The Top Common Personal Finance Myths

IMFP195b

A myth is a widely held but false belief or idea. Unfortunately, one of the factors that are preventing many people from becoming financially successful is a false belief about personal finance. In fact, there are common financial myths that can negatively impact your wealth accumulation and prevents you from living your dream. Here are The Top Common Personal Finance Myths that might be holding you back financially;

  1. People with low income cannot save more than people who earns more. Actually some people with low incomes are so disciple such that they can save more than those with huge incomes, who have to maintain their high lifestyles.
  2. Personal financial advice is for people struggling financially. This is not necessarily true, personal financial advice is for anyone who wants to improve his or her financial management, whether one is in deep debt or not.
  3. Hard work makes you rich. ‘If getting up early makes people rich, then milk men and newspaper men would be very rich.’
  4. If you earn less, there is no need to budget. ‘Saving is hard for me because my income is very small.’
  5. One day I will encounter a big financial break that will make me a millionaire.
  6. ‘If I earn more, I will be happier.’ Money is simply an amplifier.
  7. ‘If I get financial aid I will be able to rise myself to riches.’
  8. ‘I will clear all my debt when I get the pay increase.’
  9. You save money by buying cheap or ‘on sale’ items.
  10. Buying ‘property’ is always the best investment.
  11. The higher your income the wealthier you are.
  12. Those with a lot of material wealth are rich.
  13. Two (or more) incomes are better than one.
  14. Signing as surety is no big deal.
  15. Frugality will make you rich.
  16. Rich people are evil.

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© Copyright 2016 by It’s My Footprint, www.itsmyfootprint.com.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Personal Finance Tagged with: , , ,

What Is Stopping You From Being Great?

greatness

Greatness is a choice. Just do it!

Yes, what is it that is stopping you from being great? What is stopping you from being that person you dream of?

The truth is that;

  • Your past cannot stop you from being great.
  • Your spouse cannot stop you from being great.
  • Your friends can not stop you from being great.
  • You personality cannot stop you from being great.
  • Having no money cannot stop you from being great.
  • Your government can not stop you from being great.
  • You race or gender cannot stop you from being great.
  • Being born in poverty can’t stop you from being great.
  • The country you live in can’t stop you from being great.
  • Being too young or too old can’t stop you from being great.
  • Being born with physical disabilities can’t stop you from being great.
  • Not having an adequate education cannot stop you from being great.
  • Being raised by alcoholic or abusive parents can’t stop you from being great.
  • Being an orphan or being raised in foster homes can’t stop you from being great.
  • Because you were told constantly, “you’re no good,” can’t stop you from being great.

Each of us has a vision of what success is but why don’t we then go for it? I think there is only one thing that can prevent you from stepping into your greatness; that is you. It is what you believe. Your belief is seen by your action or lack of action.

You might be saying ‘I don’t care what you think.’ Yes you are right. What I think does not matter. What really matters is ‘what you think!’

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” ― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Here are some of your common thoughts;

  • This isn’t on my list.
  • I’m too busy right now.
  • I don’t want learn new things.
  • My boss won’t let me do that.
  • I’m afraid of moving too forward
  • I’m not the person you think I am
  • The economy is bad at the moment.
  • I don’t trust other people’s advice.
  • I believe that I don’t have enough time.
  • I don’t have the resources you think I do.
  • I believe that I don’t have enough money.
  • I am scared to see the truth about my selves.
  • I feel guilty if we have a better life than others.
  • It’s not possible. That’s a pipe dream. Don’t bother.
  • I’m not the kind of person that does things like this
  • I don’t feel I deserve a better life. This is all I deserve.
  • I don’t want to open the door to a long-term commitment.
  • It’s too hard. I don’t want to pay the price, do the work and wait that long.
  • I can’t figure out how to do it, or where to start. I have to know how first.

To be honest the conditions for being great have never been right and will never be right. You just have to step in, today!

Now I ask again ‘what is stopping you from being great?’

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© Copyright 2016 by It’s My Footprint, www.itsmyfootprint.com.

Posted in Career, Entrepreneurship, Family, Leadership, Marriage and Relationships, Personal Development, Personal Finance Tagged with: ,

Do You Know All My Books?

My Books

If you do not know by now, here is it. I have published three fantastic books. These are small or medium sized easy to read books that are changing people’s lives every day.

The Blessing ScripturesIt’s time to slay your giants! It is time for your victory!

Do you struggle with where to start from when trying to read the Bible? Do you have to fight to maintain a constant devotional life? This book will make it easy because as you read it you will be reading verses that benefits you immediately. The collection of scriptures in this book relates to your personal life. Meditate daily on these scriptures that speak to you directly in The Blessing Scriptures, and experience the difference.

Are you looking for a collection of scriptures that will fire up your life like a rocket? You need a very positive mind to realize that big dream of yours. Few encouraging scriptures a day from The Blessing Scriptures will help you maintain a positive mind throughout the day. They will energize you to get out of bed to fulfill your calling with a purpose.

Are you going through a rough time, facing mountain sized challenges? This collection of scriptures will speak to your situation, turning your trails around and give you a new outlook to your future. Speak these scriptures daily as you pray.

The Blessing Scriptures will change your devotional life! Every scripture in the book has a direct meaning to your everyday personal life. Every scripture is specifically intended to encourage and restore hope and faith to face any daring circumstance. This is the book you ought to start and end your day with!

As you read The Blessing Scriptures you will feel faith rising inside you. This is how this book will help you face and conquer your giants.

The Blessing Scriptures, redefining spirituality!

Putting your marriage relationship where it belongs! This is what this book is about!

Little Tough Tips on MarriageMarriage is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Every couple can have a fun and enjoyable marriage and they can have this if they are brave enough to pursue the Little Tough Tips on Marriage.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment that is made without an option to turn back. It is like a garden that needs constant watering and great care. If you really love your spouse then, your love is worth fighting for. This little book will revolutionize your approach to your marriage relationship. It will prepare you to navigate traps that can block the smooth flow of marriage, by reorienting your heart and attitude. The following tips covered in this book will help you improve your relationship with your spouse and will move your spouse from being an enemy to being your ally.

The Discipleship SeriesDo you want to enjoy your Christian life? If ‘yes,’ this is the book!

The Discipleship Series is a series of teachings which are a guideline for personal devotion, home group and Bible study groups.

It will urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Weak faith in the teacher cannot stir stronger faith in the student. Use this book as you study the Bible.

And a message that we all should know, and should begin to live is, “Go yee therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Your family, church or community can reject you because of your past, but God loves you regardless of what you can do or cannot do. Get ready to get stirred in a way no book has ever done.

Can you write a book review?

If you are interested you can help me by writing a review and post it on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Send me an email at admin@itsmyfootprint.com and let me know which book you would like to review and I will send you the free eBook.

Have an awesome day.

Blessings,

Taka

Posted in From My Life, Marriage and Relationships, Personal Development Tagged with: , , , ,

What Are Your Top Time Wasters?

Wasting time

It is often said that time is money. So wasting time is wasting potential money. Over 350 responses on Quora responded to the question ‘What is truly a waste of your personal time?’ The answers were very interesting.

Here are the top 18 things that people waste their time on;

  1. Living In Past And Regretting

This is thinking too much about the past and about things that are beyond your control. If you often spend time reflecting on mistakes you have made, things you wish you had/hadn’t said, and wondering how differently things would’ve turned out if you had taken a different course of action. Recollecting past deeds and how they are going to affect you in your coming days, although you can’t change it. This can be blaming yourself for the loss of a loved one. It’s not healthy at all, and it prevents you from living in the present, perpetuating a vicious cycle of not appreciating what you have and then wishing you had done better. Allowing the past to linger is waste of time. The past has had its presence, now it’s gone. Spending time reliving the past takes part of your present you and divides you. Although, reliving good memories will release a pleasant feeling in you, allowing that part of you to relive toxic memories will poison you exponentially with the time factor.

  1. Social Media

There are many social media apps these days, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Messenger and other similar chatting apps. Many people keep surfing on the internet without a clear objective, just to pass time. Some spend a lot of time chatting with virtual friends, whom they don’t know and there is not possibility of ever meeting him/her in future. Some keep changing profile picture and status countlessly on social networking sites.

  1. Comparing Your Life With Others

Going through posts of others on Facebook and then thinking and mourning that your life is such a waste while it’s not at all true. This can be caring about what others might be thinking about you. Spending your time to impress others, thinking what others think about you is a waste of time. You do not have to prove how macho or strong or athletic or handsome or pretty you are.

  1. Worrying About The Present And Future

You can’t keep thinking and stressing about the future. It truly is amazing how much time can be wasted over something so uncertain or living in fear of something and not trying to overcome it. 

  1. Watching TV

Watching TV all day seems like a waste of time when you could be using your time to do something better like going out for a walk or spending time with friends or family. Perhaps try investing that time in achieving your dream.

  1. Worrying

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” Some people are worriers. They worry about everything and everyone in the name of being responsible. They carry other people’s burdens as if they are paid for it.

  1. Procrastination

Not doing what you want to do. They say procrastination is the language of the poor. It does not get things done and should be your number one enemy. Silently it takes your dream away from you.

  1. Gossiping

Gossiping seems to feed the emotions but does not get anything does. You cannot advance your life by gossiping. It simply discussing about people rather than ideas and engaging into small talks. Hating someone and spending time to think evil about him/her, conspire against him/her (which in most cases is probably is not going to be enacted) and back biting. Gossiping about other people and getting stressed over stupid things is indeed a waste of time.

  1. Doing Something You Hate

It was noticed that staying in a job you hate and working on a dead end job was the ninth waste of time. Why do you do a job you don’t like? Perhaps you have no choice but remember time is moving. If a job you like and stay on it. Things will not happen on their own.

  1. Complaining Excessively

While expressing displeasure over something may sometimes be good to let things out of your system, complaining incessantly without taking any action or coming up with ways to improve the situation often yields nothing but more frustration. Are you an epic complainer? Be careful otherwise you will complain yourself into poverty.

Other Serious Time Wasters

  • Addictive behaviours; Watching porn, smoking and drinking to excess.
  • Constant checking your inbox throughout the day for new emails. Scrolling through the endless Facebook feed hoping to find something interesting.
  • People pleaser by letting other views affecting you. Trying to please people to their liking
  • Spending time with the wrong people or people who bring you down, Just to look cool or be popular.
  • Pining for an ex-lover. Waiting for an ex to come back to you. Get over it and move on.
  • Traffic Jams takes a lot of our time. In some countries you can easily spend at least two hours daily in the traffic jams
  • Video game; hooked up to your gaming machine when there is a lot to play outside.
  • Engaging in endless political discussions and arguments.

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Please share your thoughts, ideas and comments below!

© Copyright 2016 by It’s My Footprint, www.itsmyfootprint.com.

Posted in Career, Personal Development Tagged with: , ,

Interview: Simba Nyamadzawo – A Motivational Speaker Dedicated To Serve His Generation

Simba Nyamadzawo Today at It’s My Footprint (IMFP) we caught up with Simba Nyamadzawo (SN) a well-known Motivational Speaker, Author of Faithpreneurship and a leadership consultant who says in his own words, ”I want to spend my lifetime inspiring others, building leaders and connecting great people together. I want to serve my generation.”

(IMFP) Welcome Simba Nyamadzawo and thank you for spending time with us at It’s My Footprint.

(SN) Thank you for having me.

(IMFP) Start by giving our followers a brief background of yourself, your experience and how you rose to your current position.

(SN) I grew up in Domboshava, a village characterised by granite hills situated about 30km North of Harare. My highest academic qualification is ”O” level I did not get the opportunity to go to university. After I failed A’ level my sister Florence gave me a copy of How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. I liked the book and the author and started to develop an interest in books to do with inspiration and personal development. To date I have read over 200 books. I began to share with others the inspiration and wisdom through seminars, presentations to universities and other civic organisations such as JCI, Rotary and Toastmasters magazine. I have done seminars with some of the foremost thought-leaders and speakers such as Rabison Shumba, Jonah Mungoshi, Tsitsi Mutendi, Kudzai Mubaiwa, Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, Dr Patson Dzamara, Arthur Marara, Tinashe Nyaruwanga, Phillip Chichoni, Nicholas Bhero, Chris Mugaga and Walter Chimene. My articles have been featured in several magazines and articles and I am regular guest on TV and radio.

To compliment my skills I also enrolled for training with a number of organisations such as EMPRETEC, Toastmasters International and others. I now consult for various companies and organisations on leadership and strategy.

(IMFP) Simba, what are you busy with now in terms of research work?

(SN) I am currently working on the 2016 edition of 30 under 30 emerging Zimbabwean leaders. Each and every year my organisation profiles some of the inspirational and influential leaders who are 30 years or below. We discovered that we have so many unsung heroic leaders.

We agree with John Quincy Adams when he said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” As an organization we have decided to acknowledge, honor and celebrate some of the young game changers, thought-leaders, opinion shapers, movers and shakers. We hope the list will challenge and inspire other young people to emulate and learn one or two from the listed contemporaries.”

For a full list of 2015 honorees see the link http://www.3-mob.com/?p=21870#.Vyd2h_l94dU

(IMFP) What were some of the biggest challenges you have faced to date? How did you overcome them?

(SN) Sometimes I solicit consultancy work in certain companies only to find out that the decision makers in those companies have an academic bias and the first thing they ask are my academic transcripts and CV. In such instance I have to rely on my profile and reference of the work I have done. I am glad to say that I am working on an assignment I was given by one of the largest churches in Zimbabwe after they were convinced with my profile.

(IMFP) Simba, did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to, what you’re doing today?

(SN) I grew up as a shy person with stage fright largely because I am an introvert. I encourage people to turn their lemon into lemonade. In my book FAITHPRENEURSHIP I share about the day that changed my life.

It was in 2003 we went for National Scholars Chess Tournament, they were held in Bulawayo at Milton High School an ancient Government School few minutes away drive from the city centre. I was representing Mashonaland West Province. After the tournament we returned to our school, Chinhoyi High School. The Headmaster wanted me to announce the results at assembly in front of all students and teachers. It was short notice. I was not prepared. I could not refuse or negotiate with him because he was a hard man a disciplinarian for that matter. I had no option except to comply. It took me up to eternity to say those few words to make matters worse I am a stammerer. I became the laughing stock of everyone.

That is the day I decided to turn my weakness into strength, my lemon into lemonade. I decided to take charge. I then joined Public Speaking and Debate. I remember when I went there first time the lady who was in charge thought that I was joking or I was after the pretty girls. When I told her I mean business she tried to discourage me saying you are not cut out for public speaking and debate. I pleaded with her to give me a chance.

That is the day which ushered me into a world of possibilities. I am now receiving speaking engagements from business and church organizations. I go around giving inspiration, faith and hope to people. I am no longer afraid to stand in front of people. If I can stand in front of one person I can stand in front of 1 million people. I am glad I failed forward.

(IMFP) I understand you have written books, let’s go into some work you have done.

(SN) My flagship book is FAITHPRENEURSHIP. It carries a message of inspiration and wisdom for leaders. I gravitate more to leadership because I believe the greatest need in our generation is leadership. We need leaders who are solution bearers, peace makers and architects of the future.

The book comes with a foreword from my spiritual father Apostle Tavonga Vutabwashe and has been endorsed by high profile authors and speakers such as Dr Shingi Munyeza, Rabison Shumba, Advocate Charles Magaiza and many more.

What makes the book unique is its relevance. The book has a dual audience, the church and the marketplace. It is a Christo-centric book integrated with universally accepted principles of success. That is the reason why people from all walks of life are buying it; Apostles, millionaires, academics, entrepreneurs, doctors and CEOs of companies which are listed on Stock Exchange. It’s a book with a message for everyone

(IMFP) Did you have any key mentors or people who propelled to who you are, what you believe in and what you are committed to in your work and life? Share with our followers about it.

(SN) I am privileged to have access and receive mentorship from Apostle Tavonga Vutabwashe and Rabison Shumba. I have benefited a lot from their wisdom and assistance. I also look up to other great people like Dr Shingi Munyeza, Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Dr John C. Maxwell and Dr Mike Murdock. I also draw inspiration from the works of the late Mother Teresa and Dr Myles Munroe.

(IMFP) Simba, what skills do you consider crucial for success for an upcoming motivational speaker, and business man?

(SN) I encourage emerging Motivational Speakers to join an organisation like Toastmasters International. They will learn about effective communication and leadership and also get to meet and associate with seasoned speakers.

(IMFP) When you think of the future of the kind of work you’ve talked about here, what gives you a sense of hope for your future?

(SN) I carry a message of inspiration and wisdom. As far as I am concerned wisdom is the principal thing we can never underestimate the value of wisdom in future.

(IMFP) Let’s talk about Simba the man. Give us a bit of your social and family life. 

Simba Nyamadzawo (SN) I am a last born in a family of five. Ndiri gotwe raMai Wadzanai. I enjoy playing chess. Outside work I also make a deliberate effort to spend time with people who are positive and enthusiastic. I draw energy from reading books.

(IMFP) Thank you Simba for taking time off your demanding schedule. We appreciate and value your inspiring story.

(SN) You are welcome. The pleasure is mine as well.

If you enjoyed this article, share it with your most favorite friends! 

Please share your thoughts, ideas and comments below!

© Copyright 2016 by It’s My Footprint, www.itsmyfootprint.com.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Personal Development Tagged with: , , , ,

Should You Spouse Really Come First?

Should You Spouse Really Come First?

This is Part Three of the Fifth and Final Episode of the Marriage Journals and it is continued from The Marriage Covenant.

It is easy to get entangled with many things that demand our attention and forget our priorities. It is easy to follow our passions and things that excite us. After all they make us happy. It’s not easy to ignore them. At time we get twisted teaching that are given out with another agenda. In this section we look at how our priorities in marriage should be structured. This is how it should be, God first, your spouse second, your children third, your parents fourth, and others including other people, work, church etc fifth. Let look at this further.

God has the supreme priority. He gets the first share of your time, relationship and income (tithe). You are to obey Him always and walk with Him daily. After all you belong to him. You do not belong to your boss, your church or your pastor. This share is not ministry. It is about walking with God and developing a relationship with Him.

Your spouse gets the second priority. He or she gets the second share of your time, relationship and income in fact he or she owns half of your possessions. You have to serve him or her first before your children, parents, siblings or pastor. Actually, before God you and your spouse are one person.

Your children are in third position after your husband or wife. Your children have one father and one mother by divine appointment, so be there for them. Serve your children before everyone else. Spend quality time with them, parent them and do not delegate your parenting responsibility to television shows or the maid. Do not neglect them.

At fourth position are your parents. Regardless of circumstance we ought to respect them. Ephesian 6:2-3 [AMP] says, ‘Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise. That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.’ Note that your parents include your parents’ in-law. Treat them as you would treat your own parents because they are [Deut 5:16].

On fifth position is everyone else; siblings, cousins, aunts, church mates, colleagues, friends, etc. When one is single their priorities are different. God remains number one, parents are number two and siblings and everyone else are number three. However when one marries and has children, parents move down from number two to number four, and siblings move down from number three to number five. A lack of understanding of the changes in priorities when one marries and has children can result in parents and siblings competing for attention with your spouse and children, causing animosity. Instead of your siblings interfering with your spouse and children, they must focus on their own spouses and children. Their priorities have also changed.

The same priorities apply during prayer. When praying, you pray for your spouse first before anything else, then your children, then your parents and then everyone else. Your spouse, children and parents must receive more prayers than anything else. When blessing, you bless your spouse first, then your children and then your parents, in that order, before anyone else [Ephesians 5:20-33].

Before you buy your pastor a gift, buy something for your spouse, your children and your parents first. This is what brings a ‘sustainable’ blessing, a blessing that will last, a blessing that will not open a door for strife. If you put the church before your family, you may get blessed, only to lose it because of the curse that comes from your mixed priorities. The church belongs to God, not to you. The pastor works for God, not for you. On the other hand your family belongs to you. It is your primary responsibility by divine appointment. God takes care of his business, the church, and you should take care of yours, your family. When you take care of your family, God will bless you enough to be able take part in fulfilling Gods’ mandate in the church. The Bible refers to the church as God’s bride. You have your own spouse. God takes care of His, you should take care of yours.

Do not put the cart before the horse! ‘The blessing begins at home!’ This is a sustainable blessing, a blessing that makes rich and does not add sorry. It is passed from generation to generation. As you gather at church the combined blessing can do much more bigger things because there is combined faith and blessing [Matthew 18:19] but ‘Prayer begins at home. God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as their home [Gen2:8]. It was a blessed home. There was no curse in Eden. This shows that our homes should be blessed. The primary place for experiencing God’s blessing is none other than our homes. We safe guard this by putting our marital priorities in divine order.

Again do not put your career or work before your spouse or family. It also brings a curse. If you neglect your spouse and prioritize your career you risk losing the extra money you get quicker than you get it. The promotion you get can easily turn into misery and a bondage.

God’s principal interest is to fellowship with you in prayer, not to meet your daily list of demands that you call your prayer list. Free will offering, gifts, church building funds etc comes later. He wants your heart.

Your second interest in life is your spouse’s interests; not your boss’s; friends or your work. Your spouse left everything for you. You! Not for your money or work. They gave up their identity for you. Hence you better be there for them. If you find yourself spending more time at work than with them, disaster will surely follow. Listen to the needs of your spouse, and meet those needs. Who will meet them if you do not? If the demand seems too big, then pray together about it. God normally intervenes. “If you and your spouse shall agree in prayer about anything, it will be granted!” [Matt 18:19]. The best team or agreement that can break any bondage or curse and cause overflow is a married couples’ prayer of agreement. That’s why the devil fights marriage.

Surprisingly you will find that each time you sacrifice these demands for your spouse or family, God blesses you. Each time you turn down some activity because of family demands, God will always compensate you.

You have two choices, either to go out sacrificing your spouse and family for your job or sport, working and toiling like an elephant but eating like an ant. Or you can choose your family and allow the blessing of God to work for you. Guys, obedience is better than sacrifice, because obedience is followed by the blessing. On the other hand sacrifice is associated with toiling! [1 Samuel 15:22, Deuteronomy 28:1-2].

Husbands and wives, hear me on this, rather agree with your ‘dull’ spouse and receive God’s blessing, than to argue and strife with an intelligent spouse and receive a curse. God works in a peaceful environment. It’s better to lose the argument with God on your side, than to win the argument without God. Losing the argument with God puts the power of God in charge of the situation, thereby bringing to pass what you originally desired. Remember winning the argument has nothing to do with strengthening your marriage, but purely a display of ego.

As you contemplate;

  • What is the difference between a contract and a covenant?
  • How are you showing this one-way, unconditional, covenantal love to your spouse?

This the final part of the Fifth and Final Episode of the Marriage Journals.

Share this article with your friends and your loved ones so that they do not miss.

© Copyright 2016 by It’s My Footprint, www.itsmyfootprint.com. 

Posted in Marriage and Relationships Tagged with: , , ,

The Marriage Covenant

The Marriage Covenant

This is Part Two of the Fifth Episode of the Marriage Journals and it is continued from Vertical Relationship Makes Horizontal Relationships Better.

A marriage is a covenant not a contract. A contract has terms and conditions. It can expire and it can be breached. On the other hand a covenant is for life, it is not temporary. It ends when one part dies. It is sealed by blood and it is a life and death issue. A contract is written on paper. A covenant means each party give in their life for the other. Hence each side contribute 100% in order to produce something that is 200%! This is something much better that before. It’s not fifty-fifty; it’s one hundred plus one hundred percent. In a contract you give your abilities according to the terms of the contract, but in a covenant you give your life.

In the New covenant Christ as the groom gave his life for the church, the bride and we respond by giving our life to him. Therefore we are saved by Christ 100%! It is not a fifty-fifty. Hence in a kingdom marriage, you give yourself to your spouse regardless of what you get or do not get. This is the God kind of love. This is what glorifies God. That’s why the Bible say, ‘the two shall become one.’ It does not say half of each will be joined together to become one. No, its 100% plus 100% being joined together.

The covenant of marriage is a life and death issue. It is a blood covenant.

If your heart is not established and settled on God’s covenant of salvation it is difficult to understand or accept the covenant of marriage. God loved us as sinners and he commanded husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the sinful Church. God did not love us to get something out of us. Even if we rebel against Him, his love for us is unchanged. So, we love our spouses because it’s a command that we obey.

Unconditional love is full of grace. It is forgiving and long-suffering. It is humble and selfless. As we obey, God commands blessings over us. Unconditional love is the most powerful things in existence! That’s why the Bible says God is love!

The Marriage Vows

“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”

These are the words that you promised in your marriage vow. This is a covenant pledge. You promised your spouse. You did not give terms or conditions to the pledge. This is an unconditionally pledge promising unconditional love. This unconditional love pledge can only be sustained by Love Himself, that is, God.

Because you vowed concentrate on keeping your side of the covenant. This is how you get notice by the covenant maker. No not blaming your wife or husband. When you do your part of the covenants, God will bless you, because you are obedient. If you cannot obey your own words in your marriage vow, how can you obey God’s Word? The world is broken and your spouse is also broken. Do not expect your spouse to be perfect or nice to you all the time. Instead look to the perfect God and ‘make your request be known to Him’ [Phil 3]. Why do you waste your time on the imperfect when the perfect one is right in front of you?

Now on the day you made the marriage covenant, you did not say, ‘If you stop loving me, I will leave you or if you misbehave l will ask you to pack your bags or if this or that happens, I will do this and that.’ No. You said, “To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.” This is serious stuff.

Keep the words of your vow, not just to your spouse, but also to GOD. If you do this, God’s grace will cause things around you to change for your good. Stop trying to change your husband/wife because you can’t. It is God who can change people, and before you ask God to change your husband or wife, make sure that you have kept your side of the marriage covenant, “To have and to hold, from this day …. ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.” You will be surprised to find that the change that you want to see in your spouse coming after you have changed first.

This revelation will change your marriage. Stop being his or her ‘policeman,’ because it is simply not your responsibility. Just do your part and leave the rest to God. ‘What? Yes, you did not marry your spouse to change or manipulate him/her. You married your spouse to love with unconditional love. Just give your spouse some love. This is what you must do. This is your primary commitment. This is your side of the covenant.

This Part Two of the Fifth Episode of the Marriage Journals will continue in Part Three as Should You Spouse Really Come First? 

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© Copyright 2016 by It’s My Footprint, www.itsmyfootprint.com.

 

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Vertical Relationship Makes Horizontal Relationships Better

Vertical Relationship Makes Horizontal Relationships Better

This is Part One of the Fifth Episode of the Marriage Journals and it is continued from Journey to Your Soulmate.

I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:1-2 AMP

The world’s way is different from God’s way. As Christian we have to change our way of thinking to line up with God’s way so that we ‘may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]’. If we do marriage the world’s way we will get the same results as the world. You will become part of the bad statistics.

The main thing in marriage is to keep the main thing the main thing. Respect the Christian marriage system and you will be rewarded. What is the Christian marriage system? A Christian marriage is a covenant. It is a covenant that involves three people, that is, your spouse, you and God. Without one of the three, it is not a Christian marriage. They are all stakeholders in the marriage. For the marriage to start and be successful, these three have to ‘bond’ and become one. If one part falls off, the marriage will suffer and may eventually break down.

Now of these three the most important person is God. The marriage vow is made before God. God comes first for both the husband and wife. You cannot afford to ignore Him. When you do this your relationship with God will be mirrored into your marriage. That’s why the Bible say ‘first seek the kingdom of God.’

‘But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.’ Matthew 6:33 AMP. This means to love God, to put him first, to seek ‘His ways of doing things’ or his purpose first, to ask God for direction on day to day basis and to seek His righteousness. If you do this, ‘all these things’ will be given.

The key here is if you align your heart with God’s heart, your marriage will align with God’s purpose and plan. It will become what God designed it to be. It will be a little heaven on earth, not ‘hell on earth.’ This is the Kingdom marriage. Is your marriage a Kingdom marriage?

Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], O prisoners who have the hope;

Even today I am declaring that I will restore double [your former prosperity] to you [as firstborn among nations]. – Zechariah 9:12 Amplified Bible (AMP). We have to return our heart to God so that he can restore and heal us. We have to return to live a kingdom lifestyle.

Over the years we have spoken to make couples who were having marriage issues. There is one single thing that we saw common to almost all of them. All these people always mention that they first drifted from God before the fighting begin. The further they drift from God, the more intense and more frequent the conflicts.

Each couple had drifted from God. They all had a devotional life that is not working properly. They may be serving God in many powerful ways but their relationship with God had gone cold. Some had chosen to rebel against God. The first step they took was to kick God out of their marriage life.

Now a genuine relationship with God is different from your gifting. You gifting is your set of tools. It is about your abilities but your relationship with God is about your right standing with God. Anyone can be anointed and work for God, but not everyone can have a flourishing relationship with Him. Many are serving God without a healthy relationship with Him. Your gifting is for other people but your relationship with God is for yourself. Your relationship with God is what remains outside serving God, when you are on your own at home. That’s why we heard of powerful anointed people of God having ugly scandals. This is how king Saul fall. Do you feel right with God?

The husband has the divine responsibility to initiate, facilitate and connecting his wife and the whole family with God, just as Christ gave himself up for the church, his wife. In response wives should follow their husbands’ leadership towards God in submission.

Make up your mind to pursue God will all that you have. Know that it is not a stroll in the park, but a battle for the hearts.

Insecure men end up stalking their wives and making them prisoners. They always suspect something is happening. You cannot be insecure and at the same time have faith. The two do not mix. Insecurity is an indicator of lack of faith in God. It shows lack of trust in God’s ability to sort things that bothers you.

If you believe God and that he loves you, you won’t be bothered by each detail of what your wife does with other people. You won’t have to police her because you have faith in God’s ability to police her for you. This gives you peace. As long as your vertical relationship with God is good, your horizontal relationship with your wife will simply fall in place. This is what you should do not the other way round.

You do not have to run your life, honestly, give it to God. If someone messes with you in an unfair way you go to your Father, and believe me or not, your Father is a fixer. He will fix things for you. He can talk right to their hearts and minds. He controls the environment around your enemies for your benefit. When you have problems talk to Him and He makes things good for you. At many times he gives you wisdom to tackle the situations.

This Part One of the Fifth Episode of the Marriage Journals will continue in Part Two as The Marriage Covenant.

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© Copyright 2016 by It’s My Footprint, www.itsmyfootprint.com.

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Journey to Your Soulmate

Journey to Your Soulmate

This is Part Two of the Fourth Episode of the Marriage Journals and it is continued from What it Takes to ‘Become One’.

But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. [Gen. 1:27; 5:2.] For this reason a man shall leave [behind] his father and his mother and be joined to his wife and cleave closely to her permanently, And the two shall become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. [Gen. 2:24.] What therefore God has united (joined together), let not man separate or divide. – Mark 10:6-9

The process starts with an independent man and woman. They leave their families and relative to be joined in marriage. They become one flesh, ‘soulmates.’ God forbid anyone from breaking this union. Let look at it in detail.

Through the eyes of the Holy Spirit the strength of your spouse will become clearer. Actually you will find that your life is better with your spouse than without. You will find that God has a greater plan for you, your spouse and your family.

Everyone has a dream job, the ideal job that you wish for. Many people are searching for that dream job. Perhaps you are one of those searching for it. You think that once you find that job you will be alright. You will have the dream pay, the dream position working in a dream team with a dram boss. In search for it you move from one job to another. In your mind you say, ‘If I could get it, everything will be alright.’ After many job hoping many time you get disappointed because you cannot find it that fulfillment you are looking for. Perhaps you are not the dream person required by the job. The same is true in looking for a soulmate.

You cannot be soulmates apart from God. 

‘And the two shall become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. [Gen. 2:24.]’ [Mark 10:7]. To be soulmates is the results of your relationship being cemented by God, and being aligned to God’s plan and purpose. Perhaps it is not a soulmate that you should be looking for but God who cements and create soulmates. Your soulmate is not out there. Your soulmate is within you as you relate to God. Your soulmate is not a person it is a revelation from God about your spouse, each one being placed into the plan of God.

Your journey towards your soulmate is in fact a journey towards God, the creators of souls. You do not have to be single to look for your soulmate. Finding your soulmate is finding the heart of God for you and your spouse. It is the netting together by the power of the Holy Spirit that manifest outwards. It is more spiritual than physical. Those who try to find a soulmate in the natural always get disappointed.

You do not have to behave the same in order to be soulmates. You only need the cement, that is, God. The concrete is strong because it is made by the bonding of particle of different shapes and sizes. The difference in shapes and sizes is what makes the bonding better. You do not want to make concrete using smooth single sizes stones. It reduces its strength.

God made us different not to drive each other crazy but to complement each other and as a result achieve more and live a better life.

As you get closer to God you will find that it is the differences you have that you actually like about your spouse. Satan will always try to manipulate you into arguing over them. It is to be short sighted. It is to be canal to think that with your own effort you can change your spouse into a better person. After all better for who?

It’s good to find the right woman or man but it is much better for you to become the right man or woman. Many people focused on finding the right person. Once they find him/her they end up destroying their partners because they forgot to sort their own lives first. Are you the right person for your fiancé? Are you the right person for your spouse?

Again remember that finding the right woman/man and being the right man is a small part in the equation of marriage. The most important thing is will s/he remain the right woman/man for the rest of the life. And from your part will you remain the right woman/man for her/him for the rest of your lives.

When tests and trial come will you remain soulmate? I would rather think that you become soulmates through tests and trails. ‘Puppy love’ moments are good but have nothing to do with being soulmates. Having awesome dates and hot romantic courtship is not bad, but the real test is in the marriage. The relationship is tested in shakings of life. These are the moment you have to look to God for help. These are time when the bond is tested and consolidated. And ‘What therefore God has united (joined together), let not man separate or divide.’ – Mark 10:9

Now that you know how to become soulmate, next time we will discuss another mystery in marriage, how Vertical Relationship makes Horizontal Relationships better.

As you contemplate;

  • What is hindering you from becoming soulmates?

This is the end of the Fourth Episode of the Marriage Journals. The series continues in the Fifth Episode titled Vertical Relationship makes Horizontal Relationships Better.

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What it Takes to ‘Become One’

What it Takes to ‘Become One’

This is Part One of the Fourth Episode of the Marriage Journals and it is continued from You Could Be Having A New Marriage In Seven Days.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – Ephesians 4:2 NIV

In marriage it is unavoidable to offend your spouse, intentionally or unintentionally. A number of times you will find that you have hurt the one who you love. It will pain you as well.

On the other hand, know that you will definitely be offended by your spouse, intentionally or unintentionally. In both cases be prepared to seek real peace so that your marriage relationship moves forward.

As we begin this conversation I would like to mention this important thing. I wish I could say ‘You will not sin.’ I wish I could say ‘Your spouse will not sin.’ Both of you will sin. The good thing is there is forgiveness available, unlimited forgiveness from God. You forgiveness is not enough. It will get used up. Make use of God’s forgiveness for the good of your marriage.

I really acknowledge your fight in the faith, your fight to stay out of sin, your fight for your marriage, your fight to be a wife or husband of honor, a fight to be the person who God want you to be. God notices your efforts and it will be rewarded. It is a blessing.

‘And the two shall become one flesh; so that they are no longer two, but [are united as] one flesh. [Mark 10:8] Genesis 2:24’ What is to ‘become one?’ How do you really ‘become one?’ If you think of it, one in what? How can two different people become one? In most cases it’s like mixing water and oil. Yes, they can be in the same container, but remain occupying different spaces within the container.

To become one is not to lose your identity but to complement each other’s identity. It is to notice that we are different hence we can do more together. It is to know that your spouse’s strengths are in your hands. So your strength is in your difference and uniqueness. This is the good part.

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, Because we are members (parts) of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. [Gen. 2:24.] This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. [I Pet. 3:2.] – Ephesians 5: 21-33

The union of marriage is compared to the union of Jesus Christ and the Church. It is a mystery. The man should submit (respect and honor) to Christ, and the woman should submit (respect and honor) to her husband. This is the divine order. One interesting point is that the wife should submits (respect and honor) to the husband in order to bring transformation in him (Read 1 Peter 3:1). It is a divine calling that God uses to spread the word by changing husbands. The Husband must love his wife as Christ loved the church. He must be ready to sacrifices for her knowing that she is the weaker vessel.

Form this you can see that becoming one is easy when all is well, but things are not always rosy every day. It will take sacrifice from each of you, to sacrifice your comfort for the marriage, to still show love when your love level has been depleted.

You will have to be humble. Humble to spend time with your spouse even if you do not feel like it. Humble to accept compromise when you know that you had the opportunity and right to squash your spouse and win.

Becoming one means to forgive your spouse when you have been offended, disappointed and hurt. It means to forgive again and again, just like Jesus. It means that at times there will be little time together but you choose to let it go. It means to be selfless, kind and being a giver.

It will not be easy. It will not happen overnight. It will take God working in you. It takes grace. It is serving. It means submitting your marriage to God. It takes patience.

To become one takes one to align the heart correctly in order to hear God’s voice. It means to look for the God idea, not your own idea. It calls for the courage to serve your spouse coming out of your love for God and for your spouse. This is what it means to become one.

There is one thing that keeps our relationship going. It is forgiveness. One party ask for forgiveness and the other party must be willing to receive and forgive, again and again. The same with a marriage, without forgiveness no marriage can stand.

Forgiving an apologizing spouse is very hard.

First of all, apologizing is very difficult especially when you ‘know’ that you are right. In reality you can both be correct but just have different opinions and preferences. You can both think you are right but actually wrong. So it seems apologizing is not about who is wrong or right. It is about seeking peace and healing for your loved one.

Why is it difficult to apologize? It is pride. When did pride come in? During you dating period you did not urge or fight. ‘I am sorry’ was very common. It was all about ‘I forgive you.’ What had changed? It is familiarity. It is the relaxedness and casualness to your spouse that comes from ‘I know him/her’ attitude. With this attitude you find it not necessary to respect your spouse. You spouses opinion will not matter anymore after all ‘I know where his/her ‘dirty laundry’ is hidden.’

There is a strong temptation to control your spouse. This desire to control results in conflicts because you think that you know more about than him/her. ‘How can I listen to someone who has made these other terrible mistakes?’ ‘Should I trust him/her with my life?’ If you find yourself at this prideful position, it means you have empowered you spouse to control you. You spouse has become the standard. And if you spouse has become your standard then you will find that God is not so close enough to be the one controlling your life, and not the standard.

As you draw closer to God, the intimacy makes you aware of your own faults and the need to forgive your spouse.

It’s not about competing but completing.

“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3).

When you find yourself in conflict with your wife, give God a chance to speak to your heart and your spouse’s heart. Regardless of who is wrong, you will drift towards humility before God and just say, ‘I’m sorry.’ And if you are in close relationship with God, you will follow His example and forgive.

Know each other in the spirit more than in the flesh. See more of what God see than what your flesh sees. Seeing imperfection of your spouse without God’s eyes is one of the most horrific sights for a person. There is no love, no grace and no mercy. It harms your souls and attracts sin. Seeing your spouse’s imperfection with God’s view is seeing things with the lenses of grace, you will see the love of God.

As you contemplate;

  • ‘And the two shall become one flesh…’ How is your journey to become one with your spouse?
  • How easy is it to accept your spouse’s imperfection?

This Part One of the Fourth Episode of the Marriage Journals will continue in Part Two as Journey to Your Soulmate.

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