The long journey started in July 1977, when our brother, Prof. F. A. Onofeghara, a great lover of God, now in Heaven, left Lagos for the University of Port Harcourt as the Dean of Biological Sciences. Emeka Nwogo, his house servant, could not relocate with him. Though I was single, I became virtually his dad. My house became his. After my marriage, he wanted to do the same, and Chinyere, the lady, came to live with us until she vowed, “For better and for worse”.
On Saturday, March 16, 2019, we gathered at Pastor Tunji Ojo’s Eagle Parish of the Redeemed Church of God, Sango, to witness Emeka and Chinyere, both orphans, but still alive, in spite of Satan’s several attacks on their health, giving their daughter in marriage. My wife and I had prayed earnestly that they would live and enjoy each other, and that their children would not have their experience of being orphans. It was beautiful listening as she made the vow her parents did many years ago at ECWA, Ayilara in Lagos. Apart from the Pastors from RCCG, other officiating Ministers came from CPM, Winners, EPC and Assemblies of God. That day, Joy and Godswill discarded their individualities to become one, a unified whole and not a mere mathematical addition of separate parts. It brought much joy to us for doing Godswill.
After the joining by Pst Adeola Adenuga, the Provincial Pastor, Pst Bola Odunayo gave the message: ‘Honouring God in your home’. Many people honour God in the Church and in public but it is what happens in the home, office, place of business, et cetera, that matters really. I have never seen any man that slapped his spouse during the Church service, nor slept with his neighbour’s daughter there. Those, who have the ‘anointing’ in calling people, God created in His image, ‘Fool’, ‘idiot’, ‘bastard’ et cetera, are careful not to do so in the Church. The story is different at home and indeed, behind the scene, yet, they are bracketed together with others, as God’s children. This explains why I fell in love instantly with the theme of the message: ‘Honouring God in your home’.
The Pastor detailed five areas we can honour God in our homes. The first is to acknowledge Him, instead of taking credits for what He has done for us. Some people attribute their examination success to hard work, and financial success to their business prudence. A reflection will puncture these claims. There are some people, who work harder than they do but cannot make it. Lagos University Teaching Hospital humbles me with their motto: ‘We care, God heals’. A doctor there admitted that though they give identical drugs to patients diagnosed of identical problems, but while some will survive, some may not. The difference is God’s factor!
The beauty about God is that He is never a debtor to anybody. He bestows rewards to the people, who recognize Him. The Pastor told us that He will fight our battles, though the enemy may come like a flood, if we honour Him. He will reciprocate also by honouring us. The money we keep in the bank, instead of using it to serve God, may not stay the avalanche to doomsday if it visits. It is not us, but God, Who handles our problems with a great aplomb, if we allow Him.
Honouring God, the Pastor reminded us, will make us to commune with Him. He referred us to John 2, where the Lord Jesus was honoured by being invited to a wedding. They did not envisage any problem but there was one – running short of wine! He met the need because He was honoured and He honoured them by solving their problem. “Call upon Me and I will answer you” – Jer. 3:3. He will be giving us business ideas, and we will not be ashamed, the minister reminded us.
Honouring God, he said, entails being obedient to His instructions. God does not tell us always, what will please us. In meeting their need during the wedding, Jesus instructed them to fill up the jars with water and serve. My God! They might have blanched visibly at that, but that was the solution. Thank God that they honoured Jesus by obeying Him. He turned the water to wine as He turns the lives of men. The Wedding Chairman confessed that His, was a better wine!
Some wives are very blasé on submission. This is why God tells women to submit to their own husbands. Imagine a lady holding a PhD and her dad is a multi-millionaire. The pride edge of Uncle is that he is a man! “Will she submit to him?” You may ask. It is all about making a choice: to honour God or not. The Bible also tells husbands to love their wives. “Loving a stubborn woman?” You may ask. Once again, it is all about making a choice, do I obey God or not?
We honour God, the minister reminded us, by raising godly children. Eli did not seem to honour God in this way, viewed from the perspective of his children’s lifestyle. They were living in sin and his warning to them was feeble. That could explain, why Samuel lived with him and he did expose him to the Scriptures. It surprises me, how Rev. Eli met Hannah travailing on her knees and he thought that she was drunk! Could it be that Uncle was not too far away from that habit? “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” – Prov.22:6. The training can be in righteousness or in sinful pleasure. A young man caught in armed robbery confessed that his dad taught him that.
On the contrary, God’s testimony about Abraham is that He knew him, a man, who would command his children and household to be like him – Gen. 18:18. This is why I am not surprised that he surrendered Isaac for sacrifice, the son of God’s promise that spanned twenty five years before manifestation. That was honouring God in his home.
The man of God told us that we can honour God through our substance. If we do, He told us that He will take care of our needs. I know a Pastor, who gave his bank account literally for the use of the Church, yet, he was not receiving any salary from the Church. I have seen another Minister, who paid millions and millions of Naira as tithe, when he sold his property. To him, ten percent tithe is for beginners. I suspected that he must have paid over twenty five percent tithe on the house business! Jesus commended a widow, who during the offering time, gave God all that she had.
Finally, we can honour God by giving Him glory. We should be giving testimonies of what may appear little to us or to others. I have testified about people, paying my fare, if I travelled by public transport, even when I did not minister. Let our whole life, body, soul and spirit, honour our God!
For further comment, PleasOmone contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]