MEMIKORODUROAD

moving every methodist to christ

DIVINE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE

3rd Nov. 2010

TEXT: Heb.13:4

Marriage is the oldest institution in the universe. It is the coming together to live as one of a matured man and a matured lady under the direction of God. Genesis chapter 2 verses 18-24 is a popular Scripture people refer to when discussing on marriage but most people do not understand or take note that from that Scripture, marriage was God’s own idea. It was God who first thought of it. It wasn’t Adam who first suggested the idea to God because the man was busy with the assignment God gave him. The man went on with his work until God saw that it was no longer good for man to be alone.

Marriage can be the most happy or mediocre or frustrating experience. It could be the most wonderful or that filled with frictions, disappointments, misunderstanding and pain. Our homes would be heaven on earth if we go back to the basis of marriage.

1.    GENERAL CONCEPTS OF MARRIAGE

a)    Marriage is God’s own idea. The union called marriage started when God decreed it in Genesis chapter 2 verse 18.

b)   Marriage is commanded to be a permanent and intimate bond between a man and his wife till death separates them. Divorce was never part of divine intention from the beginning (Matt.19: 5-6, Rom.7: 2).

c)    The standard of God for marriage is the relationship between Christ and His Church. It is figurative of Christ’s union with the Church (Eph.5:23-25).

d)   God ordained marriage to be honoured by all and He would not hesitate to deal severely with anyone who tries to dishonor it (Heb.13: 4).

e)    Marriage of God’s children with unbelievers is a spiritual taboo (Exd.34: 12, Josh.23:12-13). A believer is a son; an unbeliever is a dog (Matt.15: 26-27). Imagine a marriage between a son/daughter/an heir with a dog? Imagine a believer becoming an in-law to Satan? (2 Cor.6: 14-16)

f)     Marriage is not for babies (not necessarily children but those who are emotionally unstable) but for those who are emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and financially balanced (Rom.12:12).

2.    DIVINE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE

a)    Help meet-The basic purpose of marriage is that God had given enormous responsibilities to the man that he alone cannot complete. Marriage is a means of helping the man to fulfill God’s will for his life (Gen.2:18, 21-23).

b)   Marriage is ordained for partnership (Eccl.4: 9-12, Mal.2: 14, 1 Pt 3:7). It is to provide needed fellowship, comfort and companionship.

c)    God seeks godly seeds from every marriage-Gen.1: 26-28. (Women should not however only be used as baby factories).

d)   Marriage is one of God’s methods of preserving purity. Marriage is established as remedial way of preventing immorality, 1 Cor.7: 2, 9-11, Gal..5: 16-19. (Note that marriage does not deliver someone from sexual immorality though it can assist to reduce or temporarily prevent it.)

e)    God ordained marriage to bring about complete sexual satisfaction between the couple (Exd.20:14, Prov.5: 15-20).

f)     Marriage is a divinely ordained necessity (Ps. 68 : 6, 1 Cor.12: 21). Man and woman are mutually dependent.

g)   Completeness and fulfillment of true living-Eccl.4: 9-12, Eph.5: 23, 29-31. Our likeness and differences complement and assist one another. God chooses to fill up a need through the marriage partner and not necessary to duplicate talents.

CONCLUSION:  Marriage is good. God desires that all marriages should enjoy the best of heaven. May God compel us to seek His face, accept His verdict and leading and compulsorily depend on him for successful marriage relationship.s, addons, whatever you want!

 

GOD’S CHOICE IN MARRIAGE (SINGLES ONLY)

10th Nov. 2010

Heb.13:4

The decision of whom to marry can be a mind-boggling and life altering choice that must be taken with  all seriousness.

1 .THE DON’T TO AVOID BEFORE AND DURING MARRIAGE CHOICE:

a)            Never set out for an unbelieving partner irrespective of his/her zeal, promises and sugar-coated tongue (1 Cor.2; 14, 2 Cor.6: 14).

b)            Do not submit to pressure due to age or peer group marriages. Take God along.

c)The single must never settle  down to marry a backslider

d)            Avoid marrying a new convert or babe in Christ. Remember that Adam was not given a wife on the day he was formed (1 Tim.3:6).

e)            Never marry a person who is tight to the apron of his/her parents, friends and relatives. Instead a marriageable fellow should be physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially matured (Gen.2; 24, matt.12: 47-50, Lk.14: 25-27).

f) You must not be anxious over the issue of marriage but be willing to sleep as Adam because in a peaceful, restful atmosphere; God ‘s voice would be clear to you over this issue (Isa.30: 15, Phil.4: 6).

g)            Do away with idols set up in your heart. Bury in Christ all characteristics and personal desires about a wife/husband (Gen.6: 3, Ezek.14: 1-4).

h)            Beauty is deceitful; physical disposition misleads. Be careful. (1 Sam.16: 6-7, Prov.31; 30).

i) Education, exposure and wealth are good. Nevertheless, do not permit them to lead you astray.

j) Familiarity breeds contempt. Avoid been too close to anther single opposite sex except you are engaged to someone else (1 Sam.3:4-5).

k)            Some enter into marriage for sympathy sake. Never allow sympathy of age, disability, disappointment, health challenge, frustration, etc. to lure you into marriage.

l) Casting of lots might not work in marriage issue. Marriage is too serious that our future is permitted to be dictated by lots’ casting.

m)          Do away with parental, prayerless & tribal selection (Gen.21; 20-21, Judg.21; 16, 19-25).

2. DISCERNING GOD’S WILL IN MARRIAGE:

a. Spiritual birth-new birth in Christ is the basic foundation (Jn.3;3)

b. Spiritual maturity-marriage is not for babes. You must develop your faith, be established in Christ and must be continuing in the things of God (Col.2: 6-7).

c. Personal acquaintance with the revealed general will of God. You must understand His Word before venturing into marriage (Ps.32: 8-9).

d. God’s word-Ps.119; 105, 2 Tim.3: 16-17. Believers are to be guided by the Word of God and His Spirit. Therefore you must be accustomed to your Bible  daily to obtain insight from it (Matt.14: 27).

e. Personal understanding of the specific leading of the Hoy Spirit (Jn.16; 13, Rom.8: 14). How do God lead you? If you falter in this question, you are likely to miss His will for your life.

f. Inner witness of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.2; 9-12). The Holy Spirit speaks, teaches and guides believers in a still small voice. Do not now expect extra-ordinary revelations for marriage but a small still voice in your spirit.

g.God may use dreams and visions to speak to us (Job 33: 14-17, Jer.23: 28). A dream is a parable; it is a veil or cover concealing the truth. When we dream; God expects us to seek His face in prayer so that the mystery would be unfolded.

h.External prophecies: Jer.23; 28, Act.21; 10-11. As good as this may appear, it should not  be the foundation of marriage but only as confirmation to what God has already revealed to you.

i.  Guidance through counseling from faithful ministers-Prov. 15: 22, 20: 18, Heb.6: 12, 13:7, 17. The seeker must confide in the godly counsel of his/her spiritual leaders in all aspects of life especially marriage.

j.  The Lord may use some circumstances in our lives/ the lives of others to speak to us about His choice in marriage. Note that it was the death of Uzzah that made David to seek the face of God on the proper way of handling & carrying the Ark of God (1 Chron.15: 11-14).

k. Attitude of prayer-prayer is trust in the divine. Develop an attitude of prayer.

l.  Pastor’s test: Heb.6:12, 13: 7, 17. Seekers must ensure that their pastor/spiritual leader is a part of the choice from the beginning to the end.

m.           Peace test: Ps.119: 165, Isa.32; 17, Hag.2:9. Is there peace within your heart or is there agitation, fear or unrest? A perfect will of God brings peace.

n.Parent’s test: Gen.24; 58, Eph.6: 1-3. Parental consents are crucial in marriage and biblical. If opposition from parents arises; find out whether it is good. Go back to God, engage the services of your Pastor and marriage committee. Avoid bride stealing.

CONCLUSION: God still leads today. Depend on Him. Follow the steps above. It shall be well with you.

MAKING THE BEST OF MARRIAGE (COUPLES  ONLY)

10th Nov. 2010

Phil.2: 1-4

It is a good thing that most marriages start with a lot of expectation of continual love  and lasting happiness but it is unfortunate that as days gone by, conflicts visit the relationship and if care is not taken , the first love is replaced by hostility and animosity; reducing the chances  for a blissful marriage. It is a common feature that’ wine (love, joy, peace) would intend to be exhausted in all marriages’ (Jn.2; 3). All couples must therefore work out divine strategies that would make the best of their marriages come out (Phil.2; 12).The major keys to blissful relationship are making proper adjustment to each other and incorporating scriptural principles of marriage into our daily  lives.

1. MAKING ADJUSTMENTS:                          1 Cor.13: 11
Courtship is majorly a period of deceit where individuals pretend to put on their best behavior even when it is not convenient. For blissful marriage; adjustments should be made physically, mentally, socially, financially and spiritually. Consider the following:

a.       During courtship, you followed your partner everywhere in such a way that you never cared where you went. Begin the courtship days again. Then the thrill and excitement of being together made unpleasant things enjoyable. Bring the old days back to life.

b.       The husband should handle the finances in a marriage especially for the first 10 years of wedlock.

c.        Do not compare your wife’s cooking, washing, home management, etc. to that of your mother who had spent decades to acquire such.

d.       Avoid impulse purchases; obligate yourselves only for the essentials. Do not compare the home of your parents whose properties were accumulated for over 25years to your new home.

e.       Pay your tithes regularly, save 10% of your earnings & commit 10% to bless others.

f.Consider your in-laws’ suggestions prayerfully especially the parents because most often they are given with the best of intentions.

g.       Treat your partner’s parents with dignity & respect. If you intend to tell them they are interfering too much, let their offspring do the telling.

h.       Look neat, smart & attractive to your partner like the days when you were single. Do not relax your standards of appearance with the use of a wedding certificate. Remember that ’man looks on the outward appearance (1 Sam.16: 7).

i. A woman likes to be treated like a lady. A wise husband should open doors for his wife and generally treat her as a gentleman should treat a lady.

j. Never air your partner’s shortcomings, weaknesses or deficiencies in front of your friends, relatives or other people except before God and your partner & at crucial point, your pastor/counselor.

Adjustment in marriage is a daily affair but you must work on yourself first to embrace the strength of your partner’s background & temperament. Give your partner time to adjust.

2. THE STIGMA CALLED DIVORCE:           Matt.19; 3, 6-9

Divorces do not come suddenly but is the climax of several little separations which eventually lead to total separations. Marriage is for life. Divorce is not permitted for heaven bond believers (Lkk.16: 18, Rom.7: 2-3). All couples should avoid:

a)       Total or partial lack of communication

b)       Failure to leave & cleave-Gen.2: 24, Eph.5: 31

c)       Permitting gossip & suspicion-Eph.4: 27, 1 Pt.5: 7-9

d)       Individualism instead of doing things together

e)       Starving the other with money, food & sex-1 Cor.7: 4-5

f)         Being secretive

g)       Separating beds, rooms, possessions

h)       Self withdrawal

i)         Staying long outside the home

j)         Ungodly comparison & extravagancy-1 Sam.8: 4-7, 2 Kg.17: 33, 1 Jn.2: 15-17

CONCLUSION:  Marriage is not just two people trying to live together. It is actually the fusing together of two destinies to become an inseparable entity in order to fulfill divine agenda. May God make our marriages godly examples.

COMMUNICATION BEFORE MARRIAGE   (Singles only)

17th Nov. 2010

Eph.4: 15, 29-32

Friendship is a very key issue in life that no one can toy or do away with. Success in friendship cannot be achieved if communication is absent. To communicate is to talk and pass information to the other person. It is the act of expressing one’s mind, ideals and feelings to the other fellow. Communication involves the understanding by the recipient what the speaker has in mind and could also be achieved when the message reaches the mind of the recipient (receiver) and understanding is achieved. One major tool used in communication is the tongue. Words are powerful (Prov. 18: 21). Words can build or destroy. All of us must learn how to speak good words. An Africa proverb says’ words are like eggs, once broken, they cannot be retrieved’.’ Whatever we are, we must be careful of speaking when we are angry (Eccl.7: 9).

1.    COMMUNICATION BEFORE MARRIAGE:              Prov.22: 24-25

Proverbs 16 verse 23 says,’ a wise man’s heart guides his mouth……’. A believer that is single must prayerfully choose God’s will in marriage. After choice, courtship starts. Effective communication in courtship would give the wedlock a good footing. Consider the following tips:

a. Learn how to communicate your desires to God (Phil.4: 6, 1 Pt.5: 7).
b. Discuss with each other how the period of courtship can be used to fulfill the program of God for your lives.
c.     Do not start your courtship by letting out all your life’s secrets until you are sure that the partner is honest, sincere and has fully accepted you.
d. Communicate to each other your strengths and weaknesses and fashion out together ways to overcome the weaknesses and fortify the strengths.
e.     Speak and agree on issues about health challenges.
f.      Settle issues on the number and space of children, where to fellowship, jobs to undertake (or wife to be full house wife), who will live with you, finances (separate/joint account), allowances for parents/other dependants, dreams, future plans, etc.
g. Warning signals and danger signs might appear which should not be ignored during courtship. Ask questions, seek clarifications from each other. Seek counsel from your Pastor on these signs (lies, false claims, picture of a child/opposite sex, receiving some phone calls far away, doing some things in secret etc.).
h. Prayerfully discuss your previous lifestyles, past marital relationships and sexual issues. Any surgical operation? Abortion? A child? Forgive each other for evil lifestyle but if the partner at this stage decides to quit, well!  A broken courtship is better than a broken home.
i.      Discussion about sex should be delayed until few days to wedding in order to prevent the devil from striking your chastity.
j.      Learn to speak out your mind (with wisdom) on what you dislike about him/her (Eph.4; 15).
k.     Talk to each other about the likes & dislikes of your families especially those of your parents/guardian and fashion out ways by which you’ll be favourably accepted by them.

2.    RIGHT COMMUNICATION:              Eph.4: 29

a.     Learn to listen. Listening is one of the best skills of communication.
b. Do not be a talkative. Allow your partner to respond.
c.     Is he/she following your speech? Ask questions to be sure he/she is not lost in the conversation (Do you understand; is that ok by you, what do you think about that?  Etc.).
d. Check for signals of approval (the eye contact, nodding, etc.).
e.     Pray for God’s wisdom to know how to speak to your partner (Col.4; 6, Jam.1: 5).
f.      Plan & identify the best time that he/she has best reception.
g. Say exactly what is in your heart but lovingly.
h. Never be angry when you are correcting him/her (Prov.4: 24, 22; 24-25).
i. Do not be surprised if your communication brings an explosive reaction.
j. Learn to pray before and after correcting.
k.     Be willing to apologize for wrongs & learn to appreciate for good deeds.

CONCLUSION: As good as communication is; it can be killed by explosion, weeping (tears-emotional breakdown) & silence. Let us pray that God will grant grace to us to communicate well (2 Cor.12: 9).

 COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE    (Couples only)

17th Nov. 2010

Eph.4: 15, 29-32
Friendship is a very key issue in life that no one can toy or do away with. Success in friendship cannot be achieved if communication is absent. To communicate is to talk and pass information to the other person. It is the act of expressing one’s mind, ideals and feelings to the other fellow. Communication involves the understanding by the recipient what the speaker has in mind and could also bee achieved when the message reaches the mind of the recipient (receiver) and understanding is achieved. One major tool used in communication is the tongue. Words are powerful (Prov. 18: 21). Words can build or destroy. All of us must learn how to speak good words. An Africa proverb says’ words are like eggs, once broken, they cannot be retrieved’.’ Intimacy, continuity, love and happy union are part of the role of effective communication in marriage and cannot be over-emphasized.
 
1.            COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE:                 Prov.22: 24-25

One major thing that should guide our speech is the Scripture (Prov.10: 11). It is important that spouses share their feelings, ideals & thoughts but must be done with carefulness & love. Consider the following tips:

a.     Learn how to express your thoughts to God with thanksgiving (Phil.4: 6).
b. Understand that women naturally tend to talk more than men.
c.     Make sure there is always something inspiring to discuss at all times. Keep talking to each other. Keep the communication line open even after disagreement.
d. Young lovers talk all the time. Keep this habit no matter how old your marriage is.
e.     Discuss how the day had been before going to bed everyday.
f.      Communicating under anger & shouting at the top of one’s voice should not be permitted (Proov.14: 17, 19: 11).
g. Speak to each other about your differences lovingly.
h. Listening is often disregarded. Learn this special habit. Most spouses who complain that their partners do not talk to them are probably guilty of not listening when their spouses talk. Give attention to his/her speech.
i. Africans don’t like complimenting people until they are absent or dead. To encourage your spouse to communicate, speak well to him/her. Everyone opens up to complement but avoid those who criticize them.
j.      Two golden words: I’m sorry & I love you are two golden expressions that must be said at all times to our spouses. Everyone wants to be told these words. Learn to use them in your home.
k.     Spouses must learn to sympathize with each other when one partner makes mistakes. Let us avoid the statements; I told you before, I know it would not work, etc.
l.      Don’t correct each other before visitors nor compare your spouse with colleagues at work. Praise him/her.
m. When you repeat a statement, it is a reminder but when you keep saying it; it is nagging. Avoid nagging.
n. Speak words of gratitude to appreciate your partner’s role.
o. Bed time may be the best time to lovingly communicate your grievances.
p. Let your speech be guided by maturity (Col.4: 6).

2.            RESISTANCE TO COMMUNICATION:             

Some weapons gradually build a wall to break down communication in marriage and in other relationships. A few of them referred to as communication killers to be avoided with all honesty are:
a. Explosion: Most persons explode when their shortcomings are exposed. This explosion is a result of inner anger & hostility that causes an attempt of self-protection.
b. Tears: Mostly used by women in an emotional way. It is a way of saying, do not tell me my mistakes or I’ll cry.
c. Silence: This is a dangerous weapon that is fueled by deepening anger. Silence is deadly & can produce ulcer.

CONCLUSION:  All couples should bear it in mind that however the gravity of the truth you intend to speak to your partner; more love & prayer should be used in conveying the message (Eph.4: 15).

 

 

 

 

                                                                                    5th Oct. 2011

THEME:                      SUCCESSFUL PARENTING

TEXT:                           Prov. 22: 6

 

God loves His creatures and from onset planned that children be born and nurtured in the home; no wonder He permitted that Christ be conceived of the Holy Spirit but brought up in a home. Every parent must therefore understand that as a ‘caretaker’ of the children entrusted unto them; so much is expected from them. This study is therefore a necessity for all parents and intending parents.

 

  1. UNDERSTANDING PARENTING: Deut.6: 7

We must understand that parenting is serious business that God places high premium upon. It is a responsibility from our Creator (Prov. 22; 6). Parenting is a full time work until the children also become parents. It is an assignment that cannot be delegated to school/lesson/Church teachers or to neighbours as the case may be. Parenting is a specific call to serve. The reason God demands for oneness between couples is for godly children to come out from their union so that those children could carry out God’s design on earth (Mal.2; 15, Mk.14: 21). Parenting is not to be done only by one parent except when sudden death takes the other partner. All parents should see their responsibilities as privilege and so should not take this grace for granted.

 

  1. UNDERSTANDING CHILD UPBRINGING: Eph.6: 1

The process of child birth is not as tedious as child upbringing. Child upbringing is the totality of the process of nurturing a child until he/she can stand up for God. Parents are reminded that children are God’s properties (Ps.127; 3, Isa. 8; 18). There are possessions of parents which would be duly inherited by children when they are properly brought up (Gal.4: 1-2). Parents are to assist their children to discern the purpose of God for them (1 Sam.1: 11, 20, 24, 3; 8-9). Parents must understand that a child left to him/herself would invite shame (Prov.22: 15, 29: 15).

Discussion 1: What counsel did the Bible give to children from the following?

  1. Ps.8: 2…………….………………….…….b.Prov.22: 15…………………………………….

c. Prov.23: 14……………………………..……….…d.Gal.4:1-2……………………………………….

 

Parents would succeed in parenting if they are genuine Christians (Lk.6: 39). Praying constantly for every stage of the children cannot be bartered with anything. Love your children unconditionally. Parents must descend to the level of their children atimes for effectiveness; you might play, eat, and watch cartoons together. Children must feel their parents’ presence-create time for them; let them be able to talk freely with you. Parents should be involved in their school assignment, reading of Scripture and praying together.

 

  1. UNDERSTANDING PARENTAL ROLES: Ps. 127: 3-4

Manoah asked the Lord ‘how shall we order the child…’ (Judg.13: 12-13). Parents are to instruct their children in the way of God; house keeping, courtesies, relationships, sex education, honesty, etc. (Prov.1: 8-9, Col.3: 21). Parents are to command their children to act rightly (Gen.18: 19). The job of correcting (Prov.23: 13), discipline/chastising (Heb.12: 7-8), teaching (Deut.6: 6-7), praying for them (Job 1; 5), leading them to Christ (Mk.10: 13-14), showing them godly examples (1 Tim.4: 12), etc. are to be done religiously.

Discussion 2: What counsel did the Bible give to parents/guardians from the following?

a.      Deut.6: 7…………………………….…….b.Prov.19: 18……………………………

c. Prov.19: 18……………….……………........d. Prov.23:14…………………………….….

e. Eph. 6.4…………………………………...…f. 1 Tim.5: 8…………………….………........

 

Conclusion: Parenting needs firmness and fairness. The good news about successful parenting is that great worldly and eternal rewards await faithful parents. May we never be condemned because of our children!

 

12th Oct. 2011

 

THEME:                       ENJOYING MARITAL BLISS

TEXT:                         Gen. 2:18, 21-24

Marriage institution was established by God. Before God created the first couple on earth; He has provided all things they needed to be comfortable. He gave this couple dominion over all that He created and thereafter blessed them (Gen. 1:27-28). The will of God for man is to live in comfort, but alas, one thing led to another, this privilege was taken away from them. Most marriage nowadays is in shambles. Most husbands and wives live together; yet, they are far from each other. This is not the will of God for Man at all, hence this study.

1. Definition of terms:

Marriage is the union of a man and a woman by a legal ceremony, or joining together of a man and a woman as husband and wife. To enjoy bliss is to experience complete happiness.

 

2. Keys to Marriage fulfillment:            In order to enjoy marital bliss, the following must be available;

i. Salvation: the couple must be genuine children of God i.e. they must be born again (Jn. 3:3)

ii. Love: There must be unfeigned love between them (Rom 12:9, 1 Cor. 13; 4-7, 16:14)

iii. Prayer: All couples must make it a habit to pray together and pray for each other (1 Thess. 5:17)

iv. Trust: They must trust God and each other (Prov. 3:5)

v. Patience: Impatience is enemy of success. Patience is very necessary in marital life. (Col. 3:13a)

vi. Endurance: We must learn to tolerate, endure and understand each other, remembering that we emanate from different backgrounds (Ps. 133:1-3).

vii. Humility: The wife should humble herself before her husband, take care of him and see him as the head of the home likewise, the husband should not Lord it over his wife; he must take her as his help mate and partner. He needs to cherish and love her. He must see her as his indispensable part ( 5:21-33).

viii. Forgiveness: This is an indispensable tool in marriage. We must continue to forgive each other (Eph. 4:32b).

ix. Kindness: We must be kind to each other (Eph. 4:32a, Cot. 3:13).

x. The children should be loved equally. Husband and wife shouldn’t love any of their children more than others. Remember Isaac and Rebecca’s bad precept (Gen. 27)

xi. Communication: Couples must communicate effectively and be close to each other. Learn to talk things out sincerely and lovingly. Decisions on money and sex must be taken together.

xii. Good manners: The attitude of listening without interrupting or saying ‘Please’, ‘thank you’, and I‘m sorry’, should not be missing in our relationship. Husband should assist in domestic affairs as practicably as possible.

xiii. Sexuality: Sex is a major factor in marriage that should be discussed and practiced regularly with understanding (Prov.5: 15-20, 1 cor.7: 3-5).

 

Questions:       What can we infer concerning marriage from the following scriptures?

i. Matt. 19:5-6………………………………………ii.     Mark 12:25…………………………………

iii.Luke 16:18………………………………….iv.     1 Cor. 7:3………………………………..…………

Conclusion: Marriage was instituted by God to be blissful for His children. The couple must allow Jesus to be the Head of their home and not give Satan any chance in their relationship.

 

   19th Oct. 2011

 

THEME:           Courtship & honeymoon(for singles)

TEXT:               Lk. 14:28-29

The term courtship is said to be the gap between when a brother and a sister agrees to start a relationship. It is a proven fact that courtship and the day of wedding should not be entered into until both parties are matured and should be at least 20 years old. Honeymoon however, is a vacation taken by a couple who have just got married. It is supposed to be a period of blissful harmony, supreme happiness, utter joy and relaxation. The couple must plan for some days off work and other activities to go for their honeymoon. A period of one week to one month should be okay as the case may be. The couple should travel away from where they normally live to enjoy honeymoon.

A          CONDUCT & OBJECTIVES OF COURTSHIP:

A Christian courtship is supposed to be focused on building each other up. It should be a period to encouraging each other on life matters and our work with God. Maintenance of sexual purity must be at the top of your commitment to each other. Be committed to integrity and honesty. Never try to be someone you are not; tell the truth at all times. Those in courtship must do the following:

1. Be dependable: Be there for each other during the good time and the bad even when things get rough.

2. Listen: Give the person your ears and thought (Prov. 17:28).

3. Keep your words: Your words must be kept in order to fulfill your promise (Prov. 11:13).

4. Smile: Turn that frown upside down, the gesture may be small, but it tracks a powerful punch.

5. Abstain from fornication (2 Cor 3: 16-17, l Thes.4:3-7). The period of courtship must be spent in holiness. Do not rush into sex because anyone who does that is destroying his/her future.

6. The period is to lay a proper foundation for a singular focus and for mutual trust in God and in each other (Prov.10:1, Lk.14:28-29).

7. During courtship; would-be couples should be involved in personal and corporate study of the Bible and prayers (Jn.5: 39, 1 Thes.5:17).

8. There should be frank talk on how to handle finances, how to treat parents, who to accommodate, etc.

9. When the courtship is established, be prayerful before reveling sensitive information like past sexual life, ailments, etc.

10. The devil is vigilant; avoid visiting each other at night or behind closed doors (Eph 5:12, Phil 1:27, 1 Thes.5:17).

11. Utilize this period to assist each other to overcome weaknesses and fortify strengths.

12. Courtship could break when unfaithfulness, lack of trust, consistent sin and unbrokeness are prevalent. Broken courtship is better than broken marriage.

DISCUSSION A: What can you infer from the following passages?

a.         Ps 119:9………………………………. b.  Prov. 8:13…………………………………………

c.         I Cor 13:14………… …………………d.   Heb 10:25……………………………………….  

 

B. HONEYMOON: A MUST FOR ALL NEWLY WEDDED COUPLES:  Deut. 24:5

Honeymoon is biblical; it allows the couple to have maximum privacy. During honeymoon, couples begin to discover and explore this whole new era of marriage as they relate more intimately together in one place. It is a period to experience new act (Deut 22:28-29). During honeymoon, say nice words to each other, talk to each other often on any matter of interest, so as to enhance fellowship and friendship. Let there be intimacy, have your quiet time, pray and read Bible individually and collectively, share your quiet time with other, pray together from time to time.

DISCUSSION B: What are the duties of couples from the following references?

a.Prov.5:15…………………………......…b. Prov.5:18-19……………………………………

c. Matt.6: 23……………………………………………..d.Phil.2:3………………………………………

e. 2 Tim.2:22…………………………………………………………….

CONCLUSION: In all things; righteousness should be our key.

 

 

 19th Oct. 2011

 

THEME:        Preventing Marital Separation (for the married)

TEXT:           Gen.2: 18, 24, 1 Cor.7: 10

The devil is aware that when the home is in shambles; the nation is on fire, so he puts into action, machineries by which marriage would collapse. It is unfortunate that marital separation is rampant in our world today. This fact does not exclude Christians except we want to deceive ourselves. God is not happy when couples separate under any circumstance; His will is that marriage should last for life. What are those things couples are to do to avoid/ prevent separation and divorce? These would be x-rayed in this study. Shalom!

  1. Causes of Separation: Mal.2; 13-16

The following are some reasons for separation/divorce:

a.  Selfishness: 1 Cor.13:5. This is the root of all problems. Selfishness is the greatest single enemy of marriage. In the aspect of finances, courtesy, sex, friendship, etc, selfishness wants to take over.

b.  Failure to leave and cleave: Matt.19:4-6, Eph.5: 28-31. Most men are still in the apron of their parents. Some women are fond of going back to their parents to report their husbands.

c.  Unwillingness to forgive: When couples harbor resentments, hatred and offenses of their spouses in their heart; the home is gradually disintegrating (Eph 4:32, Col.3: 13).

d.  Secrecy; When couples are not open to each other, divorce is not far away from them.

e.  Communication problem: when marriage experiences partial or total communication breakdown; problem is looming (Acts 4:20).

f.   Withdrawal: Due to certain reasons known to one partner; he/she may result to self withdrawal rather than speak up prayerfully and with wisdom.

g.  Sexual starvation: Marriage counselors agree that 80% of marital crises are bedroom made. Sex is the engine and power of marriage. When one of the partners is starving the other with sex, divorce or promiscuity is near (1 Cor.7:2-4).

h.  Worldliness: Many homes have gone apart because of evil comparison, impulse buying and extravagancy (1 sam8: 4-7, 2 Kg.17:33).

i.   Childlessness: There are pressures from families when children are yet to be born (Lk.1: 13,   Mk.9: 23).

j.   Carnality: Impatience, strife, animosity, malice, nagging, etc. are spoilers of marriage (Prov.21:9, 19; 25:24).

k.  Money: We are to control money and not allow it to be lord over us. Most women want to take over the headship of the home when the man is financially incapacitated (Lk.16: 10, Phil.4: 19).

l.   Staying long outside the home: this is common with men.

m. Individualism: separating rooms and possessing things differently are not good for Christian couples.

n.  Relaxing outward look: Many couples use their wedding certificate as excuse to look rough, untidy and unpresentable (1 Sam.16: 7).

o.  Courtesy: Most men do not treat their wives as ladies. Respect is reciprocal.

 

  1. Cure for Separation: 1 Cor.13: 4-7

The Word of God has answers to all challenges anyone could think about. The opposite of the causes highlighted above are cures for blissful marriage. In addition, couples should be honest with each other (Eph 4:25). Couples must schedule time just for the two of them alone at regular intervals. This would assist to fuel the relationship. Important decisions should be made together (Amos 3: 3). Couples should tackle problems together and never go to bed angry (Eph 4:26, Tit 1:7). Make it a point of duty to kiss your spouse regularly (Song 1: 2). Women should also initiate sex-it should not only be the man asking for it (Song.3: 1-2). Praying together is crucial-you can’t quarrel with the spouse you just prayed with. All of us must work on making Jesus the Chief Executive officer of our lives and homes.

 

         THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                                 3rd Sept. 2012

 

FOCUS:      THE RIGHT FOUNDATION

TEXT:         Psalm 127:1; Luke 6:48

 

Laying the right foundation is very important in every facet of life - academic, business, marriage etc; that of a home (marriage) cannot be an exemption.  When any foundation is faulty; we must be ready to face the consequences thereof. To build a strong and healthy marriage; words might achieve little success but certain right actions. Every stage of foundation is important, and so requires attention and great efforts. Like a solid foundation; no good marriage happens by chance or accident. Marriage is sweet and lovely when you make the right choice and build your home on the solid foundation – Jesus Christ.  A home without Christ is full of crises.  Every foundation is intended to sustain and carry a worthwhile building. To build an enduring home, good and solid foundations must be laid but in case anyone has a faulty beginning; prayers and certain efforts must be applied to right the wrong.

 

1.             Faulty Foundation: Ps.11: 3, Matt.7: 24-27

There are cracks in several homes because of shady, weak and faulty foundations. A home built on the following foundations are faulty:- unequal yoke (having marriage relationship with unbelievers- 1 Cor.15:33), dating a married person, deceit/lies, engaging during pre-marital days what marriage people do like kissing, sleeping & living together, washing clothes and cooking for each other before marriage, pre-marital sex, acting as in-law, etc.), having children before  contracting marriage, etc.

 

2.        Preparing to build on good foundation:

Certain amount of work has to be done in preparing the land for cultivation; so is marriage. When two people come together in marriage, they convey with their past sins, family dysfunctions, with hurts, hopes and beautiful dreams of what marriage is supposed to be like. Many come together having already been sexually active, which on the long run lead to a variety of issues. Some had been emotionally or physically abused and disturbed. Dailies and magazines are filled with all kinds of marital advice which are carnal, sensual and worldly. We dare not look at friends as our yardstick in marriage but the Bible as our only standard for successful marriages.

 

3.    Laying the right foundation:  All believers in Christ must ensure that we work assiduously on our future with respect to marriage union, children, career, spiritual fulfilment, finances and all good ventures. The hints below could be of help:

a.     Prayer-Build your home on prayer. Show and teach your seeds the process.

b.     Trust– This is crucial in home management.  When trust is broken, suspicion sets in.

c.     Openness and honesty – Do not be secretive especially when you are married. Open your heart to each other.

d.    Ask Questions – Be free to ask questions of what you are not clear about each other.

e.     Attend Programmes together – Marriage/couples’ seminars, revivals and soul lifting retreats.

f.     Govern your tongue– Be careful of what you say to each other because words are like   broken eggs that cannot be retrieved. Respect each other.

g.     Unity-Walk and work together. After marriage, be fond of each other.

 

Singles in relationship should avoid being in solitary and dark locations to avoid temptation.

 

Conclusion: In case your foundation is wrong; seek the face of God for help in rectifying the past (Isa.43: 19, 2 Cor.5: 17). Clear the way for a stronger and healthier marriage. Love each other unconditionally.  Be firm in your decisions but learn to bend when facts are presented to you. Depend only and always on the Master Builder – Jesus Christ. 

 

 

 THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                                       10th Oct. 2012

 

THEME-     FRIENDSHIP (exclusively for singles)

TEXT-                  Prov.1:8-19

 

A home is made up of a family which is the basic unit of any human society. This is also true for the Christian home, only that more moral sanity and good virtues are expected. People at different ages in the home relate with people outside the immediate family. As singles, we have a lot to gainfully derive from friendship as God ordained it (1Sam.18:4; Prov. 18:24). However, the devil subtly plants destiny destroyers in people’s lives today in the guise of friendship and in such a relationship, the journey is always downward unless a divinely orchestrated preemptive measure is taken. Friendship for us is so crucial and deterministic because it has the power to shape our thinking, values, reasoning, orientation, sometimes even our faith and subsequently our lives. It is therefore imperative that we take a more deliberate and conscious effort in choosing whom we keep as core friends and whom to keep at arm’s-length.

 

1.     FRIENDSHIP IN ITS REAL SENSE: 2Cor.6:14

Genuine friendship means caring and concern for each other. The term "friendship" is found only once in the New Testament (Jams. 4:4). It comes from the Greek word philia which is akin to philos which is translated "love." Friends are people that are travelling in the same direction, have similar aspirations and goals and encourage each other in attaining those goals. Friendship in its real sense assist each other to build up team members and do all that is humanly possible to handle talents and gifts with thoughtful advice and direction.

 

2.     CHOOSING OUR FRIENDS: THE KINGDOM APPROACH: 2Tim.2:22; 2Cor.6:14

God is interested in the choice of friends we make and so is the devil. In order to choose friends wisely, there are certain principles we must employ. We must begin by applying the principle stated by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:33 -- "Do not be deceived: 'Evil company corrupts good habits.'" We must then realize it is better to have a few friends, even just one, who will be the right kind of friends than a multitude of the kind who could cause us to lose our souls (Matt. 16:26). We must choose friends who will be good examples to us and others. In that light, choose friends who are:

i.          God fearing: This is the most fundamental factor to consider in choosing friends (1Kgs12:10-11).

ii.          Possession of good morals and virtues (1 Cor. 15:33)

iii.          Wise, Responsible & Diligent: The Bible says ‘He that walks with wise men shall be wise…. We must surround ourselves with serious minded people and not mediocre and indolent (2Thess.3:10).

iv.          Prayerful: Dan2:17-19. At critical moments in our lives, we will need friends to assist us on pressing issues that require urgent divine intervention.

v.          Modest in all things (1 Tim. 2:9)

vi.          Ability to bridle tongues (Jas. 1:26)

vii.          Honesty (Luke 8:15)

viii.          Law-abiding (Rom. 13:1-7)

Discussion: Deduce what these passages teach us about friendship.

1. Prov.18:24………………………………...… (2) 1Sam.18:1&4………………………………         

3.  2 Sam.13:3……………………….………... (4) Mark2:4……………………………………..……

 

3.          IMPACT OF GODLY FRIENDSHIP; Prov.18: 24

The Bible contains examples of godly friendships. Its most classic example is that of the friendship of David and Jonathan. Their love for and confidence in one another is a lesson to us all. The Apostle Paul and Timothy developed a liking for and a confidence. Some of the positive impacts of goodly friendship include:     1. Growth: Spiritually, Academically, Financially, etc.   2. Exposure to other better ways of reasoning, better orientation, better way of living, broadened horizon, etc.

3. Career prospects                                   4. Profitable ventures

 

CONCLUSION: Since man was created a social being (Gen. 2:18), he needs the close association of others. To choose those friends need carefulness, seriousness and spiritual sense if not; we may get into trouble.

 

 

THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                                10th Oct. 2012

 

THEME-     FAMILY ALTAR (exclusively for the married)

TEXT-                  Deut. 6:4-7, Josh. 24: 15

 

Family altar is a very important aspect of every Bible believing home. It is family Bible study and worship time where every home goes before the Lord in worship and prayer daily. It is however a pity that only few families take this seriously and practice this routinely probably for economic reasons.  It is an opportunity to have a family that has a witness for Christ in the community, to have a family that takes the church seriously and enjoys going to all the services. It also makes us to obey the commandments of God as stated in Deuteronomy 6:4-7. The family altar may not guarantee a problem free-existence, but it will guarantee a place of refuge and a place for sharing of family problems. Children will hear their names mentioned with the concern laid at the feet of the heavenly Father, and parents will hear their children pray for them. The family that prays together sticks together.

 

A.             Purpose of the Family Altar

1.         To meet with God as a family (Josh.24: 15).

2.         To set example for others (2 Cor. 3:2).

3.         It is one of the means to teach and lead children to the Lord and be taught their duty to God. (Prov. 24: 21, Eccl. 12:1, Deut. 31: 12, Eph. 2:8).

4.         By it, the bond of love among family members is strengthened

5.         Family Altar will make children to learn their duty to their parents (Exd. 20:12, Eph 6:1-2).

6.         By it Christians grow in grace (2 Pt. 3:18).

7.         Through the family altar, the family will be able to pray about the problems and matters they would not pray about in the presence of outsiders.

 

B.             How to conduct family altar

Every member of the family should be present. Choose a convenient time when all participants would be alert and alive. As we come to the holy hour of family worship; our attitude must be quiet, worshipful, and reverent (I Thes.4:11, Habk. 2:20). You may begin with songs or prayer, then the reading of God’s Word systematically. This may be followed by prayer for the family, missions, neighbour, community, school, lost souls, the sick, the needy, rulers, nations, Church, and any other intercession.

 

C.             Useful tips in building family altar

1.         Start small- You can't run a marathon without training and neither can you engage in long prayers without training yourself in the short ones.

2.         Be sensitive to your children's attention spans. It is good to stretch your family members but don't break them! Do not make prayer to be something your children dread.

3.         Employ participatory fellowship instead of a dominating one man game.

4.         Encourage personal quiet time for all members.

5.         Ask questions about their Christian experiences and about what they read.

Conclusion: A family on its knees, agreeing as touching anything, has power to claim anything within the will of GOD for nations, or individuals, or for the Church. If we would get the families of believers back to the family altar, we would soon see the powers of darkness bound everywhere! We would see the HOLY SPIRIT loosed to bring the showers of revival blessings to the Church and spiritual awakening to the world!  

 

 

 THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                           17th Oct. 2012

 

THEME-    Money Management in the family (exclusively for the married)

TEXTS-     Gen.2:24-25, Isaiah 48:17

 

Money among other things plays a significant role in strengthening or breaking the cord of unity in the family. There is no place where money is more relevant than at home. In fact, the Bible says, money answers all things (Eccl.10: 19). Money is needed in the family to do almost everything.  There is no doubt that it is the desire of God that the Christian family should be blessed financially as the couples commit themselves faithfully to their legitimate source(s) of livelihood (Isa.48:17). To properly address money management in the home, couples should have mutual scriptural principles guiding their finances.

 

1.  Causes of financial crises: When money is lacking or in abundance, troubles are inevitable. The following are some identified causes of financial strait-jacket: secrecy (Gen.2; 25), lies/deceit, solo spirit (walking independently of each other), stinginess, infidelity, irresponsibility, lack of effective communication, lack of proper planning, spirit of debt, unfaithfulness in tithing, extravagancy, indiscipline, etc.

2. Financial Planning: Couples must thoughtfully arrive at a series of steps that will guide the way money will be spent. Most people naturally respond to impulse when it comes to spending the limited cash at hand. Forgetting that human wants are insatiable. Without a good plan on ground, chances are that the few incomes may be wasted on items which later may be discovered useless! However, planning in the home should not be a unilateral decision (i.e. husband or wife alone), the couple must come together and “disagree to agree” on how what they have or are expecting must be used.

 

3. Tips on financial planning:

i.    Be transparent-let the other partner understand your financial status (Gen.2:24-25).

ii.    Analyze your sources of income and expenditures-write them out!(Luk.14:28-30)

iii.    Have a budget-write out how you will spend the money based on your need, not your wants.

iv.    Save-remember the 70-30 rule. Endeavor to save no matter how little.

v.    Pursue a project all the time-get busy always if not, you may not achieve any tangible result.

vi.    Live below your means-if you are capable of using 3 cars use 2 and save the balance.

vii.    Develop an investment mental attitude-this is essential for the rainy season

viii.    Do not spend to impress, never compete with anybody.

ix.    Fight against living apart-couples who live separately spend more money on accommodation, transportation, etc

 

4. Financial Discipline: It’s not just enough to follow the tips on financial planning; it is advisable that families put in place strict measures to guard against whatever may make them fail to follow the tips.

i. Tithe your income-It’s your covenant with God. Don’t spend it!

ii. Know policies that work for you and stick with it (do not be too rigid all the time)

iii. Know your limits-No sentiments! Know who you are financially responsible for and be sure they can fit into your budget without strain.

iv. Prioritize your purchase-Couples must be able to distinguish between: (a) What is urgent and important (b) What is important but not urgent (e.g. eating together outside/holiday, etc.) (c) What is not important and not urgent?

 

DISCUSSION

1. Read Acts 5:1&2. What lessons can you deduce from here with respect to our lesson of today?

2.“Reciprocal aid” (e.g. “she bought my aso-ebi and so I must buy hers”) is one common phenomenon in our society. How can the family handle such when the family budget at the moment does not cover it?

 

CONCLUSION

Truthfulness, faithfulness, prudency, sacrificial attitude, etc. are part of the benefits of proper money management. God is a master manager and he dislikes wastage (Jn.6:12). Since the wisdom for planning and management comes from God, couples are advised to prayerfully seek God’s face (above all other things), before arriving at the decision that could best work for their family.

 

 

 

 

 

 THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                                    17th Oct. 2012

 

THEME-     BEFORE YOU SAY YES (exclusively for singles)

TEXT-                  Gen.24:  58, Amos 3:3

 

Yes is an acceptance to an offer. There are certain factors that every single must consider before accepting to go with anyone in marriage since marriage is a life-long union. Even when courtship starts; individual parties must still consider whether they can live the rest of their lives with each other or call it quit. All concerned must count the cost before embarking on the marriage journey.

 

I.     Consider  these Factors:

a.         Salvation experience-Is the person a child of God? 2 Cor.6: 14-17

b.         God’s leading-am I led by God, lust or infatuation? 1 Corin. 2: 12, 14, 16

c.         Value-am I presenting myself as cheap commodity? What does he/she value?

d.         A Christian cannot overpower a non-Christian’s free will and force him or her to accept Christ.

e.         An unbeliever might fake a conversion simply to gain your acceptance.

f.         New Christians do not automatically have character or spiritual maturity.

g.         A non-Christian cannot meet your need for love or security.

 

II.     Questions requiring urgent answers-

a.      Are you both married to Jesus Christ? If you or your date does not know Jesus as the primary Source of love, then you will try to manipulate love from one another (1 Cor.10:23).

b.     Can you coattail this person? Assuming your eyes is open; can you live permanently with this person? Can you coattail his/her excesses, physique, character, disposition?

c.      Can you resolve conflict together? Some couples pleasantly coast through dating, get married, and then receive a shock when their first round of conflict hits. Conflict is an unavoidable part of life, and it can destroy a couple who hasn’t learned how to properly resolve it.

d.     Do you have the consent of your spiritual leaders and family? It is important to listen to the counsel of your spiritual leaders for guidance and moreso; they are not as emotionally blinded as you are and may identify problem areas that you have overlooked.

e.      Have you sought pre-engagement counselling? Pre-engagement counselling is so helpful when you are interested in marrying someone. It is impossible to uncover by yourself every potential problem area of your relationship. Even wise friends and family can overlook negative warning signs; therefore, seek a trained Christian counsellor to discuss the details of your relationship before you get engaged.

 

III.     Hierarchy needs to consider before saying yes

a.  God is the Head of Christ. b. Jesus is the Head of every man and woman. c. A husband is the head of his wife. D. woman is subject to her husband. .e. A husband is to love his wife sacrificially, just as Christ loves the church. f. Are you willing to obey all the above?

Conclusion: The good news is that as a Christian, you are not alone in your decision-making process. Since you have Jesus Christ dwelling within you; He offers His divine wisdom in every situation so that you don’t have to rely upon your emotions or finite wisdom. Depend on Him and obey His Word.

 

 

 THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                                 24th Oct. 2012

 

THEME-     MARRIAGE KEYS (Part 1exclusively for the married)

TEXT-        Gen 2: 26 -29

                        

Marriage is the earliest divine institution meant for procreation, peaceful co-existence, completeness, companionship, fruitfulness, etc. It was established primarily to involve a man and a woman (monogamy). The devil understands that a successful marriage depends on two things: finding the right person and being the right person but do all that is humanly possible to bring disaffection and trouble into it. Marriage is a strong covenant which God holds with high esteem but has certain keys for it to be effective, enduring, lovely and interesting (Amos 3:3). Anger, unforgiveness, ignorance, vengeance, stinginess, laziness, unfaithfulness, sexual denial, hatred, poor spiritual life, self, wrong foundation, nagging, malice, criticism, competitive spirit, distance, rigidity, etc are  killers of marriage that every home must seriously engage in daily battle.  The workability of marriage depends on its foundation (Ps.11; 3). When the foundation is laid on Christ, it will receive the backing of the Almighty but if otherwise God will be a spectator in such home.

 

1. Successful tips for marriage; Song. 2: 4-6, 8: 6-7

Remove from your life all that your partner hates. Work on the strength that your spouse enjoys. Recognize your faults, own them up, ask for pardon instead of justifying them. Be willing to be the loser in every argument. Be the first to initiate reconciliation regardless of who is wrong. Praise what is good in your spouse. Confess love in word and deed. When disagreement arises, stop and pray. Never raise your voice when argument or issue ensue. Ensure that discussions are concluded on a good note- do not allow crying, anger, excuse of sleep, etc. to halt discussion with your partner.

 

2.        Survival of marriage:

Marriage is supposed to be blissful and can be blissful, if all parties involved put up necessary machineries. For marriage to survive, the following facts would be of help:

a.   Compatibility: The two must be ready to work together and be united in all things.

b.   Brokenness: In home where flesh is on the throne, there will always be strife, disagreement, contention, open fight etc.  Couples should pray to be broken and to grow in grace.

c.    Respect for In-laws: The couples must respect their in-laws irrespective of their age & educational status.

d.   Avoid nagging (Prov. 21:9): Nagging turns the home into hell on earth. If you keep nagging at your partner, he or she will not enjoy staying at home.

e.   Sexual satisfaction (1 Cor. 7:4-5): When a partner is sexually satisfied at home; he or she will not look outside the home. 

From the following; deduce what can help the homes when faced with challenges:

a.      Luk 18:1………………………………….……b. Eph 5:25……………………………..,

c.  Col. 3:16………………………………………….d. Col. 3:18………………………………  

 

Make your spouse your priority. Talk together, gist regularly. Do daily pillow talk before you sleep. Create time for joint shopping. Create time to pray together. Respect each other’s views, etc.

 

Conclusion: Christian marriage involves more than the blending of two people. The Lord Jesus Christ is the third personality. He gives meaning and direction to the relationship if permitted and invited.

 

                                      

 

 THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                                     24th Oct. 2012

 

THEME-     LOVE OR LUST (exclusively for singles)

TEXT-        1 Cor.13: 4

 

Love is a verb and an action word. It is one of the most common experiences of man and one of the most difficult to define. Love is giving, sharing, sacrificing and persevering. Webster defines love as ‘a feeling of strong personal attachment induced by sympathetic understanding or by ties of kinship, ardent affection’. It is the fuel that keeps the engine of two lovers working.

 

Lust on the other hand is any intense or strong physical desire to have sex with some body and is usually without associated feeling of love or affection. It is of the flesh, sensual, carnal and devilish. It is natural for anyone who is not a child of God to be a victim of lust since he/she is not under the control of the Holy Spirit. The Bible admonished us to flee youthful lust and to embrace love instead of lust. Love is about keeping someone around for the future; lust is about enjoying yourself right now.

 

1.   SIGNALS OF LUST: Tit.1: 16, 2 Pt.2;20-22

Lust is a strong desire to gratify sexual urge. It is in a similar camp with infatuation (Matth.5:27-28). Some of the signals for lust include:

a.    Watching phonographic films or reading sexually motivated materials

b.    Continuous thought of sexuality

c.    Applauding physical chemistry alone- Lust is physical attraction and focuses only on the way someone looks and feeling on his/her physical chemistry and body.

d.    Alleging to be in love but not been a friend

e.    Meeting/seeing/holding of hands/pecking/kissing of opposite sex

 

2. KNOWING AND DOING THE WILL OF GOD: Eccl.3; 1-8

Real love is not a mere natural attraction neither is it affection that is self produced through friendly visitation, familiarity and exchange of gifts. Christian singles are to understand God’s will by praying. God reveals Himself through revelation, dream, inner conviction, giving of signs, etc. This will only be applicable when you are matured spiritually, materially, emotionally and otherwise. Your trust in the Lord with all your heart will lead you to the right path (Prov. 3: 5). Consider the following tips:

a.      Don’t be enticed by beauty-Prov.31: 30

b.     Education is good but it should not be the sole criteria

c.      Family background is essential but many so called good families are Satan’s dwelling places

d.     Beware of sweet talkers-they are smooth operators

e.      God cannot give you an unbeliever as partner however nice, gentle and generous (Amos 3: 3, 2 Cor.6: 14-18)

f.        God cannot give you two people at a time or one after the other. Our God can never vary His choice (Rom.11: 29).

g.     When God speaks, He confirms through signs, people and yourself (Gen.24: 48).

h.     God will equally confirm to the other person

i.        Familiarity breeds contempt they say. When you are too close to someone, you may be wrong and think that he/she is the will of God for you. Your Mr. or Miss. Right may be far away (1 Sam.3: 4-5).

j.        A sister may be the one that is led; it is not compulsory that it has to be the man all the time.

 

It is lust to love a person who is prosperous but not born again; good looking but not Christ-like, well-behaved, religious, dutiful, conscientious Church-goer who has not truly repented. It is lust not love to aspire to have a so-called believer who is not a new creature or a convert who is not free from sin or the Pentecostal who speaks in tongue but lacks divine love or a backslider who though a member of the choir but no longer in Christ.

 

 

THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                                           31st Oct. 2012

 

THEME-     MARRIAGE KEYS Part 2 (exclusively for the married)

TEXT-        Gen 2: 26 -29

                        

As marriage is a God-given divinely appointed relationship; it is surprising that it is filled with friction, disappointments, misunderstanding and pain. Some of the factors in this regard include lack of wisdom, communication gap, family issues, in-laws, physical and emotional abuse, lack of good value, infidelity, infertility, etc. Believers are to fight for their homes because the devil is determined that no marriage should succeed. This study is the concluding part of the keys to make marriage to work.

 

MARRIAGE KEYS:

a.    Admiration: both men and women appreciate admiration. Compliment your spouse always especially when he/she gets promoted, passes an exams, marks birthday, etc. Everyone opens up to compliments but all run away from those who criticize them.

b.    Prayer: Spiritual exercises like family altar, fasting, witnessing for Christ, etc. should be done together.

c.     Intimacy: Develop a very close relationship with your spouse. This is possible when commitment, tenderness and attachment to each other are practised regularly.

d.    Go the extra mile: What extra thing can you do for your spouse? Drive her/him even if she/he does not appreciate it.

e.    Dressing: Men look at the physical appearance. Dress well. Most men do not want to be corrected the way they dress.

f.      Giving a helping hand: Women become old due to fatigue and tiredness. Men are to assist in domestic affairs. Forget about culture that inhibits you from helping out.

g.    Communication: this is a very key factor in marriage. Communication breaks down because one talks so much that the other person stops listening. One believes his/her opinions are better. The other says I know my partner would prove me wrong or I am afraid you will correct me. Keep talking to each other. Women naturally tend to talk more than men. Anything that will cause you to stop talking to your spouse will destroy your relationship.

h.  In-laws-Marriages in Africa is not me and my partner alone. However when two people marry, they do not marry each other alone but their families as well. Understanding and love should be displayed to in-laws.

i.       Fight against abuse: Couples should learn to speak kind words to each other including romantic words. Respect is fundamental to a good marriage.

j.       Infidelity: Strive against the spirit of infidelity. Anyone involved in extra marital affair is playing with fire

k.     Birth control: When wives are afraid of love moves of their husbands for fear of pregnancy. Couples must prayerfully and tactically plan and control the number of children they have considering spiritual (1Tim.5: 8), health and economic factors. Preeminent among these factors is the freedom to enjoy sex union as a couple without the fear of an unwanted pregnancy.

l.       Family first before job: Many families collapsed while some are still on the verge of collapse because of certain businesses and jobs that spouses undertake especially men which destroy intimacy. Some of such jobs that we should attempt to avoid include those that involve constant transfer, those that involve regular shift or permanent night sift and those that affects your sexual life.

m.  Sleeping together: modernization has destroyed many homes by making spouses live in separate rooms. What God has joined together, let no room put asunder.

n.    Forgiveness: This remains a very strong pillar of marriage. Couples must develop the habit of forgiving one another irrespective of the offence as Jesus forgave us.

Conclusion: As humans we must key into God’s design for our marriages and fight that it succeeds by all means. We tend to forget easily the good deeds that our spouses did for us as well as our unfaithfulness to them and the good things we failed to do.  Let us turn on new leaf and become the best partner ever through our determination and dependence on God.

 

 

 

THE CHRISTIAN HOME                                                                          31st Oct. 2012

 

THEME-     AFTER SAYING YES (exclusively for singles)

TEXT-        1 Cor.13: 4

 

Marriage is a covenant relationship between two people and each of them must have definite, separate conviction about the relationship before is starts. Before each of the parties say yes; nothing must be assumed since your consent is to commence a life-long irreversible journey. One must not compel or cajole the other person into it. You must not allow anyone to intimidate you into it. None should enter into it with fear of been a left over if you miss this opportunity. External prophecies and counsels from brethren and men of God are important but must be received with caution. These could at best act as confirmation and never the basis for your decision and what God has told you. Be patient enough to allow Him to personally convince you before you enter into any marriage relationship. If you have been cajoled into a relationship, you are on your own. It is better you disengage from such and allow God to lead you. After you are sure of His leading; there are other things you must put in place before the two of you begin to live as spouses-this is the focus of this study.

 

1.    Christian Courtship: Jer. I7:7,10, Rom 12:1-2

Courtship goes far beyond the pleasure of dates, gifts and sweet words. It is serious business because decisions are to be taken during it and such decisions form the basis and foundation of marriage. This is the period between when the day of agreement by the parties concerned to begin a marriage relationship and the day of wedding. It is also a mutual commitment made between a man and a woman, only as a result of knowing God's will for each other, for the purpose of getting to know each other & their background better as well as preparing themselves for marriage. The period of courtship is not supposed to be for redundancy and idleness but an opportunity to learn more about each other in communication, career/business/academics, ministry and family background. During this period, the parties must be willing to relate and fellowship with others in group setting; bearing in mind that they are to set good and positive example as a Christian courting couple, for other singles as a model. They must use the period to understand and accept each other's personal differences and also freely interact with godly married couples and observe their Christian marriage lifestyle and family life. Questions that need clarifications should also be asked from each other, from their spiritual leaders and parents if need be, all aimed at preparing themselves.

 

Christians courting must be careful not to be exclusive in relating only with each other all the time. (Heb 10:24-26, Eph 5:3, Gal 5:16, 19-21). Do not plan to isolate yourselves (during your date) in dark or solitary places where you can be easily tempted neither should you give in to your passions and abuse your bodies for sexual sins; e.g. petting, pre-marital sex. (Gal 5:6, 19-21). Do not plan to have a long courtship (more than 2-3 years) and be influenced by the worldly system in striving to "save-up" for a lavish wedding celebration and well furnished house, if you cannot afford it. (I Tim 6:6-10). Discussion on Ministry, number of children, finances, extended families, in-laws, etc should be trashed and God’s direction sought on these matters.

 

2.    Christian Wedding:

When the parties have scaled through the period of courtship, feasting and celebration are the next. Traditional marriage is important to receive blessings of parents and family consent. Bride price must be paid. Church solemnization is key for every Christian as a public testimony to the Church; to receive prayers from the Lord and brethren (Ps.133; 1-3, Matt.18: 18-20) and to reach out to the unsaved (Eccl.11; 5-6, Eph.5: 15-16). Christians must avoid borrowing for wedding (Prov.22; 7, Heb.13; 5-6). Alcohols, worldly music and all things that would bring reproach to the name of the Lord must be avoided in all our occasions (Isa.5: 11-12, Jam.4: 4, 1 Jn.2; 15-17). Modesty should be our watchword (Heb.13; 5-6). Prayers must be consciously taken along before, during and after the wedding.

 

Conclusion: The day of the Lord is at hand. We must always be at alert for the Lord’s coming. To this end, our lives must be seen glorifying Him in our singlehood and marriage!

 

 

   THE HOME                                                                              2nd Oct. 2013

 

THEME:       THE IDEAL FAMILY

TEXT:          JOSHUA 24:15c

 

For every kind of family, be it spiritual or physical, certain things are common, two of which are relationship and structure. God values relationship and one of such He holds in high esteem is the family. Hence, the family must be structured in a way that God is given His place, and every member recognizes His authority and sovereignty. Eve was given to Adam in the first family so that the purpose of God for mankind might be fulfilled (Gen1:28). Therefore it would be right to say that one of the major intentions of God for any family is that He could find a group of people who will fulfill His mandate on earth. A proper family structure is also a channel through which God fulfils the terms of His covenant from one generation to another (Gen 17:19), but the reverse occurs when the family fails to honour God (1Sam2:30). Like a human body, the family has different members with various roles. All members must be up and doing so that the family remains what God wants it to be.

 

1.                       LEARNING FROM SOME BIBLICAL FAMILIES:

a.                       The Adams are the first family established by God. This family failed because of communication gap between the husband and wife and their inability to recognize the evil root of jealousy in their child who consequently committed the first murder on earth (Gen3:1-6; 6:8).

b.                       The Isaacs (Gen.25:21; 28): The experience of this family teaches us that for a family to be fruitful there must be love between every member. However, favoritism among siblings almost divided this family.

c.                        The Manoahs (Jud.13:5; 14:1-2): Even though this family had good relationship with God, the parents like Eli, were not firm enough in the upbringing of their child to fulfill purpose; Samson also failed by making selfish choices at the detriment of his divine purpose.

d.                       The Elimelechs took cogent steps without divine approval. (Ruth1:1&2): One great lesson that could be learnt from this family is that God must be consulted by the family before critical decisions are taken. The family paid for their folly with the life of the husband and two sons.

e.                       The Ahabs (1Kings21:1-4; 16): A wicked family indeed! When a family fails to recognize God, it becomes the abode of the devil on earth. They failed because they had no fear of God to restrain them from evil.

f.                                       The Jobs (Job1:1; 2:9): Job feared God but he failed to carry his family along. A family that prays together stays together, weather storms together and wins together.

 

2.                       THE IDEAL FAMILY

An ideal family today is expected to be spiritually strong, morally upright, socially balanced, academically sound and financially capable. Such a family must provide an environment for raising godly children who’ll value God, education, diligence, good morals, etc. In such homes, every member must understand authority and orderliness; there must be love, tolerance, sacrifice, acceptability, and proper communication. Members’ strength and weaknesses must be properly managed to complement one another and not a basis for strife or jealousy. Phillip’s family provided an environment for raising spirit-filled children (Acts21:9), the faithful Recabites earned God’s covenant by sheer discipline and fear of God (Jer.35:5-9;18-19), Archippus’ family was peaceful enough to host an assembly of saints (Phile.1:2) and Joshua carried his own family along in the service of God (Josh.24:15c). Their family lives are good examples for us today.

 

CONCLUSION: Families fail when they refuse to recognize godly authority, enforce discipline and follow divine instructions necessary for obtaining God’s blessing and covenant. The ideal family receives from God and flourishes in all things. What kind of a family is yours?

  

               THE HOME                                                                                    9th Oct. 2013

 Theme:             Family Finance

Text:      Eccl. 10:19

About seventy percent of the problems encountered by marriages today is either fuelled or caused by money. As good and powerful money is; mismanagement or misgivings about it could scatter the home. It is therefore pertinent that everyone should adequately look into the condition of his/her finances. This could be achieved by being modest in handling expenditures; being discipline with regards purchases, increasing earning capacity, avoiding debt, learning to distinguish between wants and need, be faithful in tithing and offerings, etc. We should be modest in our wants. etc. In all these the place of prayer and understanding each other’s plight and vision are also important.

 

1.      THE PLACE OF MONEY IN MARRIAGE: Eccl.7: 12

The role money places in the home, society and nation cannot be over emphasized. Money is a wheel of progress with which the family’s progress could be measured in terms of physical achievement. It is an instrument by which family pays for goods and services. According to Eccl.7 vs 12; money is a defense through which the home is protected from starvation, assault, illnesses, illiteracy, poverty, etc. Money assists parents to give good training, sound education and sure future to their wards. To a large extent; money provides a level of comfort and peace. Money is expected to be a tool of cordiality and unity as against discord and rancor that are seen today. For evangelism, church growth, revival, mission works, etc; money is a good steward. When money is available in the home, it gives honour to the couple and high leveled respect. When money is lacking; enforcing discipline becomes a challenge. Money is the true test of the character of an individual. Covetousness, stinginess, theft, prudence, ingenuity, etc are discovered when money is absent or present.

 

2.     EFFECTIVE FAMILY FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT- Lk. 14: 28

There is no cause for alarm in the home when effective financial management keys are employed. Some of these tools include;

a.              Family vision: What does your family intend to achieve? What are your standards as per education, construction, extended family, income generation, borrowing, partying, etc.?

b.             Financial prudence: Prov.14: 15. You must learn how to spend wisely, reasonably, economically, godly and carefully. Avoid extravagancy, ungodly comparison, IOU, impulse purchases, spending to impress, living for competition, etc.

c.              Family budget: all families must budget their spending. How much do you earn? What expenditures are unavoidable? Which expenses can be deferred?

d.             Family project: the family should be busy every time and be pursuing something.

e.              Saving habit: Raining season does not remain permanent. Make savings a habit.

f.                      Family Investment: Do not just save money, put it into use. Develop investment attitude.

g.              Disciplining life: Avoid excesses. Do not move close to alcohol, immorality, pleasure spending, etc.

h.             Godly association: avoid friends that smoke, womanize, spends lavishly. Make friends with the wise.

i.               Live below your means: Do not spend up to your earning. Make your expenses lower than your income.

j.                       Participatory management: Involve your spouse in financial matters. When children are grown up; carry them along. Do not be involved in any deal without the involvement of your partner.

k.              Use the bank: avoid keeping money with friends or in the house. Use the Bank. Never be controlled by the ATM machine. Control your appetite.

 

Conclusion: The Lord wishes that we control money ultimately. Trust in the Lord for breakthrough. Trust your partner and be transparent to each other. Contentment is a virtue that we all should pray for. May we enjoy financial success in our homes in Jesus name!

 

 

 

  THE HOME                                                                                                     16th Oct. 2013

 

Theme:    Dealing with home killers (Exclusively for the Married)

Text:       Prov.14:1

 

Marriage is the first institution that God commenced because He knew that “it is not good for man to be alone.” It is the coming together of a man and a woman with a view to building a godly home. God has purpose for everything He created. His purposes are made known to us in His Word. Some of the purposes of God for marriage as revealed to us in His Word are: provision of a helpmate (Gen.2:18), companionship (Gen.2:18), procreation (Gen.1:28), sexual purity (I Cor.7:2), etc. There are home killers that could turn marriage to something else if permitted to do so. All those who desire marriage success should identify killers of the home and fight them tooth and nail.

 Some of the home killers and the way to deal with them include:

a.     Absence of God in the home: It is not difficult to identify families where God is not on the throne. We see fighting and bickering (argument on unimportant things), drunkenness, accusations, carnality, wickedness, nagging, etc. The way out of this is to give your life to God. Embrace Him and be acquitted with His Word. Never allow culture and tradition to rule your life.

 

b.     Absence of Love: Love is the foundation of any home. Some say love is blind and love could be at first sight. These accessions are wrong. Imbibe the love of God into your life and ask Him to grant you grace to show sacrificial love to your spouse (Eph.5:25).

 

c.     Living in separate apartment: Many couples live apart due to their occupation. This however gives room for infidelity and exposes the home to spiritual, physical, and emotional separation which may ultimately end in divorce. Living in separate room is not also good enough. Let us do all that is humanly possible to live together and sleep on same bed. It may reduce the family income but this pays at the end (Gen.2:24).

 

d.     Ineffective communication: Many couples live like cat and mouse though under the same roof. They do not speak with each other and they engage in several assumptions. Begin to talk longer than you are doing before. Plan together. Give each other telephone calls during the day. Talk about spiritual matters, children affairs, plans for the future, finances, projects, properties, extended family, etc.  

 

e.     Using sex as a weapon of punishment: Many employed sex to punish their spouses without knowing that they are opening door for hatred, anger, conflict, infidelity, stinginess, loneliness, etc. Sex must be used as instrument of fellowship, companion, closeness, and fusion (Prov.5:18-20, I Cor.7:2-5). Couples must understand sexual needs of each other and satisfy it. Sex should never be used for punitive purpose. However, self-control must be applied and adequate understanding of each other’s sexual needs. 

 

f.     Financial instability: This problem always introduced frustration, insecurity, distrust, suffering, uncompleted project and discouragement. All couples must be gainfully employed or be engaged in business enterprise (Gen.30:30, Eph.4:28, 2 Thesa.3:10-11). It does not matter how small the revenue one of the partners is bringing. Never despise the small income.

 

g.     Insecurity: Due to rumour, suspicion, past failed relationships, problematic childhood experiences, etc. many partners feel insecure in the marriage relationship. These may however result in jealousy, unnecessary nagging, lack of trust, source of sorrow, shame, etc. To deal with it; deal with the over-hangings of your heart, discuss with each other and meditate on the Word of God.

 

h.    In-laws: In this part of the world; in-laws are important and issues relating to them should not be treated with levity. We should remember that we ourselves are in-laws to other people. Therefore, in-laws should be treated with love, respect and dignity to avoid conflicts and unnecessary problems.

 

Conclusion: All good marriages are under the surveillance of the enemy. Let us be vigilant and continue to work on how to guard against all destroyers of the home and see how to improve on our marriages.  

 

  THE HOME                                                                          16th Oct. 2013

 

Theme: Dynamism of singlehood (Exclusively for the Singles)

Text:    Prov.3:5-7


Singlehood is a pleasant period of one’s life that helps to lay solid foundation for what we become later in life. It therefore becomes imperative that we handle our singlehood with care, love and prayer. One major preparation singles make is on the choice of who to marry but it is important to ask about the age when one is ripe enough for any marital relationship. Maturity in some areas is what will determine whether one is ripe or not. Spiritual, moral, physical, emotional, metal, social and financial maturity cannot be compromised if any single intends to make a success of marriage. There are other important things that must be put into consideration; these form the bulk of this study!

 

1.   Factors singles must consider: Heb.13; 4

a.   God must take the first and prime place in our lives-Matt.6: 33

b.   We must be actively involved in kingdom business at all times-Jn.9: 4

c.    All must understand how God speaks to him/her. God’s voice will never contradict His written Word (Ps.119: 89). His voice will always produce inward peace (Ps. 23:2 ,85;8);

d.   Your marriage partner may not come from your denomination or tribe;

e.   Sex before wedding is sinful. Anyone who truly loves you will not make advances of sex to you until wedding night. True love is not in haste (1 Cor.13:4,7);

f.       Singles should flee from the temptation of romance, kissing and caressing as these stimulate sex;

g.    Men desire and pray to marry virgins, even play boys disdain prostitutes for wives;

h.   Men respect ladies who refuse to give in to sex outside marriage;

i.       Contentment is a virtue that must be embraced. Never be enticed by money (1 Tim.6: 6);

j.      When your Pastor, parents, Christian friends, etc. are against your relationship; break it.

 

2.   Hurdles to pleasant singlehood:Eccl.4: 9-12

Many married couples of today lament and groan due to the way their singlehood was used. Some of the hurdles that must be handled properly so that we enjoy our singlehood include:

a.  Inadequate preparation-He that fails to plan plans to fail (Lk.14; 28);

b.  Wrong choice of marriage partner;

c.  Marrying an unbeliever, a church-goer or a religious person who never met Christ;

d.  Giving the enemy a space;

e.  Making one’s decision then praying for divine confirmation (Ezek.14: 1-11, 2 Thes.2: 9-12);

f.   Misinterpreting Scripture: Fleece method and balloting over two or more persons (Judg.6: 16,36-40, Act.1:14)

g.  Ignorance of scriptural proceedings

h.  Wearing transparent clothes, mini-skirts and clothes that expose the body on the excuse of looking good. Men see ladies who expose their nakedness as way-world and sex objects;

i.   Money temptation (1 Tim.6: 10);

j.   Beauty, intellectualism and talents deceive (Prov.31; 30);

k.  Intimate relationship with unbelieving friends, colleagues and acquaintances should be broken.

 

Conclusion: What innumerable joy will a Christian single have if he/she defects the devil in the aspect of infidelity? What will your story be as a married fellow if you soiled your hands during your singlehood? It is the will of God that you stand tall-above reproach and rebuke. The ball is in your court!

 

 

 

 

 THE HOME                                                                                                     23rd Oct. 2013

 

Theme:           Sex in Marriage (Exclusively for the married)

Text:    Gen. 1:28, I Cor. 7:2-3


Sex is intercourse between legally married couples. It’s not for singles or the engaged but for people who had left the altar and not for people who are preparing to go to the marriage altar. Sex was given to us by God as a gift, to be accepted, received and celebrated. It can be a catalyst for the family progress, lead to joy with love-filled marriage and thereby make couples to live happily. It is not the plan of God to use sex against us, but this has been abused nowadays. Unfortunately, singles who are banned from it are engaging themselves in it. What was created to be a good tool in the hands of God and an instrument of multiplication has turned out to be an instrument of destruction in the hands of devil, using it as a two-edged sword, encouraging the singles to have more of it to hold them in perpetual bondage while at the same the discouraging couples from having it with their lawful mates to destroy their homes.

 

1.   Bible Stand on Sex: Gen. 4:1

The stand of the Bible is very clear on sex. Couples should know the following:

I.               God who instituted marriage was the founder of sex (Gen. 1:28).

II.   Satisfying each other at all times and not denying each other except for fasting and prayer      (I Cor. 7:3, 5).

III.   The body of the wife belongs to the husband, and the body of the husband belongs to wife      (I Cor. 7:4).

IV.               Have sex with your spouse only (Prov. 5:15, 19).

V.               It is better to marry and have sex with one’s partner than to burn with lust (I Cor. 7:1-2, 9).

VI.               Sex with another person’s spouse is sinful and can destroy one’s life and destiny (Prov. 7:24-27).

VII.               Sex is likened to drinking water (Prov. 5:15).

VIII.               Women can initiate sex with their husbands as against African mentality (SOS. 3:1-2).

IX.       Sex should not be in our rooms and on our beds alone, the scriptures encourage change of venue (SOS. 7:11-12).

X.       Your spouse is the best (SOS. 5:10).

XI.          Wives should not be ashamed to allow their husbands look at their nakedness (Gen. 2:24-25).

XII.               Sex can take place anywhere in privacy: SOS. 7:12.

 

2.    Purpose and etiquette of sex:

Every couple should understand the reason God created sex in marriage: Sex in marriage is for purity and not to make you unholy, dirty or unrighteous. It is not to destroy you, but to build you. It is not to separate couple but to bind them together. It is for pleasure, expression of love to one’s spouse, communion, covenant, recreation, preservation of marriage, a way of staying close as a couple, to build unity and oneness, procreation, a way of showing and displaying monopoly of your spouse. Sex is the duty of the couple and is to be used to manage crisis, tension management and to protect self. Preparations must be made to enjoy sex. Mating can take place when love, care, togetherness, acceptance of each other, attention, communication, affection, sharing, kindness, humour, etc. are actively involved. Couples should ensure quarrels are settled quickly. Romance must be cultivated and the place of prayer given high prominence.

 

Question: What lessons can we deduce on sex from the following verses?

i.     Lev. 18:6……………………….…………..…….ii. Prov. 5:i6-17 …………………………………….

iii. 1 Cor. 7:18……………….……………….……..… iv Heb. 13: 4…………………………………..

 

Conclusion: God gave us sex as a gift to be used correctly, not misused, over used or abused. 

 

 

       THE HOME                                                                                             23rd Oct. 2013

 

Theme:             Gems for Singles (Exclusively for the Singles)

Text:                  Heb. 13:4

 

Singles have a number of gems they must imbibe if they intend to achieve marital success. The foundation laid during singlehood is of great necessity to build a virile home. However, solid foundation alone is not enough but what you build on it is also part of the factors that determine success.

 

1.          Knowing and doing the will of God:

Carnality is what has taken hold of many singles today in the aspect of choice of marriage partner. Many Christians become agitated and impatient when it comes to seeking for the bride or groom of their lives. They lose heaven’s blessings to get earthly profit. Do not be hasty. Wait on the Lord! (Ps.37: 7, Eccl.7: 8).You need to also know that the saints and sinners are not permitted to marry each other. The Bible also forbids marriage with the divorced whose former spouse is still alive (Mk.10: 11-12, Lk.16: 18, 1 Cor.7: 39, 2 Cor.6: 14-18).Do away with agitation, fear, anxiety, wandering thoughts and prayerlessness. Develop confidence in God (Ps.37: 23, Rom.8: 14, Phil.1; 3-6). Be careful that you are not praying in contrast to the Bible (Num.22: 12-22). Do not depend on prophecies or revelations from people as this may be misleading (1 Kg.13: 11-18, 24, 22: 5-24, 34-37, 1 Chron. 17: 1-4). Pray sincerely and allow him to speak and direct you (Prov.3: 5-7). Allow your Pastor, parents and brethren to give their blessings. When you are sure of God’s leading; do not delay any longer. Be ready to submit to His will and be obedient to Him (Gen.24: 50-56, 31: 24-31, Deut.5: 29, Matt.6: 10, 1 Pt.5:5-6).

 

2.         Pursuing success in relationships:

There are a number of questions that singles must ask their purported friends to test the sincerity of their relationship. What does he/she likes in you? (Is it your colour, stature, dressing, educational qualifications, parental achievements, job, etc.). How soon does he/she want sex? How much does he/she love God? What is his/her commitment in Church? How long has he/she been involved in spiritual work? Is he/she proud of you? How happy is he/she to introduce you to friends, family members, Pastors, colleagues, etc.? Is he/she willing to tell of his/her past? You must be careful never to go into any relationship to pity the person. This may later work against you as the partner you pitied may not love you. Our relationship must be pure. Sex is not permitted until after the wedding day. If traditional wedding will still be preceded by Church wedding, sex should wait till then. Make a vow with your partner to obey God. Watch out for satanic deception. Do not permit marriage issue to cause disaffection with your Pastor, church and parents. Give God the opportunity to rule your affairs. Remember your younger ones and children will ask questions on how you handled the situation in your own time.

 

Conclusion: Take a decision to glorify God in all endeavours of yours.

 

 

 THE HOME                                                                                   30th Oct. 2013

 

THEME:           The place of prayer in the home

TEXT:                Isaiah 56: 7

 

Many of us suffer lack are defeated and are molested by the devil because we have not discovered the potency of prayer Although God is all powerful and all knowing, He has deposited so much in our prayer. Prayer is the act of talking to God.  It is the secret of holiness. It is disheartening to note however that we say many things about prayer but do not pray. Even when we pray, we do not take time to listen to God before we rush out for our daily activities. Many homes are in shamble because the altar of prayer is dry. If we resuscitate our prayer life and make prayer a major project in our homes; our lives, careers, businesses, Ministry, nation, Church,  etc. will experience uncommon turn-around. We must however understand that we need to overcome our guilt and shame. Overcoming the inertia of pride and the accompanying attitude of self-sufficiency is one major factor that must also be attended to. Let us begin to pray!

 

1.       Prayer Power: Psalm 107:28-30

Prayer works. The power of prayer cannot be overemphasized. James 5:16-18 declares, "…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Jesus taught, "…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20). 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us, "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal...... The Bible urges us, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests...." (Ephesians 6:18). The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying; rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us...." God answers prayers that are in agreement with His will. The power of prayer has overcome enemies (Psalm 6:9-10), conquered death (2 Kings 4:3-36), brought healing (James 5:14-15), and defeated demons (Mark 9:29). God, through prayer, opens eyes, changes hearts, heals wounds, and grants wisdom (James 1:5).

 

Families must identify the best time to be at prayer altar. Concentration from all participants is key to success. Family vigils should be encouraged at least twice a year. Children must also be encouraged to fast because the potency of prayer coupled with fasting cannot be over-emphasized.

 

2.      Watch in Prayer In The Home:           2 Tim 4:1-5

There must be family altar in our homes. We must make prayer practicable and a habit. As Christians, we should make our homes house of prayer where yokes break, sicknesses vanish and impossibility becoming possibilities (Job 22; 21-28, 2 kings 6: 18). We should be able to watch in prayer for our children in all aspects of their endeavours. Our prayers  should capture all that pertain our spouse’ affairs. We should ensure that our prayers cover all aspects of our well being. In addition; effort must be put in place to prayerfully watch over our children and wards to ensure they are also prayerful. Passion behind prayer makes prayer effective. Though God’s answers are not always yes, but are always in our best interest. When our desires line up with His will, we will come to understand that in time. When we pray passionately and purposefully, according to God's will, God responds powerfully!

 

Conclusion: Prayer is the key. Why are you waiting till you are in Church programme or vigil before you battle in prayer? Let u speak less on prayer but begin to pray more so that our Lord conquered with prayer.