Marriage On Song – Podcast 2 – Creating a Vision for Your Marriage

In this episode 2 of the Marriage On Song Podcast we consider what it means to have a vision for your marriage. We discuss how having a vision will allow husband and wife to see where they are headed and perform the required actions to get them to this place.

 

Marriage On Song – Podcast 1

We are delighted to be able to bring you our new podcast – Marriage On Song. This is the place we discuss everything marriage and share insights that will help us all have marriages that truly thrive.

 

Passion in Your Marriage

Passion in Your Marriage – Keep the Spark in Your Marriage
Passion, spark or whatever you want to call that sense of intense desire that couples experience usually in the early stages of their relationship is much more than just sexual. Many authors have written on the subject of limerence as something that frequently exists in the early stages of a relationship but tends to diminish or at times disappears altogether in couples that have been together for a while. Couples who are in the peak of their love will have an outward display of their feelings by frequently seeking to connect with their spouse with a resultant passionate satisfying sexual experience. There exists an urgent and ongoing need to think of the person, spend time with them and make an effort to please them. Perhaps we need to look into our personal, individual experiences to understand passion within our marriages and what becomes of it. There are the issues of life that inevitably arise that have the potential to derail romantic love. Career, finances, children, are guaranteed to present challenging situations that over time take our energy and focus such that we find ourselves falling short of the heights of passion which prevailed early in our relationship.

How do we process what we going through with our spouse? How can we keep the fires of passion alive?

Turn towards your spouse. I am learning to turn towards my husband rather than turning against. This is love in action. When we work together it leads to happiness and closeness.

Practice devotion together. As a couple we are blessed that we have common interests. A big one is singing together. We have always sung together. However, devotion/worship goes beyond this. It includes bible studies together and praying together. We discover that as we practice these consistently and place God in the centre of our relationship it is bound to flourish. If we have peace and love flowing through us we are more likely to be appreciative of our spouse rather than critical. With these feelings of positivity in us we are more likely to be loving and giving more. That is what knowing God and living in Him is about. With this passion increases.

If you are not doing this, this is something to consider. I, Linda, am still learning.

Positive affirmation. My husband always reminds me that when I get upset with him I need to resist from speaking negative words no matter how small but think of those positive qualities he has and express them daily. In a nutshell, express positive feelings and compliments. Choose to love even in the hard days which are near enough guaranteed to occur. We all need to remember that no one is perfect. We can use this as a basis to intercede for our spouse just as we recognise the need for grace to deal with our own imperfections.

Matthew 19:6 states that we are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together let no man separate. When there is a disagreement we must decide to foster goodwill because every marriage will have disagreements. Let us strive to understand our spouse’s perspective.

One thing that is a complete turn off and passion killer is threatening your spouse with retribution or divorce. No matter how bad an argument is do not bring that word into your discussion or argument.

Nurture emotional trust and be vulnerable. Why hide your feelings? Real intimacy means we render ourselves emotionally exposed and that can be scary however it is important to share those fears or emotions with your spouse. They may not understand at that moment, but it does not mean they will never.

Desire a rich sexual connection. Sex should not just be an obligation. It should be a great pleasure we experience with our spouse. It should not just be limited to the missionary position in the bedroom. God made our marriage a safe place for married couples to discover, experiment, laugh and love through satisfying and even sensational sex. 1 Corinthians 7: 2-5 clearly gives us the instruction. “…each woman should have her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights and likewise the wife to her husband…” Proverbs 5: 15-19 also makes it quite clear. “…and rejoice in the wife of your youth…be intoxicated always in her love.”

Passion should remain in marriage and one could argue that the longer a couple is together the greater the opportunity to express passionate love.

Closeness and communication. Communicate through honest discussion, and desire to connect emotionally and physically. One of the vital non-sexual stimulus in a marriage is the ability to create unrestricted conversation regarding worries or apprehensions. Be rest assured sometimes these issues may be difficult topics for example, in-laws, finance, household tasks and responsibilities. We must know when to let go, take a break and come back perhaps later.

Kiss every night before you go to bed and before you leave in the morning and several times in between as well!

Create a deep sense of intimacy by ensuring when you kiss other parts of your bodies touch. You are not kissing a stranger therefore practice physical reconnect. This creates passion and quite frankly increases physical affection. Hold hands and touching can release oxytocin which causes a soothing sensation. Learn to slow dance to read Song of Solomon it really gives us insight to passion! The best way to keep our marriage fulfilling and passionate is to create acts to enhance our deep love and intimacy as a couple.

Have fun and laughter. Laugh together, you will not regret this. Learn to hang out with your spouse and laugh at jokes. When I have had a bad day I can trust that when I get home there will be laughter to make me forget ‘my bad day’. Our children have taught us how to watch vines on social media. Some of these are funny. Just laugh together.

Create an open-ended dialog regarding apprehensions. Don’t be surprised if some of your discussions are heated – especially around hot-button issues such as money, chores, vacations, in-laws, etc. The key to a successful marriage is knowing when to let scorching issues go and being able to pause when you feel overwhelmed.

Resolve conflicts quickly. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. Passion in a marriage also means reconnecting and repairing after conflicts arise. Anger and resentment can destroy our marriage. Therefore, we must always make that difficult decision to always reconnect before going to bed. If you are like me, Linda, when I have carried this to bed I am giving the enemy my heart to sow discord and I begin to stew over things. This is not good and entirely unacceptable to God. Ephesians 4:26-27 clearly tells us, Be angry and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Learning ways to reconnect after a disagreement will enhance your passion and fortify your marriage.

Be intentional. Marriage is not a time to coast. We must learn to spend time with our spouses in new ways. We call it investing in our relationship. For instance, encourage a common interest because shared experiences improve marriages and deepen friendship, many spouses have regular date night so make the night special, try doing something different, use different mediums to say, “I love you”, go on regular getaways – if efforts are put in a getaway we are bound to find reasonably priced packages in lovely destinations. Get away purely for unhurried time together. After all, after Jesus fed the multitudes he left for the mountain to pray. Prayer means talking to God. Communication, drawing close to God. This is true of our relationship. We need time to get away and communicate, get to know one another, reconnect. An unhurried time together.

In summary, learn how to honour God in your marriage, communicate better, resolve conflict and recommit to your spouse.

A virtuous marriage requires vulnerability to succeed. Responding wholeheartedly to your spouse’s approaches will help you bring out the best in one another.

 

Make a difference 

We are in the midst of a really challenging period in the history of mankind. Questions are constantly being asked about the meaning of life, what the purpose of our existence really is and how we all fit into the bigger picture.

It is clear that the environment we find ourselves in has a huge role to play in our outlook on life. Factors such as age, gender, ethnic origin, geographical location, family structure, wealth & fortune, educational level and social status, will have a massive impact on how an individual sees himself or herself in the spectrum of life.

When you compare the lives of successful people, those who are doing well at blessing others with those who are not you will see a clear pattern emerging.

Abundance versus lack

Bounty versus poverty

Generosity versus stinginess

Outward looking versus inward looking

Optimistic versus pessimistic

Goal oriented versus directionless

It is becoming clearer that if we are going to make an impact we have to have the impact mindset which is programmed for success. We need to take onboard that we have a greater responsibility to set the agenda rather than let us be passive observers or passengers in the world about us.


Impact starts where you are. Faithfulness in little things leads to open doors for bigger things.

Steps to being a person of impact

1. Be determined to be the best you can at the current station you are in. Be dedicated & trustworthy.

2. Learn what is required to move to the next level. Be a learner. Become a high value asset to your organisation.

3. Study the habits of people who are currently higher than you and adopt those that bring about consistent development. Adopt a mentees attitude.

4. Look for opportunities to move ahead with the confidence that you will excel.

5. Never feel that you have learnt enough or risen enough. There are still many mountains to climb & thresholds to cross.

Ike Nnene

www.powerandbeauty.org

Prayer

Prayer is a powerful tool to use daily in your work.

God listens and cares! Jesus taught us to pray that Gods will be done on earth on our lives. God is the God of compassion.
Prayer works best when we let ourselves go and just say ‘Lord I need You!’

The essence of prayer is talking with God & allowing Him to talk back to you via a witness in your spirit.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So we see that one of the outcomes of prayer is peace. When you pray, allow God to grant you His peace. Desire to remain in the place of peace no matter what might be going on.

Wife Tips for Marital Fulfilment

We can all relate to different seasons in our marriages – times when everything is just how we would want it, and other times when it seems as if the world around us including situations and individuals are just ‘not helping’. A good husband should always be able to make things better, not withstanding that he may have been the source of frustration to start with! In difficult times we need to allow God’s grace to have a good work in us.

We are grateful to the Lord for twenty years of married life. Looking back over the period we have lived together we can reflect that certain attitudes and practices help to steer us from difficulty to a place of wellbeing and peace. We have put down twenty positive mindsets, tips which will help wives deal their husband in the best possible way, and handle their emotions better as they seek to make their marital home the best it can be.

1. You chose him therefore respect him not just when he has earned it. Just respect him!

2. Men are not wired like women – we see things differently therefore COMMUNICATE!

3. Sex is good! Keep this lively and passionate.

4. Affirm – something I am still learning. Learn his love language.

5. Speak softly and kindly – Gracious words are sweet to the soul (Prov. 16:24).

6. Take care of yourself – inside and outside. Be clean, modest, orderly, and dutiful – 1 Timothy 2:9. Proverbs 31:13, 15, 27, RSV.* “Be ye clean.” Isaiah 52:11. 1 Corinthians 14:40.

7. Keep your home tidy – this is very close to my heart. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

8. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath.

9. He comes before the children – children will leave your home. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.

10. Forgive

11. The grass is not greener on the other side therefore guard your heart. Be content with the man you have chosen, with the life you both lead. It does get better if you are focussed.

12. Threatening divorce does not help.

13. Choose to love in good and bad times – Above all things. (Col. 3:14)

14. Plan Date nights

15. Always speak positively about your spouse privately and publicly.

16. No third party – keep your intimacies private!

17. Have fun together, share together and pray together – James 5:16 and 1:5. Check out Matthew 26:41

18. Be loyal to him

19. Make friends with people who’ll encourage your marriage.

20. Avoid or stay away from those who are ready to tear you apart.

Our prayer is that husbands and wives will be able to tap into the abundance of grace that God has made available for couples and see their marriages flourish.18393041_l-2

 

 

 

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.

 

Happy New Year … Make it a blissful one

Happy New Year!

We hope your 2015 is full of joy and goodness in your marriages & families.

We have put together some ‘resolutions’ which we think will help every couple in getting to that blissful place in their marriage.

New Year Resolutions for husbands

1. Love your wife! She is the most precious person on this planet. Commit to increasing tangible demonstrations of love – say ‘I love you’ frequently with acts of kindness and affection.

2. Desire to understand more about the stresses that your wife goes through and be there for her when the days seem long & hard

3. Declare your appreciation for all the things your wife does

4. Genuinely give your heart to her and support her in her own challenges and aspirations

5. Give more physical contact – hugs and kisses – several times a day, to show you desire her – spirit, soul & body

New Year resolutions for wives

1. Commit to believing in your husband and affirm him at every opportunity

2. Show understanding when he does not attain the standards or results that he should

3. Have genuine respect for your man! Esteem him in your heart & mind above any other man

4. Be honest with your husband about how he can improve and gently encourage him on that journey

5. Desire to pleasure him and be pleasured by him

New Years Resolutions for couples

1. Pray for each other separately and together. The prayer should be faith filled declarations of ‘the best’ for your spouse and your marriage

2. Deal with any difficulties with love and patience. Let anger be short lasting and forgiveness and grace be the standard.

3. Desire to improve your communication – speak clearly, speak truthfully and speak to build up and not destroy

4. Give each to the other wholeheartedly in the area of sexual intimacy. Your spouse should always be that safe place of loving release and refreshing.

5. Share goals together. Share your vision and seek to attain together.  Set out time every week to just appreciate where you are as a couple and trust God for more grace and power.

Have an exciting, wonderful, joy-filled, and successful year!

Ike & Linda

After Christmas before New Year

Christmas 2014 has come and gone. The memory of the delicious Christmas lunch with all the trimmings grows more distant. The leftover  Christmas turkey has ended up in a variety of utility meals or sandwiches. Nice times spent with family and friends, the highs (and lows) of the celebration, the good feelings surrounding receiving and giving gifts as well as possibly disappointments of missed opportunities to rebuild strained relationships remain etched in the memory.

Did you enjoy the Christmas & Boxing Day?  What did it all mean? How much time was spent reflecting on the reason for the season and acknowledging the gift of the begotten Son Jesus who would ultimately give His life to reconcile us back to God.

The trees and the garlands have served their purpose and many are in the process of being taken down. What can be recycled for the next years celebration? What has concluded its use and requires discarding for good. Are there any things we need to be discarding for good?

Now comes the time to look at the forthcoming year.

The New Year represents an opportunity to assess what you have achieved, the challenges, the successes of the past, where you at now and the plans for the New Year.

The concept of New Year Resolutions is not a new one. In Ancient Babylon, the people made promises to their Gods to pay their debts. The Ancient Romans made vows to Janus from which the month of January has its origin. New Year resolutions are indeed a part of modern culture with people of various backgrounds displaying various levels of dedication to seeing their personal goals come to fruition in the year in question.

We are encouraged in the Word to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added (Matthew 6:33).

The goals of any individual to get fitter, stop smoking, give up alcohol, lose weight, become more responsible, become more charitable, start or make progress in a project or give more time to others should be encouraged. We can all play a part in supporting the folk in our lives to achieve their personal goals.

In Ecclesiastes 12:13 it says ‘Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.’ This is as true now as it has ever been. The New Year can give us a starting point to say … New year, new commitment, new zeal , new resolve and new desire to follow God in seeking His will.

Husbands and wives would do well to reflect on how they can be better spouses than they have been in the past year and commit to making the changes.

Specifically for husbands, a commitment to being the Spiritual leader of the home, taking charge of affairs and providing leadership in other key areas of family life while making effort to display true love to his wife. Men need to have a strong conviction and corresponding confession that she is God’s gift and will do them good all the days of your life. Men need to make a greater effort to understand all her challenges and limitations and always lift her up in intercession while showing generosity in all things especially attention, gentle words and acts of appreciation.

Wives would do well to committing to having a genuine admiration, respect and appreciation for their husband and his efforts while remaining committed to being a channel of blessings into the home. Wives need to understand that they have the power to determine to prevailing atmosphere in the home and commit to enhancing the well being of their husband by positive affirmation and being yielded.

If the couple can together agree to working together by ensuring that love, honesty, trust, enduring commitment , patience and forgiveness become the defining terms of their marriage they can be confident that they can weather any storm and come out of any difficulty stronger and more victorious than ever before.

We hope that 2015 will be a year for great testimony as to the goodness of marriage and you will see the Lord’s best manifest in your individual situations.

Thank God for Jesus

Christmas is a unique time of the year acknowledged by the whole world as a special season. Over centuries Christmas has evolved from an inauspicious event in humble surroundings in Bethlehem to a annual world wide celebration universally acknowledged by people of all faiths as the major religious celebration.

The origins of the celebration of Christmas as well as a lot of the traditions which have now become to be associated with Christmas frequently seem to be removed from the real message of Christmas.

The real message of Christmas is one of love and giving. God sent Jesus to be a sacrifice to redeem mankind back to himself following man’s rebellion and separation from God through sin.

… Hark the herald angels, Glory to  the Newborn King, Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.

God loves us. He is always reaching out and seeking to forgive us when we pull away.

For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

That message of grace and giving, of atonement and the drawing us back to the Father is one that needs to be proclaimed to the whole world.