GET RID OF I-R-R-I-T-A-T-I-O-N

'What really irritates me about you is the way you always leave the toilet seat up1!'

While in courtship, you know your intended spouse well enough to be willing and ready to marry him or her, however, the day you got married, you step up to a new level of knowing your spouse. You got married with the assurance that they are just perfect for you. You’ve made promises and entered a covenant with each other about how life will be fulfilling and exciting. Then somewhere along the line you find that this perfect person is not so perfect after all. They have some personality traits that you find absolutely I-R-R-I-T-A-T-I-N-G! He doesn’t put the toilet seat down, her make up and hair is all over the floor and has changed the color of the sheets, he doesn’t put his clothes in the laundry basket, she doesn’t cook that well, and the list goes on and on.

These things don’t make you love your spouse any less but they sometimes cause arguments between the two of you. Such things pose as a sore topic in your relationship; you never even get to resolve them because each time they come up, both of you begin a war of words with each other. Do you know that slowly but surely, the marital relationship is breaking down, when you allow such to be the norm in your home?

The enemy wants to ensure that there is some kind of contention between the both of you and if it is not treated, guess what happens – One day out of the blue, everybody explodes and begins to use words that they can never take back. Irritation is simply feeling annoyed, impatient, or slightly angry. Now what good can come out of that, when you allow it to linger?

Don’t allow anything you deem irritating ruin your beautiful relationship. Meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres”.

When you allow yourself to remain irritated, it actually gives room to all things contrary to love (bitterness, resentment, etc) to spring up. I agree that they may not be easy to handle at first however you must make up your mind to work at your relationship, to be forbearing, to be understanding and to appreciate your spouse regardless of his or her habits, no matter how irritating they may be. One of the best ways to handle this is also through communicating effectively with each other. Take time to talk and when you do, ensure you are both in a good frame of mind to listen to each other and have a fruitful discussion. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the right words to speak before you begin; and you will see how quickly and amicably things can be resolved.

God’s grace is always sufficient to keep the joy, peace and harmony in your home. Draw on His grace and get rid of irritation.

JESUS…

focus-jesus

It’s important to know that only Jesus has the ability to meet our deepest needs. One major mistake that most people make in marriage is that they expect their spouse to fill the space that only He can occupy to the fullest capacity. Unfortunately, when their expectations are not met in that regard, they become unfulfilled and frustrated. Many go into marriage thinking they have finally found someone who will fill a void and make them complete but they also experience a rude awakening.

You and I have to always remind ourselves that our spouses are only human; he/she has limits!! While they are to help us reach our fullest potentials in life, even they cannot satisfy our spirit – which is the most important part of our being. In fact, marriage shows us that no matter how fantastic a person may be, no one can take the place of Jesus in your life. No matter how wonderful your spouse may be, he/she cannot be Jesus to you! I believe that marriage actually awakens our undeniable need for Jesus!

Focus on Him; He is the author and the finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). When you keep your eye single, He would make you  whole and complete. A marriage requires a complete man and a complete woman in order to be fulfilling. Even when challenges may arise in the home, don’t lose sight of what matters. Always remember that Jesus already paid the price to ensure you come out victorious and have peace. He is the One who has what it takes to show you the way out of any crisis in your home; steadfastly look unto Him.

Please remember that while you and your spouse still have your part to play in ensuring that your marriage is blissful, don’t look to your spouse to complete you and make you happy. Look unto Jesus, He is the only One that can give you FULL satisfaction! When you have that full satisfaction, it becomes very easy for you to attend to your spouse’s needs as you ought to. May the Lord help your understanding!

 

SHE IS A REFLECTION OF YOU…

2014 CPYF blog quote Wife reflection of Husband

The task of a husband, just like that of a leader is to invest into his wife. While your wife was created as your help meet, it doesn’t mean that she is to do all the helping while she remains on the same spot. As a husband, take time to invest in your wife. What do you do to build her up? How do you help her grow spiritually and otherwise? What do you do to challenge her to become a better woman, wife, mother and person in general? What do you do to affirm her? How do you help her weaknesses? Don’t marry her and just leave her to herself; you must pour into her and her progress must be evident for all to see. There is everything wrong with a husband moving forward in life spiritually, career-wise, and otherwise while his wife looks like she has been on the same spot since the day he met her. It says a lot about you as her husband! The making of your wife is in your hands so do something. When you do, you would have absolutely NO reason to compare her to another woman, and she would have NO reason to compare you to another man who is building up his own wife. One of the best things my husband has ever done for me is to build me up and carry me along in everything he is doing. He is constantly challenging me to be better at everything I do; and he even makes me come out of my comfort zone sometimes so I can develop myself further. His doing so, has helped me become more confident in my endeavours and I have no reason to resent how well any other man treats his wife. Don’t be carried away with making it in life that you leave her behind. It is important to also now that whatever you do cannot yield positive results if it is not done in love. Don’t do it grudgingly, not with criticism, and not in anger. Ask God to show you how you can enhance your wife. Remember that no man hates himself but nourishes and cherishes it (Ephesians 5:29) and that is how every man must love his wife. Single man? This is for you too. Get yourself ready to be a helper of her destiny. One thing you must always remember as a husband is that everything about your wife is a reflection of you!

CHOOSE THE HIGH ROAD….

forgiveness

One of the best decisions I ever made in life is to practice advanced forgiveness everyday. In fact, part of my daily prayer after I wake up is asking God for grace to forgive even before I have the opportunity to be offended.  Jesus said, it is impossible, but offences MUST come (Luke 17:1), so, yes we would be offended as long as we are alive and breathing, even by our spouses. In fact, I like to remind couples every now and then that the truth is our spouses will more than likely offend us the most simply due to the kind of relationship marriage is and the proximity we share as a couple. So, lets get that clear – you will be offended by your spouse BUT how you handle it, makes all the difference.  You have the choice to either take the low road of holding a grudge against them or taking the high road of forgiveness. I tell you with all confidence that the better option is to get on the high road. To forgive is to simply let go of a grudge, and not hold the offence against the offender. Forgiving does not mean holding back your feelings and not saying how you feel to get issues resolved, because that would only lead to bitterness and resentment or even worse. However, stating your feelings also does not mean not guarding your lips so as to use hurtful and demeaning words.  Unforgiveness is a major hindrance to intimacy and the progress of the family, so much so that Jesus said, before we stand to pray, we must forgive (Mark 11:25). One of the worst conditions for us to maintain in our hearts is unforgiveness. If we don’t forgive others, including our spouses, we also will not be forgiven and that would render our faith useless. And our faith is a vital force in our Christian journey. Forgiveness is a choice; if you choose to forgive, things would work well for you but if you choose not to forgive, the results would be negative. You can choose what you will like to do but you must know that you cannot hold a grudge against someone, let alone your husband/wife, and expect God to listen to what you have to say. It’s impossible. Exercise yourself to forgive before being offended; Apostle Paul said it best, “And herein do I exercise myself to have always a conscience, void of offence towards God and towards men” (Acts 24:16).  Forgiveness is a vital part of marriage; it’s no wonder someone once said that “a happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers”; it is a daily affair. So, while the offender may be wrong, you must also not be part of creating a division between yourself and your spouse, otherwise the enemy would take full advantage of it.  Remember that all he needs is an open door into your home to start his main assignment which is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). The good news is that he has lost already…. as long as you choose the high road!

MODESTY = DIGNITY

decency

Regardless of what the world says, we are to glorify God in our body (1 Corinthians 6:20), which includes in our dressing. Keep private parts, private and stop “flaunting” yourself. It is actually shameful. Any man that finds it attractive, in all seriousness, is not in his right mind. The same man that is drawn to you because of your body, will be drawn to another woman who has a better body. I am usually embarrassed when I see women who wear clothes that are, perhaps very short and they are constantly pulling them down every second. Why put yourself through that in the first place? Someone told me that her husband actually likes it when she dresses like that. And, my answer is always that he may like it now because he wants to show you off or whatever other reason he may have, but that likeness is for a moment. When men start flocking to you, he would feel disrespected as a husband and most importantly, when you have female children who start dressing like you, his senses would come back to life and what he found attractive, he would suddenly despise. In fact, many men begin to insult their wives, calling them terrible role models for their children. So, do yourself a favor, and set a standard for yourself.

We should do all things decently and in order even in our dressing (1 Corinthians 14:40). Be modest in your dressing; if you are a Christian, let it show. Stop following the patterns of the world. Modesty is not majorly an issue of clothing but is majorly from the heart because your outward appearance is a visible and silent testimony of your Christian values. Modesty shows your dignity; it makes you worthy of respect.  And, modesty really has nothing to do with fashion; styles change all the time, but modesty never changes, the generation notwithstanding.

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TRUE BEAUTY…

true beauty

Every woman needs to know this! Your beauty is not defined by the makeup and jewellery you have on. Haven’t you seen many “ugly” gorgeous women? Well, I have. The ones who speak with foul language and have terrible attitudes, the ones who are argumentative and proud, the ones who have no respect for God or anybody, the ones whose hearts are full of wickedness! Despite their physical beauty, they are still considered unattractive. Why? Because in as much as we like looking at good looking people, we cannot deny the fact that true beauty comes from within; we cannot deny that a defective character has the power to erase any kind of apparent beauty. Dear woman, The One who made you says you are beautifully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) without makeup (hair, eye lashes, lip gloss, etc) and without any jewellery. There is nothing wrong if you choose to use them (I believe that’s a personal thing so I won’t dwell on it) but please remind yourself that your confidence cannot be derived from such things. If you choose to use them, they should only enhance your already defined beauty! If you are not confident in your skin, just as you are first, then no amount of additions can make you confident and even attractive! That means each time they come off, your confidence deflates! You are more than that. Anybody who tells you that you are not worthy to be called beautiful unless you have makeup (wigs, weaves, eye lashes, etc) on, is a liar from the pit of hell and does not have your best interest at heart! Yes, physical beauty pleases the eyes of others but people are blessed by the beauty that comes from within. That is what they are attracted to! Your inner man, your character, and most of all – a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4) – that is what makes you beautiful! Please renew your mind concerning yourself and don’t waste another second putting yourself down or giving anybody the right to do so!

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THE HEART OF THE MATTER….

God-Looks-at-the-Heart-23

I always like to admonish singles to be more focused on the heart of their future spouse. I actually feel sorry for men and women who only care about the physical looks of an individual. It makes me wonder if there are any physical changes in the person they claim to love, if they would still hang around or become missing in action. As a single man or woman, please know that the heart is God’s priority, not the looks! Pay attention to the the heart of the man or woman you want to marry. Man focuses on the outward appearance but God focuses on the heart, the heart, the heart of the individual (1 Samuel 16:17). Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being attracted to that man or woman but their heart should overshadow their appearance. That should be your prayer; not the cliche tall, dark, handsome, rich, beautiful, slim & slender man or woman. Remember that the heart of man is deep…and God has the ability to search the heart of man (Jeremiah 17:10). A tall dark and handsome man or a modelesque woman can use their looks to blindfold your eyes until you are married. We, as men may be deceived but God cannot be deceived! Don’t go casually into marriage blinded by the looks of a person otherwise you may bear some heavy consequences. Be prayerful and seek God along the way. As far as God is concerned, while other areas are important – the heart of the matter is the CONDITION of the heart!

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FLOURISH FROM WITHIN

So, as you know already: I am a woman. Lol! That means every now and then, you will find something just for ladies on my blog. While CPYF is for everyone, I can’t help but speak to my fellow women from time to time. It is important to remind ourselves of who we are in Christ and not allow anyone else determine our worth. The good news is that there is also a section for men and you can find it under the categories. I am not a man but thank God for great examples such as my one and only hubby, who I can draw from.

This write up below was on FB some time back but I have just tweaked it a tiny bit.

woman

As a woman, don’t be so engrossed with your outer man at the detriment of your spirit man. We have the tendency to get so carried away with the latest hairstyles, makeup, jewellery, etc that we pay more attention to what matters to humans than what matters to God – our spirit man. Each time you look in the mirror, and when you are around others, your spirit man should be radiating first, not your lipstick. No wonder the bible makes mention of this because the truth is that if care is not taken, we may find ourselves flourishing outwardly while our spirit is as dry as the desert. Go after the Word of God until it is dwelling richly inside of you (Colossians 3:16). Pay more attention to building your spirit than you do, to enhancing your physical appearance. I am not against looking good; yes do look good, yes, do feel good but make sure your spirit man is in a much brighter state!

 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

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HOW STRONG IS YOUR TEAM?

we-can-do-great-things-quotes

I agree!!!

I really like this quote above from Mother Theresa because it speaks volumes!

I particularly like it because it also applies in marriage. A lot of people come into marriage not realising that it is all about team work. It is all about working together to achieve a common goal. We are not to come into marriage thinking we know it all and not giving our spouse’s room to make mistakes. Marriage is all about making up for the weaknesses of the other person.

And because most don’t understand this, they get irritated and frustrated by the imperfections of their spouse.

I know there are areas in my life where I particularly rely on my husband for major support because they happen to be his strong points and he does the same with me. That is what makes a strong team. There is no team on the earth that has players who are the best in every position possible. On every team, there are better goal keepers, better scorers, better point guards, better forwards, and the list goes on and on. However, to achieve something great, each one must come together and fill in where they are needed to get their team to victory. The same goes for marriage.

While I as a woman was created to help my husband, he is also expected to help me become better. My husband should be able to trade his weaknesses for my strength and I should be able to do the same. I believe that marriage is for reinforcement in every area of life – that means it should enhance you and add more value to you. That is why the Bible says that ‘two are better one’ (Ecclesiastes 4:9). This doesn’t mean that we are to bask in our weaknesses and not try to become better but it sure helps knowing that if I fall, my husband is there to lift me up.

If our mind-set changes and we see ourselves as on the same team, it would change the entire direction of the marriage and family for the better. It would help us know that despite our individual shortcomings, when we remain a house united, it only strengthens our team and takes our family life to a higher level of glory!

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WHAT LANGUAGE DO YOU SPEAK?

5lovelanguages

I am usually privileged to teach a class when Bible School is in session at church and while teaching one day on The Marriage Covenant, a man stood up and asked a question. He said, “I really love flowers and I keep buying them for my wife but she never takes care of them and it really annoys me. Aren’t women supposed to love flowers?” Of course, the women in class were not in support of that last statement. In fact, some were saying things like “I would rather take money” or “I would prefer it if my husband looks after the children once in a while so I can rest”. Others just erupted in laughter.

The truth is that a lot of people find themselves in that man’s position in their marriages. They deal with their spouses based on what works for them or what they think every man or every woman typically likes. When they don’t get their desired response, they end up frustrated. I always use the phrase ‘being a student of your spouse’ and I think that if more people see the importance of studying their spouse’s per time, the level of frustration will be next to zero.

I am all for learning from others, reading books, counselling, etc. However, copying and pasting what Mr A is doing for his wife into your own marriage is not the best way to go about it. You are to dwell with your own spouse according to knowledge and understanding (1 Peter 3:7); not according to what anyone – society or otherwise, say.

For some women, flowers and some other romantic things speak volumes while for others, their husbands just helping them around the house makes the difference and adds to her fulfillment in the marriage. There are also such differences with men. Some men thrive on words of affirmation from their wives, while others prefer quality time.

Don’t automatically assume that because they are a man or a woman, it means he/she must like the stereotypical things. Again, your duty is to be a student of your spouse, adjust yourself accordingly to them, and communicate effectively with them. Try it! The love languages are:

1. Physical Touch  2. Words of Affirmation  3. Quality Time  4. Gifts  5. Acts of service.

Look out for their love languages by studying them intently and have the mindset that it may change with every phase of life. And, then begin to speak their love language. Doing this would create a positive change in the right direction.

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