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11Apr
Marriage: Headship & Submission
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I frequently have questions about relationships thrown my way. I thought I’d share this exchange with you.

Q

I’m engaged to marry and I currently work with my fiancé in our youth ministry, we are both Youth Leaders. I wanted to get your thoughts on how the dynamic of our relationship (regarding headship and submission) plays out in our responsibilities at church, can it be separate? Or should/do the roles also translate in other areas we work together (e.g. if we start a business etc..)

For example, if we have differing opinions about how to do things in the youth ministry (not necessarily to do with right or wrong) and we have discussed things and there needs to be a judgement call.

I have had impression in my heart for a while that we need to address/work out the issue of our roles concerning headship and submission according to God’s word so that we can have a fulfilled relationship.

I appreciate your advice!

A

The simple answer is that the principles of headship & submission should not be a church thing. It’s for every part of your lives together.

But your understanding of what the bible says about headship and submission will determine if you experience God’s best in this area of your relationship.

The best example for us in these matters is Jesus who is the husband of the church, and us, His bride. Take your cue from Him. So here’s the question you need to answer: how did/does Jesus treat us when we have ideas that are different to ours? It’s His goodness to us that led us to change our minds. Romans 2:4.

Your role as a husband and head is biblical and true, but it is not put into effect automatically, it is your willingness to be kind to her and prefer her that eventually leads to the submission you will get from her. Jesus, our husband never forced us or preached us into submission. He never demanded submission from us…He submitted his life first to us, it is this kindness that leads us, His bride, to submit to him.

The bible says to us, the heads of our marriage to love our wife as Christ loved the church. Christ loved the church by giving his life FIRST! Your wife will never struggle to submit to you in any matter if you give your life, if you give up your preferences for her on a daily basis. A good woman has no problem submitting to a dead man! 👀

You will not get the privilege to be the head of your household as God intended if you don’t constantly and consistently lay down your preferences. A man assumes his role as the head of his wife through His death to his preferences. He is not head of His house by “right” but by Love. That’s how Jesus became the head of the church, His bride.

When you do this consistently, and then learn to negotiate patiently, and negotiate with her as your friend and equal even though you have differing roles, you will reach agreements on these things.

Make it your goal to decide on everything together, she will not have a problem with giving you last word on the rare occasions that you both can’t agree.

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23Feb
When Relationships End, Did I waste my time doing good?
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Most of our relationships with others are about an investment of good. When we strike up a relationship, for the most part our intention is to do our friend good.

However In the passage of time, it is also common to face rough patches that challenge our relationships. These challenges range from a fall out, to a betrayal or even a flat out rejection. So many things happen that threaten the status quo of our relationships.
When our relationships end or when they are threatened, one of the common sources of hurt is linked to the fact that we feel that all of the good we invested in that relationship is wasted. This thought really hurts. I think it’s very important to get a God perspective in the midst of our hurt, otherwise we could make choices that continue the cycle of hurt.
Over the years I have had to learn how to navigate the difficulty of a valued church member moving on. Irrespective of what the reason was it’s always a tough reality to accept. People move on!
Earlier on in pastoring, it felt like every prayer, counsel, concern, encouragement was lost as they moved on. That hurt!
But in the last few years I’ve come to realise that the gift that God has given me in the relationships that I have is the gift of this present moment.
This moment I have is an opportunity to do my friend good ON BEHALF OF GOD! This is the moment God has given you with that your friend. His will is that through you His goodness, in one form or the other, will flow to this person!
You being good to your friend has always been more about the WILL of God than it has been about you, your friend or your relationship!
Regardless of how bad things are with your friend today;
  • IT WAS ALWAYS RIGHT FOR YOU TO HAVE BEEN GOOD TO THEM. You should not regret the good you invested. That was the right thing to do!
  • YOUR INVESTMENT OF GOOD IS NOT WASTED! Since the good thing you did was the will of God, done for His will, your investment of good is not wasted. God saw everything you did, even if your friend didn’t. God appreciates all you have done, even if your friend doesn’t.

Matthew 10:42
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward.”

The end of a relationship or even just the percieved end of a relationship can be traumatic.  You are more vulnerable and this is when the enemy of our souls like to strike. This is when He wants to ruin your future relationships by ruining your heart. I hope the above helps dodge every attempt of the enemy to keep your heart in a bitter place. I am praying for you.
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05Feb
When you think Love is a feeling
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There is a difference between feeling love and loving someone. Loving someone is an outward expression of the love you feel. Love is a decision to act a certain way towards someone. Love is a decision to be kind, patient, long suffering, not boastful, not envious…you get the gist. Love is an action.

When you think Love is feeling, you think all you need is love: I think that when we say this, we’re often thinking that as long as I feel those butterflies in my stomach, nothing else matters.

But the quality of any relationship is not determined by the intensity of the flutter in your stomach. It is determined by how much of the person you can stomach when the butterflies are NOT fluttering.

I think you certainly need the butterflies in your stomach, but that’s not all you need. You also need to learn communication, patience, kindness, long suffering, overlooking offence, forgiveness. Because the stomach flutter should lead you to express love in the above ways…and more!

When you think Love is a feeling, you have unrealistic expectations. You expect too much from the one who says they love you. You expect them to finish your sentences, you expect them to change their relationship status on social media, you expect them to tell you all their secrets and conclude that when they haven’t, it’s because they don’t love you.

But it can take time to learn how to love a person. It can take time to learn how express the love you feel. If you love the person who says they love you, it is realistic that they’d be interested in learning about you. It’s realistic to expect that they want to spend time with you. It is realistic to expect that they treat you with respect.

Some things are realistic expectations. Some aren’t. Check your expectations or it can wreck your experience.

When you think Love is a feeling you think you don’t love them anymore when you don’t feel the love. My father said this during his speech on my wedding day, (I’m paraphrasing) – Love is not just what you do when you’re feeling the love, it’s what you do when you’re not feeling anything. When Love is mature, it is no longer operating out of feelings, it begins to operate out of decisions.

When you think Love is a feeling you can hurt yourself and your future because you believe previous relationships didn’t work because they didn’t really love you. So now you hate yourself for falling for someone who didn’t love you. And you’re paranoid because you don’t trust yourself to know when someone loves you.

It is true that some just took advantage. But I’ve found in counselling people through breakups that in many cases people don’t break up because of the absence of true love.

Many people break up with people they truly love because they don’t know how to correctly express their love. A person who loves you can hurt you because they are not good at loving you, yet. A person who loves you can hurt you when they try loving you in the same way that they like to be loved.

Stop hating yourself for falling for someone who couldn’t/didn’t learn how to love you. You’re not a fool. It is possible that they really did feel love for you, they just weren’t ready to truly love. It’s a good thing they’re not in your life now.

When you think Love is a feeling, you sanction everything that you feel about them sexually. The feeling of love is not what qualifies a person to have carnal knowledge of you (that’s old school for sex😃). I’ve spoken to many young people who think that the feeling of love justifies the sex. But biblically, it is the feeling of love, outwardly expressed in the decision to get married and the conviction to l follow through with that decision that is the prerequisite for sex.

Sex without the above decision exposes you to unnecessary hurt, because you engage in a deep physical and spiritual expression of love with someone who is not yet invested in loving you.

What do you think? Share, comment.

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21Dec
The Blessing of ignorant friends
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We often believe that people who have not been through what we have been through, have nothing of value to say to us. Afterall, they don’t understand! How can anyone help if they don’t understand?

There is truth in that. A lot of truth actually. When you cannot comprehend another person’s pain, suffering or even success, you are somewhat limited in your ability to help or communicate with them.

However, I am fully convinced that we all need IGNORANT FRIENDS. We all need people who know us but are ignorant of what we have been through. Here are some reasons you need some naive friends.

  1. Ignorant friends will be naive about the circumstance you find yourself in, but well schooled about you. No matter what we face, how we see ourselves makes a difference to our response to what we face. Sometimes, because they don’t know or understand what we’re dealing with, they have only one thing to fall back on; their knowledge of us! They will remind you that you are strong, smart, beautiful! They will remind you of other circumstances you have over come. YOU NEED FRIENDS, WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH, BUT UNDERSTAND YOU. FRIENDS IGNORANT ENOUGH TO BOLDLY REMIND YOU OF WHO YOU ARE!
  2. Ignorant friends will be so ignorant about your circumstance to offer “silly” ways out. Great ideas are often carved out of silly ones. Great innovatons are often birthed by people who are ignorant of the reasons why it can’t be done! You need. People whose creativity is not so blindsided by your challenge! They will carry the seed of your way out of your dilemma in the womb of their ignorance.
  3. Ignorant friends will be more prone to trust in the Lord more than they lean on their understanding of the gravity of your situation. People who understand the gravity of your situation, are often prone to lean on their understanding. They are more prone to give more weight to what you are going through than they do to the God who is responsible for your deliverance. Sometimes you need someone who reminds you of the sovereignty of God. You need someone ignorant enough to remind you of the truth of God’s Word!

I think people who understand us and what we’ve been through are a blessing. But I encourage you to embrace the blessing of ignorant friends. God left these people in your life for at least one of the above reasons.

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12Dec
Communicating right
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Christmas is a time when many of us get to interact with family members, friends and colleagues a bit more than we do all year round. Here is some helpful information about communcation that can save you a lot of arguments in this season!

James 1:19 Understand this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear a ready listener, slow to speak, slow to take offence and to get angry.

If you are honest with yourself you will find that our relationships get into trouble when we are Slow to hear; this is when they haven’t finished saying what they were saying but you have reached a conclusion in your mind. So your responses aren’t based on what they said, but based on the response you formulated before they finished speaking!

Our relationships get into trouble when we are quick to speak…you were angry so you called them fat! You know you didn’t mean it but the Words have left your mouth and you can’t take that back!

Our relationships also suffer when you get angry too quickly! We’re sometimes too prickly! Too irritable!

James is saying that we ought to be quick to hear, a ready listener, slow to speak, slow to take offence and to get angry. Just imagine the difference that will make in our relationships!

A lot of the time we don’t really listen to hear what they are saying, we listen enough to formulate our response!

A lot of the time we interrupt people because you’ve heard enough and you have also formulated your response.

Proverbs 18:13 He who answers a matter before he hears the facts—it is folly and shame to him.

How many times have we practiced foolishness based this principle?

Real communication is talking intensely & intimately.

Communication is transmitting thoughts and feeling to another. Communication requires time because communication is not complete until exactly that which is being transmitted has been received!

Communication is an exchange…what was sent must be sent back to the one who released it for communication to be complete.

It is only until we learn to be quick to hear, a ready listener, slow to speak, slow to take offence and to get angry that we will learn to communicate effectively.

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22Aug
How to treat her like a Queen
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I think that if you want to know the quality of a man, you can look at the state of his woman. A real man is not one who merely looks after himself. A real man is one who looks after girl!

I am fortunate to have grown up in a family where I saw my father treat my mother like the queen she is. I am also so grateful that since my young adult years I have been part of a church that challenged me to treat my woman right! (I’m still there!). In fact I had friends who every time we met, they’d ask me how I’m treating my girlfriend. They’d also ask her how I’m treating her.

I know how much of a difference this made to me. And I am dedicated to healthy relationships. I am dedicated to helping young men treat their girlfriend/wife like a queen.

So here are some of the things I try to practice. Not that I have already attained this, but this is what I press for because I believe this is the higher calling and example that Jesus has set.

How to treat her like a Queen

  • Be patient. I don’t mean that in any religious way at all. I mean, when she’s taking too long to get ready, or taking to long to make a point, or taking too long on the phone, be patient. Wait for her. Don’t always rush your queen. There is a way to make sure you’re not always late for things. When you’re patient you’ll find that way. But practice patience first.
  • Always be kind in Word & deed. Never allow yourself to be unkind to her. If any one deserves your kindness it’s your girl! Speak kindly to her. Act kindly towards her. ALWAYS!!
  • Understand she’s not one of the things you own. She has a mind. She has thoughts. Respect her thought. Respect her words. A good Woman is equipped with prophetic Words from God for you. Honour her as a prophet. That’s wise!
  • Think well of her. You can’t think badly of her and then treat her well. Think of her as your queen, your number 1, and treating her like one will come naturally.
  • Speak well of her in her presence and in her absence. Even if you have to complain about her, understand that there’s a right place and a right way to speak about her.
  • Practice laying down your life. She needs to know that you are willing to give up important people and things for her! Practice giving up things for her without needing to announce it to her. Learn to be good to her because it’s right, not because you’re trying to score!
  • Accept her as she is, not as you imagine she’d be. Most times when we meet someone we have a vision of what they’d be and how they’d look in the future. I don’t think there’s any thing wrong with that. But whilst you aspire for greater, you have to learn to accept her as she is today! If you’re not happy to accept all of her today, just leave her alone and move on. You both can only become what you see in the future when you truly & fully accept what you are today
  • Introduce her to your friends! Introduce her to people that will hold you accountable. Make yourself accountable. If you feel the urge to hide her away. She’s not your girl. Leave her alone.
  • Always be honest. Dishonesty is dishonourable. Dishonesty is selfish. Dishonesty is not fitting for a king or a queen. Dishonesty is not sexy. Be honest.
  • If you’re not married to her DON’T SLEEP WITH HER. I know this is not a cool point to make in today’s world. But listen, this really complicates a simple matter. For the most part, I believe this is the most prominent reason why a break up during dating is often as devastating as a divorce. If you ever break up, make it your goal to leave her as whole as possible! Sleeping with her does not leave either of you whole
  • She’s a Big girl, she can take care of herself. However never stop communicating your willingness to take care of her. She doesn’t need to be weak for you to take care of her. Strong people still need to be cared for. Care for her.
  • Learn how to communicate to her. Every woman is different. She hears things a certain way. Find out how she hears and commit yourself to speaking her language.

Let’s treat our women like Queens gentlemen. It is right. It’s honourable. It’s our duty to her, to our families, to society and to God!!

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18Aug
Sometimes, stop & weep
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It’s 4.20am. I woke up to settle my daughter back in bed. But I couldn’t go back to sleep because something was on my mind.

As I picked up my phone, to check the time, my emails, insta (as you do), perhaps out of habit, or in an attempt to distract my self from what was weighing on my mind, I came across this article from the BBC

Sometimes we get desensitised to horrors like this so we scroll on. I was about to move on but I believe the Holy Spirit, got me to go back and look at the picture again. To read the caption again. I think He needed my mind on this. Not on the matter on my mind this early morning.

Here’s another article from Aljazeera:

Can you comprehend losing 14 relatives in one go? Can you comprehend digging their grave? Can you comprehend the pain from the wrenching hearts of the survivors?

As impossible as it is to, I think it’s important we take the time to try and comprehend. Romans 12:15 asks us to mourn with those who mourn. You can only truly do this if we try to comprehend why those who mourn are mourning.

We deal with all kinds of things that keep us awake early in the morning. Some are important, truthfully, some are absolute trash. But in all these things. I pray we learn to stop, and weep with those who weep. And rejoice with those who rejoice.

Maybe we’d be much kinder to one another. Maybe we’d be more patient. Maybe we’d smile more. Maybe we’d worry less. Perhaps we’ll see the need to pray without ceasing. Maybe we wouldn’t fuss over nonsense!

Sometimes we fear that stoping to comprehend the pain of another might drive us to despair. It’s possible. But I think with the Spirit of God in us, He gives us a well balanced mind. A mind that is strong enough to be perplexed but not driven to despair.

I think compassion begins when we learn to stop and hear the silence of a friend. When we stop to comprehend the pain of our neighbors. Compassion begins in comprehending the reason why another rejoices.

Today, please stop. Think about another person. Pray about another person. Rejoice with someone. Weep with someone.

Start with Sierra Leone.

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21Jul
The Key to healthy relationships 
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There are so many battles we face in our relationships that can literally be shut down and won by one or two unkind words! 

Yet if we are really after authentic relationships and authentic fulfilment, we will need to resist the temptation to say/type/write unkind words. 

Speaking an unkind word in some circumstances can be so gratifying and fufilling…(you know I’m right)…but the truth is that it will never produce true fulfilment. Instead unkind words said to those closest to us will ALWAYS leave a bruise on those we love the most. 

Now an authentic apology can heal these bruises, but won’t it be better that those around us never need to experience the pain of being bruised by our words in the first place? Would you not prefer to not be bruised only to be healed later with an apology, if it was avoidable? 

When we speak graciously or kindly, even when we are are on the receiving side of unkindness, we break the cycle of “bruise for bruise”. With our kind and gracious words, we introduce a seed for healing and health. Keep feeding those seeds, and eventually it will grow so big that our relationships will be characterised by kindness and graciousness as opposed to pain and hurt. 

Kind and gracious words can remove the venom in the veins of your relationships today. Speak something kind in the face of unkindness. Break the cycle of pain. Introduce seeds of health to your relationship right now.

WITHOUT AUTHENTIC KINDNESS, THE CHARACTER OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS WILL REMAIN UNSAVOURY. 

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