To my Mother (In-Law)

“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown” (Proverbs 12:4, NIV).

“Adam and Eve were the happiest and the luckiest couple in the world, because neither of them had a mother-in-law.” — Anonymous

The quotation makes me laugh. It’s funny because it’s true. But why do mother-in-laws get a bad rep?

Honestly, the fact that I will one day have a mother-in-law wasn’t  really at the forefront of my mind because I have somehow (subconsciously, I guess) always assumed that I would have the best mother-in-law in the world! That is my prayer. But something changed my mind when a mother at my church advised me to start praying for my husband and his family, because when I marry him, I marry his family as well. I listened.

Two things inspired me to write this letter. One was a Yoruba movie I watched yesterday. In it, a mother put a spell on her son because she didn’t want him to love anyone else above her. The other was the Proverbs 12:4 verse that really caught my attention while having quiet time.

As I think about what kind of mother-in-law I’ll have, I aim, starting now, to be my husband’s crown, adding to him. I pray my mother-in-law understands this.

Dear Mother (In-Law),

Thank you for raising a fine man! I know he will not forget the godly principles you have imparted on him.

As much as I love and respect my husband, I understand that you do, too. Mum, my desire is that you will be a source of guide for me, teaching me how to live with him, love him, care for him, etc. I desire unity in our family. I desire to call you Mum. It is my desire that you take me as your own daughter, love me, scold me, even discipline me.

I want to reassure you that I am not here to replace you or compete with you. But, as it is, God has given me the duty and privilege of being his help meet; this is my mission and priority. I pray I succeed in it everyday. I am his crown, not a crow. I submit, not overpower. I respect, not disgrace. I love my husband; I am the bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. God joined us together in His own divine wisdom. God has allowed him to start his own family, and with God our side, we will excel and flourish.

Take me as your own daughter; I write to you as such. I appreciate you. I pray that God will continue to bless and honor you. May you continue to be your own husband’s crown. My hope is that I will be the best wife to my husband, as the Lord gives me strength and grace. I pray you will continue to pray for me– because when you do, you are also praying for your son.

Don’t forget: we are on the same team, mum.

With Love,
Your Daughter (In-Law)

Are You Good?

“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22, NIV).

Alonzo

Solomon may have been a womanizer, but this particular verse really hit the nail on the head. Ladies, do you know you are a good thing? Do you know that you are the embodiment of favor?

When I was thinking about what to write today (at 12 am, mind you), this verse came to my mind– it is popular, but I am never sure where it is exactly; but thank God for the Holy Spirit for directing to the correct passage! I read this verse and it dawned on me that I am a good thing and I bring favor to my husband. That’s pretty awesome!

Some of you may say, “But you’re not good. Even Jesus questioned someone calling Him good in Luke 18:19.” And I will say you’re right. In and of myself, in my own human nature, I am not good; far from it, even. But, because I am in Christ and He is in me, because God Himself lives in me through the Holy Spirit, dare I say that I am indeed good?

I looked at the verse in different versions to see how “good thing” was translated. For the most part it remained “good thing”, but NLT used “a treasure”, and NET used “enjoyable”.  So, ladies, know today that you are a good thing, but only through the grace and power of Jesus Christ.

To be a good thing, you need to look at the life of Jesus because we know God through Him (John 14:6). What does it mean to be good? Assess yourself; compare yourself to Jesus. Do you love? Do you forgive seventy times seven times? Do you desire and allow only God’s will to be done? Are you self sacrificing? Do you teach or lead those around you in the way of the Lord? Do you obey God at all times? Are you uncompromising when it comes to the things of God?  Are you clothed in humility? Are you steadfast and persevering in suffering? Are you prayerful? How’s your faith? Do you return all glory to God or take some for yourself? Are you a servant? Are you about your Father’s business? These are just some of the things that come to mind when I look at Jesus and who He is.

Practically, too, ask yourself: can I cook? can I keep a clean house? can I pray for my husband? can I support my husband? can I submit to my husband? can I work hard? can I get up early in the morning to prepare breakfast for my family? can I serve the poor? how’s my intuition? can I respect my husband? can I raise my children in the way of the Lord?

Ladies, to be a good thing is a high calling. My question is: are you up for it? God called you a helper (Genesis 2:18) for your man. You have a high calling on your life as a servant of God, a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend.  But understand that you cannot do it on your own! It takes the grace of God and His grace is definitely sufficient for you (2nd Corinthians 12:9).

Another revelation that I got from reading this verse is the fact that you are a favor from God to your husband! You are that special gift from God! Like, what?!?! So, yeah, you’re kind of a big deal. Relish in that!

Single? Married? Spinster? You are a big deal. You are favor from God to your brothers, husbands, etc. So, whenever the devil tries to get you in a mindset that will get you down, know that you are good because God lives in you, you are a gift someone out there is waiting and praying for; you are favor, someone cherish-able, love-able, admirable.

Are you good?! I know I am!

Heart Matters

“the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people…” (1st Samuel 13:14, NIV).

I think we can all agree that the heart of anyone is very important because our actions start in the heart– it’s all a process, you know. The heart matters. I think of the song that says Lord, I give you my heart… When we give God our hearts, that means we hand over our totality to Him alone, knowing that He will mold it and remold it and polish it to become like His; and the end goal of our surrender is that we look more like Him, showcasing Him to this broken world. So, what does all this have to do with me?

Well, I love the heart! When discussions of matters of the heart come up I get excited because I just want to glean from people, and grow; I also want to be aware of the state of my heart, checking to see if it aligns with God’s own heart– I desire to be a woman after God’s heart!. And when it comes to relationships, not just romantic ones, even friendships, I pray that the heart of the person I am interacting with is aligned with God.

At the end of the day, though, when thinking about my future, I want my husband to be a man after God’s heart. Think about it: if the man is the head of the house as Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23), wouldn’t you want him to be led by the Spirit of God? I desire a husband whose heart and will and totality will be conformed to the will of God so much so that God will look at him and say this is my son, in whom I am well pleased.

Why was David the greatest king in Israel? Because he was a man after God’s heart– that’s a very high calling! To be a man (or woman) after God’s heart means recognizing who God is, His unchanging character, His steadfast love. It means living in the fear of the Lord. It means surrendering your life to Him. It means hating what He hates and loving what He loves. It means living by faith and not by sight. It means leading those entrusted to you with the realization of your accountability for them. It means accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and King. It means living a worship lifestyle. It means seeking first the kingdom of God, knowing that He will give you all you need. It means gazing upon the beauty of God. It means seeking Him for the rest of your life. It means that when you mess up you know you have a Father who will forgive you and receive you back. It means lifting up your eyes to God when trouble comes. It means walking in your destiny, knowing that God is with you and for you. In a nutshell, it means following your Shepherd like the sheep that you are, trusting that His thoughts and plans for you are of good and not of evil, to give you hope and a future with and in Him (Jeremiah 29:11).

It’s a high calling, alright. But like Paul said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV). So, I want my husband to be a man after God’s heart. My prayer for him is that he surrenders his heart to God and just allows God to lead him. I want my husband, my king, to be led by my Father because then we will never go wrong– after all, “those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14, NIV). I want a marriage that will reflect God Himself; what better way to do that than to look upon the One we are trying to conform to.

So, husband, I give God your heart. I pray that you will surrender to Him alone. I pray that God will be Lord over you and me and our marriage and our children. In Jesus name, amen!

Funny… I was going to write about waiting. Guess my heart has just been poured out. Look at God!!

Dear Husband,

Waiting for you hasn’t always been the easiest thing but I do know that it will be rewarding.

I know that God took me from your side for a reason, and I’ve been wondering what that reason is. You have already been chosen for me, by God Himself, which makes me happy because then I know that I won’t make a mistake– neither will you.

Do you know what I envision for us, to chase after God together, to raise our children in the love of Christ, modeling for them God’s vision! Are you on board with me, my love? I envision a marriage filled with service and love, honor and respect.

This love story of ours is epic! God is writing it, so why won’t it be awesome? ;):)

Anyway, that’s it! I had the urge to write to you. I hope one day you’ll read this and smile.

I am yours, darling, and you are mine.

Love you so much!

With love and eager expectation,
Your one and only Queen!

What if I Marry a White man?

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“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10, NIV).

On our last night in Croatia, we went to a restaurant for dinner. The food was good but our conversations were way better! One of the things we talked about was marriage, one of my favorite subjects. A wonderful woman asked me a question along the lines of who I’ll be if I end up marrying someone who is not Nigerian. I told her that if I do end up marrying a White man, an American for example, then I’ll be an American wife. She said something that I’ve been thinking about since, that my response sounded as if I’ll losing a sense of self. Huh….

After hours of pondering her response, I came up with more questions than answers: what kind of a wife do I want to be? Does it have to depend on who I marry or what culture I marry into? What does it mean to be an American or a Nigerian wife? Do I know who Elizabeth is? Do I even know myself? I do not have all the (correct) answers but I do know that I want to be a wife God is proud of. At the end of the day, I am a child of God who has different roles– I hope to honor God in all of them.

What does it mean to be a child of God? It means I must follow in Jesus’ footsteps, looking more and more like Him daily; I must be transformed by the renewal of my mind (Romans 12: 1-2) daily; I must live in absolute surrender to Him; I must abide in Him (John 15), etc. Being a child of God means living according to His Word. The Word of God, the Bible, has a few things to say about wives, marriage, etc. In my little knowledge of the Bible, any mention of wives or their roles/duties never specified anything regarding culture or race or ethnicity. What that means for me is that when I do become a wife, I should obey what the Bible says about that role. I think it’s that simple (but not really). What I am saying is that I am a child of God and I belong to Him always before I can be called anyone’s wife.

So, what if I marry a White man? Continue reading “What if I Marry a White man?”