Prior to the 1970’s, marriage was held with much sanctity, and divorce was not such a common term as it currently is nowadays. Infact, it was a taboo to even contemplate divorce as a christian, but we now see more and more christian couples head for the court to put asunder what God has joined together.
- Why is this so rampant nowadays? We will discuss two main reasons:
A1. Lack of submission of Wives to their Husbands
Ephesians 5:22-24 says,
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
- God knows that He created the man with an ego bigger than that of a woman
- Meaning of Ego: a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
- You cannot wish it away, force it out of the man, reject it, fight it, remove it, nullify it, destroy it, cancel it, so you have to live with it.
- Lack of submission cannot work favourably with an ego that is there to stay. So, the solution is to submit to the ego.
- For example, a man without a healthy ego will become a parasite, he will not be ashamed to eat the food his wife cooked with her money and he may even complain that the meat is small.
There are some women who disrespect their spouses for various reasons:
- They earn more than their husbands
- They are from a wealthier/richer background
- They are more exposed or educated than their husbands
- They are older than their spouses
- They are more popular or famous than their husbands
- They are more physically endowed than their spouses
- They have become the breadwinner
- The husband has an inferiority complex
- He is lazy
Such women try to seek equal rights with their husbands and if they don’t have their way, are very quick to get out of the relationship.
Let me speak to the married women in the house and the single women who are trusting God to get married.
As a woman you need to realise that your husband was not made for you, rather you were made for your husband.
Genesis 2:18 says,
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
God favoured Adam by creating a wife for him, obviously considering it a good thing for a man to have a wife, a partner and a companion.
To the married women here I want you to answer these questions,
Does your husband consider you a good thing?
Does he regard you as a blessing in life?
Does he thank God every day for giving him a helper in you?
If not, have you asked yourself why that is so?
Let’s look at possible answers, a major one of which is,
ARE YOU IN SUBMISSION TO HIM?
FIRSTLY: I would like to disabuse your mind by asking how many women consider submission to mean allowing your husband to use you like his door mat, take you for granted or even for a fool. ON THE CONTRARY! No man or woman should ever think so!
My definition of submission which has worked for me in my 42-year-old marriage is to “cooperate willingly with someone out of respect for God and for that person”.
What are the practical ways to show submission to your husband?
Make the home comfortable for him to come to Serve him the delicious meals he loves, whilst being creative and innovative
Encourage him, his dreams and aspirations
Don’t be a nagging woman
Don’t remind him of his failures
Celebrate your husband in private and especially in public
Practice the art of giving
Be his audience and his best cheer giver
Honour him and treat him respectfully both privately and publicly
Give him a pet name as a mark of respect (not olori buruku)
Praise him for all he is doing in the home
By doing these and more, there is no way that your husband will not consider you as a jewel of inestimable value.
A2. The second reason why more marriages are heading for the rocks is, when husbands do not show love at all or they practice conditional love with their wives instead of the unconditional love Christ preaches to His representatives in the home.
Ephesians 5:25-29 says,
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
So how does God expect a man to love his wife in practical terms according to Ephesians 5:25-29?
- According to verse 29, no marriage can succeed if the man is not constantly nourishing his wife. To nourish means to consistently provide ingredients for something to grow and flourish. Since the two are one, as he is doing so, he is doing it for himself.
- The husband must love sacrificially like Jesus did and if need be, give his life for her.
- He must be willing to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of his wife.
- He must put the needs of his wife and his family before his own personal needs
- He must care for her and see to her wellbeing. He should ensure that he does his best to improve her and work on her to make her what he wants her to be.
- He must cherish her and esteem her above all others (that is not a license to have a string of girlfriends)He must always give her the BEST he can afford at every point in time to make her happy
To all the husbands in the house, I want you to answer the following questions.
As a husband,
Do you treat her like the queen of your heart by being committed to her alone?
Do you provide for her and the family?
Do you protect her from every type of assault, physical, emotional or otherwise?
Do you transcend the love of Christ as His representative in your home?
Do you allow her to express her opinion or are you a DICTATOR?
When your wife and someone else have an issue, do you defend your wife or do you agree with your wife’s opponent?
Do you shower her with gifts to show your appreciation of her efforts in taking care of you, the home and the children?
Do you celebrate her publicly? (online, radio, taking her out)
Are you her biggest cheerleader, or her biggest critic?
Do you hug her, kiss her or hold her hands?
If the answers to the above is yes, your wife will voluntarily submit to you in ways that you cannot imagine, just like the woman in that movie.
- So, how do you build a solid foundation for your home?
Again just as we saw in the movie, demonstrating the love of God would require you to key into Icorinthians 13:4-7,
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
These can be summarised in the following practical ways
Show kindness to your spouse – look out for opportunities and ways to do nice things for them. e.g. help her out with the cleaning of the house when she is tired.
– Take care of the children so she can rest during weekends.
– Take your spouse out to the movies
- Do not envy your spouse – even if they are doing better than you, realise that the two of you are one. The success of one is the success of the other. Be the first to celebrate them and their achievements, don’t pull them down.
- Don’t be puffed up with pride – Don’t use abusive words on your spouse, don’t make them feel insecure even if you are the one providing everything. Do not make them feel indebted to you for some of the roles they play in the home.
- Do not be an absentee husband
- Do not be a spendthrift wife (Aso ebi)
- Do not behave rudely to your spouse, speak gently and lovingly without being abrasive or aggressive towards them. Do not throw verbal bombshells at them that will pierce their soul and sow seeds of bitterness in their hearts
- Do not compare & contrast your spouse with others
- Don’t insist on your way or the highway. Sometimes it is good to concede for peace to reign in the home even when you are really not at fault
- Learn to communicate and at the right time.
- Take charge of your emotions and don’t let them rule you.
- Do not wish your spouse evil even when you believe they have treated you unfairly. Do not pray for them to have an accident because they don’t allow you to drive it.
- Do not wish that they lose their job just because you think that will humble them.
- Do not be quick to throw in the towel when things are tough and difficult. Tough times don’t last, its only tough people that do.
- Believe that together you will surmount all your challenges and your marriage will stand the test of time.
Some couples want to model their marriages after western cultures and traditions without remembering they live in a different environment from what they see in the movies. They compare their marriages with those they meet on social media and try to pattern their lives after such. They begin to compare their spouses and conditions to those they come across on these platforms and this causes strains in their marriages.
The word of God should be our standard and if we obey His word and practice unconditional love with our spouses; our homes will become heaven on earth. Challenges will come, but as you work together as a team, you will overcome.
- I pray for everyone under the sound of my voice whose homes are under siege, I command peace be still
- You shall enjoy and not endure your marriage
- The Lord will bless your homes
- Your marriage will get better with age
- Your home will be a place of refuge
- Your marriage will stand the test of time
- No weapon formed against your marriage and children will prosper
- Your marriage will give God glory all the days of your life
- You will not lack anything good
- You shall be fruitful and multiply
- God will give you grace to always apply wisdom
- In togetherness you will excel and prosper
- The Lord will enlarge your coast
- Grace for peace will not elude you
- The eyes and hand of the Lord be upon your home IJN