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.
God give us Christian homes!
Homes where the mother, in caring quest,
Strives to show others Your way is best,
Homes where the Lord is an honored guest;
God give us Christian homes;
God give us Christian homes!
God give us Christian homes!
Homes where the children are led to know
Christ in His beauty who loves them so,
Homes where the altar fires burn and glow;
God give us Christian homes;
God give us Christian homes!
Homes where the mother, in caring quest, Strives to show others Your way is best,Strives to show others Your way is best!
Home where the mother in caring quest, a home where the mother loves all that come into the home be it, the father, children, in-laws, family, the house help, artisans etc. everyone feels loved and welcomed. The children learn indirectly to respect all people and love all from our actions.
A Christian Home is where the house help is not just a maid but an additional member of the family. A home where the mother is always trying to teach Christ with every action no matter how insignificant.Home where the mother loves God so much and she is trying to be the Christ everyone sees.
In a world where right seems wrong and wrong seems right, we must be deliberate to show the examples. Our kids are watching us like a hawk. What books or magazines can be found on our book shelves? What songs do we share with them? How deliberate are we at teaching them why one song is good or bad? Do we just shut them up and tell them to live by the law and not grace?
Homes where the Lord is an honored guest;
Homes where the children are led to know
Christ in His beauty who loves them so,
Homes where the altar fires burn and glow;
Home where the worship of God is just natural. The children burst into praise at play time because of the abundance of God’s worship around them, modeled by their parents.
A home where Christ is taught through everything, the movies, the choice of books bought for the kids, the testimonies we share with them and so much more.
I believe for us to do a good job as parents we need to learn as much from other parents who are successful at this, as possible. I have come to learn that you find only the knowledge you are looking for. The ‘How’ is all around us but we will only see what we choose.
Do we have an altar at all? Have you the woman of the home neglected it because your husband has? Or are you the father too busy with work to enshrine Christ in your home?
God give us Christian Homes!
My prayer is that the Lord will cause every scale that has blinded us to fall that we may begin to see that our ultimate purpose must be to please God and not just acquire things.
We Christians are so busy these days seeking bread at the expense of the kingdom. I was thinking about some Christian homes recently and I realized that the Children did not turn out well because they went to Ivy league schools but because they were trained in the way of the Lord.
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet
your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil
not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the
oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal
shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have
need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Mat 6:25-34(KJV).
Please think about these words like you never heard them before and let them come alive in your spirit!
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 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!
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost,
whether he has sufficient to finish it?
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold itbegin
to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth
whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty
Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
As years pass by and I think more about this life, I come to realize that nothing just happens, we make things happen. Positive and negative things happen because of the choices we make or decide not to make. Our seeming inaction speaks of a choice we have made and they all come with their consequences.
This life principle also applies to our marriage. Dreams of a successful marriage don’t make a successful marriage, rather deliberate actions towards making our dream come to pass, does. After much dreaming should come costing. There is a cost for our dream home, as it applies to other aspects of life, nothing good comes cheap. Our salvation did not come cheap at all, neither does our remaining in faith cost less.
A lot of Christian marriages are in trouble today because of this. We dream big about the ideal home and won’t pay the price.
We start out as couples who want to serve God with all our might but take jobs that keep us too busy to serve God.
We are too busy individually to spend time even as a couple.
We want to have quality time with our children but we are caught up with the rat race to pay bills. We have bought the multiple streams idea and that is keeping us too busy. We are too busy to be our children’s first examples.
We want to build houses that will not remain after the coming of Christ, so much that the sacrifices for this are eternal things.
We have found ourselves in the life’s washing machine, and we keep spinning around.
It’s time to stop to ask ourselves the question,’what really is important’? This is a question I started asking myself after my father passed on. He worked so hard and left so suddenly. And it really got me thinking and revisiting my life principles.
What is important? How important will be my conflicts with my spouse if the final whistle is blown today? How important will be the things that keep me away from home so much? What is the eternal value of the things I invest my time in?
How would I have preferred to live my life? What is the cost of my preferred life pattern?
I will leave you with these thoughts for this week. Next week we will reason more along these lines in details.
It is interesting today what the parameters of choosing a life partner is for a Christian. I believe we have gotten so much information and we are lost as to how to apply them to our lives. Recently, I was going through my life and how I chose to marry my husband, I learnt a few lessons and I want to share some of them you.
After God created man, He prepared the Garden of Eden and placed Adam there. He gave him the task of dressing and keeping the garden. He also gave him a commandment to keep. He then took a second look at the Adam and said it is not good for him to remain alone, so God went to work on finding a mate fit, while Adam was busy fulfilling God’s task for him. Then God put Adam to sleep and created from Adam, Eve. Adam woke up to find a mate carved every inch to his specs, and exclaimed ‘The Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh’. Genesis 2:7-25
Before I go any further I want us to have this in mind, God is a God of order, He has standards, as much as the spirit can move us to do things, they must be in line with God’s order of doing things.
After God created Adam, He gave him accommodation; a source of food; He prepared an office for him to operate and placed him there. Adam had a clear knowledge of his calling, he understood what he was supposed to be doing and he was doing it. He was not complaining of being lonely or making excuses for why he could not do what God had called him to do.
How do we relate this to us as modern day Christians?
Bible says that every born again person is a new creature, like a baby, in its rawest form, that need to learn to eat, smile, hold up his neck, seat, talk, crawl, walk, run, jump, read, write, reason etc. This reminds me of when I had my son; he was so delicate and depended on me for everything, even his immunity. It took six months for his digestive tracts to be ready for what I call food. This really describes us when we newly give our lives to Christ.
When we give our lives to Christ we are like a new born babe, open to a new world, a new order of doing things and so we need to learn the principles of our new world and God’s standards of doing things by renewing our mind with the word of God (Rom12:1-2). Studying to show ourselves approved (2Tim 2:15). Associating with a set of people (born again children of God) in order to learn how to live the life. It’s unfortunate that today we have very few genuine Christians to associate with and that’s why we have a community like Christ Lifeline.
As we grow in faith, one of the things God does, is show us the purpose of our calling as we seek Him. Just like Adam, it is essential we know what our calling is before going into marriage.
Why? Knowledge of your calling is essential to discovering yourself, and ability to know who your mate should be. Adam did not have to ask God what Eve was meant for when she was presented to him. He knew. When we know God’s call upon our life we get direction.
A lot of Christian courtship is in trouble today because both parties have not identified what their calling is, hence don’t know why God brought them together and so the best they can do when their together is look into each other’s eyes, admire their bodies and fall into sin so easily. The attraction was just physical, no destiny in mind.
I have some questions that I want to leave with you (single or married) today –
Do you know your calling?
If you do, what are you doing about it?
And if not, are you on your way to discovering purpose?
There’s still so much to say but I will leave it here for now.
We will continue this discussion in the next post.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Be in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6
Today a lot of Christians battle with different question like; how to keep a pre-marital relationship clean? How to keep away from adultery? How to manage a troublesome spouse? etc. The truth is that we rarely hear straight answers to these questions but I believe there is something responsible for every one of these problems.
After I gave my life to Christ, I fell in love with the first scripture listed and it formed my very being. It is not just another faith boosting scripture or a declaration of faith, rather it is the reality of Christian faith that we must experience and live in the understanding of, so that the “I” in this passage of the scriptures refer to you. Today I join my voice with this man of a great God to declare that I have been crucified with Christ.
If indeed we have been crucified with Christ how is it that our flesh still yearns for carnal things. How is it possible that Christ lives in you and at the slightest opportunity you give in to the temptation around you?
If the life we now live is based on faith in God and the work of grace through Christ, why are we battling so much in our relationships? Jesus Christ our greatest example managed every relationship intelligently and we see that even when He was brought before the judges of this world, they found nothing in Him. If we have faith in Him, where are we missing it?
I write today not as one immune from all these but as a fellow who has gone up and down and understands better now. The source of any Christian is his or her relationship with God. When this goes down, all other things go down with it, no matter how much progress you appear to be making while you are far away from God.
Many times we say He has been faithful even though I have been unfaithful. What we fail to understand is that what we call faithfulness of God is really crumbs. So here we are celebrating the fact that we got the crumbs of the toast when we could get the toast itself.
What is the application of this powerful scripture, I have been crucified with Christ, so I do not live anymore, old principles need to be verified against the word of God and confirmed fit. Whatever situation you find yourself, look into the scriptures for answers. Don’t wait for situations to come before you get prepared; get a study Bible, read about the life of this man called Jesus, become familiar with His ways, because this will be your new lifestyle.
I have discovered by experience that my best times in life were those times when my relationship with God was at its peak. I express love to my husband the more when my heart is right with God. Here is another secret, God is Love, before we can love like God wants us to, we must encounter the heart of God. The ordinary man is incapable of loving as described in 1Corinthians 13.
It is disturbing and mind bugging when I see a child of God in an unequally yoked relationship, it tells me that it is either such a person has never been a Christian or has a crisis that requires urgent attention. If you are truly a friend to such a person, it is time to have a heart to heart discussion. And if you are that person it’s time to check yourself and address the issue. Find you way back to the Father’s heart.
Let me ask a question – Can a spirit filled brother or sister be asking for sex before marriage? If the answer is no, why do we hear of Christians being bugged by this phenomenon so much that people come to the conclusion “ no one is real in church anymore, so let’s go outside at least there I know what I am going to get” . Really such conclusions are indications that the so called Christian here is just fishing for a spouse through Christianity. Thank God likes will always find themselves.
Can a spirit filled husband beat up his wife, go without providing for his home, put down his wife at every opportunity and fail to consider his wife’s feelings? or can spirit filled wife nag at the slightest provocation, deny her husband the attention he requires, take out her frustrations on the children, in-laws and everyone around?
The answer is no! The spirit within us will not allow such behaviour, the Bible tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance Galatians 5:22-23.
The Spirit of God in us, empowers us to live the life we have been called to. Bible tells us in Proverbs that counsel in the heart is like deep waters and but a man of understanding will draw it out – Proverbs 20:5.
As Christians we are empowered to have solution for every matter, inside of us are answers as we plug into the Spirit. God has poured out His Spirit on us.
We need to move to the next level where Understanding is the order of the day. Reach deep inside of you.
I love you.
After our study of the beginning and spread of the early church, it is necessary for us to consider the sacrifices made by the early Christians, especially the disciples left by our Lord to propagate Christianity.
- SIMON PETER: Tradition says he was crucified in Rome head downwards.
- JAMES THE ELDER: He preached and converted many in Jerusalem. He was eventually beheaded by Herod around AD 44.
- JOHN THE BELOVED: Laboured in Asia Minor especially at Ephesus; was banished to Patmos Island where he wrote the book of Revelation. He was freed afterwards and died naturally.
- ANDREW: Crucified on a St Andrew’s Cross.
- PHILIP: Stoned to death at Hierapolis.
- BARTHOLOMEW: Burned at the stake in Armenia.
- THOMAS: Suffered martyrdom in India.
- MATTHEW: Thrown alive into hot oil in Persia,
- JUDE: Said to have been burned alive in Persia.
- MATTHIAS: Martyred in Ethiopia. .
- LUKE: Believed to have been hung on an olive tree by the idolatrous priest of Greece.
CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH
The martyrs proved by their joyful endurance of persecution to the end that their faith was better than life itself. It was left to those who lived to explain to Jews and Pagans what the faith really was. These writers were called Apologist, because they wrote books, which explained and justified Christianity. The arguments they used in defense of Christianity can be divided into four way or groups.
- Appeal to the authorities to treat Christians Justly;
- Attack on pagan religious beliefs and practices;
- Presentation of Christian beliefs and way of life;
- Theological arguments to justify Christianity.
These apologists included Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Aristides, Quadrates, Tertian and a host of others.
We leave our review of the development and life of the early church with gratitude to God for all that He gave to Christians through those times of persecution, and express our hope and confidence that God will surely complete the building of His body, which is the church.
– gabriel ajibade
In the last write-up I proffered the new birth as God’s panacea for disobedience. Nevertheless, you say, at the risk of sounding renegade- “I thought a panacea was supposed to be a cure-all, a universal remedy, final answer to all problems and a perfect solution; well, my child is born again yet he is very disobedient”.
For such parents, guardians or care-givers, this short article is targeted.
Godly living is a result of a submission on the part of an individual to the spirit born after God. The fact that a person is born again does not mean he/she will automatically toe the line of God’s word. True, God is at work inside, but He will not fuss or force subjection to His will. Therefore, what you need to do is to help this child understand more about the life of God and you’ll see that child walking in obedience perfected in every good work.
For the saving grace of God has appeared for all people, training us to renounce godlessness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present world.1
The solution to sins and every form of disobedience lies in recognition of God’s grace. The same grace by which we were saved is sufficient to keep us doing right. Do not attempt a reversal to the law in a bid to enforce obedience. The law did not work for the Israelites for which it was established, how much more the new creation?
For what the law was unable to do, weakened as it was through the flesh, that God did by sending His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and on account of sin; He thus condemned sin in human nature.2
Does this mean that any and everything goes in the Christian home because of grace? NO! It does not mean that you do not have principles guiding your children in the home but that you carefully teach your child God’s word in recognition of grace and the righteous nature bestowed by the new birth. Then, you will see right living result in this child and your child will work out his salvation with fear and trembling because he recognizes that it is God Himself who is at work within, both to cause him to desire to do and to perform God’s pleasure. This will certainly be your pleasure too.
Scriptures: 1 Titus 2:11-12 2Romans 8:3
– Dr ifelayo ojo