Monday, August 30, 2010

Part 1: Conflict resolution in marriages

As you move towards oneness in your relationship, you will experience times of disappointment and hurt. Marriage is said to be a bed of roses but remember rose bushes have thorns. These times can be opportunities to grow or traps that will keep you from growing in oneness, thus leading to distance and awkwardness in your relationship, if not to open hostility.

A Conflict is a situation in which people get involved in a serious disagreement or argument.

The presence of conflicts in marriages is often due to basic points of difference between the partners in marriages. As such every conflict situation, we face, has a potential to make the relationship stronger or destroy oneness.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Attitude towards money in marriages.

“Me, No! Even though the premarital counselling class says that having joint accounts is good for some reasons, I beg to differ. I cannot trust my spouse to have full access to our account.”

“I don’t have to disclose everything that I earn. I should be smart enough to know that in this life, I need to build my own war-chest. What if the unthinkable happens and he leaves me penniless?”

“Do you know that I keep adding to the money you give me for the house? Instead of discussing this, you tell me you don’t have any more money. Am I the only one that knows that inflation has caught up with us and prices have gone up?”

“Why do we spend a lot of our money on your siblings and parents and my own parents don’t get as much?”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Part 2 - Christians, God never intended sexual intimacy for procreation alone

Click here for Part 1

4. Sex arousal and satisfaction is expressed differently in the different sexes. True. Sexual arousal for males can be compared to light switches; easy to turn on and off. Males tend to be aroused by visual stimuli such as viewing naked or near naked female erotic body parts. On the other hand, women are like pressing irons; it takes time for them to become hot and to cool down.

They tend to be aroused by tactile and emotional stimuli such as touching them, saying or doing things to them in an emotionally pleasing way. Satisfaction also tends to be expressed differently. While females tend to want to get more intimate and connect with their mates, the men tend to fall asleep. Understanding and discussing these differences can help to manage the responses by both parties’ expectations. Men and women should be able to work together to ensure that Sex is enjoyable.

The husband should invest in this act as he can experience the thrill of conquest whenever he makes love to his wife; she can glory in his pursuit and he can savour her melting response. Both husband and wife should avoid dull routines in their sex play. They should practice variety- variations in time or setting, variations in love play, variations in frequency, e.t.c. Afterall, variety is the spice of (life) lovemaking. After the climax, when both have been satisfied, husbands should not just roll over and sleep. They should remain close, cuddle and relax together, perhaps talk.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Part 1: Christians, God never intended sexual intimacy for procreation alone.

After my first blog about expectations from marriage, I realised that it would be instructive to share some of the most important aspects about marriage over the next couple of days. Today, I am going to talk about one of the most important, yet misunderstood but ‘not-talked-about’ aspects of marriage – Sexual intimacy.

Myles Munroe, in his book, ‘The power and purpose of Love and Marriage’ says that Many couples are confused about their sexuality, not so much with regard to their sexual identities as with understanding how to properly relate to each other sexually. Sexual dysfunction can be a significant source of frustration, conflict and unhappiness in marriage. The world has a lot to talk about sex even though based on error and misconceptions, but the church does not say much about it. This is tragic because believers, who know and follow the God who created sex and established its proper parameters, should be able to speak more intelligently and confidently about it than anyone else.

My wife and I are privileged to be one of the teams in church that talk to young people about marriage before they get married. So I will be discussing the Christian perspectives about sexual intimacy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Expectations from your marriage

Having been married for over 11 years, I find it interesting that christians go into marriage without discussing expectations about their marriage, their roles and responsibilities. One party believes that the other party should know about his or her expectations.

But unconciously, a man dives headlong into marriage expecting the following:
  • that his wife should take care of him like his mother. He thinks his wife is his mother;
  • that his wife should forget about her career after marriage. He would be able to take care of the family on his own. Afterall, the Bible says that a man that can not take care of his household is worse than an infidel;
  • that for very important decisions, he would rather discuss with his friends instead of his wife. Afterall, a woman should just go along with the decisions made;
  • that it is only the woman that should know how to cook. So the woman must always be on hand to prepare the food. He cannot see himself going into the kitchen at all;
  • that he alone decides the number of children that he will have;
  • that the woman should be the spiritual initiator in the marriage. That is always the responsibility of the woman of the house;
  • that he can win a verbal war with his wife.

Monday, August 9, 2010

WWJD - What would Jesus do?

It is really interesting when things happen around you and you react a not-very-christian way. Then you remember that you are supposed to be a spirit-filled, bible- believing,tongue-talking (wo)man of God. You sit back and relax and say to yourself 'What would Jesus have done in that situation'?
You might be fortunate to remember this when you are actually going through the situation.
When you are going home in your car and an 'okada' man hits your side mirror and continues without stopping to apologise. You remember that the first time that this happened, you had to cough out N25,000 to buy a new one because it couldn't be repaired. Every muscle in you wants to step on the accelerator and go after the 'okada' man. Ask yourself, 'What would Jesus do?'
You have been at your job for over 2 years and you have an overbearing boss who wants to be worshipped. He has just told you that you cannot go on vacation; a vacation you have planned for over 2 months. He tells you that going on leave is a priviledge, not a right. You are tempted to tell him some very interesting home truths but you stop short and ask yourself. 'What would Jesus do?'
You live in a country that is full of corruption where nothing ever seems to work. With a ruling government that promises a lot and delivers so little. As a christian, you know that most government contracts will not see the light of day unless they pass through some of these currupt officials who extort their fees before even considering your proposals. Would Jesus never do a government contract? What would Jesus do?
Incredibly, sitting down to ponder over these four words would actually change your plan of action. Though we are in this world, we are not of this world. We need to follow the examples of Jesus Christ and let the Holy Spirit guide our footsteps. Sometimes it would be tough but always know that Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Christians were never promised that they would not go through tough times, they were promised that they would be victorious over tough times.
So I say, whenever you get to crossroad, ask yourself, 'What would Jesus do?'

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Watch these films - Fireproof and Why did I get married?

For those thinking of getting married or even the married folks, I would like you to watch these two films. Interesting and thought provoking.

The first one is Fireproof.

Released in 2008, Fireproof is about a heroic fireman locked in a failing marriage who accepts his father's challenge to take part in a 40-day experiment designed to teach both husband and wife the true meaning of commitment. This is a faith-based marriage drama starring Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea. Kirk Cameron is the veteran of three Rapture-themed 'Left Behind' movies. (I hope u have watched the 'Left Behind' movies)
I wouldn't want to give too much away but I would say it is a must-watch for couples and intending couples.

The second one is 'Why did I get married?'

The Tyler Perry film is about the difficulty of maintaining a solid relationship in modern times. Eight married college friends plus one other non-friend (all of whom have achieved middle to upper class economic status) go to Colorado for their annual week-long reunion, but the mood shifts when one couple's infidelity comes to light. Secrets are revealed and each couple begins to question their own marriage. Over the course of the week, the couples battle with issues of commitment, betrayal and forgiveness and examine their lives as individuals and as committed couples. This film explores the resultant emotional impact that fidelity and love have upon the constitution of marriage. It stars Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson and Jill Scott among others. It was released in 2007.

This film brings up topical issues in the modern day marriage.

You should be able to get these films at your local video club or buy them at the nearest video store.

Lets discuss if you have watched it or when you watch it.

By the way, the sequel to 'Why did I get married?', 'Why did I get married too?' was released about 2 months ago. This time, the same crew went to the Bahamas. I haven't seen it. For those who have seen it, is it worth watching?

Monday, August 2, 2010

What do you have in your hands?

Sometimes when you think you do not have all it takes to succeed, think again. You may be underestimating what you have. You may be underestimating your assets. You may think that your liabilities surpass your assets and you do not have a chance. Sit back, relax and think again. Sometimes you think of the issues around and ask how you can tackle these issues.

Remember Exodus 4:1-5 when in trying to convince God that he was not capable, Moses said, "What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.'". But the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" And he said,"A staff." Then He said, "Throw it on the ground." So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail"--so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand--"that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you." Moses didn't realise what he had in his hands. He didn't think that God could work with anything he had in his hand.

Another example is referenced in the Bible when Jesus Christ fed the people that came to listen to him.
As the story in Matthew 15: 32-38 goes: And the disciples said to Him, Where are we to get bread sufficient to feed so great a crowd in this isolated and desert place? And Jesus asked them, How many loaves of bread do you have? They replied, Seven, and a few small fish. And ordering the crowd to recline on the ground, He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they gathered up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. Those who ate were 4,000 men, not including the women and the children. The disciples were only focussed on the situation, not the solution. They considered the limitations rather than the opportunities.

In the face of seemingly insurmountable issues, take a checklist of what you have with you. God has already armed you with the tools to make a way. Give thanks and get go. You are blessed.

Have a wonderful week.

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