Welcome to April; this month, I want us to examine the consequences of broken homes.
Do not be deceived, no one has a perfect marriage. Every couple has its challenges. Couples fight and fight badly, even the so-called Christian brothers and sisters who pretend as if nothing has happened when they get to church. However, it is the ability to revise one’s stand, communicate with respect, and be honest with one other that determines the survival of any marital relationship. If you remove pride and arrogance from your marital relationship, the marriage is on a solid foundation. Peace can thus stand the test of time.
Invest in your marriage by showing appreciation and tolerance. You are a stakeholder and your business first should be doing things to make your home peaceful and stable for you, your spouse and your children. Those whom you see that look like they have no challenges are just managing their challenges without allowing them to show to others.
A broken home is like war, no party goes uninjured. Each party goes with an injury they nurse for the rest of their lives. This is the whole truth but those involved, because of shame, do not say it out to people and no one learns from their mistakes. Instead, people believe that they are coping and happy, whereas if you ask them secretly, and if they will be truthful, they will tell you that where they are coming from is better than where they have eventually found themselves. The evil that you know is better than the evil you do not know. Human beings are not the same, and it is only when you are officially married and living together as husband and wife that you will know each other very well. It is when you are treating your spouse the same way you treated and behaved to the one you left before marrying this present one that you will realize that the former one was so good and nice enough to tolerate our excesses, misbehaviours and selfishness. Mostly, new spouses always prepare their minds that as soon as they are officially married to you they will never leave room or tolerate the abuse and maltreatment given to their predecessors. They will do all they can so that they will not find themselves at the same point.
No amount of success in life can compensate for failure at home. If your marriage fails, it will surely dent your destiny so be careful. Manage your home very well. What you will be treated to outside your home will not be what you bargained for. Think well before you take that step.
We are all managers when it comes to marriage. Manage your spouse and your spouse too should manage you. Marriage is not a bed of roses. True love proves in times of challenges and that is why I advise us to make sure you get married to the person that you are sure loves you because when challenges come, this will speak for you. There is no perfect marriage, singles please note that it requires hard work. Marriage is like a car that needs proper maintenance and service. If this is not done, it will break down unexpectedly and expose you both to danger, unhealthy circumstances, adultery and sins. Do not be careless about your marriage.
God gives you your partner as a raw material for you to mould the person that you deserve. Husbands, please mould loving caring women for yourselves. If you show hatred and a carefree attitude, your wife will soon look and behave exactly the way you treat her. You cannot sow hatred, bitterness, lack of affection and stinginess into your wife and expect a perfect, loving and caring woman. Others that get things like that from their wives have already sown such into them. Your marriage needs total commitment, unfortunately, Christian couples are not committed to their marriages the same way they are to their jobs, offices, positions, extended family and some, side chicks. This is sad. It is why we have not been able to achieve as much when it comes to marriage. Every marriage has a price to pay. Marriage is like a bank account, it is the money that you deposit that you withdraw. If you do not deposit love, peace and care and you think you can have lasting peace and joy outside your home from maids, friends and family or the other man or woman, you are joking and toying with your future. A little is enough for the wise, act on it today so that your prayers can be answered. God bless you.
People tend to see their marriages as mistakes rather than seeing the mistakes they are making in their marriages. At this point, they regret marrying their husband/wife, and begin to think of a new partner, imagine marrying an ex, or fantasizing about a marriage without any issues. Except that it is impossible because all marriages, no matter how perfect the couple seems, will surely have the need for tolerating or overlooking certain things.
Some have divorced or remarried and later wished they had remained with the first spouse, as they found greater trouble with the new spouse whose issues were hidden at the time they were just dating. This is because the first marriage was not a mistake, rather the real mistake had not yet been discovered. So, you can remarry as many times as you like, but you will still experience problems in marriage until you discover the mistakes you are making and correct them. Therefore, divorce and separation are not solutions to consider at all when you are having problems with your marriage.
When your car has a flat tyre, you do not abandon it but repair the tyre and move on. Also when you have headaches, no matter how excruciating, you do not cut off your head but take care of the headache by resting or using the appropriate medicines. The same with your bulb when it blows out, you do not change the room or house, instead, you change the bulb. So, when your marriage has an issue, you do not have to change your spouse but change the attitude that is creating the problem.
The couples whose marriages you admire and cherish, while yours looks like the opposite, have been able to accomplish it because of the work they have done. They have worked on their marriages by paying the necessary price which is why they are enjoying the fruits of their labours. The way you make your bed is the way you will lie on it. Your marriage is good and your partner is very okay depending on what you sow in them.
Some couples, because of the negative things they are seeing in their marriage, blame each other for being responsible. They point accusing fingers at one another, while others say many bad things about their spouse, even calling them names. Some think that they made a mistake in marrying their spouse. It is not your marriage that was a mistake but your habits and character such as anger, unaffectionate and unloving attitude, unforgiveness, and mistrust.
Many are victims of their present predicament just because they kept quiet. It is not as if there is no help around, but they refused to call for one. Perhaps, they expect people around to empathize and attend to their needs without saying a word.
Silence is defined as the absence of sound; and you cannot communicate effectively without making a sound. Even the mute calls your attention by making sounds. This means that you cannot successfully communicate in silence; and if there is any message being passed, it can be misinterpreted and misunderstood. Therefore, it is important for you to make a sound that can be understood. Born again wives are not left out of this dilemma because they sometimes suffer in silence, live unfulfilled lives and are frustrated. Unfortunately, in the process of time, many resort to and become addicted to drugs, food, pornography, alcohol and the likes because they feel it will help them out of their predicament. Then one day, after months or years of hiding from the truth, something terrible happens – divorce, a police case, adultery, the collapse of a ministry etc. This ought not to be so. There is no man on earth that can read your mind or successfully discern emotions. This is why you have to open up so you don’t die in silence.
Only God is Omniscient (All-knowing). And even with this attribute, He still demands that we open out mouth and ask. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). Why will you die in silence when there is help around you? Today, you can learn some tips that will help you come out of your shell and seek for help when it is needed.
However, we shall begin with why many refuse to call for help?
- Pride: You need to understand that the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 1:9(c) “… and there is no new thing under the sun.” Whatever might be your calling or assignment, somebody somewhere has done something like it before. There is also someone somewhere doing something similar to it right now. They have confronted and slain the giants you are dealing with. It is wisdom to connect and learn from such people. Calling for help when you need it is not a sign of weakness, rather, it is wisdom. So, do not give room to pride by refusing to seek godly counsel.
Pride, in most cases, is the reason why many do not seek for help when it is most needed. It is a destroyer that has ruined many great destinies; don’t let it destroy yours. The Bible categorically says: “Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Do not let the devil deceive you into making you think that you are so anointed that you can handle all challenges by yourself. Nothing can be farther from the truth! Open up and ventilate your life for greater productivity and effectiveness. The Bible says one shall chase a thousand and two shall put ten thousand to flight (Deuteronomy 32:30). What you are passing through might be more than what you alone can ‘chase’. It is not a shameful thing to open up to those who can help.
- Making Excuses: Making excuses for things that are going wrong is another reason why many suffer in silence. Jesus told a parable of how a certain man made a great supper and invited many to come. Despite the fact that all things were ready, they all made excuses and did not attend. The Bible says: “And they all, with one consent began to make excuses” (Luke 14:18). The master of the house was angry with them and brought in others to take their places; due to excuses. Your place in destiny shall not be taken by another!
Abigail is an example of a wise woman as recorded in the Bible (1 Samuel 25: 14-28). She could have used her husband’s foolishness as an excuse for selfishness which would have resulted in a bloodbath in her home. Instead, she opened up;
“Let not my Lord, I pray thee; regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my Lord, whom thou didst send. Now therefore, my Lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withheld thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and thy seek evil to my Lord, be as Nabal” (1 Samuel 25: 25-26).
Stop making excuses for things that are going wrong, having every reason and explanation for why things are not the way they should be. Instead, be a woman of wisdom, take action, make a move and seek help.
The Bible recommends that you follow those who have obtained what you are striving for. These people are examples whom you respect and have received the testimonies you desire. The Bible says: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). One major way of being “followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12) is through their biographies. These could be a book, or an audio or video recording.
A biography is the life story of a person written by someone else. As a wife, it is important for you to study the biographies of wives who have excelled and have thus inherited the promises. Biographies provide examples to learn from because the secrets of men are in their stories. You must understand the secret of learning from examples if you want to get to God’s destination for your life. History has a way of always repeating itself, either negatively or positively. There are biblical and contemporary biographies for you to learn from. The Bible is full of stories of those who lost out of their destinies and those who made full proof of it.
A few of them include – Gehazi, Elisha’s servant and heir apparent to the great unction and anointing upon Elisha’s life and ministry, who unfortunately lost it all to covetousness (2 Kings 5:20-27). Instead of becoming an anointed minister, he ended up as a notable leper. Judas was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, and like the others, he walked and dined with the Lord, but ended up betraying him due to covetousness (Matthew 26:14-16). He did not only end up becoming a loser on earth, but he will also spend eternity in hell because he did not repent before taking his life. He ended in shame. Delilah, a lady who could have married God’s servant and probably become one of the most referenced wives in the Bible, gave in to covetousness and sexual sin (Judges 16:1-21). She became an instrument in the hands of the devil and was not spared. She died alongside those that sent her. David, the man after God’s heart, who “with his whole heart he danced for the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:14). He was a generous giver, who solely provided all that was needed for the building of the temple. His constant enquiry from God caused him to win all his battles. And when he was caught up in sin, he cried out for help and was forgiven (2 Samuel 12:13). He maintained his position in the heart of God, and God established his throne forever (2 Samuel 7:16).
When you study the lives of those who have gone ahead of you, you will be able to learn from them and avoid their pitfalls. In our contemporary world today, there are examples of men and women worth emulating. Find out about successful ministries and the wives behind them, look out for their secrets, follow them and you will become the next success story. You can’t become a story until you acquaint yourself with the stories of others who have obtained a good report. “Those who don’t have references, never become a reference.” This is true! One tree never makes a forest. Every man that is now a reference has had to identify with several references of men at some point. The Bible says, “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him” (Isaiah 51:1-2). As you look unto God, the Rock from whence ye are hewn, you are also to look unto your father Abraham. You are not to look only unto God but also unto the fathers who have gone ahead of you in the race. As you look at their lives, you are able to interpret the scriptures correctly and see further. Wisdom demands that you stand on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead of you, and their stories are invaluable assets in achieving yours. Your place will only be secured by the degree of illumination you carry. Time is precious and irrecoverable. Instructions are the pathways of wisdom. As you study the lives of those who have already inherited the promises, it becomes easy to wisely avoid the mistakes they made and pick instructions from what they did right.
However, be aware that you must be discreet enough not to take everything you read or hear hook, line and sinker, but rather apply wisdom in knowing what to learn and what to unlearn by avoiding their mistakes. I take delight in reading biographies of ministers and ministers’ wives, especially those who have been in full-time pulpit preaching ministry. For instance, I have read biographies and other books written by great men and women of God such as Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye and late Pastor (Mrs.) Bimbo Odukoya. Remember, for you to see brighter, you need the shoulders of those who have gone before you. One major way of doing this is by reading their biographies. You can take advantage of this truth.
A close look at Proverbs 31:16-24 tells you that she considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen.
Once upon a time, there was a young couple who were blessed with the birth of their first child. Because they loved this child so much, they wished that the wife could stay home and raise the child; but the bills still needed to be paid. So the wife went out and found the perfect job. She could arrive at work by 10am and leave at 2pm, and she was paid as though she was working full time. She could keep nursing and be home every day in time for his nap. While the baby napped, she was able to cook a delicious meal, wash and iron the clothes, clean the house and still have time to get herself beautiful before her husband came home. After playing with their child together, they would tuck him into bed and then have a wonderful conversation over the excellent candle-lit dinner she had prepared in their clean and well organized home.
So how did you like this story? Well “story” is the accurate word because it is a fairy tale. Real life does not look like this as I think we would all agree. Wouldn’t it be great if everything just checked along as effortless as in the story? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if women today could keep their homes running perfectly, their children growing into hard-working young adults who never argued with their parents, their husbands happy, and were able to bring in an income with hardly extra effort at all? I wish it could be like this, especially for single mothers but the fact is, we can’t do it all or have it all. I have to admit addressing the topic of women working is a challenge. Women are pulled in so many directions in today’s world. The expectations placed on women today far exceeds those from any other time in history.
I knew a woman, my mother’s friend, who when she was raising her first three children didn’t even have a car. Most families had just one car and it was for the husband to use to work. She also did not have the health club commitment or weekly women’s meeting that we have in our lives today. She took care of her family and loved every minute of it. Probably because she didn’t have other things pulling her apart in different directions.
Today, women are bombarded with opportunities and pressures to have careers, to be ‘somebody’. But whenever the world tells me to do something that is when I need to open God’s word and see what it has to say about the roles of women in the workplace and in the home. Titus 2:5 (NIV) says, “to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” This scripture encourages women to be sensible, pure workers at home, kind, and being subject to their own husbands that the word of God may not be dishonoured. I believe this concept of loving and being dutiful to our families is the way to honour God’s principle that flows through Proverbs 31.
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
This month, I want to task us to take heed about what we do when our children are around us. We are their best teachers and they emulate us unconsciously. Whatever we do as couples affect our children either positively or negatively.
Sometime ago, I held discussions with some children of workers and born-again Christians in and realized that we, Christians are like mirrors to our children. Some of them said their parents only complained about their dressings and how they did not study the Word nor attend programs; but when compared to their parents, they felt they were better. Then I asked, why? They listed things they had observed which made Christianity unappealing to them:
- They said Christians, particularly their parents, do not forgive each other. They keep malice and when they are in church, people believe that they are saints, and the little they know about God is that He said we should forgive (Matthew 6:12).
- They also observed that their parents did not love each other, yet claimed to be serving God, Who is love (1 John 4:8).
- Marital separation means nothing to them, which has made them to decide against living with their spouse when they are grown.
- They think Christianity to be a scam where people only do what pleases them and set aside other less pleasing instructions and principles. As a result, they attend to physical things such as how they look and how religious they seem, and are not concerned about developing a good relationship with God. Obeying God’s commandments to the letter are also deemed unnecessary.
Therefore, I have decided to advise us parents to please take heed in what we do and our decisions, so that it will not destroy our children’s lives and their relationships with God.
Do you know that many children from broken homes (divorced or separated) mostly end up becoming single parents? Some whose parents have in one way or another been abused also take decisions never to tolerate what their parents went through and end up with an unsettled home. This trend has continued for generations and it is time to put an end to it for the sake of future generations.
Please, for God’s sake, your children see and listen to most of your conversations, so be careful when you talk to your spouse. Let your quarrels end in your bedroom. It must not leak out because of its effect on your children. They are your legacy and future, do not let them refer to some of the negative things you said or did later in the future. How do you want to minister to your children when you have not crucified your flesh? What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? (Mark 8:36)
The Bible says if you are bringing an offering to the Lord and you remember that someone is angry with you, leave your gift and first reconcile with him/her before presenting your offering. However, these days we are even bold to attend services without forgiving one another. Where is the spirit of old that made you feel very uncomfortable when you did not fully obey the Word of God?
For our children’s sake, let us recheck ourselves; whatever we are doing that can make our children to see our religion as hypocritical, please stop it. I pray that we will not loose any of our children to the devil nor will we become reprobates at the end in the Jesus Name.
When communication is in place there will be understanding, and where there is understanding, are peace, love, and joy. Communication helps out during the marital ‘teething’ period.
The teething period in marriage is a development stage where the couple finds it a little difficult to relate with one another because of their differences. Communication is one of the keys of agreement in marriage to enjoy all-round family dominion. The husband and wife must always agree because this is the key that unlocks the door to family dominion. While disagreements shut the door. Deuteronomy 32:30 says, “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their rock had sold them, and Jehovah had delivered them up.” When communication is faulty, the following outcomes are inevitable:
1. SATAN LOOKS FOR LOOPHOLES
2 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I fear, least by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Every successful home is a threat to Satan’s kingdom, that is why he would do anything to destroy it. Unfortunately, he often gains entrance into many homes through the woman. Women are more susceptible to Satan’s attacks because of their roles in the home. She is usually at home more often than the man. So, she is more available to Satan. He creeps in on her and tells her ‘what makes you different from the man? Are you a slave? Have you forgotten that you are also educated as he is? Have you forgotten your placement in your office?’ If unguarded by the Spirit of God, the woman would be tempted to agree with the devil.
2. IT CREATES BITTERNESS AND TROUBLE
Hebrew 12:15 – “Looking diligently lest any man fall of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled.” Bitterness starts from very little things. Perhaps, your spouse or a family member did something that hurt you and you have refused to forgive him or her. Watch it, every remembrance of the incident brings pain to you. That is a root of bitterness springing up gradually. If it is not dealt with immediately, it will ultimately trouble you. The term ‘springing up’ connotes a thing that starts small, and then suddenly shoots up. Once bitterness gains access to your heart and is not immediately wiped, very soon it will magnify itself and dominate you. Another thing about bitterness is that it troubles and embitters individuals. You lose your rest to bitterness. If you’re embittered against your spouse, when he or she is in the sitting room, you will want to be in the bedroom; there is usually no rest within you. Bitterness makes you fall short of God’s grace. This means that when you harbour bitterness, you are frustrating the grace of God in your life. And what are you without grace? 1 Corinthians 15:10 – “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” So, you need His grace to succeed in your family.
Welcome to the second month in 2021. This year may have started out with its challenges but in all, glory be to God Almighty. I want to use this time to encourage as many women that are discouraged by what they may be going through in their marriages through this question and answer.
Question: Mummy, what else can I do? I try to impress and satisfy my husband, yet its complaints every time, every day no matter my sacrifice for him and our children. Our marriage is more than 18 years old. Many times, I feel like committing suicide. To people outside, they believe I am enjoying, but nobody can control or correct him. Is God asleep about my case? I have prayed, yet I have not seen changes.
Answer: Firstly, I thank God for your life because He is working out something for you. You may not be aware but I know this. Please do not relent your prayers. I feel your pain. Sincerely, I know it is not easy loving a man who does not appreciate you or your efforts, as Luke 6:45 tells us that, “out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks”, but God in heaven will surely reward you. It is a matter of time. Your mental health matters. Recently, a woman confided in me that 2 years ago, she had attempted suicide, but her husband did not discuss it with his family due to shame. This is still the same issue she complained about. So, please get it right. Start doing whatever makes you happy. Look for ways to ease off the tension, and surround yourself with people who believe in you and make you happy. If you can afford to go for a spa treatment, do so. Make your hair or get a good haircut. Laugh it off and make sure you restrain yourself from adultery because I have found that most women at this stage are vulnerable to marital infidelity. This is because there is always someone out there who will appreciate you in a much better way and manner than your husband. So, be careful.
You said that you have been praying and have also tried to comply with his excesses yet the situation has remained the same. Luke 1:37 says, “with God nothing shall be impossible.” One day, God will touch his heart but don’t kill yourself or lose your mind before then. Thinking about it, you will know that this is a spiritual matter and it is beyond you. Check his family and yours to know if other wives or members of your families are also facing a similar situation. Whatever you discover will help you to know what to pray about. Also, side chicks and strange women cannot be ruled out. A lot of times, when a man is involved in illicit affairs, he will no more be satisfied with his wife. He will complain about everything including food, but when he is outside, he is willing to spend much more on feeding. However, he is not ready to spend to get good food from his wife. At this point, you need extra grace because it is sickening to find out that your efforts are unappreciated despite the sacrifices.
Do not allow anyone’s behaviour to make you either leave God or His presence. Hold on to Christ, the Author and Finisher of your faith, because very soon, if you do not relent, you will laugh last in Jesus Name. Be encouraged.
To brothers out there who are also reading this article, if your wife is unhappy with you because you have been maltreating her in any manner, it is unfortunate because you are only afflicting yourself. And this can bring about delay or completely hinder your prayers from being answered. God is watching you, and you will receive your reward accordingly. If you appreciate other people and their wives, but not your wife, then you may not know the value of what you have until you lose it. Whatever you do not value cannot be a blessing to you. You only know about today, remember, the same woman whom you tag ‘useless’ today will be the one who will stay with you later in life if there are challenges. Be wise!
For the young adults too, I encourage you to be responsible before getting married. Your responsibilities include paying the bills to maintain the house, engaging with your children among a host of others. Do not fall for the lie that your responsibility is only restricted to paying the house rent and children’s school fees. If you are not ready to do these and others, please stay away from marriage.
Many are victims of their present predicaments just because they kept quiet. It is not like there is no help around, but they have refused to call for one. Perhaps, they do not want others to know or feel that without telling anyone, people around them should understand, know and attend to their needs.
Silence is defined as the absence of sound and you almost cannot successfully pass any message across without making a sort of sound. Even the mute calls your attention by making sounds. This means you cannot successfully communicate in silence; and if there is any message being passed, it may be misunderstood. Therefore, you need to make a sound that can be understood. Born again wives are not left out as they suffer in silence, live unfulfilled lives and are frustrated. Unfortunately, many have resorted to drugs, food, pornography, alcohol and the likes to seek relief from their plights. And after a while something terrible happens – divorce, a police case, adultery, collapse of a ministry and so on. This ought not to be so. No man on earth can read your mind, which is why you have to open up.
Only God is Omniscient (or All-knowing), and with this attribute, He still demands that we open out mouth and speak. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). Why should you die in silence when there is help all around you? Here are reasons why many refuse to call for help:
- Pride: You need to understand that the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 1:9(c) “…and there is no new thing under the sun.” Whatever your calling is, somebody somewhere has done something like it before and someone may be doing something similar now. These people have confronted and slain the giants you are dealing with. Thus, it is wisdom to connect and learn from them. Calling for help when you need it is not a sign of weakness. Do not give room to pride by refusing to seek godly counsel. Also, you must be careful to know who you are asking for help. Some people will discuss your situation with friends and make jest of you, while others need help themselves and have not been given the grace to counsel. Pray to know the best person to discuss your case with because the wrong advice has led many into destruction and regret. Godly advice will always give you peace and conform to biblical standard. For instance, any counsel that will lead to separation when the man is not violent is wrong, run from it. If your spouse is doing the wrong thing, you do what is right and one day, it will speak for you. God can do all things, it is only a matter of time.
I pray that 2021 will be better than last year in Jesus Name.
Happy New Year.