A Happy Marriage – What you and your spouse deserve

Happy marriages last. They do not end in divorce. They are strong and stand the test of time. Happy marriages lead to the establishment of happy homes. They constitute an immeasurable source of unending satisfaction and wellness for husband and wife. They provide the foundation for a stable society. Children from happy homes are more likely to grow into happy balanced individuals than children from unhappy and dysfunctional homes. We owe it to our children to create a stable loving home environment. We owe it to our children and generations to come to leave the legacy of strong marital unions and secure stable family units from where individuals will emerge to make a healthy valuable contribution to society.
In this day and age one may ask, is it possible to have a truly happy unending marriage? Can one really expect to be genuinely happy with their wife or husband for the duration of their lives ’till death do us part’?

What we need realise is that to a large extent we have the wherewithal and ability to orchestrate our lives and our marriages. When both partners have this understanding and commit to doing what it takes the results are truly awesome. So in reality, we have to decide to have a happy marriage. But you may say, no one decides on purpose to have an unhappy marriage or broken home. That may be true, but we live in a universe which the reap the benefits or have to deal the consequences of our actions which are determined by attitudes we hold.

If we have the right attitude and align ourselves with the understanding that we can have a happy marriage. These steps if followed will near enough guarantee
H – Hand over your life to the Lord.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)


Realise that you when you have entrusted your life and your marriage into the one who created all things you are drawing on all the resources of heaven and are giving yourself a much greater chance to succeed. God has given us the template for marriage. He designed the created the institution and has the wisdom and understanding we require to be fulfilled and happy in marriage

A – Appreciate your partner for who they are including their strengths and vulnerabilities.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Make a decision to be your partners lover and to value all the aspects of their person not only those you find attractive and make a commitment to cover for any of their weaknesses whether these have been acknowledged or not.

P – Pursue connectedness with your spouse.

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis‬ ‭2:23-24‬ ‭NIV

Have a desire to have a deep connection with your spouse. Your understanding of each other should be given utmost attention as the frequency of physical contact and profound sexual intimacy. A connected couple in love will have the earnest desire to meet each other’s needs. Giving of ones self to ones spouse becomes the daily goal.

P – Plan your happy life together.
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. ‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭8:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Fun times generate happy memories. The more you do together that creates an experience of pleasure, laughter and joy the happier your marriage will be overall. Be intentional in the development of recreational times and breaks as they will create memories that will help carry you through any challenges.

Y – Yield to your partner in everything.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Having the attitude of preferring your partner is the sure way of ensuring that your love and respect for them is real and practical. When in a relationship you are both of the mindset ‘it does not have to be all my way’, you are fostering an atmosphere of consensus and agreement where challenges do not have to result in arguments and differences are resolved amicably.

Let us all use the H-A-P-P-Y approach to ensure we can enjoy happy, fulfilling marriages for all our days.

Lots of love,

Ike and Linda

Power and Beauty TM is the creation of Ike & Linda Nnene. They teach on principles of living that can bring us success and fulfilment in our personal lives, families and career.

Please connect with us via our website www.ikeandlinda.org and social media (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram)

Being a mum and a wife…dealing with life in the mid forties

I am still wide awake at 0105hours. It has been a busy day but things have been constantly served up on the to do list all day and all the time in the day seems to have just run away. I can see eyes wide open in shock! This is an example of the few changes that may be happening to some of us.

Being a mum and a wife can frequently take its toll. Incessant demands, never ending chores and pressure to be the indefatigable supermom, can at times create a weariness that tends to pull one down both physically and emotionally. I believe our focus should be what we do those times when we think “no one is looking out for me”, “no one acknowledges the things I do around here”, “I am exhausted”, “get me out of here”. Need I go on? Do these statements resonate with you?

You are in your mid 40s and there are a few priorities in our lives. We want to ensure that our children are safe, happy, content and quite frankly doing well in every area. It is generally considered that once you are in your mid-40s you are at the top of the hill, perhaps at the zenith, major milestone achieved. Do we need reminding that we still have many years to go until our children are ‘fully sorted’ and frankly does this ever happen? I see the 40s as a ‘changing time’ in my life but not the end of the striving.

How do we cope with ourselves? How do we move through perimenopause to the full-blown menopause? Suffice to say this is a treacherous time. It is unpredictable on so many fronts and has the potential to manifest quite severe adverse consequences.

My husband always says that society is built on the family unit. Stable families lead to a stable society. The wife’s or mother’s wellbeing are a key determinant of family stability. Therefore, if that is the case, it would not be far wrong to say that the family unit is built on the female’s hormone! Think about it people, mums are jack of all trades – you are the chauffeur, secretary, receptionist, chef, pastoral leader/manager, husband helper / ego soother, school liaison officer, trouble-shooter, wren. We are selfless. Therefore, when perimenopause to menopause comes it is often like a hand-grenade. No one prepares you.

There are so many articles that have been written on this topic but I would like to focus only on an issue that many take for granted and perhaps would prefer to draw a veil over. Slowly the mummy-sagacity is moving on. We can see this happening and so can the rest of the family.

The symptoms you may notice will include, persistent sad or anxious mood, irritability, sleeplessness, or not enough sleep, fatigue, aches and pains, forgetfulness or a lack of concentration, worthlessness or feeling guilty, weight gain or even weight loss. No amount of Christian praise and worship will miraculously make any of these symptoms disappear or tranquillise your nerves. Our bodies change also – oestrogen levels fluctuate, signs of aging, hair challenges, flat belly becoming not so flat.

We just need to prepare ourselves. This is one topic mothers do not talk about and it takes their daughters by surprise. There must be a certain age where we should be speaking openly about this to our daughters. However, I am still uncertain if it would prepares us well enough for the change.

Accept the change. We are unable to run away from this change. We are unable to deny that we are experiencing changes in our bodies. Denying it can only affect us negatively, mentally. It could also bring about confusion. So, what you are going through the ‘peri’ stage! Accept the change and continue saying to yourself “I am beautiful, I have reached an amazing age and the changes are beautiful”. As a Christian, I go through scriptures that help me. Philippians 1:6 tells me categorically tells us He who began a good work in me (and you) will perfect it. What a promise!

Get closer to your spouse. A lot of times we imagine things that are necessarily not there. Your husband still loves you the way you are. You both are going through changes however you need to both remain committed. This means your journey is his journey. Get closer to him, talk to him, let him know how you are feeling. I am still learning to depend on his robust assessment but I am glad we are going through this journey together, developing in every area of our lives together.

Learn to relax and reduce stress. Exercise is such a wonderful thing. We all are extremely busy but we must find time to exercise. A mix of exercises will be good for us. We all know the benefits of exercising – good sleep, managing stress better and more energy for work and play respectively, it makes us look better. Do not forget your pelvic exercises!

Woman to Woman. I am completely blessed that I have my mother whom I run to when I need to chat, gain objective knowledge, gossip and more. I can speak to my mum about anything and everything. When we initially chatted about ‘peri’ and ‘meno’, her initial response was “oh I went through it, every woman goes through it”. We laughed and the conversation began. I have a mum who is able to teach, mentor and show by example. Find an older woman who has been there and worn the t-shirt! Every young woman needs an older wiser woman who can teach, mentor and show by example. When you feel overwhelmed you may need a shoulder to cry on or just someone who is not your spouse. The older woman has been on this road and will be the right person to encourage and inspire you. For those of us who believe and even those who do not the bible speaks of this in Titus 2:3-5. Quite frankly if you thought certain principles are not in the bible, they are!

Professional support. Occasionally this may be needed. Doctors and other women’s health professionals are here for a reason. For those of us who believe, my message here is trust in God through the medical professionals. We must listen to them and consider their diagnosis. Seeking professional help does not mean you have no faith. God uses medical professionals to provide skill, proficiency aegis and care. Every treatment modality suggested needs to be fully evaluated with as much understanding of the issues at stake as possible. It has been stated that in this day and age society is quite accepting of

Medical history and tests. Throughout your 40s medical tests can be very useful to help in the diagnosis of medical problems. Correct identification of treatable problems like thyroid disorders and vitamin D deficiency is valuable. You will get tired and frustrated but every test is important. Be it blood counts for anaemia, cholesterol, diabetes screening, thyroid hormones, blood pressure endeavour not to overlook these but ensure that you know ‘that your tests are okay’.

Mindset . Our disposition and mental attitude will determine our responses to situations. Each day I reflect on the positives that have worked well. I sometimes make a list of this and hope to use those positives the next day. It could be the most mundane things. You have been suffering from hot flushes, weight gain, mood swings. So what?! Think positive thoughts by being aware of what you say to yourself. Be grateful with your body and your health. We must also learn to have some ‘me time’ where you set aside time for you and you alone.

Practice Gratitude. This is a topic Ike and I teach quite often. It is applicable here. Celebrate the fact that you are alive and well.
For those of us who are married perhaps it is also time to focus on our husbands. He is also confused and concerned. I have to sometimes remind myself that he is also going through ‘my uncertainties’ so I must try and be nice, friendly, patient but mostly treat him with love.
The truth is that we are all growing up, developing and changes will occur. When this happens let us embrace it. There is life beyond this and I choose to be happy and celebrate. I am still realising this.

Love and much blessings to you,

Linda

New Year 2017. What will help you achieve your goals.

Also called – The 5 Ds of success

As last year was drawing to a close many folk were making promises to themselves and others concerning what they would achieve in the new year. 
The year is well underway , first week already gone and we are quickly discovering that it may seem that the realisation of the goals and aspirations is proving a little more challenging.

It is important not to panic and resist the sinking feeling that is trying to convince you that this year is not going to be any different, but to remain focused on the goals and see yourself walking in the fullness of your destiny for 2017. 

I have put together 5 Ds that will help you achieve your goals this year.

Destination – it is important to be clear to yourself and others what your goal is. Write it down . Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve , where you want to be and in your heart anticipate the sense of fulfilment that will result when you get there. When you know where you are heading then plans have a greater meaning. 

“And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”

‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2:2‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Drive – this is what will keep you on the journey towards your destination. It is your motivation – keeping the reason before your eyes. It will allow you to knock back discouragement and any negativity that you encounter in the process. Drive manifests as determination. It tends to be infectious as the people in your life come to the understanding that you will not be dissuaded. You will get to where you are headed.

“And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Discipline – means attending to the things that you need to attend to in order to achieve your goal. The only way you can achieve the goal is acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to get you there and putting to practice what you have to do. Redeeming the time equates to doing what you need to do now and not putting it off. Great time management will put in a position to see your goal realised. Heaping up tonnes of potential without ever launching out or doing anything will keep you at the level of ‘tomorrow’ person.

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭6:6-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Durability – this is the same as staying power, being able to overcome obstacles. If you are about to give up at the first hurdle then it is clear you need to reassess your reason for starting out on the venture. Discouragement may come in a number of ways. If you are not getting any boost from the people in your life it can be extremely off putting and lead to all sorts of questions. You need to develop resilience – the ability to remain single minded , undeterred and committed to the goal.

“Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.”

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭15:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Delight – this implies that you need not only to celebrate the outcome but to relish the process , the steps of the journey , the stages of development that you are going through. Being able to rejoice in every situation will catapult you into greater the realms of possibility. You remain grateful and positive no matter you have to deal with. In the process of handling disappointment you will be learning what works and what does not, how to do things better, more efficiently which ultimately will lead to more success. 

The child of God should practice praise as a lifestyle as this yields abundant dividends.

“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

May your desires be fulfilled in 2017!

Husband Tips For An Enduring & Blissful Marriage

By the grace of God we mark the twentieth anniversary of our marriage later this month.  The memory of the day we said ‘I do’ on the sunny summer afternoon in North London, UK remains fresh in our minds. We do not take lightly the milestone we have attained considering that the statistics for marriage survival in the UK are not very pretty. According to statistics published in 2012, 42% of marriages in England & Wales end in divorce and 34% of marriages are expected to end in divorce by the 20th wedding anniversary.

Sadly, being in a Christian marriage does not guarantee that ones marriage will stay the course and not end up in divorce. Looking back over the years at our marriage we have been blessed beyond measure in so many areas, but there have also been instances where difficult situations could have gone from bad to worse giving that feeling of despondency which have led many to feel they had no option but to call time on their marriage. We can boldly proclaim that it is the grace of God that has seen us through to this point and we rely on His grace to help us in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Of the many lessons we have learnt over the years we believe that unwavering commitment to the union is what will keep you together when you might have several reasons why splitting might seem an attractive option. It is clear that remaining married just to avoid the problems that come with divorce, while a useful leverage point in one’s mind to help maintain your resolve, is not the ultimate goal of your relationship.

Husbands have a pivotal role in keeping their homes intact and happy. While that seems a startlingly obvious truth, that role when neglected can lead to a weakening of the fabric of the relationship, which can frequently result in problems which over time may appear insurmountable.

The truth is that husband and wife work best together to strengthen their marriage and make their home a fortress. There are several factors which can help create a wonderful relationship between husband and wife.

We have used our own experiences to identify 20 tips, one for each year of our marriage 🙂 , which will help husbands to become and remain  effective spouses keen to see their marriages not only survive but thrive.

  1. Love your wife unconditionally.
  2. Always pray for your wife
  3. Be full of praise and adoration for who she is
  4. Always celebrate her achievements and express gratitude for what she does
  5. Make an effort to appreciate her point of view before giving a response on any matter
  6. Be patient in all your dealings with your wife
  7. Strive for peace and the rapid resolution of any conflict. Be quick and earnest in apology
  8. Commit to spending quality time with your wife
  9. Pay attention to the things that affect your wife.
  10. Be open and truthful in all your dealings with your wife
  11. Practice gentleness at all times – being ‘brutally honest’ is not always a sensible approach
  12. It is more important to get in a kind, loving word than the ‘last word’ in any exchange
  13. Do not take to heart anything said by your wife in frustration or in the heat of the moment
  14. Talk your wife in a manner in which she feels respected and not demeaned
  15. Have your wife’s well being at the top of your priority list. Commit continually to meeting her needs
  16. Desire intimacy and do your utmost to create an atmosphere for spiritual and physical closeness
  17. Let your wife know that she is more important than other important things in your life
  18. Do not emphasise or magnify your wife’s shortcomings or any errors but prayerfully commit to being there for her.
  19. Commit daily to being the spiritual head of your home and be an example to your wife in all things – faith, character, speech and attitude
  20. Be available for your wife in all things and be sure to let her see your commitment to her, your children and your home

With this non-exhaustive list of tips part of your code of conduct you will be well on your way to being the husband that your wife needs and desires.

The Spirit of the Lord in the life  of a man will allow every committed husband to become the best companion, partner, lover, friend, confidante, support, helper, breadwinner and all round hero to his wife which will help create marital bliss.

We hope to expand on these attitudes and share additional insights via subsequent posts for the benefit of both husband and wife as we seek to encourage you to have the best marriage possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Husband Tips For An Enduring & Blissful Marriage

By the grace of God we mark the twentieth anniversary of our marriage later this month.  The memory of the day we said ‘I do’ on the sunny summer afternoon in North London, UK remains fresh in our minds. We do not take lightly the milestone we have attained considering that the statistics for marriage survival in the UK are not very pretty. According to statistics published in 2012, 42% of marriages in England & Wales end in divorce and 34% of marriages are expected to end in divorce by the 20th wedding anniversary.

Sadly, being in a Christian marriage does not guarantee that ones marriage will stay the course and not end up in divorce. Looking back over the years at our marriage we have been blessed beyond measure in so many areas, but there have also been instances where difficult situations could have gone from bad to worse giving that feeling of despondency which have led many to feel they had no option but to call time on their marriage. We can boldly proclaim that it is the grace of God that has seen us through to this point and we rely on His grace to help us in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Of the many lessons we have learnt over the years we believe that unwavering commitment to the union is what will keep you together when you might have several reasons why splitting might seem an attractive option. It is clear that remaining married just to avoid the problems that come with divorce, while a useful leverage point in one’s mind to help maintain your resolve, is not the ultimate goal of your relationship.

Husbands have a pivotal role in keeping their homes intact and happy. While that seems a startlingly obvious truth, that role when neglected can lead to a weakening of the fabric of the relationship, which can frequently result in problems which over time may appear insurmountable.

The truth is that husband and wife work best together to strengthen their marriage and make their home a fortress. There are several factors which can help create a wonderful relationship between husband and wife.

We have used our own experiences to identify 20 tips, one for each year of our marriage 🙂 , which will help husbands to become and remain  effective spouses keen to see their marriages not only survive but thrive.

  1. Love your wife unconditionally.
  2. Always pray for your wife
  3. Be full of praise and adoration for who she is
  4. Always celebrate her achievements and express gratitude for what she does
  5. Make an effort to appreciate her point of view before giving a response on any matter
  6. Be patient in all your dealings with your wife
  7. Strive for peace and the rapid resolution of any conflict. Be quick and earnest in apology
  8. Commit to spending quality time with your wife
  9. Pay attention to the things that affect your wife.
  10. Be open and truthful in all your dealings with your wife
  11. Practice gentleness at all times – being ‘brutally honest’ is not always a sensible approach
  12. It is more important to get in a kind, loving word than the ‘last word’ in any exchange
  13. Do not take to heart anything said by your wife in frustration or in the heat of the moment
  14. Talk your wife in a manner in which she feels respected and not demeaned
  15. Have your wife’s well being at the top of your priority list. Commit continually to meeting her needs
  16. Desire intimacy and do your utmost to create an atmosphere for spiritual and physical closeness
  17. Let your wife know that she is more important than other important things in your life
  18. Do not emphasise or magnify your wife’s shortcomings or any errors but prayerfully commit to being there for her.
  19. Commit daily to being the spiritual head of your home and be an example to your wife in all things – faith, character, speech and attitude
  20. Be available for your wife in all things and be sure to let her see your commitment to her, your children and your home

With this non-exhaustive list of tips part of your code of conduct you will be well on your way to being the husband that your wife needs and desires.

The Spirit of the Lord in the life  of a man will allow every committed husband to become the best companion, partner, lover, friend, confidante, support, helper, breadwinner and all round hero to his wife which will help create marital bliss.

We hope to expand on these attitudes and share additional insights via subsequent posts for the benefit of both husband and wife as we seek to encourage you to have the best marriage possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year – New Focus

A new year gives us the opportunity to focus on where we are located our individual life journeys. Where are we coming from ? Where are we going? How does what is happening now in our lives fit into the bigger plan that God might have?

Many of us would have experienced disappointments in the past year, where we had not achieved our desired goals or had to deal with situations which were unpleasant. A frequent source of internal conflict is when we are let down by people who we love, trust and respect

As Christians we are enjoined to be thankful in every situation.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 )

Even if things have not gone the way would have liked in the past year, it is important to approach each day with an attitude of ‘Its a new year, Praise God I am alive!’

New years resolutions are traditions which are commonly embraced in different cultures and religions as time to commit to doing something or making a positive change in ones behaviour or habits.

The bible provides us with a basis to approach the new challenges from a standpoint of faith.

We should never doubt that it is God’s well for us to do well.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 2)

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19)

Our prosperity is tied to our spiritual well being and that should come first. Can a new thing happen in your life this year?

What should our approach be for doing better this year?

Review your past performance. Reflect on what has worked and what could have been done better.

The bible teaches that ‘the vision’ should be clear and unambiguous (Habakkuk 2:2)
Establish impediments to achieving your goals. Are there skills and training needs?. Have you not spent enough time perfecting your craft. Is there need for a change in attitude?
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Proverbs 22:29

Being teachable. Have the attitude of gaining greater insight and knowledge at every opportunity.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning (Proverbs 9:9)

Be willing to acknowledge your past mistakes and take correction
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid (Proverbs 12:1)

Ensure we are focusing on the right things. The key question is ‘what is our motivation?’

How far would we like to go with the project ? Why are we pursuing the goal in the first place? Is there benefit for ourselves and for others? Do we want to get the extra income in order to make a specific purchase for our loved ones, buy a new car, take a holiday etc.
Identify reasonable goals – In the world of business management – the model of having SMART objectives (S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Attainable, R – Relevant , T – Time related), is one that has valuable application in the area of personal development.

Our goals should be specific and time related. This gives us focus. For example, saying: I would like to read three books before the end of the year is more tangible than saying I would like to commit to reading more.
Measurable goals are more likely to be attained than in situations where the goals have no fixed point. It is important to be able to assess for ourselves how much progress we are making.

Having a goal that is attainable is important. The bible makes it clear that faith makes all things possible, but it is necessary to have faith for the task before you, believing that you in the right place, and the right time with the right intent of the heart. In teaching about the cost of discipleship, Jesus emphasised the need for taking stock of what we have before us in helping us move forward. Luke 14:28 – For which of you, intending to build a tower stitch not down first and counteth the cost, whether he has sufficient to finish it.

One of the most powerful principles that Jesus taught was that our motivation should be right. We do well when the basis of our life is charity towards others.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these thing. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:31-33)

We therefore are taught to put the pursuit of kingdom of God above the pursuit of worldly possessions for their own sake. We need to ensure that we have as the basis of our lives the foundation that our lives are meant to be a channel of Gods blessing.

Paul explained the basis of this in his letter to the Romans . In Romans 14: 17-18 we understand that the kingdom of God is Righteousness , and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, As we seek after peace and the building up of others we are doing the kingdom business and glorifying Him.

This implies that it is at odds with the purposes of the kingdom when we act in a selfish unjust manner seeking to maximise personal gain at the expense of other peoples well being. Galatians 5:21 reminds us that the key to prosperity is remaining in the Spirit which equates to being in step with God.

In 2016, our aim should be one of living a Spirit Led Life .

Galatians 5:16 – 23 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Being a Mum and an Advocate! Purity

We live in an age where many of us are working mothers. Our challenge is to juggle our family responsibilities with our highly demanding jobs at office.

In the UK the Office for National Statistics reveal that over the past 40 years there has been a rise in the percentage of women aged 16 to 64 in employment and a fall in the percentage of men. In April to June 2013 around 67% of women aged 16 to 64 were in work, an increase from 53% in 1971. For men the percentage fell to 76% in 2013 from 92% in 1971. There are, of course, a number of reasons for this shift towards childbearing later in life – the most obvious being economic constraints and the number of women in employment and establishing careers for themselves. The increasing number of women participating in higher education has also been a factor.

I love hosting friends in my home and we do a lot of it. It is amazing after a three course meal or sometimes four we move into discussions about our children and how they are faring. I enjoy these discussions because we find that our sharing of our stress and frustration at not being able to spend enough time with our children is somewhat similar. I also find out that many mothers end up going to bed very late due to the fact that we are trying to juggle so many balls, ensuring none falls. However a very wise man once said to me “sometimes Linda you may have to allow some balls to drop”.

There is an intensification of parenting. So what if there is?! Is this such a bad thing? Perhaps there’s a slightly obsessive dynamic at work that makes mothers, live their life for their child. However sometimes we can be physically at home, but mentally, our minds are miles away, thinking about some problem we are having at the office. Children have an uncanny ability to sense whether we are really paying attention or not.

Both parents have great roles in bringing up their children however being a mother is an amazing gift. The bible is quite clear in Proverbs 6:20. It says, “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” In chapter 31 it goes even further and reads, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

Good mothers are great teachers who are diligent and thorough in their preparation. We must understand the value of teaching standards, values, and doctrine while we have young teenagers or young adults. My focus is the unabridged version of values, moral and ethical standards, and faith.

Perhaps some mothers have been unable to broach some of these topics. I will encourage you to read my column regularly, use it as a point of discussion with your young ones, use it as a teaching tool, allow your child to read it and during those dinners or outings with friends discuss the issue!

Purity. I prefer the term ‘purity’ to abstinence. Using the word purity, sounds like we’re holding onto something rare and wonderful. We need to discuss the Christian perspective on pre-marital sex, and our young adults need to hear it clearly: “Sex before marriage is not OK” And we need to tell them why. It has been stated that scriptures on sexual purity are outdated and archaic. This is not true. Second, having sex is no guarantee that the deep emotional intimacy that everyone longs for will develop.

I am going to ‘preach’ for few seconds so please indulge me. Look at what God says about sexual purity. “You should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God. . . . For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:3–5, 7). This passage outlines God’s reasons for calling for sexual purity in the lives of His children.

Purity (Abstinence) is the only 100 percent effective method for avoiding unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Teens—especially young teens—should be encouraged to delay sexual initiation. We should acknowledge the importance of purity and provide our youth with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to make it work. However, even youth who pledge to remain abstinent need information about contraception and condoms to help them prevent unintended pregnancy, HIV and other STIs when they do become sexually active.

We cannot hope, fast and pray that this topic never comes up. We must not shut down our children when they come asking. Young adults please ask openly and honestly.

The truth is, when we teach our young adults about sex the way God designed it, the way He outlines it in the Bible, we should them that it is a good, beautiful, pleasurable thing designed by God because of His great love for us. It brings husband and wife closer together and builds trust in the marriage. It is a way to yield unselfishly to each other, to put each other first, and to be refreshed.

Let us open that line of communication and ensure it is relevant to their own world not ours! I am looking forward to my next discussion.

Power & Beauty is the blog of Ike & Linda Nnene.

They are a UK based Christian couple who strongly believe in family and are advocates for marriage as espoused in the Word of God. They believe that with better understanding of how to build your marriage, every couple can have the confidence to enjoy blissful fulfilled relationships.

They are gospel music ministers who understand that having a lifestyle of praise is instrumental to having a life of victory. They bring a wealth of experience from the professions in education (Linda) and medical practice (Ike) and will use this medium to share God’s love with words of wisdom and encouragement.

 

Overcoming In Christ

The faith of the 21 Coptic Christians in Libya whose callous murder by Islamic fundamentalists was broadcast across the world is one of the standout testimonies of faith in the past few months. The depiction of the savagery meted out was sent to far corners of the earth via a well orchestrated media campaign. People all over the world have seen these images of the most cruel acts committed in the name of religion.

These Christians were singled out because of their faith in God and identification with the message of the resurrected Christ. Their plight bears strong similitude to what has been taking place across several other parts of the Middle East,  and in parts of northern Nigeria and Kenya.

Jesus told his followers that carrying the mark of Christ frequently would make them the subject of persecution, where people would feel justified to mete out acts of wickedness in the name of some religious zealotry.

Most of will never experience the degree of religious persecution that some Christians have almost come to accept as a way of life.

We do as believers have to remember the words of Jesus.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. (John 15:1821- KJV).

The truth for a lot of Christians is that they will face regular persecution at the hands of different people. This will vary in frequency and severity. The young person who is trying to serve the Lord and remain sexually pure receives ridicule and pressure to conform to’societal norms of a pervasive attitude. The influences to attain material success frequently pushes people of faith into situations where by their actions they are denying their faith.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV)

It helps to know that believers have received the victory in Christ Jesus and any witness contrary to this is a lie.

Even when we are faced with a life and death situation we can have the confidence to know that our future is secure.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5KJV)

Whatever we face we should remember that our future is secure in Christ. We should always remember to thank God for the victory.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.        (1 Corinthians 15:57 KJV)

We should ensure that we endeavour to ‘fight the good fight of faith’ and dwell in victory. We should pray for Christians everywhere to be able to remain steadfast in the midst of serious threats to their wellbeing . May they fully grasp the eternal promise from on high. Death is a defeated foe.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:54-55KJV)