Some months ago, my friend and I visited a woman who lived very close to our house. But by the time we came out of her house, we had burning questions in our hearts.
Is our worth as wives base on how many dishes we can prepare and how long we can sweat in the kitchen? For a woman who didn’t grow up using mortar and pestle to pound yam on a weekly basis, does that make her less in virtue than the woman who does?
I have stayed with several families within this short period of my life and I have discovered that every family is unique in its own way. There is the family where the father had to eat pounded yam every week and there is another family where they’ve never bought a mortar or pestle in their life.
Take a look at this other situation. In your family, three square meal is the norm but in another family, they rarely take breakfast because fruits is what breakfast consists of. Does that make one family better than the other? Yet in another family, a man grew up to have his father make most of the decisions in his life and he can hardly count two decisions he made by himself but here he is with a lady whose life changed when her father died and she had to make all of the decisions and her siblings.
Two days ago, I had a ladies night out with two of my friends. During our discussions, stories from our childhood days came up and we saw how our behaviour as adults in some ways was a reflection of the girl we were many years ago.
In many situations, fights in relationships begin from the way we were raised- be it from a religious or cultural perspective.
By fight, I do not mean physical combat. I’m referring to misunderstandings on issues that keep reoccurring in relationships and the fact that if we check closely, our background and the habits we have formed over the years could have been reason we act the way we do.
Feelings of emotions have a way of sweeping these things underneath the carpet and then we either ignore these patterns or consider them to be irrelevant instead of addressing them and then when the feelings dissipates, these things begin to come out clearly leaving us wondering why we didn’t notice them in the first place.
Anger, Getting into your shell at the slightest argument and sulking afterwards, poverty mentality, refusing to help your partner with domestic responsibilities, fear, and may other attitudes might just be the inner child speaking. A girl who was deprived love would grow to become a needy adult who clings so tightly to a man that she takes nonsense from him even when it is glaring that he despises her. A man will always be defensive and stubborn if he grew up with a mother who pulled down his father’s self esteem.
However, we do not have to remain so. The power to see what we want in our relationships is in our hands.
Carl Gustav Jung said this:
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.
Paul in his letter to the Philippians said this:
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto things which are before, I press towards the mark…
During our discussion that night, I told my friends that there were certain things I discovered that needed to change. True, they have taken a default setting in my mind, yet with the help of God, I am positive that I’ll be a better person. I have even begun to see those changes already and it can only get better.
It is not enough to resign to fate as if we can do nothing and then leave our relationships to suffer. We can choose to take healthy and positive steps. It’s not something that will automatically change but as we depend on Christ and form new habits, we will begin to see God at work in our relationships
Understanding is what brings the parties into a beautiful union. It is the ability of the two parties to make compromises and sacrifices where necessary. Stubbornness will not get any of the parties anywhere. Patience, Prayer and tolerance takes us forward.
However where two unmarried people in a relationship keep going back and forth over an issue that tends to always leave them drained and resentful, it is better for the parties to move on with their lives.
We should set the pace for our children so they know that even with humans having different perspectives to issues, love can still thrive.
We know some of the habits we have formed are not right. It is pure pride not to sit down and reflect on some of the baggage you have brought into the relationship instead of assuming that your partner would think you were not well trained. Who says parents are perfect?
Even where you can’t seem to understand what’s wrong with your actions, listening and talking this out with your partner is a sign of maturity and I don’t even care if you are a Pastor leading a large congregation, you are immature if you think your wife has no right to express herself or if you believe she isn’t worth listening to.
It doesn’t make sense comparing your model family with that of your parents. This new family you have made a commitment under God to protect is yours to build. Both of you can sit and decide what works best for your family. Sometimes, it will require you pulling down some unhealthy pattern and replacing them with better ones.
By understanding, a house is established… Proverbs 24:3.
I will be away from my phone all through next week because I have a prayer retreat to attend. So there will not be any new post on my blog till I return on the 17th. Next update will be on Monday, 18th of December.