One of the downfalls of many men or women’s destiny is covetousness. It is one of the major destroyers of many homes and marriages. It is defined as the intense desire to have something, especially what belongs to someone else. People are covetous because they are not content with what they have, and many times we find husbands/wives who go through all lengths to get what they covet at all cost, never thinking about the consequences. For example, a man may see a particular vehicle that someone has and lose his mind because he MUST have it by all means. Or a woman may see a particular shoe/dress on someone else and wants it at all cost. Many even put pressure on their spouses to buy them this and that so they can keep up with the trend and with the lifestyle of others. So anytime funds come into the home, their top priority is to spend it, at the expense of the welfare of the family. Yet, when funds are needed for something vital, they start running helter skelter, looking for who can give them the money that should have been there in the first place. It is discontentment that causes such an attitude; people are not happy with what they have, where they are and even whom they are married to; they believe there is something better so they chase after it. It not limited to material things, marriage itself is undermined today because people are covetous. They are discontent with one partner for life; they compare their spouses to others, so that causes dissatisfaction in them to the extent that they go outside of their marital homes looking for “greener pastures”. Covetousness is indeed very costly, and every one of us can be a victim of it if heed is not taken so it is important to be sensitive and ensure that this sin does not take a hold of us because the results are detrimental. That is why Jesus said we must beware of it; we must guard ourselves against it (Luke 12:15). For Him to say beware of it shows how dangerous it is. What is the cure for this? CONTENTMENT! Don’t fall for the perception that any body’s life is better than yours. Don’t fall for the perception that any other man or woman is better than your spouse. Trust me, that man or woman has some flaws that you will not appreciate. Be content and thankful for what pertains to you. Covetousness takes a toll on any person and any family. Stop looking at others and focus on your life and family, to bring the best out of both. So from today, let the attitude of contentment be your watchword.
I did something wrong by mistake some time ago and I didn’t even realise it. The following day, while my husband and I were on our way to work, he noticed my error and told me. I was in shock and was so upset with myself that it changed my once happy and excited mood. He tried to liven up the environment and I would just giggle and go back to being upset with myself. I kept asking myself how I could do such a thing, even though it was not intentional. My husband looked at me and said “you must learn to self-forgive”. Wow! That set me free instantly. Such a simple sentence, yet it was so profound and made a major impact on me. I admit that sometimes for me, self-forgiveness is not something I am the best at, especially when it affects others negatively. I am getting much better but I used to dwell on my mistakes so much, even after I had corrected the wrong. When I got to my office that day, I began to ponder on that statement and the Holy Spirit dropped in me that not forgiving myself is the same thing as not forgiving another person; He said that although I like to go on about forgiving others, I must not exempt myself from it. Basically, that means that if I hold a grudge against myself (I know that sounds odd), it means I would belittle myself, be bitter against myself for my mistakes and even lose confidence in myself. Many of us are just like that. We talk and think about what we should have or have not done; what we could have or have not done; wasting time and wasting years crying over our mistakes – intentional and unintentional. And the truth is that God is patiently waiting for us to pick ourselves up and carry on, so He can still use us for His glory. Dwelling on could have’s and should have’s has never done anybody any good, so if you are in such a situation, pick yourself up and keep moving. One thing that helps me is that I constantly remind myself that time is not waiting for me; crying over spilled milk will keep be low and on the same spot. I can either see it as a lesson learned from my mistakes and keep striving for better, or beat myself up over it. So, in order not to let my mistakes get the best of me, I have the habit of saying “I Forgive Myself”, and that makes all the difference. Try it sometimes – in big issues and little issues, you will be set free by it and gather up the courage to try again or keep forging ahead. Someone said it best this way – “unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize the situation is over, you cannot move forward”!
Friendship is so important especially in marriage. It is the core of a strong marriage. Don’t treat your spouse as just your husband or wife. Be friends; be best friends – it tightens your bond. It is the key to a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Where couples are not friends, where they don’t laugh with each other, where there is no freedom to be vulnerable, where there is no acceptance, they are most miserable😬😒😩😡!!! While still fulfilling your God given responsibilities as a husband and a wife, please work hard on nurturing your friendship👫 with each other. Show your spouse that no matter who comes, or who goes, no matter what happens, they have a friend, a companion in you. It makes a huge difference!
It is so important to ensure that you are walking in the spirit at all times; when you do that, you give no room to the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Most singles today are walking in the flesh and make decisions about marriage in the flesh that affect their lives negatively. You must ensure that your spiritual eyes and your physical eyes work hand in hand when you are on a mission to locate your spouse, and also while you are in the relationship. In fact, elevate your spirit over your flesh.
There is nothing wonderful about having a husband or wife that may be the most attractive in the world, yet they are against the progress of the family or even adding to the challenges that may arise. The day the challenges come, their handsomeness or beauty will automatically fade away. Be spiritually sensitive when choosing your spouse. While being attracted to your spouse is important, remember that marriage is a spiritual house and you CANNOT build it with carnal methods. So whatever you are doing, whether before marriage or while in marriage, ensure that you are moving by the spirit and not your flesh. Stop looking at everything from a physical perspective. Remember it is the spirit realm that controls the natural realm (2 Corinthians 4:18). Build yourself up spiritually like your life depends on it; the headache and chaos it would save you from in marriage cannot be measured!
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For many of us, when we become parents, we realise that parenting is much more than cuddling and being mesmerized by how cute our children are. As they grow older, they begin to try every ounce of the fruit of the Spirit at work in us (Galatians 5:22-23). One day, I heard a parent who was very agitated tell his child that, “You are not allowing me to be the kind of dad I always dreamed of”. I wondered what that meant and found out that according to the dad, his son was ‘trouble’; in fact, he said that was his son’s middle name. He said he always dreamt of being a loving dad, but his son made it difficult with all his ‘drama and bad behaviour’. That really broke my heart. I told him the fact that he calls his son ‘trouble’ in the first place is part of the reason why that is all he sees. I made him realise that as parents our words over our children carry a lot of weight so we cannot be careless about them.
I told him to speak only positive words, even when his little boy seemed to be misbehaving. I drew wisdom from the scriptures – “Tell him he is a mighty man of valour; tell him he shall be mighty on the earth; tell him God created him as a blessing; tell him he will be the joy of many generations”, and a few others. After a few weeks, when he saw me, he could only say positive things about this same son, and he even began to cry about the fact that he regretted saying negative words to his son in the first place. He was amazed at the rapid change he saw in his boy and said the one word he uses on him now is that he is a blessing.
As parents, we have spiritual authority over our children, particularly when they are young. We have to believe and speak God’s Word continually if we want to enforce satan’s defeat. As you speak His Word, your children learn from you and when they get to the point of understanding and can take responsibility for themselves, all they would speak over themselves and various circumstances is what you have taught them about themselves from God’s Word. The enemy wants us to see our children as burdens, as trouble, as nuisances, even as mistakes. Why? So that they don’t become great on the earth. He knows that how you see them is how you will address them; if you see them as trouble, you will despise them. He knows that if you see past their imperfections and focus on what they can become, you will invest the Word of God into them. My charge to you today is instead of looking at how they are now, look into their future. What do you see? Use that futuristic picture as a guide for how you treat them now. They are meant to be signs and wonders on the earth (Isaiah 8:18). How do you intend to ensure that happens? God’s Word is the only way you can do that effectively. Keep His Word in your heart and that is all that will proceed out of your mouth concerning your children. Anywhere you find yourself when dealing with your children, don’t get agitated or frustrated. Instead, stop stressing and pick up His Word – the Parenting Manual. Locate scriptures concerning your children, pray over them with those same scriptures and you will see what you say manifest. Forget about how long it will take. The Bible says “…you will reap in due season IF you faint not” (Galatians 6:9)!
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