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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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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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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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21Aug
Vulnerability
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Last time I shared how courage is required to be able to do the will of God. Most of what God instructs us to do, will appear to be bigger and greater than our current ability or strength. 1 Corinthians 1:28 – 29 tells us that God chooses to operate this way so that when we come before Him, no single one of us will boast before Him. We must never be confused about the truth that it is God who will work in & through us to accomplish what He has asked us to do.

We also concluded that approaching the will of God courageously does not just mean charging your future with the boldness of a lion, it also means being willing to be as vulnerable as a lamb. I’ve been thinking about what this means to us in our everyday lives. How are we courageous through being vulnerable on a day to day basis? Here some of my thoughts…

It takes courage to give the advantage in our relationships. What happens if I give them the advantage and they take advantage of me? To answer that, we also need to ask, what happens if we don’t give the advantage in relationships? The truth is that there will be no genuine relationship without vulnerability. Our best relationships are with those who have overlooked an opportunity to take advantage of you. Our best relationships are those with those who are interested in giving you the advantage. If we will have great relationships we will have to be courageous enough to give someone an opportunity to take advantage of you.

It takes courage to love your wife as Christ loves the church, or to submit to your husband as you will submit to Jesus. That requires a great deal of vulnerability…But that is exactly what is required to have the bride that you desire. It is through Jesus’ courage to lay down His life for us that He is now able to present us as the radiant church, without stain or wrinkle…the bride that He desires.

It takes courage to step out in business or in ministry, because you have no guarantees of success. But if it is an endeavour or desire that is in line with the Word, that’s exactly where you need to be. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that His strength is made perfect in weakness. you can only experience the strength of God when you are courageous enough to depend solely on Him! That is vulnerable place…that is powerful place to be!

Everyday life presents us with opportunities to be bold as a lion & as vulnerable as a lamb. Make a decision to seize the opportunity to be boldly or vulnerably courageous. As you courageously charge the will of God for your life, please settle this in your heart…God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9). And if God be for you, who/what can be against you?

Chido

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