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!

Dear Single People,

“He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 113:9, NIV).

This post is not about parenting but I believe it captures what I want to talk about.

If you think you’ve been “barren” for too long, I want to encourage you today that God is able to take you out of that barrenness and make you flourish! That’s it. That’s the message.

But let me ask you: how many announcements of engagements, weddings, babies, etc. have you seen in the last month? For me, I can count at least 5. While you may be happy for these people, perhaps you’ve heard a tiny voice at the back of your mind asking you, “When will it be your turn?”  Please don’t entertain that voice; it won’t get you anywhere. Trust me, I know.

Yes, I do not know how long you’ve been waiting (and please know that I am not trying to be insensitive) but understand that God can even bring your spouse right now in He wants, so don’t lose heart. Waiting requires patience. I believe God is preparing you and your spouse for something great (and also challenging because marriage is no joke)! Look at the thought and beauty of Creation! God prepared things Adam needed before He created Adam. Imagine if Adam was created first; I reckon he would have been in the way, giving God his opinions on how things should be — why? Because that’s what human beings do; we try to suggest to God how He should do things… but I digress. Anyway, God saw that Adam needed a “helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18, NIV), so He created Eve from and for Adam, and my dude said, ” ‘At last!’ ” (Genesis 2:23, NLT). In other words, Adam praised God for the special and specific beauty God created especially for him, even more than he praised God for everything else.

So, friends, relax! God knows when and why you need a spouse. When it comes to God’s timing, know that He is never late and never early but ALWAYS on time. Biological clock has nothing on you; ask Sarah! God is able, sisters! When your husband sees you, he too will say ” ‘At last! This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh!’ ” (Genesis 2:23, NLT). Wouldn’t you rather hear that than something else– like, “Oh… this is it? I expected more, God.”

Today, I have a new found knowledge, peace, and happiness. I want the same for you, friends! Getting to this point hasn’t been easy; it’s taken me almost a year! But I don’t want that for you. Although I haven’t been waiting too long, I’m secure knowing that leaving everything in my Father’s hands is best. He knows the best for me, so I ain’t go no worries! 🙂 🙂 🙂

My friends, when you leave everything in God’s hands, simply let it go. He’s able to do something great with it, for you.

Waiting: Spoken (Written) Word

I told myself I’ll wait for you…
But innocence was stolen by “Uncle”,
ripped
from my tender heart.
So I gave up.
Stained.

Fast forward:
thought I had found you-
how foolish of me:
wasn’t it supposed to be reversed…
Thought his “love” was going
to cover the multitude of my sins-
but my sin became a burden too
heavy for him to bear.

So I bore myself to myself
and crashed under the weight
of my own burdened lust
that was laid up in my wicked heart-
my heart, too crushed to be revived
by fleeting moans and momentary pleasures.
Until
I saw His love crushed for me
on that wooden tree.
There, battered, was Christ,
broken for me,
under the burden of my sins.
Yet He rose again, victorious,
giving me a new slate,
burden free, without stain.

Fast forward:
I thought I had found you
again…
A baby in Christ, sipping on that milk,
I gave my old self reign,
even though I am new.
Flesh yielded to flesh,
forgetting that only He
can present me unstained
unto Himself,
but he chose to lie in sin with me,
presenting me unto himself,
unholy,
again
stained…

So I stained my heart
with hate and regret
and the shame became too
much for me
and I longed for grace
that will bring me back to Him
so I tried and I worked and I slaved
but could never really
get it right,
so I fled…
Until
Mercy found me,
crashed into me,
I was ruined,
blinded.
He showed me my end, without you,
without Him.
He removed the scales
from my eyes so I could see
the wrong in what
I thought was right!

So here I am.
With this new light in my eyes,
the clean heart inside of me
I am telling you, husband,
even though I do not know you,
I will wait for you.
I will wait to be found by you.
You are the one God made me
for and from— the man made from
the second Adam,
presented holy, to present me holy to Him.
You have the perfect combination
given only by Him who kept me, hidden,
from me, for you,
to unlock the deepest crevices of my heart.
You know what it means to
love me with the love of Christ,
you know what it is to love me
the way Christ loves his church—
I am the Ephesians 5:25—
to present me to my Father,
without stain or blemish,
only by His grace.

So, I will wait
to be found by you
and I won’t give myself
to every cubic zirconia— false gods
pretending to reflect the true image of the One
who paid the price for me,
His bride.

So, I will wait
for you
to find me—He found me—
And pursue me with the
relentless love,
reckless abandon,
reverent fear of the Lord—
the way only you—He—can.
But understand this:
you are not my Father,
so if God chooses,
in His sovereignty,
to have me love and serve Him
alone
I will wait on Him—
Yet I am never alone,
for He will never leave me, but you can;
for He will never abandon me, but you can.

And at least, death wouldn’t do us part.

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!!