The Bible makes it clear to us that the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit will not end as long as we are in these bodies. What the flesh wants is in direct opposition to what the Spirit wants (Galatians 5:17). Every true believer has a personal weakness, character flaw or habit that they want to change. So the fact that you’re still struggling with a weight, or a sin that easily trips you up, does not make you a hypocrite. You are not alone.
I was taught as a child that giving in to temptation is sin, and I know this to be true. I’ve known from my teens that fighting temptation is hard. I’ve learnt from experience that giving in to it made giving in easier next time, whereas overcoming it built my “overcoming muscles” as it were.
But there’s one thing I never really took note of until recently.
There are so many men out there just waiting for an opportunity to give your woman all she’s missing, but you need her to have eyes for only you, the king of her heart.
If you’ve noticed that your wife no longer really cares or cannot even be bothered to fight with you, you need to sit up; the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.
Here are 6 things you can do to turn her heart back to you and keep it locked on you alone. Read more…
Forgive my ‘presumptiveness’ but I do believe that there is nothing about our lives that has not been covered in the Book of books. The age is irrelevant- Classical, Middle, Early Modern or Post Cold War. There is not one issue we face today to which the Bible has not provided a true and effective response. The sceptic would call it a fraud of a book, created by men to advance selfish goals. Yet, that book still heals hearts and guides minds today as it did when the words were first written. That says something to us today, who are debating the ethics of stem cell research from human embryos as it did to men desiring to stone a woman to death as part of a scheming plot to trap a Preacher. The principles of creation and the story of salvation are immutable, indestructible truths that will last for millennia more.
As an individual living each day the best I can as I press towards the prize that is my heart’s vision, I have often wondered how to always Stand. My being human means I am not infallible but as a son, I’d rather have more scenarios of standing in victory than staggering up from defeat. And again, the Book provides answers.
It comes in the way of three tests of a man at his weakest- emotionally, mentally and physically. It comes to Bethlehem’s son in the arid Palestinian desert. The Preacher had just gone through roughly six weeks of food abstinence only to be presented with the chance to break his fast, at the end of this exercise with something he could very well do. Yet, the challenge was not the act of turning stone into bread. It was the fact that his adversary had qualified the act by calling into question his identity.
We do not fully understand what was at stake with this temptation. A few weeks earlier, this same Preacher had received a divine confirmation of the Father’s approval of his person and mission. To then ask him to turn stone into bread as evidence of his sonship was to draw him into a place where his heart and mind would succumb to doubt. Imagine what doubt would have done to the ministry of Jesus. There would in short have been no ministry. All his bodacious declarations of self and authenticity that the apostle John covers beautifully in his gospel would have been non-existent. This ‘Validation by Performance’ is the first temptation many a son experience. Many sons are natural achievers with an inborn drive and passion to succeed. Sons embrace the earthly merit based system of accomplishment. They are firm believers in their capacity to do. To be challenged this way then by the enemy would have played right into his natural instincts to let everyone including himself and the enemy know that ‘the king is here’. But the Lord was above needing to prove his identity by a test. He retorted calmly – I don’t live by what I am able to do, I live by what my Father speaks to me. In other words, it is not my accomplishments that make me, it is my Father’s words that do.
Next, The Preacher is taken to a high mountain and shown all the kingdoms of the world in their scintillating glory. I bet he got a HD viewing of the Roman royal tables and feasts in Egypt. Not an easy sight for a man who had just subjected himself to a most intense personal sacrifice. Knowing who and what he was, he could have allowed himself get drawn into a discussion on how to get all these kingdom’s glories. This was then the second test, a “Validation by Possession” challenge. The Lord however was the wiser as to where his personhood lay, not in the glories of earth’s many kingdoms but in the servitude of the Father. “Worship the Lord only”, he responded, “and him only shall you serve”. We must remember that while it is in the nature of the Father-Son relationship to have resources bequeathed to us, it does not define whether that relationship exists or not. Nor should it ever be in doubt that even where ownership isn’t a present reality, it is in the Father’s script to have it transferred eventually.
Finally, the Lord is led to the pinnacle’s temple and asked to prove the truth of the Word by throwing himself down and having the angels, as written, bear him up. This ‘Validation by Privilege’ challenge presents the ultimate test for a man of status. He had every right to feel privileged; afterall he had just received confirmation from Heaven of his special standing. He had also just pulled through a biological miracle in surviving without food for so long. Surely, with all he had done, he could expect such privileges. But a son does not ride on status. He rides on principles. Thus, he reminded the wily foe, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test’. Now that’s a classic. Not even in this most dire of circumstances would his sonship be proven by his receipt of any preferential treatment. Said another way, ‘…though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped’. Again nothing to prove. He was who he was already and didn’t need to test the efficacy of the word to prove it.
And that my friends is how we stand, by being fully aware of our identity as sons without needing any performance, possessions or divine perks to prove it. To the one who shows that neither of these defines their knowledge of self, to that one shall great power and influence be made available.
Indeed, Identity is everything!
PS: References to ‘son’ are gender neutral
Osita Egbubine is a believer in the capacity of every human being to lead a fulfilling, purpose-driven life. He is currently pursuing a Finance degree in the UK and tweets via @ositane.
I’ve been watching you struggle where this other woman is concerned. She came into your life at one of the toughest points in your marriage, and somehow she eased your distress at the time. Her understanding of your challenges only served to convince you that if the opportunity presented itself, you two could be far more than friends. Now you and Mrs. have addressed your issues and you’re both working on making your marriage better, so she thinks it’s all over with this woman who was nearly a threat. But you and I know that it isn’t. You still fantasize about her, and you would still talk with her all day if she would take your calls.
Let me call your attention to a few things.
First, a quick reminder- your wedding vows are sacred. You made them before God Almighty, and he expects you to be faithful. You know this, but in your current state you need to hear it over and over until it starts to sink in.
I recognise the strength of the temptation; she’s beautiful, smart, vivacious, ambitious, driven and passionate, and she just seems to “get you”, in a way that Mrs. doesn’t. And she is oh-so-sexy. The things you believe she can do to you, Mrs. can’t even spell. So your hair is all up in braids and you’re asking, “Where were you when I was getting married?!” even though in your case this doesn’t make sense because your sassy siren was still in a school uniform, but that’s never crosses your mind and I understand, infatuation is blind like that.
If you were in your right mind you would know that That Girl cannot replace your wife. Yet, the more you lean towards her, the greater the chances of you falling into her bed and putting your marriage and family at risk.
You want to know the truth? You are not just any man. Your wife possesses qualities That Girl lacks- and they are more fundamental to your wellbeing than you realise. You need to ask yourself,
“Does she share my faith and values?”
“Can she keep a home like my wife can?”
“Can she submit to me as her husband and head, with grace and poise?”
“Can she raise responsible, God-fearing children I can be proud of?”
“Does she have the patience and tact to accommodate my flaws and shortcomings?”
“Can she stand by me when there’s no money in the bank, and still respect and honour me?”
“CAN REAL LIFE WORK WITH HER?”
You think if only you were married to her, life would be pure bliss. Sorry sir; just sharing a home with her will burst your bubble. You’ll quickly be disillusioned to find that a life lived in tandem with her is a different ballgame from your perfect little world of dates, phone calls and BBM chats. You’ll be shocked by how divergent your life goals are; you’ll be dismayed by how easily irritated she can be. I could go and on, but the bottom line is, you will miss your wife.
You may not realise now what a buffer she is on your life’s journey, nor remember what an inspiration she was when you first fell in love with her and how she saw all that was good in you. All you can see is what you wish she was- namely, all the wonderful things That Girl is. You are not alone.
One of the themes in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married is what he calls the 80-20 rule. It is based on the premise that on the average, you only get 80 percent of what you want in a mate, and that’s it. Here, the allure of The Other Woman is encapsulated thus; “20 percent looks really good when you don’t have it.”
My friend, grow up. Open your eyes and rein in your lust and emotions. Don’t even think about hanging around That Girl trying to be “just friends”, she really isn’t your friend and you know you will get sucked in. Don’t throw away your 80 percent for 20; that is, and forever will be, a dumb move. I can already picture you standing there holding your once glittering 20 percent, and longing for the 80 percent that you traded in. You look pitiful.