3 Kinds of Communication That Destroy Marriages

Silence communication, negative Communication and Inadequate Communication.

Good communication is a vital ingredient in building a happy and healthy marriage. Without it, unhappiness and conflict in the home will be a common experience.

As someone said, communication is the lifeblood of any marriage. But it must added that such communication has to be positive, constructive and productive.

Truth be told, some communications can drain the life out of any healthy relationship. In this post, we will examine some forms of such communication that are not so healthy to engage in marriage.

If good communication improves the health of marriage, then obviously, bad communication destroys it. Nothing less than wholesome, intentional, positive and productive communication should be promoted within a loving marriage relationship.

All the same, there are spouses who may be inadvertently  involved in improper communications with each other. It is my belief that being aware of these kinds of communication that destroy marriages will help you not to engage in them so that the happiness and health of your marriage will be protected.

To that extent, I present to you 3 kinds of communication that may destroy your marriage, with the hope that you will learn not to engage in them:

  • Silence communication
  • Inadequatee communication
  • Negative communication

Let us now take a closer​ look at each of the stated types of communications:

1. Silence communication

On the surface, it would appear that “silence communication” as being used here is an oxymoron, contradicting in terms. But it is not – especially if you think of it in terms of nonverbal communications.

Silence in itself is not the total absence of communication. But it is a form of communication as well.

Through the use of words, you do communicate in any relationship. But you can sometimes do the same without necessarily using words – by the use of silence. That’s why they say, for instance, that “silence means consent.”

In marriage however, silence may not always mean consent, pleasure or happiness; it can mean discontentment, unhappiness, disapproval, indifference, ignorance, bruised ego, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, displeasure, concealed anger, etc.

But the fact still remains that even when you keep silent, you are still communicating something. The question then will be whether or not your silence is serving the proper purpose.

Sadly, “silence communication” can result in miscommunication and misunderstanding.

3 types of Communication that destroy Marriage

It is true that silence may be desirable at times, especially when you need to douse some apparent tensions. But do not allow prolonged silence communication to fester between you and your spouse, neither should you subject your partner to the so-called “silent treatment.” Such will not augur well for the health of your beautiful marriage.

Whenever you notice unwholesome silence communication in your relationship, be the one to break the ice  (in a positive way). This is because continuous silence communication between you and your spouse will have a negative effect on the health of your marriage. Therefore, use “silence communication” wisely.

2. Inadequate communications

Understand that inadequate communication is poor communication whether in marriage or outside of it. Poor communication will in turn result in poor understanding and ultimately in conflict and misunderstanding. And persistent conflict between you and your spouse is not good for the health of your marriage.

Have you ever felt that your partner is not open to discussing​ all issues with you? Or you know he or she is deliberately withholding vital information from you? If your answer is yes,  then you may be experiencing inadequate communication in your marriage.

It is also inadequate communication if your spouse can use more information than you are willing and open to communicate with him or her. What that means is that you are withholding information from your partner without his or her consent. And that’s not right. If your spouse is the one withholding information from you, it is also not right.

More often than not, inadequate communication can result in serious misunderstanding​ between you both, and consequently to unhealthy conflict that puts the union at risk.

In marriage you should be free to talk about anything and everything with your spouse. Such communication should be proactive, intentional, regular and adequate.

3. Negative communication

Ever heard​ the saying that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing?” That shows that it may be more beneficial sometimes to maintain silence than to say unpalatable things – to your spouse, for example.

Well, while not encouraging silence communication in marriage, it is better to avoid negative communication all together. Negative communications will produce negative effects.

Negative communication such as uncomplimentary remarks about your spouse and unending doses of unconstructive criticisms will not improve the good-health of your marriage. Your spouse may feel disrespected or unvalued if your communication always come across to them as negative. On the other hand, you will come across as caring, loving, friendly and considerate if your communications are always positive.

If you communicate negatively with your spouse long enough, he or she will begin to resent you, leading to emotional disconnection between you both. There is no future for any marriage where the partners do not share a strong intimate emotional bonding.

We will then conclude that silence communication is not good. Inadequate communication is not good enough. And negative communication is not good at all.

Your marriage will be negatively affected if you engage in any of the above communications long enough. Therefore, it is better to avoid these kinds of communication that destroy marriages.

What other kinds of communications do you think can destroy a marriage?


©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

5 Reasons I Could Not Have Been Single For Life And Be Satisfied

Gentle warning: This post is extremely personal. But don’t take it personal.

Victor Uyanwanne on who he could not have been single, satisfied and happy.

In the previous post, I stated the fact that some people are single for life and satisfied. But I went on to explore the idea that I could not have been unmarried for life and be completely fulfiled.

My well-thought out humble conclusion then was that:

As for me, I see marriage as a calling I had to embrace because I could never have been totally satisfied with a lifelong celibacy.

To put things in a clearer perspective, I am using this post to advance five reasons I believe that I could not have been completely satisfied if I had remained single for life.

Like I stated in the first part of this post, this is a personal experience I decided to share with you. So do not be offended if your own experience or perspective is radically different from mine.

Living unmarried for life or getting married, which one do you prefer?

1) Marriage is my calling

Marriage is part of God’s general plan for humanity. I believe strongly in it, and I always will.

I may have many ‘callings’ in life, but celibacy is not one of them. I made up my mind about that long before I eventually walked the altar to say, “I do.”

Marriage is honourable. Most people will not disagree with that! So embracing marriage means embracing an honourable institution established by God Himself.

God made it possible for me and many other countless people to be married… And except you feel called to a lifelong celibacy, I believe you should be open to marriage too. Don’t you think so?

2) Two are better than one

Marriage gives a veritable opportunity for a beautiful synergy in life between two people who are divinely bound in a holy union – a kind that singlehood does not offer me.

I reckoned that I am stronger with a spouse for life than without one. The total union of two separate people to become one in marriage unleashes the power of synergy, which is in line with God’s plan and purpose.

Why would I choose to go along in life as a ‘lone ranger’ when I could legally have a great person of the opposite sex to go along with me all the way? Like I said in the previous post, I prefer my “married me” to my “single me.”

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves… Ecclesiates 4:9-12.

Marriage is my legitimate opportunity to build my own family as God intended, so why should I flunk the choice?

Sexual expression

3) Sexual fulfilment

Apostle Paul once declared in unequivocal terms that, “It is better to get married than to remain unmarried and continually burn with passion.” That’s one of the frankest statements in God’s word as far as managing  your sexual affection as a single person is concerned.

Christian values teach us that the only kind of sex approved by God is marital sex. So any act of sex engaged in outside the walls of marriage amounts to living contrary to the will of God.

I am aware that many people will not be comfortable with me saying that. But I have to say it because it is not my idea but God’s. And God knows best!

In the light of that, it means that as a single man who wanted to please God in this area, I would not engage in sex except I was legally married.

However, I definitely would not be able to live without sexual expression for the rest of my life, without disobeying God. You can talk about exercising self-control, but let us leave that lesson for another day.

Let us read what the Bible says here:

But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, [that as a practical matter] it is good if they remain [single and entirely devoted to the Lord] as I am. But if they do not have [sufficient] self-control, they should marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion .
1 Corinthians 7:8‭-‬9 AMP

Early enough in life, I learnt that both premarital and extramarital sexual experiences are not part of God’s perfect plan for His children. So I had to choose the committed marriage option to meet my sexual needs.

Any thing outside that would have led me to committing avoidable sexual sin, which has its own inescapable consequences.

Sexual sin is self-destructive. It’s like a fire. A fire in the fireplace can do you a lot of good. A fire in the living room will mess up your whole house! And that’s precisely the case with our sexuality. It is a fire to be kindled only within the fireplace of marriage. Outside of that safe enclosure, it can do all kinds of emotional and physical damage. Single And Satisfied – Tony Evans

4) The need to have children

I do not want only sexual satisfaction by getting married, I want to produce offsprings too.

Remaining unmarried for life would have meant that I would not have been a parent, except of course I became one out of wedlock. Not even in my dreams did I ever consider that an option to take!

Marriage has afforded me the great privilege of having my own legal children. And I am loving it…

I am aware some people get married and decide on their own not to have children. But that is very unusual in my part of the world. (Apologies to the couple who are trying so hard to have their own children but to no avail yet).

I believe also that it is part of God’s will for my life to have children.

Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward. As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so [are] children of the youth. Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Psalms 127:3-5.

5) One person to love for life.

For the most part of my single life, I always longed for the time I would get committed to one lady for life – totally and completely. To love and to cherish her for the rest of my life.

Marriage provides me with the best chance to fulfill that longing. In marriage, I have a trusted companion to love and to cherish for the rest of my life.

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church… For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Ephesians 5:28-32.

If you are presently living single for life or in a committed marriage, please let me know what you think about the post.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Single For Life And Satisfied? Not Me!

Unmarried. Singlehood.
Are you single for life and satisfied?

Jesus Christ was single for life and satisfied with it, so was Paul the Apostle. But I know that not everyone would be single for life and be fully satisfied as well. Definitely not me!

I have also heard some other people say they are single and satisfied. But in most cases, it turns out that many of such people are only temporarily single because somehow, you will get to find out that they are only waiting for the right partner to come along.

I wouldn’t know if that applies to you or not. In any case, just follow me on this short journey…

You are presently single but you have plans to get married when you meet the right person and other conditions are right. I understand that feeling because I was once there.

That one is a temporary singlehood. However, that is not the kind of singlehood I am talking about here.

I am referring to you being single, staying single for life and without any desire for entering into a committed marriage. I would call that a permanent singlehood.

That is the situation I do not understand because I have not been there before. And I do not even want to be there because I firmly believe in the institution of marriage.

This is my sixth year being married. And with all modesty, I can gladly say that I have found more fulfillment in being married than in being single.

It is not to say that I did not have a fulfilling life as a single man. No, far from it! I had an incredibly joyful life during my singlehood.

In fact, I was so happy when I was yet an unmarried man that I once had cause to ask my myself, “Would I still be this happy when I get married?”

Notice that I did not say “…if…” but “…when..” I got married. The reason is that marriage has always been part of my plans in life. That is to say that I never had an agenda of ever living an unmarried life in my sojourn on earth.

Back to the question I asked myself when I was still a bachelor: would I be happy in marriage as I was in singlehood?

It would have been largely presumptuous for me to have that question answered in the affirmative before I got married. But now that I am married, I can categorically state that I have found my life happier and more fulfilling than when I was a single man.

Just as Apostle stated that “it is better to marry than to burn,” I could stretch that to say that it better to be married than to remain single for life.

This is just my experience I am sharing with you. I am by no means trying to generalise the issue because I am very much aware that your experience may be completely different from mine. Is that not so?

On the other hand, this is not a call for everyone to get married. Even the Bible recognises that marriage is a choice; no one should be forced into it.

I was not forced into marriage in any way. It was a journey I deliberately embarked upon by my own freewill. And I am loving it!

It would have been a huge disservice to myself had I chosen to be single for life. That’s not my calling at all, but marriage is. At the appropriate time, God led me into it, by giving me the right partner.

Of course, it is not that remaining single and being an unmarried person for life is  a sin, neither is getting and staying married. But just that like every other major decision you have to make in life, there are always pros and cons to consider.

In as much I would like to recommend to you to get married (if you are not married yet) and stay married for life, it is up to you to decide for or against it. For one, I know that God’s will for most of His children is marriage. And I made my decision along that line a long time ago.

Being single has its own benefits and getting married has its own benefits too. But I prefer the later.

Now that I am married and have found fulfillment in marriage, it has become clearer to me that I could never have been single for life and be satisfied with it completely.

But like I said before, I am not suggesting that you could not choose to remain single or celibate for life and be satisfied at the same time. Good luck to you if that’s what you want.

As for me, I see marriage as a calling I had to embrace because I could never have been totally satisfied with a lifelong celibacy.

What’s your take on this? 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Before You Divorce Your Spouse, Think Of Your Children

 

Many people know that divorce is very devastating. But some people will still end up walking that way. In the long run, it does more harm than good to the couples involved, to the children produced by the broken union and to the society in general.

No troubled marriage is irredeemable, especially yours, if you believe in God. With the cooperation of the couples involved, even the most hopeless marriage can be restored to health and happiness. Rather than taking the divorce option, couples who have marital challenges should find a way of working things out between them.

If you want your marriage to work, you will find a reason to stay in it. But if your mind is made up on filing for a divorce, you will also find a ‘good’ reason to do so. Whatever you want to do, you will find an excuse for it.

Recently, I suggested on this blog that couples who want to make their marriage work, should shut the door on divorce. As relatively unpopular as that advice was, it is not something I would want to change my mind on, neither should you if you are committed to the ideals of having a marriage that works.

One of the greatest joys of a marital union is the children produced in the marriage. Divorce is not one of the ways to increase that joy. On the contrary, divorce will limit the chances of happiness of the children from that union.

I cannot find a good reason to believe that children from divorced marriages make happier people in the society than children that grew into adulthood having parents who stayed together in their marital unions. Shouldn’t all children be given the benefit of having both of their parents in their lives together in the same union forever? In my opinion, they should because it is their right!

A broken marriage will cause emotional trauma for the children from the union and may have the ripple effect of setting them on the wrong courses in life. Can’t you make the necessary sacrifice to avoid that?

You cannot think of making a society work better, if you are not open to the idea of making your marriage work. The values you uphold in the society are often a reflection of the values you have established from home. A healthy marriage is a fertile ground for nurturing good moral values in children. And that’s what every child deserves!

I am not suggesting that your marriage must be perfect to be able to meet the mark. That will be asking for too much because neither you nor your spouse involved in the union are perfect in yourselves.  But the point has to be made that despite your perceived imperfections, you can still find the lasting glue that sticks you to each other, rather than grasping unto the divisive wedge that pushes you both apart.

Give or take, the santity of the union should not be jeopardised by either you or your spouse through divorce, at least for the sake of your children. You don’t want to cause heartache for yourselves as well as your kids.

As at the time I began to write this piece, a short remark which suggested that 80% of divorce suits are filed by woman, appeared on my twitter timeline. A further research into the claim showed that a different source puts it at a lower rate of 60%, while yet another source shoots it up to as high as 90% (amongst educated women).

Between men and woman, who is more likely to file for divorce?

Does that mean that women are the prime architects of divorce in marriages? It is not the purpose of this post to explore that question. But beyond the seemingly lobsided ratio of women to men who files for divorces, it would be instructive to know the real reason spouses file for divorce.

The Hidden Reason People Seek Divorce

There are many reasons a couple may seek divorce. Those reasons can come in different shades and colours: incompatibility, infidelity, broken trust, physical or emotional abuse, diminishing love, financial stress, etc. But the root of it all is selfishness.

That’s right! Selfishness – that excessive concern “for oneself or one’s own advantage, pleasure, or welfare, regardless of other” – is the main reason a spouse would file for divorce. Most marriages will work if selfishness is taken out from the hearts of the married couples. 

As I said earlier, if your mind is fixated on getting a divorce, you will often find a ‘suitable’ ground to do so. But before you serve the divorce papers to your spouse, please think of your children- the divine products of the marital union you are about to break up. (This assumes that you have children).

Reasons parents should consider their children before filing for divorce.

Why should you consider your children before you file for divorce? 

The answer to that question my friend, is the fundamental purpose of this post. In exploring that question further, first, I will like to draw from the lessons in the story of Gerty as recently published on Joseyphina’s World. (Thank you Joseyphina for your kind permission to use extracts from that story).

Second, I will then offer my own thoughts as well.

Enter the Story of Gerty

According to Joseyphina, Gerty’s “childhood was plagued by a nasty divorce between her parents.” The negative effect of the divorce on Gerty, loudly echoes the sentiments that inspired this post, namely, that many couples would give up the idea of divorce if they would spare some quality thoughts on the negative impact divorce will have on on their children.

How did Gerty’s Parents’ Divorce Affect Her?

1. Confusion caused by custody issues

Joseyphina tells us that Gerty “grew up confused about whom to love since as per the custody arrangement, she was to stay with her mother during school days and be with her father during the holidays.” In the process, “Each parent took any chance he/she got to badmouth the other to her.”

2. Automatic membership of Association of Children from broken homes.

Gerty became an unwilling statistic added to the children from broken homes association. As they say, “Birds of a feather flock together.”  Naturally, Gerty’s closest “friends also had divorced or separated parents.”

In school, Gerty and her friends “would spend their break time talking about what their parents told them about each other and how life sucked for them all.”

3. Lost of faith in marriage and procreation.

Because of her parents failed marriage, Gerty begins to feel there is no use for her to get married in future. “What is the use of falling in love, getting married, and then ending up getting divorced,” she wondered.

She even decided that if she eventually got married, she would not have children so as to avoid custody battles like it happened with her.

4. Burden of guilt

Gerty couldn’t be completely sure why her parents got divorced. But “a part of her felt that she was the reason behind it.” Right or wrong, Gerty goes about in life carrying this heavy burden of guilt of the divorce action of her parents.

5. Rendered an ‘Orphan’ unduly.

“Gerty later found herself as an orphan of some sorts when both parents remarried. She felt out of place in either one’s new matrimonial home. Both spouses gave her the ‘the issue out of divorce’ look. Both of them had found other people to love but she was the one who lost it all.” What a pity!

Do you want your children to experience the pains of their parents’ divorce like Gerty did? I hope not! That is why I am telling you to consider the wellbeing of your children before you yield to the temptation or pressure to file for divorce.


Concluding Thoughts

Child-raising is already a difficult job by itself. Divorce will make it more complicated. I know a single parent can raise children. But having both parents do it in the same marital union will make the job easier.

Divorce will devastate your children. As we said earlier, it can result to a lifelong emotional damage to them.

Children from broken homes are the most vulnerable to all sorts of ills in life: drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, depression, low self-esteem and so on. My dear reader, as much as it it depends on you, please save your children the pain, the burden or the guilt of divorce.

Your children deserve the love and care of both of their parents in the same marital union. Don’t deny them that right because of your selfish reasons by taking the option of divorce. Remember, if you can find an excuse to sue for divorce, you can also find a reason (your children, for instance) to stay in the marriage – and make it work.

What do you think?


©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

Towards A Better Marriage 7: Shut The Door On Divorce

Reasons you should not divorce your spouse

In your marriage, many things can happen that may ‘push’ you to want a divorce from your partner. But it’s best not to take that option. Your present marriage can still work out better for you and your spouse. That has been part of the goals of the towards a better marriage series we began a few weeks back.

As we conclude this special series, I am going to have to say this: if you truly want to see your marriage work, you should shut the door on divorce. Before you call me insensitive because I said that, you should at least hear me out.

I am aware that saying “no to divorce” is not a very popular thing to say these days. We live in a world where it has become easier or more acceptable for couples to walk away from their matrimonial homes, even at the slightest provocations. Whatever happened to commitment in marriage? (This is not an attempt to undermine those that have critical, life-threatening marital issues).

Second, I do not mean to condemn you if you have taken the divorce option already – I am not in a position to do so. But I believe I am free to put in a word or two on why a committed couple that wants to make their marriage work should shut the door on divorce. What you are committed to, you don’t give up on.

If you haven’t left this page by now, it gives me the feeling that you are still open to the idea of doing whatever is necessary to making your marriage work, as opposed to taking the divorce route. Let’s take a look at a few reasons I suggest you should not end your marriage just like that:

1. No marriage is irredeemable, including yours.

Irrespective of where you are on your downhill decent towards marital oblivion, know that your marriage is not beyond redemption. It is possible you are experiencing many problems in your marriage right now. But that doesn’t mean you should walk away from your marital vows just like that. Don’t give up on your marriage because marriage has not given up on you.

If you believe in God, neither the problems you face currently, nor the ones you will face in future, are insurmountable. With God, nothing is impossible – including saving a troubled marriage like yours. With the right doses of commitment, attitude and help, you can find solution to any of your marital challenges.

Shut the door on divorce

2. Divorce is not the best way to resolve marital issues.
There are many ways of resolving marital conflicts. Divorce is definitely not the best option. These series towards a better marriage were purposed to offer tips on finding greater joy and fulfilment in your marriage. Walking out of your marriage is not an option we recommend here.

3. Think of the impact of the divorce on your children, if you have any.

Procreation is one of the basic reasons for marriage. God made it in such a way that it takes a male and a female to procreate. But procreation is not the end of the story; the task of raising the children is there too.

Child-raising is already a difficult job by itself. Divorce will make it more complicated. We are all familiar with media reports on cases of juvenile delinquencies. Children from broken homes are the most vulnerable to such.

Your children deserve the love and care of both of their parents in the same marital union. Don’t deny them that right because of your selfish reasons by taking the divorce option. If you can find an excuse to sue for divorce, you can also find a reason (your children, for instance) to stay in the marriage – and make it work.

4. Just like your current spouse, there is no all-round-perfect partner out there.

I know your spouse is not perfect, neither are you. Why do you want to get a divorce? Is it to get married to a ‘better’ person? You may get the rude shock of your life because one thing is sure: there is no perfect spouse out there!

The best spouse is the one you are married to, not the one you plan to get married to after a divorce. The grass may appear greener on the other side, but that is not the way it is. It is illusionary to think that should you divorce your spouse, you would be happier with another partner. Some people realise that mistake way too late.

5. If you take the option of divorce and then remarry, you are likely to take the same option a second time and even a third or more times.

Let me guess what you are thinking after reading that: Victor, you are taking it too far. I don’t want to argue with you on that. We already said that divorce is not the best solution to marital crisis. So why don’t you do your best and make your current marriage work?

Getting a divorce now is not a guarantee that you will get to the promised land of marital fulfilment with a new spouse. The natural question I should ask you then will be: if you remarry after divorce and it turns out the marriage fails to work again, will you stay put in it or go through another round of divorce? Are you glad adding to the increasing statistics of multiple divorces? If your answer is yes, then I am afraid you have no business reading this post in the first place!

6. God hates divorce.

Divorce is permissible but it is not God’s best for you. God loves you but He hates divorce.

If you are His child already, remember that with your cooperation God can restore or heal your troubled marriage – no matter the kind of problem you might be experiencing. He has done it for a good number of people who exercised their faith in Him. He will be glad to help you too. Even if you don’t have a personal relationship with God yet, you can start one with Him right now by responding to the open invitation He has given you already:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest

 Matthew 11:28.

You think you are carrying heavy burdens in your marriage? You can talk to God about it. He is waiting for you.

P.S: There is love in sharing. If you like this article, please share it with your friends via any of the media platforms below.

Thank you.

 

©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

Stop Expecting Your Spouse To Fill The Void Only God Can Fill

In our last post in the towards a better marriage series, we dwelt on the need for you to give your best in order to make your marriage work. Let’s add to it however, that only God can meet your spouse’s deepest needs, and yours too.

I assume your spouse loves you very much and is fully committed to meeting your needs. But no matter how much he/she is committed to you, realise that you have needs that only God can meet. For such needs, never expect your spouse to play the role of God!

The same thing applies to him/her too; there are needs he/she has that you cannot meet, no matter how hard you try.

Inside everyone is a void that no other human can satisfactorily fill. That is why you need God.

It is only God that can meet your deepest needs; it is only God that can meet all your heart’s longings. Your spouse may try, but he/she cannot satisfy you completely.

Your spouse is not a miracle worker, so don’t expect him/her to do everything for you and be everything to you, every time. Just like you, remember that he/she is human, subjected to the various limitations of being a flesh and blood entity.

Meeting your spouse’s deepest needs is God’s job. Don’t place the burden on your spouse

Your spouse can make you happy sometimes, but he/she cannot keep you happy all the time. He/she may want to do it, but he/she simply is incapable of doing it every time.

You set yourself up for disappointment and your spouse up for failure if you expect him/her to do the impossible for you. Next time you want a miracle, ask from God, not your spouse. By that I mean you should stop expecting your spouse to fill the void only God can fill.

Let’s help one another, what do you think are the needs of spouses that their partners cannot meet, that only God can meet? Please enter your suggestions in the comment section. 

Thank you.




©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

Give Your Best To Make Your Marriage Work.

making your marriage work.

 

Things do not work until someone makes them work. Marriage is not an exception to that rule. If you want your marriage to work, you and your spouse must be fully committed to making it work by giving it all your best.

“Two people who decide to live together in a marriage situation have an obligation to make the marriage work for them.” With those wise words from Helen Reddy, I welcome you to the fifth post in the towards a better marriage series.

In making your marriage work, you will have to put in all your best. This is not a 50-50 or 60-40 contribution, but a 100% thing from each of you.

You already know that marital bliss doesn’t come by chance. Amongst other things, it will take hard work from you and your spouse to make it happen.

Realise that in marriage, both of you are on the same boat. You must put in your maximum rowing power if you hope to make it to the shore of marital success together.

There is no guarantee that you will have a happy marriage experience if you don’t put in all you’ve got into it. For instance, when it comes to giving the commitment, love and faithfulness, understanding, emotional, financial, spiritual support and all other kinds of support that a good marriage requires, give it all you’ve got – without any reservations whatsoever.

Don’t wait for your spouse to start putting his/her best in the marriage before you start giving yours. Be the example of the good character you want to see in your spouse.

In your marriage, be more of a giver than a taker. Imagine there is a marriage box containing all the secret ingredients that make a marriage work. You will have to replenish the stock more often than you take out from it. Otherwise, you will get to a point where nothing is left for you to enjoy.

There are many areas in marriage you are required to put in your best, all your best. For example, in loving your spouse,  you should do it with all your heart. Doing that may appear to make you vulnerable to your partner. But don’t worry, love always wins. You will win too.

When it comes to walking in love, you can never get it wrong because love never fails.

Love accommodates everything.

A marriage that will work is the one where both you and your partners love each other, are fully committed, and are fully willing to put in your best to make it work.

If you want to have happiness, passion, intimacy, companionship, trust in your marriage, you have to put it there. Relationships take work, a lot of work and if you want to live a happy, beautiful and loving life next to your partner, you will both commit to making your marriage work. Always remember, relationships don’t work unless you do. ~ Luminita D. Saviuc

I am turning this post over to you now. Let us help one another by giving an outline of at least 20 areas where spouses need to put in their utmost best in order to make their marriages work. Please share your ideas in the comment section.

Still Ahead: Towards A Better Marriage 6: Stop expecting your spouse to fill the void only God can fill.

 

©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

5 Dire Consequences of Not Accepting Your Spouse As your Mr/Mrs Right.

 

Your spouse is your Mr/Mrs Right

All your choices in life will either bring you rewards or consequences. Accepting your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right is a good choice you must make if you want your marriage to bring you rewards of happiness and success.

This is the fourth part of our Towards a Better Marriage journey. In the last post in the said series, we said to whomever you got married has become the right spouse for you. In other words, you should accept your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right. That way, you would be able to team up with him/her to resolve any marital challenges that may cross your path.

If you are in a committed marriage relationship and you are also committed to seeing the marriage work, then you must see the person you got married to as your Mr/Mrs Right. The constant thinking that you made the wrong choice in picking your marriage partner, will hinder  you from seeing many good things in your partner and in the marriage as well.

Eventually, if not properly handled, this may lead to unpalatable marriage experiences.

Here are five possible dire consequences of not accepting your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right:

  1. You will not be committed to the marriage

There is no hope of marital success for any couple without much commitment to their union. If you are not convinced that your spouse is the right partner you will not be able to make the necessary commitment that will make the marriage work.

Commitment is a vital key required to make your marriage work. Without it, nothing worth the while will be  achieved in the relationship. Without it, there is no future for the marriage.

  1. You will find it harder to love him/her.

Mutual love and understanding are important keys to marital survival! A marriage that is not founded on, and sustained by, love, will make the spouses miserable.

Needless to say, spouses should love each other. Accepting your spouse as the Mr/Mrs Right for you will make it easier for you to love him/her.

I am yet to see anyone who completely loves his/her mistakes.  It goes to show that if you think you made a mistake in marrying your spouse, you will not be able to love him/her as much as you should do. And without love, marriage will be less enjoyable.

  1. You will blame your spouse for every problem you encounter in the marriage.

Once you are totally convinced that you made the wrong choice in selecting your marriage partner, what would stop you from making him/her the scapegoat for whatever problems that crop up in your marriage? Nothing!

Remember we earlier advised that you should not blame your spouse when marital challenges surface between you both. You won’t be able to keep that humble piece of advice if you think you made a mistake in marrying him/her in the first place.

  1. You will become unhappy and miserable.

Marriage should bring you some level of happiness and fulfilment in life. But it will take cooperation from you as well as from your spouse to make that happen.

Remember the popular saying, “marriage should be enjoyed, not endured?” You will not be able to enjoy or feel happy about your marriage if you see your spouse as the wrong partner.

  1. You will eventually decide to opt out of the marriage.

The likelihood of divorce is higher in marriages where the spouses think they got married to the wrong persons as opposed to marriages with spouses who are convinced they chose the  right partners.

If you are not committed to your marriage enough, you don’t love your spouse as much as you should, you blame your spouse for everything that goes wrong and you are miserable in the union, how would you be able to escape the temptation to walk out of the marriage? The point is, if you have not convinced yourself that you have not made any mistake in marrying your spouse, you may end up divorcing him/her.

If you have not already done so, it is important you recognise your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right. Failure to do so may hinder you from having a beautiful marriage experience.

You have read my thoughts. Please share yours in the comment section.

 

Still ahead: Towards A Better Marriage 5: Give Your Best To Make The Marriage Work.

 

©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

Towards a Better Marriage 3: Accept Your Spouse as Your Mr/Mrs Right.


Before you got married, you searched for your ever elusive Mr/Mrs Right. After you got married, do you think you made the right choice? Or, is your mind playing games with you that you made a mistake in your choice of spouse?

Welcome to the third post in the towards a better marriage series. In the introductory post, we talked about the fact that problems are inevitable in marriage. But it was also pointed out that your spouse is not the problem personified.

If you see your spouse as the problem in your marriage, you will end up blaming him/her anytime anything goes wrong in the relationship.

The blame game is not a pleasant game to engage in. That led us to the second post in the series: 6 Simple Reasons You Should Not Blame Your Spouse

We saw that blaming your spouse does not solve the problem in your marriage; neither does it promote a healthy relationship between you both. 

Two Types of Spouses in the World 

There are two types of spouses in the world: those who are convinced that they made the right choice of marriage partners and those who are not convinced. Congratulations to you if you belong to the remarkable first category!

Even if you belong to the latter group, you don’t have to panic or give up on your marriage. Trust me, there is still hope for you. Irrespective of the circumstances surrounding your marriage, it is my hope that you will eventually get to the point where you will completely and wholeheartedly accept the person you got married to as your own Mr/Mrs Right.

Once you have properly married, it is self-deception to still be thinking that your Mr/Mrs Right is out there. No, he/she is not out there anymore, because I know where he/she is: in your house, in your life. Stop looking elsewhere!

Accept Your Spouse As Your Mr/Mrs Right

In this post, we will push further on the journey towards a better marriage experience by suggesting that you have to convince yourself that you have married the right person, even if you have ‘reasons’ to feel that you married the ‘wrong’ person. This is based on the twin premises that you are in a committed marriage and it is your goal to see things work out better between you and your spouse.

Is it achievable? I bet it is – with your cooperation of course! Come to think of it, it is really not fair to tell your spouse you made a mistake in marrying him/her. You shouldn’t be thinking or saying such, except you want your union to hit the rocks soon.

Accept your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right.

For instance, I have been married for five years now. I would with all modesty say that I have no regrets marrying my wife. She is not perfect, neither am I…

But one reason for that high feeling of assuredness is that I accepted her completely as the will of God in marriage for me. I know that if you ask her, she would say the same thing about me too. (I already shared about this in details in the post How I met my wife).

Just for the sake of argument, what if I told my wife she was the greatest mistake of my life? Would she be happy to hear that? Do you think that would make our marriage work out better? I guess you don’t think so.

On the other hand, what if she is the one that wakes up tomorrow and tells me she regrets marrying me? I don’t want to begin to imagine how devastating that would be to us and our union. Surely I would be sad and disappointed, to say the least!

What does that tell you my friend? It shows that you are calling for trouble if you fail to accept the person you married as your own Mr/Mrs Right – especially if you are the type that takes every opportunity you get to tell your spouse that you made a big mistake in marrying him/her.

Let’s face it, it is not good news in your spouse’s ears if you keep telling him/her you made a mistake in marrying him/her. Unfortunately, some people are living in that awful state of not having accepted their spouses as the right person. 

Why did I say so? Because you still hear them say such things as:

  • Marrying you was the greatest mistake of my life.
  • I shouldn’t have married you.
  • I was drunk the day I accepted to marry you.
  • You are a devil.
  • I regret marrying you.
  • I curse the day I married you.
  • I was deceived into marrying you.
  • Given a second chance, I wouldn’t marry you again.
  • I am just stuck with you.
  • Our marriage will never work…

If you are one of those who use any of the above sentences on your spouse, you have to stop it except you want to completely destroy your marriage. In fact, you should give your spouse an unreserved apology and make a very firm promise that you would never say such thing any longer.

Once you are married, your partner is automatically your Mr/Mrs Right. Accept him/her that way – whether you feel like it or not.

A reputable international radio and TV preacher I admire so much once said, “I don’t know if you married the right person for you or not. But I know that whomever you got married to has become the right person.”

I wish every married couple would appreciate and live by the spirit of that statement. Otherwise, much crisis in the union would be inevitable.

What do you think of spouses who think they married the wrong person? Let the interaction begin in the comment section.

Still ahead:  Towards a Better Marriage 4: Five Dire Consequences of not accepting your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right.

 

©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne



Towards A Better Marriage 2: 6 Simple Reasons You Shouldn’t Blame Your Spouse

Don't blame your spouse

In the first post on the towards a better marriage seriesit was acknowledged that problems do arise in marriages. But it was also stated that your spouse is not the problem and so he/she should not be seen as one.

In other words, you should not blame your spouse when things go wrong in your marriage. Rather, you should identify exactly what the issue is and tackle it. That way you will achieve a healthier resolution than blaming your spouse.

In this post we will continue the series by presenting six simple reasons it is not good to blame your spouse when marital challenges hit your union:

1.  When you blame your spouse for everything that goes wrong in your marriage, you paint the false picture that you are perfect.

No body is perfect, not even you. You cannot honestly claim that you have never contributed to the challenges both of you may have been facing.  If that’s correct, where then is the moral justification for blaming your spouse?

Be aware that for each finger of accusation you point against your spouse, you have four others pointing towards you as well. In other words, you are equally guilty, if not more.

2. You hurt your spouse’s feelings when you hip the blame on him/her every time, without taking any responsibility yourself.

A hip of blame is not piece of cake and a cup of tea, so don’t expect your spouse to take it with delight. Your spouse doesn’t enjoy being blamed for everything that goes wrong in your marriage. Stop pushing it…

If you stop blaming your spouse, you have found one less way of hurting him/her. Isn’t that a good thing?

3. You risk being resented by your spouse if you continue the blame game.

No matter how you look at it, you will see that it is not good to keep playing the blame game in your marriage. Realise that if you blame your spouse long enough, he/she will begin to resent you, pushing both of you apart.

Prolonged resentment will cause emotional detachment and then physical separation or divorce, which I hopefully think is not what you want.

Stop blaming your spouse

4. As you already know, you will not be able to build a happy and healthy relationship with anyone if you blame or resent him/her a lot.

If you want to build a very good relationship with your spouse, throwing blames at him/her is one of the ways you cannot achieve that goal. Good rapport will not be built on the altar of fault-finding, finger-pointing and venom-pouring

People naturally do not warm up to those who harshly criticise them. Your spouse is not an exception to this, so don’t even dare!

Bear in mind that your spouse too deserves to see your good part. You are not showing him/her that good part if you are regularly blaming him/her for everything that goes wrong between you both.

5. Blaming yours spouse does not solve the problem in your marriage.

Blaming your spouse may help you feel better temporarily, but it doesn’t take away the root-problem in your marriage. It is better to ask ‘what’ the problem is than ‘who’ the problem is.

Fixing blame (on your spouse) is not the same thing as fixing the problem on ground. In fact, the problem will continue to fester while you are playing the blame game. Rather than fixing blames on your spouse, a wiser thing to do is to find out and focus on what the issue is; identify it and deal with it.

6. Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated.

Finally, remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would want to be done unto you.” It applies in marriage too. I know it is easier said than done. But it is a principle that works out good things in the end, whether it is in a friendship or marriage relationship or any other kind of human relationships for that matter.

Think about it for a minute: you don’t want to be blamed for whatever issues you face in your marriage. So why blame your spouse for it all the time and expect him/her to feel good about it?

Let’s interact more; please leave a word or two in the comment section.
Still ahead: Towards A Better Marriage 3: Accept the person you married as the will of God for you.


©  Copyright 2016-Victor Uyanwanne

Towards A Better Marriage: Your Spouse Is Not The Problem. 

Marriage is a beautiful thing. But that doesn’t stop problems from cropping up in it here and there. If you are already in a committed marriage relationship, it is a mistake on your part if you see your spouse as the problem when those challenges arise.
The problem in marriage

With this post, I am beginning a new series on marriage simply christened Towards A Better Marriage. As the title suggests, the purpose of the series will be to share some of my thoughts towards achieving a better – stronger, healthier and happier – marriage relationship with your spouse.

If that’s what you desire, let me invite you to go through the entire series with me because it promises to be a rewarding journey for us all. Here is the first menu on offer:

Your Spouse Is Not The Problem

Just like every married couple might have come to realise, I am sure you already know that marriage is not a bed full of roses only. It is full of plenty challenges as well. Isn’t that pretty obvious?

More often than not, it is how you handle these challenges that will go to a large extent to determine the success and happiness or otherwise of your marital experience. The common saying that as you make your bed, so you will lie on it holds true in marriage relationships too.

Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem. So resist the temptation to see him/her as one.

Put in proper perspective, you will realise that the challenges you have in marriage are things or issues, not a person – and definitely not your spouse! For instance, the problem could be the manner your spouse is handling an issue at hand, or it may also be the manner you are reacting to it. Either way, you must perceive that the problem is not a person.

A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner. You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse.

“I love you but I hate how you treat me sometimes,” a thoughtful wife once said to her husband. You’ve got the point? Identify what the issue is and deal with it.

A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.

Here is a relevant story that comes to mind at this point.

Husband and wife are not enemies.

A newly wedded couple who began to face some marital challenges went to see an experienced marriage counsellor for possible solutions. After they had vented before the counsellor, he pulled out two paper cards from his wooden drawer and gave one each to the couple to fill in the blanks that followed the simple question: What do you think is the problem in your marriage?

The counsellor then retrieved the two cards and found the boldly written responses from the waiting couple:

Wife: My husband is the problem in our marriage.

Husband: My wife is the problem in our marriage.

Much to the surprise of the pensive couple, the counsellor began to smile as he read out the respective answers. He seemed very familiar with these kinds of self-protecting responses; that was not the first time he had counselled spouses who blamed each other for their marital woes.

“First and foremost,” said the counsellor in a calm but firm voice, “both of you missed the key part of the question which said, ‘what’ and not ‘who’ you thought the problem in your marriage is. From our discussions so far, I can surmise that the answer to the question is not a person, as two of you stated. Should I now take it that you both failed the question?”

“But I can explain what I meant by saying that ….” said the wife, attempting a frantic effort to expatiate on her previous answer. The husband too felt right for blaming the wife. This charged up the counselling room a little more.

The couple blamed each other for their marital challenges. None of them was willing to accept the blame either. Thankfully in the course of the session, the counsellor was able to douse the ensuing tension and also drilled down to the problematic issues in the couple’s lives.

In the end, the counsellor went further to harp on the need for the spouses not to see each other as the problem in their marriage. Rather, they should perceive each other as partners in progress, standing in unity and on the same front to tackle whatever issues that may challenge them in their union.

Here is my conclusion as well: Next time you have any marital issue, be sure to remind yourself that your spouse is not the problem. Identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it. That way you will achieve a healthier method of resolution than blaming your spouse.

Please share what you think in the comment session.

Photo credits: tolovehonorandvacuum.com

 

Still ahead: Towards A Better Marriage: 6 simple reasons you shouldn’t blame your spouse.

 

© Copyright 2016-Victor Uyanwanne

2 Missing Treasures Found in The Midst of Chaos

Lost but Found

It’s been my desire to build a private library in my bedroom for a while now. To that effect, I have been acquiring scores of books covering many areas of interest such as leadership, productivity, parenting, character and talent development, faith, prayer, prosperity, evangelism, business, public speaking, and so on.

But as I am yet to build the appropriate shelf to arrange the books away as nicely as they should be, I have them temporarily stacked up on an average sized table placed at a far corner of my bedroom.

From there I can always take any book to read as often as I am able to do so. One obvious constraint I have with this arrangement is that the retrieval of any specific book is always difficult.

Most often than not, the title I want to read is always tucked in the middle of the others, or so it seems. Therefore, I always have to scatter a few others in order to get to the one I want.

This was the situation I found myself during the penultimate week of June 2016. I had scurried through the stack to fish out a nice book to read during the few days I took off work. In the process, I had inadvertently strewn a few other unneeded books here and there on the floor around the table, with the hope that I would rearrange them back later.

Little did I know that this was a sufficient invitation for my energetic 2 and 4-year old boys to help do further unsolicited scattering. I came back to the room several hours later only to find all the books scattered everywhere on the floor. Instead of the usual stack, what I saw was an empty table with all the books sprung everywhere on the floor.

I stood there dumbfounded. “What type of chaos is this?” I asked myself, without expecting any meaningful explanation from the two toddlers who obviously had a nice time scattering the books on the carpeted floor.

I quickly drove them out of the room and called my wife to see what these boys had done in the bedroom. She too could not believe her sight….

Chaotic mess of books

I was obviously not happy with the chaotic situation I met on the bedroom floor. But I would not ‘kill’ the children for it. I simply abandoned the room partly for a few days… I had more important things to do… It wasn’t until the third day before I returned to arrange the books back on the temporary ‘shelf’. And it took me almost three hours to get the job neatly done.

But I discovered to my utmost surprise that I had tremendous fun doing it. I skimmed through all the titles and had the books sorted according to their authors (I read authors as much as I read titles). In the end, I had all the books back and stacked neatly on the table till when the proper bookshelf would be provided.

Here was the most interesting part of the exercise of bringing order out of the chaos: I found two precious items that made me so grateful.

One was a diary I had kept about 8 years ago, which I didn’t know its whereabouts. As I flipped through its pages, I found poems, songs and other thoughts I had personally written down previously, which I had never shared with anyone. I came to realise that many of them would be suitable for posts on this blog in the weeks to come. Honestly, it will be my joy to share them with you.

The second thing I found was the last updated manuscript of a book I had written over 10 years ago which I am yet to publish. Our home computer then had crashed and unfortunately I couldn’t  recover the soft copy. So the surviving print out meant everything to me. But I couldn’t trace it until that day, due to a change in our accommodation then.

All I had before I found this one was an older version of the manuscript. Now I am grateful that I can now revisit the newest version, have it reviewed again and then hopefully have it published someday.

Although I was initially annoyed that my children scattered my books into a chaotic mess, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. And out of what I perceived to be a disorderly situation, I found two treasures I thought I had previously lost. All things worked out together for my good, I might say!

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Please leave a word or two in the comment section.

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

Communication in Marriage: 4 Super Lessons in a Surprising Way

Need for healthy communication in marriage

Good communication is a vital part of building and sustaining a healthy marital relationship. A breakdown in communication between you and your spouse could result in a complete breakdown of the entire relationship.

As much as possible, you should endeavor to maintain a good communication flow with your better half. That means you have to promptly take care of anything trying to impede appropriate communications with your spouse.

Failure to do so may later lead to sad moments or other unpleasant consequences which you would not like.

That was the kind of unpleasant situation I recently found myself in. I had this general feeling of discontentment come over me as a result of some unexpected negative outcomes in some of the affairs of my life.

I would admit that I didn’t manage the feeling of dissatisfaction as best as I could I have done. As a result, my wife was feeling hurt in a way that I did not realise until she graciously brought it to my attention.

As I got into discussing the ‘issues’ with her, some things about communication in marriage became clearer to me in a way they had never been before. I  gave a vivid description of what happened in the post, “Is your feeling of unhappiness hurting your attractive spouse?” 

Did I learn anything good from the experience? Sure, I did! And that’s why I am writing this post.

Here are 4 super lessons I learnt from the brief moment of reflection over the said experience:

1. In a thorny situation, your spouse is not the thorn

Just like in any other relationships, you may sometimes have to encounter thorny issues in your marriage.  But it doesn’t mean your spouse is the thorn personified.

This seems obvious but it has to be said that your spouse is not a problem to you; neither are you a problem to him/her.

You are partners in progress; helpers of each other’s destinies. Any thought that deviates from this is a distorted view that should not be allowed to fester.

2. If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.

Let’s face it: as much as you or your spouse would want to maintain a smiling face all the time, this may not always be possible. Therefore, if you see your spouse put on an ‘unusual’ look, it is not safe for you to assume that all is well or that he/she knows what he/she is doing at that point in time.

What you should do is to seek in love to know what’s up with him/her. That way you would be able to save the situation from further deterioration.

As a good spouse that you are, you should not be happy that your partner is unhappy. Giving a listening ear or having a discussion in love with your seemingly unhappy partner can often bring a soothing relief to his/her frayed nerves.

3. If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him/her.

Various situations could arise in your marital relationship that may want to force a communication gap between you and your spouse. But don’t allow for a breakdown in communication between you both.

If communication fails, many other things may fail along. But this can be prevented if properly handled.

Many of the frustrations you may have experienced with your spouse may have resulted from inadequate or negative communication. Inadequate communications give room for suspicion or threat, which may in turn, give rise to a feeling of insecurity in the aggrieved partner.

On the other hand, negative communications breed resentment. And resentment blocks healthy fellowship.

Also, learn not to apply the silent treatment. It does not make things work out well in the long run.

4. Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him/her that you are there for him/her

Your spouse needs you to stand strong for him/her in the moments of weakness. Two good people, they say, are better than one. That’s why you are a couple in the first place.

You are better together. If one person falls, the other should be there to help him/her rise. If your spouse shows signs of emotional weakness, you should be a source of strength to him/her.

When your spouse goes negative, be strong for him/her by staying positive until the murky atmosphere clears. This way, you will prevent a bad situation from going worse.

Healthy communication is a very important way of sustaining a healthy marriage. You should talk with your spouse when there is something to talk about and even when there is nothing to talk about. Never apply the silent treatment because it will always backfire.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment.

 

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

Birthday offering: How I met my wife

Where I met my spouse

Last March was my fifth wedding anniversary. As I continue to celebrate the privilege of being married to one of God’s special princesses, it is my pleasure to let you in on how, or better still where, I met her.

You can consider it my birthday offering to you on this special day of mine. Today is my birthday. Ooops, I guess I had to let you in on that!

I have always known that I would one day write about how I met my wife. But I didn’t know that that day would come so soon.

Something happened that made it come sooner than I had thought. During an online search recently, I stumbled on a comment I had made in the past on a Nigerian online forum.

The comment was my response to the topic of the post which was simply a question entitled, ‘Where did you meet your spouse?’ To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised to read the response again.

Here we go:

I met her in church. We became friends. Just friends, serving God faithfully in [the] youth ministry [of our church].

Later, my heart began to skip a bit for her. The mere thought of her brought smiles to my heart.

At first, I felt concerned that I was taking the friendship [further] more than I had thought.

“What is wrong with me?” I asked myself.

I prayed about it. I got the assurance that all was well. I told her I loved her and would want to marry her. [It] turned out she was convinced about me too.

Two years later, she became my wife and has been so [five] years now. We have been happy ever after. I thank God for everything.

Although it was an impromptu response I made back then, reading it again now made me feel that I gave an appreciably good summary of where and how I met my wife. This it was that precipitated this post.

So allow me to delve a little more into the full story.

We met in church

I have heard stories of people meeting their spouses in all kinds of places. Even though my mind was open as to where I could meet my would-be-wife, I would consider it a blessing that I met her in Church.

There was this joke back then that if you are looking for a decent girl for a wife then look for her in the church. Whether that’s necessarily true or not, I leave that to you to decide.

Then, I wasn’t particularly sure about where I could meet my would-be-spouse. But I was very sure about who she should be.

The Uyanwanne's

I was convinced she would be someone who had made a strong commitment to God, through a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Someone who was committed to living her life on Earth to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind, with eternity in view.

Of course, there were other things I considered, but the above mentioned were not negotiable. It is possible to find such a blessed lady in any possible place around the world. But as God would have it, my church in Lagos was my lucky place.

Our Friendship was healthy

We were individually actively involved in the Lord’s service.  I was the Bible Study coordinator of our Church’s Youth Fellowship and later the Vice President of the group. On her part, she was an active voice in the Youth choir as well as in the main Church choir.

Our friendship developed gradually and blossomed into a very close one. It flourished on a platonic level or what we could describe in Nigerian parlance as just “a brother and a sister in Christ” relationship. Nothing more until love began to set in….

We moved from friendship to love.

Oh the innocent ‘boy’ has fallen in love. You know that feeling of fallen in love? I felt it strongly then. But I was a bit concerned.

“Why would I want to bring ‘love’ into our heavenly friendship and ruin everything?” I had asked myself.

We had mutual respect and trust for each other. We knew the boundaries we set for ourselves. Besides, I never thought I would marry a friend.

But instead of the awesome feeling of love going away, it became strengthened in my heart and louder in my ears. I was glowing! But I was careful not to let her know how I was feeling yet.

“I must do something about it,” I challenged myself.

I cross-checked everything with my Father in Heaven. I believe in prayer; it helps me clarify my thoughts.

“Oh God my Father, do you have a hand in this strong splurge of love I feel in my heart for Your daughter, Jenny?’ I had asked God in prayer.

‘Yes’ was the answer I received in my heart from the still small voice. Once, I knew God was involved, my worries ceased; peace and divine assurance filled my heart.

“One more thing Lord, she is your daughter too.” I pointed out to God – as if He didn’t already know. “Please speak to her about ‘us’. Prepare her heart for this eternal love you have told me I am going to share with her.”

The feeling was mutual.

Not long afterwards, it became clear to me that my prayers had been answered. God had put my love in her heart just as He had put her love in mine. We were ‘flowing’ with each other.

We each knew where God was pointing us to, and we were ready to go with Him all the way to the marriage altar.

The proposal.

I waited till I perceived the time was right to pop the question.

‘Will you marry me?’ I asked her after 9 months down the line.

‘Yes, I will’ was the heavenly response I got from her.

Thus, our courtship officially began. I am grateful, she didn’t make me wait any longer before giving me her consent.

“Give me some more time” some other lady may have said to me. But not my sweet Love, she was prepared for me as I was ready for her. Fifth wedding anniversary

Marriage altar here we come.

Two years afterwards, we both stood before God’s holy altar and echoed “I do, I do” to each other, as we were pronounced husband and wife.

It’s been five years since then. And we are still counting …

I met my wife in Church. I have no doubts that God arranged it that way. That’s my story.

Would you share a little about how you met your spouse?

 

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

Can Unhappy Parents Raise Happy Children?

Happy parents, happy children

Good parenting is very challenging. That’s a common belief. But I guess you may not fully comprehend all the angles to it until you wear the shoes.

If you are already a parent as I am, then you are in a familiar terrain. But if you are not one yet, I hope it is part of your plan to become one in future. The experience will be wonderful.

I became a dad for the first time in the middle of 2012. From then till now I have two energetic boys that now call me ‘daddy.’ The second one just turned two years while the first one will be four in July.

You know, it is a great privilege to be a dad. But it is also a great responsibility to shoulder. And if you ask me what kind of dad I would want to be, I would not hesitate to tell you that I would want to be a great one – a great dad to my kids, both in words and in deeds.

How do I mean?

I desire to be a perfect example for my children to follow.  I desire to be a shining light that shows them the best ways to live in order to lead a purposeful and meaningful life.

I also want to be their friend, their hero, their confidante, their mentor, their teacher and their ‘everything’ that is possible for me to be under the Earth. But sometimes, I worry that I may not always measure up to these awesome standards as excellently as I would want to.

The reason for that is not far-fetched: I am not perfect – nobody is. Only God is the indisputable perfect Father!

You may think that I shouldn’t worry about it since all humans are not perfect.  I am not unaware of my limitations as a mere human, but that shouldn’t stop me from trying my best.

What gives me a cause for concern is when my imperfections begin to show up in some ways that negatively affect the way I relate with friends, family and others alike. I am sure there are parents who feel that way too.

Understandably, my family – wife and kids – are the closest people to me. Those are the dearest people that look up to me for direction and for inspiration. But sometimes, it seems a daunting task to be all the best I could possibly be to them.

If you ask me what kind of dad I want to be, I would not hesitate to tell you that I would want to be a great one – in words and in deeds.

I want to be a happy father to my children and a happy husband to my wife. After all, a grumpy man would not make a good companion to anyone – family or not family. This is part of the reason I have realised that I should strive to always have my emotions under control.

As you know, someone gets hurt when negative emotions get out of hands. No matter the external pressures I face, I try to hold myself together in such a way that negative emotions such as depression, discouragement, anger, frustration, impatience and the likes do not run wild in me, to the detriment of my family or of any other person for that matter.

It has not always been easy to keep up with the expectation. But, I can always boldly say that the grace of God has been sufficient for me.

Recently I experience some moments of unhappiness over some dissatisfying situations around me. I became moody and it rubbed off on my wife. The result? Both of us became unhappy for a few days, negatively affecting our communication.

The situation might have gotten out of hand if we had not taken necessary steps to address it. Thanks to my wife, we were able to rise above that unhappy, moody feeling.

How did we do it?

We talked to ourselves and we talked to God too.

In talking to ourselves, we bridged the communication gap that was created by my moments of happiness. And in talking to God, we joined hands and prayed in faith over the issues that burdened us. Both actions gave us the needed reliefs.

As we rounded off the prayers, my eyes fell on my kids lying peaceably in their sleep. In a brief moment of reflection following the observation and in the light of my not-so-cheerful countenance in the previous few day, I found myself thinking aloud to the hearing of my wife:

My Love, we cannot afford not to be happy as parents.  We need to be a good example to these boys.

My wife nodded in total agreement.

My desire is that our children will grow up seeing a healthy and happy relationship between my wife and I. I hope that they will see us as a veritable example for them to emulate.

It seems logical to think that unhappy parents may not be able to raise happy children. And I don’t want to be caught in that web. That’s why I wish to ask the question here, Can unhappy parents raise happy children?”

What’s your take please?

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

Is Your Unhappy Feeling Hurting Your Attractive Spouse?

How your mood affects your spouse

In the last few days, I recognized that I have not been on top of my feelings as I should be. I wouldn’t say I suffered a mild depression – no, not in the real sense of it. But I could say I wasn’t particularly excited about anything.

In other words, my mood was down and I knew it. Unfortunately, when your mood goes south, you are not the only one that suffers. The people around you feel hurt too. They may be hurt in some ways that may or may not be so obvious to you.

That was what happened between my wife and I in the period in focus. Somehow she got infested with the unjoyful feeling I had allowed to fester in my appearance for a few days. This created a temporary communication gap between us.

Better still, I reckoned that our communication was nothing near its usual best. And I take full responsibility for it knowing that I could have handled the situation much better than I did.

Why did I say so?

“My Love, what’s the matter with you?” my wife had asked after she had noticed I was not my usual happy self.

“I will be fine. Don’t worry. I am just tired.” I had replied in three short sentences. I was not prepared to engage in any further question and answer session with her as I was truly physically tired.

The rest of the following day passed by sluggishly without much excitement between us either.

In my mind, I had thought that my moody countenance would disappear over the night but it didn’t. The cause of my apparent unhappy mood was deeper than that: I was focusing too much on some discontenting situations around me than I had been focusing on God.

I had consciously or unconsciously removed my eyes from focusing on God unto focusing on the not-so-perfect situations I was passing through at the time. That caused me the dark feelings of dissatisfaction that was evident in my external appearance, as my wife noticed.

I knew that entertaining any negative feelings for longer than necessary meant that I was heading in the wrong direction. And obviously, I did not want to end up in the wrong destination.

Then came the moment of awakening…

I came home from work the following night only to find my wife feeling a little withdrawn. She had awoken from sleep to answer the door.

Instead of the usual, “You are welcome my Love, how was your day?” all I got was what sounded to me like a forced ‘welcome.’ And I could sense that she struggled to say it before going back to sleep almost immediately.

As far as I could see, all the signs were there that something was not feeling so all right with her. But I observed too that the atmosphere wasn’t suitable for any meaningful discussions between us; I felt that she would rather enjoy the much-needed sleep than sit up that late to talk with me over whatever was on her mind.

The sleepy feeling was mutual, so we both went to bed. Throughout the night, I felt cool and calm, without any turmoil on my inside. I slept very well as usual. But I wish I could say the same thing about her!

when you remove your eyes from God and focus them on things you are going through

The following day being a Saturday meant there was no rushing off to work for me in the early hours of the morning. I needed the time and space offered by the weekend to refocus and reorder my priorities. And I was ready to make the most of it; decluttering my mind was top on the agenda.

I reckoned too that it was time to talk with my wife. Whatever was ‘bothering’ her will have to be urgently resolved. As a loving husband I strive to be, I could never stand seeing her feel unhappy for longer than that morning.

It’s Time to Talk….

“My Love, I noticed that you were not feeling happy last night,” I started a conversation with her. “What’s the problem?”

“Yes, you are right, I have not been happy – till now,” she agreed.

“Is it about our fifth wedding anniversary celebration I rescheduled? I thought we discussed that already and I promised to ……?” I could hardly finish that sentence before she gently interjected.

“No, it is not about our anniversary. It is about you.”

“About me?” I asked, sounding half-surprised.

I wouldn’t claim I didn’t see it coming. After all, I myself have not been in the best of moods in the previous few days.

Worse still, I could perceive that the feeling of discontentment that had gradually crept upon me had begun to spread beyond my nose onto my better half. And that was not cool!

“Okay, let us talk about it,” I said, leaning and spreading out my arms towards her direction in a very generous embrace.

“In the last few days, you have not been smiling much,” She stated. “Our communication has not been flowing very well either. Whatever has been bothering you, you have not cared enough to share it with me.”

I nodded my head in utter agreement. I obviously did not have any valid objection against that.

“When I asked you about it two days ago” she continued, “you said you would tell me after dinner. But as soon as you ate dinner you went to bed without telling me anything. Did I do anything wrong?”

To say that I was touched by her words is an understatement. I was moved with untold compassion towards her. I felt bad that I had unwittingly allowed the negative emotions I was feeling to affect her too. As a result, tendering an apology wasn’t anything difficult for me to do.

“I am so sorry my Love. You didn’t do anything wrong. And you are not the cause of my moodiness” I assured her. “Some things didn’t turn out the way I expected and I was kind of doing some personal evaluations on some of the issues that were making me feel somewhat disheartened.”

I went on to let her in on some of the ‘personal struggles’ I had been having in the last few days. She already knew about some of the issues involved except that she was not aware they were on the front burner then.

“You should have told me you were going through all these stuff at this time….” She said sympathetically.

“Yes, I know. But I didn’t want to add to your stress,” I explained.

“You are not stressing me. It helps to let me be in the know of whatever you are passing through.”

I got the message. And we reflected on the lessons together. We shared another warm embrace in a moment of silence with full assurance that all would be well.

I could see that she felt better after talking with me. The discussion helped us both as I felt some relief too. We held hands and sealed our conversation with a word of prayer, committing our burdens to God.

Have you ever been in a situation where your spouse felt hurt by your moments of unhappiness? There is love in sharing!

 

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

THIS IS HOW FOUR PEOPLE DRIVE A CAR AT THE SAME TIME

THIS IS HOW FOUR PEOPLE DRIVE A CAR AT THE SAME TIME

By Victor Uyanwanne

Victor Uyanwanne Family When Newman Turned One year
Victor Uyanwanne Family When Newman Turned One year

The fifth anniversary of my marriage is still some five months away. Yet within these few years of being married to my beautiful wife and having two lovely kids, I have had several experiences in my family interactions that I consider great.

As a great-dad-wanna-be that I am, I always enjoy the company of my nuclear family members. Apart from the time we spend together at home, it’s always a wonderful experience whenever occasions demand that we go out together, especially, in the same vehicle.

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.  C. Everett Koop

As Dale Cooper observed, “Family road trips are a great way to escape the daily grind. Taking your kids on a trip will provide them with an unforgettable experience, but a long drive can put a strain on the family. Saddled with short attention spans, children don’t always behave well in small spaces for long periods of time.”

post from Dale Cooper
Road Trip– anationofmoms.com

Apart from a few instances, I have not really taken my family on a major road trip around the country. However, our regular intracity travels in the same car are enough eye-opener…

This is not a post about any road trip, but one that gives a word about how the four members of a young family all drive the same car at the same time.

 To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.  — Josh Billings

We own a Toyota Camry car. Being our only car, it serves as our means of necessary mobility. The other alternatives being to call a taxi or use other means of public transportation.

By default I am the authorised driver of the family car. But more often than not, I have three other ‘assistant drivers’. There is nothing wrong in having assistant drivers. The only problem is that all four of us drive (or at least attempt to drive) the car at the same time.

I use the car alone whenever I have to do personal runs. My wife uses it too. That makes us two authorised drivers for the car.

But on family outings, we are usually four drivers in the said car – the others being my two energetic boys, Best and Newman. Believe me, they are ‘drivers’ in their own rights too. Smiles!

Going out together in the family car gives us a room for family interaction away from the home setting. But it can be stressful sometimes having two restless boys to manage on the go.

How easy would you find it to control two restless infants who do not really like to be controlled? Parents in the house, how do you cope in this regard? I would really like to have you share your experiences.

I think Melanie Radzicki McManus made some useful suggestions in 10 Ways to Keep Your Kids from Driving You Crazy on a Road Trip. You may want to check that out.

Out of the many experiences we share in the car, the one that makes me deem all four of us as drivers, is the observed roles played by each one in the driving process. One person mans the steering wheel while the rest three somehow find a way to contribute to the driving routine.

Our second child Newman is 19 months old. He is the most audacious ‘driver’ of the four of us. He doesn’t talk legibly enough yet, but by his actions we see what he can do.

Whatever he wants he goes for it without blinking. He even wants to physically take over the authorised driver’s seat from me. Often times without warning, he moves from the back seat to the front to grab the steering wheel.

Whenever he did that, I could see in his eyes, “Daddy let me drive too.” But of course, I would always say to him “please go back to the back seat.”

Road Trip - Howstuffworks.com
Road Trip – Howstuffworks.com

The third driver is our older boy, Best, who is slightly over 3 years old. Like his younger brother he seats in the back seat too. Although if not for mummy and daddy’s refusal, he would have preferred sitting on the front passenger’s seat and run the shows on the dashboard.

Best has a unique ‘driving’ style and he is definitely easier to manage in the car than his younger brother. He ‘drives’ the car with me through his probing questions; he never fails to asks me questions for any driving maneuver I make that he doesn’t seem to understand.

“Daddy, why are you moving the car backwards?” he would ask whenever I put the car in reverse motion.

“My dear, I am moving back so we can then move forward in the right direction” I would respond.

If I mistakenly drive the car into a pothole and the car experiences a vibration, he would query again, “Daddy, do you want to break your car?”

“No Best, I don’t want to break the car. It’s just that that part of the road is not so smooth …” I would try to explain.

The fourth driver is my beautiful wife. She drives (in the real sense of the word) as the need arises. But by the way I drive, she thinks I am trying to compete with Michael Schumacher on the fast lane. I wish I had that much driving skill!

“My Love, slow down please” she would say, “You are over speeding,” even when my speedometer says otherwise!

At other times, she would be like, “See that big truck ahead of us, please don’t drive us beside it”.

“Don’t worry, I will overtake it by flying over it,” I would tease.

This is my experience driving in the same car with my family. What’s yours?

WHEN YOU HAVE AN AWESOME LAST NAME LIKE MINE

WHEN YOU HAVE AN AWESOME LAST NAME LIKE MINE

By Victor Uyanwanne

As I interact with the outside world,  it appears that I meet more people who are unable to correctly pronounce the name than I meet those who are able to do so.

Uyanwanne, that’s my last name. And I love it when people pronounce it properly! Or is it not normal for one to so like one’s name?

I have been using the name for almost four decades now and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

“That’s expected,” someone may say.

Well, I agree with that! I consider it a great name, not necessarily because it has a deep meaning which accentuates brotherly relationship and trust, but because of the person that bore it – my late father Pa Uyanwanne Bakwunye.

Of course, Uyanwanne was my father’s first name, but now it has become our family’s last name. The awesome old man has passed on since 1994, but the name continues to live on with us and through us; the name naturally lives on in our lives as the identity remains in use by us his sons and his grandchildren.

JAW-BREAKING LAST NAME

To the people from my part of Nigeria and to some others outside of it, the name is very easy to pronounce. But some how, as I interact with the outside world,  it appears that I meet more people who are unable to correctly pronounce the name than I meet those who are able to do so.

To that extent, I am indeed grateful to all those who are able to pronounce the name correctly, especially those who do not speak my native Ika dialect or the Igbo language by extension.

But to people of the outside world, I have observed that it is a different kettle of fish altogether; pronouncing the name could be a mouthful. And that I completely understand!

“It is a 4-unit course” teased one friendly wag, who had difficulty pronouncing the name. All the same it is my name. Well, bear with me.

Here in Africa, and I believe in some other parts of the world, it is not unusual for people to bear long names, with multiple syllables

Over time, I am often amused by the way some people (mis)pronounced the name. Different – albeit irregular- versions of the name could be formed from the way some people have pronounced it in the past.

“Please don’t muddle up that name,” I have heard myself say to some people who mispronounced it.

But then I don’t blame them; they don’t speak my native Ika tongue. They need not!

I am not an expert in Ika dialect grammatical and pronunciation rules either, but the name could be counted into multiple syllables as follows: U/ya/n/wa/n/ne or simply as U/yan/wan/ne. Observing these syllabic divisions will naturally lead to the correct pronunciation.

Unfortunately, when I searched the name using an on-line word processor, it returned the name as a 3-syllable word. Obviously, that’s incorrect as it would result in a wrong pronunciation of the name. So as I said, the correct pronunciation would follow the traditional lines earlier noted.

Uyanwanne

In any case, some people still think the pronunciation of the name is jaw-breaking. Hence they sometimes feel at liberty when they mispronounce the name.

Do I mind? Not any more! I am aware that they are not intentionally muddling the name. Gladly. Some ‘foreign’ language speakers are able to pronounce it correctly without much ado.

But sometimes, I wonder why some others could not get the pronunciation right, even after being corrected. I wonder too if I do so badly in pronouncing the names of people from other cultures! May be, sometimes!

I am neither Chinese nor Korean so my name couldn’t have been Lee, Chan, Chen, or Chang – which spell mostly in one syllable format

Unfortunately, I am not about to change my last name. In fact, the name will continue to be used after my own generation is gone except of course, if my children decide otherwise. For now, it is the name I am known with and will continue to be known with.

Here in Africa, and I believe in some other parts of the world, it is not unusual for people to bear long names, with multiple syllables. That’s how it is too in the Mid-Western part of Nigeria where I was born.

Take for instance, one of my other names is “Okechukwuyem.” (pronounced O/ke/chu/kwu/yem). You see, the names we bear usually come in multiple syllables. That’s what I am saying….

I am neither Chinese nor Korean so my name couldn’t have been Lee, Chan, Chen, or Chang – which spell mostly in one syllable format – and very easy to pronounce. So please take my last name as it is and employ the best of your pronunciation skills where necessary.

The correct pronunciation of Uyanwanne may be jaw-breaking as some people have claimed, but it is still my last name.

Do people find it very easy pronouncing your name? Please share your experience.

Copyright | Victor Uyanwanne

TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER

TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER
By Victor Uyanwanne

First and foremost, let me be frank with you. As the title clearly portrays, this article is not about me. But I had to begin with a short narrative of a personal history to be able to put things in the best perspective. Kindly indulge me as you read on.

My mother, Victoria Ofunim Uyanwanne Bakwunye (nee Okwuedei) went home recently to be with the Lord at a very ripe age estimated at 90 years. Needless to say, it was our greatest honour and privilege as her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to gather from far and wide in June 2015 in our home state of Delta, Nigeria, to give her a very befitting burial. Before her death on April 18, 2015, she had been all my siblings and I had since our father passed on twenty one years ago at an equally ripe age.

Despite her being advanced in age, I am glad that she didn’t die until her wish came through.

As at the time our father, Uyanwanne Bakwunye, passed away in the morning of June 13, 1994, I had hardly fully understood the meaning of death because I was probably too naive – an innocent teenager I was – to have fully comprehended the full import of death as it were. It was shortly later in life after his death that I came to the full realisation that I would never see my dad again in this life. Poor me!

I missed my dad (especially his love and friendship) since his passing on. But I am not complaining; all has been well with me and I have many reasons to be very grateful to God for everything. Thanks to my recently departed mum and my older siblings who ensured that I was well taken care of from then on.

I was the baby of the house. My parents gave birth to me when they were already advanced in age. This realisation often reminds me of something similar from the story of Joseph in the Bible. It was recorded of him in the book of Genesis (37:3) that “Joseph was a son born to [Jacob] in his old age.” I guess I could easily identify with that depiction! (Incidentally, for many reasons other than this, Joseph has become my favourite Bible character).

As a child, I wasn’t so sure of the number of years between my parents’ ages but one thing was very clear to me then: my dad was much older than my mum. I grew up knowing both of them as “Baba” and “Mama”. In those days in the Nigerian environment (a small town known as Owerre Olubor in the present Delta State) where I was born, (and I believe in many other parts of the world), that was how children called their parents – especially if they were advanced in age as mine were.

We didn’t live in any remarkable luxury, but we were happy and contented

Being the fifth and the last child of my parents, I would say things were relatively easier for me than it was for my older siblings. While growing up, I was never under any kind of pressure. I was much loved by my parents and my siblings and I knew it. They protected me and shielded me from any ‘bad weather’.

They met my needs to the best of their abilities. They shouldered most my responsibilities, leaving me with lots of time to play and to read my books. (To be sincere, I played more that I read then. Smiles! Let’s leave that topic for another day!)

Suffice to say, to a very large extent, I could aver that I was the object of the love of my parents as well as those of my siblings who were much older than I was. We didn’t live in any remarkable luxury, but we were happy and contented. I couldn’t have asked for a better family than mine, as I was convinced that the best family to be born into was this one I was born into.

I hardly wanted people to know I was the last child of my parents. But somehow, some people were always able to figure that out.

My family members had some pet names for me. For instance, my mother called me “Ugochukwu” (meaning God’s honour), while my eldest sister Caroline Onumuzor fondly called me ‘Lastborn.” That’s what she and some other people from my home town still call me till date!

To be honest, I didn’t mind them calling me “Lastborn” anywhere, provided no ‘outsider’ was around to hear them call me that. Smiles! To me the reason was simple: most people thought that all “lastborns” were spoilt brats. And that’s not a compliment! So as much as possible, I hardly wanted people to know I was the last child of my parents. But somehow, some people were always able to figure that out.

Back then, most people knew me as “Okem” for short (which simply means “my bequest” or “my gift”; the name in its fullest form being “Okechukwuyem”, meaning “God’s bequest/gift to me”). I later became known as “Victor” before the age of six years when my mum took me for infant baptism in her church, St. Barnabas Anglican Owerre Olubor, Delta State. She remained a member of this church until her glorious exit from the earth earlier this year.

Thanks to mama, she was the light we saw that pointed us the way to Christ!

About sixteen years after I underwent the said infant baptism, at which time I had become an undergraduate, I had to undergo what in Pentecostal cycles is referred to as “baptism by immersion” ; that was after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour. This didn’t require a change of name, but a change of heart. Thanks to mama, she was the light we saw that pointed us the way to Christ!

Now fast forward to the present year, 2015. Baba and mama’s lastborn has become a man. I am now a full grown adult, married to a beautiful lady from heaven and blessed with two wonderful boys (Best and Newman) as children.

Needless to say, I have not only increased in stature, I have also increased in wisdom in all ramifications. So when in the morning of Saturday April 18, 2015 I was informed via a telephone conversation with my eldest sister, Onumuzor, that my mum had “just passed on to be with the Lord”, I was already well abreast with the real meaning of death, the death of an aged parent.

To be honest, I had always been scared of losing my mum.

I heaved a deep sigh…. Mama is gone? Instantly, emotions welled up like a flowing river from within me and my eyes were filled with tears as I managed to end the telephone call. I found myself sobbing my eyes wet, with a nagging thought in my heart like “the day I feared most had finally come: mama was no more.”

To be honest, I had always been scared of losing my mum. I mean I knew she would die someday, but I didn’t expect it would be that very day. I also knew mama was well advanced in age, yet I had the secret wish that she would stay on earth a bit longer. After all, despite her old age, she was still relatively strong in her body and she always had the love and care she needed from her children and grandchildren. Her health had also remained relatively stable until she suddenly had a relapse two weeks before her demise.

Mama came, she saw and she conquered! That’s the feeling all of us her children share.

There I was standing in my sitting room on that fateful Saturday morning when the news of her death filtered into my ear drums. At first, I had tried not to cry aloud but I couldn’t. I then walked from the sitting room towards the kitchen to tell my wife, Jennifer, about the sad news I just received. I sobbed for a while in her warm embrace as she tried to console me. I then regained my composure, but not fast enough as not to allow my first son notice that everything didn’t seem well with his daddy.

“Mummy, why is daddy crying,” he asked, “did he fall down?”

“No Best, he didn’t fall down. Don’t worry, he will be fine,” my wife tried to explain to the boy.

I wouldn’t blame him; he had never seen me cry since he was born three years ago. Besides, he is only a child and would not even understand the full meaning of death. How would we have explained to him that his paternal grandmother was no more? The last time mama saw him, she was very fond of him; they bonded well together.

I was still a bachelor when mama told me she would be ready to go ‘home’ only when I had given her a grandchild.

I remember then, Mama heart’s was really glad that she had seen a grandson from her last born child – Me! Some years back, I was still a bachelor when mama told me she would be ready to go ‘home’ only when I had given her a grandchild. Over the years that followed, I never forgot those words!

Despite her being advanced in age, I am glad that she didn’t die until her wish came through. In fact, I would say she had more than her wish because she had two grandchildren through my wife and I – in addition to several others from my older siblings and their respective spouses. In all respect, she died a happy woman, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Fulfilled!

I wept on hearing the news of mum’s passing. But moments later that same day, the negative emotions I felt about her passing began to wane and positive stimulations about her life and times began to well up from my spirit.

Mama came, she saw and she conquered! That’s the feeling all of us her children share. I for one, her exit made me cry. But at the same time, I felt relieved when I began to put things in the proper perspective. I am convinced that she had gone to be with the Lord, because till her death, she maintained an unwavering faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as her Lord and Saviour. It was this realisation that gave my siblings and I the greatest consolation of heart we needed.

I know I would not be able to describe all things my mother represented, but I know I wrote from my heart.

As I very well recall, naturally, I wept on hearing the news of mum’s passing. But moments later that same day, the negative emotions I felt about her passing began to wane and positive stimulations about her life and times began to well up from my spirit. Suddenly, I thought about her strict love, fearlessness, self-discipline, self-control, contentment, patience, courage, independent mindedness, industry, smiling face, generosity, strong faith in God, fidelity, sense of loyalty and many other sublime qualities too numerous to mention in this space.

In response to the positive thoughts overflow, I pulled by tablet device and began to type as fast as I could and as the words flowed. In the end I came up with these verses of poetic expression below that informed that title of this discourse. I know I would not be able to describe all things my mother represented, but I know I wrote from my heart.

TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER

Mama, today you are gone from our midst
But you are not gone from our hearts
Cos we will always remember you
Though you are no more here
Your legacies remain alive with us
You were a mother like no other
You were unique in your own ways.

You lived your life the best way you could

You lived your life the best way you could
You ran the race God set before you
Now you have gone the way of all men
We are sad that you are gone,
But we will always celebrate you.

You found the gospel light at a tender age
And you followed it till you breathe your last
You did not only find the way of Christ
You pointed it out for us your children to follow
You told us you knew no other way, but the way of Christ.

You were a mother like no other

You told us to follow Jesus Christ
Till our days on earth are gone
Now that you are no more here
God will help us to follow through
You taught us how to give the tithe to God
Since the time we were kids
Now that we are grown men and women
We have not forgotten this lesson of yours.

You were a mother like no other
You proved that love and discipline can go together
You never spared the rod to spoil the child
You never feared any man, except God
You showed courage even in danger
You stood for what you believed in
Even when no one else stood with you

You are a shining example of faithfulness, loyalty and discipline

You never went back on your words
You always did what you promised
Your face always carried a cheerful smile
That radiated to those around you
The daughters of men testify of your generosity
Your love was strict, but it was also true
We are glad we had the chance to know this.

You are a shining example of faithfulness, loyalty and discipline
You stayed faithful to God until your last breath
You were loyal to our father even in death
And you disciplined us in love unto maturity
You may be gone from our eyes
But you will never be gone from our hearts.
Adieu Mama, a woman of faith and focus.

 

Copyright| Victor Uyanwanne

THE BEST FAMILY TO BE BORN INTO

THE BEST FAMILY TO BE BORN INTO

What family would you love to have been born into? Given a second chance would you be okay to still be born into your current family?

Contrary to what you may think, the best family to be born into is the very one you were born into – irrespective of its social status. It is the best because it was divinely arranged, whether you like it or not.

To question being born into the family you were born into is to question God.

Dad, You Can’t Disown Your Son; Son Neither Can You!

Why a father and a son should not disown each other.

Some parents often use unkind words on their children, without caring much about the negative effects such words have on them. Researches have shown that yelling at children or speaking harshly to them negatively affects their self-esteem.

Apart from speaking unkind words and yelling at their children, some parents go as far issuing unnecessary threats too. For example, imagine a dad who lashed at his son in a very strong voice, “….I will disown you.”

That’s really unfair to the child! Forget whether the dad meant it or not, that’s not the issue here now. We know that many angry parents who threaten to disown their children never get to do so. But why use such a threat?

 Truth be told, when a parent threatens to disown a child over some irregular behaviour, or for whatever reason, what comes to the fore more is the lack of a good sense of responsibility on the part of the parent than the foolishness of the child.

Apart from the negative psychological effects such words have on the child, such threats also cast some doubts on the level of maturity of the man as a father. I say this because a mature, patient and responsible parent should know better ways to handle his child’s misdeeds than to issue a threat to disown him or her over such behaviour.

An average teenager does not like to be threatened; parents ought to know better.

Truth be told, when a parent threatens to disown a child over some irregular behaviour, or for whatever reason, what comes to the fore more is the lack of a good sense of responsibility on the part of the parent than the foolishness of the child. Why would a parent contemplate disowning his own biological child, under any circumstance? Bring up any reason and I will tell you that it is not acceptable.

 Whether your dad lives up to your expectation or not, he is still your dad. You don’t even have the right to disrespect him, let alone repudiate his fatherhood.

Let me be frank with you, it is a mark of parental irresponsibility for a parent to disown his child over some unruly behaviour of the child. Parents should take full responsibility for a child’s behaviour. One way or another, parents contribute to whatever behaviour their children put up in life.

To the father, whether it appears so to you or not, your kid is yours forever; you are his dad and he is your son. Whether he behaves well or not, you belong to him and he belongs to you. I mean, he didn’t ask to be brought into the world; it was your choice and your decision. So as long as those words are true, you could not really disown him.

To the child, your dad is yours forever. It doesn’t matter that you were not consulted before he and your mum took the decision to birth you into the world. Do you realise at all that your dad was also not consulted before his own parents gave birth to him? So show some understanding with your dad, please. Whether your dad lives up to your expectation or not, he is still your dad. You don’t even have the right to disrespect him, let alone repudiate his fatherhood.

 It should go without saying that no matter happens, a father should not disown his own biological child, and neither should a child disown his dad.

Several years ago, I watched on TV as ace Nigerian comedian, Tariah Basorge Jnr, told the joke of two kinds of dads who threatened their boys that they would be disowned if they continued with some certain unacceptable behaviour. I can’t recap the story with the exact words he used, but the joke sounded something like this:

The first Dad, wealthy and elitist by all means, threatened his son, “James, if you continue with this type of behaviour, I will disown you.”

James, realizing he had done wrong, replies in an apologetic tone, “Dad, I am sorry. Please don’t disown me. I promise to behave better going forward.”

Second Dad, poor and struggling to earn a living, said to his own son, “John, if you continue with this type of behaviour, I will disown you.”

John, feeling his father’s threat was inconsequential responded, “Disown me? Of what use is it being your son anyway? In fact, I have ‘defathered’ you already. When, my teacher asked us to invite our parents to the school the other day for PTA meeting, did I invite you?”

No parent has any sufficiently justifiable basis to use the words, “I disown you” on his child.

Even though the story was meant to be a joke, the implication is very serious. It is really sad how a dad and a son’s relationship degenerated to the extent like that between John and his dad. The two scenarios paint different pictures worthy of further consideration.

First, James’s response may be considered good enough whereas his father’s threat was as inappropriate as that of John’s father. But John’s response is condemnable by all means. That’s irresponsibility on his part!

All the same, it should go without saying that no matter happens, a father should not disown his own biological child, and neither should a child disown his dad. While I am not trying to say that parents should condone unruly behaviour of their children, it must be stated that parents should not use some kind of negative words on their kids.

When it comes to addressing the misdeeds of a child, a parent should never use “I disown you” on the child. Similarly, when a child comes face to face with the shortcomings of his parent, he should never use “I disown you” on the old block. No parent has a sufficiently justifiable basis to use such words. And no child should say that to any of his parents either.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

 

 

©Copyright 2015 – Victor Uyanwanne

THINK MORE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF

THINK MORE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF
By Victor Uyanwanne
31/03/2015

On my fourth wedding anniversary recently, while doing an online search on WordPress, I was fortunate to stumble on a Seth Adam Smith’s article, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

On the surface, the title of the article appeared to me to be somewhat discouraging marriage. And to be honest, at first I found that very unacceptable because I have always looked forward to being married; I got married and established my belief that marriage is for me. So you can imagine how infuriated I felt when I first saw the audacious title, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

“How could he say that?” I queried into an empty air. Anyway, out of sheer curiosity, I proceeded to read the article. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that there was more to the article than its title seemed to portray. I came to realise that the article didn’t say one should not get married, neither did it say that one made a mistake by getting married. But it succinctly embodied the principle, amongst others, that married people should think of their spouses and their needs more than they think of themselves.

Furthermore, I came to realise that I totally agree with Seth on the ideas he pushed forward in the article. “You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy…,” he opined. Even though he credited his father with it, the wisdom he expressed in the statement appeared simple in nature, yet very profound: “… Love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.”

I believe the assertion is in line with what Apostle Paul told the Philippians several centuries ago: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Phil. 2:3, NIV). For our purpose here, we can paraphrase this to say, “Spouse, don’t be selfish towards your partner. Be humble; ascribe more value to your spouse than you ascribe to yourself”.

Therefore, in saying “marriage isn’t for you”, I came to the understanding that Seth meant that “Marriage is about the person you married,” not necessarily about you.

SETH & WIFE
SETH & WIFE/www.dailymail.co.uk634 × 353

In Seth’s own words:

.… A true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?””
“And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered”  (Emphasis mine).

In the final analysis, it became more obvious that in marriage relationships:

• We should think more about our spouses than we expect them to think about us.
• We should give to our spouses more than we expect them to give us.
• We should love our spouses more than we expect them to love us.
• We should give more honour to our spouses than we expect them to give to us.
• We should forgive and tolerate the bahaviour of our spouses more than we expect them to do for us;
• If we don’t like it when our spouses annoy us, why do we not care a hoot when we annoy them?

I am convinced that if we sow happiness in our spouses, the fruit will show up in our own lives.

References:
http://sethadamsmith.com/literal-odyssey/marriage-isnt-for-you/ accessed on 26/03/2015

http://sethadamsmith.com/2013/11/02/marriage-isnt-for-you/ accessed on 26/03/2015

 

HAPPY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY TO US

HAPPY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY TO US

By Victor Uyanwanne

MR & MRS VICTOR UYANWANNE

Today is March 26, 2015. To everyone else, it may look like any other day. But to my wife, Jenny and I, it is our fourth year wedding anniversary. Somehow, just like any other happily married couple, we have a right to see the day as special. I believe you agree with me.

Exactly 1460 days ago, I got married to My Love (that’s what I call her). You see, time flies! But it seemed like yesterday, when our wonderful friends and our ever-supportive families gathered to see me get married to the most beautiful lady on earth. Smiles!

VICTOR & JENNIFER UYANWANNE WITH PASTORS AND DEACONESSES PRESENT AT THE WEDDING

I can still recall how very happy I was on that day. Believe me, I was happy and it showed. But beyond the butterflies in my stomach and the radiant smiles on my face then, to the delight of everyone present, I also sang a song for my wife’s pleasure during our wedding reception. (I had written the song for this purpose).

“You made me feel so special in the eyes of everyone”. That was what my wife said to me after the special song rendition I did for her. Well, to me, I didn’t just make her feel special – She is special, very special.

JENNIFER UYANWANNE

I didn’t have the voice of a Celine Dion. But with my heart filled with divine love, I sang the song with my-good-enough voice and made my wife very happy. Isn’t that what matters?

Here is the first verse of the song. Hopefully, in future we will do a music video out of it (smiles):

I love you, JennyVICTOR UYANWANNE
I love you from my heart
I meant it when I stood before God’s holy altar
And I said “I do”
Now there is nothing that can happen
That will make me change my mind
This is from heart

Four years down the road, my joy still knows no bounds. I have no doubt that she feels same way too. As we encapsulated in the toast on our wedding invitation card, for us it was:

Friendship made in Heaven
Established in love on Earth
To be together forever

VICTOR & JENNIFER UYANWANNE - TRADITIONAL OUTFIT

That was how we felt then. That is how we still feel today. By the grace of God, we will always feel that way.

……… My wife was still asleep when I rushed off to the office this morning. But it doesn’t make the day less special for us. The coming weekend will be a good time to celebrate our four years of marital bliss. (Please, understand that we also had a share of our challenges. But we are always overcoming them).

Meanwhile, as I began to settle down to begin the days work, I quickly sent a BBM chat to my wife:

“My greatest joy is that you are the one I married. Happy wedding anniversary, my Love.”  Almost immediately, I got a response from her:

“Yeah! Thanks. It’s been four years of happiness. I’m glad you are my husband. Happy wedding anniversary to us.”

What more can I say?

MR & MRS VICTOR UYANWANNE WITH SAMUEL UYANWANNEMR & MRS VICTOR UYANWANNEVICTOR & JENNIFER UYANWANNE WITH BARRISTER & MRS ESEZOBORVICTOR & JENNIFER UYANWANNE WITH LITTLE GROOM & LITTLE BRIDE WALKING INVICTOR & JENNIFER UYANWANNE WITH PASTORS AND DEACONESSES PRESENT AT THE WEDDINGVICTOR & UYANWANNEVICTOR UYANWANNE RECEIVING THE BRIDE FROM HER DADVICTOR UYANWANNE WITH LITTLE GROOM BEST UYANWANNE

WHAT TOLERANCE REALLY MEANS

WHAT TOLERANCE REALLY MEANS
By Victor Uyanwanne
13/03/2015

I have always been interested in learning new words and I have usually made conscious effort towards achieving that aim. I remember way back in school when we were much younger when we used to keep “New Words and Meaning” notebooks as a deliberate strategy to enhance our knowledge of English words. Those notebooks were really helpful then in building our capacity to understanding English as a second language.

Somehow, I have carried the habit of learning new words into my adult life, but with a different strategy. Thanks to the revolution in ICT! For instance, I subscribed to an offer by my telecom service provider to send me one new English word and its meaning, every day. I have been enjoying this service for years now without fail. This service has afforded me a convenient medium of learning the meaning of many new words and also refreshing my memory with the ones I already knew their meanings.

Along this line recently, while at work, the text message alert on my phone beeped as usual. When I checked the new word that was ‘delivered’ to me, the meaning I saw totally opened a new perspective to me on what I thought I already knew about that word. That was when it hit me to write this piece. Please read on.

What is the word we are talking about here? “Tolerance”! That’s it. I know the word is not new to you as people frequently use it; what I don’t know is how much of its real meaning you really have understood and applied in your own sphere of influence.

You may probably have been tempted to think that tolerance strictly means to put up with something or someone with very nasty, horrible, terrible or poignant attributes. smiles! But look at this definition below and compare it with what you already know about the meaning of the word:

“Tolerance: Willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from your own.”

I don’t know about you, but the definition above opened up an entirely new vista to me, of which I am glad. It shows for instance that tolerance didn’t say we should put up with evil or bad things or bad people, as some people may think. But it clearly portrays “willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from [our] own.”

Now let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of the said definition:

• Willingness to accept
• Behaviour and beliefs
• Different from your own

To be honest, tolerance should be required wherever there are inter human relationships because you will always meet people whose behaviour and beliefs are different from yours.

Due to a number of varied factors such as genetic make-up, family background, religion, education, geography, exposure, life experiences etc, all of us believe different things and behave differently from one another. That means that at any point in time in your chequered life, you will always see people who behave or believe differently from you. In order to coexist harmoniously with such people, you should be willing to accept such different behaviour or beliefs, if they cannot be changed.

Talking about changing people’s behaviour and beliefs, experience has shown that many people are aware that some other people do not share their behaviour or beliefs. But sometimes they are unwilling to accept such other people who do not share their outlook. This is often the beginning of unnecessary conflicts.

However, you may only try to effect some changes on peoples’ bahaviour or beliefs if possible to suite yours; but you shouldn’t try to use force. You can’t change anyone who doesn’t really want to be changed. You can only influence such persons.

When it comes to changing someone’s behaviour or beliefs, influence should be the operating word, not force. Otherwise, you must bring to bare the willingness to accept their behaviour and beliefs which you perceive to be different from your own and which you cannot change. That, my friend, is the real meaning of tolerance.

Bear in mind that tolerance is a seed; as you sow it, you will reap the sweet harvest. Besides don’t you realize that others would have to tolerate you too? I believe you know that not all your behaviour and beliefs are acceptable to everyone you come in contact with! Although, I cannot guarantee it, they too ought to be willing to accept your behaviour and beliefs which are different from their own. There is no worthwhile relationship that doesn’t require tolerance in between.

Like all good habits, tolerance doesn’t just happen to us; it has to be cultivated deliberately and ‘open-heartedly’. It is very important to cultivate it because you will need it if you desire to build a meaningful, harmonious and long-lasting relationship of any kind with people.

Here are a few areas where we can apply the principle of tolerance:
• At home, between spouses , amongst siblings or other family members;
• At work , between you and your boss, colleagues or direct reports;
• In your neighourhoods, amongst cotenants, etc
• Amongst your friends, classmates in schools etc
• In churches, with members and leaders alike;
• In other organisations /relationships, etc
• In fact, anywhere you come in contact with humans.

People are different. You are not everyone and everyone is not you. Therefore, there will always be differences in behaviour and beliefs between you and others. There would be conflicts all the time in all kinds of human relationships if the principle of tolerance is not imbibed. The extent to which you realise this differences and how well you are willing to accept and manage them depict your level of tolerance at any given period of time.

GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S INCAPACITY

GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S INCAPACITY

By Victor Uyanwanne

The challenges of life are far too many for a man to handle all alone. That is why God gave a woman (a wife) to the first man He created, to be of help to him. Therefore marriage is God’s answer to man’s incapacity to meet the demands of life alone without help.

To those who are married, please protect the sanctity of your marriages. To the yet to be married, please seek to be married and trust God to give you spouse from above.

Tony Nwaokolo’s Wedding

I was there… to see my friend, Tony, take his heartthrob to the alter in holy matrimony.

It was delayed, but never denied.
Love and patience triumphed over all.
God at work, always!
CONGRATULATIONS my friend, Tony Nwaokolo
HAPPY MARRIED LIFE TO YOU AND TONIA.

GROOM N BRIDE DOING THEIR THING THE GROOM, TONY WITH A FRIEND, VICTOR TONY FEEDING HIS BRIDE, TONIA TONY, TONIA, VICTOR COUPLE WITH GROOM'S MEN