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Your fear has fears too, your faith scares your fears… When faced with a very tough situation, let your praise confuse the enemy

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Ethan Hunt-ism

Remember the fictional character of the Mission Impossible film series played by Tom Cruise? In the first film, he was an IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agent saddled with the responsibility of recovering stolen files containing information on all IMF’s field agents. Unknown to Hunt, the mission was a set-up by his own boss with whom he shared a very close bond…Morals: whoever you are or whatever you do; never do a Ethan Hunt…for the sake of those who haven’t seen the film series before; all I am trying to say is ‘Do not try to be a messiah’.

So what has Mr Ethan Hunt got to do with relationships you might ask? Let me try and explain like this…When a marriage shouldn’t be, my observation is that God makes the facts known to you even before you commit and this is regardless of the status of your relationship with Him. God is that way, He is love and He loves everyone. Usually there might be a squabble and this is not your conventional squabble, there’s a conclusive feature to it. It’s a, “We either go on or we call it quits right now” kind of dispute. Or sometimes there’s a major exposure of a fact that is so decisive and potentially toxic like discovering she’s into prostitution, or she’s been sleeping with her ex, or fooling you about a salient fact in her past. It may be the fact she has a child and never disclosed such and the mother was in on it. That she has a child is not in itself a problem, it’s the level of treachery/deceit that is of worry. For the women it can be a vicious lash out of unprecedented fury by the guy, or even the striking of the woman. Sometimes it’s the discovery of the fact he’s been patronizing the brothel, or is actively in another relationship. Sometimes it could be the discovery of the fact she’s in love with someone else or that she’s only marrying you for practical reasons – she wants to settle down, her real love is not ready but you have a good profession and are ready.

God presents these facts to us before marriage though many fail to heed the warnings maybe due to ignorance or wilful disobedience. When these facts are revealed there’s always a certain perception and comprehension (sounds familiar?); and there’s always an opportunity to escape. Sometimes the other party in a streak of tormented conscience offers us an opportunity to escape; they would often offer to break up the relationship, or they say they can’t go on, or can’t do again. But instead of taking the route of escape, that is when we then decide to be Ethan Hunt/heroic/superhuman/messianic. We decide to plunge on despite the numerous warnings and red flags. Some of those decisions are oftentimes based on a mercy complex probably from feelings of guilt about our own past. A woman who’s had multiple sexual partners for example may decide to over-look the patronizing of prostitutes by her boyfriend. Sometimes it’s based on a conceived illusion that you’ve both been through thick and thin together when that’s not true. It’s simply Ethan Hunt-ism – the desire to play a gallant and self-denying role; it makes us ignore salient facts. When horrible facts stare us in the face and we insist on going into a ruinous merger, what can anybody really do? There’s really nothing anybody can do and remember God respects freewill.

We occasionally thoughtlessly assume the state of our heart is the natural state of the other person’s heart. That’s a very dangerous assumption, not only for marriage but for life as well- it’s a puerile supposition. But if someone has a good heart you can sense and “feel” it all over you, there’s a warm unclear feeling you get about the person. You “feel” the kindness of the person of a good person, it’s of emotional quality. But if someone has a moneygrubbing/gold-digging/avaricious tendency you can feel something off in that personality. Usually we over-look those “feelings” with a consideration of peripheral/vague things, like beauty. But the fact that a woman is beautiful doesn’t change the fact that she’s dangerous, she then becomes dangerous beauty (that would make for a good movie title, Nollywood where are you?). The beauty doesn’t eliminate the avaricious disposition; they’re two different modules of parameters. Beauty is physical; the mercenary disposition is a character and values flaw and both beauty and mercenary disposition can exist side by side. Oftentimes Ethan Hunt-ism is often accompanied by a messianic complex – the desire to save someone. But you can’t save anyone; you seem to have forgotten that you’re not God. You can’t even save yourself, only the Lord saves.

And so you’ve taken upon yourself two impossible virtues going into such a marriage. First is the desire to be a loyal super hero; then you take on the role of the Messiah. In a matter of months that marriage will begin to grille at the joints of the union. But after marriage there’s a new set of realities, the past is concessioned. Your wife is no longer the woman you married out of mercy/pity; she’s just what she is, your wife. Past concessioned. And then the troubles begin and soon gets worse. The woman resumes her cheating, or the guy resumes his drugs and the violent guy believes he now has a license to hit the lady at every whiff of disagreement. He starts beating her blue black green and magenta (cyan sef join). Her value is now discounted, he has conquered her. He begins to ridicule her virtues. For the guy, the woman begins to do things to his face to the bewilderment and dismay of society. She becomes unashamed, after all she offered a way out of the marriage but you chose not to take it when you had opportunity. And then your suffering begins; you have a malfunctioning partner who is malfunctioning on an industrial scale. And when a partner begins to malfunction on an industrial scale, the longsuffering partner suffers greatly albeit in silence. His health will be worn-out, he will have no peace; he will live under a dark cloud in fear, despair and depression. And depression can take one to cavities of darkness under the earth, it is a black hole. There’s no escape except by miracle and only the Lord can turn a black hole into a wormhole but even then you can’t come out without squalor.

Listen to me Oga/babe forget all these heroic stuff you’re trying to do, deal with the facts. Ethan Hunt-ism is gross foolishness. If you persist you’re going to pay a horrible price, which you’ll later discover is not worth it; save yourself from the black hole. If the facts are warning you before you commit, accept the warning. If you do meet a wonderful partner however, marry him/her fast! Don’t dilly-dally or shilly-shally (delay can be dangerous). You don’t want to lose him/her. Some people waste good fortunes, they lose wonderful partners only to pick up rubbles and live a life of regret. They keep dawdling over the decision to marry a good person, until they frustrate the person away; years down the line they begin to wonder what could have been (I do not want this for you). A good man or woman is God’s mercy and grace in biological form, he or she is a container of gifts for marriage.

May your eyes of understanding be enlightened…Thrive

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May you meet a wonderful partner!

I do not think continually chasing her is a good idea if you ask me, I mean you’ve been at it for how long now, almost a year and some months? And you still haven’t achieved your aim.The time elapsed does not qualify for playing hard to get and I’m not sure you’re what she wants otherwise you would have seen some green light even if it’s only a ray. She’s not even making it possible for you to bring up the subject of proposal; she’s stylishly dodging the issue. Rejection is not very easy I know (most men can relate). It can’t be easy taking a javelin or 9inch nails in the heart. But it’s a rite of passage and it’s the lot of many men in life, though some people are target practice. Some men are of course lucky; they have women running after them, but the average Joe, Dele or Lekan is not that lucky, he gets punctured with one or two rounds of nails before getting lucky, and some men don’t even get 9inch nails; they get stiletto heels! In fact, the prettier the woman the sharper the stiletto tends to be (Ouch!).

There are many reasons for rejection of course. For one there’s the societal convention that a woman must play hard to get (a form of mechanism to filter off the unwanted) though to be fair, some young men over-reach themselves, going for what they can’t afford. Then there are women with quite an expensive taste and if you don’t have the means, better take a diversion. You’ve got to have money to date a woman with high taste or her taste will kill your self-esteem. Remember the popular Solomon’s statement I often quote? That kindness makes a man attractive? Well, it’s how the rich but physically unappealing guy gets to get the beautiful girl. He splurges money; this guy buys gifts, sponsors travels, showers jewellery, clothes and stilettos. He essentially finances her lifestyle. Of course money is not a guarantee of matrimonial bliss, but money is a very attractive quality my bro. That’s why you need to be successful; you increase your mating chances, your stock rises and you have the luxury of choosing whomsoever thou desireth (don’t mind my KJV english).

Of course there are levels of success depending on how visionary the lady is. Some women recognize potential in a young man and project forward. Based on that forecast they commit to a relationship though the young man is still upcoming/struggling. And sometimes it’s just love and the woman commits based on love, love exercises faith in the future. Of course some believe in practical love, as in show me the money/dough, don’t condemn them, it’s their choice. Some women can’t see potential however or don’t want to see, they’d rather deal with what they can see now (the tangibles). Again, you can’t blame such people however things eventually turn out. They made their choice, and it’s their right.

Well, since you don’t have a million bucks yet, it means you have to go for a woman who doesn’t mind a hundred/thousand bucks. It’s fair if the woman is concerned about your potential: What does your life portend, where are you going? (it is very important you have answers to this questions before approaching any woman, it saves you the embarrassment of looking irresponsible and directionless). If you’re an upwardly mobile young man, your potential is of course obvious, then you’re already on your way. Early achievement is an indicator of potential though no guarantee of attainment (always keep this in mind). And don’t blame a babe who wants a guy with a good ride, it’s her choice. You get a good ride and you stand a chance.

What I’m saying in essence is this, you don’t need to develop a misogynistic viewpoint because you’re finding it hard to date a babe, you’re probably toasting the wrong girl if it’s taking this much time; or she’s not convinced; or waiting for someone else. Every girl has a vision of the KIND/TYPE of man she’ll like. Perhaps she does not see you fitting that bill, now or in the future. But don’t let rejection kill your confidence; you’ve got to learn to shrug your shoulders and just move on (a typical guy should learn this hard truth, it’s the men’s cross). That’s life for the boys! It helps you shrug things off (even in other areas of your life). But you will definitely meet the girl for you (don’t ask me what I’ve seen, I’m not a seer), and sometimes you’ve met her but you’re just not paying attention. Oftentimes the girl may be right under your nose, or adjacent to you. She may be your church buddy or library partner or gist-mate or your so-called school daughter and she may even be reading this post with you (Yup!). Two people may be so close and someone may not be paying attention and missing all the cues (hmm!). In stretching out the neck to go after what is out of reach, guys sometimes miss the girl within reach; and the girl within reach might have been waiting; praying God opens your eyes to what is in front of you (Guys shine your eyes and look inwards). There’s no better allegory of going to Sokoto (a far location/state) when what you are after is in your sokoto (pocket). In our pursuit of the impossibilities out of reach we tend to ignore the possibilities within reach (such is life you’d say). Sometimes it’s after we’ve gone round everyone and collected all the stiletto heels and 9inch nails that it occurs to us to look right beside us.

Also, don’t make yourself the butt of jokes; don’t toast your toastee’s close friend; they’ve already discussed you. Even if you succeed, THEIR own relationship may not survive your toast and it’s worse if it’s two sisters (don’t even go there). You can’t move from sister to sister, many families will regard you as unserious. I see this quite often and I personally think it is gross irresponsibility from the guy. You have to reconcile yourself to the fact that in life, sometimes what we want doesn’t want us in return. This girl may just see you as a very good friend and nothing more than that, extending the jurisdiction of your heart into matrimonial territory might have put a strain on your relationship and it usually does, not every time though but most times

I do agree that sometimes in life things are not quite clear-cut, and one thing segues into another. There have been several cases of women who said yes over a long period of saying no, and suddenly, they acquiesced. The reason for the acquiescence is another reason entirely though, perhaps the desired/anointed/favored male disappointed. Emotion is an incredibly convoluted matter (with many hoops and loops) and when interwoven with human history, it produces complex characters. The most important thing is that you get someone you want and who wants you; you obviously do not want someone managing you, or who sees you as interim measure. Seek for someone who cares about you, who you can trust and can give your life to.

Marriage is a powerful institution and it’s important you get it right from the outset. And always think long term…Will you be happy with this person in the long term? That’s an important question. The heart matters in a marriage equation…Go after a good-hearted person, a kind, giving and loving person. If you get the basics right, you’re home free. The rest are proprietary, icing on the cake.

May you meet a wonderful partner!

…and this is my special birthday gift/advice to you, I hope you take it…Happy birthday to me and every other celebrants out there!

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A Man of Quality

I do not know if words from the pages of a well written book have ever leapt at you with a powerful embrace before. Such was the case when I came across a particular phrase in the bible about the man ‘Daniel’. Various adjectives were employed in describing the qualities that Daniel possessed, qualities like virtue, integrity, moral excellence, faithfulness to mention but a few stands out. Summarizing everything the bible has to say about the man Daniel you’d arrive at the conclusion that “Daniel, was a man of quality.”

As you would expect I began to ask myself who a man of quality is. How should, or how would we describe a man of quality? The fields will definitely (be wider than we can imagine) encompass intellect, civic responsibility, professional and dress comportment, familial and social responsibility, excellence and gentlemanliness. Somehow it is hard not to imagine the picture of a well-dressed accomplished gentleman who’s respected in community. But he’s not only respected in society, there is domestic testimonial about him as well. His wife lends credence to his quality, only his wife knows what she has truly lost at his death (assuming that’s God’s order of departure). He’ll be a worthy role model to his sons, they will want to emulate him, seek to achieve because of him. And his daughters? Oh, she’ll know she has a daddy! She’ll be on the lookout for a worthy man for mating. There’s something hearty about the phrase, “Man of Quality.” He’s truly a remarkable man. I think it’s worth aspiring to – to seek to become a Man of Quality.

If you want to aspire to that repute, there are things you need to pay attention to. Let’s start with the easiest – grooming. You need to pay attention to your looks no matter the size of your budget. Wear your suit impeccably, your shoes shined, your shirt neatly ironed, your tie tastefully knotted (if you are into ties). Just a little bit of attention is all that’s required. Even if you wear casuals pay attention… It’s a mindset you know. And your car? It’s your physical dimension. You shouldn’t be driving a dirty car, it just does not depict excellence.

A man of quality has character, he’s got integrity. His word is respected. You can strike a deal with him on a handshake (he’s such a gentleman). You can’t be a man of quality without character else your “quality” will reek of stench.

Then there’s the issue of how he treats women – wife, girlfriend (I see some ladies adjusting their seats)… He respects his woman, treats her well, takes care of her. She in turn respects him, looks up to him – for advice, for leadership. She trusts him, absolutely! Trusts his judgment. She loves the fact that he’s out there striving, trying to make his way in this world, trying to take care of his family.

He’s also a respected member of his community, at whatever level he finds himself; age is no barrier. He’s respected at work, respected in church, respected at home. People value his contribution, his participation. He talks sense! His reasoning is sound. He’s civic minded, contributes his quota to his nation.

He’s constantly conscious of the fact that God has been kind to him and so with the same understanding he’s kindly disposed to the poor. He helps others, gives opportunities and contributes to the upliftment of others.

He’s disciplined too – has discipline of mind and spirit. He disciplines himself for accomplishment, avoids distractions. People have expectations of him and his character and he understands those expectations very clearly.

He’s ambitious yet lives within his means. He doesn’t have a need to impress as is common with some small boys out there. He’s accomplished.  He has a sense of mission in life and is conscious of his legacy, especially to those coming behind. He wants his life to amount to something, wants his children to be proud of him, to have a good name.

A man of quality is spiritual. He seeks God, fears God and gives God His pride of place-Humbles himself before God.

These are what I could garner from the life and character of Daniel – the kind of man he is. Of course there is no complete information on him – his wife, his children; but you could tell the kind of man he is. And so the portrait of a man of quality is a God fearing, civic minded, responsible man who’s respected in society. He’s intelligent, he’s a role model, a trusted and wise individual, a man of integrity, of benevolent disposition. He’s fixated on excellence. Everything about him exemplifies quality. He’s trusted by his woman. His girlfriend trusts him. His wife trusts him for his character.

May you and I be a man of quality.

But what will it take to be such a man? Simple! You need clarity. You must be clear as to what you want to become. You must also be clear as to what you DON’T want to become. Develop your statement of clarity. “I want to be a well-respected member of my community, a regarded leader, a man of repute”, is a statement of clarity. Being a man of quality takes conscious effort, and study.

Of course friends matter; you must be mindful of the quality of friends you keep. A friend is your reflection. An achiever does not felicitate in the fellowship of the slothful, indolent and directionless. Being an achiever is a mindset – a disciplined mind set with laser focus and clarity. If you want your wife or girlfriend to respect you, focus on achievement. It’s hard to respect a guy with no ambition. Ultimately a disadvantaged man with vision and discipline will invariably overtake the privileged indolent lacking in both.  If you don’t set yourself up for the future, you’re not going to arrive there.

What do you want to become? By this post I’m compelling a rethink so your life is not wasted away. You don’t have as much time as you think. When you know who you want to become you’ll know who you should date or not date. The future is invariably how we conceive of it. Don’t just be a man, be a man of quality.

Thrive…

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Help! My Vanity or Charity?

Few young men can argue that they haven’t been faced with a dearth of illumination when it comes to selecting who to settle down with. The conundrum most of these young guys face is what I call the Vanity-Charity syndrome: do I date my vanity or date love? Or succinctly put, there’s this banker… and there’s this other lady who’s not a banker. Who should I date? And while some will sneer at your question, the truth is, it’s an issue young men are often confronted with, could be an issue too for young ladies I’d admit but I think it’s more pronounced in men than in women (my opinion).

There are many choices to select from: Do you marry rich Gbemi who’s well established, or do you marry Charity? Do you marry Tolulope the beautiful singer, or do you marry Charity? Do you, an entrepreneur, marry Bimpe whose father is Dangote or Elumelu… or do you marry Charity? Or, do you marry Aderonke the legal practitioner, or do you marry Charity?

For a lady, it may be: Do I marry Olayemi the rich guy… or do I marry the most loving and kind-hearted John? Or do I marry Wizkid the music star… or do I marry the devoted and loving Olumide? You see making a choice is not always easy; it can get complicated and convoluted with things like lust, desire, ambition and vanity. Many times emotions, ambition and vanity make up our minds for us, not reason.

Undoubtedly to you, boasting you married a banker is a big deal…  In the same way that marrying a university graduate can be a big deal for a man denied formal education in life, you feel like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible (remember that movie?); you feel like you have achieved the impossible. Shall I state the obvious: social recognition means a lot to men, it’s why we boast about our cars, gadgets, houses… and how beautiful our wives and girlfriends are, it’s what drives men to buy what they can’t afford… Just to impress the world. I believe all men should undergo a basic course in Ego-Discipline 001 in order not to fall into the trap of manhood. Ego is man’s Achilles’ heel.

Like the bible would always advise ‘let us reason together’ so I call on guys-let us reason together on the qualifications of a wife. I am not sure the ability to dissect a cadaver or handle a microphone on stage is qualification for wife. Neither is the ability to diagnose flu or balance a worksheet a qualification for wife. As much as you like the idea of a singer wowing crowds with her frenetic display or a doctor wearing a stethoscope, let’s be honest she won’t always be that frenetic or wear one at home. The idea of a sexy skimpy nurse or doctor must remain in the woods of Hollywood, Nollywood and the other woods. I can imagine you introducing this young woman in your fantasy… Meet my wife, Barr. Aderonke, SAN, CFR, LLD, FNIALS, Legal Practitioner, Charles and Chucks Chambers… But fantasies don’t necessarily translate into matrimonial bliss.

The ability to treat a patient is different from the ability to treat a man right or well at home so also is the ability to wow crowds different from the ability to lift the spirit of the family when it seems melancholic. The qualifications for a legal practitioner are not the qualifications for wife. A doctor wife is not the same as wife doctor. That she’s a fantastic singer in the choir doesn’t mean you will sing the same tune at home. You don’t marry a doctor, or choir member, or a fashion model bro… You marry a wife who happens to be a doctor or singer or a model. This differentiation is quite critical or you’ll make a major mess of your life. People, often in their state of illusion mistake qualifications out of context and so as expected they arrive at wrong matrimonial decisions. That she’s a good singer doesn’t mean she’ll be a good mother or sing lullabies to your kids…

All I am trying to say is don’t marry your vanity, marry charity. If you’re sick would this person take care of you? If you’re in trouble would she still be your friend and stick by you? If you come home would you have the peace you so much desired? If you feel lonely would she be there to comfort you? If you need a confidant, can you trust her? If you’re feeling down, does the thought of her lift your spirit? When life has dealt you a blow (and you’ll have blows to contend with) do you feel she’s your compensation in this world? Would her arms be warm and tender enough for your head to lie or would they be tenderised with thorns and broken bottles? When your finances take a dip (like a determined eagle after a prey) would she be willing to step up to the plate? These are the kind of questions you ought to be asking yourself not fantasizing about the ephemerals. And as you can clearly see the questions have nothing to do with vocal prowess or stage or makeup or stethoscope or novocaine or penicillin or opera or soprano or alto (I have no idea)… If like you say in our local parlance here in Nigeria that she’s “wife material” and also a good medical doctor, great! Then you have vanity and charity (congratulations!) but if she’s a good medical doctor but not “wife material” there’s k-leg, that’s vanity staring at you eyeball to eyeball bro.

But the primary things in a matrimonial pursuit are not the ephemerals, not the seen things for the seen things are temporary but the unseen which are eternal (says the bible), they are the matrimonial capacities of one’s intended. Trust me, if she’s under-capacitated as a wife when the troubles begin you won’t remember her stethoscope or her great vocal prowess! It’s just like the beauty/wife conundrum – If she’s beautiful but nasty you’ll come to a fast realization of one of Solomon’s deductions: Beauty is vain.

The things that are important in a marriage are love, peace and happiness. If she won’t give you love, peace or happiness then what’s the point of marriage! Does she love me should be a very important question in the consideration of marriage. I know there are theories we can marry ANYBODY but common-sense should dictate to us not to stake our future on this pedestal. Love is important in a marriage. Very important. Very, very important. In short Very, very, very, important, I cannot stress it enough. All the things we want, love will do as a matter of course. And really, what is marriage without love?

So like the average Nigerian young man I ask, “Is she wife material” or she’s just a medical doctor? The decision as always is yours, afterall, you’re going to live with her… For a very, very, long time.

I wish you all the best in your decisions…

I heart you…

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Words! 

We all have heard it spoken of on numerous occasions about how our words define who we are and I particularly believe that one of the most precious gifts given humanity by God apart from the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is the natural gift of words; our abilities to express ourselves in words. It is one of the extraordinary gifts of God to us. It is the time when we get to know the real you, when your inner personality is brought to the fore; little wonder the Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34).

Your words are very important, they mean everything but unfortunately not many persons have realized this and it is one of the reasons some people live ordinary lives-average lives at best here on earth. An average Nigerian commercial driver is a very good example, he revels in derogatory, demeaning and non-edifying words and you can be sure this is what the devil wants, he jumps at such opportunity to wreck unimaginable havoc through spoken words with reckless abandon because that is what he knows how to do best: to kill, to steal and to destroy… No wonder some (not all) of them live a very confused life. 

Everything that was given to man by God is activated through words, remember the story of creation in the book of Genesis, recall that the Bible said of God in chapter 1:3 that “and God said…” (KJV and Amplified) while the Message translation puts it as “God spoke… ” this would later be reaffirmed in the book of Romans 4:17b where it says “even God, who makes alive the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were…so since time immemorial, words have been operational whether we’re aware of it or not. Your salvation was based on words: you received salvation by words  and you maintain it by words (Romans 10:9-10).

Your success, failure, prosperity, sickness, health, poverty, defeat or victory all depend on your words; everything you need to fulfil your purpose in this life has been packaged and given unto you through the power of your words, He gave you the ability to speak, to use your mouth to chart the course of your life- it now depends on whether you chart the course aright or amiss. Your mouth wasn’t given primarily for eating, drinking and gossips, it has been given to steer your life in God’s direction for you – so learn to talk right, make it a conscious effort to speak positive, edifying words into your life and the lives of others. 

Talking right simply means talking the Word only and alone, it means valuing what you say and learning to keep promises, your words must ooze out integrity, they must mean something to you. The Bible in 1 Peter 2:9 reminded us of our goodly heritage in Christ as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a peculiar people simply put a people set over nations and kingdoms to pull down strongholds and build foundations (Jeremiah 1:10); a people of unrivaled authority and power whose words should always carry power (Eccl 8:4)…but unfortunately many of us have watered down the authority in our mouths that our words are just windbags, no power whatsoever. This shouldn’t be the case because as a God-ordained king your words must carry such power that it sends chills down the spines of the devil and his cohorts, he should be so terrified whenever you open your mouth even if only it’s just to eat a roll of sausage; you must be like your heavenly Father who watches over His words to perform it (Jere 1:12).

For you there should be no idle, inoperative words because you shall be held accountable on judgement day (Matt 12:36), never get into that habit of speaking loose and careless statements for they’ll produce results for you. 

Let me encourage you to be serious about letting the world see Jesus in you through your character which is often expressed through your words. Therefore speak wholesome, gracious words seasoned with salt everytime and everywhere. Consciously store God’s words in the reservoir of your heart for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and as the word dwells richly in your heart, you will develop and speak right, gracious and faith-filled words which will bring a positive result into your life… Have yourself a very merry Christmas. 

Thrive… 

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My friend is behaving strange

Proximity breeds thoughts about the possibility of a relationship. If you’re very close to someone the thought will cross your mind at one point or the other. You view your relationship with your lady friend as pure because there’s no “ulterior motive”. But the woman is asking herself: If we get along this much and you feel this comfortable around me, why isn’t I The One? She’s in a “reverse friends’ zone”.
It’s the vision of a prize that is nurtured but taken away by someone else. That she’s helping you plan your wedding to another woman doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you! She HAS to help you plan your wedding. That’s what’s expected of her. She’s supposed to be happy for you. She can’t back down without looking bad. Her amity benevolence can’t be curtailed. But in private all sorts of emotions will collide in her. She’ll even compare herself with your bride statistically. She may feel rejected, feel used, become sad and angry. She’ll worry about what others will be thinking. And that’s one of the reasons she’ll get very involved in the wedding plan. She doesn’t want to come off as disappointed. She may be jealous of your bride, wondering what she has SHE doesn’t have. And she’s known you longer!
Of course she’ll never admit any of these to anyone, not even to herself. It’s called denial.
She’ll then go extremely out of her way to plan the nuptials. She’s compensating, flushing out disappointment by exertion. If you take time to look back on some of her actions and statements you’ll realise she’s always wanted you. Look back. She might have snapped at you on one or two occasions for taking out other ladies. And that physical comfort – how she’s so free with you may indeed be an expression of interest. She might have asked you to help with a zipper or two, a necklace or hand chain – you know, clasps. A zipper helping is a fellowship of intimacy. The clasp request is an “innocent” expression of romantic desire. You think she can’t clasp her neck chain herself? How did she manage in your absence? She’s been telling you something but you failed to decode. You’re clueless aren’t you!
In fairness those statements might have been drowned in express denials of any interest in
you. That’s why you can’t understand her “strange behaviour” after you chose your. bride.
She may cut off from you or even show hostility to your bride after you get married. Happens! It’s a natural reaction after a long and drawn out drama of disappointment. She can’t even understand herself. Things are never going to be the same again. Nature demands that. Your bride will not allow. She dropped you many hints on her connubial availability but you failed to pick up the clues. And you failed to pick up the signals because what she was saying was contradictory to what she desired. Her acts said I want you, her mouth said I want you not. This you read as sisterly friendship. And you misread her protectiveness; and those moments she spoke on your behalf, choosing purchase items for you.
The lesson to learn from this is that women communicate desire in penumbra. And that’s
also because sociological convention dictates against the express communication of desire for a man. Communication is thus carried out through coyness, niceness, availability, physical freedom, generous presents, etc. Without a high degree of relationship probability, explicit communication of desire will not come. She may even tell those who dare insinuate a romantic liaison, “Oh, we’re just friends!” She says these contradictory stuffs to protect her PR – so it doesn’t seem she went after you.
But your friend wanted the right of first refusal. It’s a very complicated code, a sophistry even experienced men struggle with. And so the man says, “Nah! She’s my sister!” when his friends rib him about his unusually close female friend. Men aren’t wired to deal with communication sophistry. Unfortunately women don’t know men aren’t wired to deal with communication sophistry. It’s why the guy is more likely to go for the woman who likes him and let’s him know she likes him. One who doesn’t say contradictory stuff, is not worried about others knowing she likes him and makes herself available.
Men are simplistic in their emotion decoding capabilities. If they’re not players they get
confused with games. They understand coyness. That’s simple enough. They even understand invitational “rejection”. But once the plot becomes too thick or too convoluted the signal gets lost. They lose comprehension. Signals become too complicated to decode when there’s too much calculatedness. “I want him but I don’t want anyone or even him to think I actually want him” is convoluted PR calculatedness.
Some women extremely go out of their way to masquerade their desire. So much so the man
they want is clueless! This is made possible because the woman is conversing in three layers in her head, all at once: She’s expressing her desire to herself. She’s enacting scenarios with the object of her desire. She’s blocking off society. The third requires a lot of pretentiousness. The first two requires a lot of imagination. I do hope this helps explain your lady friend’s “strange behaviour”.
Tell your friends to take another look at their close female friends. To take time to read
signals. Just a few questions: Is she possessive of you? Does she get annoyed when you take
someone else out? Does she drop marriage hints? Do her marriage plans eerily fit into your
circumstances or what she thinks you’ll want? Does she sometimes compare herself to your girlfriend? Does she imagine herself in your scenarios? Is she worried you’re moving too fast with a new relationship? Did your last girlfriend feel she was in a contest with her? Does she make purchase decisions on your behalf with authoritative quotes of your preferences? If it’s a yes to many of these questions you may have a lurking affection sitting down somewhere.
If you see the signs and you’re interested you may want to consider strategic lateral
maneuvers. If you’re not interested then be sure to know what you’re doing!
As for you, I wish you the best with your forthcoming nuptials.

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Respect! 

Go for a guy who respects you, not the one who trifles with your emotions

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Clash of Titans

Most problems in marriages often stem from a clash of Systems – a catastrophic head on collision of three major systems and since each system has its own philosophy it means three philosophies might clash in any given union if adequate care is not taken.

There’s the secular humanism, there’s traditional African culture, as well as Judeo-Christian belief system. Each of these is a complete system, none needing succour from the other with each having its own philosophy, values and adjudicatory system…different outflows you might say. Regrettably they are operationally conflicting, their marital philosophies don’t agree, they are like Cartoon Network’s Tom and Jerry.

Secular humanism for instance rejects religious dogma as the basis of morality and decision making in marriage and so when couples operate a farrago of marital philosophies there’s bound to be misunderstanding and squabble… and this is what reinforces the confusion; because both you and your husband are Christians, you got married in church, it follows therefore that the Bible is the legal norm – the fundamental regulatory authority in your marriage. But you had to go through a traditional marriage ceremony to satisfy the autochthonous diktats of your tribe. You also formally got married under Common Law, you married at the court registry effectively bringing your marriage under the three systems. The average African christian elite goes through all three hoops, yet each of these marriages is actually adequate before God. We only go through each process to satisfy different requirements and generate certain outcomes not minding its after-effect (some couples become impoverished after marriage). Each of these systems is recognised by God as a marriage. Whatever a society defines as a marital process is what God accepts.

For Adam and Eve; a society of two – a mere pronouncement and behavioural agreement was sufficient. Adam simply called Eve bone of bones, flesh of flesh, it was a simple equation (symbolic declaration of binary union by Adam + Agreement from Eve = Marriage).  If in your society the paying of bride price or hunting for the eel fish is what defines marriage, God will recognise it, and if drinking two cups of boiling water or juice and frog-jumping is the ceremony of marriage in your community, God will recognise it as well. Yes, it does seem like I’m bursting a few religious bubbles about marriages but truth is truth. God recognises traditional marriages as much as he recognises Common Law weddings or church weddings.

But since convention insists you go through all three ceremonies then you have to determine which you want to operationalize, you have to determine which will regulate your marriage. Each system defines roles, responsibilities and expectations. If you don’t resolve the logic of your marriage there’ll be clashes, false expectations and disenchantments. A marriage can’t run on two contradictory systems there’ll be issues. If the wife holds on to secular humanism and the husband holds on to traditional African culture, there’s going to be conflict ditto if the man assumes Judeo-Christian marital philosophy but the woman is on a secular humanism platform. It’s a clash of titans and a house divided against itself cannot stand says the bible. There’s bound to be a contest of viewpoints.

This clash of titans often becomes apparent in a conflict situation…Which system will you adopt to resolve issues? Traditional African culture says to call the families and elders, they (families and elders) constitute the judicial system, they can review the administrative decisions of a husband (he’s just local government)…The federal might lies with the elders.  It’s a Presbyterian system – government by elders. The constitution is culture and tradition.

The Judeo-Christian belief system on the other hand employs the bible as the regulatory framework; it integrates the Pastor…I am sure you can see the clash already. The systems clash because of underlying differences in philosophies. One peculiarity of the African traditional marriage system is that the woman marries the man AND his family, she is hierarchically junior to her husband’s brothers and there’s pecking order among in-law wives and this can often lead to inconsistencies. The Judeo-Christian system in its own right says the man must leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife which in logical term dictates he must bond with his wife’s family.

In a secularist system however both partners are co-captains, none has a higher governmental position. The Judeo-Christian system on the other hand says in governmental structure the man is the head of the home while the traditional African system is a dictatorship of one (Remember Idi Amin of Uganda or General Abacha of Nigeria)… a wife can’t confront her husband in the traditional African system, that’s suicidal.

So in essence you guys (husband and wife) have to make up your minds on which system you want to follow. If you choose to operate the Judeo-Christian system according to your faith then you can’t escape Paul’s admonition in Ephesians 5:22-24 MSG: “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.” …It is that simple and plain!

Here’s the continuation of the Paul’s adjuration though often ignored: Ephesians 5:25-28 MSG: ‘Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor – since they’re already “one” in marriage.’

If you go by this then I can’t see your marriage derailing but of course it’s wholly dependent on you two and the good thing is, Paul never married so no one can accuse him of prejudice or bias.

Marriage is a very, very powerful institution… It’s incredibly potent and all that’s required is for you make it work…Will you make it work?

Posted in Relationship, Religion, Romance | 4 Comments