Submission

While visiting Dallas this week, we worshipped at Potter’s House in Dallas with Bishop TD Jakes, it was awesome, and we had a great time. I have always wanted to visit Potter’s House and experience it live and I was not disappointed at all. The Bishop was there while the praise and worship was phenomenal.

Bishop taught on Submission, whenever I have heard sermons on submission it  is usually from a marriage perspective. I thought that was the angle he was going to teach from, oh boy! Was I wrong?

“For women at times, we don’t want to hear another sermon on submission. I don’t have issues with that topic at all; I learnt years ago that you cannot submit to a man until you submit to God first”

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Before “I Do” – Part 3 In-Laws

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the seriesBefore "I Do"

In-laws to most but Outlaws to a few! In-laws come with the marriage, whether you like them or not. It’s like living in Texas, you do not have a choice about the sales tax,  you just pay it.

When you marry, you do not only marry that person you get the entire family. You just cannot ignore that these people exist; you are going to have to form a relationship with them. If only because it makes your partner happy knowing how important they are to him.

Deal with it, your partner did not fall from the sky, someone gave birth to him, loved him, nurtured him and he will not be the person that he is today without those people in his life. Just like you have parents who loved and cared for you, same goes for him too.

This is a very important topic for everyone to seriously discuss, especially for these two groups. 

A – Divorcee.

B – Single parent.

These two groups of people I would suggest to really discuss these issues fully, because they may have had a brush with the outlaws’ in-laws in their previous relationship, especially If their previous experiences were negative. They want to be very careful not to bring that bad experience over to a new relationship.

I am enjoying and loving my in-laws, they are not in-laws anymore they are my family. You may not know this, but I’ve been divorced, and I must say, I had a really nasty not so good experience in my formal life, but thank God that’s all in the past. Honestly, I never thought it was possible to have good in-laws but am here to tell you it is possible, even after a divorce. God is truly a God of restoration and He makes all things new and wonderful.

For the single mom coming into a new family, exercise much patience and don’t be on the defensive. Give your new family time to bond with you and your child/ren. Your spouse’ support is what is critical and you have that already or you won’t be at this stage. As much as you may want everyone to get along, your primary focus is your initial family. Ensure that the bond with your spouse and child/ren are good because ultimately you all have to live together.

We’ve all heard the Mother in-law jokes, it’s not just a joke to some, it’s some people’s reality. We cannot discount people’s feelings, it has to be addressed.

Everybody Loves Raymond is an American sitcom. The mother-in-law, Marie Janella Barone, is the real star of the show, played by the lovely Doris Roberts. My husband and I love watching it, even the reruns never get old. As funny as it is, I can’t help feeling sorry for Debra (Patricia Heaton) Ray’s wife. The mother-in-law is lovable but also very manipulating. I usually tell my husband after watching an episode that there is no way I can live next door to Doris, I’d rather leave an entire State for her.

Why discuss in-laws before marriage?

In-laws can either help or break your marriage. It is best to be on their good side. Yes, you can’t please some people no matter what you do, but you can choose to walk in love and forgiveness with them regardless of the way they treat you. There is a saying that goes “keeps your friends close and your enemy closer” is true, treat your in-laws with kid gloves and be respectful.

God is the author of marriage and He should be the foundation. When you make God the foundation of your marriage nobody can destroy it, they may try but they will not succeed. That is why it is very important to get the foundation right, don’t try to build on a shaky foundation. We are to count the cost before building (Luke 14:28)

Know who you are marrying.

What do I mean by this? It is very critical that you understand the relationship your husband-to-be has with his family. Their closeness might have been an attractive quality to you while dating but being married is a different matter. Depending on who you are marrying there comes certain responsibilities and duties and you need to be aware of that.

Is he the first or only child?

Traditionally, the first child of the family has a role to play, whether they agreed to it or not. They are born with the role of a leader, the go-to-person in the time of problems. In the absence of the parent, they become the head of the family.

The first or only child – The Parents have heavily invested in the first and only child, a lot of sweat equity has gone into the child. Especially if it’s a male child, they are often burdened by exceedingly high parental expectations. Their failures and successes become their parents’ too.

The parents (especially the mother) feels strongly connected to them and won’t let anybody knock them out of his life. You ain’t going to get mama out-of-the-way just like that, she has been No.1 and intends to remain the reigning queen whether you like it or not.  You have to work with your husband in wisdom for the reversal of roles over time.

Ok as a mom myself, I get it! Although I don’t plan to be the MILH (Mother-In-Law from Hell). We tried for a while before conceiving our first child. Oh boy! I have never prayed as much as I did when we were trying to get pregnant. She was delivered by C-Section and nothing has been the same ever since we brought her home. She is perfect and we adore her. I would hate for her to get married to some hotshot who thinks we are not important anymore. Just the thought of that makes me break out in tongues (speaking in tongues).

So I know how tough it is for moms especially – I have been on both sides and I know that will make me embrace my future sons and daughters in-law. Furthermore, having good In-laws have taught me a better way and I see the benefits of a wonderful family.

I am older and just a little bit wiser, that not-so good experience I had in the past taught me a lot. I don’t recommend that you need to experience divorce to learn these lessons. I honestly believe that sometimes as a new bride, you can be clueless about how to deal with the in-laws and you can mess a good thing up with a lack of wisdom. The incoming daughter should also give the new family a chance, some relationships will not blossom overnight. Marriage is not a race but a marathon, don’t rush in expecting to be best friends, give it some time. It will take some time for roles to change, be patient and you will enjoy your new family in time to come.

Respect your In-Laws

This is sometimes harder to do when there is fracas already. Respecting them will help you in the long-run. You love their son, therefore respect them. Respect their home when you visit them, mind your language when you are around them. Respect their boundaries even if you don’t understand it, understand that there is a generation gap and it seems so 1920’s. Respect that they raised your husband-to-be, so they have done something right. Dress appropriately when you visit them, keep your negative feedback to yourself, they are not your parents who you might feel you are free to talk to however you like to.

Conflicts

Oh boy! Conflicts with the in-laws are not a good step forward but it can be resolved eventually. The best thing to do from now is to maintain a dignified silence, you have probably said too much already. One of the worst things you can do is to vent your feelings and tell your In-laws how you really feel about them. The Bible says a wise man ponders his thoughts. Silence is truly golden sometimes.

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue; Proverbs 17:28

Save your energy and please don’t try and prove a point to your in-laws, invest your time in working things out with your husband to make peace.

If you find yourself having to defend yourself against them: then maybe your spouse has dropped the ball. It’s not your job to fight and defend yourself, that is for him to do and vice visa. He knows his family better, he knows the best way to approach them than you and they will always forgive him.

Sometimes the young and inexperienced wife does not help by the way she handles matters. Coming into marriage with an unrealistic expectation, thinking that after all he loves her and he should straighten his mom and family up. That just won’t cut it, remember he knows them the longest and is fiercely loyal to them. He sees them through the eyes of love, they know his weaknesses and strengths and they have been there a long time before you showed up “looking fine”. It will take time for him to see them any other way, and nagging him will not get him there faster if at all.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the
foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1

Prayer – There is power in prayer, instead of venting all your feelings to the In-Laws, vent your feelings to God. Learn to fight your battles on your knees in prayer. Let God fight your battles and you keep your peace and be still.

 

James 5:16: The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Take your issues to God and see how He will turn them around. Remember to still continue to keep a dignified silence, walk in love and forgiveness.

We must continue to keep in front of us the ultimate goal which is two becoming one. This process will take time and we must never forget that we are on the same side.

It is better to discuss these issues and be honest about your families before you say ‘I Do’

Christmas Holiday – Is it a tradition to spend festive time with the in-laws?

Find out what he has already told his family about you.

Find out what their personalities are like, that way you identify them and that will save you from getting mad over nothing.

When visiting in-laws, where do you stay? Hotel or in-law’s home?

(This is Part 3 of 5 series of Before “I Do”)

Before “I Do” – Part 2 Sex

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the seriesBefore "I Do"

There is no easy way to broach this subject, so we might as well just dive into it.

It is just 3 letters, S-E-X, yet very powerful.

When I first mentioned to my friend Sade that I will be writing about the types of questions you should ask before you say “I Do” and mentioned “sex”, she was somewhat surprised that these questions will be brought up before marriage – and I know exactly where she’s coming from.

As a born again and spirit filled Christian that is not engaging or participating in anything of a sexual nature before wedlock, how can you talk about S-E-X?

Well, there are ways to talk about sex without it being sexual. This is not a conversation to have in your “boudoir” with Marvin Gaye music playing in the background. You must be conscious of every appearance of evil.

God created sex and it is a good thing. God is not in the habit of creating bad stuff. I have heard people say that the Church has an obligation to talk more about these issues, and this is true, however, we have become a nation of people who love passing on their personal responsibilities onto others. What next are we going to ask the Church to do, give us sex lessons? Oh please, don’t get me started!

I beg to differ, it is a sensitive subject and I surely do not want to have these discussions in the same room as my friend’s parent, huh! Anyway, back to the discussion at hand.

Why discuss sex?

The Bible says: “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

The goal is to become ONE. For that to happen there has to be a lot of letting go of how it was done in the past. We have to start afresh and learn together as one.

The word “cleave” means to cut off, to cling to, to hold on to, to separate from the old and embrace the new. To put behind you everything you knew before, every habit, every way of doing it with others. To start afresh with your new partner, learn together and be one.

Therefore, you need to discuss sex and here are a number of good reasons why:

Your future partner (FP) may be sexually more advanced than you. You need to find out what his/her expectations are.

What if your FP has what you may consider as ‘sick fantasies’? You will need to flesh them out before you say “I Do”.

You need to know about their sexual appetite – i.e. how frequently you are expected to do the “marital dance”.

What kind of dance do they have in mind, is it the Tango, Waltz, Quickstep or the Paso Doble? This is the time to lay it all down, what you will and will not engage in.

Sex should be between a man and a woman, but you may be surprised to find out that your Christian FP also thinks it’s okay to bring visual aids; such as porn or making your own “home movies”  into your marital bedroom. You need to know right now before you say “I Do”. We are all at different levels in our walk of faith; do not ever assume that because they are believers they do not have an obscure way of thinking.

Children love roleplaying, but what if your ‘mature’ FP still wants to role-play? Are you game for playing nurse or patient or may be daffy duck? Huh!

Will they be willing to have a blood test done before you say ”I Do”?

Are they on the sex offenders register for something they had done in the past before coming to the Lord? This is a must for the single moms.

I watched a disturbing documentary about this issue when a pedophile bounded with a single mom; she ended marrying the man because of his relationship with her child only discovering later the damage he had done.

It is also important to find out if they’d ever engaged in same sex relationships or fantasized about it.

Be clear about what your boundaries are and make it plain.

How comfortable is your FP  about talking about sex? What else are they not comfortable discussing with you? After all, you guys are planning to spend the rest of your lives together.

What if they don’t want to engage in sex at all? Shocking! Right? You’ll never know until you ask before you say ”I Do”.

If you think these questions are unnecessary or difficult to discuss before you say “I Do”, then maybe you are not ready to say “I Do” just yet.

(This is Part 2 of 5 series of Before “I Do”)

Before “I DO” – Part 1 Money

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the seriesBefore "I Do"

There are many gray areas to be discussed before you say “I DO”. It is a well-known fact that some of the reasons for marital problems are;

1, Money issues,

2, Sex,

3, In-Laws (outlaws!),

4, Religion,

5, Children.

Some people are not comfortable talking about money or sex. Hence, why the right questions are not asked before they say I do.

No wonder after you’re married, you discover that you have been lied to. Could it be that you did not ask the right questions?

Men do not talk much as we all know; men are so very different from women (thank God!). A man may not offer to tell you some personal information that a woman would consider relevant. Therefore, what is relevant to a woman is not necessarily so to a man.

Asking the right questions will eliminate some of the confusion that will surely arise later after the wedlock.

In this part, let us talk about Money, Money, and Money!

In a marriage, there is no such thing as my money and your money. It is our money, it cannot be separated.

Salary – How much do you earn? It sounds so simple, yet you won’t believe that some women do not know how much their spouse earns?  The main salary before overtime, do not estimate for income that is not guaranteed.

Savings – How crucial is savings to you? As one who loves to save, you really need to find out if you are marrying a spender or a saver. Just in case, he’s a spender, that is not a ground not to marry him. Know whom you are marrying, that is the whole point.

FICO score: Find out what the FICO score is now. If you do not ask now, you will pay the price later. Why not at least know what price you are willing to pay.  If you do not know, what a FICO score is (USA), maybe you are not ready to get married just yet.

Credit Cards – How much debt do they have on their credit cards? You may be surprised to find out that all that eating out he’s been paying for with his credit card, you will help him pay it back with interest afterward.

How many credit cards does he have? How many is too much?

Car Note – How much car note is outstanding and at what rate of interest. How long does he intend to pay it off for?

Does he own his car or is he leasing? If leasing, why? This may not apply if he owns his business.

How many family members is he bankrolling? Ok, let me make this clearer. This may not apply to everyone, but if you are marrying an African man/woman, you had better find out quick! Usually, we are our parents’ social security, pension, and healthcare. We also have uncle, aunties, nieces, and nephews on our payroll. I really cannot get into that right now it is a whole enchilada!

How much has he already committed to helping families and friends before you arrived on the scene? It is very vital to find out; these are commitments he made in the past.

You need to discuss and find out if he is open to renegotiating or forgoing some of those commitments. You both must take into account, that a single life style and marriage are very different especially in costs terms.

Lending Money – an essential topic to hash or thrash out now before you say I do. Your man/woman could be a very generous person, who thinks it’s ok to borrow everyone money. Some will even co-sign without discussing with their spouse. Lending money and co-signing for friends and families are very sensitive topics, tread very carefully.

Buying or Renting – Your first home is very important, where are you going to live? Do you rent or buy? Do we move into your current home or a rented accommodation?

Joint or separate accounts or?

Whose money is it anyway?

Wedding cost – Who is paying for what? How big, how small. I know it is customary for the groom and bride’s parents to take on different parts of the bill. What if none of your parents are alive or could afford it? Dish traditions and plan a wedding you can both afford. Do not assume your partner wants a big wedding and that is your motivation for one. You might end up footing a wedding neither of you wanted.

divorced and Single Parent Issues – How much is the Alimony, how much is the child maintenance? Does he owe any back payment and how will this affect your income? What kind of agreement do they have in place right now? Child visitation rights etc.

Identify the person that is best with money and let them be in charge of paying bills. The other partner must show interest and know how much the monthly expenses are. It is not just one person’s job. If the other partner does not get involved, you open yourself for abuse to occur.

Financial Goals. What are your financial goals? What big project do you have in mind for the future? Now that two is becoming one, there has to be some compromise. Except you are a millionaire, you cannot have it all.

Financial secrets – After you have discussed all the questions. Ask them if they want to own up to any financial secrets or shame. Such as a Foreclosure or Bankruptcy.  Give them the opportunity to talk freely.

These are just guidelines to start the discussion, there are many more questions you can think off.

If you want to know more, sign up for a 1-2-1 coaching.

(This is Part 1 of 5 series of Before “I Do”)

SOS:Calling All Stay-At-Home-Mom

In any given economy, there is a groups of people who has to stay alert and vigilant; the Stay-At-Home-Moms (SAHM).

Many moms are likely to be blindsided without a plan B… Everyone must have a plan B. It doesn’t matter how much income your spouse is earning now, if you don’t have at least 6 months savings to cover all your monthly living expenses in any given economy you might just find yourself homeless.

It’s unfortunate but bad things do happen to good people. Mothers mean well, we put all our focus on the home and children. We forget to take good care of ourselves and we neglect our pension & contribution to social security.

We bury our heads in the cloud and don’t face the reality of our lives. That reality is that mostly our husband is the main bread-winner. No one prays for bad things to ever happen to his job or health. Well, sometime these things do happen.

So today I’m sounding the alarm, please WAKE UP. We can avoid or at least reduce the impact of a surprise from happening.

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Planted and flourishing in the Church

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3178826&id=562290836

The first church I ever attended was chosen by my parents, I continued attending the denomination for the next 17 years of my life.

The second church I attended was while I was living in London. I went with a friend and I loved it!! It’s the praise and worship that gets me all the time.

The church was fun and full of life. The first time I ever saw young people serving God and making it look cool, oh yes; I wanted to be a cool God worshiper!

So, fast forward many years later, I have learnt a thing or two about churches: Why it’s important to attend the right church for you and not because your fore fathers attended the church or big mama paid for the bench and pulpit.

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Who do you say that I am?

Who is God to you and I? Is it possible that you know the God preached to you by your Pastor, parents and Sunday school’s teacher?

The first 16yrs of my life, I attended the church my parent chose. I didn’t know much about God, the little I knew of Him was to be afraid of Him. The picture I had of Him was just not good at all. Continue reading

2010 – The Year Of "DOING IT"

Most people start the year with a set of goals and visions for 2010. I certainly had a list too and I usually end the previous year taking time out to take note of what I was able to accomplish and which ones I will be adding on to the oncoming year’s list.

I have gotten to that stage that I have run out of excuses why I am unable to do this or that! There are no more excuses for me because I noticed that every year I seem to have one excuse or the other. My initial excuse was because I got pregnant, but now that the baby has arrived, I have no more excuses.

Enough is enough, it’s time to grow up and be an adult. There will always be something that prevents us from achieving our goals if we let it and I do understand that live is about seasons but you should be able to recognize what season you are in so that you can set realistic goals.

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I Finally Caught The Mission Bug.

For as long as I have been around church folks, attending churches and being a Christian. It wasn’t until 2006 that i finally caught it.

I am excited and looking forward to my first mission trip. I don’t have one planned yet but I know it’s only a matter of time.

It all began in 2006 when we started attending Houston Worship Centre. There were always talks of someone going on mission trips or just returning from one. Our pastor, Pastor Randy Needham, would allow them to give us an update regarding their trip.

One thing they all had in common is the look on their faces, like met with God. Honestly there was always something about them. Oh well, I would think to myself, that is surely not for me, I am one of those that would rather support missionary but not go on mission. Continue reading

Why Do You Forgive?

To each person, we forgive for different reasons. The Bible says in Colossians 3:13 (NIV) that,

“13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

There are so many reasons why it is good to forgive, regardless of what the other person have done to us. It’s easier also said than done! Am sure by now we all know it’s just not cool when you are the one on the receiving end of someone else wickedness.

I know that in the past, I have caused others pain, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I have come to regret the once am aware of, even the once am not aware of; I have since ask God for forgiveness.”

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The Truth About Marriage Your Married Friends Are Not Telling You.

Don’t get me wrong marriage is great, I am very happy with mine, but there are some truths about marriage your married friends may not have told you.

Most times, you will only find out the truth during a divorce, how miserable the relationship was, even though at the time they appeared like the perfect couple! 

There are different kinds of marriages out there; you will be amazed that your motives for getting married are different from your partner.

You’d better ask the right questions before you say I do, just don’t assume their motives are the same as yours. Hello! You really don’t know anyone that well except for what they are willing to share with you.

15 Truths You Need To Know Before Getting Married. 

1. Marriage will not make you happier if you weren’t already.

2. If you are a boring Singleton, you are likely to become more boring especially if you are not open to new ideas.

3. Marriage will not change who you already are, rather reveal your true-self. 

4. Marriage will not solve your problem, it would more than likely create additional problems.

5. Marriage is for mature people and maturity has nothing to do with age.

6. Marriage isn’t cheap. There are more bills to be paid when you get married. If you can’t pay your bills now then you are going to struggle with debt.

7. Men – If you don’t like to talk, don’t get married because women love to talk especially with their husband.

8. If you enjoy the freedom of being single, keep on enjoying it, because marriage will place a demand on your time. It’s not all about you anymore. 

9. Marriage can be stressful, and stress is bad for your health.

10. Marriage does not mean more sex. Nah!

11. You are not just marrying your partner, you get the entire family!

12. Getting married is cheap but divorce is expensive and can give you a bad credit.

13. You are likely to put on weight.

14. You become a better actor/actress in marriage by pretending not to notice how embarrassing your partner behave sometimes. 

 15. You really discover who you’re married to later not before.

Joseph, The Forgotten.

Little is written about Joseph the carpenter, the father of Jesus. Joseph represents: A man of great courage, integrity, obedience and great faith. These are qualities one should look out for in a man.

Nothing could have prepared him for the route his life took. Let us travel in Joseph’s shoes for a moment.  In his late teens, Joseph fell in love with a maiden by the name Mary, with the hope that they will get married. I guess they are just like normal teenagers in their time, excited about what the future will be ahead for them.

I bet not in a million years did they think that their lives would change the way it did. Just like you and I today, some of the things we had being or going through, we never thought we would be where we are today. Reality is always different from what we imagined; reality is what we all do, not fantasy.      Continue reading