Before “I Do” – Part 4 Religion

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the seriesBefore "I Do"

Religion has been at the root of so many problems; your relationship is not exempt from it also.

So you think love will conquer all, I don’t need to discuss religion? After all, we are both of the same religion? Hmm, which is what exactly?

It’s important for couples to make sure they share the same religious beliefs, similar values, and life goals. Your marriage has a higher chance of making it, being of the same faith.

Just because you are of the same “religion OR faith” does not exempt you from having the discussion.

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Cor 2:14 (NKJV)

Christianity is a broad term that covers several denominations. Even those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ often call themselves a Christians.

Your faith affects all areas of your life. You don’t have two lives, just the one. After you get married two becomes one, and his decisions will affect you.

A house divided against itself will not stand Mark 3:25.

God has given us a choice; to choose life or death. Deut 30:19

The choice is yours to make; as you make your bed you will lie on it. Ignorance is not an excuse and you will pay for the choices you make today, later!

There are many reasons to be equally yoked; I will give you just a few reasons.

No.1 – God is first always. When you marry an ungodly person you have chosen to live by their ungodly ways and lifestyle.

When you put God first in your marriage He helps you navigate the stormy roads ahead. There will be stormy and challenging times ahead of you, every marriage gets tested.

Women especially need to choose wisely. Your husband is your covering, he is the gatekeeper of your family and when he is missing in action he leaves room for an attack on the family.

No.2 – Raising children. Are you prepared to raise your children in the way of the world? There is a high likelihood of your children following in the step of the spouse who isn’t serving God. They may soon decide to stay home instead of attending church with you. Who is going to back you up?

No.3 – Unity and Agreement. There are so many major decision couples have to make, and not being of the same faith make those decisions much more difficult because you have different viewpoints.

Questions to discuss

Which church would you attend together – It is customary to attend the groom’s church but that is not written in stone and should be discussed especially in the case of relocation.

Tithes – this is 10% of the income and should be discussed, especially if you are going to have a joint account.

Offerings and supporting good causes.

What about raising children? Or having children?

When you were growing up, did your family belong to a church, synagogue, temple, or mosque?

How important is it to you for your partner to share your religious beliefs?

How active do you plan to be in a church after we get married?

Will you want to be married in a certain denominational or religious tradition?

This check list is a guide and may seem mundane. However, think how stressful, time-wasting and financially draining it would be dealing with lawyers, divorce papers and separation of assets. If you do the work now there will be very few surprises later while you enjoy each other’s company, whispering sweet nothings to one-another. 

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of pre-marital counseling. If your church offers pre-marital counsel take advantage of it. Common issues can easily be addressed and resolved ahead of time

10 Benefits to being equally yoked

  1. Decision making is much easier.
  2. Unity and agreement which create peace and harmony in marriage.
  3. Mutual love and respect. It is easier to honor and submit.
  4. Spiritual growth – Iron sharpens iron. My husband and I pray regularly search the scripture for answers. We are mutually supportive of each other’s spiritual growth.
  5. Church attendance – by attending the same church together we hear the same message and are headed in the same direction.
  6. Our children see us living out our faith daily and they follow suit without any confusion. They have a godly heritage.
  7. A supportive community of people of the same faith.  
  8. Conflicts are quickly resolved.
  9. Alcohol, drug, Pornographic free zone – our home is alcohol, drug, and pornographic free zone. Our friends and family respect our boundaries and way of life. 
  10. Common interests – we support each other’s desire to go on missions, attend bible studies or conferences alone or together.

 Congratulations and best wishes as you begin your new life together!

Question ~ What role does faith play in choosing your spouse?

(This is Part 4 of 5 series of Before “I Do”)

Milestone: Faith Starts Kindergarten

Faith’s First Day At Kindergarten

All over America children are starting their first day of Kindergarten.

Our Faith is one of them and today is indeed history in the making.

The last month had been about getting Faith fully ready for kindergarten and I am glad she is off to a great start.

There was no crying from either of us, just lots of pictures and hugs.

Faith has been looking forward to this day forever. All she’s talked about is starting school, going on the yellow bus and seeing her BFF Jeri. Sadly Jeri and Faith are not in the same class but they get to see each other on their breaks and bus rides.

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Privilege And Responsibility

It’s never too early to teach children about privileges and responsibilities.

We give our children way too much all in the name of love. If we are not careful we may be raising a generation of spoilt brats.

“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”  By Koop C Everett

We have taught Faith and David about privileges in our home. They also understood that it would be withdrawn if they are disobedient.

Our children have far much more than we’ve had and we want them never to take that for granted.

So when Faith decided she was going to be disobedient lately all her privileges were withdrawn and it was an opportunity to teach her about responsibility.

I am teaching her that she has to earn her privileges back. Faith will never have to earn our love, which is unconditional, but our love is not tied to stuff.

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What Are You Doing To Improve Yourself This Year?

I was catching up with my dear friend  Sheena and we got talking about her recent adventures. This year alone she has launched her new book 30 Miutes of Music – A Music Minister’s Guide to Effective Praise and Worship

She just returned from a 3 weeks tour of Europe lifting up the name of our LORD.We were exchanging ideas and dreaming up new ones.

Its great catching up with friends and inspiring one another.

Success is intentional not accidental

Which led me to write this post.

How about you? What are you doing to improve yourself this year?

Check the comment section for some of the ways I am improving and growing on my journey.

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A Grandma’s Legacy Of Prayer And Love

My grandmother’s name is Chief Abigail Adebayo; she was a praying grandmother.  No one else prayed for me as much as she did that one day I would be married and have children of my own. She died a few months before I met my husband.

While she was alive, she never rammed the bible down my throat or preached at me. All mama did was pray, love her family, serve her community, and was actively involved in her local church.

Mama was known as the peacemaker. She settled disputes in my family without taking sides. Mama’s mission was for people to know Christ, dwell in peace and love. She was a mother to everyone that needed one, to both men and women alike.

Mama extended her love to Muslims, atheist, and anyone in need of love. Her love knows no boundary or limits. Women in her community called on her to settle marital disputes.

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Milestone: David Potty Trained

My little guy finally nailed potty training and what a relief to say the least.

David turned 3 years old early this year and I’d hoped that he would have been potty trained. It didn’t happen, as much as I huffed and puffed about it.

It’s not a big deal if your child hasn’t yet mastered potty training by the age of 3. Every child is different and they should not be compared to one another.

Oh yeah? So says you, shame you didn’t take your own advice!

Well, I can talk now! Didn’t I compare David to Faith?  Ok, ok! I did compare David to Faith. Or maybe I should put it this way; I had high expectations of David. LOL

Potty training with Faith was easy peasy lemon squeezy. One weekend was all it took. We stayed home and simply put her on the potty frequently. She aced it and I expected David to do the same.

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Are You Sensing The Call?

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the seriesSelf Employment

Every human being is born with a purpose, within us lies gifts and talents to carry out our purpose. Our role is to discover what those gifts and talents are and how to apply it to our calling.

At some point in our lives we all find ourselves thinking about what is our real purpose in life?

You may found yourself becoming unsettled, restless and questioning everything in your life right now. Perhaps you may be thinking that you are going thru midlife crisis.
Are you feeling, confused and dis-interested in your current role? Tired of living from paycheck to paycheck?

You are sensing the call if you are tired of your current job and want to do something else that call upon your gift and talents.

Discovering your purpose will give your life a sense of direction. You will discover the joy of living and a new lease on life. Your life becomes satisfied and fulfilled, and this will also affect every area of your life.

Prov 22:29 –  Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men (KJB).

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I Am Me

This is for every woman who struggles with coming to terms with self-identity; who have refused to be put in a box.

Man cannot define that which he did not create. ~ Buky Ojelabi       

                 

I am more than a woman
I am more than a wife
I am more than a daughter
I am more than a sister
I am more than a friend
I am more than you think I am
I am more than you expect me to be
I am more than my race
I am more than my title
I am more than qualification
I am more than the opportunities offered to me
I am more than my back account
I am more than the car I drive
I am more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37).

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Time To Change Your Story

Your story is what you tell yourself over and over again, your inner self talks in your head. You use it to justify your actions and you continue to tell the same story again and again to anyone who cares to listen.

Everyone has a story they have been re-hashing forever. They have perfected that story and they are living it out for everyone to see. We create stories in our minds whether we recognize it or not

Isn’t it time you change your story and transform your life?

Anyone can change his or her life story today by changing  the story you tell yourself.

So what story have I been telling myself? I have become a master storyteller. My story has been perfected with such precision and I have held on to it for many years. It’s reflected in my actions and how I’ve presented myself to the world.

For many years I told myself: I am the “black sheep” of my family.
It wasn’t a name my family gave me but a title I gave to myself.

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I Will No Longer Work For Money Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the seriesSelf Employment

Back in middle school, my math teacher asked us a very profound question – What do you want to be when you grow up? While, everyone in my class was eager with excitement to answer. I was drawing blank. For the first time in my life I realized that I didn’t know what I wanted to become.

In order not to look stupid I said ” I want to be an Air Hostess”. Even though I can’t swim and I had a fear of water. Yep that was what I was going to become!

Ever since then that question has hunted me. It’s affected a lot of the decision I made.  Through out my working life I continued to see the importance of knowing.

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I Will No Longer Work For Money

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the seriesSelf Employment

Since my first job at the age of 17yrs old, I had always worked for money.

Some people work for passion while others just like myself simply work for money. While, there is nothing wrong with working for money. Either way you look at it you are getting paid for services provided.

As for me it’s been too long and not satisfying. Money gets spent and sometimes you really have nothing to show for it and that yearning in your soul for something more satisfying and fulfilling never disappears.

I have always been blessed with moving from one job to another. I have changed careers several times hoping that this next one is the ONE.

I moved from Financial Accounting to Legal Accounting. I remember when I started working as a Cost Clerk then moved on to become a Legal Biller and Revenue Controller. The higher I got, the more the money came rolling in too.

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God Bless Her Boo Boo

Faith enjoys grocery shopping with me. She think its cool that we can “hang-out” together especially for grocery shopping.  Faith is 4yrs going on 10!

I enjoy grocery shopping by myself; it’s a like a mini holiday by myself. It’s my alone time to think and just clear my head. I don’t get many opportunities to spend alone time by myself. So I look forward to my time alone shopping. I am not a fan of malls so you will hardly catch me there.

Faith tends to slow me down whenever we go shopping so I really have to be patient with her. She loves talking to everyone she meets; I mean everyone. Its nothing for her to ask a total stranger what is their name and how old are they. People always respond to her very warmly, I guess they see that child-like innocence in her.

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The Power Of Focus: One Thing At A Time

In the last 10 years I’ve learnt to focus on one thing at a time. It may sound simple but it was actually hard for me to stick to at first. I was used to running around like a headless chicken trying to do many things at the same time. Often, I didn’t achieve my goal, and if I did, I didn’t celebrate it. I was always on to NEXT!

Women are famous for their multi-tasking abilities. While that isn’t a bad thing, it can be less effective in achieving goals. When you harness the Power of Focusing and doing one thing at a time, it teaches you stickability. You will stop jumping all over the place, finish strong and fulfilled.

If you want to see result, then you’ve got to start focusing on one thing at a time. Our brain is more capable of thinking on a multi dimensional level and different layers. We do not utilize our brain to its fullest potential.

What Is Focusing?

Focusing is simply doing one thing at a time. Choose a subject matter; focus on it until you achieve the result you desire.

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Always Trust Your Instincts

The No.2 Lesson I learned in 2011 – To always trust my instincts.

Always Trust Your Instincts is  No.3 on the  12 Ways You Can Kick Start The New You.

Last year I was faced with a decision whether I should or should not. My instinct was shouting NO! I have a pretty good instinct and in the past it has helped guide me in the right direction.

I usually don’t ignore my instincts, for the best part I follow my instincts. On this particular occasion I didn’t and I had to live with the consequences of not being true to myself.

When we are faced with serious life decisions we often have to consider how it will affect other people in our lives. Some decisions are far easier to make than others.

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A Brand New You -12 Ways To Kick Start The New Year.

Congratulations, you have made it into the New Year, and half of the battle is won. There is hope only for the living (Eccl 9:4)

This is a brand new year and I hope you are starting out with a brand new attitude. Out with the old, in with the new.

A new way of thinking and seeing the world. A brand new swagger in your step. A brand new you will make a big entrance this year, the world has been waiting for you.

Regardless of how last year was and who done you good and bad. You can get a new attitude, a new perspective on life and take charge.

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A Time To Reflect And To Dream.

I love this time of the year, right after Thanksgiving. It’s a time to reflect on the year gone by.  It’s a time for us to plan, prepare, and have a strategy for next year.

I have been doing just that and I feel recharged and energized to get started. I am excited for you and me!

I don’t make resolutions, I set goals. Setting goals helps me to have a target  to work towards. It helps guide and point me in the right direction.

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Day 30 – Thank You Lord

If I had 10,000 tongues, I could not thank the Lord enough.

I am thankful to the Lord for creating me as a woman and for dying for my sins. I am thankful for my salvation and the ministry of reconciliation.

I am thankful that God saved me from darkness and brought me into His light. I am loved and chosen to be called the daughter of the Most High God.

I shudder to think where I would be today if not for Jesus Christ who paid the price for all my sins.

Thank You Lord for being patient with me on a daily basis even when I am not the same with others.

Thank you for forgiving and forgetting my sins even when I struggle to forgive others.

Thank you for loving me when I was unlovable and unreasonable.

Thank you for seeing me through 3 C-sections in 6 years, I do not take that for granted.

Thank you for giving me a free will even though I sometimes use it wrongly.

I am grateful for all you have done and I am already jumping for joy for what you are about to do next.

Lord, you have been too good to me and our family. Thank You, Lord, for everything.

Day 23 – Thankful For Our Troops

Day 23 – Thankful For Our Troops

I am thankful for our troops, stationed around the world. As an Emigrant I am especially thankful for our troops; the families and homes they’ve left behind to protect our freedom.

Today, I join so many in praying for the safe return of our troops to their families. I pray that God will keep their marriages and families intact. That God will heal all emotional and physical wounds they carry.

I’m praying for the safe return of our troops to their families. I pray that God will keep their marriages and families intact. That God will heal all emotional and physical wounds they may have.

Today, I salute our troops for paying a great price to protect our lives.

There are many ways we can show our support for our troops. Here’s one: http://www.military.com/

 

Day 29 – Thankful For Completing The Challenge

Day 29 – Thankful for completing this list

Phew! I am so thankful that I finally completed this list. As much as I have enjoyed the process, it’s been quite daunting, to say the least. What was I thinking? I wasn’t, duh! Doing this challenge made me that I have so much more to be thankful for.

Easily we might discount our blessings if we don’t take the time to count them, how would we know? For that alone, I’m thankful for this exercise. Next time a list would suffice, that way I won’t have to leave anything OR anyone out.

I have many reasons to be thankful to the Lord. I have no reason to complain, The Lord has been good to me and our family. And the church says AMEN! 

Day 28 – Thankful For My Wigs

Day 28 – Thankful For My Wigs

What? What? Wig? Did you say wigs? Yes! LOL.

On a lighter note, I am thankful for my wigs. In the last one year, I have gone natural. Afro natural, as in I chopped off my permed hair.

The path to going natural has taken me to wig wearing. My hair is growing pretty good but with natural hair, you have to be proactive. If I don’t twist my hair the night before, I can’t even show my face to the public the next day! My hair is as kinky as can be; full, thick and growing fast. My hair and I have become too close for comfort and the only way to put distance between us is to wear a wig.

Wearing a wig comes with holy fear and trepidation. My son Joshua has a strong grip on him, he would love nothing better than to yank my wig off. So I wear it at my own risk, I say special prayers on Sunday so that he won’t yank it off in the middle of the church service!

I am not a fan of wigs, but I don’t have much choice when I am having a bad hair day. My nerves have been paying big time for wearing them so I am giving it a break for now. Still, I am thankful for them on days I need to dash out of the house quickly.