Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians 5:21-33’

When Two Elephants Fight, The Grass Suffers

Elders world wide often say that ‘When two elephants fight, the grass suffers’. The saying is often quoted when two heavy weights in a relationship are engaged in a quarrel, conflict or fight. The relationship may be pre-marital, marital, business, political, local, national, international, or in any other vital field of human activity. The dependents, dependants or those in close proximity to the two chief antagonists usually bear the brunt of the blows from the fight. When nations wage war against each other or when there are civil wars, it is the innocent children, women, the weak, sick or handicapped ones who suffer most. In the context of conflicts or quarrel in the family setting or home, it is the children who suffer most. In a family, we think of a man, his wife, who is a woman, and their children. Where they live is the home. In a normal home therefore, the ‘two elephants’ are the man and his wife, as father and mother respectively; while the children represent ‘the grass’. In the other examples referred to above, the dependents, dependants and the weaker ones, all of whom are the more vulnerable ones, represent the grass. Modern society holds the wrong view that a relationship should not be based on children who are the products of the relationship. Why, in the first place did the couple bring forth the child or children? It is simply equal to gross irresponsibility, selfishness and cruelty not to consider the children as being the most vulnerable and therefore the ones to give the most consideration! No committed Christian should go all out for divorce. Misunderstandings are inevitable in any human relationship. When misunderstandings arise, the persons involved should endeavour to resolve them. In the family, greater responsibility rests upon the shoulders of the father and mother. The family is an essential structural as well as functional living unit of any community or nation. God set up the family unit as such. Any community or nation is therefore a product of its functional unit, the family. Any damage done to the family structure is a gradual death-blow to the fabric of stability and health in the community, state, region or nation! Where persons hold the family in high esteem, no effort would be spared at maintaining its stability. The reckless abandonment with which many couples in this generation handle their marriage disputes or misunderstanding spells disaster for many homes. Resorting to divorce is not the solution. Rather, more chaos and problems are created than solved when either parent presses for divorce. Handling marriage as a trial by error affair, as a business contract or as a ‘cat and mouse affair’ would certainly lead to failure and divorce. Looking for the least form of excuses to press for divorce is not a Christian lifestyle. Consequently, the children from such homes have their lives virtually truncated and left in disarray. Many of such children grow up to become confused, angry, rebellious and retaliatory. It is much better to bring up children in a home with both father and mother positively and actively involved. No father can successfully combine the mother’s role with his. The same is true of any mother. No mother can successfully replace the father. God has given each person in the home his or her own special responsibility. The father, mother and the children make up the family which lives in the home. Teaching and supervising house chores helps parents to lay the foundation for good work habits for the future. It is easier to play than to work, but it is rather more uplifting and confidence-boosting as well as character-building in the child. Setting standards as well as boundaries in behaviour also helps in children upbringing. The father is the chief disciplinarian. The mother upholds discipline under the umbrella of the father. In the father’s absence, she is in charge. Both parents uphold discipline together, but the hierarchy of the two parents should never be in question. Words are very important in giving instructions. Clear, simple direct instructions should be given. No negative, degrading or abusive words should be used at any time. Chores should be practically taught by showing example or demonstrating it to the child. Parents should never wait on the school to teach their children chores. Schools should buttress what parents have already taught as appropriate with the child’s age. Violations of these set boundaries and standards should be frowned at and sanctions given. Good performance should also be rewarded. Firm stands should be maintained. Children are wise to detect any loophole on discipline and would like to take advantage of it. It is the responsibility of parents to eliminate such loopholes. Being in agreement in words as well as in actions is one of the sure ways to plug or avoid loopholes. The Bible states:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)

The training must be given first, from which the child would not depart later on in life. No training; no knowledge and no discipline. It is a pity that some ladies and young men who never learnt how to cook whilst growing up have to rely on cookery books for almost all their cooking. The problem is from the home background. They probably had things too much their own ways at home or the parents indulged them with the services of paid chefs and other paid domestic servants! It is not too late to learn from friends or enrol for short-term courses. Please do not be shy or ashamed to learn. It is also written:

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15).

Correction is best applied when it matters most and not when it is too late. Before a child starts school a good foundation should have been laid. Postponing training and discipline or ignoring them altogether breeds conflict, rebellion and sorrow later on. Every time the family comes together, some teaching and learning takes place. The family that prays, eats, worships and plays together, cherish each other and therefore stays together. The opposite is also true. The family that neglects praying, eating, talking, worshiping and playing together seldom stays together. Some families do not have time for cooked meals because they claim to be too busy. Some are too busy, making money to such extent that they seldom see each other except during Christmas or in an emergency.
To abandon the role of the two parents to only one is not only irresponsible, it is wicked and criminal. Examples abound of human failings by mothers or fathers. More often than not, the abandoned or partially neglected children have a permanent vacuum in their lives. Only God, by his mercy can fill that vacuum when each vulnerable person in the marred relationship opens the door for Him to interact. Various communities in different parts of the world suffer from the effects of strained or broken down relationships in the family. A corrupted form of the family has become the vogue in many parts of the so-called civilized world! There can be no satisfactory substitute for the real family. The original family setting consists of the man as husband and father; the woman as wife and mother and children as important products of the loving, cherished relationship called marriage, which binds the family together. When each member does his or her role properly, the family would be happy, peaceful and flourishing. In a Christian home, all come under the umbrella of the Almighty God, who is the Maker of Marriage and the Family. In the normal family and in this 21st Century, it is challenging, demanding and difficult to bring up children. It demands great commitment and selfless giving, especially from the father and on in the descending order of mother down to the children. How much more difficult would it be for only one parent to try bringing up children. In some quarters, people think it is their position, riches or affluence that would place them in good standing to be good parents. Money, gifts, holidays and status cannot replace good parenting which demands selfless love, positive and protective discipline, with boundaries, rewards and sanctions. A lone-ranger parenting could be likened to a motor car with two good alternate tyres. What horrible ride that would provide in a family. Such a ride would not only be uncomfortable, but unsafe. When each member does his or her role properly, the family would be happy, peaceful and flourishing. Are you a Christian? Stop any further action towards divorce now. Humble yourself before God. Seek the face of God. Seek Christian counsel. Do not join hands with Satan to mess up Christian marriage and the Family setting.
The Bible states:

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourself 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: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wife be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word[Ephesians 5:21-26].

It is a mutual submission to each other and not a one-way affair. The husband who expects his wife to submit to him, must be exemplary and lead the way in humble submission; not insisting and defiant. He should only insist where the Bible may be violated! Christ washed the feet of his disciples. He also prepared breakfast for them on the beach, even after his resurrection; just before his ascension back to Heaven. The wife should be cautious not to take her husband for granted. A humble, serving, caring and protective husband deserves to be respected and obeyed. He is to be followed, unless he walks contrary to the Bible. A man usually gets the commitment of the kind of wife he loves selflessly, nurtures and cherishes. A woman usually gets the commitment of the type of husband she adores, cherishes, respects and obeys. A selfless, loving, cherishing, diligent and responsible husband would be obeyed. An adoring, caring, virtuous, cherishing and obedient wife would be loved and honoured. The relationship, based on reverence for God and patterned after the love of Christ for the church, would succeed in the face of hardships and challenges of this life and especially this challenging 21st Century. A significant portion of the cases of juvenile delinquents in society is made up of children from broken relationships or from divorced parents. Out of frustration some of such children become confused, disappointed, rebellious, addicted to drugs and violent. Their confidence, security, self-esteem and in deed future have been violated! Many have need rehabilitation.
A significant problem which confronts the family of the 21st Century is the distortions or corruptions in the interpretations given to the family. Those who call evil good and call good evil shall be punished by God. Those who enact anti-God laws are seeking divine punishment also.[Romans 1:18-32, Exodus 23:1-2, Isaiah 10:1-2, Genesis 19:1-26]. The modern day violations of the family setting breed confusion and make healthy child-upbringing very challenging and difficult. Attempts by various governments to redefine marriage are calculated efforts by Satan to destroy family life, which constitutes the essential unit of human society. Such governments and the leadership only think that they are being modern and in line with what some others around the world are doing. Unfortunately however, the so-called vogue is anti-family, anti-procreation, and anti-societal well-being! Such leaders and nations are fighting against God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. There is arrogant and flagrant disregard to the words, and will of God and his plan for the betterment of humankind. Severe consequences as a result of the disregard are very imminent. The great ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality, violence and disobedience. Judgment is coming very soon on the arrogant and the disobedient, take it or leave it! This is an urgent warning and call to repentance to all the nations of this world celebrating or condoning homosexuality, especially the political leaders. Majority of the populace in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, taking just two examples, are against homosexuality, but some of the political leaders are bulldozing their own will through, against common sense, against natural order and against the plan of God Almighty.
Whilst concluding this post, the news of the proceedings in the House of Commons was received. It is unfortunate that the House of Commons passed the bill to allow gays to be fully married in the same way as heterosexual couples. This is a significant negative landmark and a notable additional setback for humanity! The odd and horrible likelihood of calling a man wife and the same person also as husband is the peak of human deception. The same thing goes for calling any woman husband and the same woman as wife. It is confusion master piece! Although God has been very merciful in waiting patiently for people and nations to repent over the calamity of homosexuality, his patience must never be taken for granted. Judgment is coming very soon over anyone, group of persons or nations who violate the plan of God. It is not a mark of achievement to follow a multitude or group to do evil. The correct, natural, reasonable and God-given will of the overwhelming majority has been brushed aside in order to please a significantly erring minority, all under the guise of “keeping up with the Joneses”, with the tag of human rights. It is another example of two elephants fighting, with the grass suffering. That was a setback for civilization! Perhaps the next thing for the United Kingdom and other similarly compliant nations is to pass a bill in favour of polygamy! A U-turn back to God and the time-tested Christian statutes of the United Kingdom is necessary and not too late. Agape Focus as one of the voices for God and the well-being of humanity in this generation opposes and condemns the significant error because it opposes God! We do not know the details; only God knows, but God Almighty says he would judge over this action! Signs to follow soon would be like the ANCIENT HANDWRITING ON THE WALL as in the days of Daniel. Watch out. A word is sufficient for the wise. Enough is enough! Who is a God like the Almighty that pardons iniquity? He still forgives sins today. Repent therefore that you may be forgiven. Retrace your steps back to God.

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AGAPE NUGGETS 7

The Christian Marriage is likened to the union between Jesus Christ and the Church. The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Church which is called his body.As the natural human body cannot exist without the head, so can the church not thrive without Jesus Christ. In like manner,our Lord,Jesus Christ needs and cherishes us all who are his by redemption, through faith in his blood,shed when he stood in our place to rescue us from present and eternal doom. In the Christian marriage, the man,as husband and head;the woman as wife,body and helpmeet,form an inseparable entity! Any man who dishonours or abuses his wife is maltreating his own body. For such a man, there is no wisdom,peace or joy. Such a man is foolish.A true husband must be ready, if need arises, to lay his life down for the wife! Similarly the woman who disrespects or undermines her husband behaves as a headless, silly person! That woman is a walking spectacle or abnormality! A true wife must be humble and submissive(not as a slave),to the husband! In the early church,upholding the sanctity of marriage, any couple who break up their marital vows were treated as outcasts! However,some Twenty-first Century Christians think they are wiser than God,the Maker of marriage!Jesus taught and upheld that from the begining no permission was given for divorce. Moses gave his people instruction to divorce based on the stubborness of their hearts Deuteronomy 24:1-4!It is better not to marry than to take marriage as a Hollywood gamble or a scientific experiment!Divorce is the permissive will of God in case of fornication.In cases of deception on fidelity issues,divorce was permitted,if the person so wronged is legalistic and not gracious! There is no sin beyond pardon, when there is repentance. Otherwise,marriage the highest level of human relationship,becomes second rate;taking it so-so;managing it as you have stubbornly and disobediently made or found it. God is very loving and does not want you to go through hell in your marriage, if you follow his manual,the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you day by day.A couple that pray together,read and study the Bible together in obedience to God,must find peace,joy,purity ,power and courage to live successfully.Part of walking the road to success involves mutual esteem, selfless giving,unbroken communication,enjoying sex together,taking specific and joint responsibilities,based on your abilities or gifts.Never neglect to take good and healthy care of your bodies;better than you did during courtship days.In addition to these,forgive your spouse and give no room for bitterness.(Ephesians5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19). Before and when children arrive to make you a family,set and keep boundaries with authority in the home.Everyone should be disciplined. Jointly discipline and train the children together (Proverbs 22:6; Proverbs 13:24; Ephesians 6:1-4;Colossians 3:20-21). Problems would surely face any couple. No couple is free of challenges,but the obedient,loving,respectful and faithful ones would experience victory.

AGAPE NUGGETS

Stop and think for while! Cancel your move towards separation or divorce! Make a U-Turn at the very next exit,just a minute away(PRAY).You could be the one to make the first move.Surely,you can take the initiative towards reconcilliation.Never give up.Do not forget that you are two separate individuals,of different upbringing, different temperaments and with different opinions.You need to recognize,appreciate and respect your individual differences mutually.No one should insist on having his or her own way all the time.It takes the two of you to disagree or quarrel.You may disagree without losing your focus,temper or relationship. What happens if you win an arguement and you lose the other person or your spouse?Surely you may not desire such.Therefore,there is the need for patience,tolerance and mutual respect between you and your spouse.Good communication demand that you listen and not be the lecturer or teacher all the time.God has endowed the other person with unique abilities and gifts different from yours.As you appreciate this fact, you would be able to combine the gifts from two unique persons to make a successful marriage. Some persons have cancelled the sentence “I am sorry” from their vocabulary and dictionary!Try not to become that kind of a person.No marriage is free of problems, except where the couples are deceptive.However,God can help any willing and determined couple to overcome problems and succeed in their marriage.Marriage is not an affair for experimentation.It is a life-time covenant relationship between a man and a woman who are in love.Your spouse should be your friend from whom nothing about you is hidden.That means he or she is trustworthy.He or she should be your lover.That means you can go all-out to ensure his or her well-being,joy and safety, to the extent of taking risks!Is that your kind of relationship?As Christians,who are children of God,your desire is first and foremost to please God.God is the only one who knows about and should control all aspects of your relationship.Is there where you are?The Bible states that there should be mutual submission and respect. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave himself for the church.A man should not be harsh to his wife,but handle her gently and honourably,treating her as the weaker vessel.The wife should not take undue advantage of her husband,but respect her husband and obey him as she would obey Christ. (Ephesians 5:21-33;Colossians 3:18-19;1Peter 3:1-7).For details,please get in touch with us at AgapeFocus.God bless you.