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How SHE Lives

Love is the greatest

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Weep For Yourselves

Love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment. Love can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection, as “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”. It encompasses a variety of strong and positive emotional and mental states, ranging from the most sublime virtue or good habit and the deepest interpersonal affection to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse, which also differs from the love of money.

Love in its various forms, acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts. Love has been postulated to be a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species. Love also has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

Jesus Christ is the greatest expression of the father’s love; and the love of Christ is the central element of Christian belief and theology. It refers to the love of Jesus Christ for humanity, the love of Christians for Christ and the love of Christians for one another. The love of Christ is a reflection of His love for His followers especially the women folk. This is evidenced in the popular and one of the most widely quoted scriptures in the Bible: John3:16.

If love for one another is going to flourish and grow in the church, we must be deeply rooted in Christ’s love. Becoming a loving woman means living with the roots of your life sunk deep in the love of Christ for you. 1John 4:16 says that we have come to know and have believed the love that God has for us. So we are sure that Christ loves us and that, is the basis for becoming loving people.  If Christ loved us so much as to give His life for us, how then do we show love to one another? Pondering on the love of Christ for us, we do not seem to have any choice than to love one another.

As women in the body of Christ, how do we express this love we have received from Him? What is our expectation of love from our loved ones and how do we reciprocate such love? Yes, some of us do love but within some contexts. Some of us love for some reasons while others love only a certain people. It is common to say that love is reciprocal. By this you see women struggling to return good gesture done to them in the name of love. Others do goodwill to people whom they feel can return their gesture because ‘nothing goes for nothing’. Is that all there is to love? This stereotyped perception of love has always put us in positions where we display all manner of vices that are contrary to what God has called us to be. The bible in Luke 6:31-36 gives a summary of how we should express love.  Woman is a creation of God’s love and we, in return, are called to be ambassadors of God’s love here on earth. A love that is complete and total; unassuming and selfless. A love that is devoid of immediate gratification and is slow to react with negativity when our expectations are not met.

In our local environment including the church, there is this air of rancour and unhealthy rivalry. It’s so glaring that even the blind can see it. Women express envy in almost everything. We are envious of other women’s husbands, looks, clothes, jobs, cars, businesses, positions in church and even children. We mock women who have problems around us, making them feel less human. As Christian women, we should embrace Christ’s injunction to love one another. If you love someone, you will not gossip about the person. You will not tarnish the person’s image with malicious hate speeches. Saying untrue things about another just to attract cheap sympathy will never occur to you.

This Easter is another opportunity for examination of conscience and to make amends; to right our wrongs and begin to live at peace with our neighbours. We can express sincere love by calling our fellow women to order when we feel they are do something wrong; by being patient with them to find out reasons for their actions; by helping them in times of need instead of making caricature of them; by sincerely forgiving those who wronged as love works with forgiveness. Christ’s love extends to those most unworthy of it. He willingly took the punishment of those who hated, tortured and eventually killed him; those who are most undeserving of His love (Rom 5:6-8). Sacrifice and forgiveness, therefore, are the essence of godly love.

Shalom!

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How SHE Lives

Weep For Yourselves

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Weep For Yourselves

There are many salient lessons hidden in the passion week and Easter ceremonies. One only needs to look a little deeper to see these wisdom that have been embedded in these wonderful Christian rituals. It is celebrated the world over, that women were the ones who stayed with Christ till death. Even when the twelve or eleven remaining disciples fled. Thus, it became the bragging right of women in Christendom. This is one of the activities in the Bible that spurs women to over-zealousness in religious and church activities.

A little deeper in the account of Luke, precisely Luke Chapter 23:28, Christ gave a “caveat emptor”. We do recite it in stations of the cross, without paying much heed to it. Christ said… “daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but for yourselves and your children”. Perhaps, Christ was irritated by their over dramatic display of hurt. Maybe their aggrandizement and public show of religion without Christ, got to his guts. Perhaps he saw that they neglected their husbands, homes and neighbours in public display of following Christ, yet bore false witness against him the night before.

It will shock you to see and know the things women do to be noticed and to remain relevant in the scheme of things in religious environments. Women neglect their first God-given responsibility : their husbands and home, just to appear religious and committed to the church. Times without number, my husband and I, have mediated on issues bothering around wives neglecting the home for church activities. In such situations, you often hear the women raising statements like… “my husband does not want me to serve God”.

My dearest sisters, in all sincerity, those things you do in the church, are they intended for the service of God or are the intentions rather best known to you? Those women wailing on the street of Jerusalem could be likened to those of us who cook at home and turn all the food into the coolers and carry it off to the priests and pastors while our husbands and children remain hungry. Women who can sacrifice everything for the attention of the priests and pastors. Women who worship and adore pastors and priests and treat their husbands with total disregard and disrespect. Christ is telling us today to weep for ourselves and our children and not for him.

Let’s not get it wrong. Still in that crowd on the way of the cross, Christ recognized the sincere efforts of some women and their commitment and handed them over to one of his trusted disciples, to take care of. In the same vain, women who are sincerely committed to the things of God are commended. They do their due diligence with consideration to their homes. The Bible said so in Proverb 31:10-29. My fellow women, Christ does not resent or reject the services we render in sincerity of heart and intentions. If we recall, from the Bible account. It was around this season that Christ encouraged the woman with the jar of Alabaster to scrub his feet with her hairs and apply such expensive scent on his feet. That act appeared extravagant and controversial, but it was not done at the detriment of her home. In fact, there is nothing we give to the church and the priests that would be too much., so long as they are not given at the detriment of our homes. Such acts of goodwill should actually be done in agreement with our husbands and children where necessary.

How I wish that our pastors and priests, the representatives of Christ in our time, would be as blunt and as bold as Christ was to tell all the “daughters of Jerusalem ” to go weep for themselves and their children ; by asking all those “food-flask” carrying women if their husbands and children have eaten. By telling those attention seeking women that the attention of their husbands is all they need. To tell them, just like Jesus did, that their husbands also deserve such expensive gifts they spoil the priests with. Letting them know that the right thing, is that the priest share of the food they cooked for their husbands and homes and not their husbands and children eating the remnants of the food they cooked for the priests.. This will help the women get their priorities right.

So that, having journeyed with Christ through His passion and are singing His Hallelujah, we would know that while it is necessary for us to make sacrifices for the church and our priests, our homes should not suffer. Such that the risen Christ would not reject our efforts and sacrifices and tell us to go weep for ourselves and our children. I come in peace. Hallelujah
Shalom!

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Women, let’s do it better

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Being a mother is the most challenging but rewarding jobs any woman could ever adopt. It is the longest task and responsibility an individual will ever perform. It’s a lifelong responsibility. Of the two that make up parents, mothers are distinguished as the bulk of parenting responsibilities fall on them. Parenting is an active process that demands that individuals use their skills and knowledge to plan, give birth/adopt, raise and provide for children. The parenting process includes protecting, nurturing and guiding the child. It involves a series of interaction between the child and the parents throughout the life span. Just as children go through stages of development, parents also go through stages of parenthood that require appropriate parenting responsibilities.

First, parents build the image of the children from conception to birth through the mother. Secondly, parents nurture children. Each child is unique and has specific needs and wants. By meeting the needs of the child, a positive relationship is built and it sends messages of love and support to such child. Parents should express love and affection for the children (and avoid over pampering); listen to their children’s ideas, feelings, problems and difficulties; teach the children kindness and sympathy; help the children to feel connected to the family and the entire society. Thirdly, parents should assert their authorities. They should set rules for the children and ensure the children keep to such rules. Parents should be very careful in disciplining children. There should be consistency in giving instructions as that will help the children to know exactly what is expected of them.

Unfortunately, so many of us have abandoned this God-given primary assignment of ours to pursue career, friends, and money. As good as it is to build career, make money and keep friends, none of those should take the place of parenting in the life of a mother. Yes, we encourage women to be in politics and to make money; we even admonish women to always look good but not at the expense of the family. Our children are watching and keenly observing us. They know when we make sacrifices for them. Most of them live their lives to please us. Children imitate their parents and other adults whom they admire around them. Simply put, children do more of what they see their parents do than what their parents ask them to do. As mothers, our behaviors, carriage, dressing, attitudes, beliefs and general life style affect our children’s developmental process greatly. Hence, we should be very careful of what we do. Our relationships with our spouses also affect the children. Parents should make sure they fashion their lifestyle to fit into what they want their children to be.

As mothers, we should make our children our number one priority. We should make out time for them and prepare for their financial needs. Training children is 100% a function of parents. Even though the economy is not so favourable and things are difficult, we should not abandon the training of our children to the teachers. Let us be conscious of the fact that teachers are only complementing our efforts. We should monitor the progress of our children, guide them and always emphasize discipline to get the best out of these young ones. Mothers should be very sensitive to the needs of the children. We should love and support them.

Dear career woman, where are your children?  What are they doing at the moment? Who are their friends? The rate at which our youths are getting involved in crime is alarming. A lot of atrocities are being committed by adolescents who are supposed to be under their mother’s tutelage. Have we not failed as mothers? If all mothers can give account of their children, we won’t have as much crime as we do now. If our children who are of school age would be looking for money as much as they do, what then is the function of parents? Providing for our children should be our major preoccupation. Try to provide all they need within your means. We don’t have to go out of our ways or even compete with other parents in providing for our children. We should teach our children to be contented with the best we can afford at any given time to avoid unhealthy societal rivalries.

It is beautiful to add value, work extra hours and build career but we must ensure we balance work and family giving priority to our families.  Let us listen to our children and make friends with them. Let them have confidence in us. Let us always be there for them so that they don’t seek solace in outsiders.Most importantly, let us teach our children to know and fear God because our efforts as humans can never be enough. Let’s make out time to pray with and for our children. Some good parents had produced bad children and yet some bad parents have good children. Parenting is really very tasking. We need the grace of God to do it right. Let us do our best believing that God will perfect our efforts and crown our toil on our children with visible success.

Shalom!

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How SHE Lives

You deserve much more

The Leader News Online

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Weep For Yourselves

The month of March is for women and also for cancer awareness. Recently, I lost a close relative. It was heart breaking to watch helplessly as a young woman full of life and smiles wrestle death till her last breath; losing all she had in the process. It was a gory sight with creepy feelings watching someone who could go for a beauty piece degenerate gradually but painfully into a horrific picture as she finally bows out of the stage losing the fight against cancer.

Wrecked and devastated, I tried to imagine what was going on in her mind as she went through those excruciation agonies during her last moments on the sick bed. Even when she managed to part her lips in what used to be flashes of the most beautiful and charming smiles I have ever seen in life, there appeared a scary grin. What a loss! Imagine what it could be like to look over your life and discover that everything you had done had been meaningless. All the time and effort you had put into life and all its care; your education, career, beauty, relationship, marriage, family and friends, all gone and meaningless. I thought to myself; is this all there is to life?

Through life, I have seen women give their all to the cares of life and getting little or nothing out of it. Women go about with loads of care and worries. They give their all in the quest for the best things of life, caring less about themselves. By the time they achieve their quest, they become too frail and feeble to enjoy it. How much care do you give to yourself? Women deserve more care than they get from life, especially much more than they give to themselves. A wise man once said that we care so much about the standard of living, that we care less about standard of our lives?

With every sense of modesty, I unapologetically tell you that most women are living dead and walking corpses on suicide mission. So many women sleep and wake up with pains every day. Rather than seek medical help, most women endure until they can endure no more and eventually cave in. Most women are too stereotyped in thought that they feel embarrassed by their infirmities and health challenges. Who did this to us? Who taught women that the one who endures is stronger than the one who seeks medical attention?  Why do we (women) die in silence while telling the people around us that “it is well”. I am not telling you to spread the news of your pains or make a popular jingle of them; but to pay attention and do the needful. Do not sweep those strange developments in your body under the carpet. Instead of being a super women or wonder girl in agony, why don’t you seek help and save yourself and your loved ones a life of misery. For those excruciating pains here and there, seek better understanding and help; they are nothing to be ashamed of and there is nothing normal about them either. They could be signs of various forms of cancers that are maliciously ravaging, hunting and killing women today. Greater chances of surviving cancer of any kind are in early detection.

Apart from the “it is well” mantra, another mentality that inhabits the early detection of ailments is the “it is not my portion” chant. Dear sisters, it is not any woman’s portion to be sick or to have any form of misfortune. The reality is that they can befall both good and bad people alike; they also befall both the sinners and the righteous. A change in attitude is needed. We need to check the arrogance of our ignorance. It is costing us more than we are gaining form it. Let’s be more open in our approach to issues of life. This is because, it is better to have a broader view of little things than to have a fragmented view of bigger things. You really deserve much more; you deserve to know better and to get better things out of life.

Ironically most women who believe that they deserve much more have a circumvented view and approach to life. It is not in the fancy clothes that we wear, nor the beauty enhancing remedies that we take. Even the life of fun we live will amount to nothing sooner or later if the body is unhealthy. It breaks my heart to see women eat, drink all manner of concoction in pursuit of general wellbeing. Women spend fortune in the gym, on fashion, ornaments and adornments and pay less attention to “Periodic medical checkup”.

Cancer is real and is even closer than we can imagine. It is no respecter of status, colour, class, race or tribe. It is malicious and deadly. The only hope we have against it is early detection. It will scare the wits out of you to know how many women that have died of one form of cancer or the other. The statistics is alarming. Beautiful Sis, you deserve much more than to be a figure in the statistics. Life is too short for you to live it in agony borne out of negligence. The pains you experience are not signs of old age; neither are they “attacks of witches and wizards; check them up medically. Who knows, you might be doing yourself a great deal of favour. No one understands the woman more than the woman herself and her maker. And her maker in the book of 3John vs 2 says “I pray and wish above all things that you prosper and be in good health just like your soul prospers. You deserve more care and love than you get from yourself.

Shalom!

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