“I used to be scared by certain marriage vows I hear couples chant on their wedding day. They say such things as: ‘I so and so get into wedlock with you, for better for worse, in sickness and health…’
I saw the ignorance of the officiating priest and the intending couples as they chant the so-called marriage vows, because marriage is not designed to be ‘for better for worse’, but ‘for better for best!’ – Bishop David Oyedepo.
“When a man is united with God’s choice for him as a wife, they become sources of inspiration to each other for soaring higher in the realm of the Spirit. They become fortified and spiritually stronger.” – Pastor Mrs Faith Oyedepo
21st August 2020 marked the 38th wedding anniversary of Bishop and Pastor (Mrs) Faith Oyedepo with congratulatory messages flooding their social media pages; Church Gist platform wasn’t also left out of the buzz; with a lot of people confessing, claiming and tapping the grace of God at work in their lives. However, as Bishop David Oyedepo has said time and again; “there is nothing in doing nothing.”
There is a need to understand clearly that what we are celebrating today is the law of seedtime and harvest; the marriage covenant manifesting in full dimension in their lives and that of their children.
Today we will be looking at time proven truths that were written in their book, ‘Success In Marriage’ 21 years ago but are still valid, fresh and applicable: from how he spent 6 years to prepare for marriage, to his wife kneeling down to give him her monthly salary when she was still in secular employment and how they jointly take decisions with respect to their home, children’s spiritual and academic wellbeing.
- There is no point in hurrying your son to get married. Let him become a man first, then you will also have peace. Don’t keep telling him, “All your equals are married.” That is unnecessary. A lot of my mates married before me, but I told myself that I wasn’t walking by their own time-table. I am not running by their programme, but by the one God has revealed to me.
- You are not qualified for marriage if you are still eating your father’s food. If you don’t have a room, a bed and cooking pots, then you are not qualified for marriage. Age is not what determines your preparedness for marriage. What you have not prepared for, you can’t succeed in.
- The preparation for marriage is not in prayers, but in fact-finding and in an intelligent analysis of available facts, to determine whether there is any future in the decision to marry. My preparation for marriage took six years, but its effect is speaking now. My wife knew all about what I was doing when we were in courtship, so she knew what to expect in future.
- When I was about to marry, certain things were included on the list of things I was to bring as the bride price. I knew I couldn’t take those things there. I would rather never be married than present those things, because of my stand for God and my future. I knew I loved my wife to be and that we were looking forward to getting married, but I loved my God more. When I got the list, I didn’t respond. Then one day, my in-laws said to me, “We sent so and so paper to you and you didn’t respond.” God gave me wisdom to reply them; I said, “You see, there were certain things on the list, that if we get involved in them now, we would become problems to you tomorrow.” My father-in-law agreed with me and said, “Cancel whatever is against your future on the list.”
- You can’t be a boy and succeed in marriage. You must be a man with respectable opinions. But if people have to buy wedding suit and shirts for you, then they will have the final say in your marital affairs.
- Prayer is not the way to marital success, neither is attending marriage seminars. The way to marriage success is by accepting responsibility for your home.
- Money does not make a home; obedience is what does. In pursuit of money, many people have disregarded this important factor and teamed up with Satan to ruin their homes. Many homes have been ruined because the man is working in America or England and leaves his wife back in Nigeria. This is an open invitation to Satan (Matthew 19:6).
- Men, there is a need for maturity, so that your leadership position can be enhanced spiritually. A husband who, rather than help his wife to stay spiritually vibrant, concentrates on himself alone is selfish. He should know that at the end of the day, what will happen can be likened to the effect of the force of gravity on an object that is thrown up. Very soon, the object will stop going up and start coming down. A wife who is spiritually weak can pull down her spiritual-giant of a husband and vice versa.
- God expects couples to also help one another socially. For instance, due to your partner’s background, he or she may not know certain social manners, such as table manners, matching colours, appropriate dressing codes for various occasions, etc. It is your responsibility to educate your spouse on them.
- My wife and I are absolutely responsible for all the decisions that affect us. Everyone else only gets to know the end result. If I want to buy something for my wife, I won’t need to first consult anyone, for their approval. I don’t owe anybody any explanations for decisions concerning my home.
- My wife and I are always in agreement, so there is no way the devil can come between us or into our home. Since we are in agreement, we enjoy dominion over sickness, financial difficulties, etc. “I remember showing my wife what the Bible says in Genesis 2:18: ‘And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.’ She is, in essence, an help meet for me. She agreed with me, and we have not had the first argument to date!”
- I believe that the problems in many marriages are due mainly to a lack of covenant agreement. Many people agree with culture, at the expense of the covenant agreement they should have in the home. Know that your wife won’t plan your hurt, neither would your husband want to harm you. The devil is behind the strife in your home. My wife knows that I will never do anything to hurt her and I know she won’t deliberately try to hurt me, so there is no strife between us. If your wife puts too much salt in the soup, for instance, see it as a result of her attempt to ensure that there is enough salt in the soup, not that she did it deliberately.
- Wife, there will be times when your husband will need your feminine nature to get things done. For example, he may need you to help massage his legs, back or body after a very busy day at work. Don’t claim to be very busy in the kitchen or with the children. Please be available. Somebody once said, “Men are boys in trousers.” Remember, marriage is meant for better living.
- As his wife, you know things about him that nobody else does. You know him to his closet. You know his nakedness, his downsitting and uprising. You are, however, not to use that against him. Do not use his weaknesses against him, nor despise him for his weaknesses and seek opportunities to disgrace him in the public. Rather, as a help meet, you are to surround him with aid and assistance in those identified weak areas. Be a helper not a destroyer; an asset not a liability; a blessing, not a burden; a soothing balm, not a thorn in the flesh. You know what a thorn does? It makes life uncomfortable and unbearable. It causes a lot of pains.
- To enable us take better decisions on some family issues, my husband and I spend time to reason out things with God. For instance, we usually reason out issues that concern the education of our children, considering the advantages and disadvantages. Remember that even God says we should come and reason together (Isaiah 1:18). That way, we have been able to strike a balance between their spiritual and academic life.
- Children should not be raised by shouting or caning, but by examples. Your responsibility is to leave footprints in the sands of time for them to follow. Sometime ago, my son saw me taking out some clothes from my wardrobe, preparing to give them out. “Do you want to give all these out again?” he asked. I said, “Yes. That’s the way we got them in the first place; by giving.” And he said, “Okay.”At another occasion, I needed to be in the office unusually early. My wife was not sure whether I took my bath before leaving, so she asked my first son if I had my bath before leaving. His reply was, “You know his bath is usually done in five minutes!” I don’t remember telling him that, but he just knew!
- No man has any right to wear new clothes, when his Family is going about in rags. You should set aside some amount of money from whatever you earn, to cater for the personal needs of your wife and children. I remember that even when we were earning 440 naira monthly (300 naira for me, and 140 for my wife), we never ran out of food to eat at home. I have always lived well, because I am a planner. My wife is also a very successful planner. In my Family, for instance, I have a monthly allowance for everyone in my household. My children have their own personal accounts, I give my wife an allowance, which is apart from her income and house-keeping allowance. I have also taken steps to ensure that my children walk in the covenant of abundance. They all pay tithes and make kingdom investments from their monthly allowances and gifts they receive from people.
- Some women believe that their husbands alone are responsible for providing for the home. They will even quote Scriptures to back up this belief. No wonder when such women earn their own money, they hide it from their husbands, and make them pay for everything in the home. Wife, don’t keep your money for the purpose of buying the latest clothes, shoes and headgear in town only. You make yourself look like a prostitute when you give your husband your body, but cannot give him your money.
- If the man will love perfectly and the woman submit perfectly, then they will have a perfect home (Ephesians 5:33). Submission has to be done in love, not out of fear or threats. When it is rooted in love, it is perfect and brings God’s presence down in the home (Titus 2:4-5). I recall the days when my wife was still in secular employment. When she receives her salary, she would kneel down and hand it over to me. You may say that she is local, but that is your opinion. In fact, her handing over the money to me was a risk, because I could give it all to the next person who came in, if God commanded me to do so. To you it may sound absurd and uncivilized, but I reckon that modernization is one of Satan’s strategy for destroying Christian homes. All that my wife used to hand over to me as her income then is peanuts compared to what I give her now! I have bought several posh cars for her, as surprise gifts.
Now, by virtue of my placement in God, I can sign cheque leaves and leave them with her to fill in any amount she wants at anytime. I never return to ask her, “Why did you spend this or that?”
Often, the problem with many women is that they do not trust their husbands to make the right decisions. They keep struggling to make their points, so there is constant strife in the home. I wish women will strive for proofs and not points!
- There is no woman who does not desire to be loved by her husband. But you can only reap a harvest of love, if you sow the seed of submission. I have discovered that the more I stand in my God-ordained place in my husband’s life, the more love comes my way from him. But I want more of his love. Everyone close to us knows that my husband loves me. But frankly, I want more love. So, I stand firmly in my place and keep surrounding him with aid and assistance.
Begin to look out for the areas in your husband’s life that require more assistance; render them willingly and with a pure heart. You will find his love for you getting stronger by the day.
- Note that if a woman doesn’t submit to her husband, she would submit to someone else. The same is true for the man. If he doesn’t love his wife, he would love someone else. It is, therefore, important that both husbands and wives fulfil their covenant obligations to one another. The end product will be success in Family life.
My wife has bought some clothes that I stopped her from wearing. And because my instructions matter to her, she never wore them. Success in marriage doesn’t answer to fasting and prayer, but to a correct positioning in the covenant.
- This principle of instant forgiveness has helped me a great deal. My husband and I practice it, and it has paid off for us. It pays to forgive!
- Every Family is vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. He still goes about to and fro as a roaring lion, seeking families to devour.
Satan hangs around beautiful things so he can corrupt the beauty. He hung around Job, because his life was beautiful. He continued till he destroyed the beauty around Job. Satan has not changed his techniques. Once he sees an ever-joyful couple, he says, “I must get them.” He hates to see any Family successful, and he would stop at nothing to destroy it.
His method is still the same. He questions God’s instructions and challenges everything God says. He still whispers to husbands, “Has God said, ‘Thou shalt love thy wife as Christ loved the Church’? But can you call that woman a wife? She’s a witch! God said you should love your wife, not a witch…”
Then he goes to the woman and says, “Has God actually said, ‘Thou shalt submit to your husband in everything’? No, not when it’s obviously a stupid thing to do. Remember that the reason you went to school is to be able to reason out issues!”
- Woman, please learn to prove the source of the information that comes to you. Find things out for yourself from the Word of God, because nothing anybody says can make the Word of no effect. The destruction many families have experienced today came from information that had satanic sources.
- When people talk about marital problems, I have no contributions to make along that line, so I wonder if we are living in the same world! But recognize that a hitch-free marriage is not a gift from God; it is a function of His grace that is acquired through knowledge (2 Peter 1:2).
Let’s remember to take steps in putting these tips to work because marriage is not just about you and your spouse; it’s about generations yet unborn and we need to take spiritually guided, practical steps in securing the future generations against the wiles of the devil.
LOOK UNTO ABRAHAM YOUR FATHER, AND UNTO SARAH THAT BARE YOU: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him (Isaiah 51:2).
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS, WHERE IS THE GOOD WAY, AND WALK THEREIN, AND YE SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16)
Sources: Success in marriage (1999), Faith Abiola Oyedepo’s Page.
Published By: Ifeoluwa ORISAKAHUNSI
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