With This Ring

Wisdom: The Real Beauty

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In the book of Esther, Queen Vashti is described as a very beautiful woman. She was married to King Xerxes who organized a banquet in the third year of his reign. This means Queen Vashti also had only been queen for about three years too. She too gave a banquet for the women at the palace to celebrate the third year anniversary.
While in this celebratory mood, the King ordered Queen Vashti to come dressed in her royal apparel with her crown to ‘show case’ her beauty. But the Queen refused.
My initial conclusion when thinking about this singular action of Queen Vashti was that she was full of pride. But on a closer look, I began to see her action from a different angle – the Queen may have been trying to ‘caution’ the King on his excesses. Remember that the King had earlier shown off his riches, his kingdom in all its glory, and the honor of his excellent majesty during the celebration. In fact, the King displayed his vast wealth over 180 days, one of the longest displays of wealth described in the Bible.
In fairness to the Queen, (1) she could have been stressed out (2) she may have been uncomfortable with the arrogance being displaced by her husband (3) she may have been busy with the women in the palace whom she was hosting at her own banquet and (4) she may have felt embarrassed or angered that seven eunuchs were sent to bring her.
Upon a closer look, Queen Vashti had some level of freedom given to her by her husband. She was the women leader and was granted access to the kingdom’s resources.
Dear sister, any woman whose husband supports and gives her the freedom to be who God wants her to be, who also has access to her husband’s resources – time and money – is highly favored.
Wisdom has built her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars.
For the purpose of this write up, I will like to outline two lessons I learnt from the ‘home’ of Queen Vashti.
1. There is no excuse that can justify disobeying, correcting, confronting and embarrassing one’s husband in public. Imagine if Queen Esther had publicly confronted the King about Haman’s plan just because she was under pressure, or because of the urgency the matter required.
Instead, she wisely sought a private moment with the King by inviting him and Haman to a private banquet. A wise woman discusses issues with her husband in private.

2. It is important to dress beautifully for your husband. The same royal robes that Queen Vashti refused to wear following her husband’s orders were worn by Esther but she achieved a different result. Perhaps the King would have given Vashti an open check if she had worn her royal robes. Let us put on our royal robes, sisters.

Hmm, the two women were described as beauty to behold but what made the difference was WISDOM! I pray that we will embrace wisdom in dealing with our husbands, in Jesus name.

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Compassion in Marriage

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It is true that no two marriages are the same. Also, godly wisdom has taught us that there are appropriate dispositions that strengthen the bond between a husband and wife. Many times, marriage requires sacrifice that seems humanly impossible, and we may sometimes believe our partner is undeserving of it. By the virtue of living together in our unvarnished form, we are likely to hurt each other’s emotions. Most hurtful and inimical experiences couples have in marriage are inescapable. It is like the literal setting of rice and beans that are forever inseparable should they be cooked together as one dish. As much as the imperfections of one challenge the latitude the other can afford, there is also an absolute possibility that marriage can be as beautiful, glorious, fun filled and fulfilling as God purposed it to be. Increasing one’s capacity to show compassion to a spouse, is one of the scriptural principles that would help us have the blissful marriages we desire.

The scriptures have established the truth that the relationship between Christ and The Church typifies the marriage relationship between a man and woman. One element that is impossible to miss in the relationship between Christ and the church is Compassionate Love. A demonstration of love at its peak is what we received from Christ when He died in our place, and this while we were yet sinners. Even after we had expressed our faith in Him and accepted Him as our Savior, we have had our moments of shortcomings but His outstretched arms still pull us because He is full of compassion towards us. Jesus is ever before the Father interceding for the imperfect church that she might be made perfect. He has sealed believers with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption that they might be presented holy and blameless. Scriptures recorded events where He listened with compassion, replied with compassion, taught with compassion, looked upon men with compassion, and fed people with compassion. This is because LOVE has the absolute, no gain-saying capacity to win people over.

In our marriages, we daily need measures of COMPASSION. When one slips, compassion should move the other to help them stand up. When one is weak, compassion should move the other to help them regain strength. When both have divergent needs at the same time, compassion should guide one to satisfy the other’s need first. Compassion should move one to intercede for the other, to respond in love and respectfully. We should show compassion as people who got it when we didn’t deserve it. Christ will reign in a home where there is compassion because it is at the core of His being.
Just as Apostle Paul urged the people of Colossae, ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ (Colossians 3:12) we should urge ourselves to be compassionate, so that our homes may be filled with all that is of Christ.

Grace to you and me in Jesus name.

Writer: Adenike D-light.

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TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE

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I imagined Sister Sarah attended a marriage seminar where the speaker laid emphasis on the need for sisters not to marry a man that has no vision.

The teaching resonated with her so well. Now, Sister Sarah is blessed to be married to a man that has a clear vision of how the future would look. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:1-9,14-18 that his descendants will inherit the land of Canaan even when nothing in the present was pointing to that fact. At the time Hagar had not borne him Ishmael. Yet, Abraham chose to trust and believe God. For this act, God accepted him. That is, the promise was sealed because of Abraham’s belief. However, Abraham needed Sarah for the delivery of the vision/promise.

Of course, Sarah believed what Abraham told her about God’s promise to ‘Abraham’ and not to the two of them as a couple. I want to believe that Sarah made Hagar sleep with Abraham so that he could have a child because she did not see the fulfilment of promise/vision in the context of both herself and Abraham as couple/family. She presumed that it was solely for Abraham.

However, the bible says in Hebrews 11:11(NKJV) that
By faith Sarah HERSELF ALSO received strength to conceive seed,
and she bore a child when she was past the age,
because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

This means not UNTIL Sarah personalized the vision/promise, it delayed. Perhaps, if she had believed the promise/vision at the time her husband told her when they were younger, they would have hastened the fulfillment of the promise.
Dear sister, are you married and finding it difficult to believe in the vision or promise of God to your husband because of the situation of things or circumstances around you? Or your own is just out of sheer disrespect? I pray that you will receive the STRENGHT to RECEIVE the vision/promise as a couple/family, hence bring forth seed.
Yes, it took divine visitation before Sarah could personally receive strength to conceive and believe the promise. God graciously decided to visit Sarah. I think God knew that for Sarah to really believe in the promise He made to Abraham, He must personally convince her. And why would God do the convincing anyway? I guess it is because for the promise to be fulfilled, Abraham needed Sarah’s womb as ISAAC must come through Sarah.

In case you are yet to plunge yourself into the vision/promise your husband received from God for your home, it is not too late dear sister. Just ask for the grace to ALSO receive and judge Him faithful that had promised.

Sister, now that you are married to that brother with vision and lots of God’s promise, it will do both of you well if you believe and receive the vision and promise EARLY and pray earnestly for its delivery. It is so interesting to know that aside the speedy delivery your alignment with your husband’s vision brings, it also gives your husband emotional support and stability. No wonder the Jesus said:

…Again I say to you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask,
it shall be done for them of my father which is in heaven Matthew 18:19(AKJV)

God bless you.

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SPEAKING THE WORD OF LIFE OVER YOUR SPOUSE

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IMG-20190808-WA0005Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21 NKJV)
Marriage is the fusion of two spirits, souls and bodies raised from different backgrounds, with different outlooks to life and possibly differing values that must become one. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. Gen 2:24 NKJV
The process of becoming one is actually the marriage experience as you storm and form through the foray of varying and clashing personalities, finding what works and what needs to go as you normalize on the way to becoming ONE.
There will be plenty episodes of frustration and bouts of disagreements, there will be seasons of doubt where you will wonder how or why you ever fell in love with this same person that you seem to never agree about anything anymore, sometimes it may seem like you are married to a stranger – they are but seasons.
In addition, there would also be seasons of great trials and tribulations, and this can come in any form. For some it might be financial, for some it might be health challenges, for some career, some will be tried with delay in breakthroughs, delay in child bearing or maybe even series of miscarriages – the tests will surely come but what defines us is how we handle ourselves during the test by the things we say.
One of the innate abilities we possess by virtue of being created in the likeness and image of God is the ability to create with the spoken word. The earth was void and formless and God said “let there be light” and there was light! Something came from seemingly nothing! However, we must note that the Spirit of God was brooding over the earth – this is topic for another day entirely.
We saw Adam exercise this creative power for the first time when God brought the animals to him, and whatsoever he called them was what there were called. Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name (Gen 2:19 NKJV).
Whatever you call your spouse is what they become!
How do I know this to be true? Psalm 82:6 NKJV – “I said you are gods, and all of you are children of the most High” and Jesus Christ confirms this even in John 10:34-35 NKJV – “Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law, I said you are gods? If He called them gods to whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken)”
If God has given us the power to create by the spoken word because we have been made gods like Him, why then do we use our words flippantly and allow our emotions get the better of us?
Would we rub off on each other in the course of our marital journey? Oh absolutely! In fact, that Holy Spirit-filled and God-loving and serving brother will do things, and you will almost question his salvation – oh yes!
Marriage brings out every hidden part of who we are. However, in the midst of the confusion in our minds when the flesh and our emotions are raging, what words do we speak over our spouses?
Many Christian couples have subjected themselves to a life of mediocrity because they consistently confess the negative about their partner; you have a little disagreement and you are already calling them all sort of names: stupid, dumb, cheat, womanizer, lazy, not man enough, gold digger (oya start filling up the spaces at this point oooo…. Lol! You know the vocabulary peculiar to you).
He becomes what you call him to be! She becomes what you call her to be!
Adam understood this concept so powerfully, it amazes me when I think about it. They had just been caught red-handed in sin, their eyes opened and their sweet innocence corrupted. The jury was out and God was dishing judgement to all the participants (honestly I can imagine how angry and disappointed God felt at that point), all the blame trading was going on and each participant was getting their portion. Adam, of course, was the last to receive his portion as grand master and as God was reeling out his sentence, the man was activating his creative ability and his answer to everything said to him was to look at his wife and say – You will be called Eve because you are the mother of all living.
Now this was a significant moment; Adam had just been cursed by the One who nobody can reverse what He had done and Adam reacted by giving his lifeline to his wife who we can say was somewhat responsible for the sentence he had just been served (I mean she was the one who was deceived, right?). He was deliberate and very specific in his proclamation, Eve would not just be mother of all human beings, she would be mother of all living – dictionary meaning says everything that has life everything existent, everything that would be created, inventions, ideas, innovations; Adam called forth that ability over Eve at the worst moment in his life. We do have a lot to learn from Adam.
There is need for us to choose – not to be overtaken by our emotions and controlled by temporary circumstances of disagreement or conflict, to believe the lie that shortcomings and personal weaknesses define who we are.
We must choose to speak the good we desire to see over our spouses, we must choose not to be careless with our choice of words and utterances.
Your partner is a garden that you have received as a gift, pay attention to it, nurse it and groom it by speaking words of life over your spouse; you have creative ability, use it wisely.
Proverbs 14:1 NKJV says “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” but I say, “The wise woman builds her home with her tongue, but the foolish pulls hers with the same”
Be Wise!


Writer: Ademorayo Anuoluwapo Apara (‘Moo)

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Taking The “D” Word Off the Table

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Have you ever felt frustrated with your spouse? Perhaps having the frustration lead to a quarrel, and before it was over, everything had become so overwhelming that you actually began to consider the D word, Divorce?

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Marriage can be a beautiful thing and it can also be frustrating. This is partly because it is a place where we sometimes find ourselves at our most vulnerable. Whether working to make it beautiful or experiencing the frustrating side of it, both are hard. Choose your hard wisely. You can make a choice to make yours beautiful. It requires work, Yes!!! You read me right. Conscious, committed and calculated work.
There’s no one magic formula to resolve all the issues your marriage might have. However, there are principles you can put to work which will gradually result in tangible improvements.
Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hard heartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan. I’m holding you to the original plan, …” Matthew 19:8,9(MSG)
Here, I will share with you the principles you should hold to heart and employ when those ugly situations arise in your marriage:
Remember how the bible says to not give the enemy a foothold?

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• Forgive Quickly: Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Agree early with your spouse that you both are in this together for real and are in it together for life.
• Take the D word out of the Equation: Do not threaten your spouse with the word either. Rather, commit to making your marriage work. When it comes to disagreements and quarrels between you and your spouse, be wise and be tactical.
• Know the Actual Enemy: Be smart and know who the real enemy is. You and your spouse are on the same team, you are not each other’s enemy, the devil is.
• Create a safe place for each other in your marriage.
• Resolve issues and let there be no carryovers.
• Have a rock-solid resolve to make your marriage work.
• Go hard after the wisdom that you need from trusted sources.

Writer: Oluwakemi Boye-Fakunle

DIWPRTEAMTaking The “D” Word Off the Table
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WISDOM QUOTIENT IN MARRIAGE

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  • Screenshot_20190516-094024I am so certain you’ve heard it countless times that your spouse isn’t a human without flaws and that man (no gender bias) is still man at his very best, right? What I am not sure of is how much preparedness you made to handle this flaws when they find expression.

    Like everyone else, you were most likely aware of your spouse’s weaknesses and flaws during your courtship but they were easily handled within the hours you saw each other before you left for your different homes at the time. You handled them easily because you went home afterwards and there was enough time and private space to filter it out of your mind.

    The beautiful day you excitedly looked forward to came, you said I DO to your love buddy and it was a dream come true to finally get on this forever journey and do life together. This time around, you are faced with more unforeseen flaws, only that this time, there’s no other home you are going. Before you know it, something else is up to deal with. I am talking about the small issues that pile up into huge drawbacks that are strong enough to rid of the love and unity in homes. The habits of not cleaning the toilet well after use, disorganization, bad time management, not covering the stew pot properly; you keep naming them.
    Your ability to keep loving your spouse and ensure there is unity and peace in your marriage is determined by your wisdom quotient. In arithmetic, a quotient is the quantity produced by the division of two numbers. In marriage, your wisdom quotient is the significant increase in understanding, greater affection, more bliss, Christ-centered love, stronger togetherness that is produced by the number of times you’ve been confronted and broken by your spouse’s flaws or weaknesses.
    Scripture says in PROVERBS 19:11 THAT ‘A PERSON’S WISDOM YIELDS PATIENCE; It Is To One’s Glory To Overlook An Offense spouse. We must seek wisdom all the time if we seek the good of our marriages. The type of wisdom described in James 3:17 – But The Wisdom That Is From Above Is First Pure, Then Peaceable, Gentle, And Easy To Be Entreated, Full Of Mercy And Good Fruits, Without Partiality, And Without Hypocrisy. in there until you receive your answer, appreciate your spouse’s strength, seek to be a complement, ask the Holy Spirit for help all the time. The truth is, your spouse will change along even as you also get better.

    Grace and wisdom is multiplied you and I in Jesus name. Amen.

    Writer: Adenike Leke-Akinbode

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I TAKE CHARGE OF MY HOME

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It is noteworthy for us as humans to pay close attention to our moods and the habits we consciously and unconsciously form. The reason is because there can be spiritual dimensions to these things. Once we discern and consistently notice an unpleasant pattern, it is advisable that we pause and determine what the pattern is about plus where is the pattern coming from, hence, we take a stand against it.

Making up of one’s mind, determination, will-power, and so on are relevant self-help steps to take a stand against some unpleasant habits. However, it is necessary to point out that some of these habits are spiritually influenced, hence, they should be handled in the same light.
Romans 7:19-24

For instance, individuals slip into depression gradually and the depression becomes a stronghold they can’t easily snap out from. An individual might be in a very sociable mood at a moment and express an uncontrollable outburst of anger the next moment.

The wild anger some parents exhibit in the home front is an unpleasant instance here. At times, spouses take out their road rage on their better half. At times, children are not spared as they are at the receiving end also.

Though some of these negative outbursts/habits are spiritually influenced by the chief enemy ‘Satan’ because the thief comes to steal, and to kill and to destroy…… however, there is good news of our total freedom. Halleluyah!!!

In John 10:10b, Jesus says I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The good news is that that controlling spirit can be destroyed. We can break that control!
There is a way out in God! Once we make up our mind to be responsible under God to break off these negative controls, our victory is sure.

Responsibility is the price for greatness as someone said.
Break up your fallow grounds!
“The violent taketh it by force”, as we read in Matthew 11:12b
It is a fight! It is a battle!

Let’s cast off the works of darkness in our homes.

Please, can we say these prayers over our homes?

1. We cast off every controlling spirit over our lives and in our homes in Jesus name.
Mark 16:17

2. Let’s command that they enter no more into our lives and homes.
Mark 9:25
Bible verses: Colossians 3:8-12, Mark 1:27

You have the victory in Jesus name!

Writer: Bukonla Fadahunsi

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BUILDING A NAKED MARRIAGE

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“You must ensure you go to bed naked every night.”
Those were the words my marriage counsellor spoke to my fiancé (now husband) and I a few weeks before we got married. Of course, we giggled because we were sure she was talking about sex, and “holy” people like us did not want to talk about it. She then proceeded to explain further, as the deep woman she is, that it is more than being physically naked but being able to always bare it all with each other.
Marriage should be a safe place for a man and his wife to be naked and unashamed emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically.

The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.” Therefore, a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh. The two of them, the Man and his Wife, were naked, but they felt no shame. – Genesis 2:23-25 (MSG)

The physical aspect of “nakedness” in marriage is quite easy but the other ones not so much. In fact, there can be a high level of sexual intimacy in marriage, while the level of openness is very low. I understand why people would not want to “expose themselves” to this man they’ve promised their lives to; because when you become naked in front of another, shame is the result when that person chooses to mock you based on what you just said.
How then can we let go of the fear and shame and embrace this deep vulnerability with our spouses?

Accept that God is good and that He loves you.

This should be like the easiest thing for a Christian but it isn’t. We believe God is good but sometimes we don’t believe He is good to us because something is “wrong” with us right now. Never accept the lie that God is not good; He is working out the issues of your life. The seasons of life cannot change the character of God.

Know the source of your strength.

It takes strength to be vulnerable as a woman especially emotionally and financially; well, it was for me. But please realize that you have a High Priest (that is, Jesus) who is in touch with you and knows how you feel. We know from the Bible that Jesus exposed Himself to humanity, because of our salvation, He chose to walk among us and be human. The source of your strength is the Holy Spirit and He is your ultimate covering; just as He was with Christ on earth, so He is with you always. Rest in Him.

Pray to receive God’s strategy for your marriage.

I was going to give you 5 ways to develop intimacy in marriage but you see, every marriage is unique and with its own purpose. What works for me might be disastrous for you.
As we have been repeatedly told in Deborah’s Initiative for Women (DIW), press into God and let Him give you His own strategy for your marriage. As you receive, act on it immediately – intimacy is not something that can be achieved overnight; it is a lifelong process of being increasingly at ease with each other without fear or shame.

Be kind to yourself and take responsibility.

So, you messed up last week and shame has its claws in you already; you hid the money that just dropped into your account or you’ve been having it good at work but you still need to guilt your husband into doing some things, so you refused to share. Do the needful – forgive yourself and then open up. Remember that your ultimate covering is God.

Reject the lies!!!

Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves. – Genesis 3:7(MSG)

Fear brings torment, it robs us of peace and pushes us into living an illusion. Adam and Eve believed a lie, they acted on the lie and saw that they did not need to be naked with each other anymore. These days we hear all sorts of crazy things and social media has exposed us to some of the most horrible marriages ever and some of us have started believing the lies, and we are hiding ourselves from our spouses.

The Word of God remains the standard for every aspect of our lives including our marriages.

Article Written by Olamide Adeyemi

DIWPRTEAMBUILDING A NAKED MARRIAGE
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