Chima and Nneka grew up in the same neighbourhood in one of the suburbs in Enugu. They shared a lot in common; both their mothers were primary school teachers and fathers, petty traders. They share the same birth months, though born two years apart. Their parents could not afford to give them the necessities of life and this made them to struggle on their own. Nneka sometimes had to engage in petty trading to help the parents with her school fees. Both Chima and Nneka regularly had to do vacation work from their secondary school days to assist their parents in their own little ways. Despite their parent’s economic situation, they both managed to get a university education. Chima got a job with a multinational company in Port Harcourt two years after graduation and a year later, married his childhood friend, Nneka.
The couple was blessed with four children, three girls and a boy. Unlike their parents, their children grew up amidst luxury and attended the best schools in Nigeria. They always had extended relatives living with them to help with the household chores. Chima’s children never had to do any housework; their parents wanted the ‘best’ for them. All they desired was for the children to do well academically and have very good careers in future. They kept telling themselves that their children will not suffer the way they did.
Their first daughter, Mma, like her name, is an epitome of beauty and brains; she made a first class in Computer Technology. She got married to Kelechi, an engineer in an Oil Company in Lagos just after her graduation. Kelechi’s parents also work in the Oil and Gas Industry and he grew up in luxury just like his wife, Mma. The young couple spent their honeymoon in South Africa and three weeks later came back to Lagos. The honeymoon over, the couple soon realize that wedding and honeymoon are different from marriage. Bills must be paid, the house tidied up, food must be cooked. The cleaning, keeping of the house, shopping and cooking seemed like gigantic projects to both. They had agreed during their short courtship that they do not want a house help or relative to live with them until the babies come. Growing up, their own parents with the help of relatives and domestic helps did all the house chores. They never bothered with cleaning and cooking – managed to live with the chaos during their university days. Now, it is just the two of them, no babies for now and yet already overwhelmed. Their house turned to a battle field of some sorts with blames and counter blames. Mma’s academic prowess did not prepare her for marriage, neither did her husband’s. Their marriage soon became a nightmare.
You might be wondering what this story has to do with marriage. A lot of parents, who struggled to become successful like Mma’s parents easily forget that resilience, hard work and steadfastness were among the things that stood them apart. Those struggles were the things that shaped them into the great men and women they became. In training their own children, their emphasis is only on academics. They bring up academically inclined children with no character, no soul. Book knowledge alone can hardly sustain a marriage.
Parents, teach your children (both the girls and boys) the basic things about running a home. Let them take up vacation jobs and see what it is like to earn money. Train your children to realize the dignity of work and value of money. These days, we have many children and adults going through life with the ‘entitlement mentality’.
Titus 2:4-6 says, “that they admonish the young woman to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence and incorruptibility”.
If we prepare our children for marriage and wedding as some parents are wont to do, we will begin to see a decline in the rate of divorce and the marriage institution will be strong again. Dare to raise godly children that will grow into godly wives and husbands!
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