I want us to imagine a man who wanted to build a house in a notorious area where stealing of bricks was a major challenge. Each time this man buys and lay some bricks to build his house, thieves come in to steal the brick one piece at a time. The man will try and replace the stolen brick and go away. The next day, when he returns another set of bricks had been taken, this continues for a long time. He realised, if he was going to complete this house, he will need someone to keep watch while builds and even after completion, someone must always be on guard to keep the thieves away. This is the picture I had in my mind while pondering on this topic. A wise woman builds her house but when a foolish husband keeps tearing the house down, that house can never be completed nor stand. Therefore, a marriage that will stand will need both wise men and women working together to guard and ensure their marriage is working and happy. So, therefore, let us explore the reasons why a wise man need to build his marriage and not just be deceived by tradition and cliché that only a wise woman builds her home.
For many centuries’ women have been left with the burden of building the homes and this is often supported by the scripture that says “a wise woman builds her home “. Yes, a wise woman builds her home, but a wise husband is needed to help and support her to build that home. If a woman can build a home alone, then there should be no need for partnership in a marriage. However, this is not so, because for any marriage to thrive and for both spouses to be happy and fulfilled in their calling, they must both be ready to work for their marriage.
In the past, women were not allowed to do much apart from keeping the home, the man is responsible for providing food and everything the household need. This often keeps the family income small and most households were living the minimal lifestyle. Where the husband needed more hands to help in providing for the family, in African culture, he simply goes out to marry another wife and create a larger family. Women endured this type of relationships and not necessarily enjoyed it. For those who were lucky to have a monogamous family, the women had no choice but to totally depend on their husbands to provide, so there was no need to share household chores as women will be at home looking after the family while the husband provides.
Nowadays, that is no longer applicable, many women are now working and adding to the family finance pot. In some homes, women are the chief earner and provider. Some men are very comfortable asking for bills to be split and that their wives must contribute to the upkeep of the house. Yet some men see no reason why they need to help with chores or split the responsibility of childcare and every other traditional role attached to women.
Also the idea of marrying for love was not common in the past generations, most people were given in marriage or betrothed, so they learnt to love and live the person they were given to, unlike these days where men and women choose who they want to marry. Therefore, enduring and learning to love their spouse though hardship is not on the agenda.
Lack of understanding and staunch belief in tradition that women should build their home, made many marriages to end up in conflict and divorce. When women after carry so much responsibility of caring for the family, required to provide for herself, her children and contribute to the family finance, yet her husband decides to mistreat or maltreat her in the marriage, obviously there will be no reason why she can continue to endure such hardship and treatment when she can provide for herself, except if she is believer who fear and honour God and hold marriage as a covenant.
In ancient days when women are maltreated or mistreated, they stuck with it, because they had no means of livelihood, the society will not approve of them and they just endured the marriage. No human wants to endure hardship if they can survive on their own.
The prevalence of marital breakup in this generation has been helped by the society and some other culture. For example, in England where I reside, the government will support any woman who is being abused, even if she has no income. This is the reason why some women file for divorce and it seems no one can get to the bottom of the reason why?
I do not support divorce in any marriage because it causes untold hardship on the couple, the children and the society. If living with a husband does not add value to a woman and yet she is subjected to harsh treatment by the husband and supported by the culture that says the woman needs to build her house alone, then the result is a broken marriage.
Therefore, we need to change this narrative, as Christians, the Bible says except the Lord build a house the labourers labour but in vain. Many women have laboured to build their homes but met men who are busy destroying the marriage brick by brick with their ego, bad behaviour, harsh treatment of the one they ought to protect and some by sheer ignorance of what marriage means.
Men need to take responsibility for building their home with their wife. Marriage today and ever since is a partnership and was created as a partnership by God. When God created Adam and Eve, he did not say to Adam to dominate Eve, rather God commanded them to be both fruitful and subdue the earth together.
Men leaving the home has caused our society to degenerate to the state we are right now, and this started generations ago. We need to correct this abnormality by bringing men back into the homes. Men you must decide to work on your marriages, be a part of it and do whatever it takes to make your marriage work.
The world is not going back to the dark ages but progressing forward to a place where men and women can deploy their talents in the society. Marriage must progress from women build your home to husband and wife build your home.
For any marriage to work, both husband and wife must sit down to work as partners on their marriage, there is no controversy about who is the head and leader of the home. Man is the head and no woman want to contest that, but how to lead the home must move from – I am the head, whatever I say goes to taking responsibility and leading effectively with love.
Leadership in the place of work have recognised those leading people in a certain way that devalues them no longer work. The productivity level of any organisation that fails to value their employee will be greatly impacted; loyalty will be zero. If organisations have realised that treating their employees well and respectably leads to good performance and productivity, then I believe we can borrow that idea into our marriages. Afterall a marriage is meant to be a place of peace, rest and succour. I am sure every man and woman that got married, did so with the intention of enjoying their marriage together. It is therefore important that men take up the leadership mantle and build their marriages.
The reality is most marriages are suffering due to lack of education on how to make a marriage work.
Men leaving their marriages to commit adultery rather than work on their marriage is what some men know and some culture support that. We do not belong to that culture, if you are a Christian, you belong to God’s culture and in this kingdom, there is no justification for sin. You can and should not leave your marriage when broken, as a man when your car breaks down, you know how to fix it. You learnt how to fix a car, therefore please learn how to fix your marriage, no more abandonment.
It is therefore important that men rise to build their marriages, when men are absent from a marriage the effect is clear in the findings of a research which looked at the effects of family structure on crimes.
Over the past fifty years, the rise in violent crime is in line with the rise in families abandoned by fathers.
High crime neighbourhoods have a high concentration of families abandoned by fathers. Aggression and hostility found demonstrated by someone likely to be a criminal are often foreshadowed in them as early as age five or six and this is as a result of what they have experienced in trouble and violent marriage.
Whereas statistics show that when a family is stable, children raised in these homes are less likely to commit a crime, be influence by bad friends, and they do well in their own marriage and in life generally.
A good and loving marriage has so many benefits for men, women children and society. I am sure we all want a better society; it must begin with the family as a unit of the society. If husbands and wives cannot live in harmony and peace, how do we expect the society to be peaceful?
Both husband and wife are responsible for making marriage work, it is even better when a man takes responsibility as the leader. Men and women need to work on their marriages and build your homes, to provide a loving stable home for the next generation.
How can you build your home as a man?
Firstly, you need to accept the responsibility as a leader of your marriage, just as any leader in any organisation accepts responsibly for the failure and success of his business.
A leader that delegate the leadership and steering of his organisation to someone else, never comes to the public if the company is failing and says my staff are responsible for the failure of this business. He will never be considered a good and responsible leader if he said that. As a leader in your marriage, you must have its success at heart. The moment any man takes on the headship role as a leadership role, the marriage is bound to succeed. On the other hand, the moment any man takes the headship role as a boss and commander in chief with no responsibility for success but blames and punish the followers, then that marriage is heading in the wrong direction.
Can I ask what type of head are you in your marriage? Are you the servant leader or you are the commander in chief with no care for your followers? Please it is never too late to take the right road and turn your marriage into a heaven on earth. Take responsibility for the failure or success of your marriage. A wise man builds his home. Together with your spouse, begin to work as a team and bring your marriage ship into a sea of tranquillity.
Secondly, any leader will be very knowledgeable in whatever he is doing for him to achieve success and lead other aright. How many marriage books have you read? Where you may be having challenges and conflicts, have you picked up a resource to see how you can resolve the issue, achieve a working solution or are you just ignoring it?
For example, if money management or lack of money is the problem in your marriage, there a book that talks about how to manage finance in a marriage. There are seminars and some are online today, you can attend in the comfort of your home. There is no shame in seeking to know what you do not know.
Leaders are readers, and to have an understanding and live with a woman in understanding you need to learn about women. Have you read books about what women want? Do you know your wife’s love language and even if you know it are you speaking her language, or you blatantly and stubbornly refuse to speak her language?
These are the changes you can make and see a great impact on your marital relationship with your spouse. Speaking a new language means learning and being deliberate to speak it, by default you are comfortable speaking your own language.
For example, if your colleague at work speaks French and you want to communicate with them in understanding, you will have to speak French no matter how ridiculous you sound. Your wife likes physical affection, but you are comfortable kissing her inside the house and only to initiate sexual intercourse, yet when she asks you to kiss her outside of the house you refuse. Why? You feel shy? You feel too affectionate makes you less manly?
Do you feel people will say he is head over heels and in love? But let me ask you this question? When you were dating her, were you not head over heels in love? So why is it now difficult to be openly head over heels in love, not with a girlfriend but your wife?
It is important that we begin to look at some of the narratives that have and is hurting marriages. You can change in your marriage and one by one our marriages will be restored and family stable and reflect positively on our society.
There so many ways you can build your home as a man, but I believe if you start with these two points discussed, you will discover many more and your marriage will be enjoyable.
Instead of seeking enjoyment outside of your marriage, work on your marriage to enjoy it with the wife of your youth.
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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 realty 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. You can also preorder the book here