Our celebration has such a wonderful theme. It says “Come, see a man.” That was the shout of a certain woman; a miserable woman who had met a special man. She had been with five men who had taken advantage of her. She said, “Come see a special man who has told me everything I have ever done. Could this be the Christ?” That special man was the son of God. What was in the heart of the Lord Jesus was possessing the woman for God. That is why the Bible says when the disciples brought food he said “I have food you don’t know of.” That food was to possess people for the kingdom of God. So, under this theme, the leadership of PEMEM has asked me to speak on the theme, “Men possessing their families for Christ.”
I want us to read three anchor passages: Genesis 2.23-24, 1 Corinthians 11.3, and 1 Peter 3.7.
The anchor passages define marriage—they give the definition of marriage and the definition of the family. I remember many years ago when I was in Italy I met a woman on the street and engaged here. I asked, “What is the size of your family?” She said, “We are three. Myself, my daughter, and my dog.” I put it on Facebook and there was an argument whether a dog can be part of the family. From the readings, we see that the family begins with a man marrying a woman. Hence, the dog was just an intruder. These days, the new world order is trying to redefine marriage. You see a bearded man and a recently shaved man and you see John marries Thomas. That is an aberration. Mary marries Joana; that is an aberration. The Bible says, “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman for she was taken out of man. That is why a man shall leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and the two of them shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2.23-24) Marriage is an idea of God so in defining it we should go back to God and not to people who even hate God. God created marriage to be an institution between a man and a woman.
I got born again in 1971 and I married a woman called Irene. Sorry she is not with me here today. We were blessed by the late Pastor L. A. Nyarko. We are blessed with three children who are doing well in their careers all because they had a father who cares. Thank God they are all in Christ. That is why this morning I have Joshua listening to me in the congregation. I have experienced marriage for about 39 years, full of ups and downs. It’s not always smooth. There are threats and opportunities in the relationship but we have married for 39 years and I have zero tolerance for divorce. It does not mean it has been beautiful and milk and honey all the way. There have ben challenges, but I have determined as the head of the house to keep the home and I hope somebody is listening to me.
The union of a man and wife may produce a child or children which will become part of the family unit. Let’s take note that the man is the head of the family and this places a great responsibility on him. All men must know that you don’t just sit and say, “I am the man.” You should have that mentality that, “I am responsible for my family. I am responsible for every aspect of the family.” Your wife may be a professor and you a common laborer (a rare occurrence, by the way) but whatever it is, you must take responsibility and hold the bull by the horn. You must possess the family for Jesus Christ. Why should we give birth to children of hell? Why do you populate hell by marrying that young lady? We have the greatest responsibility to posses the family, that each of them would say that, “Jesus is my Lord.”
The family unit is dynamic. What I mean is that it begins with a husband and wife and the factors at play are quite different when it is only the two of them. If you obeyed the word of God, you took a believer so she is already possessed for Christ. The next or secondary stage is where there is so much work to do—when a child joins. When I married my wife, we were just two and a year after three; four years after that we became four; and then about ten years after that, five. The activity to possess them is quite critical. What do you do to ensure that you have 100% possession of the family? The Muslims do well here and the ensure that their children are for Mohammed. One day I was travelling to Kumasi and they had to work on the car’s tire. One of those working on the tire was a small boy. It was during Ramadan so I asked the man if he was fasting and he said, “Yes.” Then I asked him, “What about the small boy?” and he said, “Yes, he is also fasting.” The father was making sure the little boy was possessed for Mohammed.
So you have the acceptance stage, the activity stage, which is the secondary stage, and then the last stage, which is the maintenance stage. To ensure that you don’t lose your wife to some other faith, you ensure that you keep the faith until the Lord comes or the two of you part. It is not an event but an ongoing process. It continues so long as you are alive so don’t say, “I have arrived.” You must work on it.
Now I want us to look briefly at the preparatory stage. What happens before you take a wife? There are some who are not yet married but will certainly marry one day. It is non-negotiable that you must belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Especially for those who have been brought up in Sunday school and so on, it is often taken for granted but it is on the blind side of the parents and the church—on the campuses— that you see their true character. These days we have very light Christians—no devotional life; there is a kwashiorkor in their lives. Young men I challenge you to be up and doing for someday you will take someone’s daughter. I had a bad taste of it. The man said, “Yes, I do” and three months later he said, “I won’t marry her again. Even this marriage, it is my mother who forced me to marry her.” Young man, build yourself as a mature Christian. If you are not mature, an ant will scare you away from your marriage. A little ant can scare you for you will see it as an elephant. Build yourself with strong personal devotion and attachment to the Lord Jesus. The storms of life will come but because your faith is built on that solid rock, come what may, you will be sustained.
The next preparatory activity is a career aspiration. Build your career and your enterprising activity. This woman has left her family and attached herself to you and you want to starve her in the home? Sometimes you walk around in town. Some men are doing well. When you see them in church, they walk with confidence but for some of them you see that they did not marry well. You meet her on the streets of Accra, you see a fresh ring on her finger but look at the sandals she is wearing, and you see that it is not going well. Build your career.
There was a slogan of the men’s ministry, “Yesi pi; yesi ta,” to wit, “I am a solid man.” You will need that capacity. You are taking somebody’s daughter and you should not starve her, making her look ugly. Your capacity will make you pursue excellence. Work hard and make money. When there is poverty in the marriage you know how it feels. When your pocket is not nice you pretend to be angry with your wife. A certain sister told me something that didn’t make sense. I listened and said, “I think his pocket is not nice.” When the pocket is dry he becomes erratic. Build your capacity because you will take a woman one day and will have to take care of her. You need that respect from your wife that she can rely on her husband. Young men, build your capacity. It is doable. If some of us are standing here and speaking to you then I declare in the name of the Lord Jesus is that it is doable. I live at east Legon. They held a party at my house and as I was monitoring from Winneba and I was proud. Build your capacity.
When it is not going well where you are, change the direction. My first degree was in Agricultural Economics and the finance people were being promoted above me so I purposed in my heart to change course. God gave me a scholarship to go overseas to do an MBA in banking and finance. When I came back to Stanchart, they made me the head of strategic finance and planning. If you are in some crazy course, change for some a woman will come to you and you would have to take care of her.
Pray for a good wife. She will be a partner in possessing the family for the Lord Jesus Christ. Not all women are good. Some are bad and they know it. Some will back you. Some women are wonderful but some are bad. Unfortunately, it is not written on their foreheads so seek the face of the Lord and get a good woman to marry. Don’t focus on beauty. Beauty is good but you can make your wife beautiful. It is character you cannot buy. Look for character; it can never be bought.
After you have got this woman be a husband. This one is loaded but I don’t have time. Have a mindset that it is your responsibility to lead your family to Christ. Be a true husband at home. Women are weaker vessels, the Bible says. If she is weak she will manifest weakness in many areas so recognize that and manage it. It is not strange if the Bible has spoken about it. We’ve got to recognize that because if you don’t you will break your marriage. Recognize the troublesomeness as part of the weakness in their lives. Let your wife be proud of you and not afraid of you. Let her be proud to introduce you that, “This is my husband.” You are the head but not the fist. Don’t use your hand on your wife. It is a fool who would slap his wife. To look at the weaker vessel and, with your muscular palm, slap her, you are crazy and have to repent.
Be the provider. Provide for the home and for her and be a comforter. My wife says I’m not good at that. Pray for me. A friend went to speak somewhere. He was speaking like I’m speaking to you. His wife walked straight to the podium and said, “Eye a ye,” to wit, “Practice what you are saying.” She then took her bag and walked out of the meeting and all the anointing left. Thank God my wife is not here.
Be a father. Your children will do more of what you do than what you say. Pay attention to your children. My wife did this and it made me so happy. We went for a marriage retreat and the facilitator asked her, “So if you go and see your husband on top of a another woman, what would you do?” My wife said, “I wouldn’t believe it” because she had been married to a man for 39 years and had never seen that. I have never cheated on my wife. The day you see me down there, one of the testimonies should be, “He never cheated on his wife.” So, whether I’m at home or not, she is not afraid.
Finally, be the priest of the house. Practice Christianity at home. Don’t just come to church and dance. A certain woman said, “When he goes to church, come and see tongues but at home …” Repent. Show your Christianity at home and, by your example, they will come to Christ. Let your children and wife know this is a Christian man. Lead them to Jesus. I pray for my family every day. I mention my wife’s name and the names of my three children that God would cover them wherever they may be. Don’t force your children to belong to where you fellowship. Bless them if they want to go somewhere else. Some may be sitting here by protest. There was a certain man whose parents asked me to pray for to receive the Holy Spirit and he told me that all the times that I was praying for him, he was saying withing himself, “I resist. No! No!”
Monitor, follow, and enable them because it is not only Pentecost that is the house of God. I wish all members of my family belonged here but If they go elsewhere, as long as they uphold the faith in the Lord Jesus, it is fine.
On this special day, young men, let us stop and review where we are in the Lord Jesus Christ. I saw on social media when a son of an archbishop was puffing weed and I said, “What a disappointment!” I want to read what Apostle Peter said. He said wives should be submissive to their husbands so that if they don’t believe they may be won over by the behavior of their wives. (1 Peter 3.1) What I mean is that behavior can change the situation.
If everything fails, prayer is the answer. But let me say to every man that your family breaks down or rises depending on you. You are the cause and the facilitator. May God bless us.
Genesis 2.23-24, 1 Corinthians 11.3, 1 Peter 3.7