Author: Gideon

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE The Christian Home

The Christian Home

By Gideon in Blog, MARRIAGE on January 25, 2018

The nearest thing to heaven on earth is the Christian family and home, where husband and wife, parents and children, live together in love and peace, devoted to God and to each other. By way of contrast, the nearest thing to hell on earth is the ungodly home, broken by sin and iniquity, where parents quarrel and bicker and separate, and where children are given over to the forces of wickedness to be brought up with scarcely any training at all.

The word “home” likely takes your mind back across the years, and for some the mind goes across hundreds of miles of space—to the spot which will be forever hallowed in your memories among all places on earth. You are reminded of the place where you grew up as a boy or as a girl, playing around the yard with brothers and sisters and neighbor children, and where you sat around the old range stove on a winter evening with your mother and dad and the rest of the family. There are several things about that old home-place which are not true about any other spot on earth.

In this message we want to see what the Bible says about the duties of the various members of the family to each other and to the Lord.

1. Duties of Wives To Their Husbands

a) The Christian wife is to be subject to her husband.
Ephesians 5:22-23 says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church.”

Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition. The husband and the wife are not to bejointly in the place of headship. Our Lord plainly says, “The husband is the head of the wife.” This does not mean that the wife is less important in the home than the husband or that she is to be a slave of the husband, but it does mean that she is to submit to the leadership role of her husband. The only exception would be if he asks her to violate clear scriptural teachings (Acts 5:29).
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The Lord commands husbands to love their wives, and if the husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church, she will have no difficulty with being subject to him. When problems arise (and they will arise), they should be carefully discussed together. A vote should be taken. If both agree—good. But in the case of a tie (the wife votes one way and the husband votes the other), then the husband should cast the deciding vote. The husband should assume the final leadership in the home.

b) The wife is to respect and admire her husband.
Ephesians 5:33 says, “Let every one of you (husbands) . . . so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

The wife should respect her husband. This seems to be true even for the wife who has an unsaved husband (1 Peter 3:1). What kind of life are you living before your husband? Does he see in you true Christian living? Are you cheerful, loving, loyal, and obedient? Some wives drive their husbands away from Christ because they don’t respect them. Instead of being cheerful and obedient, they are noted for preaching and nagging. Nothing breaks the spirit of a man more quickly than a nagging wife.

c) The Christian wife is to be a keeper at home.
Titus 2:4-5 says, “Teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home.”

The home is to be the sphere of the woman’s influence. There are too many families that have such a high standard of living that mother has to work away from home to help pay the bills. Then in the evening, when happy family activities should take place, mother’s energy is all spent, and pressing duties don’t permit her that happy fellowship. There may be some exceptions, but generally speaking, the father is to be the breadwinner and the mother is to be the keeper at home.

2. Duties of Husbands To Their Wives

a) The husband is to honor and respect his wife.
We are instructed in 1 Corinthians 7:3, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence.”

The husband is to show due courtesies to his wife. It is pathetic to see how some young men can play the part of a gentlemen, be courteous, gracious, and show respect to young ladies when they are courting them—and then after marriage, they come home and scold and nag and become sullen and bitter. The Christian husband is to remember that it is no easy thing for his wife to keep house, care for the children, and experience the vexing things that come along with the daily duties of home life. Let the husband render to his wife due courtesies.

b) The husband is to consider her physical frailty.
1 Peter 3:7 admonishes, “Husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.”

The husband is to keep in mind that his wife is generally speaking physically more frail than he. Each husband should be careful not to create additional unnecessary work for his wife. And yet when some husbands leave the house in the morning, it seems like a windstorm has gone through, and when they come home at night they are careless about dragging dirt into the house. If we husbands would close our doors and hang up our clothes we may have more pleasant wives.

c) The husband is to truly love his wife.
Colossians 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

The husband is to demonstrate true affection for his wife. He should tell her that he loves her, and he is to treat her with the same love and gentleness and kindness he showed her while he was courting her. How long is it, husband, since you remembered her with those little tokens of love (a box of candy or a bouquet of flowers) which you were eager to shower upon her during courtship days? If you have been neglecting this duty—go to your wife, apologize for your thoughtlessness, take out your family Bible, read the record of your marriage, and brighten up that old love! If husbands and wives would work as hard to keep each other as they once did to catch each other, most domestic home problems would be forever solved. The spirit of courtship needs to be continued throughout married life.

3. Duties of Children To Their Parents

a) Children should honor their parents.
God says in Ephesians 6:2, “Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.”
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It is the duty of every child to respect and honor his parents. If you are inclined to be ashamed of them, remember that they cared for you when you were altogether unable to care for yourself. We sometimes forget that our mothers endangered their lives for our sakes; we are ungrateful for the weary toil of our fathers; we fail to appreciate the many sleepless nights that they went through in order that we might be comfortable. All of us owe our parents honor and respect and courtesy.

b) Children should accept instruction from parents.
We read in Proverbs 1:8, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”

That admonition is very simple. Children can easily understand it. It is wise to heed the instructions of parents because the advice and mandates which Christian parents give are generally intended for the welfare of the child.

c) Children should diligently obey their parents.
Children are instructed in Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”

One of the most beautiful Scriptures regarding the childhood of Jesus is the one which says, “He went down to Nazareth and was subject unto them.” If Jesus, the eternal Son of God, was subject to family authority, then certainly every child ought to obey his parents. One of the saddest New Testament Scriptures is the one that says, in the last days children shall be “disobedient to parents.” A child should never call his dad “the old man” and his mother “the old lady.” Children—treat your parents as you’ll wish you had treated them when you say your last goodbye to them and when you take that last look at mother and daddy as they lie before you in their caskets.

4. Duties of Parents To Their Children

a) Parents should teach their children.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Bear in mind that every child is born into this world with a sinful nature, and that the cute cooing baby in his cradle will soon demonstrate that he has a will of his own. He will lustily scream if he doesn’t get his own way. Thus every child needs to be taught diligently. Reading and quoting the Bible in your home should be just as natural as talking about the weather. Teach them the way of salvation. Read to them from wholesome literature. Memorize Bible verses with them. It is amazing how much truth a child’s mind can absorb.

b) Parents should be good examples for their children.
The passage in Deuteronomy 6:6 says, “And these words . . . shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them.”

The Word of God must first be in the parents’ hearts! Children are great imitators. We have all seen little girls wearing the clothes of older persons. They want to be like mother. The best way to “train up a child in the way he should go” is to go that way yourself. Most children want to be the kind of man or woman their mother and dad is.
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c) Parents should discipline their children.
Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

The New Testament says that children shall be brought up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). The word for “nurture” actually refers to “discipline.” Some don’t use the rod, but if you want to ruin your children, just give in to their every desire and you can be assured that the job of ruination will soon be complete. I have seen children throw themselves on the floor and kick and scream and insist on getting their own way, and the parents said, “Let them alone, they must express themselves!” God have mercy on parents who fail to discipline and admonish their children. The Bible tells of God’s judgment on one family because the father (who was a good man engaged in the service of the Lord) failed to discipline his sons (1 Samuel 3:13).

May God help us to live “at home” so sweetly, so tenderly, and so lovingly—that the memories we make within our homes may be music in the heart, sweeter than the songs that angels sing, and may our family circles be unbroken in the world to come.

-By Harold S. Martin
Used by permission of Bible Helps, P O Box 391, Hanover PA 17331.USA
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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Grace For Finishing Strong

Grace For Finishing Strong

By Gideon in Blog, Life Sharing, Ministry on October 27, 2017

Almost everybody in the 20th and the 21st century has heard of EVANGELIST BILLY GRAHAM , but have you heard about EVANVELIST CHUCK TEMPLETON? What about EVANGELIST BRON CLIFFORD ? Have you ever heard of them?

EVANGELIST CHUCK & EVANGELIST BRON were also packing AUDITORIUMS and STADIUMS full in 1945 when Billy Graham first preached to large crowds?
According to Pastor Tommy Barnett of Phoenix, all three of these young men rose to prominence in their mid twenties.

A seminary president, after HEARING Evangelist Chuck Templeton spoke as a brilliant and dynamic preacher called him the most gifted, talented young preacher in America.

Templeton and Billy Graham became very close friends. They started preaching together with the Youth For Christ organization. Most observers thought that Templeton would be the one who would go to the top.

One magazine wrote a feature article calling Templeton the “Babe Ruth of evangelism”.

As for Evangelist Bron Clifford, he was another gifted, young fire brand evangelist. Many believed that Bron Clifford was the most gifted powerful preacher to come up in the church for many centuries.

People lined up for hours to hear him preach. When he went to Baylor University to give a discourse, they actually cut the ropes off the bells of the tower. They wanted nothing to interfere with his preaching.

For two and one half-hours the students of Baylor sat on the edges of their seats as he gave a powerful homily titled “CHRIST and the PHILOSOPHER’S Stone.”

AT the age of 25, BRON CLIFFORD touched more lives, influenced more leaders and set more attendance records than any other clergyman in American history.

National political and government leaders vied for his attention. He was tall, handsome, dashing, sophisticated and intelligent. Hollywood actually tried to cast him in the lead role for the famous movie, “The Robe”. He seemed to have everything.

GRAHAM, TEMPLETON , and CLIFFORD launched out of the starting blocks like those running for Olympic gold medals in 1945.

Why have we not heard of CHUCK TEMPLETON or BRON CLIFFORD? The answer is shocking and surprising to keep you speechless.

SO SAD:
By 1950 TEMPLETON had left the MINISTRY. He pursued a radio career. He became an announcer and a newscaster, TELLING THE WORLD THAT HE NO LONGER BELIEVED JESUS CHRIST WAS THE SON of GOD. He became an ATHEIST.

By 1950, this future Babe Ruth of preaching was not even in the ball game!

SO SAD ALSO:
By 1954 CLIFFORD had lost his family, ministry and health. Eventually he lost his life because of ADDICTION to ALCOHOL. FINANCIAL irresponsibility left his WIFE and their two Downs syndrome children penniless. This once famous preacher dies of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 35 in a rundown hotel on the edge of Amarillo, Texas.

CLIFFORD died a pitiful, dishonorable and unsung death. Some pastors from Amarillo, Texas got together and collected enough money to buy a cheap casket. They shipped his body back to the East Coast, where he was buried in a pauper’s cemetery.
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In 1945 all three of these men with extraordinary gifts were preaching for the purpose of multiplying the church by thousands of people. But within 10 years only one of them was still on track for Christ. THAT IS BILLY GRAHAM.

In this Christian life it’s not how you started, it’s how you finish! There is a recent survey that is really shocking and mind boggling.

It reported that only ONE out of TEN who start in ministry at the age of 21 serve the Lord to age 65.

They FALL AWAY from ministry due to IMMORALITY, PRIDE, BITTERNESS OF HEART, DISCOURAGEMENT, STRANGE THEOLOGICAL BELIEFS and a LOVE for WEALTH and the THINGS of this WORLD.

Sir or Ma, he who thinks he is standing should seek God always to remain standing, the grounds are very slippery these days.

Not all men who can shout are a voice for God. You can be a voice for God or a voice for man. Choose right.

THE CHALLENGE TO YOU AND MY SELF WHO are TODAY PREACHERS…. WILL YOU FINISH STRONG FOR CHRIST?

Let us continue to pray for one another because even the seeming successful ones needs our prayers more than ever before.

PRAYER:
Dear Lord keep us strong by your grace only and for you only till the end of days in Jesus name.

1Co 10:11-12
Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Finishing Strong! –David Cawston.
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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Serious Caution In Growing Marriage!

Serious Caution In Growing Marriage!

By Gideon in Blog, MARRIAGE on October 16, 2017

Please note that you can avoid adultery-the most common attacks on marriage. It is within your power to do it, if you really mean it.
Carelessness is one of the major causes of affairs in marriage not the devil in the real sense of it as many people always claim when they fall into error. So abide with this following simple rules and you will never fall into adultery and it will also help you to adjust quickly in growing a lasting relationship.

1: Never make a member of the opposite sex your best friend with whom you share intimate discussions.

2: Never be with a member of the opposite sex at a time your spouse doesn’t know you are there.

3: Never speak evil about your spouse in the presence of anyone. they will know you are not happy in your marriage and take advantage of that by showing you insincere affections and give you what you lack with your Spouse and destroy you.

5: Never visit a website you will not be proud to tell your children and wife / husband you visited.

6: Avoid keeping secrets from your spouse, AFFAIRS thrive in secrecy.
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7: Avoid confiding in the people of the opposite sex, there should be somebody of your sex you can talk to. don’t dig the grave of your marriage with your mouth.

8: Avoid collecting unsolicited gifts and favour from the opposite sex. They will ask for sex in return. they are not Father Christmas.

9: Avoid thinking that anybody is better than your husband or wife. you don’t know what their spouses are enduring at home. what you see outside is just show biz don’t be deceived. Grass is only greener in the other compound because it is far from you.

10: Divert all your sexual fantasy towards your spouse. He or she is planted in to your life to satisfy you and keep you holy.

11: Always remember that whatever every woman or man has in his or her body, your spouse has it too and they are not different from each other, only faces differ it is the same package.

12: Deal with any sexual thoughts that is not directed towards your spouse, kill it before it kills you. Sexual error doesn’t begin in the bedroom,it begins in the heart.

14: Before traveling have sex with your spouse and put your mind to it that you will not have sex until you come back. that decision may save your life and destiny.

15: Men, avoid looking at the front and back side of ladies and imagine what is there. It is stupid, childish and dirty to do that, that’s called lust, what is there isn’t different from what your spouse has, please don’t be stupid sir.

16: Walk in the company of good and Godly men/women. If you keep company with adulterers, you will become adulterous.

17: Discuss your sexual desires with your spouse and let it be met at home, don’t hunt for something that will hunt you later and hurt you deeply tomorrow, your wife/ husband has the best, get it at home.
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18: fill your heart with the word of God always, this will not give lust a chance in your mind.

20: Always count the cost of adultery, don’t just look at the pleasure, look at the pain, loss of integrity, how you will hurt your wife/husband, children, friends and above all GOD the almighty.

21: Always remember that the enjoyment, pleasure and the thrills in sex is just 8 seconds or less, it can not be more than that but its repercussions can last for eternity. Why trade eternity for 8 seconds, is there wisdom in that?

22: Pray regularly for your Spouse and your marriage. It is well.

BE FAITHFUL TO YOUR SPOUSE AND YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.
God bless your marriage.
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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Improving The Marriage Relationship

Improving The Marriage Relationship

By Gideon in Blog, MARRIAGE on September 27, 2017

It has been evident in recent years that marriage relationships are deteriorating in our society. Satan is trying to destroy the home, but we praise God for every effort toward its preservation.

God’s blessing is upon the husband-wife relationship. Proverbs 18:22 says, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.” Not only does marriage and the husband-wife relationship have a blessing from the Lord, but also in God’s Word we are given guidelines by which we can maintain the husband-wife relationship as God intended it to be. Marriage was meant to be a blessed relationship.
And so we ask the question—is your husband-wife relationship a blessed relationship, or is it a strained ordeal?

1. What the Marriage Relationship Should Be Like

In Ephesians 5 we observe that the husband-wife relationship is compared to that of Christ and the Church. In other words, our model indicates that the husband-wife relationship is one that lasts forever, a kinship that grows sweeter as the years go by, a relationship that provides an example of peace and joy, a relationship that will weather the storms and trials of life, and one against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail. Hopefully we can say that by the grace of God we have found our relationship in the home to be that way.

Even children can quickly sense whether mother and father really love each other and whether there is the warmth of love in their home, or whether there is a distance and a coldness between the parents. You may remember the story about the home that was preparing for a wedding. Big sister was getting married and little sister was all eyes and ears to know what was going on and what this was all about. One day she heard them talking about the marriage vows. She said, “What’s that all about?” Mother answered, “Well, that is when big sister and her boyfriend will promise to love and always be kind to each other as long as they live.” Little sister thought a moment, and said, “Well then, you mean that you and daddy aren’t always married.” It is quite clear that our children know what kind of relationship we really have.
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I read about a husband whose job required that the family move frequently. While he was temporarily assigned work in one particular area, his family lived in a small hotel room. One day the little girl (for want of a bigger place to play) was playing “doll-house” down in the lobby. One kind lady passed through the hallway, and tried to be helpful and sympathetic. She said to the little girl, “It’s a pity that you don’t have a home of your own.” The little girl responded, “Oh, we do have a home; we just don’t have a house to put it in.” Can you say your relationship is such that you have a home even if your house is less than adequate? If father and mother are happy together, that contentment is conveyed to the children. Judge Gilliam says, “The lack of affection between father and mother is the greatest source of delinquency that I know.” Is your relationship what you would like it to be? Does it bother you when you see another couple that seems to really be happy?

2. Ways To Improve the Marriage Relationship

All sincere married partners want to improve their marriage. No couples should ever be satisfied where they are. In school, we learned a little motto which goes like this: “Good, better, best! Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best!”

One couple whose marriage was just about on the rocks determined that they were going to improve their marriage by God’s help. The husband describes what they did: “We got together and took a pencil and paper and each wrote down the things we did not like about the other. We had a long list. When done, we exchanged the papers, and we found it was difficult to face each other’s list. We walked together to a point where we burned the papers and watched them go up in flames. Then we came back and sat down and started making a list of things we liked about each other. This was difficult too, but when the lists were completed, we exchanged the papers and looked at them. Later we framed them and hung them in our bedroom, so that each morning when we arise we can see what our partner likes, and concentrate on doing those positive things. By God’s grace, it has transformed our marriage.” If your marriage is not what you would like it to be, and you really seriously mean business—by God’s grace, it can be improved. However you must be willing to work at it.

(a) Avoid comparing your marriage with other marriages

It is a tragic mistake to look at the marriage relationship of another couple and to wish that your relationship would be like theirs. According to 2 Corinthians 10:12, we should not be among the number who compare ourselves among ourselves, because such people are not wise. Our human nature tends to see the good points (the “plus” points) in others who are more distant from us, and the bad points (the “minus” points) in those who are closer to us. If we keep looking at the minus points, we will have a different outlook in life. Remember that the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, but keep in mind too that the closer you are to the circumstances, the easier it is to see the faults.

A magazine article pointed out what it called “an ideal marriage” between a state governor and his wife. Yet it was only a matter of a few years until their marriage was on the rocks. From a distance the marriage looked successful, but it must not have been quite as great as the writer thought. We need to stop looking around and stop comparing our relationship with that of another husband and wife. We must realize that couples are different. God did not intend that all of us should conduct our homes in the same way, and that we should all like the same things—or He would have made us all over the same carbon copy. Some couples like to be on the go almost all the time, almost every night of the week. Then there are other couples whose nature it is to stay home much of the time. In some homes, the wife is reserved and the husband is outgoing; in others, the wife can not sew and the husband is not a businessman. We must accept the fact that God has made us all different, and then we must concentrate on just being ourselves in the light of Ephesians 5:21 which says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Most of the time we overlook that verse and think only upon the following verses which tell us that husbands should “love” and wives should “submit.” But actually,Ephesians 5:22-23 gives the further instructions once we have accepted the point of verse 21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” In other words, we should not look at other people, but submit ourselves to each other and work out the marriage relationship which God has ordained for us.

(b) Build an attitude of trust toward your partner

Do you as married partners really trust each other? Can you (the husband) say to your wife: “Am I really worthy of your trust? Do you feel that you will be my `one and only’ forever?” Do you as a husband (or as a wife) enjoy being with your partner more than with anyone else? You will want to be together as much as possible. People today speak very lightly about trust and the high ideal of a solid marriage relationship. Even secular counselors tell us they are finding out that the kind of loose living which is common today simply is not working. It doesn’t work because until one is really committed to another person for life, he cannot actually give himself wholeheartedly to that person.

Many ask what is wrong with pre-marital sex and mention that “everybody is doing it,” and they argue that no one is going to find out about the relationship anyhow. But you cannot really give yourself physically or emotionally or spiritually until you can trust each other and know that the relationship will last for life. If you are one who thinks that there is not much wrong with pre-marital sex, it will be difficult for your partner to trust you. If, on the other hand, you count fornication as a wicked sin, your partner can much more readily trust you. If you were loose in your living before your marriage, how can your partner trust you after marriage? When passion wears out, how will your partner know that you will not go out and try some other thrill when you are bored with her?

God’s Word says we are to confess our faults one to another (James 5:16), and this is good advice for married couples as an aid in building trust. Some might say that “What my partner doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” But we are spiritual beings and not mere physical creatures. We can cover up the past, but there is always the possibility your partner will find it out, and so it is best to confess your misdeeds. This will help build trust and will lead to a happier marriage relationship.
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When someone says “My partner does not trust me”—one of the first questions I ask is: “What have you done to cause your partner to feel that way?” The partner must not necessarily be blamed. You may be the one to blame if your companion does not trust you. I believe that if we husbands feel our partners do not trust us, then we ought to be a leader and go to the wife and ask what is wrong, and give her the right to tell us why she does not trust us. I also believe that where it says “Husbands love your wives,” we have a clear command not only never to commit adultery with someone else, but to love our wives with our body, mind, soul, and spirit. Only then can we have a beautiful marriage relationship. One of the big weaknesses of many husbands is the fact that after marriage, there is a tendency for him to sort of secretly admire someone else. A wife can detect that real quickly.

Let each husband abstain from all appearance of evil, and beware of placing ourselves into tempting circumstances—for we are all human, and we can easily fall. I read recently about a couple who were happily married, but another couple with whom they could share closely, became good friends. They were together so much, and in each other’s presence so often—it soon came to the place that they were too intimate, and before they realized it, both marriages were wrecked—because the one husband started to admire the other wife more than he did his own wife. Beware of circumstances where you sense you are no longer admiring only your partner, because you will lose your trust, and your marriage could falter.

(c) Diligently try to please your partner

To improve marriage relationships, it is important to try and please your partner. God’s Word says that the wife tries to please her husband (1 Corinthians 7:34), and the Christian husband tries to please his wife (1 Corinthians 7:33). Are you really trying to please your married partner, or do you frequently say, “I’ll do what I please”? Is your attitude one which says, “if we can’t agree, we will each go our own way”? This kind of relationship does not make for a happy marriage bond.

The important question in marriage is not, “How can I have all my needs fulfilled in this marriage—but how much love can I express in meeting the needs of the one I marry?” Love says, “I will give.” Immaturity says, “Please me, and I will try to please you.” Do you ever do things just to “bug” your partner? Do you ever tease your partner when you know he doesn’t like it? There are too many marriages lived out on the “I’ll get even” basis. “If you treat me this way, I’ll get back in this way.” The husband is one hour late for supper, so his wife makes him wait an hour for supper the next night. This kind of action will not work for harmony. One husband might say, “I’m going hunting; I don’t care what you say.” The wife says she is going shopping and will spend as much money as she wants. This is not the way to please each other as partners. This is the “get even philosophy” and such a marriage is going to be much less than ideal.

Instead of living on the “get even” level, try this formula: Try sharing, bearing, working, and changing together. It should be a continuation of courtship days. Husband and wife are different in order to challenge each other, to grow together toward maturity, and not to see who is right or to determine what is right. One of the goals for married partners is to determine how we can best change together for the honor and glory of God.

3. Factors To Guard in the Marriage Relationship

Let me go a little further. It is a sin for married partners to refuse physical relationships for an extended period of time without mutual consent. The Scripture says, “The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband; and likewise the husband has no power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and come together again that Satan tempt you not in your incontinency” (1 Corinthians 7:4-5). In other words, the wife’s body does not belong to her alone, but also to her husband. And in the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife.

We must exercise moderation in the area of physical relationships. It is possible that some couples use what they think is a “holier than thou” approach, and they try to get even with each other (and to get back at the partner) by withholding the sexual privilege. Some marriages are not what they ought to be because people physically are selfish. They want to try to please themselves. They reason this way: “If you don’t please me, I’ll get even.” When a husband by-passes his wife for his physical needs, and has his own private sexual releases, the wife then also turns her physical drive for affection to the love and kisses she receives from the children. It can even lead to affairs with other men. Withholding sexual privilege is not pleasing to God. It is not pleasing to your partner. Your marriage fulfillment will decrease.

Married partners also must guard against the danger of not learning to really know each other. Do you know your partner’s sorrows, joys, and concerns? Are you aware of what her life goals are? Or don’t you talk together about these kinds of things? Some time ago I was in a home where a wife and husband were members of different church denominations. I asked the husband where his wife attends church services. He mentioned where she normally attended. I asked whether she was a member of that church body. He said he is not sure if she considers herself a member or not. It is really difficult for me to imagine a husband and wife living under the same roof and talking so little about spiritual things.
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It is a sad fact, but it is true: Very few husbands and wives spend more than a few minutes each week really talking about things that matter. Many fail to have frequent heart-to-heart talks. Husbands and wives should be free to give constructive criticisms to each other, without being considered negative or harsh or critical. The husband should be the leader, but the wife as a help-meet can be a very wise counselor. God did not make each of us a whole unit. After marriage, each is only a half. It is only when both husband and wife put together their thoughts and concerns that they have a balanced outlook on life.

In conclusion, there is no “perfect” marriage. It requires a continual effort. A good marriage relationship requires a day-by-day, week-by-week attempt to keep things in harmony, but it is worth it all. Marriage can be a bit of heaven here upon earth. It is like a garden. You can have a beautiful garden, but you must keep the weeds down. So also in marriage, the devil is looking for marriages in which to sow the tares so that he can wreck the marriage. He hopes to keep it from bearing fruit. By God’s grace and help we can keep every weed dug out. The sooner we dig it out, or the sooner we go to a counselor for help, the more quickly we can have that beautiful relationship in Jesus Christ.

Because marriage here on earth is never perfect, each marriage needs two little “bears.” They are “bear” and “forbear.” We are not perfect; we all have weaknesses; we all have idiosyncracies. A mature Christian does not expect perfection in his mate. To all others, take heed to this illustration: There once was a young wife who after several months of marriage said to her husband, “You know, John, we have been married for a while and I have learned to know you better. I would like to remind you of a few of your faults.” He said, “Oh—I know all about my faults. That’s the reason I couldn’t marry a better woman.” Remember that none of us is perfect, but we can be forgiving. To err is human, but to forgive is divine. A good marriage is not one where perfection reigns.
A good marriage is a relationship where each partner has taken Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of their lives, and where a healthy understanding, plus the grace of God, can overlook a multitude of unresolvable difficulties.

-By Samuel M. Cassel
Used by permission of Bible Helps, P O Box 391, Hanover PA 17331.USA
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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Marriage Is Real Hard Work

Marriage Is Real Hard Work

By Gideon in Blog, MARRIAGE on September 12, 2017

LEARN FROM THIS CONFESSION / TESTIMONY.

I asked, so what is the secret of your over 47 years in marriage?

Beaming, she retorted; My daughter, the expectations you bring into marriage will either spell its doom or success. I married my husband without expectations of enjoying his money or buying cars for me, but with time, my patience, hard work and God-fearing attitude yielded results of getting cars, houses, taking care of our children and all that.

You see, if a married lady keeps on nagging in the house, she pushes the spirit of her husband from the home. If you make the man unhappy, you make the house uncomfortable.

“So, I married without high expectations from my husband but simply to make him happy always”

Yes, for the past 47 years, I would be the first to get up from bed and the last to go back to bed. I bath the kids, do devotions with them, prepare breakfast for my husband and boil hot water for him to bath. I iron his clothes he would take to work, kiss him and wish him the best in his daily endeavours.

So I ask my old woman, so then what does the man do in return?
She laughed all heart and hearty and replied; You see, this is the mistake you young ones make in marriage.
YOU DO SOMETHING TO YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE AND EXPECT SAME REWARD FROM HIM OR HER, THIS IS WRONG!

When it becomes your attitude to always please your husband or wife, the other person responds naturally. Indeed, if nothing touches the palm tree, it doesn’t rattle.
>>>>>>Also Read This:The Tragedy of Divorce And Remarriage<<<<<
She continued, my daughter, never carry how rich or poor your family is into marriage. After all, you knew very well the status of your family and decided to marry that man or woman.

Love only compels would- be couples into marriage but it doesn’t sustain marriage. Rather, understanding, patience, communication and most importantly, forgiveness sustain every marriage. High expectations are the symptoms of divorce in marriages.

Sometimes you hear, I want to marry a mother, a business partner, God fearing person etc. You can’t get all your expectations in one person. With time and depending on your relationship, you may get some. So minimise your expectations in marriage.
To cut the long story short, as too much cook spoil the broth, she concluded on the mistakes couple should resist at all cost in marriage:
>>>>>Also Read This:5 Secrets of Lasting Relationship<<<<<
1) Never say you have made your wife or husband somebody from a nobody. It hurts. God only use you as an agent for transformation, give the glory to God.

2) Let the man be head financially, emotionally,
physically and spiritually, whilst the woman exercise diligence in the use of the tongue.

3) Children are not the ultimate in marriage. They are given to enhance your marriage. When God delays in giving you a child, have every reason to live a happy marital life.

There has never been any automatic barrenness in a person. Abraham got Ishmael at age 86 but at age 100 and 90, they eventually got their Isaac. Isaac had a barren family for 20 years but eventually got his twins; Jacob and Esau etc.

4) Sex is a major morale booster after a hard day’s stressful life. Try to be sexual beings and not “Angels” in that marriage

5) Resort to God often and less to men to solve your marital disputes.

6) Let the women ” Make up” their characters much more than they make up their body.

Indeed, marriage is not for small boys because small boys struggle to forgive, demand everything speedily, lack the patience to wait, have so many friends etc.
MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO LET THAT MARRIAGE WORK AND MAY GOD BLESS US ALL
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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE MY EXPERIENCE IN HELL

MY EXPERIENCE IN HELL

By Gideon in Blog, RAPTURE on September 12, 2017

I was raped by a supposed friend (someone I thought I could trust). Left in shame and shock I could not tell anyone about my ordeal. I kept it to myself and went about my normal life.

Some weeks later after I came back from a vigil I started feeling weak so I went to a nearby hospital and ran some tests. To my greatest Shock I tested positive to pregnancy.

I told the man involved who after much plea convinced me to have an abortion which will be kept a secret.

I went in for an abortion however before the procedure I asked God to forgive me for what I was about to do and in the process I died, I left my body. Still looking at the lifeless form on the abortion table, I started ascending but in a flash a force pulled me down through a dark tunnel. I could not see the beginning or the end of the walls of the tunnel. It was dark, so dark, I saw cobweb like cells on the walls and in an instant I was in HELL.

I saw a woman who had been there for over a hundred years, she was in deep pain and agony, she would melt in the flames and the magma like liquid will come back together in the form of the woman. It occurred repeatedly. I knew I was in hell.

I began to burn and burn, I felt like pulling out my hair form its roots, because the pain was unbearable. It was as if my senses where magnified over a thousand times. The agony of the burns was not enough. The scream of people under the same torment was worse, it was so loud that I felt I would go deaf but they kept resonating in my ears.
>>>>>>>Also Read this: READY FOR RAPTURE?
I began to scream, the more I screamed the weaker I got but the screams only got louder while I was getting weaker. I gnashed my teeth but no form of all these expressions made me feel better…it only got worse, beyond description. I was in deep torment.

The worse feeling was not just the pain, the noise, the screams or the pungent smell. It was the feeling of HOPELESSNESS/TOTAL DAMNATION. I WAS CONDEMNED FOREVER. I knew I was in HELL forever and ever. There was no way out. I began to cry out to God for mercy.

At a point Jesus appeared and I wept the more. I asked Him to please give me one SECOND out of hell to just scream Jesus is Lord and die again. Jesus replied, “how many seconds are in a minute, how many minutes are in an hour, how many hours are in a day, how many days are in a week, how many weeks are in a month and how many months are in a year and how many years have you lived on earth?” I have given you all the seconds in your living years yet you failed me.

I wept more and asked Him to have mercy and please give me another chance to go and tell the world about HELL. I pleaded with the Lord to give me a chance even if I return to the world without my hands or my legs at least let there be breath in my nostrils. I had a better understanding of the adage that a living dog is better than a dead lion. I even promised to tell the world of my ordeal if He delivers my soul from the torment in HELL.

He replied,’ many have gone from here to tell them, what makes you think they will believe you but I kept pleading for a second chance and as I was weeping and gnashing my teeth.

Jesus had mercy on me but warned me sternly that if I did not preach I would end up in hell. He said, ‘tell my people to stop playing games with me’. At that point I woke up in the hospital room.

At first she I scared of sharing my horrific ordeal because I was concerned about my reputation but finally opened up when I came in contact with Dominion City under Pastor David Ogbueli’s ministration.

WHAT IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY COST?

If you are reading this post that means you have a chance to make a change and reconcile with God or if you are lukewarm it’s time to stop playing games with God.

Words alone cannot tell of my torment in hell or the torment of those in hell.

HELL is not a myth, a story, OR a figment of someone’s imagination, HELL IS A REAL PLACE.

A place you would not even wish for your enemies or those who have hurt you most.
(Heb 9:27 ~ And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement.)
If we recognize that all earthly things are someday going to be stripped away from us, then the craving for material possessions will matter far less to us now. We should turn away from physical indulgence, for earthly pleasure leaves no permanent gratification.
(2 Peter 3:11 ~ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness)
>>>>>>>>>Also Read This: CONFESSION THAT SHOOK ME
– We should stop giving excuses for God’s work
– We should imitate Christ
– Find out our purpose on earth and fulfil it
– Be part of the move of God in this last days
– Have a consistent walk with the Holy Spirit.

If you are blessed by this testimony, please share.

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE AMERICA CANNOT BE WRONG?

AMERICA CANNOT BE WRONG?

By Gideon in All of God, Blog on September 11, 2017

The influence of America and her culture on the church in Nigeria is monumental. Although Christianity did not come from America, America was as gentile as Nigeria as far as the salvation programme of God is concerned, people here have come to see America as the standard of Christianity. Any minister of God who travels to America to preach, even though to less than two dozen people, leaving the hundreds of brethren in his congregation behind is considered a big and successful minister of God.
Here we have adopted the American style of worship. Our musical instruments are American; our lyrics are American. Our ministers dress American; some even mimic popular American preachers sounding miserable in the process.
When our brothers, (Americana pastors) came back from America, they began to tell us that it no longer matter for our sisters to cover their heads in prayer meetings. Everybody (except some few “conservatives”) said yes; America cannot be wrong. Later they told us that since women wear trousers to church in America, it no longer matter for sisters here to do same. Everybody complied; America cannot be wrong! Recently, men come to church with braided hair while women come with “skin” haircut, many are in church with tattoo and men wear ear rings. We all sing, jump and shout together in church in the American way; these things do not matter because that is what they do in America and America cannot be wrong!
Now American men are marrying themselves in church and their women are doing the same. Soon American churches will be full of couples who are Mr Wood and Mr Wood married legally in the church and Mrs and Mrs Stones married together. America is always right! That is the position here!
Soon in Nigeria, shall also see Olu and Ade, two brothers in the church as couple, one in the choir and the other an usher?
I hope America will be wrong for once and something will really matter to the church in Nigeria!
>>>>>>Also Read this: Revival in the Land
Soon it will no longer matter in America for Mr Coal to marry his dog and for Miss Bush to marry her horse. Then, I hope it will matter to the church in Nigeria!
Brethren, for how long will the culture of America be the culture of the church? The “name it and claim it” faith movement came from America; also, the capitalistic Christianity where wealth is used to measure God’s approval. Where is America leading the churches in our land?
Our bishops and reverends, I hope that after your next trip to America, homosexuality will still be a sin; I hope it will still matter?
We do not need any prophet again to know that the trumpet of the home call will sound any moment from now. How ready are you?
I hope the matter of eternity still matter to you?
(If it matters to you, share this message with those that matter in your life)
Think on these things and may God give you understanding in Jesus name.
Shalom!
IF THIS HAS INSPIRED YOU,PLEASE SHARE!!!

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE THE CHURCH NEEDS REVIVAL!!

THE CHURCH NEEDS REVIVAL!!

By Gideon in All of God, Blog on August 30, 2017

Bishop T.D. Jakes, founding pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, remarks on the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage during a service on Sunday, June 28, 2015.
Jakes informed worshipers at The Potter’s House in Dallas that he had been “bombarded” by various people wanting to know his thoughts on the Supreme Court’s ruling last Friday that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional.
“I’m not really as concerned about this as a lot of people are” said Jakes during service on Sunday, according to a video excerpt of his remarks published online.
“I’m really not as concerned about it.
I think that we should not lose our mind about the world being the world and the Church being the Church.
This is not a news flash. The world is gonna be the world and the Church is gonna be the Church, and you have to understand the difference.”
The influential megachurch pastor, bestselling author and film producer went on to explain to his congregation that the Supreme Court, as a worldly institution, has one job to uphold the rights of all Americans.
“The Supreme Court is there to make a decision based on constitutional rights and legalities that fit all Americans. They are not debating Scripture,” he said, which led to applause from the congregation.
“They are just not debating Scripture,” Jakes repeated. “I guarantee you that they were not in there looking at Romans 1 and First Corinthians this and weighing it against the policies.”
“We have bought into all this rhetoric about America being a Christian nation” Jakes said.

He went on to suggest that indeed America has a lot of Christians in it, but the country is governed as a democracy and not by theocratic principles.
“But what we do need to watch is that our religious freedom is also respected and protected so that we don’t have to get caught up in the winds of the world and go the way the world is going,” Jakes added. “So we need to watch that as we grapple with an ever- changing society, and our society is becoming more and more pluralistic.”
“There’s nothing to say that Christianity will be the dominant religion in this country.
I hope it will. It’s up to us,” he added, going on to say that Christians have “stopped witnessing” and “stopped winning souls” and continue to isolate themselves from people who do not “believe like we believe.”
That runs against what Jesus commanded His followers to do, he insisted, adding, “Jesus said go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature.”
“So we need to change as a Church too.
We need to start reaching out to all types of people and preaching to them and ministering to them and sharing our faith with them. I don’t mean on Sunday morning. I mean in the mall, I mean in the grocery store, I mean while you’re getting your hair done. It’s time for you to be a real Christian.
I mean a real Christian, and win people to Jesus Christ. And you can start in your own house,”Jakes admonished his flock and the countless others watching the service via livestream.
Jakes, 58, rounded up his remarks by informing worshippers that “God is still in control” and giving them a stern warning about God’s judgement.
“The Supreme Court makes its decisions based on the Constitution, debating the
constitutionality of any particular issue.
>>>>>>>Also Read this: Critical Alert !
But I must warn you, God does not judge you by the Constitution. He judges you by the Word of God. So while the Supreme Court is looking at the Constitution, you better search the Scriptures …,” Jakes said.

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE The Truth About Living Together Before Marriage

The Truth About Living Together Before Marriage

By Gideon in Blog, MARRIAGE on July 28, 2017

The moral slide in our culture is seen in many ways, one of which is related to the number of people who are living together without the commitment of marriage. We live in a self-centered and pleasure-oriented society. Bible standards related to righteousness and morality are falling by the wayside. More and more couples are living together apart from the marriage bond. The trend is alarming. The flippant attitudes of some who “shack up together” are startling.

There is no effort in our day for many couples to even bother trying to conceal their unmarried status. They rent apartments, check in at motels, purchase houses (with their different names signed on the contracts), and visit their parents (expecting to be accepted and given the use of the guest bedroom). Since their idea is that they will live together if they “love” each other, and will stop living together if they stop “loving” each other, they prefer not to complicate the arrangement with a marriage commitment. Many pastors and churches have given approval to the “new morality.” The end result is the proliferation of all kinds of strange living arrangements. The mindset of a permanent marriage is not in their immediate plans.

A letter written by a young woman (addressed to one of her college teachers) says she is considering a live-in relationship with a man, and states the issues very well. She writes:

My boyfriend and I are contemplating living together for one or two years before getting married. We are intelligent, moral, law-abiding citizens. We love each other deeply. We want to live together, work together—to share, to trust, and to love one another. We want to test marriage before moving blindly into it. We do not have financial means for marriage; and if we decide marriage isn’t for us, we will just separate and avoid the heavy expense of divorce. Of what value is a piece of paper—the so-called marriage license—anyway? We are religious people, church members, and do not see any moral problems. Most broad-minded people think this will be the standard life-style for the future. Some people, who refuse to accept social change, including our parents, object to our plans. Why?

Because of the kind of thinking described in the letter above, cohabitation is more and more made to seem normal, and is becoming a substitute for marriage. Yet most sources indicate that nearly half of all cohabiting couples break up before the wedding, and those live-in couples who do marry are fifty percent more likely to divorce than those who did not first live together. In addition, those who lived-in before marriage are more likely to be unfaithful to their marriage vows, and generally experience more domestic violence than those who did not cohabit earlier.

Many people believe it is wrong to even question the morality and value of living together before marriage. It is becoming more and more acceptable in our society for young men and women to “try it out” before committing themselves to a life-long relationship. What are the moral implications involved in “live-in” relationships?

Living together really is not a good preparation for marriage. One secular book on marriage states that couples who lived together before marriage have significantly lower marital satisfaction than those who did not cohabit before the wedding. It is important to note that during the same time period in which living together before marriage has become acceptable, the rate of divorce has skyrocketed. Living together apparently has not helped to cement relationships.

Craig Alan Myers has said, “Couples engaged in fornication, and wanting to be married in the church or by the minister, should be asked to repent of their sin and refrain from those practices before a church wedding takes place … .
Further, Christians ought to be taught the Scriptural truth that their bodies (and their sexuality) do not belong to themselves but to God. Fornication and other sexual sins are acts that God roundly condemns and will judge. The Bible flatly says, “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [male prostitutes], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [sodomites], nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
However, the good news is that God will forgive those sins and heal them, when the sinner is penitent. The very next sentence in the Scripture above says, “And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
There is forgiveness and cleansing in the blood of Christ for the repentant sinner!” (Myers, Craig Alan, “On Living Together Before Marriage,” BRF Witness, Volume 30, Number 5, September/October 1995.)

There are a number of social reasons for the rising practice of pre-marital cohabitation:

1) A general breakdown of personal morality.
2) The changing sexual values in society.
3) Extended adolescence and later marriages.
4) The availability of more effective methods of contraception.
5) Tax laws which sometimes make marriage a disadvantage financially.

The primary factor, however, is related to the general human rebellion against the laws of God.

Committed Christians believe that sharing bed, breakfast, and bills (apart from a marriage bond) is a violation of the will of God. To the hundreds who are asking, “What’s wrong with living together before marriage, anyway?”—we offer the following paragraphs as a Christian response.

1. Living together as husband and wife without being legally married is fornication.

Fornication is defined narrowly as “sexual intercourse between unmarried persons,” but sometimes it broadens to include all forms of sexual immorality. It is a sin which God will judge. The Bible states clearly (as quoted above) that fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers—will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). And again, God’s Word says that marriage is to be held in honour by all, and the marriage bed be kept undefiled—for God will judge fornicators and adulterers (Hebrews 13:4). It is a sobering thought that “every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).

2. God designed sex to be enjoyed by one man and one woman within the permanent shelter of total commitment to each other in marriage.

Any deviation from this model is a violation of God’s Law with some serious consequences. Jesus speaks of a woman who was living with a man who was not her husband (John 4:17-18) as a case of unmarried cohabitation. When Jesus spoke of her private life she quickly changed the subject. Jesus did not regard cohabitation and marriage as being equivalent in meaning. The lesson of history is that any civilization that turns from the commandments of God, and lavishly devotes itself to carnal pleasure, cannot long endure.

3. The bodies of Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we are not to grieve Him by wrong conduct.

Because of this principle, Christians cannot do exactly as they please. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 speaks clearly about what that means. We are to know that our bodies are dwelling places of the Holy Spirit who lives within, and that we are not our own, for we were bought with a price—and therefore believers are to glorify God in their bodies. God says that the proper place for the sexual relationship is within the bonds of honorable marriage. To engage in fornication is immoral; it is a sin against the Holy Spirit who dwells in the believer’s body.

4. Sex without the binding commitment of marriage cheapens oneself and the other person involved.

Love without commitment is not really love at all, but rather it is lust. Marriage alone provides the security from the fear of being used, and seduced, and then abandoned.

Why is marriage so important? Why do we need to receive the church’s blessing and be registered by the state? Why do we encourage couples to save the sexual relationship for marriage? In order for a relationship between a man and woman to continue over the years, both partners must give each other their word completely. That is one of the reasons for a public wedding. Both need the support of the community.

Walter Trobisch in his little book entitled, I Married You, describes the three aspects of a normal marriage:

1) The legal or public ceremony.
2) The personal act of consent and commitment.
3) The physical sexual union. (The sex act alone does not constitute marriage, for if that were true, there would be no such thing as fornication, because as soon as individuals engaged in the act, they would be married.)

>>>>>>>>>>>Also Read This: The Tragedy of Divorce and Remarriage

Marriage is a public vow which makes the commitment more difficult to break. We treat marriage as a public contract, so that we will be reminded in our darker days, and during our times of temptation, of the importance of our obligation to love and cherish and nurture our chosen spouse with genuine care, even if there are difficult days.

Out of fear of losing her boyfriend, a young girl may decide to give in and have sex with him. In the end, she often loses him anyway—and then she feels used and humiliated. Many teenagers fall into the trap of “sex or else.” The boy says, “if you loved me, you would become intimate with me.” But when the girl gives in and consents to having sex, she often ends up getting dumped and is badly hurt. The fact is that if he really loved and cared for her, he wouldn’t ask her to yield to his sensual feelings.

5. Violations of God’s standards of morality carry consequences which follow later in life.

Some of the many consequences of cohabitation and fornication are misplaced trust, unplanned pregnancy, venereal disease, and the negative Christian witness which the cohabiting lifestyle presents to the world. The few moments of ecstasy experienced in an illicit affair will be greatly outweighed by the hours of remorse that come from disobeying God.

Sex outside of marriage always does some kind of damage. It leaves some people grieving because they can no longer claim virginity. Others carry dark secrets about things they did in the past. Some are afraid of getting pregnant, or getting a venereal disease, including AIDS.

Another consequence of cohabitation is the greater likelihood of divorce if the couple later decides to marry. The National Survey of Families and Households found that couples who cohabit before marriage are 50% more likely to divorce. The same survey also found that unmarried couples living together are twice as likely to be unhappy later on in their relationship, than are those who are duly married. One writer says that cohabitation is not preparation for marriage; instead, it is training for divorce. One study found that “cohabiting couples show higher levels of aggression than either daters or married people” (Time magazine, September 5, 1988).

People who move in before making a marriage commitment are people who have not learned to practice delayed gratification. They want the benefits of a solid relationship before investing the time and effort to build a solid relationship. Later, when the road gets rocky, these folks won’t invest the time and effort to sustain the relationship either. One writer says, “Having sex too soon, moving in without commitment …, are the behaviours of basically immature, let-me-feel-good-now . . . people” (from “Ten Stupid Things Women do to Mess up their Lives” by Laura C. Schlessinger ©1994).

Those who urge a period of unmarried cohabitation in order to test the sincerity and durability of their love overlook a common characteristic of human nature. It is the sense of being bound that helps love to become stabilized. The couple that is firmly committed to the principle of lifelong togetherness, has a much greater chance of experiencing a genuine lasting relationship, than the couple who regards their domestic habitation as being subject to termination.

6. Living together before marriage is an offence against God’s Law and is an injustice to one’s partner.

God’s original command in creation was that male and female should “cleave” (or “cling”) to one another in covenantal partnership, that is, in marriage (Genesis 2:24). A man shall leave father and mother, and become united to his wife, and they two shall become one flesh.

Our objection to living together before marriage is based upon the Biblical teaching that sexual activity outside of marriage is an offence against God’s Law. We are told in Ephesians 5:3 that there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality among God’s people.

The Bible has no direct teaching on what should be involved in a marriage ceremony, nor does it tell how the ceremony should be conducted to make it a valid transaction. However, marriage has always been a public event. There has always been a specific point at which persons were recognized as being married. The Bible has specific regulations about the sins of adultery and fornication. It is assumed that the community will know who is married and who is not married. Marriage is not a private affair. It takes place within the community. And the Christian is a member of a special community—the Body of Christ. Our entire life (including our role in marriage) is lived out as a member of this special community. In the wedding ceremony, the couple makes pledges in the presence of family, friends, the church, the state, and God. When this commitment has been expressed, then the man and woman are ready for physical consummation. This pattern is in harmony with the teaching found in God’s Word.

A public marriage ceremony demonstrates that we are to take seriously our responsibility to a larger society—including our friends, family, neighbours, and fellow Christians. We do not live to ourselves. We live as members of a community whose approval is important, whose love is desired, and whose reputation is esteemed. A marriage which occurs under God, before an audience, and ratified by the laws of the state is a strong statement of intention. It says that the couple intends to worship God, to contribute to the welfare of the community, and to put the commitment to persevere in the marriage on public record.

The marriage bond bestows meaning upon the couple’s sexual activity as expressed in the phrase “one flesh.” It highlights the complete interchange of the two selves, as in the bride’s delightful statement in the Song of Solomon, “My beloved is mine and I am his” (Song of Solomon 2:16). Marriage confirms the mutual commitment and bonding of a man and woman by specifying and guarding certain expectations and responsibilities. In cohabitation, by way of contrast, there is mutual exploitation within the possibility of potential flight. And that does not tend to promote strong and lasting relationships.

A Hallmark card says, “I can’t promise you forever, but I can promise you today.” This is one of the newest love cards for the current generations no commitments- just warm fuzzy feelings. And then when the mood changes and the fuzzies are gone, the earlier “love” and “respect” begin to fade. Living together before marriage is not an effective way to test the compatibility of potential marriage partners. Living together without marriage usually does more emotional harm than good. Total commitment is what makes a lasting and good marriage. Yet commitment is what cohabiting couples are purposely avoiding. Couples who mate before they are mates, tend to rely on sexual intimacy to keep them together. Strong human relationships require more than that. Couples who share the same roof before the public marriage ceremony often build a shaky foundation for their life together.

Our churches need to call for a renewed commitment to chastity and to the sacredness of sex within marriage. Kevin Ray, in Disciple Renewal, says, “There is a powerful movement today to ignore the clear teaching of Scripture regarding human sexuality. This problem is pervasive. In our society, living together outside of marriage is now acceptable. Divorce is viewed as an easy alternative to the struggle of making a marriage work. Children are being taught in our public schools that sexual activity is acceptable as long as it is done ‘safely.’ Homosexual behaviour is being promoted as normal human sexual expression. The perversion of biblical teaching regarding human sexuality threatens to undermine society and is bringing great division to the church of Jesus Christ. On the issue of human sexuality, we have abandoned the God-given standard, and are therefore in danger of incurring God’s wrath. This is a point where the church must be called to faithfulness.”

The church needs to reach out to those who are suffering the devastating effects of venereal diseases, and make their days as pain-free as possible by offering the peace which Christ brings to those who embrace Him—but we must also teach abstinence from sexual encounters outside of the true and honourable marriage bond. Christians must repudiate the “new morality.”
By Harold S. Martin
Used by permission of Bible Helps, P O Box 391, Hanover PA 17331.USA

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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Tips for Newly Married Couples

Tips for Newly Married Couples

By Gideon in Blog, MARRIAGE on July 18, 2017

Once you have decided to get married everything will revolve around the wedding day and making sure it is perfect. All your plans will need to be discussed and all the finances worked out. It will be expected that there will have to be some financial hardship in the run up as you will both want the day to be perfect. Nerves can become frayed and the relationship may seem to suffer but that will always be put down to pre wedding nerves. Once the big day has come and gone it will be expected that everything will get back to normal and you will have the perfect relationship you had beforehand.

It is now that the real work has to begin as quite often this will be the first time either of you has lived with anyone other than parents and siblings. Getting used to each other’s habits that may have either been not noticed or accepted as cute in the past when you only had to be confronted with them once a week can become annoying if they have to be endured day after day.

After the Wedding

From now on you and your partner are the people who are going to have to make all the decisions and ensure that the house runs smoothly. Everything that is done in the house has to be carried out by one or the other so decide early on how the workload will be split. At one time it was normal for the man to work outside the home and the woman to stay in the home so it was easier. Nowadays with both partners often working outside the house the housework has to be shared out.

Always treat each other as a best friend and not just as a spouse. Compliments should not end once you have tied the knot and just finding a minute each day to tell the other how special they are will keep you close and can make the other feel appreciated. It can be things such as “you are beautiful” but even remembering to say thank you for small favors will keep the relationship friendly and let the other one know you care.

Disagreements

There will be arguments and disagreements regardless of how long you have been married and there are good and bad ways to deal with conflict. There are occasions when there is not a simple solution and someone is going to have to lose. If you are making plans for a break and one wants to go for a week and the other a weekend, going for 5 days will be a compromise. If is it regarding going at all and one does not want to go anywhere and the other wants a break then one has to win and one has to lose. A simple solution to find out how important it is is to state how strongly you feel on the subject and grade it on a scale of 1-10. If it is really important to one then it may be best to go along with them. The main thing to check is if one partner always claims it is really important to them they are being selfish and always wanting their own way.

Always be open and honest about your feelings. A small argument can turn into a major row if you pretend nothing is wrong. If you are not prepared to listen to your partner when they have a problem they can easily turn to someone else. It may not be an affair or something that ends the marriage but once a friend knows more about how your partner feels than you do then it can be the beginning of a bigger problem.

Keep the Romance Alive

It is important to keep the romance alive so as you can always remember why it was you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together. Whereas you may have once had a candlelit dinner in a nice restaurant you can recreate the atmosphere in your own home. Keeping things light is also important. You may not be the funniest person in the world but if you can say something each day to make your partner laugh you will keep the relationship fresh and fun.

You may enjoy each other’s company but there is no need to spend every minute of every day together. Giving each other space can in fact bring you closer together. Just spending an hour or so in different rooms can give you time to yourself and mean that you look forward to being back together. Being able to do what you want to without fear of interruption will allow you to relax and recharge your batteries.

More Personal Issues

Accept your differences regardless of whether they are in or out of the bedroom. You fell in love with this person as they were so there is no need to try to change them. There may be little tweaks here and there but by and large no one wants to be told they need to change totally. If they suddenly get a list of things you don’t like, you may soon find that they are making a list for you.

The first five years have been considered to be the most crucial ones when it comes to setting a good foundation for a marriage. Marrying early can create problems and if there seem to be issues early on do not feel too embarrassed to go to a marriage counselor.

Money will not be important when you have plenty but as soon as it becomes scarce it is amazing how quickly the arguments will start. Don’t hide debts as it will be easier to stop them spiraling out of control. Don’t be ashamed to want a separate account as well as a joint one. It will be nice for both of you to have some money to spend as you please without worrying there will not be enough to pay the bills. When statements come in don’t be afraid to question an item. As long as you accept the same happening to you it can be healthy as it could be a mistaken deduction and if not questioned you could lose money.
>>>>>Also Read this: 4 common problems in marriage
Finally don’t be afraid to discuss sexual issues. There may be things that you would prefer to happen or not happen but are frightened to say. Your partner may feel the same way but be afraid to mention it. Even if they don’t they may not mind the fact that you wish to talk about it. Be open and honest and find out what each other really wants.

In all areas of your married life make sure that your partner feels important. You have both given up the way of life you were both used to and now you have someone else to consider. Always be honest about the way you feel regardless of what the issue is and discuss how to rectify any problems. When you have had your discussions always make sure the other is OK with the outcome. This is the person you could be hoping to spend the next 40 years of your life with and if things start to go wrong early on they may never get repaired. BY COLLEEN CRAWFORD.
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