EVENT – OFNC LONDON Presents: Me and U: A Conversation

My brothers and sisters,

I am happy to announce that I will be amongst a team of panellists discussing all things relationships at the Overseas Fellowship of Nigerian Christians, London Branch!

The talk will feature a panel discussion that addresses topics such as:

Relationship ‘goals’

Love vs Respect

Sexuality and Christianity

Masculinity and Femininity

And many others!

 It is a free event, and you can obtain your tickets now! Donations are also welcome as stated on the Eventbrite link here!

Date: Sunday 18th February 2018

Location: 17 St Mary’s Church, Peckham, SE15 2EA!

Time: 3pm!

See you there!

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Men, Women and Relationship Dynamics: A Godly Woman’s Concern

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This post is for the men, who know that there is something wrong and cannot place their finger on it. You want to love a woman, but there are challenges and struggles that you do not know about and you are often left heartbroken. Or you feel idle, and you KNOW that there is something more out there. You see others do it, but you don’t have that spark to push you forward. Or you’ve come to an awareness that something is not right at all.

Not only this is the case, but in the general viewpoint, there are huge concerns about the mental states, attitudes and behaviours of men whether they believe in Christ or not. And this has been picked up by the women in their discussions and expressions of frustration on social media.

I believe there is a landscape picture, one which displays the beauty when things are in the right places, but what I can see and have personally experienced once upon a time, is that there is an incomplete picture with missing jigsaw puzzles.

I’m on a personal quest to help men find the missing pieces so they can complete their pictures.

I was fortunate enough to have a question-answer discussion with a woman of God, a fellow award-winning writer and a person I have the pleasure to call my friend, who has seen the issues surrounding the men and has shared her personal view and also spoke on general viewpoints held by women which will help aid you grow into the man needed in today’s society, wherever you are.

Her name is Elizabeth T Peters, principle blogger of http://www.ElizabethTPeters.com! The discussion is below!

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TTA: I honestly believe that in terms of relationship dynamics, something is amiss, and looking the missing pieces to help complete the picture between men and women.

What are the general female expectations a man must meet before entering a relationship and what are the common issues that women would like to avoid in their relationship with a guy?

ETP: The characteristics of a leader in every sphere, strong sense of self, ambitious with a clear sense of direction towards said ambitions. The issues are not fulfilling any of the above, having not achieved self-actualization and displaying signs of indecisiveness.

I know a lot of young men don’t have it altogether but it’s part of the expectations to have made a great effort towards having it together and that starts from knowing what it means to have it altogether and how to get there.

Too many guys focus on just looking like they have it altogether and up being a mess inside. They run after financial stability, which of course is important, without stabilizing their soul and spirit. Personally, I’ve met guys with everything in place literally everything but still suffer from self-esteem issues and it was painful to see.

So yes self-actualization in every realm is vital. Men are leaders and no matter how accomplished the woman is she expects a leader in her man. The more accomplished she is, the more she’ll expect.

TTA: I like this.  I like to question expectations, so allow me to be a bit extra here. To grab deeper insight: are Men are leaders because of inherent design, as in designed to lead as men or because women expect men to be leaders?

ETP: Designed to lead! Adam as exhibit A.

TTA: In regards to what you mentioned, I guess this is a principle of life, not having everything together should drive a man to work to have it all together; before having a serious relationship with any lady.

From your perspective, what do you think is cause for males having low self-esteem?

ETP: I think it’s the same for any human, comparisons being a killer reason from what I’ve seen but others might have grown up in homes where derogatory terms were used loosely, past failures or any unreconciled internal turmoil.

TTA: And I’m safe to say that when it comes to platonic friendships, women don’t expect anything from a male friend and women would be uncomfortable if a male platonic friend is attempting to lead?

ETP: Yeah, there aren’t expectations from a male friend that would be any different from a female friend except of course knowledge/advice from a male perspective. Leading for example, in saying where they were going for lunch next is no biggie but I guess like in her life it’s an overstep because a woman only wants a leader when joined to the person. If she’s not with the person then that role is to be kept vacant.

TTA: I’m asking this because I personally think that some males can overstep friendship boundaries to do what wasn’t agreed or authorised.

ETP: Yes and this is where lines blur and expectations that weren’t agreed upon fall short.

TTA: Powerful. Again, many ladies are now voicing their concerns about the state of men, mindset, masculinity, love and purposeful relationships.

ETP: My brother and I are pretty close, plus I tend to keep close male friends, so we’re frank with each other about these things. Plus, I love psychology lol.

TTA: And what advice would you give a guy who was struggling with all the issues mentioned and doesn’t know how to move forward?

ETP: Pray, Get mentors, he may not be able to see all the characteristics sought in one so have more than one mentor. They don’t have to be direct either, could be a public speaker, blogger/vlogger. The truth is, we mould what we want from what we’re exposed to.

TTA:  Thank you so much, Elizabeth!

ETP: Always welcome!

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You can check out her award-winning blog here on www.ElizabethTPeters.com!

Something Men (And Women) Should Know

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Hello, my brothers and sisters.

In the month of September, I had attended my first #Pentalk Event for the first time and I was utterly amazed at what I heard. It was an extremely refreshing discussion and of course, I took a lot of notes!

I shared my notes on my Instagram story and thought I’d share them here for all, especially for my brothers out there!

I want to share something with my brothers in Christ and my brothers of mankind.
Despite what you think, the women are WELL aware of some of the issues of masculinity and with the difficulty of us men sharing our emotions.
Our inability to share our emotions can cause stress on the ladies. They worry and are concerned about whether you are emotionally available or not.
Now, guys, I get it. We do process emotions differently but don’t overgeneralise it. Some men are not quite emotional, some men are.

The issues why we don’t wanna share is because of:

The “man-up” stereotype;

 You are worried about how unmanly or soft she may perceive you to be if you did share;

A lack of trust.

One gentleman at the event shared that emotions are meant to be expressed, more for yourself than for your relationship. You must feel comfortable with expressing them to the woman you are with. If you cannot do this, then why are you with her?

Flipside: IF you are with someone who considers you unmanly and soft for expressing your emotions and is generally uninterested about your own issues and you find yourself playing an act or restricting yourself for the purposes of your relationship, then that’s not the lady you should be with.

Flipflipside: It is not your place to determine what your special lady can or can’t handle. This cannot be a reason why you cannot express yourself. Let her know and let her deal with it. She’s not a baby.

Both parties need to come together with a heart of understanding, not expectation.

It is very refreshing to see that women are aware and expressing their concerns regarding male emotions. All they want to see is a physical manifestation of how you are dealing with any difficult circumstances, EXCLUDING VIOLENCE. Simply stating how you feel gives her an idea of how you are.

She is not a mind reader and you are not a Stone Cold Rock (WWE fans will understand). You are a human being and entitled to express yourself without unjust judgment, fear or having your masculinity questioned. Beware of those looking for the benefits of a relationship without having to deal with the difficult aspects of it. Relationships will ALWAYS require work.

Finally and most importantly, a message from myself: Jesus died for you gents. That means you have value, but it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to manifest and increase in value (challenge yourself, set goals and work to achieve them, read, take courses, take a new degree, masters or different line of work, develop yourself, build a network, go elsewhere; do something!) because the truth is, no one else will do it for you. 

And you can do it, when you believe you can.

Tunde T. Amao

Men and Women: The Real Relationship – Part 2

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Greetings, brothers and sisters.

We have explored in part one of the model relationship. Now, we’re going to look at the specifics in great detail.

Genesis 2: 24 (NIV) – That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

This is the foundational scripture that many would use for marriage. Now, pay particular attention to this next point; Marriage is not man-made. It is an institution created by God so that men and women can express their love for each other the way God wanted love to be expressed. As we saw earlier, there is a model, a standard which must be followed for maximum fulfilment in blossoming, loving relationships.

So, why do I say this? If you want a Godly relationship with Godly foundations, you have to do it God’s way; the way He established it and using Godly materials.

Ephesians 5: 31 – 32 (NIV) – For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church.

The above scripture speaks of the perfect unity of Jesus and the Church (we His people). The marriage relationship or a growing relationship should mirror this exact model. The question now is, what is the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church, how does it look like and what does it entail? We will look at Ephesians 5: 21 – 27 in greater detail.

EPHESIANS 5: 21 – 27

(Emphasis added and broken down for greater analysis)

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives submit yourselves to your own husband as you do to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

REVERENCE FOR CHRIST AND SUBMISSION

When building anything, the foundation has to be strong enough to hold the extra weight on top. Jesus Christ is the firm foundation (1 Corinthians 3: 11). If one has a sincere reverence for Him, then this aspect will not be a problem. Think about it; would you build ontop of a firm foundation or a shaky one?

Before we touch on the submission aspect, which can ring alarm bells for some, I wanted to touch lightly on this. Submission is not just a biblical woman thing, it applies to men as well. The same way we submit to one another is the same submission that we offer the Lord God Almighty.

In a relationship setting, men who are seeking to become authentic unapologetic men of the Lord God will need to apply their lessons to their submission to God and now tailor that to the chosen lady in their life. There also has to be a healthy boundary as this is more of a process to learn how to submit to their special lady as opposed to the full submission in the context of scripture which is reserved for Husbands and Wives only. Use this opportunity to learn how to submit to her lads!

BE WARNED: HEALTHY BOUNDARIES PROTECT. YOUR BOYFRIEND SHOULD NOT BE LEADING YOU ANYWHERE. YOUR GIRLFRIEND SHOULD NOT BE SUBMITTING TO YOU. THIS IS RESERVED ONLY FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES.

WIVES SUBMISSION TO HUSBAND

Ladies, as mentioned in the above paragraph and taking what we learnt in the first post into consideration, I’d like to share a small analogy:

Jesus Christ is the husband. The Church is His wife. Imagine you are the Church now, your name is now Church. Jesus is your husband. What do you know about Jesus?

Jesus walks with integrity, loving, forgiving, compassionate and has a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to His Father’s business. Has an epic prayer life, doesn’t deny His emotions, but manages and expresses it appropriately, can protect you, encourage you, has a vision for His life and can lead you to a place He knows you can feel safe, secure and allowed to be who you are meant to be; yourself.

He knows your not perfect; He knows your flaws and loves you because of them and He encourages you gently to be the best version of yourself and will celebrate you along the way. Now, he may correct you in a loving way because He does not delight in anything that disrespects Him or any matter that involves His Heavenly Father and will fight passionately for the matters of God because that is where He gets His strength, worth and identity from. A man who is not ashamed of His Father and will continue to walk His way because He loves God that much.

Would you submit to such a man?

Now imagine a man, who isn’t Jesus, but is striving to have the same qualities, the same mindset, the same emotional disposition as Him. Who is constantly in the Word and can teach and encourage you and sees you for being YOU. He knows He isn’t perfect and will make mistakes from time to time, but knows as long as he follows Jesus, he will be led in the right way.

This is what means to be in submission to a man as on to the Lord. The man must display lord-like qualities, and it must be seen and evidenced, from the inside and out. That’s the man worth submitting to.

HUSBANDS TO LOVE THEIR WIVES

Lads, back to you again.

Jesus Christ gave His life to redeem the Church. He died so that the Church may dwell in the righteousness of Him. He knows that the Church is not perfect, hence why He always teaches the Church to dwell and grow in His Word, where they can find rest, comfort, security and strength.

It is not easy for women. The way the world is set up now, they have to make the extra effort to advance themselves and protect themselves from any hindrances as well as deal with their emotions with or without support. Women are blessed with creativity and the ability to multi-task; once they have a mission, they will complete it. I believe that even when women are tired, they still have to find that inner strength and resolve to push forward to get to where they want to get to.

Imagine juggling so many responsibilities and not feeling appreciated for their efforts.

Men, Jesus Christ died so that the Church can be restored, uplifted and placed on the path of righteousness. Jesus gave His all in the name of love.

My brothers, beware! Look at what scripture says:

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

There are alarm bells when a lady claims to love God, claims Christ and does not submit to Him. If she doesn’t submit herself to Him, how much more you?

Benchmark principle: How the male/female submitted to God is a clear indication as to how they can submit to you.

There are so many elements here, but the general message here is that you don’t take away from people you love. As men, respect the advancement of women and continue to add to that so that they may grow in self-confidence, joy and peace When they are tired and weary, be ready and available to step in and to pour love, attention, affection and strength into them so they can rise up and continue on their path towards greatness.

Women are going through battles we have no idea of. Pay attention and love them for who they are. They can only be themselves and you have to recognise and acknowledge that.

I want to stress again that this is in the context of cultivating a successful relationship. This will enable you to discover more about God’s standard in relationships as well as discover more about yourself and the person you’re growing with. Full submission only happens in a marriage relationship.

As women, remember that men also go through battles. They may not speak on them, they may not say due to the resurrection of hurt and pain, or maybe they are afraid of how you will view them afterwards. Some men do what to become the standard where they feel they ought to be, and place pressure on themselves to perform. Truth be told, this pressure they put on themselves, plus the pressure you may have placed on him, the mind can only take so much. Plus, most men do not want to hear about another man’s capabilities, especially that they know within themselves that they are trying and trying very hard.

One cannot, and will not, value full submission if one has not resolved in being willfully submitted to God, through Jesus Christ, first.

I’ve hinted the ladies above (I hope you got it ladies!) and as well as the men, (keep your eyes peeled bro! it’s not all about beauty and favour! (Proverbs 31:30)

Tunde T. Amao

Men and Women: The Real Relationship – Part 1

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Hello, my brothers and sisters.

I had to share this post. So much so, that this will be a three-part series as I would like us to take our time and to make sure that we understand what we are about to explore.

From reading various articles, books and hearing a few sermons and, most importantly reading the Bible, something jumped at me. It made me look at the nature of relationships differently. It is counter-cultural and to be honest, it is expected; we are talking about Kingdom principles here.

In short, we have lost sight of what a real relationship between man and woman looks like; the way the Lord God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has created and established.

I will be painting a picture. All I ask is for the Holy Spirit to move and to help me teach this foundational principle.

Let us begin.

THE TRINITY

The Trinity is very difficult to describe. The Lord has revealed Himself in three, but He is One. Make no mistake, and place particular attention to what I write next: We serve one God. The One who created the Earth. The Everlasting Father; The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He has revealed Himself, in three; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The closest (not exact, but close) example we can use is water. Water comes in three forms; Water as a liquid (drinking water), solid (ice) and gas (vapour). These are three forms of water, but they are still water, just in different states.

I say it is a close example because God doesn’t come in three states, which imply three individual separate beings of matter. God revealed himself in three, but He is One. He is ONE and we serve One God.

God has revealed himself in this manner as we see in Scripture (emphasis added) :

Genesis 1: 2 (NIV) – In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the water.

John 1: 1 (NIV) – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

The “He” is referred to the Word. Who is the Word you say?

John 1: 14 (NIV) – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

We have the Father, the Son; Jesus, and God’s Spirit; the Holy Spirit revealed. The perfect unity. God revealed in three; One God.

ADAM AND EVE

As we see in the Book of Genesis, God created the world, the animals and then mankind. Please notice something here; with everything God created (and saw that it was good), there is ONE thing that God saw that was not good: the fact that Man was alone.

Genesis 2: 18 (NIV) – The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’

God loves us. He loves us all. The Bible declares that God is love in 1 John 4: 8: Whoever does not love, does not know God because God is love. In a nutshell, God being love created mankind so He could express that love to us. God expressed that love by Creating man. Seeing that man was made in His image and harbours His qualities, the fact that Adam did not have anything to express his love to is why God created Eve from Adam.

God reached into His Spirit and Created man. He placed the spirit of man into the Male. God saw that the male did not have anything to love, so just like He pulled the spirit of man out of Himself, God pulled out the Male’s rib and used it to create the Female, being the object of the males love, just like God made man (the spirit) the object of His love. The spirit is both in Males and Females because ultimately the Spirit came from Him.

This is why in the deepest areas in the heart of Men wishes for a Woman to pour out his love to her. This is why in the deepest areas in the heart of Women, wishes to be loved by a man.

But look around you. In the name of finding love, many people have gone through terrible ordeals. I don’t need to mention it, you have gone through, or know of someone who had gone through something terrible. Hearts are being broken and are being broken again and again and again. Lust has crept into the hearts of mankind and many people are feeling drained and constantly tired of having their love thrown away or not being reciprocated.

Look at the Trinity. Look at how God in His love had created man and out of man, woman. There is a process, a pattern, a shape; a model.

A real relationship isn’t between two people.

It’s between three.

[Part two]

Tunde T. Amao

Relationships: Am I Ready?

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Greetings my friends.

I’d like to send a special welcome to the young men and women who are reading this post.

There will come a time where every young person in this day and age will consider being in a relationship. I touched on this aspect in an earlier post and it’s one of the beautiful things about being a human being.

The question that most young people would ask themselves are, “Am I ready for a relationship?” or “How do I know that I’m ready for one?” Make no mistake my friend, relationships are hard work. They require a whole lot of effort, time, affection and emotional maturity. One need to be fulfilled as an individual before committing to another.

That being said, how do you know when you’re truly ready?

1. When you don’t need to be in one.

This is key. Deciding when to or feeling the need to be in a relationship is a clear indication that you’re not ready to be in one. Being single is one of the best times to be able to establish something for yourselves; something that you can call yours. When one is actively seeking for a relationship to satisfy a need, they are missing out on the time to build and to develop one’s mindset, emotional maturity and the tools needed to build long-lasting friendships. Once you are fulfilled and have achieved most of the goals you have made for yourselves and you are able to live life knowing that you can rely on yourself for your own upkeep and don’t need to be in a relationship, then at that point, you are ready.

2. When you have a firm knowledge of God’s standards for relationships.

Can you hold a relationship without standards to live by or follow? To have an effective and successful relationship, you need to have a solid understanding of the standards needed to create this. For this, you will need to go the One who established them in the first place; Jesus Christ. I will be writing a separate post on this point later. Read the Bible concerning the standards needed for relationships and make an effort to follow them and not to compromise on them. A relationship without the right foundational standards will always fall apart.

3. When you understand the benefits and the risks involved.

Relationships require a lot of investment, of emotions, time and money. It’s not necessarily about what you are investing, it’s about who you are investing it on.

Are you willing to spend time and not to be in a rush? Have you made enough effort to know the person in a responsible manner? Do they respect you? Have you thought about your emotional well-being in case things don’t go so well? Have you thought about what you may gain from a potential partner and what you may lose?

Relationships are not a joke. Real feelings are involved and many people become heavily invested in it. Make sure that you thought about where you are, where you’re heading and whether or not it is a right choice for you. Make an informed decision rather than one out of emotional impulse.

I found the book entitled Waiting and Dating: A Sensible Guide to a Fulfilling Love Relationship written by Dr Myles Munroe very helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning from the guide and I’m sure that you will use it to help you discover whether you are truly ready for a relationship, and how to make it successful.

What do you think my friend? Let me know in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading. Stay blessed and remember, keep the faith.

Tunde T. Amao

Reading The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck

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Greetings, my friends.

I’d just like to take this moment to thank all my readers for taking the time to read and follow up on this blog and I also will like to extend a warm, special welcome to any new readers! Thank you for joining us!

This book I want to talk about is an amazing read. I recommend to anyone I come across. In fact, it is a book of which I hold a very strong opinion that every person must read.

Entitled The Road Less Travelled, Dr M. Scott Peck had made a remarkable job using questioning, his experience as a Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist and in his Christian walk to produce this guide that if followed, will help you build a happier, fulfilled life, as a person, parent, partner and spouse respectively.

This is an exciting read and without revealing too much, the book explores the following themes:

1. Discipline

2. Love

3. Growth and Religion

4. Grace

Dr Peck also speaks about the importances of mental health. This may be a difficult topic for some and a topic that many would not want to talk about, but as human beings, we owe it to ourselves, our families and friends to ensure that we are totally healthy; physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

When we are ill, we either take medicine or visit the doctors. When it is an emergency, we go to the hospital. When we are stressed or emotionally weary, we speak to our good friends and they give us a shoulder to cry on. The same when we are low in faith; we consult God through Jesus Christ for encouragement. On the point of mental health, how do we know whether we need help when we haven’t gone to check ourselves?

We need to be healthy in order to function. M. Scott Peck has used helpful case studies of patience he has seen and treated to highlight very important aspects of the human mind and emotions that we all should be aware of. He has also given us, what I call, a privileged look into his own mindset and thinking pattern through anecdotes about the existence of God and protection of His grace.

I have learnt so much from this book and have already started using the principles in my own life as well as taking the steps to be more aware of myself. I say this because, in order to truly improve ourselves and the way our life is set up, we need to be aware of the person we are and the place we are at right now.

For those who are looking for a healthy guide on discipline and how to love effectively and in the right way, then this is a book for you. Also, this is a special request to those who are parents, parents to be and those wishing to establish a family in the future: if you want to ensure the positive mental well-being of your children, establish a loving environment and to help your child grow up to be fulfilled, then you must read The Road Less Travelled. It will help your children and it will help you in turn.

Are there any books you would like to share that has helped you develop as a person? Please share it in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading friend, and all the best on your journey of self-discovery! God bless!

Tunde T. Amao