Pages

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Would you be willing to die for your wife?

                   source

Hiya all!

This post was published last year and as I read it again, I realised that it is still a valid question especially after reading the interview HERE and in light of the message of Easter and the responsibility of a husband to his wife.... Hope you are blessed as you read..

***************************************************

 As a guy can you go all the way for your wife? And as a woman, you need to ask yourself - Does he seem like the person that can or would be willing to die for me?

Ladies and gentlemen, remember that the bible says that the husband must love his wife like Christ loved the church and laid down His life for it (Ephesians 5:25).... I hope he is willing to die for you?

*Thinking* - Do you think a man would be willing to die for his wife in today's world? Are there men like that?

There are some people who love their children so much that they wouldn't hesitate to give up their own lives for their wellbeing. I know a number of parents who have been put to the test and have put their lives on the line or their health at risk in order to save their children.

Infact there are some children who love their parents so much that they wouldn't mind stepping in line to save their lives. Once, while growing up, my mum fell ill (a parent falling ill can be one of the most frightening of things for children) and I remember my brother praying desperately in his childhood adoration love for his mum, that the sickness would be transferred to him so that she wouldn't have to suffer (to God be the glory, it was only mild malaria and she soon recovered - I am happy to say that both mother and brother are alive and hearty :-D )

Such is the kind of love that can exist between two human beings.. So, it's possible.

So I guess the question of the day would be "Do you think your man would be willing to lay his life for you?" / As a man, would you be willing to lay down your life for your wife?

               source

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Chronicles of Sebastian - Identity: Who Are You?

Last week, speaking on natural hair and the beauty of Nigerians, I briefly touched the issue of 'being who you are', which falls under the topic of identity. Identity - a big and vague word that we’ve heard a few times, yet I feel we don’t really know how it relates to our lives. In my mind, identity basically has to do with how you view yourself and who you think you are. Notice that your view of yourself might be different from how you actually are - a beautiful girl can consider herself as ugly due to insecurity, comparisons, unfaithful boyfriends etc.

                            

Being in a different country such as Nigeria helped me to see how important the concept of identity is and how it shapes so many lives, my own included. As Christians, we are set-apart and loved sons and daughters (see Ayo’s 'Dear Daddy' posts) of a God who owns, supports, redeems, guides and loves us deeply. Not only that, God made each of his children unique: our culture, parents, body features, humor, talents, desires, weaknesses shape us, and the special combination of these features gives each person a distinctive role in society and in His kingdom. Yet, we so often forget these truths and struggle with who we are by wishing we were someone else and by constantly comparing ourselves with others.

                            

Here are some identity issues that I’ve observed or faced myself in Nigeria:

1. Some Nigerians compare themselves too much - Coming from a rather individualistic society where no one really cares how you are dressed and sometimes even who you are, I noticed that many of my Nigerian friends think a great deal about how others perceive them: lots of money is spent on new shoes, hair styles, golden necklaces and watches (that sometimes don’t even work, but they are put on anyway!) and oftentimes these things are shared rather proudly on Facebook. These comparisons are often fueled by gossip about the latest 'gist' on fashion, bad-looking people, hot girls etc. It sometimes felt like an invisible competition going on, which is sad, because it makes people unhappy und restless. Now I am not against dressing up nicely, yet doing so just for the sake of being seen and praised will draw you away from your identity in Christ Jesus.
Abeg, for your own sake: Leave this game of comparisons. Your friend is flying Aero and you’re still using Peace Mass? No wahala! Rejoice with him and sponsor him a Coke, this will make him and you more happy than being jealous!

2. Tribalism often undermines national unity. I love the different tribes and I love Nigeria as a whole and I do think that both the tribes and the nation should be upheld. But all too often I’ve heard members of one tribe speaking badly about another. Igbos are supposed to be money-greedy, all Hausas are 'Boko Haram', the South-South is Sodom and Gomorrah and roadless Ebonyi state has yet to be civilized. Before you nod your head, let me say that having been in Enugu, Jos, Calabar and even Ebonyi state I can say that I found most of these statements not to be true or at least very one-sided.
It is okay to see yourself as an Igbo or Yoruba person and to celebrate your unique dances and to eat your local food (I love Abacha by the way :) ). However, we need to be careful not to criticize others and not to only see ourselves as a member of a tribe or a nation, but first and foremost as a Christian who happens to belong to a certain tribe. This will enable you to love others and be around them, regardless of their background.

                                

3. The grass is not always greener on the other side. The most joyful Nigerians I’ve met were those who were happy to be in the Lord and who were not ashamed of being a Nigerian. Those who constantly tried to imitate white people (their music, styles etc.) and who complained to me how their country sucks and how they wish they can be in Germany were usually not that happy. It is good to travel and to see different places, but one thing I’ve learnt in my short life is that true and deep joy can only be found in a secure identity as a Christian, not so much through 'perfect circumstances'. Yes, Germans may have more money and yes there may be more jobs, but let me tell you that you won’t see a lot of smiling people on our streets - circumstances never guarantee long-term joy!!

                           

4. We don’t want to be reduced to one feature. My best friends in Nigeria have been those who were interested in me as a (whole) person, not just in me as a 'white guy'. Yes, I am an oyibo and that explains some things, but honestly there is so much more in a person than his or her skin color - dreams, passions, thoughts, problems, friends, relationship drama - you name it! Oftentimes we (I include myself) reduce a person to just one feature, be it he or she being a film star, being poor, being a business man, being beautiful, being Igbo, being a girl, a preacher etc. A wise person has a balanced identity in the sense that he or she not only reduces him- or herself to one feature (“I am an addict”, “I am famous” etc.). An even wiser person tries to treat others the same way - it’s not easy-o, but let’s try :)

5. By just being who you are, you can be a great blessing. Nigerians love to dance, I don’t - people seem amused when I try to 'move'. I’m more of the calm type, while many Nigerian preachers like to shout. But you know what? I don’t have to. In Nigeria, I just tried to let God use me the way I am instead of trying to duplicate Nigerian style. When I was asked to preach, my German mind started to outline a structure of 3-4 points. I thought my teaching style might be boring since I can’t perform miracles, quote Igbo proverbs etc., but some people told me they were blessed by this kind of solid teaching. I’m not saying one style of preaching is better than the other, but I want to suggest that we can complement one another by using our unique gifts. Faking other people’s identity is just stressful and unsatisfying. 

To finish off, let me just quote one Scripture for you:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:1

You’re a 'handmade' child of God, you don’t need to create your own shaky identity derived from the fleeting opinions of this world. What a wonderful thought for all of us! :)

                               

He has prepared a lot of good works and ways you can serve Him and others for us, based on the way he made you and the place he put you into, so joyfully go ahead and walk in these works, in this life he gave you, knowing that your true identity is secure in Him!

*****************************************************

I think this is my personal favourite post by Sebastian. It 'spoke' deeply to me.. I understand what it means to want to be like 'everyone else'. Wear the right kind of clothes, buy the latest phones, change my handbags as frequently as I brush my teeth and wear that red-coloured soled pair of shoes (whether I can afford to or not).. The pressure can be much! *fans self*.
It's important to take a seat and ask yourself - "Who or What defines me?" Like Sabs asks, What is your identity founded on? Are you running a rat race dictated by society or your circle of friends?
Do you feel the pressure to do stuff, achieve quick-quick, marry hurriedly because others seem to be doing it now-now?
Thank God for Sebastian, as for me, I choose to be defined by who God says I am as expressly detailed in the bible. Even without make-up, even without the fancy bags, even without a husband, even without a fat bank-balance, even without children, even with my past, I am Ayo Thompson - Complete in Christ Jesus (Col 2:10), Fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), the apple of God's eyes (Zec 2:8), His battle-axe on earth (Jer 51:20), His human representation of love (1John 4:11).. 
Who ARE you?

**********************************************

For all previous Chronicles of Sebastian posts, please click HERE.. Join Sabba again next week Wednesday..I look forward to what he will be sharing with us!
Please visit Sebastian's blog http://seb2nigeria.wordpress.com/ It's in German but you can use 'Google translate' if English translation is required - Lovely lovely blog!

Remember you can send an email: oneplustheone@gmail.com
Follow on Twitter: @1plustheone
Facebook: www.facebook.com/1plustheone

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Waiting and Loving It!!! Feat NaijaWife and NaijaHusband

Hello everyone!! Hope you had a lovely Easter weekend! Thanks for *tuning* in for another Waiting and Loving It!!! feature!! :-)

Today's guests are no strangers to a lot of people in the Blog Community.. In fact, I dare say if you haven't heard about them, you are on a LASTMA level (ask Google lol).. You can check out their real, honest, down-to-earth blog HERE! You will smile, you will laugh, you will learn, you will 'awww' and you will definitely want to get married! lol

They blog anonymously but have graciously agreed to share their story on Waiting and Loving It! It's a beautiful one indeed and it gives me much pleasure to present to you a couple who make marriage look so so pleasurable and something to look forward to, who debunk many myths about the 'weariness' of marriage and who we all know as Naijawife (NW) and Naijahusband (NH)! Be blessed... xx

********************************************************

Hiya fabulous Naijacouple, great to have you sitting on the *HOT* W & LI seat today! Could you please tell us a little about yourselves and how you both met?

NH - Ah we have to be a bit coded here, so we’ll just say “we met through mutual friends”.

NW - Yeah – What he said. *wink wink*

LOL, that's fair enough.. So, tell us, what initially attracted you to each other?

                            source
NH - I could start out with the typical characteristics. Her beauty, her intelligence, bla bla. But I’m sure you’ve heard similar things before. So I’ll just focus on what really stood out about her. Her number one character trait that I noticed was something she’s lacks. She lacks the ability to 'form'.

No one wants to reveal their real personality because they feel vulnerable…or they think you won’t like them. But NW was someone who, from the moment she walked into my life, was not interested in playing games. She was extremely outgoing, outspoken and funny. She wasn’t afraid to laugh loudly in the crowd or dance when music came on. She was different. She was honest and she was real.

NW – It was clear from the get go. He really struck me as a GOOD guy. Do you know what I mean? I think every girl has that one guy she meets (and hopefully he isn’t already taken!) that is just GOOD. No overblown ego. No drama. No “bad boy/I’m a player” nonsense. Well spoken. Well mannered. Intelligent. Handsome. Great smile. Great reputation (which I later confirmed with my investigations... I’m very nosy lol!). He was one of those rare, true, original 'good men'.

P.s. – Ladies. Don’t buy into that “nice guys finish last” nonsense. Marry the nice guy oooooo! (then thank me later)


Great insight.. As real as your husband testifies! How did you know that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with each other?

                                                  source

NH – It took time for us to get to know each other and our families properly, and to see each other go through various seasons of life. It also took a lot of growing on both our parts and we had to really mature spiritually. Life is what it is, so not everything was smooth sailing. (You can read more about that here. http://www.naijahusband.com/2013/12/01/a-letter-to-my-ex/ ) So even though I’d told her that marriage was my goal when we started dating, and I knew I would likely marry her, it was really a few years into the relationship when I knew for sure that I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. 
 
NW – I wish I could give a very spiritual answer here…the way all the other contributors in this series have done. However, we didn’t start off our relationship as a “God told me I should date you after I fasted and prayed for 40 days and 40 nights.” Sometimes I wish we had, but I don’t regret a thing. All the good signs were there. I loved him. He loved me. Our families were happy with the relationship. Our friends thought we were a great match. But as for God’s will….well these days, we barely make any decisions without praying and seeking the will of God about it, but back then, I dated when I was in the mood to. I wasn’t thinking long term relationships and I certainly wasn’t thinking of marriage even though he was. All I knew was I’d met a guy I liked and I wanted to date him and sometimes that’s all you need to start with. But you know what’s so funny about God’s will? When something is meant to happen, it happens. He shook the both of us up and made us sit up and seek his face. Things got even more serious and that’s when I realized he wasn’t just my 'nice boyfriend' …He was for keeps! For ever! After we came to that realization, we started praying very seriously about it and sought counseling BEFORE we got engaged.

That's wonderful.. What made you make the decision to wait to have sex after marriage?

                                      source

NH – That was a lifelong decision I’d made long before I met NW. She asked me that question on like, day 3, after I met her. You can just imagine my relief when I told her and she replied “Me too!”

NW – Same here. I’d already decided I didn’t want to have sex with anyone I wasn’t married to before I met him. Plus I had other things on my mind besides sex anyway…like plotting to take over the world. :-)

Here’s what I’ve told some of the people who’ve written in to us - NH never felt like he was ‘missing out’ on anything by being with me, because he was committed to sexual purity on his own (ever notice how guys who aren't virgins find it difficult to date a virgin girl that isn't willing to sleep with them? It's because they're a) Already used to it and can’t stop, b) Don't see abstaining as something for them, and c) Aren't as willing to 'wait it out' with a girl who won't 'give in'.) We had both individually made the decision to abstain long before we met each other, not only because we didn't want to deal with pregnancy scares, or were scared of STDs (all good reasons though), but because we really truly wanted to share that intimacy with the person we'd spend the rest of our lives with. We saw sex as a gift. To be shared with only that special person who has stood before God and man and sworn to love you all the days of your life. Plus, because we had learned how to resist temptation, I felt more certain that, even after being married, we would be stronger at resisting temptation with others (and trust me temptation doesn't end even though you're married). A man who can stand strong in the face of temptation before and after marriage, that’s what I wanted.


Amen to that! We know that making a decision is one thing, (and a great start), however, actually doing it is another... What practical measures did you take to ensure that you stuck by your decision?

NH – We get this question a lot in our “AskNaijaCouple” letters. What we’ve explained is that although we knew we wanted to be together in future, we also knew that, just in case we weren't meant to be, we needed to treat each other the way we hoped someone else would treat our future spouses (so if NW wasn’t going to be my wife, then I'd hope that the woman who would be my wife would be dating a man who would help her stay abstinent as well). This meant that not only did I have to protect myself and honor my body, I had to protect her as well and honor her body for her future husband (in case it wasn't me).
Rules are tough to follow and no one wants to feel like they're in jail with rules like "don't kiss for longer than 5 seconds" or "don't hold my hand for too long". But we set our rules because our commitment to abstinence was a commitment to purity. We weren’t interested in simply being technically correct about abstinence. That's not what purity is about.

NW - We’ve also told people how our commitment to abstinence allowed us to get creative with our dates and to see our relationship for what it really was, free of sexual issues. We could think about our future with a clear mind and plan our lives together without mixing lust into the equation.
Also, at the end of the day, because of our shared faith, we could always come together and pray for strength as a couple (as well as praying separately). And when we did, God really blessed us and kept us strong.

That's lovely, thank God. Now that you've crossed that line, what’s one advice you would give to your single self in preparation for marriage?

                               source

NH - Look forward to it. It’s a beautiful thing.

NW – Marriage doesn’t have to be the disaster you think it is, based on what you see around you. You will make the right decision and have a good marriage if you choose a truly good man and trust God.

Thank you :-) Lastly, could you please describe in 3 words / sentences the best part about being married!

NH - You get to sleep with your best friend and not have it be awkward at all.
Just joking. I can’t sum up what it feels like really, but just knowing that someone is always there for you, and isn’t going anywhere…that’s one of the many good things about marriage.

NW – Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and just look at him. The fact that he’s in the room with me and always will be, and that he’s here to protect me, comfort me and be with me all the days of my life (cheesy I know!) is the best part. 

Not cheesy at all.. Loved it :-)... Thank you so much for sharing with us today NH and NW, I have really enjoyed your interview and been blessed as well... Thank you.

**************************************************

Isn't it refreshing to read about the beauty of marriage when you have GOD at the centre of it? I can not say it enough, a good and fulfilling marriage is not a myth.. A lot of people desire it, a lot of people wonder if they would ever get so 'lucky'.. It's not luck, it takes GOD, making a good choice - the right choice for you, a commitment by both parties and work put in to ensure that it is all that you ever dreamed of.
It's also very possible to keep sex until marriage.. A lot of people are 'doing It!', and by God's grace, you can too! Tuesdays are a reminder that God's standards don't change and with Him, ALL things are possible. 
I pray for God's grace for everyone who desires a GOOD man/woman, who desires to wait until after marriage, who desires an exemplary marriage full of God, thereby full of love and a blessed home. It is POSSIBLE by God's grace. 

Please don't forget to visit their blog at www.naijahusband.com and also follow them on Twitter for very inspiring and funny tweets and updates @naijawife & @naijahusband.

"Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Him, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass" - Psalm 37:4-5

Do you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask!
Email - oneplustheone@gmail.com
Twitter - @1plustheone
Facebook - www.facebook.com/1plustheone

To read more wonderful Waiting and Loving It features, please click HERE xx

Monday, 21 April 2014

Happy 1st Anniversary Tobi and Ben Ugbene!

Happy Easter Monday everyone!

Hope you are having a great time :-)

Yesterday was the 1st wedding anniversary of one of our Waiting and Loving It alumnis Tobi and Benjamin Ugbene! (One of my marriage inspirations and family by love). You can read their story HERE

1 + The One wishes them a continuous happy and blessed marriage.! May your marriage and home continue to be a blessing to others in Jesus name.

                  

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Sunday Cometh!!!

It was a day like this about 2014 odd years ago...

He had just died the day before, hope had died, faith had died, belief had died, love had died..
They couldn’t believe He could die... How could He die? It was impossible, unbelievable, heresy, absurd, unimaginable

...But He was able to call forth that man who had been dead for 3 DAYS! He even claimed that man's daughter was only sleeping when she was clearly dead - and indeed she did come alive.. How about that woman whose issue was instantly dealt with, the one with the issue of blood. Or those 10 lepers? But I heard their testimony, I saw their skin become like that of a new-born.. That woman by the well, he knew her story yet never met her before, I remember the wine - Oh so sweet! It was once water..that was the first I heard of Him.. And hear of Him I did! Tender, compassionate, forgiving, non-judgemental (I clearly remember the lady caught in adultery whom he spoke up for and saved from instant death), caring, sensitive to the extent that He fed thousands with only 5 loaves and 2 fishes, friendly, nice, kind, helpful, passionate... such a good man...

But They said He was the anointed one, the Messiah that we have been waiting for. Why has He been so cruelly taken from us?? Why, oh why?
We thought He would be with us forever, He promised that He would never leave us alone, who would now heal the sick? Who would love so tenderly and forgive so easily? Who would delight us with stories that are at first entertaining but full of great wisdom and insight into the knowledge of God?

So, even He can fall to the hands of death.. We thought He was different, special even.. He said He was the son of God.. greater than the angels including Michael and Gabriel, He said He had the power to heal and forgive, to "give life and give it more abundantly" alas life has been taken from Him. He said all power in heaven and on earth belonged to Him, that He "sits in the heavenlies above all principalities and power" that whatever He bound on earth was bound in heaven and whatever He loosed on earth was loosed in heaven, that He and His father in heaven were one......Yet He is now gone, dead! Peradventure we got it wrong, maybe we read too much into His tales, death got the better of Him, the devil got Him in the end...Back to square one, back to waiting and waiting for the promised Messiah...How we wish our hopes were not teased in such a manner, our expectations raised to the highest! Good night Prophet Jesus, though you died, we still appreciate all you were able to do while you were here.....

IN THE MORNING..
"Have you heard?", "Did you hear?" "Oh I can't believe it!" "Are we dreaming?" "Is this a joke?"
They say the stone has been rolled away
They say the tomb is empty..
They say the grave is empty
They say He's alive
They say they saw Him
He spoke..He laughed..He talked..He ate....We felt Him..
He's real, He's alive
Up from the grave He arose.. He arose!! He arose!! Halleluyah Christ arose!!
It's real, the message is real!! Oh what a wonderful wonderful day!
Hope is risen, love is risen, faith is risen..King Jesus is risen!
O death where is thy sting? Grave where is your victory?
Jesus conquered the devil..Victory!!!

And so it still is today, for "weeping may endure for the night but JOY cometh in the morning!"
Sometimes, we experience 'the Saturday' of the resurrection weekend in our lives.. All our hopes and dreams seem to have died. All we once lived for and held dear to our hearts seem to be going awry. We have been faithful to God, fulfilled the principles and just when we feel we are "almost there" it all goes topsy-turvy. The devil seems to be in charge at that point, you feel as if you are all alone in it and sometimes you doubt the efficacy of God's word and truth of His existence. Everything you once believed in begins to come into question.. No one to turn to, no one to really believe..

But then..Sunday cometh, He hasn't forgotten you, the revelation of the plan and purpose for your life is made manifest on Sunday. Those who ridiculed you become the "ridiculees". He prepares for you a table, a feast in the presence of your enemies.. Hold on, don't give up, don't lose heart.. He did it before, He would do it again.. Those who laughed on Saturday became mute in amazement on Sunday.. They shall see you overcome when you rise again! You shall yet rise...If only they knew that all what you went through on Saturday was a bridge to achieving your potential, that your purpose may be fulfilled in all its fullness they would have not been too quick to laugh in mockery...

When Jesus died and then rose again, not only did He become a remission for our sins, He became for us an everlasting example of hope and victory... No matter how bleak Saturday looks right now, your Sunday will come too!



Friday, 18 April 2014

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

Many years ago, you showed the extent of your love for me and all mankind - born and unborn when you paid the ultimate sacrifice of death. A painful and humiliating death on the cross at calvary.

Thank You for that sacrifice Lord. I am forever grateful.

Thank You for mercy. Thank You for forgiveness of sins. Thank You for healing. Thank You for prosperity. Thank You for life in abundance. Thank You for love.

I know it wasn't easy at all.. But You did it all the same because you thought me and all mankind worthy of it.

I would never understand what manner of love would propel you to do what You did for people who didn't even know you.. for people who actually hated you.. for people who consistently denied you. You took it all - the shame, the insults, the whips, the crown of thorns, the lies, the betrayals, the isolation.. for love's sake.

Thank You sooo much!

May I never disappoint You, may I never take that love and sacrifice for granted. May I make it truly worth it in my life.

Thank You Daddy.

Your forever grateful little girl,
One xx

 source

Do you live in the UK? Don't forget Festival of Life (FOL) tonight at 8pm with Pastor E.A Adeboye! Amazing worship (I think they have one of the best choirs in the world!!), Incredible drama (again, another amazing aspect of FOL. The Drama team (Ancient LandMark are absolutely gifted and brilliant), Powerful word and ministrations.. The presence of the Holy Spirit is real! What a wonderful way to celebrate Easter.. Don't miss it. Happening Live at the Excel Exhibition Centre, Custom House, London.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Chronicles of Sebastian - Love and Relationships in Nigeria

Love … I believe no other topic has received as much attention as love has. Even though there are countless movies, songs and books on love and marriage, this magical concept never seems to become boring. Since this blog is mainly about relationships, I’ve decided to write a piece on love and relationships in the Nigerian context. Now before I start let me just establish that I am no expert (at all!!) in this area. So far, I’ve never “seen” anyone (please don’t say “eya”… I’m fine :D) and most of my findings are purely based on observations, conversations, “almost-relationships” and books.
Nevertheless, I’ve observed a few general differences in the different ways Nigerians and Germans approach love:


1. Most Nigerian men and women follow rather traditional gender roles. A few decades ago, the majority of Germans had a traditional understanding of the roles of men and women. While men were supposed to lead, earn money and have the last say, most women had to stay at home, take care of the children and cook. Nowadays, if you propose this kind of relationship, you almost get stoned for doing so! It is not rare for women to have jobs, start and stop relationships and to be more educated than their boyfriends (marriage is far less popular among young people). While I was in Nigeria, I noticed that although many women do live in an independent manner (e.g. by receiving University education), there is an invisible moral framework that seems to propose that at the end of the day it is the woman’s job to fry plantain and the man needs to pay the bills. I was quite astonished how women did their chores without complaining and how many men took their work for granted. In German society, that kind of role distribution is not a given anymore.

                              

2. Nigerian guys seem to be more confident in their approaches. As I said in my last post on Naija worship, most Nigerians don’t seem to be too shy. This also applies to relationships: I’ve met a lot of Nigerians making confident proposals. Without even knowing a girl particularly well, some of my classmates asked girls out without much fear of rejection. When I showed them some family pictures, several guys expressed 'serious interest' in one of my sisters. I’ve tried to scare them away with a test (“you need to pass these five areas”) and by telling them about linguistic and cultural barriers, but that did not break their assurance that they were the right ones. I got the impression that some boys just 'go ahead and try', not minding whether they might be turned down or not.
In one way, being aware that some Westerners tend to make things too complicated, I admire this approach, but in another way, some proposals did not seem to be thought through very well. One day I turned down an offer by a lovely lady, telling her that it does not make sense starting a relationship because I would be going back to Germany soon, which would only cause unnecessary heartbreak. Her response indicated that she did not really consider that too much… Anyway, Nigeria is a good place for white singles 'ready to mingle', since proposals are almost guaranteed lol :-)

                               

3. Money plays an important role in relationships. I absolutely LOVE the song 'Eminado', it is soo addicting and up-lifting. Yet, listening closely to the lyrics, I’ve noticed how the first verse reflects a common Nigerian thought pattern when it comes to love:

What do you want from the bank
I just dey come from the bank
And I get money to throw 'way
So everybody oya oh eh
Rocking her body….

I guess some people caught this idea that a man should spend some money on 'his girl', take her out to somewhere fancy like Shoprite (Ayo says: Sabs seriously, you think Shoprite is fancy?! LOL), and in return he gets to see her “rocking her body". While I’ve seen many Nigerians (including people on this blog!) having far more noble motives, I cannot deny that money (or the lack thereof) influences some relationships from the very start. I’m not even talking about sugar daddys, but about regular people, like a man who once told me that certain girls would not even look at or respond to him unless he wears the right kind of cloths; or a woman struggling to pay for her new hair extension that seems to be a monthly obligation…
However, I do believe that it is wise to have some sort of financial foundation before starting a family, which a lot of (especially Igbo) people seem to emphasize. We have a German idiom saying this: “Man kann nicht nur von Luft und Liebe leben”, which roughly translates as “You cannot survive only on air (Luft) and love (Liebe)” (Ayo forced me to teach you some German, that’s why I’m doing this :)).

4. Love is not celebrated publicly. While in Germany it is a common sight to see couples hugging or kissing in public, I did not see one single couple do that in Nigeria over a time span of over five months - not even during a (very joyful :)) traditional marriage. A Nigerian priest who went to Germany mentioned how he was shocked that we white people do these kind of things publicly. I think I understand both point of views and I do believe we oyibos should behave more modestly in the public arenas. However, I have to admit that I sometimes missed the occasional hug that we Germans give each other as good friends. Anyway, I’d appreciate your comments, maybe you can tell me why some things are done in this or in that way…

                                      

5. Nigerians are beautiful! Well, that is quite a general statement, but honestly: The longer I stayed in Nigeria, the more I appreciated the people, their characters, their facial features, their fluffy hair (keep it natural-o! ;) ), their strong skin, their laughter, their white teeth and so on. Before I came to Nigeria, a lot of Africans seemed similar to me and I had a hard time distinguishing them. Meeting all kinds of different Nigerians helped me to cherish each one of them. I’m just saying this so that you can stay true to who you are, because God made everyone in a unique way and I just love this inward and outward diversity :) A lot of Germans and Nigerians asked me whether I’d marry a Nigerian girl and let me just say that outward appearance would definitely not be a problem lol…

                                             

Despite all of these differences, love is universal. There is no such thing as Nigerian love or German love, I think everyone everywhere can get electrified meeting a good boy or girl. While our ways of expressing love might be different, everyone has his or her own stories of love, lovesickness and so one. Even the Bible’s teaching of love is universal and timeless: true love both requires and fosters selflessness, sacrifice, care, joy and a strong relationship with God. I’d just recommend that we stick to God's principles and to stay close to His heart, and everything else will follow - wherever you are. And keep following this blog, there are some precious nuggets of wisdom to be found here :)

                                             
*********************************************

Thanks a lot Seb! I absolutely enjoyed reading this and as always, there was a lot to laugh about too! I also really liked the way the article was concluded, reminding us of the universal nature of the love of God. It's rich in diversity and does not discriminate - It's a wonderful thought to imagine that we are all covered under that love and as Christians, can get to relate with others in the same way.

PS Apologies for not publishing yesterday. Chronicles of Sebastian comes up on Wednesdays! For all previous posts, please click HERE.. Join Sabba again next week Wednesday..I look forward to what he will be sharing with us!

Remember you can send an email: oneplustheone@gmail.com
Follow on Twitter: @1plustheone
Facebook: www.facebook.com/1plustheone

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Waiting and Loving It!!! - feat You and Yours (SPECIAL EDITION)

Hiya everyone!

It's another beautiful Tuesday and you know what that means!!! It's another lovely feature of Waiting and Loving It!!!

Today is an extra special edition as we feature a wonderful couple! We all individually know them so well and I can definitely tell you that at least one of them is no stranger to us..

                                       source

Ladies and Gentleman, when you read their beautiful story, you would know that only God could have done this and you will be greatly inspired (and I dare say proud of their story). As with all Waiting and Loving It features, it was by no means an 'easy' decision or journey but if you have followed the series, you would know now that it is very possible by God's grace.

You probably may have guessed who they are now right? Yes, it's YOU and your husband/wifey!

I am dedicating today's post to every single person who has ever read or been blessed by the Waiting and Loving It series and/or who has desired (and sent emails or commented) about looking forward to being featured in the near future! We are going to 'walk by faith' and you get the opportunity to sit back, relax, forget your 'now' and imagine what your interview would be like - answer the questions -You could even write them down if you wish so that you can look back some day and smile! You've read the stories of others, now the spotlight's on you.... Are you ready?!

***********************************************


Hello You! I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be featuring you and your beloved today! I remember how we wrote about today not too long ago and see how it has all unravelled! God is good... Could you please tell us a little about youselves?

YOU: ............................................................................................................................
YOURS: .......................................................................................................................

Great to meet you! So please tell us, how did you meet?

YOU: ............................................................................................................................
YOURS: .......................................................................................................................

                                            source

Wow! What a story! And we all say *Awwww*.. Thank you for sharing that with us, God is GOOD! (laughter). So how did you know that this was the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with, that this was IT?

YOU: ............................................................................................................................
YOURS: ........................................................................................................................

That's really wonderful.. Now, why did you decide to wait?

YOU: ............................................................................................................................
YOURS: ........................................................................................................................

                                      source

Hmmm, hmmm... Great stuff. Was it easy? Were you tempted or did you ever want to just give up and give in!

YOU: .............................................................................................................................
YOURS: .........................................................................................................................

*Smiling* I can totally understand but thank GOD for grace! Gloryy! (hahaha).. Now that you are happily married to your spouse, what would you say to your single self?

YOU: ...............................................................................................................................
YOURS: ..........................................................................................................................

                                            source

Fantastic! The wait is worth it indeed.. Could you describe what being married is to you in 3 words/sentences (if you can possibly cram it into that lol)

YOU: .............................................................................................................................
YOURS: .........................................................................................................................

                                        source
*Blushes* That is really special. I am so grateful to you for agreeing to do this and it has been a real pleasure! May God continue to bless your home.

*************************************************************
And that's all folks. I hope you enjoyed your interview as much as I did. The purpose of the Waiting and Loving It series is not only just to *awww* and *ahhh* at wonderful couples who decided to wait until marriage before consummation (that's lovely), but it's more importantly to show that it is very possible, that people ARE doing IT and that you and I by God's grace can make that decision to do so too! It also goes to show through the many varying experiences that God makes the most beautiful of love stories when you trust Him to take charge. No matter how long or far-fetched it may seem, God will come through for you. Don't ever forget that. You may get discouraged sometimes but don't let that be the conclusion, know that God has got your back and He will do it for you.

The bible says the expectations of the righteous shall not be cut off. Your expectations in your relationship and marriage will be met beyond your imaginations by God's grace and God will give you the grace to do right by Him. Until that time comes, I am Waiting and Loving It! Hope you are too... xx

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" Ephesians 3:20

"Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Him, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass" - Psalm 37:4-5

Do you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask!
Email - oneplustheone@gmail.com
Twitter - @1plustheone
Facebook - www.facebook.com/1plustheone

Monday, 14 April 2014

I don't think I qualify for a good marriage...

Don’t get it twisted, everyone has a past. If you didn’t, then there would be no need for a Saviour.

                                     source

One of the impressions that people may have after reading a Waiting and Loving It series is “What a perfect couple, could I ever measure up?”. I get emails sometimes saying 'Oh I’ve done this and that and I am not sure I could have what they have'.... It makes me sad to read that.

I cannot say it clearly enough – God does not bless you because you are ‘deserving’.. Actually, the only way you are ‘deserving’ is by coming under grace by the blood of Jesus.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" - Romans 3:23

Can you have a great marriage despite the fact that you feel you have lived a less than ideal life? The answer is a BIG YES! You see, when God forgives, He forgives totally. He says that He wipes away your history of sin and remembers it no more - 

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more" - Isaiah 43:25

Your future is not determined by your past when you give your life to Christ and are washed by His blood. The bible states it clearly –

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" - 2Corinthians 5:17

The common factor for all the Waiting and Loving It couples is not the fact that they were all virgins before they got married, NO - that's absolutely false! The common factor is that they met Jesus, they obtained mercy, they made the decision to do right by God from then on and they received grace from God to do so! None of them, none of us are perfect. In fact, if God were to consider our 'works', we would not qualify for any blessing at all.

I am writing this to encourage you, your past does not matter to God as much as what you choose to do today, and live for the future once you gain information and knowledge. God does not condemn you – He says that while you and I were still sinners, He loved us! He hates the sin but He loves you so much.

He sees your struggle, infact He understands your struggle and that’s why He doesn’t expect you to go at it alone, he releases His grace to you and I. All you have to do is to take that step and make that decision.

Can you have a good marriage? A good home? A clean slate? The answer is YES. But it would not be based on your work alone or how ‘good’ you are – the most important factor is the God-factor! Start believing it and start walking in it!

Have a great week people and I pray that you excel in all your relationships by God's grace. xx

Do you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask!
Email - oneplustheone@gmail.com
Twitter - @1plustheone

Friday, 11 April 2014

Dear Daddy

My dearest, loveliest, amazing Daddy (Of life!),

What can I say to you Beautiful One that I adore that would truly express who You are?

You are the Fountain of life, the Fountain of joy, the Fountain of love.. I bless the day that I met You and that I gave you my life - no other decision in my life can ever compare to the importance of that singular decision.. And You made it all possible because you first loved me.

When I did not know you, you loved me. When I rejected you, you loved me. When I did things that you did not like, you loved me still! When I strayed far away, you loved me. When I came back begging for mercy, you loved me completely, you accepted wholly and you cleansed me deeply. How could I ever repay you? How could I ever tell you how much you mean to me?

Daddy, today is a special day indeed and I smile, I giggle like your little girl that I am when I think of how far we've come and how much farther we are going! I wanna do eternity with you - Infact the thought, the idea of eternity looks fabulous with You in it! I am excited!

Thank You Lord, Thank You King, Thank You Master - truly, deeply, totally!

From my heart to yours.

Your forever girl,
One xx

 source