This morningour topic is centered around how to stop the operations of the strange woman
Learn to appreciate your spouse
With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. (Proverbs 7:21 KJV)
I say this to married people all the time; don’t grow weary of each other. I tell wives, don’t be careless in handling your man! Avoid unnecessary quarrels that linger for days. Stop getting hurt over every issue. Work together as a couple. None of you will ever be perfect, but keep improving and keep forgiving each other. That is how to work at your marriage.
Now, ladies, you need to consciously protect your husband from several traps out there! Don’t be careless! Learn to appreciate your husband and praise him!
You need to know that this is the strength of the strange woman! While you are busy fighting and quarreling with your husband everyday over this and that, the strange woman is busy flattering him!
With her much fair speech….with the flattering of her lip!
Look at the Message translation:
Soon she has him eating out of her hand, bewitched by her honeyed speech. (Proverbs 7:21 Message)
I will give you examples: Stop telling your husband, “You are not even handsome again, your belly is protruded, this is not the man I got married to!” Why?
You see, the strange woman will gladly say things like, “This is what I like about you. Your tummy! So rounded like football, O ya, come and lie down, let me rub it for you. That ingrate you have at home doesn’t know what she has!”
When you have been quarreling with your husband, and there has been no communication nor Jeru trips for days, and you know he is neither grounded in the things of God nor spiritual, and you know he is having executive and business meetings in different locations and in hotels, you have just aided the devil in trapping him!
Usually, the next thing that happens is the next verses:
Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her, like a calf led to the butcher shop, Like a stag lured into ambush and then shot with an arrow, Like a bird flying into a net not knowing that its flying life is over (Proverbs 7:22-23 Message)
I give you another example: Don’t tell your husband, “Dear, you have to do something about this your balding head. How old are you that all your hair is fast disappearing? You don’t even look fine again. You look like Papa Ajasco!”
You see the strange woman is ready to rub that head and say things like, “I just like this your head, let me rub cream on it, I just like it shiny!”
The strange woman is ready to tell all the lies, make him feel appreciated until she collects all the money meant for his family!
The concluding verses advises all the men:
So, friends, listen to me, take these words of mine most seriously. Don’t fool around with a woman like that; don’t even stroll through her neighborhood. Countless victims come under her spell; she’s the death of many a poor man. She runs a halfway house to hell, fits you out with a shroud and a coffin (Proverbs 7:24-27 Message).
May God deliver you from the strange woman.
CONFESSION FOR THE DAY I am delivered from the strange woman.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY Lord, deliver me from the strange woman.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Soon she has him eating out of her hand, bewitched by her honeyed speech. (Proverbs 7:21 Message)
In today’s devotional we will be looking at how to make your spouse love you forever.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:22-33 KJV)
In marriage, there is a joining of the man unto the wife, not just physically, but spiritually as well. But here, we see that the physical is even more emphasized. They two shall become ONE FLESH! Isn’t that interesting?
We can now understand the confusion and disorder that comes into play when two people who are not yet married are trying to become one flesh! That is clearly not God’s order! Jeru trip is for married people! Period!
How can two people become one flesh for God’s sake? That sounds so impossible! What is the full implication of that?
Well, in the next verse, Apostle Paul simply admitted that this is a great mystery that he himself does not understand fully. But there is one thing he said he knows, and that is the fact that the way Christ treats the church is the way husbands should treat their wives.
How did Christ love the church? Christ loves the church even as himself. That is why he now said in verse 33:
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
In order words, marriage is a mystery, I don’t fully understand it, it is kind of complex, NEVERTHELESS… Husbands, love your wife, wives, reverence your husband!
Take a look at verse 31 – 33 in Message translation:
31 And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” 32 This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. 33 And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
I know it is a mystery. I know women are difficult to satisfy. I know men can be egotistical. I know both parties can be so selfish…I don’t really understand how two unlikely people are to come together in marriage, but one thing is clear, and that is all you need to know. I know the way Christ treats the church! This is how to treat your spouse
That demystifies it all. That unravels that which has been a puzzle! That brings the enigma out of the complexity! That changes the equation and solves it! If I can study God’s word as man or as a lady and follow the examples thereof, marriage is easy and enjoyable! If I can follow and do the same thing Christ does in treating the church and treat my wife likewise, Lobatan! (That’s all)
Why follow the example of Christ? See it right there in verse 33 MSG
And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
Christ gives us a good picture of how a husband should treat his wife, and how each wife is to honour her husband.
Christ is patiently waiting for the church as the bridegroom. So treat your spouse by following Christ’s example, I know as a man, I am supposed to wait for my bride and not demand Jeru Trips before the wedding day!
Let’s break verse 33 down a little bit more because that is the way you are supposed to treat each other in a pragmatic way. Let’s take a look at the amplified version.
However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].
Okay we see it clearly now:
1. Love your wife 2. Love your wife as you love yourself
1. Respect your husband 2. Reverence your husband 3. Notice him 4. Regard him 5. Honour him 6. Prefer him 7. Venerate him 8. Esteem him 9. Defer to him 10. Praise him 11. Love him 12. Admire him exceedingly!
I don’t know how to satisfy my husband. I just don’t understand him. Seek to do all the above, you will be amazed. The scripture cannot be broken!
I don’t know what else to do to my wife. She is difficult to satisfy!
Love her as you love yourself! Not too much story! God knows the man doesn’t like too much story, so he gave you in one simple logical explanation; lest you say they are too many, simply love her as you love yourself. What you wouldn’t do to yourself, don’t do it to her! God knows the woman like stories, so He gave it to her using many words! Both parties know what to do. No more excuse!
May God grant more understanding!
CONFESSION FOR THE DAY Lord, I know how to treat my spouse or spouse-to-be
PRAYER FOR THE DAY Pray that God will open the eyes of your understanding the more to understand these mysteries.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (Ephesians 5:28 KJV)
ACTION PLAN FOR THE DAY Decide to follow Christ’s example
Ade grew up in a family where he was never loved. The only love he understood was the constant criticism he got from his mother who thought the only way to make a child responsible was to use very harsh words. His father left many scars on his body from the buckles of belts that lacerated his body on different occasions. He never knew what real love was.
Angie’s case was not different. It was not so much of physical beatings, but the emotional abuses were as intense as the physical abuse that she grew up with. She grew up in self-hate never accepting herself and always believing something was wrong with her. Even though she was a beautiful girl, she never believed that because her parents never appreciated her once.
The harsh words and negative language from her parents in her growing years were like seeds that grew up into gigantic oaks, reaching out with their branches and limiting her from making any meaningful progress in life.
Ade and Angie met later in life and got married. Both had dysfunctional backgrounds, they never loved themselves and so they could not love each other. The same use of harsh words that Angie so hated became her weapon against Ade. The same beatings that Ade endured and hated became his lifestyle as he physically abused Angie several times.
They were both at each other’s throats demanding from each other what they never experienced and what they could not offer. They found themselves doing exactly what they loathed. The abused had become the abusers! Eventually, their seven months old marriage ended in divorce.
They both think something was wrong with the other, and they were right!
One of the things you need to understand about life is the fact that you have to love yourself first.
You can never find true love when you don’t love yourself truly! Nobody has a business loving you without loving yourself first! Most of the time, we try to cover this self-hate with some activities like sports or some hobbies. But the issues remain deep down, waiting to surface at any provocation.
Ladies often cover it with nice clothes and make-up, and a very good mask, but all that never solves the deep-seated need to love yourself appropriately.
If you are already married, you need to ask yourself, do I love myself the way I should? If you don’t, you will keep having issues with your spouse! You will keep demanding from your spouse what he or she can never offer you.
Most times, it is only God and you that can offer you that which you are looking for in your spouse! So, stop putting unnecessary pressure on your spouse! The scenario becomes even more intense when the couple is both entangled in the mesh of self-hate!
What does the scriptures say?
That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (Philemon 1:6 KJV)
You see, this is powerful! Your faith in God, the result you get in God as you relate with Him becomes effectual or productive when you acknowledge or accept every good thing that is in you!
You have to love yourself before your faith becomes effective. You have to stop all the self-hate and believe that God has a plan for you! You have to learn to stop thinking and dwelling on negative thoughts that pull you down and weigh you down. You have to fill your heart with God’s word instead, which promises you a glorious present and an incredibly blessed future!
You have to stop seeking love from guys as you offer your body for one after the other, as you can never find the answer you are desperately searching for that way! That answer is only in God! You can only find rest in God!
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV)
I always love this in Message translation. It says
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Jesus says I will show you real rest. I will show you how to really love yourself and be loved. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace! You will discover that loving yourself can be so easy.
CONFESSION FOR THE DAY I have the love of God. I love myself.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY Pray for wisdom in the area of loving yourself.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31 ESV)
ACTION PLAN FOR THE DAY Take an inventory of your life and see areas where you haven’t been loving yourself enough.
I have often been asked, “How do you know a wrong person for you in a relationship?” And the answer is very simple, “Through his words!”
“But Pastor, what about if he or she doesn’t talk?”
You see, the reality is that he or she cannot hide for long.
His words are a mirror of his heart. If you can listen very well, to what is being said, and listen to what is not said, you will always be able to discern a man’s heart.
Over the years, I have had to attend to young ladies who unwittingly got messed up by married men. It would have been too late by the time they discover what is happening and by that time they are caught in an emotional web.
These married men are skillful, usually older and experienced at preying on young ladies. The sad thing is that sometimes, these ladies are believers, naive, unsuspecting and too trusting to discern between the lines.
Now, words are powerful, and you can actually know the intent of a person’s heart by his words.
The words he or she speaks are reflections of what is intrinsic in the heart. When a married man wants to sleep with you, he comes indirectly with several statements. When you hear these statements, you should run for your life. I mean, run for your life.
Everywhere the scripture proffers a solution to sexual pressures, it asks you to speak to your legs!
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1Co 6:18, KJV)
Flee fornication! It means to run away!
You remember Joseph ran away? And he became a prime minister. Samson refused to run, and he destiny was cut short!
You also remember Samson didn’t die immediately, his eyes were first taken out! It typifies that he could no longer read the word of life. That is what the devil does to you when you start compromising, he takes your eyes out, you lose interest in reading the Bible, because he knows that is the only thing that can save you or deliver you!
Okay, let’s quickly run through seven statements that should make you run for your dear life when you hear a married man say them. Never ever take those statements as compliments. They are the expressions of a lust-filled heart designed to slow you down and make you sin against your God.
1. If I have met you before I married my wife, I would have married you
Why should a married man say this? When you hear him say this, it is not time to feel cool and start blushing. It is a statement that betrays his covenant relationship with his wife and it is inappropriate. Stay away from such a man. If you don’t, he would put more pressure and might eventually sleep with you.
Also, beware when a married woman says to you as a single guy that had she met you before meeting her husband, she would have married you.
2. I wish you can have a baby for me. You are so beautiful
You are not a baby factory or a baby producer. You are meant for your husband. Never take this as a compliment. Why would a man be wishing this when he is already married? If you feel special because of that statement, and you get pregnant, the next shocking suggestion from him would be abortion.
3. Can I take you out? I love your company
Don’t cooperate with this antic. A married man doesn’t take you out repeatedly unless there is an ulterior motive. After series of being taken out, your defence will be down.
4. My wife doesn’t give me enough attention
It is a lie from the pit of hell. First, you have already made the first mistake by allowing him to make such statements. Nobody made you an attention giver, so the man should go back to his wife at home. It is a just a ploy to play on your imagination and make you feel cool.
5. You make me feel young again
When you are not a medicine or some tranquilizer! It is a lie, he is not actually feeling young, he is feeling lust. As a child of God with a covenant perspective, you should run away from such men.
6. You are more intelligent than my wife
When a man makes this kind of statement, you should be scared of that man. He had more or less reduced his wife to a stupid entity all in the bid to fool another lady.
At the end of the day, if you cooperate with such men, who do you think is really unintelligent?
7. Where have you been all my life?
Lastly, they make statements like where have you been? Where have you been hiding all the while? Never fall for such statements. It is a deceit from the pit of hell.
The Bible advises that we should not be ignorant of the devices of the devil.
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2Co 2:11, KJV)
Understand that the marital covenant is so strong that God is committed to fighting whoever tries to break it.
Gen 49:5-7 KJV (5) Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. (6) O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. (7) Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
There is nothing that kills relationships and marriages faster than what I want to write about today. Anger!
In the above verses, Simeon and Levi are brothers, but their combination was a tragedy! Both of them had anger problems. What was the eventuality? They were divided and scattered!
That is exactly what happens to two angry unrepentant people in a relationship or marriage. That relationship or marriage cannot survive it.
Look at the way the Message translation puts it:
Gen 49:5-7 MSG (5) Simeon and Levi are two of a kind, ready to fight at the drop of a hat. (6) I don’t want anything to do with their vendettas, want no part in their bitter feuds; They kill men in fits of temper, slash oxen on a whim. (7) A curse on their uncontrolled anger, on their indiscriminate wrath. I’ll throw them out with the trash; I’ll shred and scatter them like confetti throughout Israel.
One angry person can curse a lot of havoc, not to talk of two angry couples or couples-to-be!
Are you the type or person that is ready to fight at the drop of a hat? You need to consciously and deliberately start working on that anger problem because it can ruin precious opportunities.
There is a place for a level of anger because we are all human. There is also a place for righteous indignation. But the type of anger that is dangerous is the one that lingers unnecessarily and makes you do things you will later regret.
This type of anger is almost a stupid one because you know you will eventually regret your words and actions!
Ecc 7:9 KJV Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
Message translation is quite interesting:
Ecc 7:9 MSG Don’t be quick to fly off the handle. Anger boomerangs. You can spot a fool by the lumps on his head.
I once heard Bishop Oyedepo in one of his messages, where he said he used to have anger problems until he read the above scriptures.
In the early days of our marriage, I get angry very easily. It was a kind of subdued anger, not enough for me to raise my hands against my wife! I have never done that and will never do that, no matter what! That is not a manly thing to do! It is unscriptural, and your prayers will be hindered when you raise your hands against a lady.
But, I used to be impatient. I am a quick person but my wife takes her time. I wanted to change her. When I am angry, I start lecturing my wife. After a while, I just had to change because the lecturing thing was not working. I had to learn early in marriage, to calm down when I am angry and then discuss.
Over the years, I have come to learn to smile at some of the things that get me bothered and aggravated and looking back at those years, I wondered why I had to be angry in the first place! We were not meant to be the same way! A book on temperament I read delivered me!
If you are married to someone with anger problem, here is an advice for you.
Pro 15:1 KJV A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Pro 15:1 MSG A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
Tomorrow, I will show you practical ways to deal with anger issues in your relationship.
Don’t miss it.
CONFESSION FOR THE DAY I am not an angry person. I am cool and level-headed. I am delivered from anger issues I might have been exhibiting.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY Lord, deliver me from anger issues I have.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Pro 16:32 KJV He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
ACTION PLAN FOR THE DAY Pray against all forms of anger issues you have.
BIBLE READING FOR THE DAY Prov 15
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