Managing diversities in the home
If you ask a single lady what kind of man she wants in her life, you would know in an instant that she’s in some kind of dream land if her checklist looks something like this: “Very Tall. Dark. Handsome. Six packs. Rich. Lives in Banana Island. Drives a Porsche. Very caring. Does not complain. Very Tolerant. Virgin. Amen.” Where do you hope to find a guy like that? Such guys are even scarce in the Bible. Most people know this list is funny and unrealistic. But it is surprising that we are almost like that when it comes to our expectations from our spouses in many regards. We have this self-made idea of what our ideal spouse should be like and we try to work it inside them. If we ever achieve anything from this expectation, it is that we have succeeded in chasing away peace from the home.
One very bedrock your family needs in order to fulfill purpose is peace in the home. For in the long run, you will not amount to much if there is always trouble in the home. Peace is very important and that’s why the devil is trying to take it away, because he knows that the lack of peace makes you vulnerable. Proverbs 21:9 says, “Better to live on the roof than share the house with a nagging wife.” You may say that’s not too fair for women. Now for men: “Better to live in prison than share the house with an insensitive husband.”
A major cause of issues in a marriage is the clash of personal preferences. Each marriage partner has his or her idiosyncrasies which may have been formed by different background, culture, exposure, fantasies etc. and these give varying worldviews. We are wired differently and are now united in the bond of marriage. The worst is, the world is trying to define to us what love is or how love should be expressed. A peck in the morning. Joint account. Lunch box for your husband. Rush to the car to welcome him from work. Dinner out every other week end. And so on. So where these things are not done, love may be waning. No! As nice as these activities appear, they are really our personal preferences, not scriptural references.
Many of us get into marriage with a long list of “nice things to have,” and they are only found in the mind, most times, not in reality. If you find things you want adjusted in your spouse, communicate to them and give them several years to adjust, because, after all, they probably have been like that for many years. We can be diverse in terms of our background and personal traits, but we can stand united. Remember, the husband and the wife is one. Let everybody be who God has wired them to be. Let peace and unity reign. So, as a rule of thumb, whenever you face any clash of opinion in your marriage, take time out to ask yourself: “is this my personal preference or is there is a scriptural reference to this situation?” You will find yourself beginning to calm down and it then becomes easier to become flexible about things. Your spouse is not your competition. Win-win!
– Tope S. Aladenusi