While growing up, my mother reared chickens, not ‘agric fowls’ as we called broilers but the native kind that would lay eggs, hatch them, etc. My sisters and I learnt something very fast about the mother hen. When it started to incubate its eggs/hatch them, the docile hen changed into a fierce, attack-at-the-slightest-no-nonsense hen. Up till today, whenever I see a mother hen with freshly hatched chicks, I give it a wide berth. That hen can chase and attack any and every one it perceives as a threat to the well-being of its chicks. Female animals with young ones are known to be deadly (with some exceptions), deadlier than their male counterparts. A lioness with cubs, a she-bear with cubs are good examples but to name a few.
And so we come to mothers and mothering. The mother-a beautiful species of being with the ability to bring forth, nurture, train, protect and the list is endless. The woman is so designed that she can keep the home, raise the children, work a job and do all excellently. Different roles, one person. That is who God made the woman to be, and before proceeding, this is to say a big thumbs up, thank you, well done to all the mothers out there. Yours may seem like a thankless job but God sees, He hears, He applauds and His reward is sure. Keep up the good work sister!
In the beginning, God……, and that is where the job of every mother starts; with God. It is the smart and savvy woman that knows to spend time with God every day, and time means exactly that- T-I-M-E. Non-negotiable. You will never know how much your life will transform until you know to withdraw, to replenish your strength, to get wisdom in the place of fellowship with God (by the way, I believe it is irresponsible parenting to be locked up in your prayer closet while your children run around unattended to. Children by their very nature need constant monitoring.). Whatever you do, let the beauty of your absolute reliance and dependence on God shine through in every situation.
The working mother is an unavoidable subject in this day and age. Upfront, it should be said that the day society, mothers, fathers amongst others began to clamor for equal rights and recognition in the workplace for the woman, the home front and especially the children began to suffer. Society now tells us that a woman is not complete until she is earning a salary with six digits like the men (there is nothing wrong with that by the way). The truth is, God designed that the mother would be the one to spend more time with the children- she is naturally adapted to that task. And so, when the parents, particularly the mother is away from dawn-dusk all weeklong, the children are under direct attack from any and every thing. God did not give you children so that you can delegate their upbringing to someone else. That is one responsibility that cannot be delegated. This is not to say that a woman cannot and should not work but once it conflicts with taking care of the home, the woman is too busy!I believe every mother should be at home with her children once they finish from school, or at least the father. I entirely agree with author Tim Lahaye when he said “today’s emphasis on working mothers (whether it is necessary or not) is destined to create a whole generation of rebellious or insecure young people”. Enough said already? I should hope not.
Raising a child is so delicate that whatever happens to that child in its formative years can make or mar the child. We should consider this fact that just the presence of mummy at home can make a child act right very fast. If that presence is continued from day to day, good habits are formed, bad ones discarded (hopefully) and then it becomes a lifestyle. In no time, a beautiful, responsible. God-loving adult is born. We overlook the evils that can pass over a child just because a parent is present. No sexual molestation, pornography, bad company, lewd talk, bad manners can bypass the watchful eye of a godly mother. Even physical attacks and accidents can be staved off by a woman knowing her place in God. It is true that bad things may still happen whether a parent is present or not, but we can testify, mummy also spells safety and protection.
It is so easy to look at western society today and shake our heads at the level of depravity we see there; children shooting parents, schoolmates, themselves; all sorts of sexual perversion, the presence of all manner of ungodliness. This should be said- one of the root causes was when godless men and women began to propound theories on child training and the Christians accepted those theories as the standard for raising their children. Two, it was decided, and the mothers decided/accepted that they ought to work a job and pull their weight like their male counterparts, and so, with no one to care for the children and teach them good from bad, tell them about God and life, the devil stepped in and is doing an excellent job.
It is a general saying among mothers that having the children around a lot is tiring and draining. And it should be! Child training is work and labour (and of course, a lot of help from the fathers would be very welcome). We expect to be tired when we get back from our jobs but are irritated and feel we have wasted our time and energy when it is spent on our children! We have been so deceived and our priorities so out of place. Child care has been relegated to house helps, nannies, crèches/daycares/schools etc. Let every mother remember that God will judge not just the bible studies we led or how well we sang in the choir but the major fact of how we raised our children. I want to reiterate, you cannot and will never be a success at raising your children unless and until you see them as a priority. It may look like a lot of time to spend, but in some years’ time those children will be gone. Once they get into the university they are out of our lives and direct control forever. For some children it is boarding school, and that is it. Our time of impact and relevance in the lives of our children is limited. Let us make the best use of it now. Remember, “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”.
This is not an exhortation to make drastic changes but one to prayerfully take stock of your life and change. And if you are actively fulfilling God’s will for your life as a wife, mother etc, then go girl, keep on keeping on!
-Aghogho Awonusi is a Legal Practitioner that resides in Ibadan. She is happily married and a mother of one.
Time is the most precious asset that we all are given on earth. You can make more money but you cannot make more time. This makes Time the most expensive currency that we spend. You don’t need to make noise about how you love God and His work; we only need to note how you spend your time and we get a clear indication whether you really love God and are giving your life to him. It is really difficult to claim you have given your life to Christ if you do not constantly give him your most important currency – time.
But what happens today? Many of us spend most of our time enriching our employers (a number of them unbelievers), fulfilling their goals, dreams and visions while the visions, dreams and goals that God has placed stay neglected. Our employers get the best of us, but God gets the worst of us. In a busy city like Lagos, many spend an average of 12 hours daily – 8am to 8pm – working for their employers, get home at night to watch the news, movies or catch up with their friends on Facebook, Blackberry and other social media. We do this day in day out, as time ticks away.
If we do not allocate valuable time to do God’s work now, when will we ever do so? Are we not among those who are getting older every day? I am not against working; I go to work daily too and I have loads of deliverables. More so, the Bible commands us to work. But while at work, do we have that sense of purpose aimed at fulfilling the great commission God has given to all believers and also realizing the goals He has placed inside us? Do we see our work as a platform to fulfill God’s purpose and reach out to others with the gospel of Christ?
It’s quite surprising that many believers think it a strange thing to excel at work and also be committed to the work of God. They feel that one has to give way for another. Sometimes people ask me, “Tope, how are you able to combine ministry with your very demanding work schedule?” What is the secret? The secret is that I don’t combine them. I simply live the Christian life – which is a life of all-round success. Sometimes I ask such people the question – you are so busy at work, how are you able to find time to eat? What is the secret behind combining eating and working? That gets them speechless, because when we consider something very important, we don’t talk about “combining them” with other things, we just do them.
Jesus Christ said, “My meat is to do the will of the One that sent me.” The way we “combine” eating and working since we consider both very important, is the same way we have to make time to live the will of God. It is said that when the heart is willing, it finds a thousand ways but when the heart is unwilling, it finds a thousand excuses. Are you willing to give your time to God? Do you need to reduce the time you give to movies, football, idle talk on social media, etc.?
– Tope S. Aladenusi
Yesterday, we had arranged to meet with a friend of mine to strike a certain deal. That was supposed to be at 3.00pm. I was also attending a church retreat from 11.00am. He called at 2.45pm to announce that he was already at the venue. Guess what? I was miles upon miles away from the place, still enjoying the aura of the retreat. I tried to guzzle the traffic jam and other road distractions but got to the venue forty minutes late. His greeting was, “I can see you are a typical African, you can’t keep to time”. I stood there sheepishly, trying to drown his last word with “er…er, I’m really sorry”. It felt awful because he is a Muslim and I am a Christian yet he had won the bragging rights. I had let distractions creep in and steal my time with him.
Time can never be created, so the saying goes. It is true. But wait. Have you ever tried to fit wool into a sack? You will be amazed how much space the sack affords each time you press the wool hard. You will discover that the sack can actually carry more wool than you ever imagined. You will eventually say that you created some space until all the wool fitted. In reality, you didn’t create any space. You just squeezed the wool into the already existing space. This is the same case with time. We can always squeeze all our tasks and afford some spare time if we learned basic truths about creating time…..or should I say saving time. We can save time if we:
- Avoid time-wasters. Time wasters are things that eat into our time while we remain sub-conscious about them. These may be people, object, ideas and such other things. These include but are not limited to gossips, fantasies, day-dreaming, worries, disorganized desks and so on. These can be avoided if we choose to. Remember it’s about choice not about possibility. Certainly it is possible to avoid time-wasters but if a determined choice has not been made to do so, then it will never happen. If we avoid gossips, fantasizing, worrying and organize our desks and working environment, then we can save (I mean create time)
- Prioritize. Some of the text messages we receive can be read when we are taking our lunch or even when we get home after the day’s work. This means we should peruse through and leave them alone for later attention. Some calls can also be drowned with a polite “can I call you later, probably in the evening?” Those emails, messages and other things which are urgent and important should be considered first. Then comes those that are urgent but not important, which we can delegate if we have a delegatee. If we don’t have one, we can go through them quickly since they are likely to be short in nature and requiring short response. Things which are important but not urgent can be done in phases, bearing in mind the deadline. Last comes things which are not urgent and not important which should be ignored till when we want to attend to them at our own pleasure rather than pressure.
(To be continued)
– johnstone katuku
|Life is becoming increasingly ever more competitive and dynamic. The different ventures open to men to trade has increased alarmingly. There was a time when you were either a farmer or hunter. Choosing a business then will be a simple choice.
Today, things are different. Businesses of different forms and concepts spring up daily. The different investment options open to us is definitely mind boggling. Population increase has also had its impact. More and more people are struggling to make it on limited ground and opportunity. Millions strive to make millions from the same business. The result is a fierce competition and one that is keenly contested.
People have therefore resulted to different means to make profit or make the most profit. They try to kill competition using various means from outright murder to industrial espionage and blackmail. However some take profit through superior understanding of the business and employing a blessed approach.
You belong to this class. We make profit and succeed because “the lord our God teaches us to profit and leads us in the way we should go”. Is 48:17. Hallelujah.
Child of God, understand that we don’t compete with the world and we don’t struggle with it either. We dominate by reason of greater insight and superior leading.
End time business empires will be built by Christians; Christians who have been taught by God to profit. They will make amazing business decisions and men will wonder with what wisdom they acted. They will take full advantage of the mind of Christ they possess. They won’t require charts or graphs of any kind to make decisions. They will know the outcomes before they begin.
That’s the class we belong to. Let God teach you to profit. Listen to Him before you decide, hear His voice and change that business.
Learn from Peter’s experience. Years of experience and wisdom of this age won’t give you the edge. It won’t turn the business around. But one word from the master will give you a catch of a life time. You have toiled all night, done all you know but you can’t break even, don’t give up. Listen for his command. Dust up that business plan; take a look at your business again-but this time do so through the eyes of the spirit.
– emmanuel aladenusi
It’s Time to Experience God in the miraculous
By the mouth of Elijah, God declared a draught in Israel, yet Elijah was not to be excluded from experiencing the effect of the draught; nevertheless, there was provision for him to see with his eyes the dryness and experience God as Jehovah Jireh.
The first miracle – God tells him to go to the brook, a raven will feed you with bread, flesh and water. An outside person may say he is eating little but considering the situation, he had enough to meet his need.
Sometimes when things are tough all we have is just enough to meet our need. The fact that we have just enough to meet our need does not mean we are not living in the miraculous.
Sometimes we need to step back again and look at our situation from another perspective in order to see His hand. Many times our eyes are too clouded with the problems so much that we fail to see God in our situations.
Let’s take another look at Elijah’s experience, when it was a time for a new experience the brook dried up and God told him to go to a widow, another unlikely source of provision. There he knew abundance much more than he did earlier. God even created an avenue to prove Himself as the almighty.
Sometimes when things get tough, God is setting you up for the miraculous. Imagine you got pregnant the first night or first few months of your marriage, your experience could never be called miraculous. Now think about Hannah! Can you see the difference? Or imagine you never had any financial constraints and your family is growing material wise in leaps and bounds; now imagine you moved into an empty house after marriage and the next day or months that follows, the house is filled to overflowing. Can you imagine what Job and his wife went through when they lost all in one day?
And then God turned around all their losses for good, can you imagine the joy that followed?
Malachi 3:3 says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Like the silver smith God is holding you in the fire, not taking His eyes off you for one minute, waiting until He can see his image in your life and relationship.
Whatever they’re going through, they’ll be a better person in the end.
Hold on, surely morning will come after the Night.
– omolola ezeifeoma
Sometimes in marriage things get so bad that it seems you have lost control of your life. Things are just happening around you and you have lost track of time. Two weeks back you were planning for Christmas and all of a sudden some events take place and the last thing on your mind now is Christmas.
Let’s meet Ken. Ken got married to the love of his life after so many objections from both his parents and her parent. Neither set of parents thought the other was good enough for their child. Things take a new turn in his life after his wife got pregnant and lost about three pregnancies in quick successions. And soon after he had a minor problem with his fertility. The doctor convinced them it would only take a few months to rectify things if medications are adhered to. Months rolled by yet the story remained the same.
Mary his wife was under pressure from family and friends, every time she fell sick they began to ask questions. The pressure from her mother in-law kept building up by the day. She was confused, she could not tell anyone what the real problem was. Whenever she wanted to, she remembered she had to cover her husband.
As time passed by, the situation began to take its toll on both husband and wife, the once sweet relationship started going sour. The pressure kept building from both families. The pressure on Mary was getting unbearable for her; she now nags and gets touchy easily. She vents her frustrations at work, at home and the once sweet babe is turning into an unbearable babe. Even the charming smile Ken used to have is fast disappearing! The situation is getting out of control …
Sometimes things get really tough in a marriage! You wonder how things got so bad. You go through your wedding pictures again and again, you tell yourself it was not meant to be like this. This is never like I envisaged it would be.
I have learnt that the issues in marriage never come in expected shades. When these things happen, the last thing we need to do is panic and get soaked up in worries. The last time we said it was time to learn, today we say it is time to pray also!
In my entire walk in the Christian race nothing ever made me realize that prayer is the Master Key, like marriage. After I got married I learnt to pray more and talk less. Often times there’s nothing much we can do than to pray especially speaking from the female perspective. Prayers said in faith can change any situation no matter how difficult. God is a Faithful God who will always honour His Word.
He said ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will give their sin, and will heal their land’
The restoration of Ken’s fertility is something out of control of both husband and wife, but there was something they could both have done. They could have prayed in faith to get out of the situation.
Praying might not instantly restore his fertility but it would:
- keep hope alive and hope will help them keep their joy
- heal their broken hearts
- help in building their faith together in Christ
- keep them from giving in to distractions
- Provide an avenue for them to share their burdens with one another
- Help them to discover God in a new Light together and stabilise them in their Christian Race
We need to always pray and not faint like the scripture says. As we remain in constant communication with heaven, we will receive instructions as to what steps to take. Keep in touch with heaven concerning your situation. He will come and save you in His time when all things will be Beautiful. As you continually pray, search the scripture for His promises concerning you and hang on to them.
A Time to learn
Lara after her service year to her nation got a job with a high profile organization like she always dreamed. She met Tom a banker during her service year. Both of them were, Christians who loved the Lord. After going steady for some years, they got married, and a few months after marriage Lara became pregnant.
Upon discovery of the pregnancy, Lara was happy and sad; happy that she was going to have a baby and sad that she would be relieved of her job because of her company’s policy. She really needed the job; things were not going too well in Tom’s bank in recent times. This was just the beginning. Things really got worse overtime. Just as Lara expected, she was relieved of her job. And things continued to get worse at Tom’s bank. The psychological and physical changes taking place in Lara did not help matters. Neither did the financial needs because of the baby on the way and increasing hospital bills due to the rough pregnancy Lara was having.
Lara and Tom started growing apart; they were both under so much pressure. All Lara’s dreams about how her first pregnancy will go were trillions of miles away. Tom wasn’t the caring and loving guy anymore. He was under pressure himself, the salary was not regular anymore, and he did not like the fact that he couldn’t meet Lara’s needs. His spiritual life was not in good shape too. The burden was heavy on him. And all this was just the beginning of their troubles…
Sometimes in marriage things get really tough, tougher than you ever dreamed even if you expected things to get tough sometimes. Even when you are expecting the storms, they don’t come in the way you expect. What do you do when these times come? How do you escape the noise and scare of the storm to remain focused? How do you manage the building challenges when the Honeymoon seems over?
How do you keep your dream of a model marriage alive? How do you stand by your spouse when you seem not to have any strength of your own?
When times like this come, its time to take your notes out and take down some lessons! Someone reading this will be wondering what I’m talking about.
Well I am still here, and did not forget what the story is about. This is a hard truth I had to come to terms with myself. I’ve come to learn that the Word of God remains true no matter how we feel. God’s word is constant regardless of the situation we might face. David the Psalmist saw this and said, Forever Oh Lord your WORD is SETTLED!
The Bible tells us that Our Light affliction is but for a moment working in us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2Cor 4:17).
First thing is never to exaggerate our troubles, rather see them as little issues that will pass. Most times we do not knowingly magnify our problems. When we meditate on our problem without a mind of seeking solution, things get worse. Remember we have a foe that must never be undermined, he lurks around the corner waiting for times like these to display the weakness of our spouses and remind us of the several options we had before marriage.
When things get tough, there’s only one place we need to remain, at the master’s feet and around the children of God to tap strength from others.
God wants to do some great things in our marriages this year but he needs to toughen us.
So get ready get your notes out. You might be going through hard times now, crying, too weak to pray and saying when will these end. It sure will end sometime soon but you need to hang in there first.
It’s a great year ahead, get ready!
It is commonly said that a hungry man is an angry man, a little wonder why most people’s actions during the period of hunger suddenly become unapproachable. For some married men, all you will be telling them at home at such periods certainly will have to fall into the dunghill. While some just suddenly begin to find fault, others remain unnecessarily quiet, calm, and weak as though they just lost a battle. Mostly, we create an uneasy environment for people around us just because they are trying to help.
In Acts 10: 9-10, members of Peter’s household were just at the nick of time trying to help him pacify his hunger. I try to imagine how fast and swift they must have been doing this, but I suddenly discovered that the hungry man (Peter) made a historical move against convention and norms. Instead of shouting, wailing, finding faults, complaining, and lamenting, he simply moved to a lonely place such as the roof top to do something unimaginable at the heat of hunger, (TO PRAY). “The next day, as they were on their way and coming near Joppa, Peter went up on the roof of the house about noon in order to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat; while the food was being prepared, he had a vision” (GNB).
Prayer is always the last thing people think of when hungry. As a matter of fact, people only pray at such times when they are financially broke and there is no means of finding solution to the problem on ground; then their pray will certainly be for God to provide a means of supply to them. Instead of creating funny scenarios and making everyone around you feel uncomfortable because you are hungry, why not take out time to pray, perhaps you could come out from the place of prayer with great revelations beneficial to someone and yourself if you do so. Jesus likewise did the same thing in John 4: 6-8, when he turned the period of hunger which made His disciples to go buy food to a time of blessing the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.“Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by the trip, sat down by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw some water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)”(GNB)
Please the next time you are hungry, find a corner to pray, it could the golden opportunity you need to hear from God and receive a revelation on what is about to take place.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” – Psalms 90:12
In every nation of the world the most identifiable factor remains her currency. In America it is the Dollar, in Europe it is the Euro and in Nigeria it is the Naira; however, the currency we spend in life generally is ‘time’. Every leader that seeks relevance, significance and excellence in his sphere of influence must master the art of ‘Time Management’.
If we follow the medical counsel to sleep 8 hours a day in order to stay healthy and we follow it through for 60 years, we would have slept for 20 years at the 60th birthday. This is because 8 hours a day means a third of the day since a day has 24 of those hours.
Customarily, time is never enough for all of us. There is always so much more to be done and our best bet is to prioritize our events and activities. Concentrate on the most result and goal oriented items and leave the rest till time permits.
A wise man once said, “I have so much to do today that I cannot afford not to pray”. How about that! Trust God for wisdom and guidance in your decision making and be the best at your chosen priority. Teach us to number our days, Oh Lord!
Never waste your currency for earth’s course. Use it wisely, use your time well by applying your heart to wisdom.
– Rev. David Sanda