Categories
Marriage Bed

Chosen Not Cheated: Relationship Edition

Earlier this year, my girl – Koki Oyuke – published a book aptly titled: Chosen Not Cheated. This month, my posts are a tribute to her book (and life) message. More details on the book after the post.  

“Not denied, just in between floors.”

Koki Oyuke (Chosen Not Cheated – Chapter 8)

Romance is a billion-dollar industry. From the music to the books to the movies and everything in between, products and services that are believed to enable or enhance relationships.

I think this is because of the innate need and desire we have to love and be loved. Whether we want to admit or not, the numbers don’t lie. It’s not aliens spending all that money on matters relationship.

The premise of this industry is the promise of happiness and fulfillment in your relationship.

But if you’ve been reading this blog, then you know I write a lot about (God’s) purpose for relationships.

These two things – happiness and purpose – can often seem at odds with each other in conversations about God and relationships.

Christian relationships tend to get a bad reputation because of the notion that we have to choose between God’s will or happiness, because we can never both.  

Nothing could be further from the truth.

God chooses us for purpose in our relationships, but that doesn’t mean He’s cheated us out of joy.

The part we fail to see is all the ways our joy is intricately tied to and catered for in His purpose for us.

It’s difficult to trust God with your relationship status – whether you’re single, dating or married – if you don’t truly believe He has your best interests at heart.

It’s difficult to respect the boundaries He sets for you and heed the counsel He sends your way if you think He’s looking for a way to short change you.

This tug between purpose and fulfillment is not a new struggle for us as human beings. It’s been there from the very beginning with Adam and Eve in Eden.

Did God really say…?

Did God really mean…?

You will not die if you…

You will be like God and know good if you…

These age-old seeds of doubt have found their way into our hearts pining for love.

If God really loves me, He will instantly gratify my relationship needs and desires.

We’ve been lied to and in our ignorance and frustration we’ve accepted that lie.  

The lie that causes us to question God’s love for us in the first place, and then put conditions on that love in a bid to coerce God to prove its existence.

“Anything you don’t confront, will destroy you.”

Bishop John Gobanga

The issue isn’t that we have questions and doubts about how God will handle the relationship aspect of our lives. It’s what we do with those questions and doubts that makes the difference.

God loves you. It’s a truth you have to choose to believe. No one can believe it for you.

God wants the best for you. It’s a truth you have to choose to believe. No can believe it for you.

Whatever is keeping you from believing these truths, you need to address.

Because what the world and the romance industry hardly tells us is that relationships take work to work.

First, our relationship with God, which for us as Christians, serves as the foundation of every other relationship we have, including a romantic one.

Then our relationship with our future (for the single) or current (for the dating or married) partner.

There are no quick fixes and easy shortcuts.

Relationships take work. They’re a lifelong journey and it helps a ton to have the right company along for the ride.

So I encourage you to consider Koki’s book as a companion. In Chosen Not Cheated, she shares a lot about her relationship and marriage and how to practically journey in this area without losing sight of what matters; and how to find your way back should you lose yourself. From how God brought her and her husband, David, together, to planning a wedding while they were both jobless at the time, to clinging to faith through miscarriages. And a whole lot of laughter and adventures all through. The stories she shares are real and raw and they’ll give you a glimpse of what it means to pursue God’s purpose for relationship and marriage in the good, the bad and the ugly. If you’ve been looking for someone to hold your hand as you work through your doubts, fears and disappointments, get this book.


Book Blurb:

Chosen Not Cheated is a story about going back to the place where the light shone in your eyes. Back to the place where you feel weightless, and with your dreams within reach. It’s a story about becoming in the in-between, thin and hard places you find yourself in life. And it’s seeing for yourself, I mean really seeing for yourself, all the ways you’re chosen by God no matter how cheated you feel. This is about scars, journeys, and stories. Yours and mine. Chosen, not cheated.

Koki’s Chosen Not Cheated TV Interviews:

Chosen Not Cheated: Books & Blogs (KTN) – Part 1: https://youtu.be/BQcuPjv_b3I & Part 2: https://youtu.be/Cgm0Tw27oAk

Why You Need To Read The Book Chosen Not Cheated: Full Circle with Joyce (Switch): https://youtu.be/vNOVjjAey-M

What It Means To Live Like One Who’s Chosen: Living With Ess (NTV): https://youtu.be/va_mKuz1ZFk

Sample the book:

Read Chapter 1 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9966130004

Listen to Chapter 1: https://youtu.be/USpLd2X7q2M

Buy the book:

From Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9966130004

From Koki (if you live in Kenya):  MPESA Ksh. 1300 to Buy Goods No. 388 686 and await a WhatsApp message with further details.

Show some love to Koki:

Website: https://kokioyuke.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialkokioyuke

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kokioyuke/

Categories
Christianity

The Joy Of The Lord

I’ve been doing my gratitude challenge for a while now. Nothing much to it. Just intentionally noting down stuff I’m grateful for every other day. It makes a world of difference when it comes to giving God Honest Worship.

Lately though, I’ve noticed I’m thanking God a lot for people who’ve made me laugh. Thanking Him for moments of belly laughter. Over big stuff. About silly things. A joy bubbling over from a place deep within.

The random cabbie with storytelling skills for days. The silly jokes cracked at the office. The hilarious wisps of conversation caught in the streets. (Side note: I need to travel more and find out if it’s just Kenyans who seem to be genetically inclined to hilarity)

Joy is powerful because it chooses to believe life is worth living. It chooses to believe the steady whisper of God within you over the chaotic heckles of the world around you.

Chooses.

Joy is a choice.

Happiness isn’t listed as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit; joy is. They’re both products. But of very different things.

Happiness is instantly delivered by whatever circumstances we’re in. It’s a reaction to what’s in front of us at that point in time. If we rely on our circumstances to give us happiness then we render ourselves effectively at their mercy.

Joy, on the other hand, is fruit. Fruit doesn’t spring out of thin air. It starts with a seed. Someone has to plant that seed and tend to it patiently till it reaches maturity – till it bears fruit (and seeds). And the process begins all over again. Project Farming, anyone?

Count your blessings,

Name them one by one,

Count your blessings,

See what God has done…

– Sunday School chorus from the hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr.

The thing about counting your blessings – figuratively or literally as I’ve been doing – is that you quickly realize they far outweigh anything that may not be working out as you’d like it to.

When I count my blessings, I’m gathering my seeds of joy, one by one. Gathering every big and small testament of God’s goodness and planting it in my heart.

When I count my blessings, I’m reminding myself what God has done. Who He has been. I am tending to the seeds in my heart. Pouring the water of His word and the letting the sunny rays of His goodness in. Pruning away any pesky weeds of doubt and fear that want to strangle my joy seedlings.

When I count my blessings, I’m turning my focus back to where it belongs – on Jesus. I’m inviting the Holy Spirit in His incredible power and glory to take charge of my heart’s environment. To make it conducive for the fruit of joy to be produced.

You can’t grow joy alone. It’s a beautiful partnership between us and one of the biggest gifts Jesus left us – the Holy Spirit. Happiness is fleeting because it’s a product of this world. Joy is eternal just like its Maker.

Counting blessings isn’t turning a blind eye to all that is wrong. Quite the opposite actually. Worship acknowledges a God who has worked things out for good in the past. A God who, by the power and evidence of that past testimony,  is more than able to work out the present for good again…and again…and again…

Worship says He that is in me is greater than he who is in the world around me. And the more you choose to focus on what’s working out, the less power your circumstances have on you. The more reign you allow God to have over your life.

I started this post with frivolous but oh-so-wonderfully-important examples of moments of joy and happiness. But getting to this end has been a journey in itself. Sometimes joy will be as easy as people in your life who gladly feed you with their joy. Not expecting anything in return. But as Christians, we need to produce joy not just consume it. That’s part of why we’re here. To be salt and light to the world.

And when you think about it, joy really is much-needed seasoning to the ever-changing seasons of life.