A completely physical affair 2
Our last right up bothered around the truth that we have to deliberately put in our best in order to reap the full benefits and joys of marriage and not just that, but to also bring out the best in our spouses. I liken it to a student who knows that in order to make straight A’s he has to put in conscious effort to study well. I know time and chance happens to them all, but when it comes to spending your life with someone and wanting it to be a beautiful experience, you don’t leave it to the religious slogan of time and chance. You don’t leave examinations to chance. So also you don’t leave marriage to chance but consciously seek out ways of making yourself a prepared better and loving partner who handles well all the examinations marriage can bring.
The first and most important bedrock of a great home is the partners’ relationship with God. This cannot be compromised especially by the man. The man as the head of the home is not just what we learnt back in school then, but is the truth of God’s plan (1Cor 11:3 – But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God). The head not just in terms of finances or a six pack but first and most importantly the spiritual head. I have seen homes where the man is indeed the financial head in terms of being the bread winner but not the spiritual head. It is tantamount to nothing when a man is nothing more than just an ATM machine where cash withdrawals are made. Let it also be noted that leading the home spiritually goes beyond coordinating family devotions. I am talking hear about deep inner strength, stamina and character that is worth emulating by the wife and children. I am talking about faith that is not dwindling but a consistent deep seated faith in God. Not a spiritual high today and then a whining, grouchy and moody individual who throws a pity party tomorrow when storms hit.
I don’t know if this was just a joke or a real story but I once heard of a man whose baby had just a little fever and the mum was so broken that all she did all day was cry. The man got home from work at night and upon seeing the situation on ground also burst into tears and through wailing asked the wife what they should do. Now that could probably be an extreme situation but there are other situations where husbands and fathers have not taken the lead as God has called them be or do. Some men cannot control their emotions; anger, depression, despondence, hurt and so on. These are the men that throw the home into more pandemonium that what the situation at hand has even caused. They would rather rant, throw a fit, verbally abuse their wives and children, speak words which lack faith, use vulgar words or just simply shut themselves away from every member of their family and throw those poor ones into more confusion and sadness.
I’ve got just one marriage experience and that is the only one I can use as an example. When I first got married, my husband would constantly shut me up whenever I started with my constant complaints and tales of woe and doom all in the name of discussing important issues. I used to get really angry and irritated. I rather saw it as a laid back attitude to not talk about the issues on ground, not that we don’t discuss issues at all but for me they were actually opportunities to rant without getting any headway. Some months into the marriage he sat me down and said, in our home, no negative words are allowed. This is not an exaggeration but since I married my husband I have never heard him use any word that depicts negativism or lack of hope. This is as far as saying I need to rest rather than say I am tired or I have a headache. When the account is near red, we say we are rich. These are not just slogans, but words of faith which become real the more we say them and ultimately would change the situation on ground and overtime have become the language in our home. This continued until an incident occurred on a particular day. We had just placed requests before God for both of us with specific dates that we wanted those requests. After the prayers, I made a statement of doubt. As usual I was rebuked. Immediately after the prayers, the phone call my husband had placed before God in prayer came through. It was then his teachings and way of life dawned on me. From that day on, I took extra effort; with prayers, constant listening to the right messages and reading of the word of God to stop all the negative talk and attitude of lack of faith I always expressed whenever I felt pressured. I started working on inner strength and stamina. His spiritual leadership paid off. I could bag a degree in complaining and nagging before but now to the glory of God I am more in control of my emotions and speech.
Another example that readily comes to my mind is of my father of blessed memory. I can’t remember my daddy every complaining or show weakness before us, ever. I think that contributed to my confidence in the fact that he could never die at a young age. I imagined he would live to at most eighty years of age. Did we have challenges in the house? Oh, loads of them. At work, yes, but I never heard his blame anyone or speak negatively. I only knew a little when we had to commit his work to God in prayers during our family devotions. He had faith that situations will turn around and of course they did before he went to be with the Lord.
Men need to be the full and express image of Christ in their homes. When Christ was being taken from Pontius Pilate to Herod, flogged, beaten and mocked, he spoke few words and uttered no word of negativity. On the cross he forgave his persecutors. What do you say before your wife and children? Are you a complainer, backbiter, gossip, an angry grouchy man who holds the Government, the church, siblings, parents responsible for the setbacks in your life and would not cease to mention it loud with so much resentment to your partner and children? Or are you a man, whose strength is quietness and confidence, returning to God and rest. This is not posed at the married men alone but also every single guy out there who’s got marriage in his agenda.
Before the ladies begin to nod their heads in agreement, can I say the same goes for us? In fact women are more prone to these vices than the men. Women have been said to speak more than twice the number of words men speak in a day. They are the ones who won’t stop complaining and nagging just because they want to bear their minds. But do you know a beautiful model can become so ugly just by displaying a grouchy, unstable character and inability to speak refreshing words that soothe the listener. The Bible says it twice that it is better to be on a rooftop than to live in a house with a nagging woman (Proverbs 21:9, 25:24 – It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house). Children always watch parents and eventually become a photocopy of them. Imagine what they will grow up to be with a woman who always has something to be so emotional and nag about. You don’t have to be hysterical about everything. If the man says let’s pray about this, please keep quiet. If it needs to be discussed, prayerfully take it to God and you will see that discussing it with him would come easy. Emphasizing the fact that you think it needs to be discussed is just questioning his headship and judgement and you won’t get the best out of him or the situation.
All these do not come on a platter of outstretched legs on a footstool with a steaming mug of coffee. Jesus prayed ahead of the crucifixion and the Bible says angels came to minister to him; he was strengthened and ready for the journey to the cross. We need to consciously put our hearts to working on ourselves through prayers, study of the word, listening to the right messages that address our emotions and character. The more the couple take out time to ensure they are spiritually alert and emotionally stable at all times, the more beautiful and attractive they are to each other and the more the Kingdom of God is established in such a home.