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Gender Specific Marriage Instructions

Why Are The Commands To Submit and Love in Marriage Gender Specific?

As I was teaching yesterday, someone asked me this question.

I gave an answer and the class continued.

I woke up this morning and the Holy Spirit in His usual way continued the conversation.

Here’s what I just learned. I’m so excited, I can’t sit still and I can’t wait to share.

When God created man, He gave both man and woman the mandate to dominate every other thing that He had created except each other-Genesis 1:26-28 shows this clearly.

However, at the fall of man in Genesis 3, things got altered a little bit.

God, in dishing out consequences for their actions said to the woman: ‘In pain will you bring forth children; your desire will be for your husband and He will rule over you.

This changed the dynamics of the marriage relationship.

The woman would always love her husband and he started to ‘rule’ her.

However, the original DNA of the woman has not been completely overriden. She somehow knows she was not created to be dominated, so she kicks back against the husbands ‘rulership’.

This rulership is fine by the man anyway because it works very nicely into the dominion mandate he was given at creation.

The rulership & Kickback mechanism is why God inspired Apostle Paul to make gender specific instructions for Christian marriages.

Submission is difficult for a woman who is kicking back from being ruled.

A man focused on ruling will not find it easy to love.

We need to be reminded about God’s original plan.

Mutual submission to each other that plays out in reverence/ submission on the part of the wife and unconditional love on the part of the husband!

I just learnt a serious lesson.

Who’s With Me?

Tobiloba

Loving Your Wife God’s Way 3-The Final piece

This post has been long overdue. It’s been pending for over a year.

So that you can get the gist, find the first two parts of this and read

And ladies before you start gloating-especially if you are new to my blog, find the series on submission God’s way and please read it.

Okay guys, lets round this up.

If your relationship with your wife is supposed to be a replica of Christ’s relationship with the church, you are the representative of Christ in your home.

You cannot represent Christ to your wife if you do not know Him. No matter how much you try to love your wife outside of Christ, you will fail.

Therefore your love for your wife is not dependent on her submission to you, its should be a fruit of Christ in you.

Now,that said, if you are to be to your wife what Christ is to the church, one of your responsibilities is to be the priest of your home.

The ‘prayer warrior’ title in your home does not belong to your wife, it belongs to you. This is not to say that a woman should not pray, I am clearly stating that contrary to popular belief and opinions, it is not the woman’s job.

What you sow into your wife is what you harvest and since the harvest always outweighs the seed, check the seeds you’re sowing.

Hold on to the ultimate husband -Jesus as you continue to love your wife God’s way.

Thanks to all who followed this series. I pray you learn something you can use.

I know I’ll be back to use these things soon.

Who’s with me?
Tobiloba

IS LOVE ENOUGH?

I don’t know about you but over the years I’ve heard the phrase ‘love is not enough to keep a marriage’ – even from pastors, and I’ve honestly come to believe it.

Until last night.

I was in one of my very argumentative moods with the Holy Spirit and we were talking relationships and marriage-again, and in supporting one of my arguments, I said: ‘But God, Love is not enough to keep a marriage’.

And then as usual God stopped me cold in my tracks with His response: You mean I’m not enough to keep a marriage?

I stop cold. Then the Holy Spirit goes on and reminds me of a scripture I’ve known since I was a child:

Read with me: The person who refuses to love does not know the first thing about love because God is love- 1 John 4:8(MSG).

Of course the punch line was ‘God is love’.

The lesson continued: If you say love is not enough to keep a marriage, then you are saying I’m not enough to keep a marriage.

All other kinds of love- romantic love especially are needed, but not enough to keep a marriage. The kind of love I’ve given you and called you to give – the God kind of love is however all you need to make a marriage work.

Romantic love will not keep a marriage but the God kind of love will. End of lesson.

Question :(God ): Is Love enough to keep a marriage?

Answer: (me mumbling, after eating humble pie) : Yes

The God kind of love is all I need to make a marriage work because that kind of love is God Himself!

I need to renew my mind and cultivate the God kind of love!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

A GOOD THING

I have this pastor and friend who started telling me a while back that, the earlier your husband finds you, the better for  him.

I did not understand what the guy was talking about so I let it slide.

Then a few days ago, a scripture dropped into my spirit that cleared it all up. It reads:

He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.-Proverbs 18:22

Then the Holy Spirit started to teach me a few things. I’m sure you bible scholars already know these things but I can be a learner sometimes.

It is a man’s job to find a wife, not the other way round. Do not be tempted to reverse the roles except you are expressly led by the Lord to do so.

A wife is a good thing! Ladies, you are a good thing. Do not let anyone or anything tell you otherwise. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good thing.

Do not allow yourself to be treated less than how a good thing would be treated

There is a certain favour that a man receives from God the day He finds a wife-not a girlfriend or a fiancée.

The longer it takes a man to find a wife, the longer it takes him to begin to walk in that favour.

A man should treat a woman,-especially his wife, the way He would treat a good thing. She is an asset and a door to a certain level of favour.

I need to constantly remember:

I am a good thing! I am an asset!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 

NO MARRIAGE IS BEYOND SAVING

After my post on divorce, where I advocated forgiveness even when divorce is a biblical option, (Read that post here: https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/is-divorce-really-the-answer/) I got a lot of questions and opinions that sent me to my knees and back to the word.

I realized that majority of us consciously or unconsciously believe that there are certain lines in marriage that once crossed there’s no coming back from. I was told that even Jesus must have recognized that possibility-he allows divorce on the condition of adultery.[1]

I have to say, that argument was quite convincing to my human mind. I mean it makes sense. But I have come to realize that a concession does not always mean agreement.

I know a lot of people will disagree with some or all of the things I’m about to say; that’s fine. I’m going to go ahead and obey God anyway. My discoveries of late are below:

Divorce was never part of God’s plan when He created marriage. It was a man made concession because human beings became too hard hearted and refused to offer forgiveness when they were wronged by their spouses.[2]

When Jesus gave the concession, He allowed only one ground for divorce-adultery; and then followed it up with a condition that essentially translates to celibacy unless you reconciled with your spouse.[3]

You see the reason for that condition continued to baffle me because I felt that God was asking too much. I essentially found myself asking ‘If you would allow them to divorce, why would you tell them to stay unmarried after a divorce?’

I have now realised that as with everything God does, that condition was put there to help us see that no matter how much we think we know, His plan is ultimately and always better.

Am I saying that spouses do not do unspeakable things to each other in marriage? Of course not, I’ve heard and seen certain things done to people in the name of marriage-(flagrant adultery, physical abuse, emotional abuse…) the list goes on

If I were to judge some of these things by human intellect, crucifixion would be too good a punishment for some of these perpetrators.

But like I said, God’s so much smarter than I am.

So what should the Christian response be in the cases above and others like them?

These are my practical thoughts after lots of studying and asking.

If you’re married to a serial adulterer, Please move out of the house before you get a disease, Keep praying for him/her and if possible, still do other ‘marital’ duties. Prayer not only has the power to completely transform your husband/wife, it ensures that it is impossible for you to hate him/her.

If you’re in a physically/emotionally abusive marriage, Get out of there before you get yourself killed. Keep praying for him/her from where ever you are. If he/she is the stalker type, fly under the radar please. Your life is very important

However, do not stop praying for him.

If your marriage was founded on deceit, (or they jazzed you like they say where I come from), and the truth comes out, Take some time away if you must but while you are away Pray! Pray!! And Pray!!! Then, you will be able to forgive him/her and continue the marriage.

God created marriages to last, no matter the problems it may encounter on its way.

Marriage God’s way takes work. A good marriage is not going to fall out of heaven no matter how ‘spiritual’ you are or how many principles you follow. You are going to have to work at it.

By the way, after I finished this study I ‘almost’ agree with the disciples.[4]( emphasis on almost)

If you don’t have a problem ‘working out your salvation’…. (as free as it is) why do you thinking bailing out of your marriage when it has challenges is the only solution?

One last thing to address before I finish, I’ve heard people advice women especially to stay in a house where they are being abused just so that another woman does not take their place.

I beg you, don’t do that! If he marries another woman, is that the end of the story in God’s books? I don’t think so. I’ve seen God bring marriages back from worse- and it was not because they stayed and took the abuse.

None of the above situations (as bad as they are) has divorce as the ONLY option. Separation with the intention to reconcile in God’s time  is a very viable option too.

The summary of this epistle, No marriage is beyond saving. NO MARRIAGE!

Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not!

But doing things God’s way, as hard as they may be will always be worth it.

This is now my firm belief.

Instead of heading to the courts, why don’t we head to the cross?

I’m almost afraid to ask but:

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba


[1] Mathew 19:9

[2] Mathew 19:8

[3] 1 Cor 7:11

[4] Mathew 9:10

LOVING YOUR WIFE GOD’S WAY 2

I’ll continue this study by looking at the admonition of Peter.[1]

(Read the previous post here: https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/loving-your-wife-gods-way-1/

He starts by telling husbands to live with their wives with understanding. What this means is that you have to take time to study and re-study your wife.

It is not a one day affair. If you have a PHD on your mother or any other woman and you have a BSC on your wife, then your priorities are wrong.

You are not allowed to demand that she conform mindlessly to an image in your head of what you or society thinks she should be, you have a job to do in’ learning’ your wife. Don’t be lazy. Get cracking.

Don’t assume anything. Ask questions, Clarify and keep clarifying, you will never stop learning and understanding, so keep at it.

It takes two to build a home and keep it standing. Men, do your part!

Your wife is not your subordinate; she is your equal partner, no matter what the society may tell you. That’s how God sees her.Treat her that way. Her opinion should always count.

Note:  I’m going feminist on you, I didn’t write the bible and its right there as clear as day.

In closing men, in case you need an incentive to love your wife God’s way. Peter concludes by saying that the way you treat your wife has a direct link to whether or not your prayers are answered.

So just in case your prayers have not been clearing the roof of your house lately, you might want to check how you’ve been treating your wife.

I’ll be back soon with some final thoughts on Loving your wife God’s way

I’m out of steam for today.

Tobiloba.


[1] I Peter 3:7

LOVING YOUR WIFE GOD’S WAY 1

 

For those that followed my series on submission God’s way, I promised a post for the men as well.

Well, this is me keeping that promise, with the first part in the series which I pray will be a lot shorter than the previous one.

I’ll be using the same scripture I used previously, so follow me as we go back to Ephesians.

It reads ‘Husbands, love your wives’ but it does not stop there. It tells them how to do it.

‘As Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her.’[1]

Christ’s love is sacrificial, unconditional and is not based on performance, looks or expectations.

Sorry to burst your bubble husbands, but the fact that your wife is not looking her best, has hurt you so many times, does not  love you in return, does not cook your favorite meal or does not satisfy your sexual desires as often as  you would like is no basis to stop loving your wife.

You example is Christ, not the expectations of the media or popular public opinion

Note: This above admonition is for husbands and not boyfriends/ fiancé’s. Single guys in relationships, your checklist is in 1 Corinthians 13

Husbands’, loving your wives also includes ‘covering’ her with the word. Speak the word over your wives daily. Just as Christ builds His church, you have a responsibility to ‘build’ your wife.

She is your cultivation. Speak the word over her and watch her become what you call her.

I’ll close this post with the Message bible’s translation of the Scripture we just looked at. I just love the way it says it.

‘Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.

 Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.

 And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.’[2]

So husbands, how are we doing on keeping up with the above so far?

Note:No more of I’m not Jesus-He already gave you a template and showed you how to do it.

Tobiloba 

 


[1] Ephesians 5:25 (NKJV)

[2] Ephesians 5: 25-38 (MSG)

SUBMISSION GOD’S WAY 5- THE FINAL PIECE

This study will be incomplete if I do touch on the admonition of Peter[1].I’ll be constantly substituting adaptation with submission in this post as well so don’t get confused, I’m still on topic.

He started his admonition in about the same way as Paul but brings another interesting angle into our ‘adaptation’ as women.

Your husband does not have to be a believer for you to submit to him! The minute you married him, you responsibility to submit to him began. The question of him deserving it or not is irrelevant.

Note: The notion of I’ll submit to him when he loves me is not only unscriptural, It is wrong! Get it out of your head before you put yourself in danger of hell.!

Peter goes on to point out that ‘submission’ irrespective of the man could be the tool by which the man comes to know Christ. Ladies, don’t be a stumbling block to a man’s salvation just by refusing to submit to him because you’re the better Christian and he’s an ‘unbeliever.’

Note: The notion of ‘I cannot submit to him because he’s an unbeliever and I’m a believer is also unscriptural! It’s not being spiritual, its being proud!

Let the God you profess to know be evident in the way you relate to your husband in submission. The fact that he made a few wrong turns and choices does not in any way change the fact that ‘adaptation’ is still your responsibility.

And you know what ladies; you do not necessarily have to agree with the course of action to adapt. It is an attitude of the heart and mind.

A case in point in this passage is Sarah. Never in her story did we read that she stopped adapting to Abraham even when he lied about their relationship and consequently suggested adultery to save his neck.

Note: I’m not supporting adultery in the name of submission! I know you get the point though; I just thought to point that out.

Her submission to her husband was evident in the way she addressed her husband. How do you show your submission to your husband on a daily basis? Like we said earlier, what speaks submission differs from man to man-Learn your man and get cracking.

This brings my study on Submission God’s way to an end- six months after I started it. Thanks so much for hanging with me. I hope you’ve learnt something that will be useful to you.

I know I’ll be back to these posts for inspiration real soon!


[1] 1 Peter 3:1-6

IS DIVORCE REALLY THE ANSWER?

IS DIVORCE REALLY THE ANSWER?.

SUBMISSION GOD’S WAY 4

 

Fast forward with me to the book of Ephesians 5 (bearing in mind that this is after the death of Christ and therefore the dispensation of the Holy Spirit) and let’s look at the most widely read passage at Christian weddings. The topic on relationships starts with an admonition that we should submit to one another[1].

Yes you read that right, submission is supposed to be mutual!

Note: Men, you might want to take note of the above!

 The passage then goes on to explain mutual submission in the marriage relationship starting with wives and that’s where we’ll start. It admonishes wives to submit to their own husbands- the amplified bible suggests the word ‘adapt‘could be used in the place of the word submit. So follow me while I do that.

If wives were to adapt to their husbands, what would this entail? I should think that it would entail a deliberate effort on the part of the wife to study her husband to know his likes and dislikes and the way he would want his things done. It’s not something done in one day; it is a continuous field of study.  If this is the case then wives,  there is no place in marriage for generalizing or treating your husband like your father. Don’t be lazy, learn your man! Ask questions Clarify issues. Never assume that you know. There’s always more to be uncovered about the human personality so, dig, observe and learn-and be willing to adapt/change where you need to!

Note: Ladies, this admonition is for wives, not girlfriends/fiancees! So even though there is a place of getting to know a man while you are courting, leave the changing or adapting till you’re married.

You will notice that the scripture puts the word ‘own’ before the word ‘husbands’. This emphasis is to me very instructive to ladies both single and married.(single ladies, see above).Now wives, your adaptation should be to your husband and not to another woman’s husband, no matter how important they may be to you. There should be no ‘that’s how my mentor does it so that’s how I’ll do it, or that’s how my mother did it so that’s the way it must be done or that’s how my pastor’s wife does it so that the correct way. DO NOT have a Phd on another man and have a Bsc on your husband! That is just plain wrong!

Your adaptation should be to your husband and your husband only.

I can hear the wheels in some heads spinning saying-yeah, that’s easy for you to say, you’re not married to my husband. He’s impossible! I have no motivation to do anything for him. Well I’ve got news for you wife, when you do it, you’re not doing it for him, and it’s a service to the Lord.[2]

And to the ladies who think this is just too much work to do and is impossible, try adapting (submitting) to God first, you will find it easier to submit to your own husband.

Finally that part ends with two words most women either overlook or dread. ‘in everything’. So no picking and choosing which areas of life you’re adapting(submitting) in, your mandate is for every area!   

Quite a lot to swallow for wives right?  I know! The post for husbands comes up soon in another series.

Note: Trying to do the above without Christ is like trying to move a rock with bare hands! The effort may be sincere but the result will be failure!

Thanks everyone for hanging with me in this study. The concluding part of this study is coming up soon as I’ve run out of steam for today.

Tobiloba.


[1] Ephesians 5:21

[2] Ephesians 5:22 (Amplified)

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