VALENTINE LESSONS

 

Valentine Lessons

THE LESSONS OF ST.VALENTINE

As we celebrate ST, Valentine’s Day, popular called the “Day of love”, it will be important to draw some lessons from the act of love exhibited by St. Valentine, which has attracted many to the story concerning him. There is no better time to share this story and learn some lessons than now. I have seen people express love to one another only to turn and hurt the same people they say they love. Love is not just in words, but in deeds, and not just in deeds, but good and excellent deeds. Someone said “you can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving”.

Statistics abound today all over the world that shows that the divorce rate is higher than it was some years ago. The same goes for domestic violence, with greater percentage of victims being women and children.

Our perfect example is our Lord Jesus Christ who laid down His life for the sake of mankind. St Valentine also drawing from the grace of Lord Jesus Christ did the same for the love of others. How great and lasting our marriages/homes would have been today all over the world if we imbibe the same spirit of love exhibited by our Lord Jesus Christ, as practiced by St. Valentine.

From the love story of St. Valentine, I have drawn three lessons, which I think is very useful today in our marriages/homes. And you can add your own if you so desire, because the list is not exhaustive.

1. Love is sacrificial
St Valentine sacrificed his freedom and life for others. This is a man in spite of the dangers to his life still went ahead to conduct Christian marriages for young people. In our marriages/home we should strive to live a life of sacrifice. Remember our perfect example is in Christ who said in John 15 vs 12-13 that;

“This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”

2. Love is selfless.
The second lesson from the story of St. Valentine is that he was selfless in his service to mankind. He did all he did not for his own benefit, but for the benefit of others. How glorious it will be if we can dedicate ourselves to serve the interest of our spouses and children in Marriages/homes. Some people are only concerned about “me”, “myself” and “I”. This has led to so much tension in our homes today. Remember the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 20 vs. 26

“And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant”

As a Christian, I am called to serve, and my home is a perfect “Service Station”. You too can serve in your home today.

3. Love defies all odds.
St, Valentine defied all odds to practice his faith, and to do what he believed was right. There are many who have left their marriages/homes simply because of little challenges. Some are at the verge of divorce right now because of one challenge or the other. It is very easy for people to give up these days under the slightest discomfort. Please remember that tough times don’t last, but tough people do

As we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day today, let us celebrate in REAL LOVE

You are complete and settled already

Settled

You are complete and settled already

How many times do you hear people say (especially our sisters) that I want to get married and settle down. Some people feel that until they are married, they are not complete or settled. I have good news for you. The moment you give your life to Christ you are settled and complete. The fall of man at the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3v1-19) made man to be incomplete; because man is made of spirit, soul and body; so at the fall, the spirit man died, but Christ has redeemed us from that curse and has made us complete.(Ephesians 1 v 7)

Every single must have the mentality that he/she is settled and complete in Christ. It is not marriage that makes you complete. Remember that the bible says you are fearfully and wonderfully made, (Psalm 139v14); so go out there and give your life the best shot because you are created for success. Don’t ever allow anyone to dampen your enthusiasm for life simply because you are not married yet

You are settled, complete and have a glorious destiny in Christ. Remember nobody can oppress you without your permission, so don’t allow anyone (including the devil) the permission to do so. You are created for the top. Remain ever blessed

Prepare for Marriage, and not just Entertainment

Wedding

PREPARE FOR MARRIAGE, and not just entertainment.

I have observed with keen interest, that we put in so much energy and resources into our wedding ceremonies these days, with greater part of it going into hosting of guests, popularly called “reception” in my part of the world. Some people go to the extent of taking a loan in order to be able to entertain guests, there by having a huge debt to pay back after the wedding. This has the tendency to create tension in the home of the newly married. No believer who has the wisdom of God should allow this kind of scenario to play out in his/her home.

In as much as it is good to entertain your guests, if you have the means, I believe that it is much better to channel more of your resources and energy in preparation for the marriage itself.

Marriage for believer is not something you rush in and rush out. It is a life time covenant for any believer that knows what he/she is doing. You have to invest time and resources to make sure it works. People get married these days without “proper ground work” done, for instance;

How many people read books on marriage before going into marriage?
• How many search the scriptures to see God’s plan and purpose for marriages?
• How many seek the face of God in fasting and prayer for their intended marriage?
• How many know to a reasonable level their prospective spouse?
• How many have done proper background check on their prospective spouse?

Yet these days, we are more concerned about:

What dress/suit to wear
• The hall/venue to be used for reception
• What kind of food and drinks to serve the invited guests.

We have a lot of funny stuff these days. Some marriages crashed even before they started. I heard a story of a couple that started quarreling right from the wedding reception hall. Others can’t say exactly their spouse’s source of income.

Let us be wise. Remember proverbs 24 vs 3

“Through Wisdom is an house builded, and by understanding it is established

In a world of outsourcing; don’t outsource the children.

 

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In a world of outsourcing; don’t outsource the children.

Today we live in a fast moving world, almost everything is outsourced and “made easy”. Some eateries have the “drive through” where you can easily get your orders as you drive through. Supermarkets have “ready made” meals including soups you can buy and take home and it will appear as a homemade meal. We hardly have time to cook proper meals at home these days

Companies in one continent outsourcing their customer care business to other companies in another continent. For instance, you can call a company in Europe and someone in India will answer.

We can outsource almost everything, but there’s one aspect of our lives that we must not outsource, and that is our children. We can’t be too busy to have time to take care of our children. No matter the work schedule, we must make it a point of duty to have time to communicate with our children. In our society today, we have seen situations where parents have left the care of children entirely in the hands of domestic staff, Governments and schools. This is a major problem all over the world today. This has led to children being instruments in the hands of terrible groups, like terrorists and drugs addicts. The foundational and fundamental care for children must come from the parents. Other groups, like domestic staff, schools e.tc., only have complimentary roles to play. These children are precious gift from God and we must not allow anyone to tamper with their destinies.

Parents must understand that the children are their responsibility, and so must bring up their children in manner that God wants us to do it. I can hear someone say I am very busy. No parent should ever use work as excuse not to care for the children. As parents, you must create time around your schedules to look after your children and see how they are faring in every aspect of their lives including school work, spiritual growth e.t.c.. You can’t be too busy for your children. I will like to say that we have time for anything of value to us. Time is a function of priorities. We will always have time for the things we value most. Remember Proverbs 22 vs 6
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”
Remain ever blessed.

Your Past Can’t Determine Your Future

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YOUR PAST CAN’T DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE.

I always feel aggrieved whenever I hear someone give excuse for bad behaviour by simply saying I had a bad upbringing/past. The truth of the matter is that your bad past can’t determine your future if you don’t allow it. As believers we have the capacity by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to decide what our future will look like. If you had a bad past it can be a motivation for your future or a drawback, it all depends on you.

Every adult is absolutely responsible for the outcome of his/her life. Personally, I was about 2 years old when my dad left and got separated from my mum, so as a child I didn’t really have a father at home to look up to. My mum worked very hard to make sure that we had food on the table; waking up very early in the morning and coming back late at night. I saw how my mum suffered without much help, so I made up my mind that my own marriage was going to be different irrespective of the difficulty faced as a child. I never allowed anything to dampen my enthusiasm for a healthy and prosperous marriage. I got so intoxicated that years before I got married, I used to share with my colleagues at the work that I was going to have a glorious marriage. So while sharing my dream with my colleagues one day, one of them who was married looked at me and said “you don’t know what you are talking about; wait till you get married first”, I smiled and told him I know what I am talking about. By the grace of God, I can boldly say today that I knew what I was talking about. So many people can’t see it that is why they are not experiencing it. No wonder my father in the Lord said that “you can’t participate in a future you can’t see”.

Please don’t allow your past to determine your future; move forward. The following scriptures will be of immense help here;

• 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold all things are become new.

• Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before

• Genesis 13:15 “And the Lord said unto Abram after that Lot was separated from him, lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give and to thy seed for ever

Keys to Peaceful Marriage/Home Vol. 3

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This is the conclusion .if you have not read volumes 1 and 2, please check them.

13. Beware of third parties.

Every healthy marriage without much stress should be able to resolve differences within it. When we got married, I told my wife that nobody comes here to settle any case, not even your parents, because I didn’t envisage any issues. It has been like that for 9 years now. We have seen where third parties come into marriages and instead of resolving conflict, escalate the conflict. You must apply wisdom in what people say concerning your marriage/spouse. Having said that, I must advise that if you are in abusive relationship, please seek urgent help.

14. Watch the company you keep.

It is important to choose your close friend wisely. If you have friends who are not adding any value to your life, please drop them immediately. Many couples have got their homes turned upside down because of what their friend told them. Someone told me that 20 good friends can’t move for 20 good years. If you think backwards, not everyone who was your friend 20 years ago is still your friend today. Many have moved on. You can’t be chatting at the airport with someone who is not going to the same destination with; you will miss your flight. There is no need keeping a “friend” who is doing more harm than good to your marriage. Remember Proverbs 13v20.

15. Don’t compare your marriage/spouse to others.

If you don’t appreciate your spouse, you are contributing to his/her low self-esteem. One of the things that contribute to this is simple when spouses compare their marriage or partners to others. We have in the world today about 7 billion people, with 7 billion faces and 7 billion finger prints. You can’t have two persons that are exactly the same. The same way you can’t have two marriages that are exactly the same. Even the so called “identical” twins are not really the same, because at least their parents can identify them and call them different names. Please appreciate what you have got and dedicate yourself to it. We are created in God’s image, (Genesis 1v26)

16. Wisdom is the principal thing.

A man had misunderstanding with the wife in the night and when they both woke up in the morning, the wife saw him and just walked passed without the usual pleasantries, so instead of picking quarrel with wife, the man looked at himself, called his name and said since nobody wants to greet me, I greet myself, and immediately both of them busted into uncontrollable laughter that settled everything. That is wisdom at its best. Please don’t pick quarrel with your spouse for every little thing.
Wisdom is the principal thing, (Proverbs 4v7)

17.In-laws.

Depending on the part of the world you live in, this might not pose a serious issue to you, but if you live in my part of the world this is a major issue in many homes. There must be balance in the way you handle your in-laws knowing fully well the kind of society we live in. Some in-laws are a blessing indeed, they give the couples the requires space, care and love, but unfortunately, other are not. Some are really a torn in the flesh of the new couple. In my part of the world, the relationship most especially between mother-in-law and the daughter –in-law in particular and other in-laws in general has always been a cause of concern to many marriages/homes. I will advise the man to take personal responsibility here. As a man you must set boundaries. You must make your family understand that your wife is now part of the family, and your wife must also understand that the two families are now one. The key word is to treat others the way you will like to be treated, (Matthew 7v12). Your family must respect your wife and in turn your wife must accept your family and treat everyone as hers. Please remember that if you don’t respect your spouse, you don’t expect others to do so. The respect starts with you.

18.Be the fan of your spouse:

One of the things that bring trouble at home is that your wife/husband is not happy with your profession. Please if you are going into any project or work discuss it first with wife/husband. If possible take him/her along once in a while so that he/she can appreciate what you do and be your fan/supporter; that’s the only way you can really have peace at home. Your spouse should be able to lessen the burden of your work, rather than adding to it.

19. Be nice.

If you want peace and bliss in your home be nice to your spouse. Remember the golden rule Jesus gave in Matthew 7v12. Do you find it difficult to say these words even when you know you are supposed to say them, namely?

I am sorry
Thank you
I take responsibility for that
It’s my fault
Please forgive me for my mistake
I should have done better
If you have difficulty saying these words, when you know that you are supposed to do that, then you have a lot of work to do, but you can start today.

20. Separate normal life challenges from marital challenges.

It’s not everything challenge that is a marital challenge. I have seen people say a lot of things about marriage simply because they are married. Take for instance, you lost your job because of economic downturn or you were not adding value to the company. Please don’t call this a marriage challenge simply because you are married. The truth of the matter is that you could have still lost your job even if you were single, so it is not marital challenge. It is very important for us to put the blame where it is, instead of putting unnecessary pressure on our marriages. If you lost your job because you were not adding value to the company, you should look back at yourself and see how you can improve your skills and go for another job.

Keys to Peaceful Marriage/Home Vol. 2

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This is a continuation. Please check out for Vol.1, if you have not done so.

7. Have a forgiven heart

The bible says that we should forgive one another, (Matthew 6v14-15). So please be willing to forgive your spouse and move on. Don’t keep a catalogue of offences that your spouse has done. Pastor Bimbo Odukoya said that marriage is “two forgivers living together”. This is the bedrock of a peaceful and loving home. There is no way you can have a peaceful home, if you don’t forgive each another. I have seen people who keep a catalogue of what their spouse has done to them which often lead to tension at home. Some people can give you the decade, year, month, week, day ,time and place the offence took place, “come on”, you don’t need all that stuff.

8. Be honest/open to your spouse.

Someone said that “you need a million lies to cover one lie”. Also, “you don’t have to remember what you said last time only if you tell the truth”. A man had some money hidden in his bedroom, and when the wife asked for money to prepare lunch he swore that he never had any money. So when he left for work, the wife came across some money, and since the husband had told her that he had no money, she felt that the money was hers. So she took the money and prepared the meal. When the man came back, she gave him food to eat and thereafter, the man was panting all over the house looking for the money. The wife asked him, are you looking for something? He replied no, because he couldn’t face the wife, having lied to her. After a while, it was clear to him that the money was actually missing, and so he had to open up to the wife, but it was too late because the money was gone. Please read Colossians 3 v 9-10.

9. Try to meet the needs of your spouse

Every wise spouse should know that you are created to serve the interest of others including your spouse. Jesus gave the perfect example when he said that the greatest in the kingdom shall be the servant, (Matthew 23v11). Look out for the needs of your spouse and work hard to meet them as much as possible. The following guide will be helpful, and you can add yours. I got this from a church service I attended some months ago.
Wife’s need;
                   • She needs affection
                   • Open and honest communication
                   • Accountability
                    • Deeper friendship
                    • Faithfulness

               Husband’s need:
                   • Sexual affection
                   • Support and encouragement
                   • Remain physical attractive
                   • Domestic security
                    • A playmate.

10. Team is better.

You must have the mentality of a team. Once you see your spouse as a team member, where you win or lose together, then you do whatever it takes to succeed, (Amos 3v3). You must understand that your wife/husband’s peace is depended on your own peace as well. If your husband/wife is not at peace, you can’t be at peace.

11.Think before you talk

Someone said that God gave us two ears and one mouth, so that we can listen more and talk less. Remember that once a word is said you can’t take it back. Your word is irrecoverable. Don’t verbally abuse your spouse. In my undergraduate days I heard a story of man who told the wife in the “heat of the moment” that she got her professorship by sleeping around. Both of them were lecturers in the University. The woman cried and asked for divorce. The man tried to convince her that it was a mistake, but the deed has been done. The couple finally divorced. Please watch your tongue. The bible says that the power of life and death are in the tongue, (Proverbs 18v21). Also take a look at Proverbs 21 vs 23, which says that;

“Whosoever keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from trouble”

So please check what you say to your wife/husband if it is worth saying at all. Will your words build or destroy?

12. Avoid debt:

Many marriages have been broken and shattered because of indebtedness. As much as possible live within you income. This is one of the things that bring tension and conflicts in homes. It has also led to some people committing suicide. Live a simple life. Remember Proverbs 22 v 7.