Don’t Neglect Your Parents For Any Reason: Parental Dishonour Attracts Curses!

Proverbs 30:11 There is a generation that curses their father, and does not bless their mother (AKJV)

Some men of God encourage their followers to dishonour their parents, through teachings that de-emphasise the honour and reverence due to parents, as well as the responsibilities children have towards their parents. Also, some ministers make some people believe their parents are witches and wizards working against their prosperity, and therefore should be kept at bay, or in some cases not allowed to live! How should believers in Christ treat their parents? What does the Bible teach about responsibility to one’s parents? We shall revert to Scripture to answer these pertinent questions.

Parents play the most important role in the lives of children, next to God only. As partners with God in creation, parents are God’s instruments of creation in bringing forth children into the world, as well as the most trusted agents in nurturing them to maturity. It is the responsibility of parents to bring up their children in the ways of God, and to guide them in the path of righteousness. It is for this reason that God commands children to obey and honour their parents in all things. The Bible teaches absolute submission of children to parents and unquestioned obedience to parental authority.

Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord (NIV).

Deuteronomy 5:16 Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you (ESV).

To live long on earth and do well in life, we are enjoined to honour our parents. Disobedience to parental authority carries grave consequences in Scripture. To dishonour one’s parents or curse them was a death penalty offence in the Old Testament! To disobey one’s parents or be stubborn and rebellious against them was also punishable by death under the Law.

Leviticus 20:9 For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him (ESV).

Deuteronomy 21:18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them,

Deuteronomy 21:19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives,

Deuteronomy 21:20 and they shall say to the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.

Deuteronomy 21:21 Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear (ESV).

Yes! That’s how serious it is in the sight of God to dishonour one’s parents! Our parents are literally the god we see. Their role in our creation (as God’s partners and instruments of our creation), and their responsibilities over us as caretakers to care, protect, nurture, train, direct and guide us in life, make them venerable figures to be revered and honoured for life. To resist them is to resist God. To rebel against them is to rebel against God. To disobey them is to disobey God. Parents are God’s delegated authority over children to ensure perpetuation of the species in the ways of God! Parents are the first teachers and pastors a child gets to have, and they remain teachers and guides throughout their lives!

Proverbs 1:8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

Proverbs 1:9 for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

Proverbs 4:1 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

Proverbs 4:2 for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.

Proverbs 4:3 When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,

Proverbs 4:4 he taught me and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.

Proverbs 4:10 Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.

Proverbs 4:20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.

Proverbs 4:21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.

Proverbs 4:22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

Proverbs 15:5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent (ESV).

Submission of children to parental authority is taught everywhere in Scripture. The stability of the family structure is hinged on children deferring to parents and respecting and honouring them. Even Jesus as a child subjected himself to his earthly parents and honoured them. He is our example in all things and we are to follow his footsteps as our role model.

Luke 2:48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.

Luke 2:49 And he said to them, Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?

Luke 2:50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.

Luke 2:51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart (NIV).

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.

Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise.

Ephesians 6:3 And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, “you will live a long life, full of blessing.” (NLT).

Jesus not only submitted to his parents as a child, he also honoured, respected and took care of them as an adult. At the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee for instance, he honoured his mother’s request to miraculously provide wine for the people when they ran out of wine. It wasn’t yet time for Jesus to manifest himself in that manner, but because of the respect he had for his mother, he honoured her by granting her request and performing the first miracle of his ministry.

John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.

John 2:2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.

John 2:3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, They have no wine.

John 2:4 And Jesus said to her, Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.

John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, Do whatever he tells you.

John 2:6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.

John 2:7 Jesus said to the servants, Fill the jars with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

John 2:8 And he said to them, Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. So they took it.

John 2:9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom

John 2:10 and said to him, Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.

John 2:11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him (ESV).

Even while dying on the cross, Jesus still had the presence of mind to make plans for the upkeep and care of his mother. He was so concerned about his mother and her welfare that he ignored his pains and agony, and summoned his last ounce of strength to give instructions to one of his disciples to take Mary under his charge and ensure she was well taken care of! What an example the Lord set for us, on how to take care of our parents!

St. John 19:25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

St. John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,”

St. John 19:27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home (NIV).

During his ministry, Jesus reserved one of his most stinging rebukes for hypocritical religious leaders who sought to divert people’s attention away from their parents. The Pharisees had contrived to undermine God’s law that required children to honour and take care of their parents. They rather made laws that relieved people of the responsibility to take care of their parents, as long as whatever gifts people would have given to their parents were brought to the church instead! This devilish business of bewitching gullible followers to neglect their parents and focus their love and attention on pastors instead didn’t start today! It’s been around for some time, and it’s one of the hallmarks of wolves masquerading as shepherds in the house of God!

St. Matthew 15:1 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to interview Jesus.

St. Matthew 15:2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old traditions?” they demanded. “They ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”

St. Matthew 15:3 Jesus replied, ” And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?

St. Matthew 15:4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’

St. Matthew 15:5 But you say, ‘You don’t need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.’

St. Matthew 15:6 And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God.

St. Matthew 15:7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said,

St. Matthew 15:8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away.

St. Matthew 15:9 Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.’ ” (NLT).

Christians are to first demonstrate their piety at home, by taking care of their households, including their parents. Charity should begin at home! The practice of religion should start with one’s family. To ignore your parents and other members of your household while taking care of pastors and people outside is not only hypocritical madness, it amounts to denying the faith! Such a person is worse than an infidel! That’s what the Bible says!

1 Timothy 5:3 The church should care for any widow who has no one else to care for her.

1 Timothy 5:4 But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God very much.

1 Timothy 5:8 But those who won’t care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers (NLT).

One of the duties of a true servant of God is to reconcile families, to seek to bring parents and children together, and not put them asunder. The ministry we have as Christians is a ministry of reconciliation, to reconcile people to God and to one another. To turn the hearts of children to their parents and vice versa, is a ministry of the Holy Spirit. Any minister who schemes to pitch children against their parents is satanic and anti-Christ! Flee from such a pastor!

Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.

Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” (NIV).

2 Corinthians 5:17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 5:18 All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him.

2 Corinthians 5:19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” (NLT).

Some pastors and prophets teach their followers to see their parents as witches and wizards who are working to subvert their destinies. Now, even if the people that gave birth to you are witches or wizards, the fact that such wizards or witches did not abort you, did not kill you as a vulnerable child, suffered to provide for you, trained you and saw you through school to the stage you are presently, should make you honour and respect them! They may have used their witchcraft for evil towards others, but certainly not towards you! How can you now repay their good towards you with evil in their weak and vulnerable old age? Even if your parents are witches and wizards who did you evil, the Bible forbids you to repay their evil with evil. As a Christian, you’re to forgive those who hurt you and bless those that curse you and wish you evil. You’re to overcome evil with good!

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (AKJV).

Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.

Romans 12:20 To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (ESV).

If you have parents who are genuine witches and wizards, don’t reject them. Don’t cast them out. Pray for their salvation and deliverance. Stand in the gap for them. Show them love. Don’t you ever dishonour them! They are still your parents, no matter their level of enslavement by Satan. Jesus has the power to deliver them from the spirit of witchcraft and set them free from the bondage of Satan. Don’t give up on them and don’t abandon them! Your parents are your flesh and blood and the instruments of your creation!

Finally, let me remind us that parental blessings and curses are real and effective! God has empowered parents with the authority to bless and curse their children, and God takes care to ensure such blessings and curses take effect! Heaven honours the prayers and cries of parents, as well as their benedictions and curses towards rebellious children! Examples of parental curses for dishonouring parents abound in Scripture. Let’s take heed and beware! Honour and treat your parents well so that they will bless you, and not curse you!

Genesis 9:20 After the Flood, Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard.

Genesis 9:21 One day he became drunk on some wine he had made and lay naked in his tent.

Genesis 9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers.

Genesis 9:23 Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, walked backward into the tent, and covered their father’s naked body. As they did this, they looked the other way so they wouldn’t see him naked.

Genesis 9:24 When Noah woke up from his drunken stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done.

Genesis 9:25 Then he cursed the descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham: “A curse on the Canaanites! May they be the lowest of servants to the descendants of Shem and Japheth.”

Genesis 9:26 Then Noah said, “May Shem be blessed by the Lord my God; and may Canaan be his servant.

Genesis 9:27 May God enlarge the territory of Japheth, and may he share the prosperity of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.” (NLT).

Genesis 49:1 Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what is going to happen to you in the days to come.

Genesis 49:2 “Come and listen, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father.

Genesis 49:3 “Reuben, you are my oldest son, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first on the list in rank and honor.

Genesis 49:4 But you are as unruly as the waves of the sea, and you will be first no longer. For you slept with one of my wives; you dishonored me in my own bed (NLT).

In conclusion, God has commanded that children obey and honour their parents, for that is well pleasing to him. It is a commandment that has the promise of long life and prosperity attached to it. To be disobedient to parents or rebel against them is a grievous sin in the sight of God. Dishonouring one’s parents attracts curses and punishment from God. Jesus showed us an excellent example by being submissive to his earthly parents as a child, and by honouring and taking care of them as an adult. Christians should demonstrate piety at home by taking care of their households, including their parents. Anyone who fails to take care of their parents is worse than an infidel. To give what is meant for one’s parents to the church or to a pastor is violating God’s command. A true servant of God aims to reconcile children with their parents. Any pastor or prophet who sows seeds of discord between parents and their children with the aim of turning children against their parents is evil and satanic. Let’s be careful to take good care of our parents so that we will be blessed by God. Let’s avoid dishonouring our parents to avoid curses, for parents have the powers to bless as well curse their children.

Submission In Christian Homes: The Key To Peace And Prosperity In The Family

The family was the first institution God designed for the purpose of fulfilling his vision and mission for mankind. It is the basic unit of the church and society, as well as the primordial training ground for God’s children. The success of the church and society at large depends on the success of the family. In this expository study, we shall examine the Bible to discover God’s ordained government in the home, as well as the submission required of the various components of the family unit, in order to achieve God’s purpose for the family. This article will focus on the relationship between husbands and wives. The relationship between parents and their children, and between servants and their masters, will be discussed in subsequent posts.

The family unit consists of the husband, wife, children and household servants. Each member of the family has a head he or she is answerable to, and to whom he or she is expected to submit. The various heads are appointed by God, and rebellion against one’s head is considered rebellion against God who delegated authority to that head. Submitting to our various heads is a sign of obedience and reverence to Christ!

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Let us examine Scripture to see the heads of the various subunits in the family. We will find out God’s original design for leadership in the home, and by extension the church. Adhering to God’s order is the only way to avoid chaos and confusion. Only God’s order will ensure stability and prosperity of the family unit, the church and society at large.

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God (ESV).

From the passage above, we see that the head of the wife is her husband, while the head of the husband is Christ, and the head of Christ is God the Father. The idea of co-equality of the husband and wife in marriage is a lie from the pit of hell! It’s a product of the feminist movement designed by satan to topple God’s ordained government in the home. From the very beginning, God created the man to be the head, and the woman to be a helper who would be subject to the man.

1 Corinthians 11:8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.

1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man (ESV).

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.

Genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

Genesis 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

Genesis 2:23 Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (ESV).

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you (ESV).

Yes, God created the woman to be a helper to the man, and placed the woman under the headship of the man. God made the man the ruler of the home and head of the family unit. The husband is God’s delegated authority over the family, and all members of the family are to submit to him. Rebellion against the husband’s authority in the home is the beginning of anarchy in society, for where there is no order, chaos and confusion reign!

Ephesians 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands (ESV).

Colossians 3:18 Wives, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority. This is appropriate behavior for the Lord’s people (GodsWord).

The wife is to submit to her husband’s authority as though she’s submitting to the Lord himself, for the husband’s authority over the wife comes from the Lord himself. Think about it: the wife is to submit to her husband the same way the Church is to submit to Christ! We honour God when we honour and respect his delegated authorities. Now, wives are not to be submissive only to godly husbands who obey the word of God; they are also required by God to subordinate themselves to the authority of those husbands who do not obey God!

1 Peter 3:1 IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

1 Peter 3:2 When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband] (AMP).

Yes, wives are to obey and subject themselves even to those husbands that don’t obey God. It’s not a wife’s business whether the man is subject to his own head or not- God will hold him accountable for that. Don’t tell your husband what he must do first before you’ll submit to him. You’re not his head. Your duty is to submit to him, not to argue and lay down pre-conditions for obedience and submission. Your very act of submission and your godly behaviour towards him, even in his rebelion to his head, can win him over to God, without you uttering a word! That’s what the Bible teaches!

1 Peter 3:4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Peter 3:5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands,

1 Peter 3:6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening (ESV).

It is thus against Scripture to see a woman putting someone else above her husband! Sisters, your husband is your head, not your parents, not your pastor and not your prophet! To submit to a pastor and serve him subserviently, while ignoring and relegating your husband to the background is unbiblical! To bow down or kneel to greet a pastor, while grunting out greetings reluctantly to your husband is rebellion! To serve other men with fawning attention, while treating your husband like scum is the height of foolishness!

Some married women abandon their homes and husbands to go and take care of pastors’ homes, cooking for and taking care of pastors, while their own husbands and homes are neglected! Shame on such women! That is the same as unfaithfulness and infidelity! If a pastor teaches you to place him above your husband, that pastor is usurping the position of your husband! That pastor is already luring you into marital unfaithfulness! Your loyalty and submission are to be to your husband, and not to any other man! The moment you transfer your loyalty and submission to any other man, you have become unfaithful. You’re as good as an adulterous woman!

A warning against dangerous extremes of submission! The submission Scripture prescribes for the wife in the husband-wife relationship is not mindless, slavish subservience! The wife is not to be a muted doormat to be trampled upon, with no say in the home! To the contrary, a Christian wife is a Spirit-filled believer, has a mind of her own, is to be listened to, and is to actively make contributions in the decision-making process in the home. She has a lawful right to disagree with her husband when the man makes an unlawful, an unscriptural or an unwise decision, or when he tries to take the place of Christ in her life. The husband is only an adminstrative head to the wife, not her spiritual head! The spiritual head of every believer is Christ! When it comes to choosing between the commands of Christ and those of a husband, a woman should not think twice to disobey her husband! If a husband requests his wife to disobey the word of God in order to obey him, he has made himself an anti-Christ! The woman shouldn’t hesitate to disobey him in such circumstances! The husband’s authority is derived from Christ, and is legitimate only to the extent that the man himself is subservient to Christ! If obeying Christ rather than an unbelieving husband will make him depart, so be it! A sister is not under bondage in such circumstances. Your relationship with Christ is to be treasured above relationship with husband or anyone else for that matter! You’re to obey God rather than man, if you have to make a choice between the two! But, let your disagreement be done in a wise, humble, and respectful manner.

1 Corinthians 7:13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.

1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace (NIV).

The Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,

The Acts 4:20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard (ESV).

Now, let’s turn to the man and his head to whom he’s to submit. We’re told Christ is the head of the man, even as God is the head of Christ. The husband is to subject himself to Christ, to obey his word and precepts, and to lead his family in the ways of God. The husband is to follow Christ as his family follows him. God expects every husband to be the family head, priest, pastor, shepherd, and guide, as he provides for his family spiritually, materially and emotionally.

Genesis 18:17 The LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,

Genesis 18:18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him (ESV).

The man is to command his household to keep the ways of the Lord, by doing righteousness and justice. He’s to teach and display for his household the ways of God. His family is to follow him as he follows Christ his head. His authority over his household is a delegated authority from Christ. He would be failing in his duties and responsibility if he fails to follow and obey his head, who is Christ. The husband leads his family as he is led by Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (NCV).

The husband is to love his wife and family even as Christ loves his bride, the Church. Christ laid down his life for his wife and family, and the husband too, as the head of his household, is to love his family to the same degree! The mystery of the union and relationship between the husband and the wife is a type and reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Church! The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, and the wife is to submit to the husband as the Church submits to Christ.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

Ephesians 5:26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

Ephesians 5:27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,

Ephesians 5:30 because we are members of his body.

Ephesians 5:31 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

Ephesians 5:32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (ESV).

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (ESV).

Finally, when a family unit discovers and follows God’s prescribed leadership, there will be peace and harmony. Wars and strife will cease. Contentions will be minimised. Inevitably, prosperity will follow, as the family will be united in purpose, vision and mission. When there is only one recognised captain in the family ship from whom everyone takes orders, and to whom everyone submits, there will be nothing that that family will not be able to achieve under God.

Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.

Genesis 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them (ESV).

However, when a family is divided and there are multiple and divergent leaderships in the home, confusion and chaos will result. That family cannot stand. A foolish woman who fails to submit to her husband’s authority in the home will only destroy her home with her own hands. Rebellion against God and his delegated authority can never end well for anyone, especially in the home.

Mark 3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

Mark 3:25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand (ESV).

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands (AKJV).

In conclusion, the family is the basic unit of the Church and society at large. The relationships among the various subunits in the family should be based on love and submission. There’s a hierarchy of authority in the family: children are subject to their parents, wives are subject to their husbands, while husbands are subject to Christ. The various heads are God’s delegated authorities to ensure there’s law and order at home. Without loving leadership and reverential submission in the home, there will be chaos and confusion. Rebellion and disregard for the people God has placed above us is rebellion and disregard for God. However, when children obey and submit to their parents, when wives submit to their husbands and when husbands submit to Christ, God’s will will be done in families and there will be peaceful coexistence, harmonious living and prosperity at home, in the Church and in the larger society.

Don’t Be Duped By The Scam Of Curse-breaking And Family Liberation: The Blood Of Jesus Alone Delivers From All Curses!

Prophetic churches abound in Africa, with prophets and prophetesses dotting every nook and cranny of the continent’s spiritual landscape. One of the prominent features of the prophets we see in Africa is their mimicry of Old Testament prophets in the usage of diverse substances as instruments of deliverance and curse-breaking. We see such prophets making use of items like salt, sand, water, oil, candles, incense, colanuts, fruits, eggs, animal sacrifices, etc, while conducting deliverance and curse-breaking. What’s the view of Scripture on the use of such substances and methods for prayers and deliverance in the New Testament Church? We will examine relevant portions of Scripture to answer this question.

We understand from Scripture that curses result from disobedience to God and rebellion against his will. The first curse came upon our fore-parents, Adam and Eve, for directly violating God’s command. That was the beginning of all curses, and the instigator of the chaos that was unleashed on nature.

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;

Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (NIV).

Genesis 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ’You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.

Genesis 3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV).

That original sin opened the door for all curses to come upon mankind, bringing about sickness, hardship, painful child-bearing, heartbreaks, and ultimately death. Superimposed on these universal curses are specific curses occasioned by specific acts of disobedience to God’s commands, rebellion and disobedience to parents and violations of contractual agreements ratified under solemn oath. We see examples of all these in Scripture.

Deuteronomy 28:15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

Deuteronomy 28:16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country (NIV).

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother” —which is the first commandment with a promise —

Ephesians 6:3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (NIV).

2 Samuel 21:1 During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

2 Samuel 21:2 The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) (NIV).

In the Old Testament, we find prophets of God using various means and methods to break curses and free people from their grip, inspired by the Spirit of God. Bathing in a river, sprinkling salt in water, offering sacrificial animals, as well as killing some people were some of the remedies inspired by the Holy Spirit under the Law, to break and abolish curses.

2 Kings 5:9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.

2 Kings 5:10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

2 Kings 2:19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”

2 Kings 2:20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.

2 Kings 2:21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the LORD says: ’I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’”

2 Kings 2:22 And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken (NIV).

2 Samuel 24:15 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.

2 Samuel 24:16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

2 Samuel 24:17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”

2 Samuel 24:18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”

2 Samuel 24:25 David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped (NIV).

Deuteronomy 17:2 If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant,

Deuteronomy 17:3 and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky,

Deuteronomy 17:4 and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,

Deuteronomy 17:5 take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.

Deuteronomy 17:6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.

Deuteronomy 17:7 The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you (NIV).

So, we see all kinds of methods used in the Old Testament to break curses upon a people or a land, with the aim of restoring back God’s blessings. Each method used was as inspired by the Holy Spirit for the occasion. Now, what must not be forgotten is that, all the prophetic acts in the Old Testament were types and shadows of Christ’s ministry. For instance, the lifting up of a bronze serpent on a pole to heal the people bitten by poisonous snakes in the wilderness was a type of Christ being lifted up on a tree to save men from the curse of sin and death.

Numbers 21:5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Numbers 21:6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.

Numbers 21:7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Numbers 21:8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

Numbers 21:9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived (NIV).

St. John 3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

St. John 3:15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (NIV).

Every Old Testament ordinance or practice was a type and shadow of Christ, who is the full revelation of God. Every Old Testament prophet was a type of Christ’s prophetic work as the ultimate Prophet. Every sacrifice offered in the Old Testament was a type and partial reflection of Christ’s all-encompassing sacrifice: all pointed to the coming Messiah, his ministry and his complete redemptive work.

Hebrews 10:8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” —though they were offered in accordance with the law.

Hebrews 10:9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.

Hebrews 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Hebrews 10:12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,

Hebrews 10:13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool (NIV).

Thus, we find Christ’s sacrifice of himself on Calvary was perfect and complete in its ability to deliver mankind from all the curses of sin and death, what the types and shadows displayed by prophets and priests in the Old Testament could not achieve. In Christ’s substitutionary and propitiatory death on the cross, we find the solution to all of mankind’s curses and sufferings.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (NIV).

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,

Romans 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (NIV).

Having paid the complete price for man’s redemption from the law of sin and death and redeemed mankind thereby, faith in the name of Christ alone becomes the only instrument of deliverance from all curses henceforth! We don’t need animal sacrifices anymore to appease God inorder to remove curses from us. We don’t need to bath with salt or sprinkle salt in our water for curse breaking or healing of the land, like Elisha did. Cleansing baths for curse breaking and healing are no longer required, as was recommended for Naaman. We don’t need to pay money to anyone for family liberation or deliverance. The only thing required to break all curses, liberate anyone and secure total deliverance is faith in the blood of Christ that was shed sacrificially on our behalf on Calvary!

The Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

The Acts 4:9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,

The Acts 4:10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

The Acts 4:11 Jesus is “’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’

The Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (NIV).

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

Mark 16:18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Mark 16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]] (ESV).

When one confesses and repents from his sins and places his faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour, his sins are pardoned and he becomes justified in the sight of God. He is immediately delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom. He becomes a new creation and old things in his life pass away. All ancestral, generational and familial curses he’d been living under disappear! That’s how all curses are taken away! All curses were broken at Calvary and they become broken in our lives the very moment we appropriate the blessings of Calvary upon ourselves by faith.

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;

Colossians 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;

Colossians 1:14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (NIV).

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (AKJV).

Thus, any prophet or pastor who teaches curse breaking or family deliverance through any means other than repentance and faith in the finished works of Christ is peddling dangerous lies and falsehood. Anyone who belittles what Christ did on Calvary as being insufficient to break all generational and familial curses is trampling underfoot the Son of God, dishonouring the blood of Christ and insulting the spirit of grace. Such a person is an apostate, a heretic and an anti-Christ!

Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (NIV).

1 John 2:18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

1 John 2:21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.

1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist —denying the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also (NIV).

When Christ sets someone free through the knowledge of himself and by the merits of his own perfect sacrifice, that person is free indeed! When the blood of Christ delivers someone from a curse, that person is delivered indeed! The blood of Christ is the perfect all-encompassing sacrifice which alone satisfies God’s righteous requirements and releases God’s blessings upon mankind. The blood of Christ saves and delivers completely!

St. John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

St. John 8:33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

St. John 8:34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

St. John 8:35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

St. John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (NIV).

Hebrews 7:24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:26 Such a high priest truly meets our need —one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

Hebrews 7:27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself (NIV).

Furthermore, as long as a person remains in Christ, he or she is safe and secure, and beyond the reach of any curse. In Christ, you’re far above all principalities and powers, and above every name that can used to invoke curses. When you’re in Christ Jesus, the devil is under your feet, as you have power to trample upon serpents and scorpions and all the powers of the enemy! Nothing shall by any means hurt you! The name of the Lord is a strong tower; as long as you remain under the shadow of his wings, no evil shall come near you! No one can curse someone that God has blessed!

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through your name.

Luke 10:18 And he said to them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (AKJV).

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe (AKJV).

Psalms 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalms 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalms 91:3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (NIV).

Numbers 23:7 Then Balaam spoke his message: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ’Come,’ he said, ’curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’

Numbers 23:8 How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced? (NIV).

Finally, let me debunk one of the favourite lies that merchants of curse breaking and family deliverance use in deceiving gullible people. These con artists usually tell children of God that even though they’re born again, they are still subject to familial and generational curses, because God visits the sins of the fathers unto their children, to the third and fourth generations. What these confidence tricksters don’t want you to ever know is that, God stopped punishing children for the sins of their fathers a long time ago. No longer do children pay for the sins of their fathers; now, each person bears responsibility for his own actions. A righteous child is no longer punished for the sins of unrighteous and wicked parents or grandparents.

Ezekiel 18:1 The word of the LORD came to me:

Ezekiel 18:2 What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?

Ezekiel 18:3 As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

In conclusion, curse breaking and deliverance from all powers of darkness for people in the New Testament is by the name of Jesus Christ alone. All the acts and instruments of deliverance and curse breaking we saw in the Old Testament were types and shadows of Christ as the all-in-one sacrifice. Every Old Testament prophetic work foreshadowed Christ’s work on Calvary. In Christ, we find the all-encompassing sacrifice that fulfilled all the types of sacrifices of the Old Testament. Christ took away all mankind’s curses upon himself and died so that all can be free of curses and receive God’s blessings. And, when Jesus delivers someone he delivers them completely from all sins and from all curses. Any act of curse breaking and deliverance in the New Testament that does not invoke the name and blood of Jesus Christ only is heretical and anti-Christ. Such acts trample underfoot the blood of Jesus and insult the spirit of grace. Deliverance from sin, bondage, curses and all satanic powers is only to be done in the name of Jesus Christ only!

Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Philippians 2:11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (NIV).

How Believers Are To Give Financially To Support God’s Work In The New Testament

Giving to support God’s work and God’s people is encouraged throughout Scripture, as it helps to meet needs in God’s house, as well as foster God’s work on earth. God is well pleased with such sacrifices and has promised to bless such gracious givers abundantly. In the Old Testament, giving was achieved mostly through mandatory offerings like tithes, first-fruits, sin-offerings, peace-offerings, etc,. How are believers to give financially to support God’s work and the needy in the New Testament, now that Christians are no longer under the Law, and are not subject to the mandatory laws of giving as contained in the now abolished Old Covenant? We shall examine relevant portions of the New Testament Scriptures to find the principles of giving for New Testament believers.

2 Corinthians 8:7 But since you excel in everything —in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

2 Corinthians 8:8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich (NIV).

According to the Apostle Paul, giving is a grace that believers are to strive to excel in. There’s no commandment anymore in the New Testament regarding the proportion of one’s income to give in support of God’s work or God’s servants, including the poor and the needy. Giving in the New Testament is propelled by love, not by law. The love of God that’s been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit should inspire us to love God and the brethren sufficiently to want to support God’s work and God’s people in whatever way we can. The example of Christ’s sacrificial love is given here: though rich, he made himself poor for our sakes, so that we through his poverty might become rich. Love is demonstrated by giving! When you love much, you give much!

St. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (NIV).

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (NIV).

Giving should be done willingly, and not by compulsion. If there is a willingness of the mind to give, based on love of God and love of the brethen, then giving will not be a problem. The willingness to give stems from a heart that’s been conquered by the love of God. And once there’s a willingness to give, giving will be a cheerful experience! If you believe in a cause, you’ll willingly give to support it. If you’re convinced about a project, you’ll be concerned about it. And if you’re in love with someone, you’ll do all you can to express it. Love is identified by its characteristics, which are expressed by giving!

2 Corinthians 8:10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.

2 Corinthians 8:11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have (NIV).

Paul also makes an important point about giving willingly in love: when there is a willingness to give based on the out-working of love from the heart, whatever one gives is acceptable! What makes the gift acceptable in the sight of God is the motive behind it, and the willingness and cheerfulness of the giver. God loves a cheerful giver, whatever the amount given to support his cause on earth! God does not want his people to give their gifts grudgingly, or by compulsion. And he doesn’t want us to give what we don’t have! God doesn’t like people being manipulated to give offerings. He doesn’t like psychological pressures put on people that literally force them to give what they don’t plan or feel comfortable to give. God hates compelling and manipulating people to give offerings. We should not manipulate people to give offerings, because such offerings given under duress are given grudgingly, and they do not attract any blessings for the givers!

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (NIV).

Another important point to note about giving is that, the measure you give is the measure God will give back to you. The blessing that comes with giving is proportionate to what one gives. If you give bountifully, you should expect a bountiful harvest. If you give sparingly, you should expect to reap sparingly. Giving is like sowing: if a farmer sows a few seeds, he should expect to harvest few crops. Conversely, if he or she sows plenty seeds in a farm, all things being equal, he or she should expect a bountiful harvest. This is what the Scripture teaches.

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” (NIV)

St. Luke 6:38 If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” ( NLT).

Believers should not be tired of giving to support the weak and to meet needs in the house of God. We should help to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. When we help relieve the needs of brethren in the body of Christ, we strengthen people’s faith in the brotherhood and make thanksgiving to abound to God’s glory. Those we help thank God on our behalf and give glory to God. When we help people in need, others too will help us in our hour of need, ensuring thus that there’s no lack in the house of God.

2 Corinthians 9:11 Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:12 So two good things will happen—the needs of the Christians in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:13 You will be glorifying God through your generous gifts. For your generosity to them will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.

2 Corinthians 9:14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the wonderful grace of God shown through you.

2 Corinthians 8:13 Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality.

2 Corinthians 8:14 Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s needs will be met.

2 Corinthians 8:15 Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.” (NLT).

Galatians 6:2 Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ (NLT).

Scripture teaches us that there is more blessing in giving than in receiving. All that are able and fit should labour to take care of their needs and those of others around them who are weak and disadvantaged. Christ himself became poor on our behalf that we through his poverty might become rich. We should not be tired of doing good, because harvest time is coming when we shall receive our rewards from the Lord. Don’t wait for others to give to you! Labour to take care of yourself and the poor and needy around you! Even someone as busy as Apostle Paul laboured in some places to take care of himself and others around him, while still preaching the gospel!

The Acts 20:33 “I have never coveted anyone’s money or fine clothing.

The Acts 20:34 You know that these hands of mine have worked to pay my own way, and I have even supplied the needs of those who were with me.

The Acts 20:35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help the poor by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘ It is more blessed to give than to receive. ‘” (NLT).

1 Thessalonians 2:9 Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that our expenses would not be a burden to anyone there as we preached God’s Good News among you (NLT).

Galatians 6:9 So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

Galatians 6:10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters (NLT).

When we examine some instances in the New Testament when needs arose in the Church, we see how love can inspire and motivate people to stretch themselves beyond their limits inorder to meet needs in the house of God. The New Testament believers were not under any mandatory law of giving like tithe-paying, giving of firstfruits, etc, as was practised in the Old Testament. There were no threats of curses to compel people to give as was applicable under the Law. However, under grace and motivated by the love of God, some believers in the New Testament gave up to 100% of their resources to support God’s work as well as help the poor and needy of God’s people! People were known to sell their properties and give the entire proceeds to the church, to meet urgent and serious needs! Because of this extraordinary display of love, no one lacked anything in a congregation that ran into tens of thousands! The people gave out of palpable love, and the church leaders, neither greedy nor covetous like most of our shepherds of today, didn’t just corner the money for themselves, but ensured everyone in need in God’s house was taken care of! Selfless and exemplary leadership will always inspire sacrificial giving that will make an extraordinary impact among God’s people!

The Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

The Acts 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need (NLT).

The Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

The Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

The Acts 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

The Acts 4:35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

The Acts 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

The Acts 4:37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet (NLT).

Preachers in the New Testament don’t have to take believers back to the bondage of the Law to compel them to pay tithes, first-fruit offerings, vows, etc, inorder to raise funds to meet needs in the church. That’s not only fraudulent and dragging people back to the curse of the Law that Christ has delivered us from, it’s also taking people away from the grace of God! Teaching New Testament believers to pay tithe as a mandatory law with curses attached for non-payment is doing a great disservice to the gospel of grace. Believers under grace, inspired by the love of God and exemplary and selfless leadership, will easily outperform people under the Old Covenant when it comes to giving, as demonstrated above. Once church leaders are not covetous and greedy and do not try to selfishly grab church funds to finance their lavish and flamboyant lifestyles while the flocks in their care suffer deprivation, people will give even beyond their abilities, to demonstrate their love for God!

2 Corinthians 8:1 Now I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia.

2 Corinthians 8:2 Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity.

2 Corinthians 8:3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will.

2 Corinthians 8:4 They begged us again and again for the gracious privilege of sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 8:5 Best of all, they went beyond our highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them (NLT).

Finally, give what you have and not what you don’t have! Don’t borrow to give! Don’t pledge or make a vow of what you don’t have! God understands when you don’t have. He does not expect you to borrow to please him. Don’t feel bad or guilty that you can’t give to support God’s work because you don’t have to give at the moment. Opportunities will always be available for you to give when you have. Resist the temptation and pressure of manipulative men of God to make rash vows that may be hard for you to fulfill later. It is better not to make a vow than to make one you may not be able to fulfill, for that may attract curses rather than blessings! When you don’t have, you should be supported by the church and others at that time, rather than being made to feel bad that you can’t give!

2 Corinthians 8:14 Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s needs will be met.

2 Corinthians 8:15 Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.” (NLT).

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.

Ecclesiastes 5:5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.

Ecclesiastes 5:6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? (NIV).

In conclusion, giving in the New Testament is to be done voluntarily, cheerfully and without compulsion. There are no mandatory laws compelling people to give any particular proportion of their income to support God’s work. However, the love of God constrains God’s people to give willingly, cheerfully and bountifully to support God’s servants and the needy among God’s people. People should give what they have, from grateful love-filled hearts. No one should allow himself/herself to be pressured to give beyond his or her means, or to make pledges to God of what he or she does not have. Give what you can afford, without grumbling and complaining, for God loves a cheerful giver! But remember that giving is like sowing: if you sow sparingly, you’ll reap sparingly; if you sow bountifully, you’ll reap bountifully. May we never be weary of doing good and helping those in need, because harvest time is coming!

Hebrews 13:16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God (NIV).

Don’t Let Your Acts Of Charity Be In Vain: Give To Impress God, Not Men!

Giving to help the poor and the needy is a noble act that attracts God’s blessings when done in the right way and with the right motive. However, such acts of charity can easily degenerate into hypocritical spectacles that displease God. God loves a cheerful giver, but he hates giving with impure motives. We shall examine Scripture to see how we ought to give, so that our alms-giving will not be in vain.

St. Matthew 6:1 “Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.

St. Matthew 6:2 When you give a gift to someone in need, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get.

St. Matthew 6:3 But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing.

St. Matthew 6:4 Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you (NLT).

The Lord Jesus warned his followers not to make a show of their acts of charity before men. He admonished his disciples not to blow their trumpets to attract attention to their good deeds. We are not to advertise our alms-giving. Not only are such acts of self-praise vainglorious, they are outright hypocritical! If our goal in doing good is to be admired by men, then publicising our acts for all to see will be in order. If that is our goal, we are free to do all we can to capture the headlines and hog the limelight. The praise and adulation of men would be sufficient reward for such egotistical drive.

However, if our goal is to please God and obtain his blessings, then we must be careful to perform our good deeds according to God’s dictate. When performing a charitable deed that you want rewarded by God, don’t shout about it. Don’t publicise it! Don’t go about blowing your trumpet! Give your alms as secretly as possible: don’t even let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. Give your offerings as anonymously as possible. Refuse to have your name publicised for men to hail and praise you. Resist the temptation even by men of God to bring you out for public praise and celebration. Do your acts of charity in the dark. Let only God know and see what you’re doing. When you give that way, it’ll be obvious you’re not seeking the praise of men. When you do good in secret while expecting nothing in return from men, your heavenly Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

In too many churches, we see people making a public show of giving, encouraged and energised by pastors who won’t hesitate to use all kinds of psychological gimmicks to “praise” money out of people’s pockets. We see people invited to the altar to openly announce the amount of money they intend to give for a project, accompanied by claps and praise from the congregation, led by the pastor! Usually, the amount of praise from the pastor and the congregation is directly proportional to the amount of money donated or pledged. This not only exalts the ego of the big donors, it also dampens the enthusiasm and morale of small donors, making them feel ashamed of their widow’s mite.

St. Luke 21:1 While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people putting their gifts into the collection box.

St. Luke 21:2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two pennies.

St. Luke 21:3 ” I assure you, ” he said, ” this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them.

St. Luke 21:4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has. ” (NLT).

From the passage of Scripture above, we see that in God’s reckoning, it’s not just the amount of money one gives that matters or that decides who has given the greatest. It’s actually the proportion of one’s income given out that God counts. The rich men may have given more money, and may have done so with great fanfare and due recognition from the fawning priests, but they gave a lesser proportion of their income than the widow who gave all that she had (100% of her savings), though it amounted to only two pennies. The widow’s mite may not have impressed the priests in charge of the treasury. They may not have considered her worthy of praise for giving just two pennies. Nevertheless, God considered her two mites the greatest offering of the day! The widow’s mite may not have made a noticeable impact on the treasury, but it sure touched heaven and was recognised by God. Her reward was assured by the Lord.

When we give with wrong motives, though our gifts may bless men like ourselves, they do not impress God, and we receive no reward from him. The motives behind our actions are more important in the sight of God than the actions themselves, for God looks at the heart, though man may only see the outward appearance which may be deceptive.

1 Samuel 16:6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.” (NLT).

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.

Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done (NLT).

Think about it! God knows the reason and motive behind our every action, including our giving, though the pastor, like Samuel, may not see our hearts and intentions. That “humble” brother being praised to the sky by the pastor for his commitment and dedication to the work of God and for his wonderful gifts may just be a schemer trying to worm his way to a position of power and authority in the church. He may just be trying to impress people to help propel his personal agenda, and may have no interest at all in God’s work! That’s why we are not to judge anyone before that time when God shall lay open the secrets of men’s hearts for all to see their true motives and intentions!

1 Corinthians 4:5 So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether or not someone is faithful. When the Lord comes, he will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due (NLT).

Even if we give all our goods to the poor and burn ourselves out for the good of others, it will profit us nothing in God’s reckoning if we are not inspired by love. Only deeds emanating from pure and unselfish love for God and man will be found worthy of God’s praise and blessings. Man may be deceived by acts of charity motivated by impure motives, but God is not!

1 Corinthians 13:3 If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever (CEB).

The Lord admonishes us to give with pure motives, expecting nothing back in the way of recompense from men. When we give as though we’re giving to God, and not to man, we will not seek the praise of men. We will not seek the recognition of men. We will not expect a reimbursement from men. When we give to God, we should expect our reward from God only!

St. Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked (NIV).

The giving that pleases God the most is the one directed towards the poor and the needy. God cares about all his children, but especially so about the poor and the needy among his people. Whatever we do for any of God’s needy people is described in Scripture as being done to God himself.

St. Matthew 10:40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.

St. Matthew 10:41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.

St. Matthew 10:42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” (NIV).

St. Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ’Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

St. Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

St. Matthew 25:36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

St. Matthew 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ’Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

St. Matthew 25:38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

St. Matthew 25:39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

St. Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ’Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (NIV).

When we give to the poor, we are lending to God and we can be sure God will pay us back with huge interest! That’s what’s taught everywhere in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation.

Proverbs 19:17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and he will repay you! (NLT).

Psalms 112:9 They give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will never be forgotten. They will have influence and honor (NLT).

Our Lord taught us to specially remember the poor when we are rejoicing and feasting. The natural inclination during our moments of celebration is to invite only our kith and kin to our parties. We always invite people that can repay us with similar invitations during their own celebrations. However, Jesus gives a slightly different advice to his people when they’re feasting or partying. Let’s hear from the Master.

St. Luke 14:12 Then he turned to his host. ” When you put on a luncheon or a dinner,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will repay you by inviting you back.

St. Luke 14:13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.

St. Luke 14:14 Then at the resurrection of the godly, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.” (NLT).

Yes, the poor and the needy are here with us to test our love for God. You cannot claim to love God whom you have not seen, while neglecting his poor children who are with you, especially when you can make a difference in relieving their needs. God is well pleased by such sacrificial love displayed towards the poor and needy of his people.

1 John 4:20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen (NIV).

1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (NIV).

Hebrews 13:16 Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are pleasing to God (AMP).

In conclusion, giving to the poor and the needy is a great act of charity and worship that blesses men and glorifies God. However, such acts of charity can easily be transformed into an ego trip. We must be careful to always examine and purify our motives when we give, while ensuring that our alms are done in secret. It is only when we give willingly and cheerfully, out of a sanctified heart propelled by genuine love for God and man, that we will be abundantly blessed by God. Anything outside of this will not bring any divine blessings to us for our acts of charity, even if men praise us to the highest heavens.

When Divorce Is Scriptural And Lawful For A Christian

Divorce or “dissolution of marriage” is a legal process in which a judge or other authority dissolves the bonds of matrimony existing between two persons, thus restoring them to the status of being single and permitting them to marry other individuals (www.wikipedia.org). It is estimated that half of all marriages in the West will end in divorce. In the developing world, the divorce rate is certainly lower. However, the trend is rising globally, and divorce is becoming increasingly common the world over, with great impact on family life and the institution of marriage.

What does the Bible say about divorce?What’s the perception of Scripture on the dissolution of marriage before death of either partner? We shall examine Scripture carefully to find God’s view on divorce and the circumstances, if any, under which divorce can be legitimately procured by Christians.

God designed the institution of marriage to be a lifelong relationship between a man and a woman, for the purpose of companionship, sexual interaction and procreation. The plan of God is that, two people will become joined by marriage to become one flesh, and that the union should not be put asunder by any man.

Matthew 19:4 He answered, Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

Matthew 19:5 and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh?

Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate (ESV).

God hates divorce and dissolution of the marriage bond. His perfect plan for mankind is that marriages would last a lifetime and only be dissolved by the death of a partner. Only death should ideally dissolve the marriage bond between a man and a woman.

Malachi 2:15 Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.

Malachi 2:16 “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the Lord Almighty. “So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife.” (NLT).

St. Matthew 19:3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for any reason?”

St. Matthew 19:4 ” Haven’t you read the Scriptures? ” Jesus replied. ” They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’

St. Matthew 19:5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’

St. Matthew 19:6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.”

St. Matthew 19:7 “Then why did Moses say a man could merely write an official letter of divorce and send her away?” they asked.

St. Matthew 19:8 Jesus replied, ” Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended.

St. Matthew 19:9 And I tell you this, a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.” (NLT).

1 Corinthians 7:10 Now, for those who are married I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:11 But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife (NLT).

From the above scriptures, we see that God does not like divorce, as he intended for marriages to last for a lifetime and produce strong families that will create healthy environments for child-bearing and child-rearing, as well as provide lifelong companionship for couples. Spouses are supposed to be friends, companions and mates for life. Only death is supposed to break the bond of marriage.

Romans 7:1 Now, dear brothers and sisters—you who are familiar with the law—don’t you know that the law applies only to a person who is still living?

Romans 7:2 Let me illustrate. When a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her.

Romans 7:3 So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law and does not commit adultery when she remarries (NLT).

To presume to dissolve the marriage bond under unlawful conditions not recognised by Scripture is to live in delusion. God does not recognise such dissolutions, and any partner from such unscriptural dissolutions who marries another person is considered by Scripture to be living in adultery. Any sexual relationship with someone who’s divorced on unacceptable scriptural grounds is adulterous!

Matthew 5:32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery (NKJV).

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (NKJV).

As glorious and as desirous as God’s perfect will for mankind on the issue of marriage is, it becomes necessary in certain circumstances to dissolve the bond of marriage before the death of a partner, and render both parties single and free to lawfully and legitimately re-marry to other people. One of such circumstances that Scripture recognises as a legitimate ground for divorce is sexual immorality and unfaithfulness of a spouse. Infidelity violates the marital vow and attracts divine judgement.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage must be honored in every respect, with no cheating on the relationship, because God will judge the sexually immoral person and the person who commits adultery (CEB).

The partner cheated upon has a biblical right to seek for dissolution of the marriage bond on the grounds of unfaithfulness, although he or she may choose to forgive and continue with the marriage. This condition is clearly stated in the scriptures quoted by our Lord above. In saying “except for sexual immorality”, the Lord approves sexual immorality of a spouse as a legitimate ground for divorce. That was the ground Joseph wanted to use to put away Mary, when she was found to be pregnant before their union had been consummated.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

Matthew 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

Matthew 1:23 Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,

Matthew 1:25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus (ESV).

Joseph believed he had a legitimate ground to divorce Mary because he wasn’t responsible for her pregnancy, having never had sexual relations with her. He believed she had been unfaithful to him and therefore deserved to be put away. However, the angel of God appeared to him and explained the special circumstances of Mary’s supernatural pregnancy. That cleared Joseph’s doubt and prevented him from divorcing Mary. Thus, we see that unfaithfulness of a spouse is a legitimate scriptural ground for divorce.

Another legitimate ground in Scripture for the dissolution of the marriage bond is desertion and abandonment by a partner. If a spouse abandons the Christian faith and the marriage and carries on, the abandoned spouse has a scriptural ground to seek for legal dissolution of the marriage. Since the spouse has absconded and abdicated his or her marital duties, the marriage is effectively over. The deserted partner can seek to be loosed from the marriage. The Scripture says such a partner is not under the bond of the marriage anymore. He or she is free to dissolve the marriage and move on in peace.

1 Corinthians 7:12 I (not the Lord) say to the rest of you: If any Christian man is married to a woman who is an unbeliever, and she is willing to live with him, he should not divorce her.

1 Corinthians 7:13 If any Christian woman is married to a man who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to live with her, she should not divorce her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:14 Actually, the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and an unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise, their children would be unacceptable to God, but now they are acceptable to him.

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving partners leave, let them go. Under these circumstances a Christian man or Christian woman is not bound by a marriage vow. God has called you to live in peace (GodsWord).

Deliberate, persistent and prolonged denial of a partner’s conjugal rights is another scriptural ground for divorce. It is almost the same as desertion, just that in this case, the partner is physically present but functionally absent, having absconded from his or her duties. One of the main purposes of marriage is to provide a legitimate outlet for sexual relations. Only in the context of marriage is sexual relations lawful.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge (NKJV).

The Bible admonishes all those who cannot control their sexual desires to get married inorder to have a legitimate outlet to release sexual tension, among other things. Spouses are not to deny each other sexual intercourse, except with mutual agreement.

1 Corinthians 7:1 Now about the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to live a celibate life.

1 Corinthians 7:2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:5 So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control (NLT).

Once a partner is persistently and consistently denied his or her conjugal rights over a prolonged period of time, the defrauded partner has the scriptural right to seek for dissolution of the marriage bond, because one of the main reasons why he or she got married in the first place is not being fulfilled. The marriage is not providing the outlet for the release of sexual tensions, because of the deprivation of conjugal rights. Rather than remain in such a farce of a marriage and be having unlawful extra-marital sexual relations, the deprived partner should seek for divorce and remarry, in order to find a legitimate outlet for sexual fulfilment. A similar scenario is found in the Old Testament, concerning married female slaves deprived of their conjugal rights by their owner-husbands. In such cases, the women were permitted by God to leave the marriage and find marital fulfilment elsewhere.

Exodus 21:7 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.

Exodus 21:8 If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.

Exodus 21:9 And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.

Exodus 21:10 If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.

Exodus 21:11 If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment (NLT).

Another scriptural ground to separate from a spouse is based on personal security and safety. When there is continual threat to one’s life in a marriage characterised by abuse and violence, one of the main purposes of marriage is defeated. Marriage is to provide intimate companionship and friendship, apart from being a legitimate outlet for sexual expression and procreation. A spouse is to be one’s most trusted and reliable partner and friend with whom one should feel most secure and safe. However, if that person you literally trust with your life becomes abusive, violent and a threat to your life, you’ll be a fool to continue to live with such a person under the same roof. He or she is no longer a friend and has become an enemy. Sleeping with an enemy on the same bed is the height of madness! You’ll get killed sooner or later. Flee for your life while you still have a living chance!

David was in a similar situation at one point in time. He had married the daughter of King Saul, a man who hated him with passion and wanted him dead by all means. Although David’s wife sided with him against her father in his bid to kill him and even helped him to escape an assassination attempt masterminded by her father, remaining in that marriage where his life was under constant threat was untenable. David had to abandon his wife and flee for his life! Marriage is for the living, not for the dead!

1 Samuel 19:11 Then Saul sent troops to watch David’s house. They were told to kill David when he came out the next morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t get away tonight, you will be dead by morning.”

1 Samuel 19:12 So she helped him climb out through a window, and he escaped.

1 Samuel 19:13 Then she took an idol and put it in his bed, covered it with blankets, and put a cushion of goat’s hair at its head.

1 Samuel 19:14 When the troops came to arrest David, she told them he was sick and couldn’t get out of bed.

1 Samuel 19:15 “Then bring him to me in his bed,” Saul ordered, “so I can kill him as he lies there!” And he sent them back to David’s house.

1 Samuel 19:16 But when they came to carry David out, they discovered that it was only an idol in the bed with a cushion of goat’s hair at its head.

1 Samuel 19:17 “Why have you tricked me and let my enemy escape?” Saul demanded of Michal. “I had to,” Michal replied. “He threatened to kill me if I didn’t help him.”

1 Samuel 19:18 So David got away and went to Ramah to see Samuel, and he told him all that Saul had done to him. Then Samuel took David with him to live at Naioth.

David separated from Saul’s daughter until after Saul’s death. As long as Saul was alive and was King of Israel, living with his daughter was unsafe for David. Though she loved him and was on his side, her loyalty to her father could make her change her mind one day and sell him out. How much so if one’s spouse is the direct source of the threat to one’s life! It’s unsafe to live with a spouse who is violent, who abuses one physically and who threatens one’s life. One day, such a violent person could kill you! The abused person should separate from the abusive partner and re-evaluate the whole set up, while watching the partner from a distance. There should be serious evidence of change and repentance from the abusive partner before one should reconsider the idea of going back to the marriage. However, if the abuse continues, leave that marriage like yesterday! “Till death do us part” does not mean your spouse should be the agent of your death! You married someone to love you for life, not someone to snuff out your life! Leave while you can! So many people have been killed in violent and abusive relationships, aided and abetted by pastors, relatives and friends, who pressured them to continue to stay in those relationships to work things out, against their better judgement. Don’t sacrifice your life in marriage to please your relatives, pastors or friends! Stay alive and fulfil your God-given destiny and dreams. Don’t become another cold statistic of domestic violence.

Marriage is designed to be a loving, peaceful relationship, not a battleground! Jesus commanded those experiencing persecution to flee from their persecutors. When your spouse becomes a violent persecutor, it’s time to flee from him or her!

Matthew 10:23 When they persecute you in one town [that is, pursue you in a manner that would injure you and cause you to suffer because of your belief], flee to another town; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes (AMP).

Even Jesus recognised that the hardness of a person’s heart towards his spouse, which could lead to violence, was a permissible ground for divorce. A partner who has become hardened and violent towards his or her spouse is dangerous, and should be avoided by all means. That hard-hearted wicked person habouring murderous rage is just a step away from becoming a murderer. Don’t assist him or her in executing their murderous mischief. Flee while you can!

St. Matthew 19:8 Jesus replied, ” Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended (NLT).

Next, I want to talk about the issue of divorce for marriages procured under false pretenses. Being deceived or coerced into marrying someone makes such marriages not valid in law, and that is a legitimate and scriptural ground for dissolution of the marriage. Marriage is a union that should be based on trust, from the moment it’s contracted to the end. People agree to marry someone because of what the person appears to be or projects to be. If they were misled or deliberately deceived into a marriage because certain facts which should have been made known to them (which could have influenced their decisions) were deliberately withheld from them, then such marriages were contracted under false pretenses. The deceived party has a right to seek for the dissolution of the marriage. An example in Scripture was the marriage between Jacob and Leah. Jacob was deceived into marrying Leah. He was in love with Rachel and never loved Leah. He laboured and paid the bride price for Rachel, only for Leah to be smuggled into his bed on the wedding night, under cover of darkness! His anger and fury the next morning when he woke up to see Leah by his side, instead of his beloved Rachel, can only be imagined!

Genesis 29:15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”

Genesis 29:16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

Genesis 29:17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.

Genesis 29:18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

Genesis 29:19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.”

Genesis 29:20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

Genesis 29:21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”

Genesis 29:22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.

Genesis 29:23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her.

Genesis 29:25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”

Genesis 29:26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.

Genesis 29:27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”

Genesis 29:28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.

Genesis 29:30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years (NIV).

What deception! I’m sure Jacob’s exact scenario can’t be replicated today, because there’s just no way you won’t get to see your bride before sleeping with her! However, it happened to Jacob and he felt bitter about it for the rest of his life. He never loved Leah throughout the farce of a marriage. He was deceived to marry a woman he never loved and that made their union loveless and miserable for both of them. It was a disaster for both of them! Jacob never loved Leah and Leah was never happy all though her marriage. You can’t deceive or trick someone into marrying you and expect love to blossom in that relationship that sprang out of lies, deceit and devious scheming!

Genesis 29:30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

Genesis 29:31 When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.

Genesis 29:32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”

Genesis 29:33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.

Genesis 29:34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.

If polygamy was not permitted for the patriarchs (under which Jacob could still marry his preferred woman in addition to the woman who was deceitfully forced on him by his treacherous father-in-law), Jacob would have divorced Leah (as soon as he was out of his father-in-law’s house and it was safe for him to do so!), and he would have been justified! Marriage by deception is unlawful and cannot stand! You can’t be deceived and forced to live with someone you don’t love for the rest of your life! That would be living in bondage for both partners!

Marriage by deceit today will include marriage under such circumstances like not revealing one’s true sexual orientation to your partner before marriage, or failure to disclose certain important issues about your past and identity that could have influenced your partner’s decision to marry you (like a woman who has had her womb removed and failed to tell her partner before marriage, a man who knew he was impotent or sterile but failed to inform his partner before marriage, a woman or a man who has had children in a previous relationship and failed to disclose that before marriage, etc). Marriages contracted under such circumstances amount to marrying under false pretenses, and the deceived partners have a legitimate right to seek for the dissolution of such deceitfully contacted marriages.

Finally, we shall consider another scenario in the Bible- where people are kidnapped and are forced into marriage against their will, what I will describe as marriage by force, rather than by choice. Let us consider a scriptural example of this type of marriage.

Judges 21:15 The people grieved for Benjamin, because the LORD had made a gap in the tribes of Israel.

Judges 21:16 And the elders of the assembly said, “With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left?

Judges 21:17 The Benjamite survivors must have heirs,” they said, “so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out.

Judges 21:18 We can’t give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: ’Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.’

Judges 21:19 But look, there is the annual festival of the LORD in Shiloh, which lies north of Bethel, east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.”

Judges 21:20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, “Go and hide in the vineyards

Judges 21:21 and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife. Then return to the land of Benjamin.

Judges 21:22 When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, ’Do us the favor of helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war. You will not be guilty of breaking your oath because you did not give your daughters to them.’”

Judges 21:23 So that is what the Benjamites did. While the young women were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.

Judges 21:24 At that time the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance.

Judges 21:25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit (NIV).

The passages above described examples of marriage by force, following kidnapping. That’s more like kidnapping and rape, and not marriage! Such a marriage in normal times in Israel would not have stood, but the condition in Israel then was not normal, as lawlessness and anarchy was the order of the day at that time, as shown by the last verse of that chapter:

Judges 21:25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

Marriage by abduction and force is unlawful and should be dissolved as soon as possible, and the kidnapper and rapist punished appropriately. Even Scripture is very clear about what should happen to a kidnapper.

Exodus 21:16 “Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper’s possession (NIV).

1 Timothy 1:10 Laws are intended for people involved in sexual sins, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for those who lie when they take an oath, and for whatever else is against accurate teachings (GodsWord).

In conclusion, marriage as designed by God was intended to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman that should only be dissolved by the death of a partner. However, in some circumstances, God permits the dissolution of the marriage bond before the death of a spouse. Legitimate divorce can be obtained on such scriptural grounds as unfaithfulness, desertion, denial of conjugal rights, abuse and threat to life, as well as marriages contracted by deception and by force. To avoid such traumatic experiences, children of God should prayerfully seek the face of God and thoroughly investigate people they intend to marry. More importantly, Christians should be guided by the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and their God-given instincts when choosing a spouse, to minimise the risk of contracting a marriage that will end in divorce. Marriages should be based on love, as love does prevent as well as cover a multitude of sins. Also, forgiveness should be readily available in marriage. A legitimate right to divorce may not be exercised if an individual so chooses. However, exercising such a right is not a sin! One should not be forced to remain in miserable captivity for life, in a marriage that has scriptural grounds for dissolution. God is not a sadist!

Romance And Sexual Intimacy In Marriage: God’s Expectations For Christian Couples

Romance and sexual intimacy among married Christians are not topics that are frequently taught or freely discussed, because sex is a general taboo area among Christians, and its discussion considered carnal and unspiritual. A lot of Christians therefore cannot openly ask questions about sex and romance, and a lot of marriages thus suffer from this ignorance of the role of sex in marriage. This article intends to candidly discuss the biblical view of romance and sex in the context of marriage.

Marriage, the union of a man and a woman for intimate companionship and sexual interaction, is the only legitimate avenue God designed for lawful sexual intercourse. Any sex outside the context of heterosexual marriage is illegitimate and sinful, and attracts divine punishment and sanctions. This is what the Bible teaches.

Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers (NRSV).

One of the purposes of marriage is for lawful sexual intimacy, for it is in the context of sexual union that the man and the woman become one in marriage. The two literally become one during sexual intercourse!

Genesis 2:23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.”

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Genesis 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed (NRSV).

1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!

1 Corinthians 6:16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” (NRSV).

So, as we can see above, the oneness of the man and the woman is achieved through sexual intercourse. Sex unites a man and a woman and makes them become one flesh. This may or may not lead to child-bearing, which enhances this oneness, as the offsprings permanently make the couple one, bearing an equal portion of each parent’s genetic material in their DNA. Literally, parents are united in their children.

But, sex in marriage is not just designed for procreation. This is evident from the fact that partners can have the urge for sex outside a woman’s likely period of conception, and any sexual desires from a partner should not be denied by the other person, irrespective of the time the desire is experienced, except with mutual agreement and consent, when couples are fasting and praying.

1 Corinthians 7:2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:5 So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control (NLT).

How does the Bible view romance and love-making between married people? Is the Bible against romantic relationships between married people? We will be shocked to see how the Bible encourages romance among married people! God is not a sadist, and he actually expects married people to have fun and enjoy themselves romantically! Sex was meant for fun and pleasure also, not just for procreation!

Proverbs 5:15 Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife.

Proverbs 5:16 Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone?

Proverbs 5:17 You should reserve it for yourselves. Don’t share it with strangers.

Proverbs 5:18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 5:19 She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.

Proverbs 5:20 Why be captivated, my son, with an immoral woman, or embrace the breasts of an adulterous woman? (NLT).

Yes, it’s in the Bible! A couple is supposed to enjoy each other and be intoxicated with love for each other. Yes, a woman’s breasts are not only to suckle a baby; they’re also to satisfy her husband! God is a God of romance, and expects his children to be romantic with their spouses! Marriage is a sexual and romantic relationship designed to be exciting and full of enjoyment! Religion may cage and limit people, but God liberates people and grants them joy! Saved people are joyful people, though religious people may be stiff and boring and always stern looking!

Isaiah 12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation (NIV).

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (KJV).

The patriarchs and God’s holy people in ancient times were used to romantic love with their spouses. Isaac and Rebekah were even recorded to be cuddled up and loving themselves in a very romantic way. Infact, it was this romance between them that gave them out as husband and wife, because they had been living in disguise as brother and sister! Their romance gave them up as husband and and wife! Married couples should be distinguished by their romantic relationships!

Genesis 26:6 So Isaac lived in Gerar.

Genesis 26:7 When the men of that place asked about his wife, Isaac answered, “She’s my sister.” He was afraid to say “my wife.” He thought that the men of that place would kill him to get Rebekah, because she was an attractive woman.

Genesis 26:8 When he had been there a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines looked out of his window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.

Genesis 26:9 Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “So she’s really your wife! How could you say, ‘She’s my sister’?” Isaac answered him, “I thought I would be killed because of her.”

Genesis 26:10 Then Abimelech said, “What have you done to us! One of the people might have easily gone to bed with your wife, and then you would have made us guilty of sin.”

Genesis 26:11 So Abimelech ordered his people, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death.” (GodsWord).

In the Songs of Solomon, we see the expression of romantic love in mind-blowing ways. From beginning to the end, we see how married people should love and express their love to their spouses. In word and in deed, we see love expressed in sublime ways that should be the prototype of the love and romance in Christian marriages. This is the book of love for married people, which should be read together by couples and meticulously put into practice!

Song of Solomon 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth — for your love is more delightful than wine (NIV).

Yes, romantic kissing is lawful and is to be shared between couples in marriage. Every part of the body is a sex organ and should be used by couples to excite and please each other in marriage. We read earlier that the wife should satisfy her husband with her breasts. Now, we’re seeing here that kissing is part of love-making for married children of God! It’s not a sin for married people to kiss and romance! We saw Isaac romancing his wife. Romance is not a sin in marriage! Speak romantic words to your spouse and excite your spouse when it’s appropriate.

Song of Solomon 4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Song of Solomon 4:9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Song of Solomon 4:11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon (NIV).

Sex is a total experience that involves the body, the spirit and the soul. The entire body is a sex organ that should be explored and utilised to excite and please one’s spouse. Every organ system in a human being is activated during sex, making every organ system a sex organ. The entire senses are also involved in sex- sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch-and all should be employed to please and satisfy one’s spouse. How one dresses, how one smells, how one looks at one’s spouse, what one says and how one touches and tastes one’s spouse all have the ability to trigger sex hormones and spark as well as satisfy sexual desire. We see examples of all that in the Songs of Solomon.

Song of Solomon 1:3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you!

Song of Solomon 1:9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.

Song of Solomon 1:10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

Song of Solomon 1:11 We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.

Song of Solomon 2:1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

Song of Solomon 2:2 Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women.

Song of Solomon 2:3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

Song of Solomon 2:4 Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.

Song of Solomon 2:5 Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.

Song of Solomon 2:6 His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.

Song of Solomon 4:9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Song of Solomon 4:10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!

Song of Solomon 4:11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

Song of Solomon 4:15 You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.

Song of Solomon 4:16 Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits (NIV).

God has left the details of the intimacy and love in marriage for married couples to spend an entire lifetime to explore and discover. The journey of love and romance between married people starts from the wedding day and doesn’t end until the marriage is legally dissolved. It’s a lifetime of adventure, where couples are expected to open up to each other and discover deep and enthralling secrets about each other, and use those knowledge to please one another. Marriage is all about discovering how to please your spouse and making one another fulfilled and satisfied emotionally, sexually and otherwise.

1 Corinthians 7:33 But a married man can’t do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be more devoted to the Lord in body and in spirit, while the married woman must be concerned about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband (NLT).

There is nothing that is out of bounds for couples while making love and playing with each other’s body, as long as it’s not dangerous to health and it’s not expressly forbidden by the Word of God. A married couple should not be ashamed in the presence of each other, and they should be comfortable and relaxed with each other in the most intimate way possible.

Genesis 2:25 Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame (NLT).

A couple becomes truly one in marriage and no man, not even a preacher, should try to separate or hinder this profound intimacy by teachings that tend to put false and hypocritical religious barriers between two people who have become one indeed!

St. Matthew 19:5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’

St. Matthew 19:6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.” (NLT).

No one should set limits or create artificial boundaries and limitations for how a married Christian couple should make love or what styles of love-making is appropriate or not appropriate. Scripture is silent about that, making whatever happens behind closed doors between married people a matter of personal likes, comfort and adventure. Whatever a couple is comfortable with and enjoy is okay. There is no style of love-making between married people that’s carnal or ungodly! To whoever is pure in heart and mind, all things are pure! Love-making between married couples is pure and undefiled!

Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled (AKJV).

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge (AKJV).

Married couples should feel free to express themselves to their partners and make their emotional and sexual needs known. Couples should relax in each other’s presence and allow their partners the freedom to explore their bodies to find out what really excites them and bring satisfaction to them. In marriage, your body belongs to your partner!

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife (NLT).

Women should feel free to demand sex from their husbands! It’s not a sign of being carnal or being spoilt. Rather, it’s a sign of openness and the ability to communicate one’s intimate needs to one’s partner without any feelings of shame or guilt. It’s a sign of true oneness with one’s husband. Leah, Jacob’s wife, was open and free of shame to demand for sex, as well as initiate love-making with her husband!

Genesis 30:16 So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I have paid for you with some mandrake roots my son has found.” So Jacob slept with her (NLT).

Yes, a wife can initiate and demand for sex as much as the husband. Anyone in need should make her or his needs known to the other spouse, and the other person has an obligation to fulfill those needs, with no excuses! Marriage is about being ready to please the other person and meet expressed or perceived needs at all times! Don’t deny your spouse sex, as this amounts to creating room for temptation by the enemy to lure the denied partner into extra-marital relationships! One of the purposes of marriage is to avoid sexual immorality by having a legitimate means of satisfying one’s sexual needs. Being denied legitimate sex in marriage is an open invitation to extra-marital sex and marital unfaithfulness!

1 Corinthians 7:2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:5 So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control (NLT).

Under the law, prolonged and deliberate denial of one’s conjugal rights was a legitimate reason to terminate a marriage. Of course that makes sense, since one of the fundamental reasons of marriage is to provide a legitimate outlet for sexual intercourse and satisfaction of sexual needs. If the satisfaction of those needs is being denied, then the aim of the marriage is defeated!

Exodus 21:9 And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.

Exodus 21:10 If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.

Exodus 21:11 If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment (NLT).

Immoral and strange women can go to great lengths to make themselves and their environments romantic and sexually enticing, inorder to lure men into sexual sins. They do that to excite passions which exist in every man. Just imagine this scenario described in Scripture as an immoral woman goes about to lure a man into sexual sins.

Proverbs 7:10 The woman approached him, dressed seductively and sly of heart.

Proverbs 7:13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said,

Proverbs 7:15 It’s you I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are!

Proverbs 7:16 My bed is spread with colored sheets of finest linen imported from Egypt.

Proverbs 7:17 I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

Proverbs 7:18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,

Proverbs 7:21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him (NLT).

What an art of seduction, appealing to all the senses- smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch! No wonder the man subjected to this barrage of multi-pronged temptation fell so hopelessly into the seductress’ laps! Now, is there any reason why a wife can’t use same methods on her own husband? Why can’t a married woman dress to seduce her own husband when they are alone? Why can’t a married woman use pleasant perfumes, romantic words, tender touches and the right visuals to appeal to all the senses of her husband inorder to seduce and make love to him? A married woman has every legitimate right in the eyes of both God and man to do that, and it’s perfectly lawful for her because it’s her husband! The same way, a husband can legitimately use such seductive tactics on his wife! A married couple can use any seductive means on their spouses! In some areas like this, Christians have a lot to learn from the children of the world, because they’re sometimes wiser than us in worldly and carnal things. Even our Lord Jesus advised us to do so!

Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light (AKJV).

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (AKJV).

Husbands are enjoined by Scripture to love their wives and express such love in tangible ways that can be seen and felt, just as Christ loved the Church and expressed it in tangible and visible ways.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (AKJV).

In a similar fashion, wives are to be taught to love their husbands in tender, affectionate and passionate ways, and are to make such love known and felt by their husbands.

Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children (AKJV).

In conclusion, the spousal love to be expressed by married couples to each other is unconditional (agape), passionate and erotic. The love between a husband and a wife is romantic, pure and undefiled, and the sex between them is godly and is to be enjoyed passionately at all times and not just for child-bearing. Nothing deepens the bonds between a couple more than regular and passionate sex, as this is one instance where the two become literally one! Enjoy all the fun and sex in marriage here on earth because in heaven, there will be no marriage and there will be no sex!

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days. For that is your portion in life and in your struggle under the sun (HCSB).

Find A Spouse That Fits Your Body, Spirit And Soul: The Biblical Guide To Making The Right Choice In Marriage

Marriage was the first institution established by God, for the purpose of implementing his mission for man to multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. It was to provide a lawful framework for man to achieve companionship, sexual fulfilment and bring about procreation and perpetuation of the species.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.

Genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

Genesis 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

Genesis 2:23 Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (ESV).

Adam, the first man God created, had no choice in the selection of his wife, as Eve was literally given to him by God. He was put to a deep sleep and woke up only to find a woman by his side! Adam had no say at all in choosing his bride, making him the only man who could legitimately blame God for marrying the wrong woman! And he did blame God when things went wrong between him and his wife!

Genesis 3:11 He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?

Genesis 3:12 The man said, The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate (ESV).

After this accusation by Adam, God stopped giving spouses to people. He has since then allowed people to make their own choices when it comes to finding a spouse. Now, everyone has to find his/her own spouse. If you make the right choice, you enjoy your marriage. If you make the wrong choice, you suffer the consequences and may endure a lifetime of agony and regrets.

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD (ESV).

The choosing of a spouse is one of the most important decisions an individual will be confronted with in a lifetime. This is because God intends for marriage to be a lifelong union as he hates divorce and separation. Marriage is not intended to be a trial and error stuff, so it should be entered into in the most careful and sober manner! It’s supposed to be a union that ought to be put asunder only by the death of a partner!

St. Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Matthew 19:4 He answered, Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

Matthew 19:5 and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh?

Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.

Matthew 19:7 They said to him, Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?

Matthew 19:8 He said to them, Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery (ESV).

Romans 7:2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.

Romans 7:3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man (ESV).

Because marriage is intended by God to be a lifelong union that should be dissolved only by death, people have to be very careful how they choose their spouses. This article intends to give a scriptural guide on how to choose a partner that will increase the chances of lifelong enjoyment of marriage and the blessings that go with it.

Let’s start by reviewing the purpose of marriage. This will guide in making the right choice of a partner who will help one achieve those purposes. Marriage was designed by God to provide intimate companionship between a man and a woman, allow for lawful sexual intercourse, child-bearing and rearing, as well as ensure mutual support and encouragement. The scriptural references above confirm some of these purposes. The references outlined below validate the rest.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Ecclesiastes 4:11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?

Ecclesiastes 4:12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken (ESV).

1 Corinthians 7:2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband (ESV).

Having broadly outlined the purposes of marriage above, let us now consider the qualities one should look for in a partner, taking cognizance of one’s make up and the need to achieve the goals listed above. We should look at one’s make up in terms of the body (physical compatibility), needs of the soul (spiritual compatibility) and needs of the spirit (social compatibility). The tripartite bonds achieved at these three levels will ensure a strong relationship that will not be easily broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken (ESV).

Let’s start with spiritual compatibility. The first thing a Christian should consider in choosing a spouse is spiritual compatibility. Christians should marry people of like precious faith who will be able to encourage and assist them in their spiritual race, and not pull them down or derail them spiritually. If you marry someone whose faith is opposed to yours, you will make a shipwreck of your faith. In both the Old and New Testaments, God’s people are commanded not to marry outside of the faith, so as not to get corrupted spiritually.

Exodus 34:11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

Exodus 34:12 Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you.

Exodus 34:13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles.

Exodus 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Exodus 34:15 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.

Exodus 34:16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same (NIV).

1 Corinthians 7:39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord (NIV).

Solomon, the wisest man that lived under the Old Testament, was derailed in his faith and ended up worshipping foreign gods and serving idols, because he married women who worshipped and served idols. Solomon ended up departing from the true God because his heart was seduced and turned to idols by his idolatrous wives. That’s why a Christian is commanded by Scripture to marry only a fellow believer like himself or herself!

1 Kings 11:1 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter —Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.

1 Kings 11:2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.

1 Kings 11:3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.

1 Kings 11:4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

1 Kings 11:5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites.

1 Kings 11:6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.

1 Kings 11:7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites.

1 Kings 11:8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.

1 Kings 11:9 The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.

1 Kings 11:10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command.

1 Kings 11:11 So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates (NIV).

A Christian marrying a non-Christian or marrying someone with divergent spiritual beliefs is a disaster waiting to happen! You will most certainly end up like Solomon did, and lose favour with God. Your heart will be led astray from God. And when you backslide or fall spiritually, there will be no one to lift you up! Rather than being united in faith with your partner, there will be discord and spiritual disunity at home! You can’t afford to live your entire life under such spiritual tension, discord and disunity. The strain and stress will be too much for you to bear. You will not enjoy your marriage and you will lose the spiritual support and encouragement a spouse of like precious faith brings into marriage. Don’t think you can be wiser than God. Wise King Solomon tried it and ended up miserable and shipwrecked.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

Ecclesiastes 4:10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up (NIV).

Next, let’s look at the issue of physical or bodily compatibility. God has placed in the heart of every individual unique interests, desires and preferences. We all have individual idiosyncracies, personal tastes and opinions that make us unique and distinguish us from everyone else. We all have unique desires God has wired into us, which is part of our unique DNA and genetic make-up. God promised to grant us those desires of our hearts if we commit our ways to him.

Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.

Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalms 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass (AKJV).

Because we’re all uniquely wired, each person has different combinations of physical traits that attract them to people of the opposite sex. Some are attracted to fair-complexioned people, whereas others prefer dark-coloured people. Some like tall people, just as some prefer short people. Some are moved by fat people, just like others are excited by slim people. Some men are excited by big breasted-women, just like others prefer women with small breasts. Some men love women with big buttocks, just as other men admire women with small buttocks. All these different desires make each person unique. Each individual should look for those physical attributes that they admire so much and that attract them to people of the opposite sex. It is those attractions that spark romantic and sexual desires that are necessary for intimacy and bonding. Go for someone you’re physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to! Erotic love is an important part of marriage, and is necessary to spark the flames that energise and light up the matrimonial bed!

All the patriarchs and holy prophets in the Bible married women they considered beautiful and attractive. Being spiritual men didn’t make them settle for women they didn’t find physically and sexually attractive! Spirituality does not preclude unique physical and erotic desires! Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was a very beautiful woman. She was so beautiful that Abraham was afraid other men would conspire to kill him just to have her as wife!

Genesis 12:10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.

Genesis 12:11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are.

Genesis 12:12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ’This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live.

Genesis 12:13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

Genesis 12:14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman.

Genesis 12:15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace (NIV).

Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, was also a very beautiful woman, though spiritual and chaste. She too was so pretty that Isaac was afraid other more powerful men would kill him to have her as wife!

Genesis 24:15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor.

Genesis 24:16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

Genesis 26:6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.

Genesis 26:7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.” (NIV).

Rachel, Jacob’s preferred wife, was also a very beautiful woman: her beauty of character and body made Jacob so love her that he laboured for a total of 14 years, just to pay her dowry! And those years seemed like days to him, because of the great love he had for her!

Genesis 29:16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

Genesis 29:17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.

Genesis 29:18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

Genesis 29:19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.”

Genesis 29:20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her (NIV).

Marry someone you love and are attracted to physically, emotionally and sexually! Marry someone you consider beautiful in your own eyes! Don’t marry for pity or just because the person is wealthy or has unique spiritual or other gifts. You’re not marrying a spouse for the sake of opening a church or ministry, neither are you marrying someone to sing or preach to you. You can get all the preaching from anointed pastors, and all the singing from gifted and anointed musicians. In marriage, you need someone you love, and someone who equally loves you enough to want to be with you for the rest of their life.

If you don’t marry someone you love very much and are very much attracted to (physically, emotionally and sexually), you’ll soon find your partner boring, and you’ll soon start admiring people outside that have the qualities you’ve admired all your life! When strong erotic love is not there, you’ll soon be looking for a way out, because you’ll be enduring and not enjoying your marriage!

Marriage should be based on passionate love and romance, not on pity or material possession, and not on visions and revelations! Don’t marry a dream! Don’t marry someone because your prophet or pastor said it’s the will of God for you! If it’s the will of God for you, it will match the God-given desires in your heart! God should reveal his will for you in marriage to you, not to another, because you’re the one involved! The will of God will make you happy and fulfilled, not sad and always looking outside and coveting and lusting after other people, while you’re married to another! The will of God will match the desires God has wired into you!

Song of Solomon 1:9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.

Song of Solomon 1:10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

Song of Solomon 1:15 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.

Song of Solomon 1:16 How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant (NIV).

Song of Solomon 4:9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Song of Solomon 4:10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!

Song of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal upon thy heart, As a seal upon thine arm: For love is strong as death; Jealousy is cruel as Sheol; The flashes thereof are flashes of fire, A very flame of Jehovah.

Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, Neither can floods drown it: If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, He would utterly be contemned (NIV).

Don’t marry to satisfy anybody else but yourself. Don’t marry to fulfill anyone’s desires but your own- not your parents’, not your pastor’s, not your prophet’s, not anybody’s! You will live with that spouse for the rest of your life! If you forfeit your heart desires to please others, you will either endure suffering in marriage for the rest of your life, or you will jump ship midway! You cannot ignore your God-given unique desires meant to guide you from the inside, like an in-built GPS, and not miss your way in life, to your regret and sorrow!

We will move to the final area of compatibility to be considered in choosing a spouse- social compatibility, as it affects the spirit of man. Here, we will consider compatibility of intellect, educational level, social interests, as well as personality types. It’s important to find a spouse that matches or fits one’s educational level and social interests. One of the reasons for marriage is intimate companionship. To be able to perform that function well, partners must be able to connect and relate with each other intellectually, emotionally, and socially. They should be able to communicate and understand each other easily, and be able to relax and flow comfortably in each other’s social circles. Once there’s a disparity in any of these areas, the bond in that area will be weak, and couples will find themselves increasingly alienated from each other as they pursue divergent and sometimes opposing interests.

Amos 3:3 Do two walk together, unless they have agreed? (WEB).

You must agree with your partner socially, educationally and otherwise, to be able to walk together without confusion and without undue strain and mistrust. Marry someone you’ll be proud to display before your family, friends and the general public, not someone you’ll be ashamed to be identified with in public!

Also, your worldviews must match if the union is to survive joyfully for long. For instance, marriage between a conservative Christian man and a liberal Christian woman will have a lot of friction and strain. While a conservative man sees himself as the head of the family and expects his wife to be subject to him, a liberal woman will see herself as co-equal and a fellow head with her husband in the marriage. This tension is capable of tearing the marriage apart, as the issue of subjection will be hotlly contested. Two captains cannot successfully pilot the same ship. It’s sure to sink! How the scripture below is interpreted and agreed upon between the intending partners will go a long way in determining the extent of matrimonial harmony that will be enjoyed.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

Ephesians 5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything (NKJV).

Understanding and sharing a lot of interests together deepens the bond between couples. Couples are mates and should fit each other. The more the areas of fit, they more and the deeper the bonds that bind them together.

Genesis 2:18 Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him (AMP).

Your partner should be fit for you: he/she should meet your spiritual and physical tastes, as well as complement your temperament and be suitably disposed to you socially and otherwise. The more the areas of fit, the more the likelihood of greater and widespread bonding.

In conclusion, marriage is an honourable lifelong venture that God designed to fulfill the sexual, reproductive as well as the intimate companionship needs of humankind. God has given every person the individual responsibility to find his or her spouse and to make the relationship work. To ensure a successful and enjoyable union, people should prayerfully seek partners that are suitable for them, and that will fulfil and complement them spiritually, physically and socially. Spiritual compatibility, deep physical attractions and a good socio-psychological agreement/ fit will ensure deep and widespread bonds at all levels that will keep and preserve the union through the inevitable times of testing that will come. It’s important to pray long and hard for God’s guidance and leadership before choosing a spouse. It’s important to seek prayer and counsel from more mature Christians and spiritual leaders while contemplating marriage. However, the ultimate responsibility to choose a spouse lies with the individual in question. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and the in-built desires God has wired into each person, an individual is to make his or her choice. That choice can bring a lifetime of happiness or a lifetime of disaster. Choose wisely!

God bless you!

Abortion Examined In The Light Of The Bible

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of the embryo or fetus before it becomes viable. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. When deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy before the age of viability, it is called an induced abortion. The unmodified word “abortion” generally refers to an induced abortion (www.wikipedia.org). This article is concerned about the way the Bible views induced abortions.

Induced abortion is a very sensitive wedge issue that is causing a huge rift between conservative and liberal Christians. Conservatives believe induced abortion amounts to murder, since according to them, life begins at conception. Liberals place the rights of the woman above those of the unborn baby, and make her choice to abort or not, a personal decision which should not be interfered with. There’s thus an ever-widening chasm between the pro-life and pro-choice groups, even among Christians.

Whichever side of the divide one belongs to, the statistics concerning abortion are gut-wrenching. Data from the World Health Organisation reveal that worldwide, from 2010 to 2014, some 56 million abortions were performed annually. This translates to about 150,000 abortions performed every day, averaging about two children killed in the womb every second! This is alarming enough, even if you’re pro-choice! With more countries and regions legalising abortion and making data on the issue available, the statistics quoted above can only be expected to increase dramatically.

What does the Bible say about induced abortion? How does God view abortion? In this expository study, we shall attempt to examine abortion in the light of the Scripture, in order to find God’s perspective on the issue, so that Christians can be properly guided in their belief and practice.

The Bible consistently refers to a pregnant woman as “someone carrying a child” or “someone with a child”. God recognises the baby in the womb of a woman as a person with known sex or gender, as well as someone with a divine mission and purpose in life. God has, on a number of occasions, called babies in the womb by their names, to demonstrate their personhood!

Genesis 16:11 The angel of the Lord said to her further, “behold, you are with child, and you will bear a son; and you shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has given heed to your affliction.

Genesis 16:12 “He will be a wild donkey of a man, his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him; and he will live to the east of all his brothers.” NASB.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

Matthew 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (NIV).

God sees babies in the womb as people and nations, the same way he sees people and nations outside the womb. God sees fetuses as full people with all the potentials and destinies other people outside the womb have and are entitled to.

Genesis 25:21 And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

Genesis 25:22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, If it is thus, why is this happening to me? So she went to inquire of the LORD.

Genesis 25:23 And the LORD said to her, Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger (ESV).

God designs purposes and missions for people while they are still in the womb. He assigns roles and responsibilities to people when they are yet unborn! Every one of us came out of the womb with our life purposes already assigned to us right from the womb!

Jeremiah 1:4 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations (ESV).

Galatians 1:15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,

Galatians 1:16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone (ESV).

A baby in the womb can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit exactly as adults outside the womb do, and they can leap for joy and show other range of emotions like people outside the womb!

Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

Luke 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,

Luke 1:15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb (ESV).

Luke 1:39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah,

Luke 1:40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

Luke 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,

Luke 1:42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Luke 1:43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Luke 1:44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy (ESV).

God forms and delicately fashions the parts of every baby in the womb, as the creator, and sees and knows what happens to every baby growing in the womb, just like he knows our deepest and most intimate secrets. God has programmed everyone’s full lifespan in our genetic material, as well as our mission and purpose on earth. However, our lifespan can be cut short by our actions and those of others, and our destinies can be derailed. Don’t abort God’s design or seek to truncate God’s work through abortion!

Psalms 139:13 You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother.

Psalms 139:14 I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.

Psalms 139:15 My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, when I was being skillfully woven in an underground workshop.

Psalms 139:16 Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus. Every day of my life was recorded in your book before one of them had taken place (GodsWord).

God’s love and affection extend to babies in the womb. The same way God shows affection to people outside the womb is the same way he loves people inside the womb. To God, there is no difference between a person in the womb and one outside the womb.

Romans 9:8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Romans 9:9 For this is what the promise said: About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son.

Romans 9:10 And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,

Romans 9:11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call—

Romans 9:12 she was told, The older will serve the younger.

Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated (ESV).

Because of the value God places on the life of a person in the womb, even accidentally doing anything that harms a baby in the womb, leading to his/her death, attracts serious sanctions and penalties. In the Torah, accidentally inducing the death of a baby in the womb (accidentally induced abortion) was a punishable offence, to reflect the value placed by God on human life everywhere, in or out of the womb!

Exodus 21:22 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine (NRSV).

Accidentally inducing abortion, akin to manslaughter, was a punishable offence in God’s reckoning, as recorded in the Torah. If God authorised the punishing of those that accidentally induced abortion in pregnant women, then, what do you think he will do to those who deliberately and pre-meditatively kill innocent children in the womb? Such will face the same penalty for first-degree murder, for they have cold-bloodedly shed innocent blood. Abortion is literally shedding blood, for a woman who aborts conspires to kill a baby in her womb, and then expels the remains, with bleeding from the ruptured heart and blood vessels of the mutilated child!

Genesis 9:5 For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.

Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person’s blood be shed; for in his own image God made humankind (NRSV).

Children are considered by the Bible as man’s inheritance from God, and the fruit of the womb as God’s reward and blessing. To terminate such lives prematurely while in the womb is not only rejecting God’s reward and blessing, it’s also opposing and resisting God!

Psalms 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Psalms 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.

Psalms 127:5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate (ESV).

To suffer the spontaneous loss of a baby in the womb is a tragic event that brings great sorrow to normal parents. Such misfortune were sometimes attributed to curses incurred as a result of rebellion against God. Why then will a parent deliberately induce the death of a baby and place themselves in the same shoes as those that are deprived of divine blessings?

Exodus 23:25 You shall serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.

Exodus 23:26 None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days (ESV).

Hosea 9:12 Even if they bring up children, I will bereave them until no one is left. Woe to them indeed when I depart from them!

Hosea 9:13 Once I saw Ephraim as a young palm planted in a lovely meadow, but now Ephraim must lead out his children for slaughter.

Hosea 9:14 Give them, O Lord—what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts (NRSV).

To show God’s care and concern for the well-being of children in the womb, pregnant women were admonished in the Bible to abstain from things that could jeopardise the lives of their unborn children. Samson’s mother, for instance, was given specific instructions by an angel to avoid alcohol and certain foods during the antenatal period, to prevent any harm to her baby, and to ensure the delivery of a healthy child! God cares the same way for every child in the womb!

Judges 13:2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children.

Judges 13:3 And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.

Judges 13:4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean,

Judges 13:5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines (ESV).

The deliberate killing of babies in the wombs of women was seen in Bible days as the height of brutish wickedness! Only the most hard-hearted brute beasts would attempt such cold-blooded acts of cruelty. That was what a heathen confessed when told he would soon be ripping off babies from the wombs of women in Israel! Only a ferocious rabid dog would tear a baby out of a pregnant woman in cold blood and not feel anything!

2 Kings 8:10 And Elisha said to him, Go, say to him, You may certainly recover: however, the LORD has showed me that he shall surely die.

2 Kings 8:11 And he settled his countenance steadfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.

2 Kings 8:12 And Hazael said, Why weeps my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: their strong holds will you set on fire, and their young men will you slay with the sword, and will dash their children, and rip up their women with child.

2 Kings 8:13 And Hazael said, But what, is your servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD has showed me that you shall be king over Syria (AKJV).

In the Bible, even harlots, who may not have known the fathers of their babies with certainty, had enough motherly love to preserve the lives of their babies, and enough compassion to be heartbroken by the death of a child they had carried for nine months in the womb! If anyone has a reason to consider a pregnancy unwanted and seek to terminate it, it should be a prostitute who would be put out of business for long by an unintended pregnancy. But, even harlots kept their pregnancies and cared for their babies! A true mother is recognised by her sacrificial love and compassion for her child, both in and out of the womb!

1 Kings 3:16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.

1 Kings 3:17 The one woman said, Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house.

1 Kings 3:18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house.

1 Kings 3:19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him.

1 Kings 3:20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast.

1 Kings 3:21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.

1 Kings 3:22 But the other woman said, No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours. The first said, No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine. Thus they spoke before the king.

1 Kings 3:23 Then the king said, The one says, This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead; and the other says, No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.

1 Kings 3:24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. So a sword was brought before the king.

1 Kings 3:25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.

1 Kings 3:26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death. But the other said, He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.

1 Kings 3:27 Then the king answered and said, Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother (ESV).

Jephthah was the son of a prostitute. He was conceived and given birth to by a harlot, yet he grew up to be a judge in Israel and a victorious commander of the Lord’s Army. A pregnancy may not have the best circumstances surrounding it, or it may not even be desired. Yet, God could use the product of that pregnancy in outstanding ways. God has a purpose and a mission for every child conceived, whatever the circumstances of their conception!

Judges 11:1 Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute.

Judges 11:2 Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.”

Judges 11:3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a large band of rebels following him.

Judges 11:4 At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel.

Judges 11:5 When the Ammonites attacked, the leaders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob. They said,

Judges 11:6 “Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!” (NLT).

Some people have justified abortion for pregnancies resulting from certain cases like rape and incest. As evil and as traumatic as those experiences are, we should be careful not to punish the wrong people in such circumstances. The guilty person in the case of rape or incest is the rapist and sexual abuser, not the innocent child that may result from such intercourse. To kill an innocent child resulting from the encounter is a great travesty of justice. In cases where people see the innocent babies from such traumatic encounters as perpetual reminders of their harrowing experience, the babies can be given up for adoption after birth, rather than being summarily executed in the womb. Whatever the situation, the child conceived from such an encounter is an innocent person, and not the culprit who deserves to be severely punished! Innocent children should not be made to pay for the sins of their fathers!

Ezekiel 18:1The word of the Lord came to me:

Ezekiel 18:2 “What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel:
The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?

Ezekiel 18:3 As I live”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“you will no longer use this proverb in Israel.

Ezekiel 18:4 Look, every life belongs to Me. The life of the father is like the life of the son—both belong to Me. The person who sins is the one who will die.

Ezekiel 18:20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer punishment for the father’s iniquity, and a father won’t suffer punishment for the son’s iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked person will be on him (HCSB).

All lives come from God, and all lives are precious and matter to him, no matter how they’re conceived. Only God has the right to take a life or authorise it to be lawfully taken. A child conceived from rape or incest has a mission and a destiny to fulfill, and no human being has the right to abort that life and that destiny! The sons of Lot, Ammon and Moab, were conceived from incestuous rape, but God blessed and prospered them and gave them a great heritage.

Genesis 19:30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters.

Genesis 19:31 And the firstborn said to the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth.

Genesis 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.

Genesis 19:33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

Genesis 19:34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.

Genesis 19:35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

Genesis 19:36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.

Genesis 19:37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day.

Genesis 19:38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day (ESV).

Also, we see Tamar playing the harlot to conceive incestuously and sire children for her father-in-law. God blessed the children, despite the harlotry and incest involved in their conception, and one of them became the ancestor of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We may mess things up, but God can take our mess and make something really great out of them! Who would have believed that Tamar’s harlotry and incest with her father-in-law could produce offsprings that would become the ancestors of the Messiah? Surely, God’s ways are not our ways and he does work in mysterious ways!

Genesis 38:24 And about three months later it was told to Judah, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the whore, and now, behold, she has conceived by prostitution.” And Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned.”

Genesis 38:25 She was brought out, but she sent to her father-in-law saying, “By the man to whom these belong I have conceived.” And she said, “Now discern to whom these belong: the seal and cord and the staff.”

Genesis 38:26 Then Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.

Genesis 38:27 And it happened that at the time she gave birth that, behold, twins were in her womb.

Genesis 38:28 And it happened that at her labor one child put out a hand. And the midwife took it and tied a crimson thread on his hand saying, “This one came out first.”

Genesis 38:29 Then his hand drew back and, behold, his brother came out, and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” And she called his name Perez.

Genesis 38:30 And afterward his brother who had the crimson thread on his hand came out. And his name was called Zerah (LEB).

Another common reason given by women and their doctors for killing their unborn children is the issue of congenital malformations in the babies. Some parents consider certain deformities of their children in the womb as sufficient reason to kill the children. Parents who would not normally kill a child that’s deformed after birth won’t think twice to kill the same child if he or she is deformed before birth. Is disability a justifiable reason to kill anyone? The Bible does not agree with that. We have records of people who were born with various disabilities in the Bible. Scripture never blamed the sufferers for their disabilities, but saw it as a means through which God could get glory out of those lives, through his miraculous intervention later!

St. John 9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.

St. John 9:2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

St. John 9:3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

St. John 9:4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

St. John 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

St. John 9:6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.

St. John 9:7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing (NIV).

The Acts 3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer —at three in the afternoon.

The Acts 3:2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.

The Acts 3:3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.

The Acts 3:4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”

The Acts 3:5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

The Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

The Acts 3:7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.

The Acts 3:8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

The Acts 3:10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him (NIV).

The Acts 14:8 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked.

The Acts 14:9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed

The Acts 14:10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk (NIV).

God has the power to correct and heal any disability a child is born with, even those currently beyond the knowledge of medical science. He may allow a child to be born with a disability, but he can turn that disability around for his glory, and use the condition to magnify himself. That’s what the Scripture teaches.

Exodus 4:10 Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

Exodus 4:12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (NIV).

Finally, let us remember that the blood of every innocent person that’s been shed on earth cries out to God for vengeance. We’ve killed more people through abortion in recent times than all the modern wars combined have done. The womb, designed to be a baby’s safe haven and incubator to nurture him/her for his/her task in the world, has now become his/her killing field. Every year, tens of millions of helpless and innocent babies are being injected with lethal drugs, hacked to pieces by surgeons’ knives, and made to bleed and die painful and harrowing deaths in their homes and on their beds, masterminded by the very people who should protect and defend them. Their blood, like that of every innocent victim of murder, cries out to God for vengeance!

Genesis 4:8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

Revelation 6:10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” (NIV).

Genesis 9:5 And murder is forbidden. Animals that kill people must die, and any person who murders must be killed.

Genesis 9:6 Yes, you must execute anyone who murders another person, for to kill a person is to kill a living being made in God’s image (NLT).

Imagine the billions of aborted children crying out to God for vengeance against their murderers! May their cries touch our humanity and make us think twice before we kill the next innocent soul lying helplessly in their house and on their own bed, which may soon become their deathbed!

2 Samuel 4:9 David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble,

2 Samuel 4:10 when someone told me, ’Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news!

2 Samuel 4:11 How much more —when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed —should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”

2 Samuel 4:12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron (NIV).

May we repent of all the murders we’ve committed in performing abortions and in aiding and abetting them, and ask God for forgiveness for our sins. Let’s ask God for pardon and resolve henceforth never to shed or contribute to the shedding of innocent blood again. Let’s protect and defend the lives in the womb because all lives matter!

God bless you!

Homosexuality Examined In The Light Of The Bible

Dictionary.com defines homosexuality as sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one’s own sex. Homosexuality as a sexual orientation is a social issue that’s impacting the world in significant ways in recent times. We find increasing segments of society endorsing the act and encouraging homosexuals to come out of the closet and express their feelings openly. Also, many countries have legalised marriages between people of the same sex. Furthermore, some Christian denominations have also embraced homosexual unions and have even gone ahead to ordain homosexual ministers. What is the position of the Bible on this issue? How does God view homosexuality? In this study, we shall examine the practice of homosexuality in the light of Scripture to find God’s perspective on the matter.

In the book of Genesis, we find the origin of all things, including man, as part of God’s creation. God created mankind male and female, for the purpose of companionship, sexual union and procreation. We find these purposes in God’s command to mankind upon his creation.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth (ESV).

It is instructive to note that God made mankind male and female, and gave this heterosexual couple the mandate to multiply and fill or populate the earth through reproduction. Biologically, we know human reproduction can only take place in the context of heterosexual relationships. A woman cannot get pregnant for a fellow woman to bring forth children, neither can a man get pregnant for a fellow man to perpetuate the human species. So, from the very beginning, we see that homosexual relationships do not have a divine mandate, and they are also not supported by human biology.

In the creation order for mankind, we discover from Scripture that the man Adam was created first. How long he stayed alone before he had a companion created for him, like all other animals, we do not know, for it is not recorded in Scripture. However, it soon became apparent that Adam couldn’t stay alone for long. He needed a companion and a mate to fulfil himself and God’s purpose for his species.

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.

Genesis 2:19 So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

Genesis 2:20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

Genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

Genesis 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

Genesis 2:23 Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Genesis 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (ESV).

We find that none of the animals was good enough for Adam as a mate. No inanimate object was found to be good for Adam as a companion. A man like himself was not considered appropriate for Adam as a sexual partner. The only person God considered fit for Adam in the context of intimate companionship and sex partnership, for the fulfilment of God’s purpose for mankind, was a woman! God designed that a man would leave his father and mother and be joined to a woman, for the purpose of intimate companionship, sexual intimacy and perpetuation of the species. From the very beginning, the only sexual relationship God designed and approved was a heterosexual one, not homosexuality!

The first recorded description of homosexuality in the Bible was in relation to Sodom and Gomorrah, as revealed in the 19th chapter of the book of Genesis. Not only do we find the practice of homosexuality clearly described here, we also find God’s view of it expressed unambiguously. Let us examine this portion of Scripture closely, from the New International Version of the Bible.

Genesis 19:1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

Genesis 19:2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

Genesis 19:3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.

Genesis 19:4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom —both young and old —surrounded the house.

Genesis 19:5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

Genesis 19:6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him

Genesis 19:7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing.

Genesis 19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

Genesis 19:9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door (NIV).

The men of Sodom, from the youngest to the oldest, were all homosexuals and wanted to have sexual relations with the angels that appeared in the form of men. The Sodomites had no interest in heterosexual relationships, as shown by their refusal of Lot’s offer of his daughters in place of the male angels. We thus see that homosexuality is not a novel phenomenon of our times. It’s not a new social discovery. It’s been with mankind almost from the very beginning of human existence. However, we see Lot, a righteous man, describing the act as wicked (verse 7), and pleading with the men of Sodom not to indulge in it! But, what was the attitude of God and of those angels who came down from heaven to investigate the wickedness of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah? What was the divine response to the widespread issue of homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah?

Genesis 19:10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door.

Genesis 19:11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

Genesis 19:12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here —sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here,

Genesis 19:13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”

Genesis 19:14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

Genesis 19:15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah —from the LORD out of the heavens.

Genesis 19:25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities —and also the vegetation in the land (NIV).

The divine response to the widespread homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah was the complete destruction of the cities! God levelled the cities down by raining fire upon them from heaven! Only Lot and his two daughters were saved from a region populated probably by hundreds of thousands of people! The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were completely destroyed because of their sexual immorality and their perversion of the natural order of sexual relations, which ought to be between a man and a woman only. The people perverted God’s natural order of sexual relations and had God’s wrath poured out upon them without mercy.

Jude 1:7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire (ESV).

2 Peter 2:6 Later, he turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into heaps of ashes and swept them off the face of the earth. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people.

2 Peter 2:7 But at the same time, God rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a good man who was sick of all the immorality and wickedness around him.

2 Peter 2:8 Yes, he was a righteous man who was distressed by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.

2 Peter 2:9 So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while punishing the wicked right up until the day of judgment.

2 Peter 2:10 He is especially hard on those who follow their own evil, lustful desires and who despise authority. These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at the glorious ones without so much as trembling (NLT).

In the Torah, we find the practice of homosexuality condemned as an abomination and expressly forbidden by God! Homosexuality was listed as one of the reasons why God overthrew and destroyed those nations occupying Palestine before Israel.

Leviticus 18:22 “’Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

Leviticus 18:24 “’Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.

Leviticus 18:25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants (NIV).

Deuteronomy 23:17 There shall be no prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

Deuteronomy 23:18 You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute, or the wages of a male prostitute, into the house of Yahweh your God for any vow; for both of these are an abomination to Yahweh your God (WEB).

When Israel backslid and went into full-scale idolatory, sodomites and male cult prostitutes sprang up all over the land of Israel. Sodomy was a cornerstone of idolatory, and male prostitutes played key roles in the orgies and debauchery that took place in pagan temples during worship and initiation of new converts. Thus, uprooting sodomites and male prostitutes out of the land became a cardinal feature of any serious religious reform in Israel.

1 Kings 14:22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.

1 Kings 14:23 For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.

1 Kings 14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

1 Kings 15:11 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.

1 Kings 15:12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

1 Kings 22:45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

1 Kings 22:46 And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.

2 Kings 23:1 And the king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem.

2 Kings 23:7 And he broke down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove (AKJV).

All marriages we see in the Bible were between men and women; no marriage in Scripture ever took place between a man and a man or between a woman and a woman. The Scripture instructs a man to find a woman as wife, not a fellow man.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (ESV).

Proverbs 18:22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure and receives favor from the Lord (NLT).

In the passages above, the Hebrew word translated as wife is “ishshah“, which means a woman or a female. Thus, the concept of wife for a man always implies a woman, a female, and never a fellow man. A man is to choose a woman as a sexual partner and mate, not a fellow man as himself! That’s what the Bible teaches! One of the main purposes of marriage is to bring forth godly children to perpetuate the human species. That can only be achieved in the context of heterosexual marriage! That is what the Scripture says!

Malachi 2:15 Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your youth (NLT).

If God created mankind to be heterosexual, how did some people become homosexual? Where did the practice of homosexuality come from? People fell into the lust of homosexuality and other sins by rejecting God and his ways. He then gave them up to vile affections and unnatural desires, since they did not want to retain the knowledge of God. By turning away from light, men naturally ended up in darkness, became vain and got enslaved and controlled by unnatural desires and affections. That’s what the Bible says concerning the origin of homosexuality!

Romans 1:18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves.

Romans 1:19 For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts.

Romans 1:20 From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.

Romans 1:21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused.

Romans 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead.

Romans 1:23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes.

Romans 1:24 So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.

Romans 1:25 Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen.

Romans 1:26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.

Romans 1:27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.

Romans 1:28 When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done.

Romans 1:29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.

Romans 1:30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents.

Romans 1:31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving.

Romans 1:32 They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too (NLT).

God created men to be masculine and women to be feminine. A man is to be a husband and head of his family as the stronger and dominant partner in the union, while a woman is to be subject to the man, as the weaker vessel. This is taught everywhere in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. To have a man who is effeminate is unnatural and an aberration, the same way a masculine woman is considered unnatural by nature.

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers (NIV).

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (AKJV).

The Greek word translated as effeminate above is ” malakos“, which means a “soft man”, and figuratively refers to a catamite- a boy or a young man who is in a sexual relationship with an older man. It is instructive that the Bible refers to a man who plays the role of a woman in a relationship as weak and soft. Such a man has rebelled against God and the order of nature. Such a man is unnatural and a misfit.

The Word of God makes it abundantly clear that homosexuals shall not inherit the Kingdom of God! The Bible does not mince words about God’s judgement for homosexuals, because homosexuality is a perversion of God’s order of sexual relations. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this heinous and wicked sin of rebellion against his natural order, and he will exclude all homosexuals from his Kingdom. The portion of any unrepentant homosexual shall be in the lake of fire, like those unrepentant homosexuals of Sodom and Gomorrah.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (ESV).

Homosexuality is considered unrighteous, ungodly, sinful and an act of wicked disobedience and rebellion against God. The Bible classes homosexuals among the lawless, and does not pull punches about the vile nature of homosexuality, which stands in rebellious opposition to the sound doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 1:9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,

1 Timothy 1:10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers —and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

1 Timothy 1:11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me (NIV).

In conclusion, homosexuality is an aberration against nature and a rebellion against God’s ordained order of sexual relations. It goes contrary to human biology and undermines God’s laws of reproduction which can only be accomplished in the context of heterosexual relationships. God’s word expressly forbids homosexuality and prescribes eternal punishment in the lake of fire for all unrepentant homosexuals. This was demonstrated in God’s fierce judgement in the obliteration of Sodom and Gomorrah, as a warning to all those who manifest such ungodly and unnatural passions. Homosexuality is sin and lawlessness, and all that practise it, except they repent, will be cut off from God’s kingdom. However, God’s rich mercy is available to all homosexuals, as it is to all other sinners, through Christ Jesus. Salvation is available to all sinners who repent of their sins, accept and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and live by his word. Jesus Christ loves homosexuals and he doesn’t want them to perish, but he vehemently hates and detests homosexuality and will judge it with the fullness of the wrath of God. May all who are entangled in this sin turn to Jesus now for salvation, that they may be saved, for he is able to save them from its vile grip and bondage, and make them sons and daughters of the living God.

Hebrews 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them (ESV).

God bless you!