Love in marriage is a decision more than an emotion

Many people understand and feel love as an emotion, but love is not just an emotion, it is a decision to be made, especially in marriage or any other relationship. Love is an act that generates emotions we feel and crave. It is good to be loved and be loving to others, especially our spouse. That is why God commanded husbands to love their wives, He did not stop there, He commanded us to love one another deeply. Meaning a wife must love her husband too, children love their parents and so on. God commanded us to go further and show deep love in 1 peter 4:8 “most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins”. For a successful marriage, you must always decide to love your spouse, because the reality is your spouse is going to hurt you the most, oh it will be a multitude of sins. People often expect their spouse to know them so well, not to offend them. You know what, it is the person who stands closest to you, that is most likely to step on your toes. It is easy to love from afar, but when you are married you can no longer love from afar. This is where God asks for your obedience, are you going to obey God or follow your emotions? There are many times I do not feel I love my husband because of pain or arguments, but one thing I am so sure of is, I love him. I may not feel it, but I am sure I love him. Hence, I will cook and serve his food and try to resolve whatever is making me not to feel his love at that moment. This did not come naturally to me, I had to learn it due to experiences of past mistakes. I used to understand love as an emotion so, if I do not feel like I love him, I am not going to behave lovingly, God taught me a lesson and a hard one for that matter. He said when I do that, I am walking in disobedience, therefore some of my prayers that were unanswered were due to walking in disobedience. It was a light bulb moment when I got the inspiration that to love in pain or hurt is to choose to obey God. Obedience is better than sacrifice, do not sacrifice your marriage your joy, love and peace because of your disobedience to love deeply. When you love deeply as an act, you will be able to cover the multitude of sins. It is not easy, but you can decide and learn to love not because of your feelings, but because Jesus commanded you to love and you want to obey Him. 

4 practical ways to love your spouse intentionally.

#1 Love Your spouse because you are married now – This is unconditional love and agape love, once you are married your love is no longer based on what your spouse did or did not do. You must just love your spouse simply because she is your wife, or he is your husband and nothing more. Most people who fall out of love in marriage based their love on the expectation that their spouse will meet their needs, make them happy, listen and be obedient and so many other reasons. Once those reasons are not met, they no longer feel loved. Our heavenly father has shown us what agape love is, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. If God was waiting for mankind to come back to their senses and become holy, there would be no salvation. We all will continue in our sinful ways and even still do now. Even now that you are saved by the grace of salvation, are men living perfectly holy lives? We continue to pursue perfection as God gives us the grace of repentance, should we fail. This is the kind of love that sustains a marriage. As a husband, you just love your wife because she is your wife, as a wife you just love him because he is your husband. That is why you must choose well before committing to a marriage. If you have a “but” that you cannot accommodate before marriage, it is better not to marry because that but will be exposed and even made bigger when you start living together. It is a choice you make and continually remind yourself. When I tell a few of my couple friends who hold me and my husband accountable some of the issues I went through, they sometimes gasp for breath and wondered why I still love my husband so dearly, despite the pain. The truth is, I just love him for who is to me, not because of what he has done and has not done. Adegoke Apalara is my husband and I am immensely proud to be his wife, I always tell my friends, I am the right woman for my husband, and he is the right man for me. Until you have this type of conviction, you will find it difficult to love unconditionally. 

#2 Support your spouse all the time – this is probably the greatest test of true love in any relationship. It is what makes people believe that someone absolutely loves them. I remember when I was growing up as a young girl, my mother would always tell me integrity is key and that the only reason she would ever deeply be disappointed in me, is when I am found to have failed the integrity test. I remembered I took some money out of her money box one day, she caught me red-handed, but I quickly threw the coin into muddy water outside of our house. My mum made me waddle through the puddle to look for this coin, but I could no longer find it. She then embarrassed me in front of my peers telling them I have stolen and people who steal will end up in jail. I could never forget the shame I felt and promised myself never to steal money again. Years went by and I was falsely accused by a neighbour of stealing some items because I had been to their compound along with other children. What love I felt when my mum showed up to defend me and supported me, she stood by my words and confronted my accusers. Upon her strong support and conviction, the accusers eventually found what they thought was lost and apologised profusely to me and my mum. What that taught me was a deep sense of love from my mum, she believed and supported me even in the face of being embarrassed in case the accusation was indeed a truth. This is what marriage needs, whether your spouse is right or wrong, you are there as a pillar of support, it proves you are reliable and can be trusted to come to your spouse’s rescue. If you must face embarrassing situations together do so, stand by your spouse in front of your friends, colleagues, family and defend their integrity. However, most marriages are not like this, husbands devalue their wives in the presence of their family, friends and colleagues and vice versa. When there are challenges or disagreement, as a spouse you refuse to show up for your partner because you are angry. That is not right and that does not show you know what love is. Love does not seek its own but seeks to comfort the other and it is even more real when it is not convenient. 

#3 Be present even when you do not feel like – there is nothing more reassuring for a spouse than to have the presence of your spouse when you need them the most. I appreciate the presence and not your presents, we all know how that feels when you have a party. If you invite people to a banquet and they all refuse to show up but send you a gift, I do not think that will be of value to anyone. Yet In marriages, we have seen husbands refusing to attend wife’s graduation ceremony because he did not want her to take the course in the first instance. A husband refusing to attend a baby’s naming ceremony because he did not want the baby, yet he was the one who impregnated the woman. A wife refusing to follow her husband to bury his parent because the family never did her any good. So many situations like this and it is so sad that it happens amongst Christians too. Can you imagine what the world would look like if the love of God for us is based on emotions? There would have been days when we would not have the sunrise because of our sins. God could remove the moon and stop the wind from blowing because we do not recognise him as Lord. God’s love is constant, and He shows up even when we are dead in our sins. When Adam and Eve sinned, God knew they had done a bad thing, yet He still called out to Adam. Even though as a just God, they got the consequences of their sins, God did not leave man to die forever. He was looking for ways to reconcile man back to Himself, and that meant He had to pay the price on the cross. What sacrifice are you making for love in your marriage? Once your spouse annoys you, you have checked out emotionally and physically. There is a cost to pay for love just as God laid down His life for man. Why can’t you lay down your pride, your ego, your worth and be selfless? Why do you think you must receive an apology before you make up? Are you bigger than God? It is because God never left us that we continue to love Him and revere Him. Be present in your marriage no matter how you feel, get up and show up when it matters. Be there and then resolve any emotions as soon as possible.

#4 Never without affection and sex – Love in a marriage is characterised by affection and intimacy. You cannot claim to love your spouse but do not act lovingly. Show of affection are indicators of the presence of love in a marriage relationship. Cuddling, holding hands, kissing, speaking with kindness and of course, lovemaking in a marriage shows there is love. Many couples once they argue, out goes lovemaking or any show of affection. I remember when I and my husband had an argument and he said to me, “I do not feel close to you”. But when we hold hands, kissed and make love the feeling of closeness returns as soon as possible. Emotions can get the best of us, but we can control our emotions. Feelings they say are not forever. Unfortunately, some couples allow negative feelings to fester thereby becoming a stronghold that destroys love in their marriage. I recently heard a “supposed marriage counselor” said to a man who was complaining of losing the feeling to be intimate with his spouse, the counselor’s response really took me by surprise. Instead of encouraging this man to engage in agape love and work on putting his feelings in check, he validated that feeling by saying “yes that’s how we men feel when we are angry”. This made the man continue to hold that negative and destructive emotion and ultimately refused to have any intimate or sexual relationship with his wife for over two years. What a waste and what a pity. When I heard this the image that came to my mind is that of a child crying and need to be pacified, the pacifier is what is needed to calm this baby, but do you know what!  the baby refused the pacifier and kept it away. Sex in marriage and emotional bonding is what couples need to engage to continue to prove their love and cement that love in a marriage. Do not withhold sex or affection, even when you are angry, allow yourself to be pacified by love. In marriage it is not being buttered up, I also heard a man saying when my wife and I engage in sexual activities, I feel am being buttered up. What do you expect in a marriage? Where else do you want to feel vulnerable? The ability to resist sexual advances is not a skill or gift needed in a marriage. If you are not yielding to sexual flirtations in your marriage, you are killing the passion and flame of love. If you are not falling for the skirt in your marriage, where else do you want to fall? 

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse.

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Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to. 

Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counsellors and began to see what I was missing. 

After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.

My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. Pre-order here


Value and Respect in Marriage (2): A husband that respects his wife.

When a man is not a valuable asset to his family, his worth depreciates, even when his wife so gladly or grudgingly wants to obey God to respect and honour her husband, it can be quite difficult and challenging. This is an area of challenge in many marriages. Couples need to grow and develop with the help of the holy spirit. We have no trouble loving our spouses at all times, but when couples engage in respect eroding actions; it becomes a very real struggle to continue to hold each other in high esteem and honour. 

A respectable man must not lose it, a honourable man must guard his honour. That is why earthly kings do not do dirty jobs by themselves. A man must maintain honour and have self-respect if he wants to continue to be respected. When a new leader gets in a position of authority, people honour and respect them for that position, Their words and promises are held in high esteem, for leaders who go on to stay true to their words and fulfil all their promises or are even seen trying if not meeting all, the respect and admiration grow and continue to grow. Some of those leaders become icons and people want to be like them, they are forgiven if they err once or twice but when a pattern of failure starts to surface, the respect begins to erode. 

The more people get to know a leader, the less their words weigh, and the more their actions weigh. In a marriage, it is the same for respect and honour, husbands are automatically given a position of honour and respect when they become married. All the sweet words and promises made during courtship to win over his wife has earned him respect and honour, such that the woman left other suitors to cling to her husband. That is the highest respect and honour a woman can give a man; ‘to allow you to be my head and that I will submit my body, my intellect, my money, my worth and my all to you as my husband is the highest honour, women give to men’. That is why the bible says, if you find a wife, you find a good thing and have found favour in the sight of God. 

As a husband, you did somethings to earn your wife’s respect and honour before marriage and those were mostly done with words and promises, maybe a few acts too. Once you are married, empty words will no longer cut it, some men feel they can trick and trap women into marriage, and once they are captured. They turn 180 degrees and feel they have no more responsibility to continue to behave in honourable manner, provide and protect the wife and be a man of value. Instead, they sit on the throne of marriage as the head and expect to be respected whether they are doing a good job or not. I have once heard a story of a man, who said to his wife, “you have to respect me, even when I am behaving very bad and not nice to you”. If he is wise to give this counsel, I think such a man should be wiser to counsel himself to behave well, rather than continue to behave badly and expect respect. 

When you sit an examination, you cannot deliberately write the wrong answers and expect to come out with good results and expect people to congratulate and celebrate you. This is Ludacris yet, these are some of the unhealthy beliefs held by some men in marriage, especially those who demand respect because they cannot command respect by their actions. Ironically, not just men behaving poorly demands respect, women also encourage and cheer them on. 

It is your job as a woman to clean up the man, love him, feed him, and respect him still. The bible says in Colossians 3:18, ‘Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord’. The bible also says this about husbands in Ephesians 5:25-33 ‘Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church’. Husbands are expressly told to clean up their wives in the bible, yet if a woman is behaving badly, the society condemns the woman, they blame the woman for her actions and does not saddle the man with the responsibility of cleaning her up and loving her irrespective. Yet this is what the Lord commanded. 

Man, you have a responsibility to God to make your marriage work as much as the woman. While a woman must and should submit to her husband out of reverence to the Lord, even when her husband is behaving badly, it does not give the man, licence to continue to do evil and demand respect. Man, you are the leader of your marriage, you are the head and when a leader claims success and refuses to take responsibility for failure, then he is not a true leader. When you rise as a man to take responsibility and provide value that increases your respect, you will not need to demand or force your wife to respect you. 

As a husband and head of the home, by position you are honourable and respected. Please do not allow the enemy, tradition or lack of wise counsel rob you of your honour. Act in ways that increases your value and significance in your marriage.

It is even worse in the Christian circle, men choose to ignore this admonition by Timothy: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. ‘Wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord’, has been used as an excuse by many men who claim to know God, to escape their responsibilities, and commitment to making their marriage work, someone recently calls this – Spiritual Abuse. Spiritual abuse is the use of biblical references to forcefully make someone do what they do not want to do.  

A wife deserves respect from her husband. Respect is reciprocal, you cannot continue to devalue your wife, and expect her to hold you in high esteem. Some women against their wish, sometimes disrespect their husbands out of the need for self-respect. If a wife is not valued, respected, and being treated like a nonentity, but she knows her worth as a woman God created, there will come a time, she may need to respect herself. And that is often seen as disrespect, disobedience, or refusal to submit to her husband. If the condition a woman finds herself is derogatory, abusive, and impractical. 

The bible speaks about mutual submission, husbands and wives must respect each other, submission is not one way and I want to correct the notion that respect is more important for the man. If a man wants respect, then he should be a able to give respect. Do unto others what you want others to do to you. A man deserves respect as the head of the house, as the husband, therefore if this is your greatest need, you must also be very careful to give respect to your wife, your children, and other people. 

Society and church alike, do not like to talk about men respecting women, it sounds unheard of that a man should respect his woman. Respect is linked to value; a wife is a valuable asset in the life of the husband. She does what he cannot do (give birth) or what he does not want to do. As your helpmeet, does she not deserve to be thanked, appreciated, honoured, and respected? Godly man, you need to respect the woman in your life. 

Parents teach your male children as you teach females to respect each other. Everybody deserves respect and there is dignity in labour. ln 1 peter 3:7 “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” The bible refers to women as weaker vessels not because they are weak in character or strength, but because they are delicate. God wants a man to deal with his wife in a gentle and honourable manner. 

I wonder why a man of noble character will be out of control and raises his hand to beat a woman. This is one of the fastest ways to erode your respect and honour as a man. Most times women are smaller in stature and probably in physical strength, of course, there are exceptions. Why would a man of honour and respect descend so low, to lose self-control and disciplines his wife, the mother of his children, the one who feeds him, gives her body to satisfy his sexual needs, and will bend over backward to ensure the household is looked after, Why?

Man, you should evaluate and understand how valuable your wife is to you, if you do, you will hold her in high esteem. There is no state of anger or annoyance that should make you raise your hand to beat a woman. It is the greatest sin against yourself and a very disrespectful act. Please never engage in such if you want to remain honourable and highly esteemed by your wife. 

Hebrews 13:4 says, let marriage be held in honour among all. A married woman and married man are honourable and must treat each other with respect. 

If you feel disrespected in your marriage and you have been fighting to be respected, you can make a change by renewing your mind, act respectfully, change disrespecting behaviours and see yourself becoming a person of honour and adored by all. After all, you are a king in your marriage castle. As a man you are honoured in your marriage, please be careful to maintain that position.


Value and Respect (Part 1)

Value and respect go hand in hand, most people who are highly respected are people who are valuable to society. They have earned that respect by the body of works they have done, either academic achievements or philanthropic or even just being good mentors due to their wealth of experience and sharing that experience with other people. Value attracts respect and value commands respect. In a marriage, one the most important need of a man is respect, God knows that when he created man and put that craving in his heart.

However, God also commanded man to work, he commanded him to love his wife and not to provoke his children, these will ensure a man becomes a man of value and therefore becomes a respectable person. There are three areas in a man’s life which are significant but when they are not properly handled, can erode the respect and adoration, man craves so desperately. I want us to examine these three areas to reveal how a husband can erode respect or fail to command respect in his marriage. 

‘A valuable and respectable husband must be a man of honour, he must respect himself, respect his children and respect his wife’. 


Matthew 5: 13 says “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. A man that does not have self-respect will find it hard to be respected by other people, including his wife and children. As a man and husband, you are automatically in a position of respect. There are actions and behaviours that ensures a man maintains and commands respect, he is treated with respect because he has self-respect. For example, having a means of livelihood, being able to provide for and protect his family, behaving in a respectable manner and so on. A man who does not have a means of livelihood and he is not trying to make a living as a married man has already disrespected himself. A man who cannot provide for his family is worse than an infidel the bible says. A man who cannot handle a crisis, make a decision and keep his family in order without violence, has lost self-respect. An alcoholic or a man who is addicted to drugs, games, illict sex will eventually lose his self-respect. As a man, you must realise, your value is linked to your values and behaviours, hence you must be disciplined to guard yourself and preserve your self-respect. If you lose your self-respect, it will be difficult for other people including your wife to add respect to your life, just as it is difficult to restore salt’s saltiness if lost. It is therefore important to have self respect as a husband in order to be respected and valued in your marriage as it should be.

1 Timothy 3 is a summary of a respectable and valuable husband. “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his household, how will he care for God’s church? There are so many points in the scripture above to be considered by any man who wants to be adored, valued and respected by his family.

The bible says he must be above reproach. A reproached is someone who has received criticism, disproval, or disappointing others that is justified by their actions. Sin brings reproach, any sinful action will bring reproach, therefore as a husband who deserves respect, you must choose to live a lifestyle free of reproach. When you embrace sin, then be ready to lose our respect. You cannot continue in sin and ask the grace of God to increase, sinful actions will erode your value in the face of God and also in the face of your wife, children and other people. A man of one wife means you are not looking elsewhere for love and satisfaction; you are investing in your marriage.

Once a man starts to cheat on his wife whether emotionally or physically, his value begins to depreciate. I want you to know as a man, that the marriage bed is sacred and undefiled, the moment you are crossing the line to engage in infidelity, then you are disrespecting yourself, your spouse and your marriage. You can no longer be adored and honoured and so you begin to lose your self-respect. God knows you will be tempted but he gave you a will and a choice and a way of escape. Violence is a very fast route to losing your self-respect, situations will occur in a marriage that will make you angry, but the choice to respond with violence is solely yours. When the bible says be angry but do not sin, he makes allowance for our emotions, yes, we can be angry but to be violent is sin and not of God. As a husband, realise your spouse can act in ways that will make you angry, you must, however, be disciplined, self-controlled and honourable enough to know, responding with violence means you will erode the respect and honour you want from your marriage. Learn how to handle tense situations, plan, prepare ahead of it happening and be aware you cannot afford to lose your dignity for mere arguments. 

A good father respects his children

The bible admonishes fathers specifically in Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” and again in Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. This means a father can provoke his children. Please as a father, do not shout, scream or make your children respect you out of fear. Do you know that respect comes out of love and adoration? When you love your children, they will adore you, honour you and hold you in the highest esteem. Love for children means time and provision together. If you have no time for your children, but provides all the money they need, you will miss it. If you have time but unable to meet their basic needs, you will also miss it. You have to provide for their basic needs and spend time with your children.

They are judging you on your character, how you treat your wife and other people. The greatest mistake some men make is to maltreat their wives and expect their children to love and respect them. Your actions speak louder than your words. The best gift to a child is to be raised by two loving parents who love each other, as much as they love their children. Fathers respect your children, do not provoke them to anger by your actions.

The Lord Jesus has provided you with the best manual on how to be a respectable father, He loves and never forces His will on His children. God gives and gives out of the expression of His love for us, we come to fear Him and honour Him, not because he is an angry God but because He is a loving and forgiving God. Do not use fear to get your children to respect you, it may work for a while, but you will be provoking them to anger, which they will later turn on you when they are older. Respect your children, they have their minds, they are small people who deserve to be heard and respected. Don’t take away the dignity of your children because of your authority as a father, treat your children as our heavenly father treats his children.

Be loving and kind. Discipline them without violence, but gently instruct and admonish them. The best way you can teach and discipline your children is by being a role model to them. They see what you do and copy that quickly, more than what you tell them to do. 

We will look at the third point in part 2A husband that respects his wife.


What does it mean to honour your parents in your marriage?

Honour your father and mother so that your days on earth may be long – Exodus 20:12 has been a verse in the bible that most parents have used to keep their children obedient.

I also tell my children the importance of honouring me and their dad as parents because it is tied to having a long life. I am sure to threaten and coerce children into obedience was not the reason God gave this commandment.

In a devotional I read recently, it said the commandment was first given to adult children. I agree with this statement because the ten commandments were issued to the Israelites. There was nowhere it specifically states, it was for young children. No matter how old you are, you are still a child to someone, to your parent you will always be a child. Therefore, to apply this verse as a tool to enforce obedience or coerce children to honour was not God’s intention.

To honour is not only about respect and obedience, to honour means to hold in high regard. The dictionary meaning of honour is “high respect; great esteem.” It means you understand because your father and mother are your parents, they’ve forever brought you into this world. That you couldn’t have brought yourself into this world, is a good enough reason to hold your parents in high esteem. It is very easy to honour fathers and mothers who go beyond just bringing us into this world, but also cared for and nurtured us. If you are very lucky to have a father or mother that sacrificed their time, money and other resources. They loved you sacrificially, supported your growth to become the person you are today, to honour them will not be a difficult task. Honouring our parents become a problem when we feel, they do not deserve to be held in high esteem. It is rightfully so when someone does not behave respectably, their value and respect diminish. Value and respect are linked to how we honour people. But here the bible expressly commands us to honour our parents, without any condition attached.

Therefore, I am going to implore you if you are finding it difficult to honour your father or mother. Because of what they may or may haven’t done, please find it in your heart to forgive them. Choose to obey God’s commandment so that you may lay hold of the blessings of a long life. Now it is not out of fear but out of reverence to God that you honour that abusive father or an absent mother or whatever trouble they may have inflicted on you and others. Jesus turned down requests from his mother Mary because He had to obey His Father in heaven. Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus did not dishonour his mother, He knew the priority at the time was the work of His father. I grew up in with a polygamous father, but I love my dad so much, when I am talking about him to my children, they wonder how I am still able to find good memories and stories to tell about him. I let them realise the love of having him as my father, is not based on what he did or did not do. I just chose to keep the good memories alive and destroy the ones that were not so good. This has helped me to honour my dad, even when so many people who know him would think, he does not deserve to be loved. I love him, honour him and celebrate him on Father’s Day and every day.

You may be asking how would I show my father or mother honour or hold them in high regard?

  1. Acknowledge without them, you will not be on earth, talk less of growing and becoming who you are today.
  2. If they are still alive, forgive them of all their errors, after all, you are not perfect too, if you are asking God to forgive you and allow you into His heaven.
  3. Take care of their needs as best as you can, make sure you show and love them despite their shortcomings.
  4. Call them and speak to them regularly, never let them feel alone.

As you do this, your heavenly father is the one who can give you a long life, he will fulfil that promise because you have obeyed Him.

“You are not going to have a long life because you obeyed your parents. You are going to have a long life because you obey God”.

Does this bring me to how should we honour our parents in marriage? 

Honouring parents in marriage have been twisted to obeying their wishes. Instead of receiving the blessings God promised, honouring parents’ wishes in marriage have contributed to many miseries in marriage.

God commanded a man, to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, that means physical leaving and emotional leaving. It means you have to reprioritise who is important in your life. As a husband, you can no longer rely on your parent for your needs, you have to transfer those support you seek from them to your wife. This is where many men have gotten it wrong. They cling to the person they have known since the day of their birth. Their parents have been guiding and caring for them, suddenly once they are married, they are now required to transfer their trust and look to their wife to meet those emotional needs. What causes the issue is the feeling that they are abandoning their known and most trusted ally, for a stranger who has now come into their lives to take over. Therefore, some men will not fully commit to their wife.

Some cannot even bear to leave their parents’ physical house. If they move out, they find an opportunity to move their parent in, still making sure they are not feeling isolated from the love they have grown to know. This is especially difficult for men who love their parents. It is also vice versa for women, but God expressly gave this commandment to the men. As we can see in our society, in-laws on the men side are often the most feared and are seen as a terror to a marriage. The mother in law lay claim to statements like, “this is my son’s house”. “You are coming to take over my son’s life” and so they become very defensive of their son. What ignorance for a man that allows that and destruction they bring into their marriage? You need to understand and let your parents know you honour and respect them, but as a married man, your wife is your priority. You must ensure that you are not abandoning them, but you must obey God and cleave to your wife. When you get this wisdom and priority right, your marriage will be right. Some people would easily leave their parents and cleave to their spouse physically and emotionally, especially when they is loving and caring, other may not.

Some women would cleave to their husband if he is available but the temptation of returning to parent starts with an unavailable husband. Therefore, the woman goes back to where she knows she will be safe if her husband is abusive and where would she seek counsel? If not from her trusted parent. Again, this needs to be corrected on the women’s side, seek wise counsel from mentors as parents can be biased.

Therefore as a man, I will encourage you to honour you parents but when you become a married man, do not let the commandment and fear to honour your parents make you disobey Gods commandment on loving your wife as Christ loved the church. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty. Some parents are very good at that, they will make you feel guilty, but you are not to succumb to such manipulations. You should assure them; you love them and will take care of them. Once they realise you have made up your mind, they usually take the position you allow them to take. In marriage, husbands and wives should honour both of their parents. Do not abandon them, look after them, if you both agree to live with any of the parents, do so knowing and letting them know, they have no control over your marriage affair. It is even better if you can afford it to leave physically because that will give you and your wife space to bond without any intrusion from them intentionally or unintentionally.

For you as a parent to your children and for those of you married couples who are still trusting God for the fruit, I pray you will become a parent soon. The way you honour your parents will show your children how to honour you. Make sure your children see you talk to your parents with respect, make sure you all call them on their birthdays and special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. Get your children to buy their grandparents’ cards and presents at Christmas and other festivities. Visit them regularly if they live close to you, if not plan holidays so they can see how you cherish your parent. If you have had to forgive your parents because they were not so caring, let your children know and show them how forgiveness works through your actions. They will, in turn, forgive your own mistakes, of which you and I will do, but they would have learnt how to forgive through to your actions. If you do not forgive your parents, you are indirectly teaching your children unforgiveness and that will affect every area of their lives. Let me shock you, “children do as I do” but, “parents say do as I say”. That is why your children will become a version of you if they do not meet Christ.

I hope we can see how to honour our parents in marriage, the world and traditions have twisted it and made it difficult for many marriages to thrive because of family and parents’ intrusion. Keep your home in order, it is never too late to let your parents know you honour them, but they cannot be making decisions in your marriage. If you are too emotionally dependent on your parent, act now, transfer that emotional need to your partner and see your marriage intimacy skyrocket. The peace you have been looking for will suddenly appear and you will enter into your inheritance on earth. A godly and peaceful home is heaven on earth. Most Christians who are going to heaven are supposed to have a taste of heaven on earth, but they are missing it due to lack of knowledge, disobedience and lack of desire to even believe it.

Your marriage can be blissful if only you will be resolute to apply God’s word, leave traditions behind and do not care what the world would say if you choose to follow God.


Maturity is needed to build a successful and happy marriage

Are you wondering why you are having difficulty managing your relationships? 

Being mature is one of the requirements of a person who is going to have a successful relationship especially in a marriage relationship. Maturity is defined in the dictionary as the quality of behaving mentally and emotionally like an adult. 

A mature person is someone who has grown to 18years of age and above. As an adult they ought to have grown and developed, mentally, emotionally, and able to behave responsibly. Some people grow in age but refuse to mature emotionally and mentally and continue to behave in an immature way. 

Immaturity is behaviour that does not show wisdom, emotional and mental development. 

This quote by Eleanor Roosevelt captures the essence of a mature mind. 

 A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who can be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably.

By Eleanor Roosevelt

In marriage, you and your spouse need to be matured in age, emotionally, and mentally. Sometimes people can advance in age but not mature. Some older men and women increase in age but not mature in other areas. They remain immature at an emotional and mental level. 

Immature people are hardened by life trials and struggles, they tend to succumb with self-pity, they have no idea how to manage relationships especially conflicts and therefore they are stressed, confused, and may become insecure.

Below are three indicators of maturity, there are many more, but I believe if you can master these three, you are on your way to maturing and becoming sweet like an old wine.  


At age 18 years a person is now an adult, responsible and accountable for their actions. 

A mature person will take responsibility for any circumstance they find themselves; they own their failure and success and would not blame other people for the outcomes. A mature spouse will take responsibility bestowed upon them in their marriage. If as a spouse, you are still blaming your other half for your failures, lack of progress, inactions, and so on, then you need to work on becoming mature in this area. I used to blame my husband for some of the choices I made in my career path and greatly resented him for the outcome of my choice.

It was not until I owned my failures and accepted, I made those choices by myself due to my convictions. Therefore, as a matured mind, I cannot blame him, I had to pick up myself and develop my career. This time I was aware of my choices and my decisions were based on the outcome I wanted. This helped me to become free from any bitterness and able to relate to him as a loving wife. You have to be objective and do not allow emotions to cloud your judgment when making decisions or accepting decisions made for you in your marriage. Once you accept it, please be ready to own it. It is your responsibility to accept or reject any actions you may or may not like. When you learn to own and take responsibility for your actions, you are less likely to blame and criticise your partner. You are less likely to feel they have cheated you or wrecked you. When you become mature in your marriage relationship, your behavior is down to you and you only.

It is an immature and irresponsible partner that will leave what they ought to do and not do it and then blame their partner for that decision. This is where the trouble starts in a marriage, one partner will behave badly and then blame that action on the other spouse because they made them do it. No that is wrong, your actions are solely your responsibility. The bible says to him who knows how to do good and do it not, it will be counted as a sin. To be matured in marriage is to own your actions, your failures, take responsibility for any circumstance you find yourself.

The good news is you can change yourself; you can decide to grow, and you can make better choices. It is never too late to mature.

Growth Oriented

Maturity does not come naturally as we grow in age, yes physical maturity is happening, but the body is being fed and nurtured in other to grow fully and healthy. If a child is starved of the basic nutrition needed for proper growth, they will become deficient in some areas and end up with stunted growth. There is the need to feed your mind with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate issues of life, in other to become matured emotionally and mentally. Many people have not developed their minds or mental capacity to become matured in this area.

Reading books, learning how to act responsibly, and becoming emotionally intelligent are ways of becoming mature in these areas. However immature people do not want to learn, or they learn and will not apply what they have leaned due to one reason or the other. Sometimes some people because they have grown in age assume, they are mature automatically. Marriage needs people who are emotionally and mentally matured to create a good home. There are going to be many issues and hurdles to cross in marriage, even two best friends, best-matched couples will have to face this challenge.

The difference between a thriving or struggling marriage is directly related to their emotional maturity level. Where one spouse is immature, couples would not be able to resolve differences and conflicts successfully. Unresolved issues will lead to resentment, bitterness violence, and so on. Are you learning how to become a better version of yourself? If you are having issues in your marriage, I will recommend you take a look at yourself and see how you can improve your emotional maturity. If you are still looking at your partner as the problem and wished you could change him, please work on yourself first. Start by reading and investing in your personal development. I am more aware of actions and triggers that affect me emotionally and have since developed and become emotionally intelligent. This has helped me to manage my own emotions and has taken control of how I respond to actions that previously would have set me alight.

I encourage you to develop yourself by seeking to learn and develop yourself not just for marriage relationships, it will impact every other relationship in your life. 

Available and open-minded

A mature person is an open-minded individual, who sees things from a different perspective and can allow other people’s opinions without getting hurt or defensive. They are open to interruptions and are accessible. An immature person is unable to communicate effectively, they will rather go an shut themselves in a room, and wait on their partner to beg them to explain what is wrong with them. Maturity means you value other people’s opinions, able to ask for feedback and receive constructive feedback to develop any identified areas of weakness. Maturity helps people to manage their ego, it reduces the chances of developing a sense of entitlement which can lead to an over-inflated ego.

Matured spouses in a marriage can work with their other half to solve issues, reach mutual agreement on how they want to do marriage, and make allowance for each other’s faults. To build a happy and successful marriage, it requires you as a spouse to be humble, let your partner know your weakness, and make up for that blind spot in your life. Being humble will make you as a spouse to accept you made a mistake, correct the mistake, and make amend. Matured spouses will not be concerned about who is right, they will be more concerned about what is right and the preservation of the relationship. Maturity in marriage demands a new you, a new way of setting priorities. For example, as a single lady, I could go anywhere I like at any time without the need to consider my actions on other people.

When I became married, I realised I cannot go anywhere I like, without informing my husband and be back at a reasonable time. Letting my partner know where I am going is not for monitoring purposes, but the consequences of not doing so will impact him and our children. Maturity demands that I am conscious, disciplined, and determine to change my attitude to reporting where I would be and when I would be back home. As a mother, I needed to grow to a new level of maturity and that is why maturity is continuous learning and re-learning of new principles. Be present and make time for what matters in your marriage, a partner that does not get his or her priorities right in marriage will come across as immature. If you are needed to take your child to school and you have a work commitment, as a matured father, your priority is your child, to do otherwise is to show you are not available to be a father. How too often have we seen absent fathers and mothers in families, this leads to trouble and breakdown of the marriage relationship. If you have not matured in this area, please work on it and develop a growth mindset. Some 50-year-old men and women have the intelligence and maturity of 20-year olds. Age alone does not show maturity. 

The challenge is we want other people to change but the real challenge is to change yourself.

Marriage demand a new and matured you!


Choose to be happy in your marriage

Choose to be happy in your marriage, your happiness depends on the well of joy inside of you. If you are looking to your spouse to make you happy, then you are building a high expectation. A great marriage consists of two wholesome people, who are enjoying each other and increasing their joy, by walking and working together. If one spouse is reliant on the other for their joy and happiness, they will always be unhappy. Nobody can make you happy, if you choose not to be happy. Deliberately choose to be happy in your marriage.


Marriage is beautiful

Marriage is beautiful and satisfying when it is blissful. You must be CAREFUL in your marriage, for it to thrive, and grow from strength to strength. This acronym from Michael and Hilary Perrot is needed in every marriage. C – communication A – affection R – Respect E – Encouragement F – forgiveness U – Understanding and L – loyalty. How careful are you in your marriage? Is there any area you need to strengthen? In life, if you are not careful, you might get hurt. Be CAREFUL in your marriage.


Don’t stop dating each other

Don’t stop dating each other. Some couples stop going out once they are married. Men put a lot of effort in, during courtship to win women over and to affirm their love. Too often, once a commitment of love has been sealed by marriage, some men assume there is no need for affirmation of love or show of affection. It is important to continue to date yourselves as a married couple. This will ensure, the flame of love is kept burning. Now once you are married, it doesn’t have to be the man’s sole responsibility, women you can organize date nights and pay for it too😁. I have done that and my husband appreciated it. My husband has organized numerous too and I am always looking forward to it. Will you plan a date night with your spouse today?


Are you ready! Marriage Expectation Versus Reality.

Marriage has the capacity to achieve the expectation given to it -a place of joy, unity and purpose. This is the place where your marriage and mine should be, a place of bliss and fulfilment. Many marriages have the potential to be great, if started on the right foundation and the couple involved, well equipped and trained for marriage. It’s a well-known fact that many couples started their marriages, not knowing what to expect but, we are very quick to send couples on marital voyage, hand them certificates way ahead of being prepared and ready to take on, one of the most important jobs on earth. Marriage is the only profession, being practised by people not adequately trained for it.

What marital bliss looks like is different and unique to each individual couple, but we all have something in common – humanity. For that reason, we need to correct the idea that, couples can survive marriage by making up rules as they go along. We basically have rules for all other aspects of life and are taught those rules deliberately. For instance, to drive a car, you must learn to drive and abide by the highway codes, else you will crash the car, hurt yourself and others.

Abi Apalara believes you cannot determine what will happen in your marriage, as each individual is unique, but surely you can prepare. Marriages in turmoil, homes destroyed, and lives ruined can be saved and restored from hurt by wisdom – “application of knowledge”. Marriages thriving today have proved, application of knowledge and wisdom is vital. Knowledge is power and this book is packed with knowledge you need to steer your marital boat in the right direction.

The nuggets, stories and experiences shared, will equip you to gain wisdom needed for a successful marriage. This book will help husbands and wives who are already married, to make necessary adjustments, to help fan the flame of love ablaze in their marriage. It will help singles to avoid the pitfalls, be well educated about marriage before committing to this lifelong journey. It is better to marry right from the beginning, than trying to make each other right when already married. There is a dire need to bring marriage education to the forefront and prepare the next generation for marital success. After all, healthy marriages, will produce healthy families and healthy families will result in healthy communities.

It is time to save marriages!