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UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES AT HOME by Mrs Elizabeth Anyasodo

This article contains excerpts from Possibilities Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1. Click here to download Complete Magazine.

Home! What a beautiful word. A very important word indeed.

Home: the birthplace of life, the foundation of every society, a characteristic of even the most primitive ideas of man’s existence.

Home: the place we all return to everyday after all our toiling and struggle under the sun.

Home: the place we all hope to find joy, peace, contentment, laughter, and love.

Home: the one place where you are ALWAYS welcome.

However, our dreams about the place we call home are not always the reality we get to experience. Some people dream of quiet tranquil homes and come back to strife-filled homes. Some other people dream of a home full of joy and laughter, but each time they look around them, they see only sadness. There are many things that can cause such situations; but most of the time, the reason many people find that their homes are not as pleasant as it should be is because the people in that home are not taking up to their responsibilities as they ought to.

Every home is made up of a family. A family can be likened to a body. A body is made up of different parts with different functions, e.g. eyes, nose, legs, ears, hands, mouth, stomach, etc. The whole body is happy as long as everybody does their job: the legs walking well, the hands moving, the eyes seeing, and so on. But whenever any part of the body decides that it is no longer interested in doing what is expected of it, definitely, the whole body will suffer.

In the same vein, most families would be home-sweet-homes indeed, if every member locates and lives up to their areas of responsibility. And God is not an author of confusion. When He created families, He gave every member their responsibility – just as He did when He created the body. And just as the parts of the body seem to automatically know what they are meant to do, without being told, members of families also ought to know their duties!

However, for the avoidance of doubt, let us look at some of the duties and responsibilities of individuals in a home. We will start from the head.

  1. Husbands/ Fathers: The husband/father of the house is the God ordained head of the house (Ephesians 5: 23). His position is compared to Christ’s position as head and saviour of the Church. As the head, he has an overall responsibility to whatever happens in the home. He is the saviour of the family. It is his duty to save them from hunger, nakedness and the elements (1Timothy 5:8). He is accountable and responsible for the happenings in and to the family whether good or bad; it is therefore his duty to make decisions and take actions towards the overall good of the family (1Timothy 3:5). He is expected to do all within his power to make his family members as happy and comfortable as can be.
  2. Wives/ Mothers: If the man is the head, then the woman is the torso. She contains all the sensitive aspects of the home, and out of her proceeds the other parts of the family, namely, the children. The woman is the heart, the emotion of the home. She determines the atmosphere, the aura of the home environment (Proverbs 12: 4). If she is full of virtue, laughter, singing, merriment and hospitality, it will reflect in the home (Proverbs 15: 13); if on the other hand, she is saucy, moody and always seeking quarrels, it will also reflect in the overall atmosphere of the home (Proverbs 21: 9 & 19, Proverbs 27: 15). It is the duty of the mother to make good use of whatever the father brings home, and whatever she herself can bring, to make the home as welcoming as possible for the family members (Proverbs 14: 1). If she is neat, everyone will enjoy it. If she is comfortable in dirty surroundings, everyone will suffer it. If she is financially prudent, it is to everyone’s benefit, and vice versa. The man gets a house; she transforms it into Home-Sweet-Home. He brings home the kill; she turns it into a meal. He brings money; she uses it to get what they need. On the whole, the woman’s responsibility is to take whatever comes to the family and turn it into beauty. She receives seed, and brings forth harvests, including children.
  3. Children: These are often the offspring of a marital union, the seal of God’s blessing on a family. They also have their responsibilities. Their number one responsibility is obedience (Ephesians 6: 1 and Colossians 3: 20). This makes it easier for the parents to care for and protect them. Children that refuse to obey often fall into all manner of problems bringing untold heartaches and hardships to their families. It is also the duties of children, as they grow older, to help their parents however they can. With time, they become the hands and legs of the family, doing most of whatever needs to be done, and going on errands for the elders. Obedient and hard-working children bring much joy to their family.

Conclusion

A blissful home is made up of members who do not shy away from their responsibility. As a member of a family, what do you know are your duties, and what steps are you taking to ensure that you play your part towards the overall joy of your family? An extended family is blissful when it is made up of many blissful nuclear families. A society’s condition is largely determined by the condition of the families that form it. An individual’s future is often traceable to the kind of family he/she grew up in. You can start now to do whatever you can to make this Nation a better place; you can start from your home.

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PREPARING FOR MARRIAGE by Ihechi Olanrewaju

This article contains excerpts from Possibilities Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 1. Download Free Magazine; click here.

UNCLE BEN: Come here, you must be mad! Who do you think you are talking to? Am I your mate, or is there something wrong with your head?

AUNTY MARIAM: It is you that is mad; you think I will continue to take all this nonsense in the name of marriage. If you slap me, I swear, I will slap my own back. Try me; just try me.

(she launches towards him aggressively)

So because I went for choir rehearsal… Are you not the youth leader? Did you not know I would be in church? Should I divide myself into two because you are hungry?

UNCLE BEN: hmmm, I warn you ooo… Titi, see the way your aunty just spoke to me, you better talk to her, because if I lay my hands on her…, you know me, you know me very well…

This is what I watch every other day at my aunt’s house. I simply can’t explain what happened. I remember vividly how lovey-dovey aunty and uncle were while courting. I admired them so much. Their wedding ceremony was so colourful, and yes, I remember when they were exchanging nuptial vows, you could almost hear a pin drop, the love in their eyes was so magical. I wept so much on their wedding day; tears of joy at the happiness they had found in each other. Here I am today, weeping again, this time out of total confusion, wondering what happened… what went wrong.

All I could see was anger and hatred, where did the love go? I ask myself. Honestly, I am scared, if this is marriage, then I would rather…

***

Marriage as divinely ordained by God is sweet and interesting. God never intended marriage to be hell on earth. It was originally created for bliss, companionship, support and love.

Marriage like every other endeavour to be embarked upon must be carefully and prayerfully prepared for. The mistake with many young people today is satisfaction with immediate pleasures and forgetting what the future awaits, when marriage will make plain what we chose not to see at the beginning. Preparation for marriage cannot and must not be treated with levity. Many have said that marriage starts from the day you agree to marry that person and not from the day you say ‘I do’.

This is not to give room for immorality in courtship, but as a wake-up call to equipping young people for the journey they choose to embark upon.

How do you prepare for Marriage?

  • Choose Prayerfully: The truth is this, your choice of marriage partner or spouse, determines how sweet or bitter your marriage will be. Be careful not to get carried away by outward appearances, whether the fellow is looking overly spiritual or otherwise. The Holy Spirit should be your Chief-guide in the decision of a marriage partner. He knows all things, sees all things and can reveal all things. Many have said, “the Bible says, ‘he that finds a wife ….’  So we must find”.  The truth is that you can seek the help of the Holy Spirit to find, so that you don’t test run all the ladies in your church or neighbourhood, until you become a topic of discuss among people. Likewise, ladies can prayerfully present their suitors before God. Many couples are fighting battles and carrying crosses not meant for them, simply because they refused to seek God’s face before crossing the line of singlehood. Some battles are not meant for you, God knows your ability and what befits you. Avoid problems for yourself and simply seek God. Ask God, He is more than willing to help, show you and teach you.
  • Develop Yourself: Seek to get better and improve yourself. Development could be intellectual, spiritual, academic, physical and emotional, depending on the need. Where you are now is not the best, you can be better. Attend seminars, read books on marriage, finance, and all areas of interest. Your relationship should be for mutual development and not one-sided. Develop in yourself the Godly traits you want to see in your partner, deal with issues of anger, pride, selfishness etc. In all, ensure you are getting better.
  • Talk! Talk!!  Talk!!! : Courtship and relationship is not meant for fun alone. It is a time of discovery. Intending spouses should take the time to talk and know more about each other. Things like family background, ideas, vision, purpose, passion, spirituality, the past (including achievements and mistakes), the future.
  • Pray Together: Prayer is very key, and should not be toyed with. I heard this some time ago and it has stuck with me ever since; ‘Pray so that you will not become a prey’ Commit your plans to God. Pray for each other and about everything. When you pray together;

            – You gain clarity

            – You plan better

            – You fight spiritual and physical battles

           – You are assured of victory

           – You are assured of God’s backing in the journey ahead

  • Counselling: Seek counsel from people you and your intended spouse can stay accountable to. They should be born again Christians you can trust explicitly, who would not discuss your affairs indiscriminately. They are not meant to be interlopers in your relationship, but to serve as guides who will tell you the truth at all times. They must also have marital proofs, not a marriage without trials, but one that has stood its ground and blossomed in the face of trials.
  • Flee Sexual Immorality: Pre-marital sex is not just a sin but a violation of God’s command for His children. Not only does it bring you in trouble with God, it is a spiritual bond and may also bring upon one, many physical and health challenges. It pays to control all lust and raging sexual appetite. Do not let anyone deceive you by telling you there are no virgin ladies and even guys anymore. Do not get into a test run to affirm your sexuality, you are not a lab rat!  Any man or woman that truly loves you should be able to respect your desire to remain undefiled till your wedding night. If you have indulged in pre-marital sex, you can repent of your sins and flee completely. I tell you categorically today, many have guarded themselves from sexual lusts till their wedding night, you can do it too.
  • Be Productive, Get Busy: Keep your hands busy; equip yourself with relevant skills that would help you earn a living. Courtship is not a period to spend every free time together. On the contrary, it is a season of temptations. As familiarity sets in, you may find it easier to sin, except you uphold God’s word and caution each other. It is therefore necessary to engage your mind, time, efforts in productive ventures. It is also needful you have a regular channel of income. It may be little, but consistency should bring growth. Be productive and flee idleness.

Most importantly, do not be afraid. Marriage is not to be feared but to be enjoyed. God is able to see you through. ONLY TRUST HIM.

I LOVE YOU!  GOD BLESS YOU!

Order for ANSWERS TO BOTHERING QUESTIONS ON RELATIONSHIP (Mp3) by Ihechi Olanrewaju; Click here to order.