In a couple of days from now I will be celebrating 13 years of Marital Life. Who would have thought that this stubborn,blunt woman will ever get married, let alone stay this long with a man-This must be God’s doing absolutely.
I never really believed in the institution of Marriage, My folks didn’t try enough to convince me otherwise. I always fantasied about marrying a prince in shinning armor,sweeping the petite princess(me) off her feet and living happily ever after,but as I grew older ,and witnessed the marital upheavals between my folks, I decided in my mind,that it wasn’t worth it. Thirteen years down the line, I have been proven wrong, over and over again. Marriage is worth every ounce of work and effort you put into it.
Today I want to share, a few of the fundamental lessons I have learnt in my marital journey, taking into considerations that no two marriage are the same, I believe that we can learn and glean ideas from one another.
Before I became a converted Christian, my belief system as regards the whole idea of marriage was to just have 2 children and remain single,and be independent of any man who will boss me around with all that male chauvinism which is still prevalent in most culture today. I just wanted to be ‘Independent’, do my thing,and not be responsible or accountable to any man for that matter.
But thanks be to God, who had a bigger plan for me, and still has great plans ahead,I would have missed it, if not for the love of great sisters in Christ,who were my guidance as regards God’s intent and purpose for marriage and a marital bliss, they helped changed my mindset and as I began to grow as a young Christian ,my faulty belief system cowered in the face of the truth of God’s counsel.
My younger sisters, found their significant other before me,and In most African setting the oldest daughter is suppose to be the first girl to be given out in marriage. That was a bit of concern for my parents, and at some point it became an issue for me- I thought that now that I have real love in Christ, it should be easy for a godly man to find me and then we settle down. It didn’t happen that quickly!
It won’t be long, when I would meet my ‘own”, after 2 failed relationship as a young vibrant christian sister. And the rest they say ….is history!
In the course of my marital journey, I think I lost my sense of responsibility and Identity. Learning to take responsibility for one’s own life is a major theme in the lives of contemporary Christian women,and for many of us ,this theme is also connected with the search for individual authenticity and Identity.
After I finished from the university, my desire was to be a stay-at-home-mum,to be there for my husband and children, and also to run the assignment God thrust to my bosom,giving myself to family life totally. I just didn’t want anything to do with the 9 to 5 working class.
Though I fantasied about the idea of being home with the children while the man of the house will go about his daily work,come back home and everything is prim and proper,for the greater part of my journey,It was only a dream and when it dawned on me that, I was living in the ‘sleeping beauty’ world. I had to wake up.
For one, I didn’t get married to a rich bloke,so I couldn’t live in that fantasy. My husband was a struggling young musician,and what he was bringing home was just a meager that could only go far. I needed to find something to do to help augment what was coming in. Because I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mum, I had to find some vocation that will not take me away from the home for too long ,something I can do whilst taking care of the home front.
The first Child came,what a bundle of joy, he came in and brought meaning to our lives,as the family grew the needs began to grow, and the strain on finance became obvious. There is a calling on my life,but as it seemed at that time, the calling wasn’t doing anything to meet the family need as there began a straining in the finances and everything generally. I had to engage myself now, So I decided to enroll in a nearby fashion school for 1 year. Within the space of 6 months I was already creative director for my boss, before the end of that year I bought myself a sewing machine,and was already getting clients.
With something coming in sparsely, I didn’t need to wait for the Man of the House before taking some minute financial decisions, I knew would be a relief for him.That cycle went on for years. Suddenly, I realized it was the same cycle I saw with my parents. mother worked so hard , that at some point it was no longer ‘necessary’ for father’s input.
Does God have a plan for my marriage?
I found myself always asking questions in the place of prayer, and asking God to turn the tides, I didn’t want any of all that my mother went through. I knew I needed to sort out out certain things in the place of prayer. Being a stay at home afforded me the time to really straighten out those Issues. You see a woman begins to call the shots with respect to finances in the home, unconsciously she begins to lose respect for her man,I didn’t want that in my marriage.
I would use certain scriptures to pray for my husband,
But if any provide not for his own,and especially for those of his own house,he has denied the faith, and is worse than an Infidel.
Telling God, I didn’t marry an infidel, but a man after God’s heart, reminding Him that He has made my husband the head, I am just a help meet and that’s all I wanted as far as my marriage is concerned. I consistently prayed this line of prayers for years and still do!
I remember an Older friend of mine, who said to me,’your own input in the whole picture should be like adding salt to the soup’. As a help meet, your ideas, suggestions, or finance is like spice to the already cooked pot of stew! I wanted to see that desperately in my marriage,so I contributed my quota,with respect to running the home-Intentionally telling myself, I am helper not Head.
Gradually,in taking responsibilities, I now realized God allowed that passivity on both sides because he was preparing us for greater pursuit ahead.
*I have learnt that no two marriages are the same,you must always check with the maker of the marriage institution for yours to work.
*Every marriage/ Home as a mission or Vision. Find yours and run with it wholeheartedly
*I have learnt that as a woman,if you’re more financially buoyant than your Husband,it doesn’t mean you should assume ‘Headship’ of the Family.
*God allow us to go through and grow through certain things in Life to test our hearts.
*There are generational cycles and patterns that will be obvious in your marriage, you must learn to deal with and break such cycles. I saw the cycle of the woman being, “the boss lady” at home and the man becomes passive. I broke it in the place of intense prayer and petition. Deal with every faulty foundation in prayers.
Today, I have a better understanding about how to abase and abound. I am thankful that Pro 31: 11,23 is a tangible reality in my marriage.
..Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
….Her husband is respected at the city gate,where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
Though the Journey is still far ahead, and there abounds bumps, gallops, and pot holes, yet there still abound much more smooth and jolly rides. Marriage is not a sleeping beauty story it is hard work.
What personal lessons have you learnt in yours? Can you share as well.
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