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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Marriage Lessons: My Experience

My last post was written on the 7th of April just a few hours before I was delivered of a wonderful son whom I gave birth to at the very early hours of the 8th day of this month. So I want to thank God for helping me through my months of pregnancy and the delivery of my forth child at the wonderful age of 40years. It can be none other than God who has sustained me all through these days.
In my last post I wrote about the story of a 40year old marriage that is less than perfect and I wanted my readers to learn from. One of the responses I got misunderstood the purpose of the post and thus concluded that I was judgmental in my write-up. I have since responded to that response, but will want write a little more of my own personal experience and the wisdom of God with which I have been managing my home and able to get relative peace in my marital life. This story is very recent and it's about me, my very own personal experience and I pray that someone reading this post will learn from and take advantage of it as they work at having a peaceful marital life with the grace of God alone. 
Like I said earlier I just had my forth child barely 2weeks ago, and the delivery was through a caesarian operation. I was in the hospital for about 4days after the birth for monitoring and then allowed to go home. There is the stress of carrying a pregnancy and then the stress of delivery, and the added stress of having the baby through an operation which requires time for the wounds to heal and the pains to go away. In the middle of this, it is expected that the mother and child are allowed enough rest time to recover. Post-natal depression can be a serious issue if not well handled.
But in the middle of all these my husband found it convenient or maybe appropriate to pick a fight with me. He started getting edgy and nagging over every little and unnecessary thing the moment I got back from the hospital. I tried to manage the situation for a couple of days. It was so bad that when I serve him food, he’ll refuse to eat and then I’ll have to cook another food for him no matter how late in the night it was. Yet I was carrying on with the pains of the operation and the fact that I had to take care of a new baby in addition to attending to the needs of the other three.
Initially I was getting really pissed off by my husband’s attitude. He still expects that I’ll carry on with the usual house chores with the body pains that I had to bear with and the added responsibility of a new baby without any helping hand from him and he still feels justified to complain. I was growing very angry and withdrawn from him by each passing hour. I thought to pray, but was getting too angry with his selfish attitude than to even bother to pray.
At some point I decided to confront him. In cases like this I’ll rather send him a message on his phone rather than discuss with him in person to avoid an argument knowing fully well that I was getting edgy myself. He responded to my message that he is angry because I am not taking care of his needs anymore. That got me more pissed because I wondered if this man who is meant to be my husband understands my health condition. So I wrote him a message and asked who then takes care of my own needs and that of our four children if all I am supposed to be worrying about is meeting his needs at this very stage.
At this point I found a little strength in me to pray. So I asked God in the shortest possible words of prayer to help me through the situation and visit my marriage with His love. Then just from the blues I remembered the doctor had advised I take paracetamol tablets every six hours to help me through with the post delivery pains. So I began to take the medication. Although I was still very angry with my husband, but I started finding the strength to carry on my usual role in the house. I was able to wake up in time to make him a sandwich and a cup of tea before he left for work, I was able to help organize his wardrobe that had been disarranged, and then drive to drop his cloths at the laundry. 
Within the next two days he noticed the change and start to care more. He apologized for been hard on me and for the first time in about 10days that I had put to bed, he demanded to see my stitches and find out how I was healing. It wasn’t that my husband was such a bad husband, he had paid more N400,000 in hospital bill for me to get the best medical care, he was always there to meet the financial demands as they arise. But the devil is at the watch waiting to cash in on any available opportunity to disintegrate the unity and peace of the home.
If I had not put a check on my emotions and remained obedient to my edgy husband even when I was very pissed with him, I will not be able to write this post to you today. If I had remained adamant on not attending to his needs owing to the fact that I needed attention and bed-rest myself, my marriage will be taking a gradual sleep to a break up and I will feel justified for my actions. But I bless God that I prayed. I bless God that He came through for me. I bless God that my marriage will forever be victorious over the schemes and devices of satan.
Sometimes we might feel we have the legitimate right to be angry. But the Lord has given us power over our emotions. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Against your justification for anger is the spirit of power, love and self-discipline that God has given you. Use what the Lord has deposited in your life to conquer that which the devil opens your heart to as right.  

Monday, 7 April 2014

A Marriage Of 40years

Although so much as been said and written about the institution of marriage, but the need to continue to speak on this issue until the will and purpose of God is fulfilled in our homes cannot be overlooked. So in my post today I will again write just a little on the subject of marriage and pray that the Lord will minister to a home through this post today.
I happen to know a old couple, the husband being in his early 70s while the wife is in her mid 60s. They have been married for a little over 40yrs and their marriage has been in every way and manner less than an ideal marriage with the joy of marriage not being felt in their home. The husband happens to be a very high handed man, the likes of Nabal in the book of 1 Samuel 25, while the wife is gentle and accommodating. But as the years roll by and the wife not seeing any likely change in her husband's attitude towards her but instead of the man growing more matured, as he is growing older he is becoming more of a terror to the wife than a true husband. And this is how they have both lived for the over 40yrs that they have been together.
Just recently a quarrel broke out between these two old but estranged couple and I happen to hear about it, so I prayed. I sought the face of the Lord over the unending marital troubles of this couple. The strange truth is that the wife is a God fearing Christian and this has been the major reason why she has never contemplated a divorce from her trouble marriage or a separation from her unloving husband. But the fact that she is a God fearing Christian ought to be more of the reason why she should have things going well for her in her marriage. So like I said earlier, I decided to pray for these couple and seek the face of God for the solution to the travails of their marriage.
As I prayed the Lord revealed to me that in as much as the wife is suffering so much in her marriage as it is, she has not done enough to be a help to that unloving husband of hers as God has assigned her to be. The Christ in her is not shining bright enough to bring the husband out of the den of his bad behaviour to the position of a faithful and good husband. And although she prays well enough for her husband, yet her prayers have not been accompanied by the ideal behaviour of a wife to a husband. And this will not make for the desired result as the Lord will answer her prayers through the good deeds in her life towards her husband.
I was not really shocked by the revelation God gave me. This wife of over 40yrs has been so badly treated by her husband for so many years that it is pretty difficult to forgive or see anything good in the man. Although she remains married to him for the sake of honouring God, and not wanting the stigma of separation after many years, but speaking about having any feeling of love for the man she married to is non-existent. Now that she is old and the attributes of old age are setting in for her, she gets more irritated and confrontational with her husband, as she has harboured so much resentment towards him over the years.
In all of this narration what I want those reading this post to take home as a lesson is this: In all our service to God, our assignment in the home is of utmost importance. And despite all that your spouse has done wrong to you, your God given assignment to be his suitable help has not changed. Also as a husband, no matter how bad your wife has hurt your feelings, your God given assignment to love her unconditionally has not changed. His/her attitude towards you has in no way excused you from fulfilling your God given assignment to him or her because it is a God given assignment and not man assigned.
Another important point to hold on to is that your prayer with regards to your spouse’s change of attitude will be of little effect if you do not accompany it will good attitude. 1 Peter 3:1-6 teaches the wives that it is by their behaviour that their unbelieving husbands are won over to God. This takes place when the husband sees the purity and reverence in the life of his wife and not just endless prayers. Also 1 Peter 3:7 teaches that the husband who does not treat his  wife with love and respect stands the risk of having his prayers hindered. So we need to be mindful of our attitude as we work towards getting a peaceful home and fulfilling our God given assignment.
The story of the 40yr old marriage in crisis is only so because the couple have not accompanied their prayers with the prescribed attitude of marriage towards each other. The wife is still holding on to the hurt of the maltreatment of her husband and so finds it hard to submit to him as required of her even though she is praying for him. And the husband is still so engrossed in being the boss to his wife and sees no point in loving or showing her respect. Yet these two live in misery of marriage and it has been so for over 40yrs.
In conclusion I will say this, our ego or the will to hold on to the hurting feeling from the attitude of our spouses possess one big danger. There is no matter how much we have worked for God, we stand the risk of losing our eternity over this issue. If we have been unable to fulfill this assignment of marriage given to us by God then all our works of righteousness holds for nothing. May the Lord help us to be faithful in all things.