Birthday is a day that many friends and family members remember to send in greetings either through calls or text messages.Last year my wife arranged a small party to celebrate my birthday despite some of my initial objections.
This year is a more quiet one though the social media does not make it possible these days to hide. Everyday is a gift and worth celebrating, maybe the way we decide to celebrate might be different. I strongly object to celebration beyond one's means or celebration that will put pressure on people around you later.
As I ponder on this new year, there are questions that I do not have answers to but there are many other things I am grateful for.
It's another birthday and it's a day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. All glory be to God.
I was in a meeting recently and someone made a comment about a pastor that he consistently shuts down whenever the pastor is attempting to preach to him by reminding him that he and the pastor do pay bribe to do business. To the person stating this, it was a jovial comment but it was a very sober reflection for me about how one can loose his voice for a cause he claims to be passionate about because his action is contradicting his profession.
Conformity with ways people do business in a particular environment might decide whether your business will survive or not, but when this comes to the point of conflict with ones value then that is where the strength of values comes to play
It is so disturbing that I often think I am a stranger in how to operate in our business society. The financial perversion is so terrible that virtually everyone likes to take advantage of their position to enrich themselves wrongfully. it is not a bad thing to love oneself but not at the detriment of the common good of all.
My consistent heart cry to God is for him to help me to stand especially in this difficult nation. May I never loose my voice for the cause that I believe in.
In writing about this subject, I do not mean insult to others but overarching use of someone or something especially when it comes to us 'free'. In reality, what seems free is paid for by someone else.
Using an analogy in days when mobile phone accessibility and cost was a luxury, then you find yourself working in an office with easy and free access to phone, the temptation will be for one to make calls that are not even necessary and spend so much time talking on the phone because you know you are not paying for it. I have done this in the past and you might have also done that. What makes a difference is to put yourself in the shoes of the person paying the fees , either it is a company or individual.
I sometimes marvel with the way some people eat when attending a social function or on a date without any consideration for the host and other guests. As if over eating or exotic eating taste at another person's expense is not enough, wastage is an often irritating site to behold.
Beyond food and things, a major abuse form is access abuse. This is misusing the previledge of access you have to someone based on family, business or religious ties. Unfortunately, most of these people might find it very difficult to complain especially if relationship is that of siblings or spouse.
The point is when you are using an access, do not abuse it else you might close this access
Recently, I learnt of death of few people within the range of 39-55 years of age. Some of them are just about starting a family while the rest are close to start enjoying some of their years labour. My response to these deaths is what surprised me the most.
I felt a lot of concern for the bereaved especially the surviving spouses, children and in some very sad circumstances the parents. Instead of feeling sad for the dead, I sometimes envy them that they have escaped the ups and down of this world. Most especially, if the dead had a good relationship with the Lord, he or she has gone to rest. Sharing my perspective with some people brings different reaction. One in particular argued that it's not an escape while another feel that I am unnecessarily pessimistic maybe due to my circumstance.
Yes, I will love to live to see my grandchildren as the scripture states but most importantly I will love to finish well and strong whenever the Lord calls me home.I want to be ready everytime to meet my Lord. It is so possible to enjoy this world so much that one does not want to go. I bantered with a friend that when one makes some money, he starts enjoying life and then becomes scared to die. Either now or in the future, death is a debt that we will all have to pay.
So if we all have to pay this debt, how then should we compose ourselves while waiting for this inevitable? I feel each person must come to this reality and be properly guided in the way we live our lives.I do hope that each of us will finish our race and receive the crown of glory at the end.
I was surely confused and tensed with no idea of which option to choose. Calling the front desk was not a viable option because considering the outcomes of such from Hollywood movies, the front desk and internal security could have been seized by the gang. Do I wake my wife and we begin prayers or do I endure the fear alone?
All I did at that moment was to pray and recite psalms. I kept looking through the windows with the hope that they would leave soon. And it so happened that they left in groups of about within 30mins. Yet, the fear of danger was not over because I heard another person approaching about 2 minutes later. Then I got my cloths and wore them, collected my marriage certificates and other vital properties with the plan of finding a way out of there. I also got my wife’s cloth and placed them by her. Then suddenly there was calm in the hotel and I felt a strong sense of relieve. The fear of danger was all over me, which I could have transferred to my wife if I had woken her. But I was glad I stood my ground as the man. Thank God my fears didn’t materialize. I stayed awake for the next 1 hour and then retired to bed. My wife woke up the following morning with no knowledge of what happened and I smiled to myself and said, “what a life”.
Hi dear, remember I’ll catch a bomb for you. Just a joke ooo.
Tired, I was after the long day, with lots of dancing, standing and prostrating. All I could dream of towards the end of the reception was to get out of my cloths, get a warm bath, get into bed and curdle my wife. These seemed nice and looked very possible. I commenced this activities immediately I got the slightest window of escape. Moreover, I like to also mention that I completed my Yoruba assignment of the day at the party by walking round to say a big thank you to all who graced the event and waited to the end.
On the way to the hotel, I started my husband duty by first ensuring my wife had the necessary supplies to help relieve the long day’s stress and also ensured we got provision for our stomach. This was so important because I had my mind made up not to leave the hotel for the next 24 hours. The night started with lots of fun and recapturing of the day’s event. We blessed God for the successful wedding and prayed for a long lasting and love filled marriage.
After all of these, we retired to sleep at about 11pm. But then came the husband’s duty of protection. I woke up at the loud voice of about 6 guys just from the other pent house opposite ours at about 12am the following day. This immediately reminded me of when thieves visited my street about 20 years ago and I got slightly scared. I wasn’t just scared for myself but more for my new wife who was fast asleep and knew nothing of what was happening. Numerous thoughts ran through my head. Should I pull and place some heavy objects like the table and couch behind the door or should I wake my wife and we go over balcony or should I call the police? Despite this noise, my wife was fast asleep. She was justified to be asleep because she was more stressed than I was due to the need for her to do more of the planning and also, it is my duty to protect her.
Okay, here I am again with continuation of the counselling sessions:
Before now, I knew well that communication is a two way system of message encoding and decoding, with some level of noise in between. My job would be to ensure shared meaning at all times but what I didn’t know before now is that ensuring shared meaning is no easy task.
It would have been easier if men could develop effective encoding and decoding machines to handle the complexity of communication, especially with the opposite sex. But I found out the solution is to ensure effective shared mean from the start of every discussion, because the slightest distortion in meaning from the beginning can actually mean a total mess. So, get it right the first time.
Though, I have never been a big fan of full joint account, in which all I have goes into the same account with my wife’s, but I have learnt the easiest way to survive financially in marriage is to be transparent with your earnings and allow her be a major part of every financial decision. Not doing so could mean getting regular demands beyond your capacity and the effect of this can be disastrous.
There is no easier way to manage this aspect of marriage than to do unto your in-laws what you’ll do unto you parents. Recall that the bible makes us to know that the first commandment with a blessing is to take care of ones parents. I have resolved to treat my in-laws as my parent and I know well that my wife will do the same.
I surely hope that I do live up to expectation because that is the safest thing to do. I will also urge you to do likewise, as advised by a pastor, “use your common sense”. And I pledge to do my best.
Have you ever wondered why we learn from the holy books despite the numerous advancement and changes in the ways of life. Despite the cultural, political, social and technological changes, we still hold strong to these books. For instance, we place a great value on the bible, which was written when there were no fighter jets, internet, online churches, telephones etc.; yet it has outlived numerous developments and sure will outlive more.
There seems to be one major factor with the holy books that make them evergreen - Consistency. These scriptures have been consistent with their positions for ages and these positions on vital matters have proven trust worthy. For instance, the counselling sessions before my wedding were filled with so many principles that I grew up learning from my parents and which they also claim to have gotten from church. Yet so many funny ideas have been made known by men in this age, which are contrary to these biblical principles. But surprisingly, many have made good homes despite some of these odd principles.
These principles have worked for my parents and many other great heroes in marriage, therefore, I can conclude that they should work for me. Below are some of the values I learnt, which you can also take a clue from:
1. Role of the Both Parties:
The bible teaches that a man who finds a wife as found a good thing and has obtained favour from the Lord. This I can testify to as most seemingly difficult endeavours have suddenly become easy huddles to overcome. An example is why I am currently writing this blog. I started my EMBA in Lagos Business School because I was encouraged by my wife. Surely, I had my difficult times preparing for the exams because of the wedding preparations, but this could have been worse if it was not for a wonderful woman in my life. I learnt from the scriptures that she’s my helpmate and multiplier of all things. Give her a house and she’ll give you a home, give her a sperm and she’ll give you a baby and give her trouble and she’ll give you hell on earth. I solely pledge to give her joy all the days of our lives.
To be continued …
All the way to the altar, the feeling of love had my heart in an indescribable working position. What is happening to me, I asked myself. The rhythm changed and the feeling became funny; funny because I couldn’t explain it. I had several times asked friends how it felt, but this felt different from all I had been told. I had increased joy at the new life ahead of me, but yet the fear of living up to demand. I took confidence in the many counselling sessions, in church, in books and with older friends and family members. With this I marched to the altar.
I was trained by a man with the philosophy that the man should be the super-dad and super-husband at home irrespective of the situation. Here I am now, trying to be the super-husband for a start, ensuring full protection and provision for my wife; immunity from the troubles of life, while ensuring a mutual contribution to the progress. This in no way excludes the need to be a loving husband even in the other room. “Can I do this?” I asked myself at the altar before the yes I do? I said to myself “yes”, and then, “yes” to her. And here now is reality.
For the sake of love, I have been a different man in the past few days. For example, I have lived before now in an apartment with low water pressure and I always managed to do all the house chaos with that, but right now I realized live couldn’t just continue that way. I cannot have someone’s precious little girl, for whom more than 30 full grown friends had to prostrate to earn her hand to suffer the ruggedness of my bachelorhood. With this, I have started refurbishment and remodeling of the apartment. “She is worth more than the stress and financial impact that I need to bear to get the apartment to her taste”, so I told myself. Truly, she is worth more and more I hope I get to do easily.
I just finished watching Homecoming, a movie by Beyonce. The movie highlights her two hour performance at the music festival Coachella in 2018- she was the first black female to headline the show - and the hours of practice that led to one of her successful shows yet.
A few things struck me while watching this: one was her level of fitness and professionalism during the practice sessions and during the show itself. This is someone who had an emergency c-section to give birth to twins just eight months prior, dancing, singing and entertaining for two hours straight. it was mind boggling.
Another was the practice itself. One really cannot understand the level of work that goes into these shows. Over 200 dancers, drummers, back up singers; countless wardrobe changes. They started practicing more than 100 days before the event. Think about that. Working through the routines, ensuring all the moves were perfectly synchronised and choreographed.
Third thing was the laser focus on the goal. This woman decided that she would go on a strict diet - No meat, dairy, fish, carbs, sugar- in order to meet her target. As i watched that bit, i had a piece of cake halfway to my mouth. I've been trying, and failing to go off flour for a while now. I do well for 1 week and then binge uncontrollably. Seeing this woman make such a commitment and stick to it ( i assume she did because she was back in form within 8 months) was a wake up call.
I take the lesson and i take it well. Not just in dieting or health matters, but with tasks in everyday life. Consistency is really the key. There is no point starting if you chose not to have the drive to finish.
When you start, push through, get it done- only then can you make your mark!