Topic: Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine (Part 1)
Welcome to another wonderful month! This is the beginning of the second half of the year! All the beautiful packages God has for you this year shall be coming in succession. This month will mark the beginning of great days for you in Jesus’ name!
This month, we will identify those little foxes that can destroy a happy home and discuss ways to overcome them. Foxes are usually connected with destruction in Scripture (Judges 15:4); they are little, but are capable bringing down great things. In the same vein, there are some seemingly little habits and behaviours that look insignificant, but are capable of crumbling homes with great potentials.
Marriage can be likened to a vine with tender grapes. These little foxes cause destruction of all sorts in marriage and families, if not checked. I would be examining two this week; they are Anger and Bitterness.
Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance and hostility. It is human to get angry at one time or the other but it becomes abnormal when you allow your feelings to dictate your sense of reasoning; thereby, leading you to sin. God’s Word says.“Be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26).This means that if you are angry, do not let it lead you into sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the day end with the anger still in you; get over it quickly. When you hold on to anger, you open the door to sin.
If you get upset about the way your spouse does certain things sometimes, instead of exploding and speaking cruel words which can cause irreparable damage, control your emotions and take a walk or go to the prayer closet, until your anger subsides. Anger is like a kettle of boiling water and as long as the fire is on, the water will boil faster. To cool the water, you need to turn off the source of fire, place the kettle on a cool surface and give it time to cool down. When this is done, the water that was formerly boiling will become cool enough, even to drink.
Some other people try to suppress anger. They get angry but they put a smile on their faces, pretending that everything is all right. They are like shaken warm bottles of Cocoa-cola; once the lid is opened, the hot liquid rushes out in torrents. Bottling up anger is very risky, as the explosion is only a matter of time.
You can let off steam by discussing the issues at the right time or better still, pray about it. Tell God exactly how you feel and allow Him to speak peace to your heart. Anger kills! A good example of this is found in Genesis 49:5, 7 which says,“Simeon and Levi are brethren… cursed by their anger, for it was fierce and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”Anger also, is a higher level of foolishness as stated in Ecclesiastes 7:9 “…Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools!”It has the same consequences as murder (Matthew 5:22). Anger must be dealt with, if you want to avoid the shame that division and scattering brings to a family.
Another thing that destroys marriage is Bitterness. Bitterness starts from a very little thing that your spouse or any member of your family might have done to hurt you and you refused to forgive and forget. Every time you remember the incident, you are hurt all over again. Watch it! That is a root of bitterness springing up gradually. It will eventually lead to trouble if it is not nipped in the bud. The Word says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up, trouble you and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15). Once bitterness gains access into your heart, it will magnify itself and begin to dominate you. Then, you lose your rest to troubles, malice and disagreements. For instance, if you are bitter against your spouse, when he or she is in the parlour, you will want to be in the bedroom. There is usually no rest within you.
Bitterness blocks every access to God’s blessings upon you and your family. It seeks to steal and frustrate the grace of God upon your life. It is an unholy act that rubs you of God’s presence and usually has the price as unforgiveness. The Word of God says,“Let all bitterness… be put away from you, with all malice”(Ephesians 4:3). To do this, you must forgive those who have offended you, forgive and forget completely so that you live a peaceful and burden-free life. The principle of instant forgiveness has helped me a great deal. My husband and I practise it and it has paid off for us. It pays to forgive!
There was a lady who after a decade of marriage decided that her marriage was a thorn in her flesh. She packed out of her home and filed for a divorce. However, in the process, she got born again and after reading my book, Marriage Covenant, and some other anointed books, she discovered she had been living in self-righteousness, bitterness and unforgiveness towards her husband. After this discovery, she forgave him and God miraculously healed her marriage. In her own words, she is having a honeymoon now. Honour and joy were restored once more to her marriage.
Anger and bitterness are little things that destroy marriage, home and family faster than you know it and the first person to seek help from is God. Help from God will come faster for you when you are born again, thereby allowing you to receive grace to combat off anger and bitterness. If you are already born again, rejoice because your case is settled. If you are not yet born again and you desire to do so right now, please pray this prayer with faith in your heart: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins and cleanse me with Your Blood. I accept You as my Lord and personal Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for delivering me from sin and satan to serve the living God and thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom.
Congratulations! If you prayed this simple prayer of faith with me, you are now born again and a child of God. He loves you and will never leave you. Read your Bible daily, obey God’s Word and seek Christian fellowship (John 14:21).
With this, you are guaranteed all-round rest and peace in Jesus’ Name! Call or write to share your testimonies with me through firstname.lastname@example.org, 07026385437 OR 08141320204.
For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Building a Successful Home and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored).
Pastor Faith Oyedepo is the wife of Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide a.k.a. Winners’ Chapel, and Senior Pastor of Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland, Ota, Nigeria.