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11Apr
Marriage: Headship & Submission
RelationshipsLeave a comment

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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02Mar
What are you learning from your Pain?
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Pain instructs.

I believe God allowed pain to instruct us. It wasn’t his first choice. He is not sadistic to choose pain as an instructor. His first choice was obedience. God’s best plan has always been that we learn by listening to Him and obeying His instructions.

The fallen state of man however, makes it highly possible that we wouldn’t know how to discern the voice of God.

And even when we do, our sin condition often persuades us that there is life outside of LIFE HIMSELF, wisdom outside of the instructions of WISDOM HIMSELF. So we reject God’s instructions.

But God has set things up in such a way that even the negative consequence of being outside of God’s will, is pregnant with opportunities to return to Him. This is the mercy of God in action.

Pain and Hurt is a testament of the mercy of God. Pain is God saying, you didn’t hear me last time, will you hear me now that it hurts?

The trouble is that we have an enemy, His job is to pervert something that God allows for our good, he turns it around for evil.

So when we get hurt in relationships, the hurt was teaching you who you are, what you like, what is important to you.

But the enemy perverts that, and teaches us to hate others for hurting us. Teaches us to live a distrustful life because we’ve been hurt. Teaches us not to try again because failing hurt the last time.

I think this is why it is important to learn to yield our pain to God. When we do, He uses our pain to teach us His lessons.

When we don’t yield our pain to God, we open ourselves up to pick up the perverted lessons that the enemy wants us to learn in pain and hurt.

We don’t need to ask you if you are learning from your pain, because we all are. We do need to ask, what are you learning from your pain?

The right lessons will make you better, not bitter, wiser not foolish. The right lessons will provoke growth not stunt your growth. The right lessons will make you bolder, not more timid.

Don’t waste your pain. Tell God about what hurts. Find good friends who will partner with God to bring out the best lessons from your pain.

This is the gospel, that in darkest and most painful parts of the journey of life, resurrection is possible because God turns our pain and our hurt in to resurrection power!

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12Feb
Consider Jesus…
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Hebrews 3:1-2

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus

To consider is to scrutinise, to look closely at, to examine carefully…

the quality of your life, the quality of what you build here on earth, the quality of your legacy in the eyes of God, will be determined by your ability to see and understand Jesus right.

When we stand before God to give an account of our lives, and our talents, it will all be in relation to how we saw Jesus and who we perceived Him to be.

One day, there will be no other human beings to impress, no jobs to work, no cars to drive, no cities worth visiting, no career ladder to climb, no grind, no school fees to pay, no social media attention to covet. One day ALL OF THIS will become meaningless!

Actually, it wouldn’t be meaningless, it’s meaning will be redefined in relation to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:11-13

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

…In the final conclusion, the worth and value of everything we do here on earth will be defined in relation to Jesus.

We all owe it to ourselves to look carefully at this man Jesus. Who did He say He is? How does who He is and what He said affect my life today?

Consider The Apostle (sent one) and High Priest (one who stands before God on behalf of men).

Learn to do life, the small things and the great things, in full consideration of Jesus!

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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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29Jan
Beating Shame
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Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour. From my experience (personally and pastorally) I have found that when shame matures, it goes beyond being a feeling of humiliation that passes, as most feelings do. It becomes a force that seeks to shape our identity. That force makes us begin to be humiliated by who we are because of a wrong or foolish behavoior of ours.

God’s response to shame is the gospel. The good news of God’s unmerited favour! 

Paul was writing in Romans 1:16 to the christians in Rome who had heard of all the humiliating things that he had been through since he answered the call to preach the gospel. He said to them: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

In other words he was saying, I know that based on what you know of my experience for the the sake of the gospel, you have reason to think that I will be ashamed of preaching it, but I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ! If you knew the story of what he had been through for the sake of the gospel you will agree that that was an amazing statement.
When a person has an experience of the true gospel that they hear, it  strips you of shame and guilt!
Shame says you’re a pervert because of what you did with your body last night! The gospel says your body is special, the temple of the Holy Ghost, that’s why you shouldn’t have done that!
Shame called you an adulterous woman who deserves to be stoned…the gospel says you are not condemned, go and sin no more!
Shame calls you a failure and says you should stay down because you fell, the gospel calls you the righteous who falls seven times and gets up every time!
Shame says people like you shouldn’t be talking when these educated folks are speaking because you don’t qualify. The gospel says before I formed you I knew you and appointed you a prophet to the nations! The gospel says I’ve given you something to say! The gospel says that God justifies the ungodly!
Shame says you denied Jesus 3 times Peter go back to fishing because you are hereby disqualified from thinking you can change the World…the gospel says go tell my disciples and Peter that I have risen! The gospel pulls you back into the fold in spite of your betrayal!
Shame says the mistake of your youth will determine your future and confine you to bearing the identity of what you did…But the gospel says in Isaiah 54:4
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood.
I pray that this will be the season where you open your hear to hear the gospel. I pray that this will be the season when you set your expectation to have a personal experience of the gospel, the good news of God’s unmerited favour! I pray that inspite of how loud shame seems to be shouting, tugging or pulling, when you hear God’s Word, you will not harden your heart!
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06Jan
How to make an impact this year
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Acts 20:35

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Notice that there is a comparison between two options; giving and receiving. None of these are demonised. It is a blessing to receive! But it is more blessed you give!

Most of the time we see ourselves as blessed because of what we receive. That’s good and true! But it is more blessed to give!

God has set things up in such a way that the one who is constantly giving, will be constantly blessed (well of, fortunate, happy) because it is more blessed to give than to receive!

It’s great when you get the job of your dreams, but it’s more blessed you give someone the job of their dreams!

It’s great to have someone love your deeply, but it’s more blessed to love someone deeply!

The bible refers to us as vessels. Some vessels are used for storing stuff, others are used for giving out.

You and I are not created to be vessels that store. We are created to be vessels that give! We are most useless when we are not giving!

When you receive, you are impacted and that’s good. But when you give, your world is impacted. It is more blessed to give than to receive because we were created to impact our world!

You cannot impact your world if you’re not giving and I’ll even go as far as saying that we are completely useless here on earth if we are not giving anything!

The plan of the god of this world is to get you so consumed with what you need! When your need is what’s on your mind, you are not making any impact because impact is made by what you give.

How about today we make a decision to be givers regardless of where we are! Give friendship. Give kindness. Give money. Give wisdom. Give what you know. Give what you have. Your giving is more powerful than your receiving.

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03Oct
A miracle in the mundane
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We don’t always get spectacular, miraculous moments. But we ALWAYS get the mundane! Sleep, eat, rave repeat…in a loop.

Most of us are are not often thankful for the mundane routines of life because it’s mundane!

Truth is you don’t always need a miracle and a spectacle to change your future because most times everything you need to change your future is in the mundane routines of life. The miracle is in the mundane.

If you can appreciate the value of the mundane you can make your future appreciate in value.

If you can stop to find what works now and be grateful for that, If you can count your blessings and name them one by one as the songwriter says, you will find the power to rule over your future.

The present is a gift. The mundane routines are a gift. It contains the miraculous! Thank God for the mundane. There is a miracle in the mundane.

[wpvideo o39MWFz8 ]

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11Sep
Clean hands. Pure hearts.
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We no longer live in a dispensation where what we do determines how acceptable we are to God. We live in a dispensation where we are perfectly acceptable to God because of what Jesus did!

And our faith in Jesus is the bucket with which we can scoop up and use up heaps of the benefits that comes with being perfectly acceptable to God!

However, there is still something about a man or woman who is dedicated to having clean hands and a pure heart. There are heights God and in life that are reserved for those dedicated to keeping their hands clean and hearts pure.

Keeping your hands clean involves making a decision to make sure all you do empowers others and doesn’t hinder them.

Keeping your hands clean involves doing things in such a way that if anyone was to audit your actions and intentions retrospectively, they will find you guiltless.

Keeping your heart pure involves keeping your motives pure. It involves finding the best motive for anything you do, and yielding your heart to that motive.

Keeping your heart pure involves choosing to believe the very best about others even when there is reason to believe the very worst.

Keeping your heart pure is choosing God’s Word in your heart, above the jealousy, fear, resentment, envy, frustrations about yourself and others, which creep into our heart daily.

I believe we live in a time that requires us to move huge mountains and weather unprecedented storms. These are times that demands authentic faith in God. Authentic faith is characterised by clean hands and pure hearts. Authentic faith is in the state of your heart and not the size of your bible.

We are called to scale great heights in our industries, communities & families. Whilst we don’t seek to keep our hands clean and our hearts pure to be acceptable to God. We do need to desire that, for the sake of the advancement of God’s kingdom.

The grace of God does not exempt us from needing clean hands and pure hearts to scale great heights. The grace of God empowers us to live a successful life with clean hands and pure hearts.

Keep your hands clean. Keep your heart pure. Let God help you with it. Ask Him to. Make that your prayer in spite of your current situation.

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27Jul
When the promise doesn’t make sense
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If you’re like me, trying to live a life of faith in God through Jesus, there will be seasons of great contradictions. Living a life of faith is simply living a life that is directed and influenced by the Words of a living God, captured in scripture. Living a life of faith is choosing to live with expectations set by believing in the promises of God. 

The contradictions set in when you bump into situations that are directly at odds with the promises of God. 

When you expected help that never seems to be there. When you expected that they would fall on their knees asking what must I do to be saved after you shared the gospel with them as the Spirit of God led you to do. But all you got was a weird look. When you expected provision that is still pending.

I have learnt that these are the times when the quality of your faith is tested. I have learnt to fall back on the covenant. Psalm 89:34 says that God will not alter His Word or break His covenant. 

The Words of a God, His promises and instructions are backed up by the covenant. Even though God’s Word is good, on the basis of His integrity as a person, the covenant makes the promise legally binding. 

It’s one thing for a nice, trustworthy friend to give you a promise. It’s another thing for them to go through the effort to go to court, write up papers and sign an affidavit to make that promise legally binding. 

That’s what God has done. He gave His promise. Even though it is good enough, He legalises His promise by sending His son to die on the cross. Hebrews 6:18 tells us that this is God’s attempt to let you know how serious He is about His promise. 

I have learnt that the promise is given to set your expectation. And the covenant is given to help us keep our expectation set when the promise doesn’t seem to make sense. I have learnt to fall back on the covenant, particularly in seasons of great contradictions. 

Practically this means I am not afraid to be without an explanation for the contradictions, because I believe that the covenant ties God to me permanently, and if I keep walking conscious of His presence with me, in time, the pieces of the puzzle will fit. 

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Don’t quit or abandon the promise of God simply because it doesn’t add up right now and you’re looking like a mug right now. God has legally bound Himself to fulfill no His promise. Keep the faith. Be patient. You will inherit the promise. 

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06Apr
Leadership In the Kingdom of God
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God has called every one of his children to lead and to make a difference, but that difference is only made when we choose to apply ourselves to His purpose. Leadership is responsibility. We become children of God by the grace of God. However, we walk as sons by virtue of the responsibility we assume within the confines of His grace.

Whilst the whole world is yours by the grace of God, it is only those who develop the ability to be responsible for that which has been released to us by the grace of God that actually get to walk in their inheritance…

Let me explain this like this…I have an excellent father…and when I was growing up, he had a car. Now from the moment I was born, by virtue of the favour that my father had on me because I was His son, I had the privilege of being taken to school in that car…I had the privilege of being picked up from school in that car. But I didn’t have the privilege of driving that car on behalf of my father until a certain age!

Why? Because for whatever reason…I had not yet stepped up to the plate of responsibility.

So even though the car was available to me, I needed to be responsible enough to go to driving school…I needed to be responsible enough to pay attention enough to pass my driving test…it is now on the basis of my demonstration of this responsibility that my father now released me into using the car to drop of my younger ones at school and picking them from school…on His behalf!

This is what leaders are in the kingdom of God. Leaders are those who have stepped up to take responsibility to develop the different attributes that allow God to release them into the inheritance that belongs to them by the grace of God!

The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 that we are stewards of mysteries of God, and it is required that those who are steward to be found faithful…In other words we are called by the grace of God, but within the confines of His grace there is a requirement for me to be faithful as a steward of the promise by grace!

Leadership is about being responsible stewards of the things that God has given us by His grace. Everything God has promised you…everything you are believing for is by the grace of God. There is a requirement for us to develop attributes that make us responsible sons who administrate all that God has given us by His Grace.

 

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