Parenting 101

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“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents” .- Jane D. Hull

One of my golden friends suggested this topic many weeks ago. I cannot emphatically explain why I did not delve into it immediately, however, the subject has been trapped in the cage of my imagination since then.

This piece is my personal perception about parenting and the role of parents in the lives of their children (biological and otherwise), and I am certain it is not outside the code of the scriptures. Am I qualified to discuss parenting?  Yeah…I am 100% qualified! I was once under parental care (and I still enjoy some parental attention from wonderful people), and on the platform of grace, I have been privileged to play parental role at various times, in the lives of a few brilliant minds.

Parents are the first entrance of anyone into this world. They are the first picture mother world painted for us about God, life and anything that matters. It is foolishness to argue with the fact that we are products of our environment and our parents are the first environment that bade us welcome to this world. We are not just carriers of our parental genetic materials, we are also carriers of their influence, values, culture, impact and other factors that matter. In this context, maturity means unlearning some toxic values and fortifying the structure of great values we imbibe from our parents.

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CONCEPT OF PARENTING

Being a parent doesn’t automatically put you in the position of ownership in the life of your child. Children are not properties nor are they pets: they belong to GOD. You are mortal so you lack the ownership right and capacity of another mortal. In the grand scheme of things, parenting is nothing but stewardship.

In this case, moreover, it is required [as essential and demanded] of stewards that one be found faithful and trustworthy. 1corinthian 4:2 (AMP)

A Steward’s values and trustworthiness, can be deduced from his loyalty and submission to his boss’ (the real owner) instructions. However, this is not the case for the unfaithful steward. The most destructive traits in stewardship is having an ownership mentality (I am sure Lucifer understands this concept better). Please, I appeal to you to uninstall this mindset when it comes to your children. Nobody can be fully successful as a parent without a sound relationship with God and undying obedience to his instructions.

I grew up seeing parents (even mine) parading themselves as proud children owners; they determine their children’s schools, career path in life (majorly based on their own ego and self-aggrandizement) and paying zero attention to their children’s skills set or consulting the real owner of the wards in their care. My grandma and aunties have preferences where one should choose a spouse from, my mum on the other hand wanted my brother and I to be medical practitioners. Nothing scares me like the passion and pressure these ‘children owners’ exert to bring their personal will to pass in the lives of their children. They would literally shift mountains to make their will happen caring less about whose ox is gored. I have had my encounters with children owners and I must tell you, it wasn’t funny!

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THE REAL ROLE OF A GODLY PARENT

Provision of food, shelter and clothing are the primary parental responsibilities according to what most of us where taught in Social Studies, and sadly, many parents have drawn solace from this societal heresy as being their only obligation and what makes them parents. Beloved, you don’t have to be a parent before playing these roles in the lives of people around you. If all you do as a parent is pay bills, then you are of all men most miserable. Anybody can perform that role but only a few others, can lead their wards into destiny. In a sane society, you cannot own an ordinary pet until you are certified financially capable to handle such responsibility. Children who do not have someone or people paying their bills are called orphans, so if you are not paying bills then you are dead. However, payment of bills is barely enough.

In my opinion, the major task of a godly parent is “provision of direction and leadership for their wards”. Great parents are those who are submissive to the leadership of God concerning the journey of their children and are willing to lead and encourage them through their pathway of purpose. Great parents lead their children the way they should go and lead them into prosperity.

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Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it. —Proverbs 22;6 (AMP)

Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost. (MSG)

Contrary to popular beliefs, I feel the discovery of purpose on the one hand, is a parental responsibility while specialization in purpose on the other hand, is a personal responsibility. This is what I mean: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph knew Jesus was going to save the world somehow, however only Jesus had the full scope. If the briefing the angel gave Mary and Joseph concerning Jesus’ purpose played a huge role in Jesus destiny and ministry, then having a clue of your children’s purpose in life is of utmost importance.

In my little study about the world’s greatest folks (living and dead) who touched lives and influenced cultures while they are here and even after they have crossed to the other side of eternity, for example, men like Michael Jackson, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Hemmingway, Stephen King, Beyoncé, Cristiana Ronaldo, Neymar Jr etc, I discovered they all have one thing in common: they are all early starters. While their counterparts were learning ‘Ali is a boy’, they were buried deep into purpose and destiny doing exactly what they are born to do. On the average, outliers in any field start at the age of six (6). A six-year-old child knows nothing expect to trust the leadership and mentorship skills of his or her parents.

Friends, every child is unique and they deserve to be given what I call ‘customized parenting’. Not every destiny deserves to be exposed to the whirlwind of the University (especially Nigerian Universities considering the quality of output gotten from products of our institutions). There is a way every child should go which leads to peace and prosperity and they need leadership to lead them in that direction, else they will choose the way that seems right to them which leads to frustration, depression and destruction. Let us stop teaching a lion about flying and a sheep about roaring and hurting. Trust me, some knowledge is unnecessary, and some stress are avoidable.

2018 IS GONNA BE AMAZING…HAPPY NEW YEAR!

OLATUNJI ROCKDWELLER

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CHASING A THOUSAND

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“I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations.”
― BEATRIX POTTER

Many years ago, an announcement was made during the church service instructing the Vivacious Legacy Youth to wait behind after the service for a brief, yet important meeting with our father in the Lord, Pastor Tunde Bakare. My presence in the meeting came with a truckload of sacrifices, but these two weighed much more than the rest in my teenage years;

  • I missed Manchester United match (which was a few hours away from the time for the said meeting)
  • I had to let go of being chauffeured home in an air-conditioned not-too-plush SUV (and trust me, the overcrowded city of Lagos is not a place I love to jump from one worn-out yellow bus to another, like a young monkey leaps from one branch to another in the thickest part of the rain forest: at least, not when I look my best in a black tuxedo suit, white shirt and a red tie).

Sometimes, I think the sun is more scorching on Sundays: SUN-DAY – the day of the week when king sun is on the throne.

I arrived my room panting like that deer in the book of psalms (who was panting for water in the desert), even as beads of sweat meandered down the upper part of my lanky body. That was the price I had to pay for the 17 minutes with Pastor B (which for the records was my best decision of that said year). Believe me, that encounter was one of the most impactful moment of my entire life. He spoke very calmly, each word pierced through my heart like a two-edged sword. His fatherly voice was mixed with contagious passion and undying love; I couldn’t help but connect like a son listening to the last words of his dying father. I gleaned everything, and I would be generous enough to share one or two things I learnt from the meeting after eight years.

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Pastor Tunde Bakare started by telling us that a great father doesn’t raise great sons instead great fathers raise greater fathers (making great fathers of us was one of his goals), because in the grand scheme of things, everything produces after its kind; gods birth gods, mortals beget mortals. As children of God, we are gods. As children of the one true King, we are kings, and as offsprings of the Lord of hosts, we are lords, He being the KING of Kings and the LORD of Lords (Selah).

Secondly, Pastor B taught us that God is a God of accountability and we are expected to be accountable. He flipped the pages of his bible and read a few verses where the writer was talking about one shall put a thousand to flight and two shall chase ten thousand. He paused for some seconds and let out a deep breathe before saying and I quote: “The smallest and weakest among us right here is responsible for at least one thousand lives during his or her lifetime.” My muscles melted in awe as I heard the number and wondered how this little me can be held responsible for at least 1000 lives. “How could this be?” was the question locked in the prison of my little mind and I am quite certain I wasn’t alone in that realm of amusement.

chasing 10000

 

Pastor B broke down the concept of purpose and talents. He also taught us how to master relationship and power of partnership as it concerns greatness. However, that is not the objective of this piece.

He continued to read scriptures to support his claims about one putting a thousand to flight. He joggled different verses and unveiled the mysteries locked in each. He continued by saying, “We all have a unique purpose and no matter how simple or little any God-given purpose seems, it has the capacity to change at least a thousand lives provided the carrier of the vision is ready to pay the price and pour all of him into doing it within the confines of Grace. You must discover your purpose early in life and choose to invest your time, energy and resources into it until it is refined enough for global consumption. Fulfilling your purpose is always against all odds. You will have to fight and sweat, be misunderstood and rejected, but you have to stay true to what you believe.” He also talked briefly on the mountains of influence.

chasing karo

 

Pastor B referred to these 1000 folks we ought to be chasing, as our audience and reiterated that they are waiting for us to maximize our potentials because their lives are hinged on what we carry on our inside (we carry the capacity to influence them for greatness directly or indirectly). Some of our life audience are hanging around us even on social media while many are even still unborn. You must not disappoint them and by so doing, hurt God.

Have you located your primary assignment on earth? How well have you refined it? Are you serving humanity through it or you are still trapped somewhere else in looking for survival?

Have you not heard that the weakest amongst us should be like David and the strongest in our midst will reign as gods? If David slayed tens of thousands, then that figure is our minimum. Your influence can only be multiplied when you are within the confines of the God-given purpose for your life.

Pastor B also talked about what I love to title “the law of partnership” which states that when two folks who are chasing at least a thousand each come into partnership, they automatically put at least ten thousand to flight (instead of two thousand using normal arithmetic calculation). In healthy partnership 1+1= 10 (Your math teacher was wrong).

He closed the meeting by enjoining us to focus on maximizing our potentials and be conscious of the weight of responsibilities ahead of us. Find yourself and your purpose before you expect someone worthy to find you, be useful to lives attached to you before you can be eligible to have an external helper.

MARRY ME NOW OR I DIE!

A Few weeks ago, my team in church decided to break out of the jail of noise, stress and every draining factor that weigh people down in the city and we headed for a camp meeting in one of the most serene locations I have ever visited. Almost immediately after arrival, we all dived into the sea of spiritual rebirth, some got drowned and a few others got lost. In all, we returned more energized and empowered. For a fact, the planning as well as execution was excellent; topnotch accommodation, good quality food served in very large quantity as well (my love for food though…lol), and also, sensational and seasoned ministers to set us on course. The event was livestreamed being that some team members were out of the country or unavoidably absent. In one sentence, it was a five-star event! According to the time-table, day 2 (5:00-6:15 am), happened to be what I tagged “moment of segregation”. The married were expected to go on a prayer walk (a combo of spiritual and physical fitness) while the unmarried were supposed to gather in a place to pray. My initial plan was to go on the walk with the married folks but Victor (Bro Victor sounds more correct to some spiritual folks though), labeled it as an act of rebellion, pride, deceit etc. So, I decided to be a good dude. Arriving at the venue to be used for prayers by the singles, I noticed most of the ladies wore a very virtuous and courteous demeanor: probably the strategic part of their church mind told them they might be standing next to their Mr. Right. I could read despair on peoples’ faces as they passionately and violently banged heaven’s gate with the body language that I could only interpret as “give me a husband (or wife) now or I die!” In as much as the presence of God was evident, more evident was the despondency of his children, the cloud of desperation was as thick as an Italian duvet and I almost choked to death, but mercy said no. I saw tears meandering down some makeup free faces as some sisters walked themselves into miracle marriages (they literally convulsed), as well, I heard brothers prophetically declaring their wedding date as some men of God led us through this dramatic session. Everybody’s marital goal suddenly switched to the next 365 days as they all cried: “by this time next year I must be settled!”. I wished I could yell that “THE BEST TIME TO SETTLE DOWN IS NOW THAT YOU ARE UNMARRIED. IF YOU THINK MARRIAGE IS A PLATFORM OF SETTLEMENT, THEN YOU ARE A JOKER. MARRIAGE IS SETTLED WHEN TWO SETTLED UNMARRIED FOLKS ARE INVOLVED. ANYTHING ELSE IS TROUBLED WATER. TAKE HEED, ELSE THOU SHALL BREAKDOWN AND GO DOWN”. In my opinion, if you are desperate to get married, then you do not understand the concept of marriage, neither do you understand the dynamics of the war you are about to start. Desperation only attracts wrong people into your life. Since I was born and now I am getting old, I have never seen a desperado get it right in marriage. Never! Marriage is like driving, you wanna make it fun and fulfilling, then acquire the necessary skills. If you are inexperienced behind the wheel you cannot differentiate between the pedals, accelerator, brake and in some cases, the clutch and this is suicidal irrespective of your age or the bank account of your spirituality. For there is a way that seems right unto a man or woman, but the end thereof is destruction. I often ask myself, why are folks so anxious to die? Show me a man or a woman who is desperate to get married and I will show you a victim of societal pressure who is unprepared about the very thing she is asking for. Permit me to go numeric and bore your with statistics , 147 unmarried folks attended a meeting (out of the approximately 600 people in attendance), and when Pastor K asked us to indicate how many of us are certain that we are not ready to settle down in the next 365 days, I waved with both hands and the brother standing by me did the same. Trust me, I saw nobody else raise their hands. The effect of this is :100-0.0138% =99.9862%. As such, I am expected to eat rice at 145 venues in the next 365 days (2.517 weddings per day); just one department, just one sphere of my life (I still have families, friends, bloggers, colleagues, neighbors just to mention a few). Believe me, the next one year is going to be very busy for me and please forgive me in advance if I struggle to publish as few as 10 pieces during this time frame. ‘Team owambe’ on the fleek! As the meeting continued, Brother Larry (not his real name) mentioned by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that some folks among us had attempted suicide because of this life partner/marital saga. He encouraged them to step forward for prayers while he sternly instructed with that familiar religious phrase: “All heads bow and all eyes closed.” Naturally, I am allergic to that sentence and consequently, whenever I hear it, my eyelids become rigid and my neck turns in various directions, and I do the exact opposite no matter how hard I try, and that day wasn’t any different. So, I saw 8 folks (6 cute ladies and two lads) fall into the center of the circle we had formed as we held hands. At this point, I was slightly confused. How on earth would anyone want to take his own life? How would you convince God that you took your own life because he was trying to keep you away from wrecking some destinies (or vice versa) all in the name of marriage? Does your bible say “for without marriage, it is impossible to please God or be fulfilled?” If you are contemplating suicide because you are unmarried at a particular age (and I don’t care if you are 80), or because of family or societal pressure, what would you do if you are caught in the web of a turbulent marriage where you have a mother-in-law that is a monster, or where your position in the family is threatened due to infertility? I think I know the answer; genocide (you will kill everyone and everything). Now, we both know the reason God is afraid to entrust a home into your care and leadership. The pastors and leaders’ thoughts were far from mine just as the heaven is far from the earth; they graciously prayed for them after which they returned to their positions before others could open their eyes. Somehow, I felt (and still feel) they would be more impacted and delivered if only someone could tell them after the meeting that the concept of marriage in their mind is either overrated or totally wrong. Marital bliss is rare and sometimes overhyped. To make a marriage truly work, you need capacity and you don’t build it in marriage, you do that while you are unmarried.

I Corinthians 7:26-28 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

Beloved, marriage is not for sissies of an age range, it is for folks who are in the center of God-given purpose for their lives, those who really need helpers and those who are helpers themselves. Marriage is for people who are maximizing their gifts, talents and resources to be a blessing to humanity. People who are assets to God and humanity.

Beloved, one shall put a thousand to flight and two shall chase ten thousand. How many lives are you touching? How many people are you influencing? How many adversaries are you chasing? If you cannot answer these questions succinctly, you might be one of those who are being chased by the beast of life, and I can boldly say that you are unfit for marriage? These are some of the factors to consider before the thoughts of marriage begin to seethe the corridors of your desperate mind. Your age, body size and shape or societal voices should not be a yardstick to determine your readiness to say “I do”. If you are one of the great minds putting a thousand enemy to flight, I don’t think you would have enough time to be depressed about this minor issue. If you must be depressed at all as a believer, there are better things to invest that energy in. Nehemiah was depressed because of the wall: locate your own wall and start building. Life is too short, please learn to live it well. I stand to be corrected, but I say it with all humility and sadness of heart: this kind of ‘I must marry now now’ prayer meeting is purely cultural and anti-scriptural. It is unhealthy and highly poisonous to the entire body of Christ (my heart just raced now because I feel I just spoke like a pastor). I understand many of us are victims of societal pressures which are heavy and real. However, I think we have healthier societal pressure which many of us (even the church) ignore while we run to embrace a toxic, self-immolating, self-glorifying ones. The bible says the society are groaning, quaking and patiently waiting for our manifestation. I think we should care more about manifesting via our skills, talents and purposes instead of disturbing heaven about life partners. If you are not part of the manifesting soldiers, then you should be depressed, and your depression should inspire you to be more valuable. I encourage you to channel your prayers and energy to more productive activities and tasks.

Thanks so much for stopping by…. It’s quite a long piece and I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know what you think via the comment section and share with your friends if you think it is worth it.

EMBRACE THE STORM

My sincere appreciation goes to Tobi Obadeyi of smookiekinssite.wordpress.com who suggested this topic. Her contribution to this post is priceless. She is a fashion and lifestyle blogger. Kindly check her post out.

What cord does the word ‘storm’ strike within you?
To many, storm is that whirlwind that blows everyone and everything no good, the hurricane designed in hell and launched against us by Captain Satan himself with one obvious objective; to destroy us and leave our lives in perpetual disarray and confusion.
At the mention of the word ‘storm’, every man takes cover in the nearest citadel and every woman confesses that life is nothing but hell.

Looking through a more lucid lens, I have understood that storm is not the enemy we think it is. It is not out just to destroy us. However, it appears in different shades and forms and none of them is palatable. Storm always appear so harsh and unfair, but it is for us not against us. When violent storm hits, we feel hurt, awkward and vulnerable, however, it is designed to chisel out the man we are supposed to be, to bring forth the king in the kid.

As a little child, I was a victim of some emotional storms, it was like a vacation in hell. I used to be angry with God for relegating me from heaven to earth, “if heaven is truly better, why not just leave me over there, if you are indeed a good God,” I thought. Little did I know I was getting ready for the battle ahead, my muscles were being developed to lift the weight ahead of me. As we put our lives in order and seek a safe haven during and after each storm we face, we develop the intelligence (moral, spiritual, emotional, physical) required in the journey ahead. Storms are tools that birth maturity in us and equip us with the strength and wisdom needed ahead of time.
Just like every normal human being, I hated the storms I had to experience in life (or experiencing right now), but I realise I am better able to handle a number of things because of the battles I had fought in my past. I smile at some trials and temptations because I have wrestled with similar/stronger Giants, and won.

Some people argue about the origin of storms which I think it’s not important. However, we must understand that God is Love, and he would never hit us with any evil like sicknesses, death of loved ones or pain, yet He is so smart and intelligent to convert anything Satan throws at us as a tool for our growth and development because ‘all (good, bad and the ugly) things works together for good for his own children. ‘
Whenever I am faced with any form of storm in life, I draw solace from this fact: He will never expose me to a storm that is stronger than me, He would shield me from any storm that can truly destroy me. If it gets to me, then I can handle it and when the phase is over, I would be better and stronger.

I think one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands captures this subject better and here is the lyrics of ‘Diamonds’ by Hawk Nelson:

Here and now I’m in the fire in above my head

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

Being held under the pressure don’t know what’ll be left

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

But it’s here in the ashes

I’m finding treasure

He’s making diamonds, diamonds

Making diamonds out of dust

He is refining in his timing

He’s making diamonds out of us

I’ll surrender to the power of being crushed by love

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

Till the beauty that was hidden isn’t covered up

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

Oh! it’s not what I hoped for

It’s something much better

He’s making diamonds, diamonds

Making diamonds out of dust

He is refining in his timing

He’s making diamonds out of us

Oh! the joy of the Lord

It will be my strength

When the pressure is on

He’s making diamonds

Oh! the joy of the Lord

It will be my strength

When the pressure is on

He’s making diamonds

Oh! the joy of the Lord

It will be my strength

When the pressure is on

He’s making, he’s making

He’s making diamonds, diamonds

Making us rise up from the dust

He is refining in his timing

He’s making diamonds out of dust

Making diamonds out of us

I won’t be afraid to shine

I won’t be afraid to shine

I won’t be afraid to shine

Cause he’s making diamonds out of dust

Making diamonds out of us

I encourage you to stay in the fight until you slay the giant and lift his head as a trophy. Don’t allow fear lax your muscles, don’t judge your strengths by anything else because the greater one resides inside of you. Muscle is developed by repeatedly lifting what is designed to weigh us down, so lift it with all the ounces of energy left within you—break some sweat if need be but don’t give up. Always remember this : if it appears before you, then it is because you can handle it and win without getting injured. Don’t run through the exit door or look for a shortcut. I dare you to say in the fight and slay them all… I dare you to embrace the storms just like an eagle.

DITCH YOUR PAST

“You cannot catch the glimpse of the city(destiny), if you do not want to lose sight of your present neighborhood. ” —Sam Adeyemi

Past means different things to different people. Saints specifically, label the sinful period of their lives as their past, so many others see their abusive background as their past. In a more general term, the past means the weighty bag of painful experiences that once made us creak and stridulate over the years — a Jezebel clothing with pain and struggles, with her fist clenched to a tortuous rod of deprivation, a proverbial Pharaoh who will rather die than allow folks embrace freedom.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, “past” is the events of a person’s life, of a place, etc., before the present time. Hey friends, pardon my weirdness, looking through my own lens, the past is in the present! Confusing? Yeah… However, just follow my trail of thought. In my opinion, the past represents anything, or anybody that has expired in your life and your purpose in life: folks who have completed their tasks. In my part of the world, we label them as those who have ‘overstayed their welcome.’ The Past is never where you think you left it. It is in the present, however unhealthy/poisonous.

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” —William Faulkner

My past is the song I am now too big to sing (nursery or Arabic rhymes); it is just another story I can’t tell anymore. I don’t categorize my painful experiences of yesterday as my past, I call them my stories, histories or better still, my process. They carved out the man I am today. The scars are beautiful tattoos (trophies), they are proof of my victory. Your past is always in your Present. Your past is the mountain standing between the promises and your present realities. They are people (friends, colleagues, etc.) and things (favourite shoes, toys, etc.), that you are used to, immediately they are done with their roles and task, they become liabilities (harmful). There are relationships and things you have outgrown. King Saul was the past in the palace, yet he was still sitting on the throne as the paranoid King (that explains the chaos in the palace and Kingdom). The past is always in contention with the present and reduces the chance of the desired future.

The set of toys you were obsessed with as a kid, should not hit same notes in you after two decades even if they are still trending and readily available. They are now craps!

Past in form of things are easy to thrash unlike mortals. Human beings are products of multiple influences —environmental, social and spiritual. This explains why people change even behaviorally with time and exposure. We need to understand that human beings were designed to evolve per time; different level of growth (phase) requires different personality, anointing and skill set. It is human, to get emotionally attachedto familiar people because they were once useful and wonderful, they were once vital players in our team. It can be so difficult to disconnect from them even when we discern they have exhausted their ‘lifeline’ in our lives (or vice versa). Trust me, it is divine to let go regardless of how you feel about them. I strongly believe, only very few people are destined to hang around our lives forever; others have limited time and spaces. Human beings are like drugs —they are useful but very harmful after expiration date. Keeping expired folks in your life is suicidal yet very easy. Contrary to popular belief, the past is kind, caring and seductive. I love to see the past as feminine because of these warm traits. In fact, social media has kept us more entangled with our past. They are our friends on Facebook, they always want to discuss with us online—sometimes tag us prideful if we do not reply or respond as expected. They frown when we exit WhatsApp groups that do not feed us anymore (some of us belong to some WhatsApp group just to maintain peace). The past is a stalker. Ditch her!

Anyone who is no longer relevant to your brand and purpose, is your past. When people suddenly grow too big(or too small) to be influenced by you yet they have no positive value to add to your life. At that very moment, they turn your past…. Ditch them!

When my friend and leader suggested this topic, Matthew 12:46-50 engulfed my soul as I meditated pondered about it . At this point in Jesus’ life he had to ditch his past (his siblings and mother) because they were almost becoming distractions to his brand (ministry) and personality. They stopped playing their divine roles. When Jesus needed LISTENERS, they felt too big to listen to him or be influenced by him, yet they wanted to be SPEAKERS(… Seeking to SPEAK with him… Vs 46-47) . Yeah… He ditched them!

Matthew 12:46-50 AMP

Jesus was still speaking to the people when behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him. [47] Someone said to Him, Listen! Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You. [48] But He replied to the man saying to him, “who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” [49] And stretching out His hand toward not only the twelve disciples but all His adherents, He said, “Here are My mothers and My brothers. [50] For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, is My brother and sister and mother.”

If this make sense to you then do let me look like a clanging cymbals… Kindly drop your comment. Mostly importantly, share the gospel. Caring is sharing!

HOW TO BOOST SELF-LOVE

Photo credit :Rachel Grams 01

I do not claim to be a Self-love pro, instead I am someone who has waded and is still wading through the murky waters of rejection. Like many, I starved myself of the love I truly deserved. This piece is a snippet from the wealth of knowledge garnered over the years.

Here are my trusted, tested and proven secrets:

SECRET 1.

SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF

Depression engulfed my immature mind as I saw Karo’s name on the list of the members of the committee I was to lead. He was one young man I only knew from a distance and he didn’t look like “my kind of person.” I later discovered that I was wrong as he turned out to be the most resourceful, committed and creative member of the team. He is still someone I would like to work with later in the future. I did not just like him at first, but we have turned out to be great buddies and we would continue to be for life. Same persons and personalities, but the perception changed because of a powerful factor: TIME.
Have you ever found yourself in an awkward situation, where you were helplessly trapped in an emotional web with someone who is the opposite of your ‘spec’ (ideal man or woman) simply because you had some responsibilities to shoulder together thereby spending more time? Yeah… This explains office romance scenarios and Boss-P.A saga.

Time is a magical wand that changes things in split seconds; Why not use it on yourself?
Occasionally, try to switch off your phone, shut your door and spend time alone, engage your thoughts and imagination, have a special date with yourself and face your fears. It’s always an amazing experience, trust me.

I know some folks who are never bored until they are with themselves, they draw solace from the noise and distractions they see whenever they are hidden among the crowd of friends and activities. They love the company of everyone else but themselves.
One of the reasons you are afraid of rejection is because you fear being by yourself. Enjoy that zone because that is the devil’s greatest threat. Besides, it is also fun!
As a kid, the phrase ‘we won’t play with you again’ from our click of friends was like a grenade hitting us right in the face. Sadly, that phrase still weighs as much even now as it used to decades ago.

For just a second, let’s look at it this way: You are not just one mobile object occupying space on earth; you are the combination of three fellows: body, soul and spirit. Those are enough buddies you know? When one is talking, the others will listen, laugh and contribute. They do it in turns.

If you are uncomfortable and afraid of hanging out with yourself, why would you expect someone else to spend the rest of his/her life with the dreadful monster that seems to torture the hell out of you? Be considerate!

It is true that when you are in love with someone, you don’t mind spending your whole day with them. So it is in the grand scheme of things, we develop affection and love for whatever or whoever we spend our time with; the chemistry is natural!
The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.

“When a woman becomes her own best friend, life is easier.”–Diane Von Furstenberg

SECRET 2.

SELF DISCOVERY

Photo credit : ohayo Gozaimasu

God created us to be gifts to the entire universe, but how do we know the quality of the gift we are if we don’t unwrap it?
How do you love you when you are oblivious about the treasure you possess? Self-Discovery is all about becoming more aware of your strength and worth. It’s also about stripping our ignorance naked.

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” – Will Durant

We live in a fallen world where everyone around is quick to point out our weaknesses and imperfections, but leave our treasure unannounced. So, an average person is walking the street with an invisible placard with this inscription: I AM A BAG OF FLAWS AND IMPERFECTIONS. It is very disheartening!

Photo credit :The buzzy kiwi

You cannot truly love yourself if the awareness of your weaknesses, trumps that of your strength and abilities. It punctures the tank of your Self-love and leaves you totally empty. Pay cautious attention to your strength and less to your already obvious weaknesses. I am tempted to say ignore your weakness for now and focus on your strengths.

EXERCISE: Pause and list 7 of your strengths —if you find it difficult then you have some work to do (please attempt it, don’t just assume because you won’t know the truth until you attempt it).

“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Develop a new eye for you.
TIP: Pay attention to positive feedback you get from people around you and ask your trusted friends to tell you the POSITIVE things they have noticed about you.

SECRET 3.

WALK WITH GOD


This is the most important secrets of all and the central point of this piece. I am yet to meet anyone who has a healthy Self-love without a sound relationship with God because, GOD IS LOVE. Any self-worth gotten outside God, is fake and destructive, that is, if it exists.
Secondly, God made you and He loves and knows you more than you. He can easily reveal you to you (discovery) and empower you to love.

How do you walk with God? I know only one way and I am sure that is the only way that exists. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to God without him. Every other way of reaching God outside Jesus, may seem right and rational, but the end thereof is destruction.

Please kindly let me know if this make sense sense to you by dropping you comment. Most importantly, let us remember that there is love in SHARING.

THE CONCEPT OF SELF-LOVE

Self-Love is trending topic in today’s society, however, it is one of the least understood. According to the modern aphorism, everybody is entitled to his own opinion. This piece communicates my opinion of the concept of “Selflove”, and I hope you appreciate the perspective from which I will write and it also makes sense to you.

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than this” —Jesus.

In other words, you cannot love your neighbors, co-workers, spouse, friends more than you love yourself. The safety of the people around you is directly proportional to the quality of your Self-love: You cannot give what you do not have.

God designed us to be social beings and he cares so much about humanity, so he encourages you to love who they are, else you would pose a critical threat to every soul around you. I have noticed that every conflict originates from someone (or people) who lack peace with themselves. Hurt people, hurt people.

Self-Love is not defined by what social media jargons have presented it to be, neither is it a temporary intoxicating vibe; It is a comfortable awareness of your uniqueness that is powered by revelation. In other words, Self-love is the freedom of ‘DOING YOU’ without any external contamination. Self-love, self-esteem and self-worth are inextricably intertwined. In fact, I think they are the same mountain viewed through different lens, if you have one, you have all.

Contrary to popular belief, Self-Love is not selfishness… If you truly love yourself, you tend to be more selfless. Crazy, but the truth!

WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU? We’ve understood how our Self-love affects our neighbors and environment. Here is how Self-Love affects you directly:

1. IT ACTIVATES YOUR UNIQUENESS

You impose yourself on the society without a tinge of fear. You influence your environment instead of the other way round. Now, you are not afraid to be different. In fact, you are expected to be different because you are always more than ready to flaunt you. It helps you to be faithful to your values. The only reason it is difficult for you to be real, is the fact that nobody wants to be what he doesn’t like.

2. IT HELPS YOU HANDLE REJECTION AND CRITICISM

Rejection is the whirlwind that blows us to the very lonely corner with ourselves. However, if you truly love yourself, that won’t be a bad idea anyway. Self-love helps you interpret criticism with maturity and grace. It becomes easier to see constructive criticism as a candid piece of advice and a destructive criticism can be handled with grace.

3. SELF-LOVE IS A HUGE CONFIDENCE BOOSTER
Our confidence suffers when we connect it with external factors and approval. Self-love empowers your confidence from within and a healthy Self-love is void of arrogance. It creates a balance between humility and boldness in people.

4. SELF-LOVE IS THE PRIMARY REQUIREMENTS IN LEADERSHIP

Self-Love is the bedrock of any leadership. If you become a leader with a deficient Self-Love, you either become a bully who attacks his own followers, or a weakling who lacks the courage to lead.
Folks who are deficient in this area tend to amplify your errors and undervalue your strength. They complain about every little thing and all their actions attack your self-esteem, consciously and unconsciously. They are often power-drunk. You cannot stay around these folks (I am talking from experience).

5. SELF-LOVE FUELS CREATIVITY
Creativity is about birthing new things or giving a facelift to existing things. It takes boldness to be creative especially in this part of the globe where you have to consciously act numb to people’s opinion and approval.
I have more creative minds (writers, poets, DJs, artist etc.) around me than an average human being, and I have observed that the most creative minds, are those who care-less about external opinions and criticism.

SELF-LOVE GAUGE: How do you measure the level of your SELF-LOVE?
Here we go:
Do you ‘reduce’ your standards or ‘edit’ your values just to be loved and accepted by someone or a group; I mean, picking up habits or dropping some habits just to ‘fit in’?
Do people’s banter and tantrums pierce through your armor EASILY, thereby reflecting in your actions and decisions speedily?
Do you find it difficult to recover from a broken relationship or friendship; trying too hard to keep people in your life, organisation or purpose?
Do you lack ‘the balls’ to ‘stab’ your friends with the truth because you don’t want to lose them?
Do you find it difficult to see people shine?
Are you very jealous and overprotective of your partners? (I mean the Unmarried)
Does the word REJECTION scare you to death?

If your answer to any of this is a ‘YES’, then your Self-love tank is in RED if not completely empty.

Here is the good news – Self-love is like a muscle, it can be developed and it can grow if well fed and exposed. And that is what our next piece will be all about because everyone deserves to be high on SELF-LOVE.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

– Buddha