Dr. Mike Oluniyi.
(A talk during the Christ Apostolic Church, Oshinubi DCC church officers seminar, held on Saturday 24th September 2022)
The position or importance of the home in the life of church officers is a vital one which no church officer must not take with levity except at his or her own peril. One truth which is dawning in ministry today is that when you fail at home, you don’t really have a ministry. Although there are many areas in which church workers may have issues in life and ministry, but a truth which can not be denied is that problem at home speaks louder than any other problem in the life of a church worker or minister.
Your spouse is the most significant person in your life after God. This fact must always be remembered by you as you work for God, that your spouse comes before your ministry.
We shall look at seven reasons why you must take your marriage serious as a worker in His vineyard.
WHY YOUR HOME IS SO IMPORTANT.
The Acceptability of Your Service by God Depends on it.
‘And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.’ (Mal.2:13-14)
When the situation at home is not acceptable to God, the acceptance of your service unto God becomes doubtful because God sees you as being half without your spouse.
Your Fulfillment in life Depends Heavily on Your Home.
Your fulfillment in life is heavily dependent on how you manage your home. When you are young, you may be able to run up and down doing ministry, but a time will come when you would have become advanced in age and will not be able to do all those activities any longer. Such a time will be a period of loneliness for you if you don’t invest in your home now.
Your Fulfillment in the Faith Depends on it.
Close to the end of the life of Apostle Paul, he was able to say in 2Timothy 4:7-8
‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.’
Such statement came from someone who lived a fulfilled life of faith. If you don’t keep your home, you may not be able to make such a statement. Once you have chosen to marry, God expects you to keep your home to the end.
Your Recognition as a Role Model Depends on it.
As a worker in the vineyard of God, there are many children, both biological and spiritual that are looking up to you as a model. They learn a lot through the way that you are relating with your spouse. For that reason your spouse is important so that your relationship will not lead many astray.
Your Home is Like a Model to Your Children/ Disciples.
Whether you like it or not, as a leader, your home is like a model to your followers. If as a leader you don’t have a good home, it affects what you may teach others. If you have noticed it very well, you would have discovered that young couples during their wedding, under normal circumstances don’t choose someone with a broken home to be the chairman of their wedding.
Your Eternity May Depend on it.
Somehow, your eternity is connected with your spouse. You must have noticed that when there is no peace at home, it affects a lot of things, including your spiritual life.
‘Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.’ (1Peter 3:7)
If a problem at home may hinder your prayer, you must reason that anything that can hider your prayer life may hinder your eternity.
Your Home Is a Laboratory For Practicals.
All that you teach or stand for as a church officer will be tested at home. If you teach endurance, be sure that it will be tested at home.
When your spouse has offended you and you refuse to forgive, it means you have gone against the teachings of our savior Jesus Christ. He taught us in the Lord’ prayer that if you refuse to forgive those who offend you, you can’t be forgiven.
THE BATTLES YOU MUST WIN TO KEEP YOUR HOME.
Knowing the importance of your spouse as a church worker, it means you must take the relationship between you and your spouse very serious. If you take it serious, you must be ready to fight and win the following battles for you to have a successful home.
The Battle of Contentment.
The battle of contentment is the battle you must fight and win to ensure that you are contented with your spouse. Even in church, you may come across members of the opposite sex that appears to be better than your spouse in one way or the other but you must always remember 1 Timothy 6:6
‘Now godliness with contentment is great gain.’
Lack of contentment is a breeding ground for many problems that can destroy your home.
The Battle of Faithfulness.
Even as worker in church, you will be tempted. If you are going to win the battle of faithfulness, you must make up your mind and guide it jealously that your nakedness will only be for your spouse. The scriptures both in the old and new testaments strongly goes against unfaithfulness. You must always remember that many that went into it did not plan it that way but they gradually slipped into it. Consequently, you must draw a line beyond which no member of the opposite sex except your spouse may cross.
The Battle of Ease.
Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, And trust in Mount Samaria,...(Amos.6:1)
The battle of ease is the battle which you personally wage against your home unknowingly when God has blessed you. You may never know a man that is faithful to God and his marital vows until money or success comes. Often it is when success comes that many men start seeing the deficiencies in their wives.
Often too, it is when a woman realizes that her husband is now a pastor and can’t go out that they start becoming unmanageable at home. When a woman assumes power either as a result of financial resources or marital security that they are too tired to provide food for their husband or start denying them of sex.
Compare the life of Solomon when he became king in 1kg.3:4-9 with when success had come in 1Kg.11:1-4.
Many people who were able to manage their homes during period of lack and uncertainties failed woefully when success came. Make up your mind that you will win the battle of ease.
The Battle of Sexual Realities.
The battle of sexual realities is the battle you fight to ensure that you and your spouse understand the sexual needs of one another and make the necessary sacrifices to manage it effectively to have a fulfilling marital relationship. Please note the following;
⁃ There is hardly any couple whose sexual needs precisely match one another. Consequently, it is not peculiar to you if your spouse’s demand for sex is higher than your own.
⁃ What turns a man on, is different from what turns a woman on.
⁃ In most cases, women are more resilient about sex than men.
⁃ As you age, there may be the need to adjust to changing sexual desires.
⁃ As you age also, you should not have the feeling that your spouse dies not need sex any longer. It may be a costly assumption.
The Battle of Rebuilding Trust.
In the life of every marital relationship, there are bound to be offenses. Often, the offense of your spouse may be very serious that even though it was settled and you claim to have forgiven, you still find it difficult to trust again. This is highly understandable especially in situations where your spouse has broken trust through adultery.
However serious the offense is, you must find a way of rebuilding trust, this is because a marriage without trust is no marriage at all. The journey of marriage is such a long journey that will take at least about two thirds of your lifetime. If for such a long period of time, you are going about not trusting one another, it will really be a burdensome journey.
Consequently, even when trust has been broken, it is recommended that you gradually build it up again, so that you marriage may be enjoyed by the two of you.
The Battle of Declining Attractions.
There are a lot of situations in which challenges come when you are already advancing in age. When age makes your spouse not to be able to do some of the things he or she used to do before, you must do everything possible to remain loyal to your marital vows. Your beautiful wife will grow old, your handsome husband will change with time, but you must always remember that anything may change, but you must not fail in your vow, to be available for one another till death do you part.
The Battle of The Anchor.
The battle of the anchor is the battle that you must fight and win to ensure that you don’t lose your faith in the face of the challenges of life that you may face in your marriage. In the life of every marriage, there are bound to be challenges. If anybody told you that there will be no challenge, the person must have deceived you. Jesus talking to Simon Peter said in Luke 22: 31-32;
“...Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;...”
You may be surprised that the only prayer that Jesus prayed for Peter in the face of the impending sifting of his life was that his faith would not fail. When your faith fails, it is like when the anchor that holds a ship steady in the storm has been removed. Anything can happen to such ship. May your anchor hold in the most turbulent period of your marriage in Jesus name.
Dear workers in the vineyard of the LORD, your home is so important for you as you serve the LORD. It is important for your own fulfillment in life, it is important for your children both spiritual and biological, it is important for the church of God and also for your eternity.
Sacrifice anything that needs to be sacrificed to keep it, may you succeed at it in Jesus name.