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Things to talk about in courtship

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2ND TIMOTHY2:16
The time of courtship is not the time for feeling of pecking and kissing. It is a serious matter. it is a time to talk and get it straight away. It is expected of your courtship to prepare you for marriage, but, nowadays, reverse is the case, the activities in courtship can never secure happy married life. There are lot of things to know and understand, and how can you know and understand if you do not talk.

DIFFERENT PICTURES OF COURTSHIPS:

1. Mute courtships: these are the set of people that do not talk freely in their courtship, whereby, fiancé is acting in a strange manner to his fiancée and vice versa. It is not that they are deaf and dumb but they are not close to heart. The major cause of this is ignorance. Sometimes, Christian brothers and sisters practice this kind of courtship in the name of spirituality. Also, some people will not want to offend their partners, may be because of position, age difference or wealth, and as a result of that they will be mute throughout their courtship life.

2. Talkative courtships: These are the set of people that talk in their courtship but without sense. They never talk right things. They are inclined in excessive talking, that is, always ready to talk even at length but you cannot hold any point. They talk freely about unimportant things in a friendly way. This kind of courtship is usually full of gossip and malice.

3. Flippant courtships: these are the set of people that joke too much in their courtship. They take things for granted and turn everything to child play. They are never serious with each other. Serious matters are not common in their discussion. They thought inappropriately and laugh on things that doesn’t worth it. They are too playful, frolicsome, perky, lighthearted, giddy, frivolous and silly in nature. Their talks lack intellectual substance and things not worth serious consideration. Full of trivial discussions.

4. Flamboyant courtships: These are the set of people that believe everything is fun. They never talk to plan, they talk to spend. Too extravagant. They are full of eatry, clubbing, film house etc. They can never sit down at the round table to talk about progress in their courtship, but the next party to attend.

5. Constructive courtship: these are the set of people that construct their marital future with the content of their discussions. They are full of talks that are carefully considered and meant to be helpful to their marriage in the nearest future. Their talks, jokes, and fun are building them up for glorious marriage. They are polite and moderate in every sense of life.
Well-mannered, socially superior to ordinary people and considered refined or cultured. They talk with grace, courtesy, love and have respect for each other. Maturity is written all over them.

KEYS THAT CAN HELP YOU TO TALK CONSTRUCTIVELY :

1. Interview: Always try to ask questions and make enquiry of whatever that looks ambiguous to you.

2. Assessment: Always look back and see if what you have discussed is able to give you glorious home.
Have you dealt with all issues that ought to be dealt with? Never go into the marriage if you are not sure.

Have you talked about:

1. background
2. Do’s and dont’s
3. Weaknesses: e.g. snoring, eating habit e.t.c
4. Formal education: to what level?
5. Verbal skills: how does he or she talk?
6. Expected roles of both individuals in the marriage: His roles as husband and father and her roles as a wife and mother of your children.
7. Love and respect: to what extent does she respect or submit to you as her husband, and to what extent does he love you as his wife?
8. Number of children.
9. type of family planning.
10. Gap between children.
11. Child rearing view.
12. Mental, social, psychological, spiritual, philosophy of life.
13. Ways of dealing with issues.
14. Talk about smoking, drinking, alcohol and coming home late.
15. Night journey.
16. Involvement of in- laws and parental influence.
17. Sense of humour: are you a person that doesn’t laugh or joke, just study and pray every minute? Talk about it now.
18. Punctuality.
19. Dependability: to what extent can you depend on him or her? Some men will say,” she depends on me for everything, she doesn’t have goals or visions” talk about it now.
20. Verbal intimacy: freedom of expressing feelings.
21. Home conflict and management.
22 Anger management: some spouse will say” whenever I’m in rage or angry, the only person that can calm me down is my mother or someone else” some will say ” leave me for sometime and I will get over it” Talk about it. For a woman to be a great wife, she needs more anger management skills than nagging skills.
23. Fear and anxiety.
24. Friendship with opposite sex: don’t hand shake or hug any other man when I’m around etc talk about now.
25. Family friends: who and who do you want as family friends? what caliber of people?
26. Personal friends.
27. Level of ambition.
28. Personal goals and achievements.
29. corporate life goals and achievements.
30. Attitude towards weight: many ladies are slim before marriage but fat after marriage. if you are a type that likes slim lady, look at her mother if she has, because, she’s likely to look like her mother later in life. For men, spot belly etc. Talk about it now..
31.Religious belief and spiritual preference.
32. Church denomination: is it her church you will be attending after wedding or his?
33. Church involvement.
34. hobbies and interests.
35. songs and music.
36. Values and goals.
37. Self control: does he have problem with women?
38. Past life.
39. Amount of income to spend and save
40. House wife or career woman.
41. Type of account.
42. What percentage should be allocated to cloths, vacations, given away and to whom?
43. Means and risk of investment.
44. Attitude about cleanliness.
45. Location: where to settle, geographical, commercial, spiritual, and social area to live.
46. Order of priority: house before car or vice- versa.
47. Size and style of house: bungalow, upstairs, flat, duplex, fenced or open house. Talk about it now!
48. Ways of handling sickness: are you the type that if somebody vomits around you or see blood, you will run away?
49. Means of getting treatment: is it private hospital, or teaching hospital, or trado-medical center?
50. Payment of school fees.

51. Children’s schooling: private and public.
52. Health standard: are you the type that uses the drug or faith? Talk about it
53. Interpersonal and social skills: does your spouse have caucus, caliber, or levels? Does he or she have pride or look down on people?
54. Stinginess.
55. House helps: maid, Gardner, gateman, driver, dry cleaner, house cleaner etc
56. Nature of food: only African food or continental or mixed

57. Mode of sleeping: together or separately
58. Mattress: water bed, mat etc
59. Sexual intimacy
60. sexual intercourse during pregnancy
61. types of furniture and interior decorations.
62. Jewelries.
63. Types of clothes to be wearing.
64. Day or days of fasting in a week
65. Amount and type of travel you prefer: is it every vacation or yuletide period? is it by flight, land etc
66. Time to be spent together: some couples live away from each other throughout their lives, as a result of job etc
67. When to go to bed and when to wake up.
68. Time for family altar.
69. Test on genotype, HIV/AIDS, blood group etc
70. Intelligent decision
71. Nature of hair do: plaiting, weaving, curling, wig etc
72. Make up: use of earring, lipstick, cosmetics pedicure etc
73. Temperament: The moment a man starts slapping his girlfriend, I bet you, he will terribly batter her as a wife. There is no way a rat and a cat can stay in the same cage.

It is either the cat kills the rat or it runs for its dear life. Don’t ever believe that he will change because he will get worse in marriage. When he marries her, he will either use knife or axe. Any man does who truly loves a lady, would never lay his hands on her. Ladies should be wise and run for their dear lives so that violent men do not send them to untimely death.

So many young people are making excuses for their shortcomings in courtship, that, they don’t know what to talk about. And, as a result of that, the only thing that is available to do is sex, which can damage their marital pursuit. All I have mentioned above are not a day’s talk; neither a month nor a year’s talk. They are something you can talk and talk until your mind is clear.

So many marriages are having problems today because they fail to talk the right thing while in courtship. They substitute their talking period for sex and other related acts. FEWER PROBLEMS WILL BE IN MARRIAGE IF YOU HAVE QUALITY TALKING IN COURTSHIP.
It is not time for marriage until you are satisfied with every talking, until your eyes can see clearly the bottom of the water, until you have guarantee of your second life ( marriage). You can save yourself from fruitless race in marriage now that you are not bonded with marital vows. You don’t have to join the queue of failing marriages.

Marriage is sweet and marriage is bitter based on your own experience and content of your discussion while in courtship. Talk about it now!

TALK ABOUT JESUS

How much of Jesus do you discuss in your courtship? He is the only One that can guarantee your heart desire in marriage. This is the best time for you and your spouse to join hands together and talk to JESUS; He is ever ready to listen to you. How can you do that? Give your life to Him and accept Him as your Lord and personal Saviour. I wish you the best of married life and look forward to the day that you will say “I do”.

  • Dr Mrs Nma Olebara

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The Data of Forgiveness

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The Universal Character of Salvation

The most important ingredient in today’s media economy is data. The amount of data available determines how much and how long we can work or play on the internet. Currently, many of the service providers offer unlimited data plans but we know that those “unlimited” plans are not always unlimited. Sometimes, your download speed can get slowed down when you cross a certain point. Today, however, Jesus gives us the divine model of an unlimited plan. It is the unlimited bundle of compassion and forgiveness which never gets slowed downed shut down for maintenance. The theme for this week is that we must learn to forgive without limits no matter the injury committed against us.

In Matthew’s Gospel, today’s teaching on unlimited forgiveness comes after Jesus had told his disciples the parable of the wandering sheep, so it is plausible that some would have wondered among themselves how many times a good shepherd should go after the same sheep if it keeps wandering away. In those days, people believed that forgiveness was limited to three times only – a fourth transgression was not to be forgiven. So, by asking Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, Peter was probably aiming to increase the limit to seven times. And Jesus makes it clear that we are to forgive others, “not seven times but seventy-seven times” (Matt. 18:22).That means we must dispense an unlimited data bundle of mercy.

In Jesus Christ, we have the forgiveness of a debt we could never pay. Sin is an offence against God and a direct rebellion against his authority and creation. The debt of 10,000 talents mentioned in today’s parable symbolizes the magnitude of the offence that sin causes in God’s eyes, but he is always willing to forgive without limits. However, we can easily cut ourselves off from God’s river of mercy when we refuse to forgive others. We end up restraining God’s mercy and putting ourselves under strict justice. To unfold his mercy without compromising his justice, God leaves each person free to choose between the two. If we insist on strict justice when we are offended, we bring God’s strict justice upon ourselves. But if we offer an unlimited bundle of mercy to others, we draw God’s unlimited data of forgiveness upon ourselves.

The secret to forming a forgiving heart lies in recognizing the evil of our sin and the immensity of God’s goodness in forgiving us. Until we see the ugliness of our ingratitude and selfishness, we will never appreciate the generosity of God’s forgiveness. Let us examine ourselves now to see how much forgiveness we are giving. Is there someone we still cannot forgive even after they have expressed sorrow for their actions? Have we judged someone too harshly because of something they said or did that we did not particularly like? How many times have we failed to help somebody because we are still dwelling on an injury that we suffered many years ago? How many times have we treated someone differently based on preconceived notions or stereotypes? These are some of the factors that shackle us like chains and that disrupt the unlimited data of divine grace in our lives. When we close ourselves off to people or dismiss them based on our preconceptions, mistaken judgments, and prejudices, not only do we make them suffer, we suffer as well.

But it does not have to be that way. Jesus came to free us from and the burden of sin and unhappiness. Forgiveness is like mercury, which runs away when it is held tightly in the hand but is preserved by keeping the palm open. When we lose forgiveness, we lose the ability to give and to receive love because love is the foundation of forgiveness. And since God is the foundation of love, whoever refuses to forgive automatically rejects the love of God. This is the essence of today’s parable and it is highlighted by the contrast between what was owed by each man. The wicked slave owed his master some 10000 talents. In gold terms, that is 350 tons and at today’s price, he owed his master USD21.8 billion. This was way more than King Solomon made in a year which was 666 talents of gold or USD1.45 billion in today’s value (cf. I Kings 10:14). So, this unforgiving servant owed his master what no individual could never payback. In contrast, his fellow servant owed him the equivalent of one talent of gold or USD2.1 million; so a man who was forgiven $21.8b could not let go of $2.1m, and his wickedness landed him in the hands of torturers.

Dear friends, forgiveness is an act of compassion which is expressed in the free choice to pardon one another’s shortcomings every day, and to also pardon ourselves for own mistakes Forgiveness transcends the fear of being wounded again; it is a deliberate act in imitation of the redemptive work of Jesus, the advocacy of the Holy Spirit, and the loving kindness of the Father. The whole point of today’s parable is that our Father in heaven will do the same to anyone who refuses to forgive others. Whoever refuses to forgive is doomed to a life of bitterness, and as the ugly trend continues, the person ends up building invisible walls of resentment around themselves, thereby blocking off not just one’s relationships with other people but with God as well. Forgiveness is not just an emotional expression or a sense of righteousness; it means being merciful not only when there is an explanation or apology, or a promise of amendment from the offender, but even when the offence is deliberate, and the offender is adamant. Forgiveness is a precious gift of grace, which does not depend on the worthiness of the receiver. Forgiveness is what we called to do, and the Lord’s grace is sufficient for us in that regard. Amen.

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Imo Deputy Governor’s giant strides towards revitalizing agriculture

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Imo Deputy Governor's giant strides towards revitalizing agriculture
By Joy Opara

The increasing cost of Agricultural products in Imo State in recent times has continued to be a major source of concern to the citizens of the state.

A critical appraisal of the development of Agriculture in this state reveals that successive governments had neglected this major sector of the economy, over three decades now, and this has adversely affected the revenue of government.

In line with the vision of the “shared prosperity” government of the Hope Uzodinma administration, the revolution of agriculture is among its cardinal programmes for which a high powered committee (on agricultural master plan for Imo State) has been set up.
For the purpose of resuscitating all moribund agricultural industries and facilities in the state, it is not surprising that this committee is headed by a world class Professor of Agriculture and Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku.

The need to diversify the economy cannot be over-emphasized. It is a well known fact that there is no better and more sustainable means of diversifying the economy than through agriculture. It would be recalled that after the inauguration of his committee, the deputy governor went into action, first by visiting all moribund agricultural facilities in the state, which included Adapalm in Ohaji/ Egbema LGA, Avutu Poultry farm in Avutu, Obowo LGA, Songhai farms, Okigwe road, Owerri, ADP farms in Nekede, Owerri West. Others are Acharaubo farms in Emekuku, Owerri North, Imo Rubber Plantation in Obiti, Ohaji/ Egbema, amongst others.
Prof. Njoku in one of his speeches during the tour described agriculture as the economic base of most countries of the world. Considering the dwindling oil revenue, he said it should be a source of worry to people of good conscience that the vision of our founding fathers to generate revenue, food security, economic advancement, industrialization, employment and eradication of poverty was destroyed by successive governments.
The Deputy Governor, who not only is acknowledged as one of the greatest professors of Animal Science, a renowned Agriculturist and former Vice Chancellor of a leading University of Agriculture, the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, made it clear that the present government led by Governor Hope Uzodinma is desirous to return agriculture to its former glory.

The Ikeduru-born technocrat and farmer per-excellence said that the 3R Mantra of this administration namely: Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery is a base for making the dream of Imo State as the food basket of the nation come true.

Noting that government is a continuum, the deputy governor promised that his committee will build upon what is already on ground by rehabilitating the ones that could be rehabilitated and bringing in new facilities where necessary to ensure that the passion of the governor towards agricultural revival is achieved.

Meanwhile, in most of the establishments visited by the committee, it was discovered that indigenes of the communities had badly encroached into the lands and converted them to personal use. Investigations by the committee revealed that agents of some past governments in the state connived with the communities to make it possible, for their personal aggrandizement.

The deputy governor, whose humility has become legendary pledged his total support to the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma whom he described as God sent to right all that were done wrong by the previous administrations in the state. He called on all to give this administration the needed support to rewrite the history of Imo State in gold, especially the agricultural sector.

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Child Abuse: A case of betrayal of reciprocal trust

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Child Abuse: A case of betrayal of reciprocal trust
By Christian Uzoukwu

Some years ago, while as a kid, I fell out with my father due to an occasion of sheer disobedience and on that very day, I was given no food and was ultimately battered by hunger. Child abuse includes both acts of commission and omission on the part of parents, guardians as well as care-givers.

These acts have led to a lot of actual and threatened harm meted out on countless number of children. In 2014, the WHO made an estimate of 41,000 children (under the age of 15) that are victims of homicide and other related offences. This estimate, as expounded by this world body is grossly below the real figures due to the views of the society in relation to corporal punishment experienced by children. Girls are always most vulnerable to different forms of child abuse during unrests and in war-thorn territories.

Cases of child abuse can be established in some deadly human vices such as child trafficking, child labour, forced adoption as seen in the one-child policy prevalent in China. In the Asian country, women, by law are only allowed to have one child. Local governments would sometimes allow the woman to give birth and then they would take the baby away stating the mother violated the one child policy. Child traffickers, often paid by the government, would sell the children to orphanages that would arrange international adoptions worth tens of thousands of dollars, turning a profit for the government.

Other striking examples of child abuse are the various forms of violence against the girl-child which involves infanticide, sex-selective abortions, female genital mutilations (FGM), sexual initiation of virgins in some African cultures, breast ironing in some parts of Cameroon – involving the vicious use of hot stones and other tools to flatten the breast tissue of girls who have attained the age of puberty. As if those were not enough, female students are also subject to maltreatments in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is not to talk of recurring kidnapp of female students in some parts of Nigeria, as we saw in the case of Dapchi and Chibok schoolgirls.

Based on simple analysis, child abuse can be defined as “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power”.

This definition by WHO also falls in line with the definition propounded by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that child abuse are acts of commission. This commission includes “words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child”, and acts of omission (neglect), meaning “the failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, emotional, or educational needs or to protect a child from harm or potential harm.

In Nigeria, most cases of child abuse have become cumbersome due to the fact that these acts of abuses are regarded as mere punishments to unruly young ones and by so doing, should be justified and doesn’t call for any further discussion and/or scrutiny. According to various statistical studies and researches, child abuse is a vast societal cankerworm and has four profound tentacles viz:

Physical Abuse: this involves undue hitting, beating, kicking, shaking, biting, burning, strangling, insertion of pepper into the eyes and pubic regions of children, maltreatments from house-help(s) and seniors at boarding/day schools, suffocating and forcing children to live in unwholesome conditions.

Sexual Abuse also includes persuading a minor into acts of sexual intercourse, exposure of the child’s private parts, production of child-related pornographic contents and actual sexual contacts with children.

Psychological Abuse of children can be seen in cases of excessive scolding, lack of proper attention that children should be receiving from their parents and guardians, destructive criticisms and destruction of a child’s personality.

Neglect of children can also lead to children dropping out of schools, begging/stealing for food and money, lack of proper medical care for minors and realities of children looking like ragamuffins.

Consequently, the causes of child abuse can be judiciously related to sex, age, personal history, societal norms, economic challenges, lack of Rights’ Protection Agencies, parents battling with traits of alcoholism and family size. These causative agents of child abuse can bring untold effects upon the society at large and these effects can be emotional, physical and psychological as the case may be, giving rise to individuals with dissociative lifestyles.

Furthermore, the treatment of individuals who have been malformed with respect to the abuses they experienced abinitio, can be a long process because it involves behavioral therapy and other forms of neoteric therapies. Treatments of psyche-related problems are not just a one-day process due to the long-lasting effects of abuses on various conscious mental activities. It is also noteworthy to point out that, prevention is always better than cure and holding fast to this true reality, entails that agencies who have the responsibility of protecting the rights of children must continue to do the needful which requires proper oversights of parent-child relationships.

To conclude this piece therefore, we must agree that untold hardships have been a great challenge for children especially in Africa and some parts of Asia. Children with long histories of abuses turn out to become societal misfits. To this end we encourage that: Children should be given a free platform to express themselves on many topical issues and issues relating to their existence.

Children should also be allowed to freely ask questions on any issue, no matter, how weird it seems to be.

Governments should make regulations outlawing societal norms and values that might amount to child abuses.

Corporal punishments by parents, guardians and care-givers should be discouraged at all levels, thereby making parents/guardians/care-givers who seem to be incorrigible, to face the full weight of justice enshrined in the law of the land.

Education system (both conventional and unconventional) in Nigeria should be able to train up young ones into becoming critical, analytical and evaluative individuals with a view of defending the vulnerable.

And again, since children are said to be leaders of tomorrow, it is pertinent to note that to secure their future, their present existence must be cherished and protected.

Christian Chimemerem Uzoukwu
08100029867 / 09025760804
Admin Critical Thinkers’ Forum.

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