Naked…but not ashamed

Ruth and Boaz has been my favorite couple in the bible and they still maintain same position in my heart. Their lives speak volumes about God’s grace. And yes, I love the way Ruth put those great words to Boaz, she said, “spread your wings of protection over me…” she literally asked Boaz to help cover her nakedness.  She knew she had a past that she is not proud of but she needed her man to believe with her that she has a beautiful future ahead. She knew her spouse been anointed to protect her and groom her to greatness. No wonder Genesis 2:25 carve it like this, “…the man and his wife were naked, but they felt no shame”.

No man or woman is perfect. We all either have a past we hid from or weaknesses we are not proud of. You are her groom so as to help her become a better person. You are his bride to assist in where the need arises. You both have been called to watch each other’s back wildly. You can actually cover your spouse’s nakedness via:

Prayer: Learn to pray for and with your spouse. The fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. If one can chase a thousand, two will chase ten thousands… (The power of synergy) and confirmed by the scriptures. If you have talked to her/him about those habits you do not like and s/he seems to keep doing, sometimes it is not that s/he is stubborn…it may be that s/he is addicted. Addiction of course is not easily broken away from; it takes discipline and conscious effort. When we pray…God hears, remember he is an important member of the marriage team.

Positive Affirmations: Learn to be positive in your words. Never insult or ridicule your spouse because of his/her weakness or past. Don’t be like Michal who insulted her King and husband David in front of his admirers. Boaz never for once reminded Ruth of her ugly past, rather he kept on praising her for being a compassionate, considerate, adorable and hardworking woman. You don’t pull down who you love; rather you praise them and let them know you believe they can become better. Speak to the you that you see in the future…are you also struggling with an habit or weakness…yes you’ve prayed about it…then work it out…speak positive to your life. Look in the mirror and talk back to the person you see…speak greatness….call forth those things which you see not as if they are…bring forth the best “YOU”. You can make it…you can overcome the weakness…believe the same for your spouse and confess it. What we believe and confess is what we become.

Get Help: Some weaknesses need to be addressed…don’t cover it less it become your woe. Talk to counselors…seek professional help…problem shared is half solved. Be there for your spouse, go all the way with him/her…read books that address your issue…take steps that will help you shed the unnecessary weight… if you need to take exercises/ visit the gym often to get your shape back, please do.

You have been called to groom your wife…you have been adorned to build your man.  She may look fragile yet greatness resides in her…you may need to give her a push out of her comfort zone, go ahead do it.

The weaknesses you see sometimes are gold mine in the making if processed, manage and converted well. What you have overcome, is what you can mentor other people on.

Naked but not ashamed means…I can talk to my spouse about anything and not be scared of his judgment, even if he is going to criticize me; it’s going to be a constructive criticism. It also means…I am not going to mask my vulnerability before him…I can be open with him knowing he’ll be there for me to encourage, cover, protect and guide me. That is what marriage is all about…pouring out your all to your soul mate without fear or holding back… knowing you are fully covered.

 

 

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Married but lonely

I had a time of loneliness few months after I got married. The kind of house my spouse and I desired to live after we got married was some distance away from where we both worked. We loved the house and thought the distance won’t cause any problem until few months after we got married. My spouse would drive for hours to and fro work every day and this weighed down on him. Later on he decided to just be coming home like twice a week because he also has to minister in church at the midweek service and church was closer to his work place than home. I had dreamt of having a spouse that would be around me almost every hour of the day…such huge expectation you think? So, the less of my spouse I see daily; the more devastated I become.  I became so lonely. I have family members around who check on me when I come back from work at night but that couldn’t fill the void my spouse left. It was at this period in my life that I discovered that I had placed so much expectation on my spouse about him being around me all the time and oops he can’t meet up with the expectation because he’s human. It was then I found out that I had given my spouse more priority than an ever present friend, God.

Don’t get it twisted, I had been a Christian all along, but I had actually taken the fact that marriage is a three great cord, lightly. The cord comprises of God, man and his wife; not husband and wife only.  It is beautifully put in the bestselling book of Bishop T.D. Jakes, The Lady, Her Lover and Her Lord.

Every member of this cord has their functions and when one of them is excluded, the vacuum will be felt. It was at this time, I discovered that God will always be there whenever my spouse is not. Loneliness is not cured by the presence of another person in your life. Once you cannot overcome loneliness while single, you may be married yet remain lonely. You can be so busy alone and feel as if you have a company of a whole lot of people with you. Build your self esteem. If you are struggling with loneliness while alone, you may still be lonely in the company of lot of friends. The presence of God in your life fills great vacuum and His Spirit teaches all things including how to handle your relationship.

I was able to overcome this period of my life through God’s help. My spouse and I had to re-strategize our lives since he also want his wife to be happy always. We had to move to another house, though it was not extraordinary place like the initial house, but it took care of the proximity between our places of work, house and church. It also helped our effectiveness and efficiency in all ramifications because the home is not far any more for any one of us.

If you are married but do all things as if you are a single parent because the other partner is not always there….. If you have to make all the important decisions in the home front alone because he/she is not always available….maybe the kids don’t even recognize him/his authority because they hardly see him because of his tight schedule….He never even knows the kids need him at the next PTA because he never get bothered about their school activities…Dear, if all these and more are what you experience despite your married status, take it from me, you are married but living as a single.

Marriage is partnership and not a sole proprietorship thing. Get your spouse in the boat, you are meant to cruise together, don’t go solo. Have a heart-to-heart talk with him or seek help from trusted counselors and mentors. Get connected back to your wife; keep the flame of that love hot and burning. Don’t die in silence. Two good heads are better than one; don’t give yourself headache trying to make a vital decision alone which concerns the whole family.  Your presence is more important than the regular presents you buy for her, she needs you. He needs you to understand him more…see into his heart now that you are in his life. Spice up your spouse’s life; make it better than you met it.

Don’t get married because you want to overcome loneliness…overcome it before you get married less your bore your partner with your regular mood swings. Marriage is team work; don’t play ball on the pitch alone when you already have team mates. Your spouse and God are your team mates…the absence of any of the team members may permit the enemy to score against you!

 

 

Love and money

Let us recall that God first provided Adam with a job before giving him a wife. We can then conclude that a jobless man has no right getting a wife or how will he take care of his wife if he has no money?  The bible even stated that a man that does not take care of his wife and kids is worse than an infidel. That means money is part of the resources you need as a man to keep your home intact. Yes, your babe can love you so much and can pull through any condition with you but she will not be happy if you cannot meet her financial needs. That means, it okay to be in love but you need money to manage your relationship well. You are going to pay bills and provide food and some other stuff; all these are not going to be possible without money.

Proverbs 31 recorded the lifestyle of a great wife, the virtuous woman. She was an entrepreneur, she has her own source of income, and she not only depended on what her husband can provide. She was up and doing. No woman should be idle; every woman should have at least a source of income. Situations do arise that the husband may have challenges with his source of income, if the woman in his life has no source of income, there’s going to be problem in the house.

I must state here categorically that the woman should not take the responsibility of the man by providing for the needs of the family but she can stand in for the man when he has challenges and she can sure assist him. There is the power of synergy; it means combined efforts will produce a better result than a single effort. That definitely means both man and woman need to be open to each other as regards their finances. They must have a budget for the home. There must be financial planning to run the family. The family is a team and things must be done in unity. Financial accountability to one’s spouse is of paramount importance.

And in situations where the woman is standing in for the man during his financial challenge, she should not see it as if she doing him a favor. She should never look down on him at this period; rather she should look at it as a passing phase of his life. This is the time she needs to show so much support for the man in her life, believing that things are going to be better for him. No matter who earns a higher income between the couple, the other person should not feel intimidated or inferior. Anyone who is better in managing money between the two should be in charge of the finance.

You and your spouse should grow stronger financially as you do in your relationship and in age and this call for wealth creation. You should go for financial empowerment. Financial intelligence is of great importance.  A family that will be strong financially must learn to avoid waste. A wasteful lifestyle is an unhealthy lifestyle. Put priorities in place in your family and where lot of things need financial attention at same time, have your scale of preference where you will list the needs in order of importance. Your love life can be a great one initially but when you start having problems financially, it will be like love turn sour because once needs can’t be met because of lack of money, unhappiness will set in. Money therefore has its role to play in your love life; it helps you add the necessary spice to your spouse’s life. The great wise book endorses that, ‘Money answers all things.’