullness of God in the lives of their wives. God is a God of order. He is not saying a woman should be disobedient to the man, rather, He is asking men to live, in awareness that they represent Him in the lives of their wives and must remember that in Christ there is no male or female. Don’t get carried away plotting your success plan, forgetting your wife is also a light that must shine. Provide full support for her also to fulfil God’s purpose in her life through your marriage.
That your prayers be not hindered.
Every man who does the Word as required gets express answer to his prayers. The answers to your prayers are tied to knowing your wife, treating her honourably and acknowledging the fact that she is God’s vessel in your care! When you do these things, you open up the heavens for yourself and your home. I have seen this Word work in the life of a few couples I know and the results are astounding!
Please keep studying the Word and share lessons learnt as comments. I look forward to hearing from you!
God Bless and keep you!
Marriage from the Scriptures II
Before we go into this study, I want to put in form of a disclaimer saying, ‘The words I share are not mine’. In fact in the course of this study, I have had to review my own personal stance on some issues. So, just in case you are out there saying, ‘Practice what you preach’ or asking, Can she do that? Remember that it’s God’s instruction and His Word He will honour (Isa 55:11).
TEXT: I Peter 3: 1-6
The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty.
The writer says here: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs.
What do you think is your spouse’s need?
The needs in the lives of people are different, so it is important to forget how you feel and objectively answer this question. Don’t try to compare your husband with the next man because he is unique.
Please ask yourself the question:
What does my husband need from me?
Do I have what it takes to deliver? What do I need to get in terms of virtue to attain?
You might find out after asking yourself the question about your husband’s need that you lack what is required to deliver, this is why I asked this question. This is the exact situation I found myself. Oh he needs me to be this so he feels like this but how can I? How can I be like this without pretending it not me! Very correct! What is requested of us is not living the life we choose but tapping into the grace of living the life of Christ (Gal. 2:20-21, Isa 53:7).
I have found out that sometimes we have spent too much time dwelling on the shortcomings of our spouses that we become those things without knowing. An example is a woman married to an impatient man who has now become impatient with her husband’s tendencies and snaps back at the slightest provocation. Fire for fire will always lead to wild uncontrolled fire.
This scripture further explains that every husband must be honoured, even those who are not in faith or acting as required. Now this is difficult, how do I do this?
Sister I wish I had all the answers but I don’t, yet I know someone who does: God; and He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. When we spend time in prayer, submit our will, we will find a way out.
It is interesting how much women go through in terms of appearance to please their husband. Some people may not agree with me on this, but if we spent that much effort on our inside we will yield more result. I have found out that no matter how much a woman goes out of her way to remain pleasing in the sight of her husband, his being faithful is dependent on his commitment to God rather than to his wife. Remember Joseph, How can I do this against God! -was his motivation.
What matters most is not only your outer appearance–the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes– but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.
Am I saying you don’t look good, NO! But much more than look GOOD, BE GOOD! Let your style come from inside out showing first the glory of God!
“The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as ‘my dear husband.’ You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.” I Peter 3: 1-6 MSG
“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” I Peter 3: 4 KJV
God is interested in our living a life of the Spirit! This life is a life that is actually beyond the flesh and we cannot attain being so entangled with things! We need to get to that place where our beauty and calm countenance is a product of the abundance of what we enjoy on our inside. I have met very few women with this grace in my lifetime. My prayer is to become one too! To exude the fragrance of a quiet spirit!
Sarah our example was a very beautiful woman, yet she was not applauded for it but for her spirit, I can imagine my husband telling me to pretend as his sister. (Gen. 20:1-end). My fictional requirement of a husband will cry out, are you not supposed to be my Knight in the shining armour? Why do I need to protect you now?
But my mama Sarah knew better, she saw herself as one who could shield her husband too! Women have always done it in history, Remember Zipporah! She went ahead of Moses to do the needful. (Exo. 4:24-26). Abigail also went ahead of Nabal to secure her husband’s life and hers. (I Sam. 25:3-42).
WORD FOR THE SINGLES
Do you respect your fiancé or boyfriend? Do you think you can bow to his authority? Do you see virtues in him now that you will forever respect?
Highly Recommended Resources:
Please keep studying the Word and share lessons learnt as comments. I look forward to hearing from you!
God Bless and keep you!
Marriage from the Scriptures I
God wants to transform Christian marriages. He wants to take us to the next level and I believe this is the reason why He is releasing word like never before so that we are equipped with the Sword of the Spirit to take us to the next level in our marriages.
I want us to take the next few weeks on this page to study Scriptures together, so I will really appreciate your contributions to this study. Your insight, criticism, disagreements are all welcome as comments and I believe at the end of the study, we will have better marriages and everyone who come in contact with our footprints on this page will bless us for it.
TEXT: I Peter 3: 1-6
“The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty.
What matters is not your outer appearance–the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes– but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.” I Peter 3: 1-6 MSG
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” I Peter 3: 1-6 KJV
We will start with the admonitions to the women. Interestingly, I found from this scripture that the woman is being given more instructions than the man; most probably because the writer – our father in faith, Peter – realized that the woman has a very peculiar position in marriage. She is not the one who has the final say, as she is to submit to her husband’s will. This is not a very easy position to find yourself but then we have been GRACED to be submissive.
I hear someone ask, ‘Submit even if he is making a wrong decision? How do I submit to the kind of man I have married?’
By going back again to this scripture, the passage acknowledges the fact that your husband will not always be on your side in faith or other situations of life but the way to justify yourself is by actions that are meek not characterized by pride.
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;” (verse 1)
God wants us to use our actions to speak volumes, more than our words. This is very difficult! I know and I am a living witness; still going through the process.
Even the best of our actions are sometimes misconceived as pride therefore; it is of great essence to build our inner man to be sensitive enough to know when and how to speak.
Only a totally broken spirit can be submissive as recommended by the scripture. This is why the scripture admonishes us to build the inner man. Become that person that receives her source from God Himself.
Blessed, Broken and Given!
I recommend Cece Winans’ song, Blessed, Broken and Given to everyone reading this piece. It explains the process God uses to build our inner man. God is still using the limited resource to feed thousands with left overs by Blessing, Breaking and Giving!
That inner man was Blessed of God when we gave our lives to Christ, Broken when we let go of our ways and say to the Master, ‘Let your will be done’, and Given after we have learnt the lessons from the process of being broken and now we are giving life to the people God has put in our lives.
We become a source of life to our husbands, children, in-laws, family, colleagues and everyone we come in contact with.
We are able to get here only by giving ourselves to activities that build our spirits and person. Reading the Bible, Good Christian Books (Not Just Christian Love Stories), being a part of Bible Practical Study groups, taking time out to soak up the word, evaluating our lives under the lamp of God’s Word.
I recommend II Peter1:1-9. It gives a breakdown of the life expected of us.
The greatest challenge for the Christian woman today is that she is too encumbered with getting through her daily activities and she has limited time to build herself. She is also often distracted by the need to catch up with vogue! The vanity of who we are is revealed by running a check on what we spend our money on. A quick question, when last did you go to the book shop to find books or audio materials that are intended to build your spirit man?
We spend more time in the salon, more money on human hair, shoes, and bags than the things that build us up! We suffer from the worldliness that has infiltrated the church. The average woman bends down today in church and the brother needs to take cover, she sits down and he is wondering where next to look, because she has not build her Spirit man to know that not all fashion is for her. I am sorry if I sound so hard but we need to talk to ourselves.
We women have fallen victim of the fashion created by the world because we fail to walk circumspectly always asking ourselves, is this for me? Should I be found doing this? All these take us back to the basics: Build your inner man. We need to go back and learn from Sarah, Hannah, Abigail, Zipporah, Dorcas, Lydia, Deborah and so on, who are our real mothers in the faith!
God helping me, we will X-ray the lives of some great women next time.
Some Great Resources
God bless and keep you!
|DISPENSATIONS||PERIOD||MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY||MAN’S FAILURE||CONSEQUENCIES||DIVINE MERCY|
|The Dispensation of Innocence||From the creation to the fall of man. Gen. 1:26 to 2:23.||Gen. 2: 16- 17. Man had only one commandment to obey.
|Gen. 3:6. Man chose to believe Satan rather than God||Gen. 3:14 — 19.||Gen. 3:15. God promised a Redeemer who would come and restore man’s dominion.
|The Dispensation of Innocence||From the fall of man to flood – 1656 years:
Gen 3:27 to 8:14.
|Gen. 4:7 He is to choose between doing good and doing evil||Gen. 6:5, 11- 12. Man is exceedingly wicked: “God saw that the wickedness of man was great.”
|Gen. 7. Judgment through the flood.||Gen. 7:1. Eight people are saved out the flood to begin the new dispensation.
|The Dispensation of Human Government||427years. From the flood to the confusion of tongues
|Gen.9: 1,6 “Whosoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made the man.
Noah’s downfall – Gen. 9:20-23
Building of Tower of Babel. An organized political and religious rebellion against God.
Idolatry and apostasy.
|Gen. 11:5-9; Confusion of tongues and the dispersion of the people. Division of the earth to continents and islands. Gen 10:25; I Cor. 1:19.||God was merciful to them in their idolatry and sought another man who would follow Him.
Today, we know the United States of America as one of the strongest and wealthiest nation in the world. But do you know that what we see today in USA is a reflection of some of the seeds that were sown by their past leaders. Here are a few comments from some of the past respected leaders in the United States that reveals the kind of people they were:
“It has been my custom for many years to read the Bible in its entirety once a year” (John Quincy Adams).
“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education” (Theodore Roosevelt).
“If we abide by the principles taught by the Bible, our country will go on prospering” (Daniel Webster).
“I believe the Bible is the best gift that God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book. I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go” (Abraham Lincoln).
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible” (George Washington). (ibid)
Dear reader, cherish this great treasure you have that is called the Bible. Live by its principles and spread the impact wherever you are. Let some other men read your good quote about the bible when you are gone.
How You Must Not Read the Bible – 2 Bible Reading: I John 1
As a teacher of God’s word, most times when I pick up my bible to read, I remember the difference between a water tank and a water pipe, and this has helped me a lot in my spiritual growth. What do I mean? A water tank is a vessel for storing water while a water pipe is a tube that just allows large volumes of water to pass through it but only stores water in drops and droplets. One reason why many believers, especially pastors and teachers are not growing spiritually is because they act as water pipes whenever they read their bibles. Their focus is on how to dish out the doctrine to other believers in Christian meetings. Whenever they pick up their bibles, they utter a prayer that is similar to – “Lord, give me a word for your people”. They never receive a word for their own lives. They are like mere pipes. Many words pass through them but they don’t retain any. You get close to them and you are confused because you cannot match their words with their deeds. I have handled my bible as though I was a pipe so many times. Occasionally, I still do so and I know it is a dangerous spot to stay.
Notwithstanding, I am particularly thrilled by the sequence of the effect bible reading should have in our lives. I deduced it from I John 1:1-2 (GW) which reads “The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. Weobserved and touched it … We are reporting to you about this eternal life”. I love the way John listed how they handled the word. First, they heard it, saw it, and later they experienced it (observed and touched it) in their lives. Thereafter, they reported their experience to us. They reported it after they had heard, seen and observed it. Many of us are reporters of the word without being observers of the same word. Being a reporter alone cannot make you grow spiritually. You have to be an observer of the word. You have to consciously ensure that you experience and live out all you read in the bible that pertains to you. What belongs to you potentially by the acceptance of Jesus should become yours experientially, and then you will be able to distribute it effectively. That reminds me of a water tank, it can store volumes of water and also distribute to others.
In addition, you will experience spiritual growth if you humble yourself when you read the bible. Matt 23:12 says “… whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted”. Many believers are not growing spiritually because they approach the bible with a proud outlook. When they pick up their bibles, you see them saying “oh, I know this already” or “My Pastor said this”. Some are just flipping through the bible in order to rubber stamp what Pastor said. They esteem their ideas and Pastor’s statement above whatever they read. They find it difficult to make adjustments in their lives and accept what the bibles says if it contradicts their personal philosophies. I Tim 6:3-4 “Whoever teaches false doctrine and doesn’t agree with the accurate words of our Lord Jesus Christ … is a proud person”. Do you always agree with the word of Jesus? Are you a proud reader of the bible?
In our next edition, we will discuss some of the right motives to have when reading the bible so that you can be sure it will lead to your spiritual growth.
– tope aladenusi