I have sons whom I love very much. I want the best for them in life. So each day I go to God in prayer for them. Like Job, I ask for forgiveness of sins for them. I ask for God’s favour, mercies and grace for them. I ask for God’s protection, direction, deliverance and blessings for them. I have been praying passionately for them, especially for their marriages.
Of late the marriage institution has become a different thing altogether. The definition of marriage is no longer what it used to be. Marriage used to have one definition—a union of a man and a woman. Now true to his nature, the devil has come out with a counterfeit definition. We now have what they call same-sex marriage so when you now talk about marriage you have to explain which of them you mean. I once chanced on a conversation between two elderly people. One was telling the other that his son was going to have his marriage ceremony the weekend. The friend asked him if his son was going to marry a man or a woman. That appeared funny but that is the reality today. When you hear of a marriage ceremony you would need to find out whether it is a Godly marriage (a union of a man and a woman) or a devilish marriage (same-sex marriage).
I want my sons to marry and I still have one and only one definition of marriage, the original (a union of man and a woman) and not the counterfeit. So I am praying that one day my sons would marry women, that, I do not have doubts about. However, because I do not want to take chances I have been praying to God to continue to keep their hearts so they do not deviate from the marriage that brought them into this world. As assuredly as I know God has answered my prayer, I then go ahead to pray for their marriages and the women they would be marrying, my would-be daughters-in-law. I therefore have counsel for my potential daughters-in-laws as follows:
Be faithful wives. Marriage is wonderful. That is how God meant it to be but it is not always like that. The devil has fought the marriage institution ever since it was instituted by God because it is through marriage that God continues his creation. Marriages have suffered various forms of attacks from the devil and his agents. Marriages suffer from all forms of ills, especially infidelity in various forms. It happens to and through all manner of people of various professions; good and bad people; people of various social standings and educational levels; all races and colours; males and females are either the victims or perpetrators. It is my prayer that you will be faithful wives just as I have taught my sons to be faithful husbands. Faithfulness of each party is very important in every relationship, especially a relationship as crucial as marriage. Faithful does not only mean not sleeping with another person apart from your spouse, but it equally means disclosing everything that needs to be disclosed— transparency is very crucial.
I have taught my sons to disclose their earnings to you and all other businesses or investments they undertake. My dear potential daughters-in-law, as they disclose these to you it is for you to support them and not to take advantage of them and milk them dry. It is not to induce you to start a competition with them but supplement their efforts. More importantly, also disclose your earnings and all other businesses or investments you have to them so that they can also support you.
Be wise wives. I have taught my sons to work hard and take good care of their families. You will see them work hard to provide for you and the children God will bless you with. They will deny themselves so many things just to make you comfortable. They will try to meet your demands but that would not mean they are donkeys or baboons working for the “monkeys to chop” as we say. As they do that, do not cross your legs and drain and sap them. Appreciate them and show gratitude. Complement them on what they have done for you and the children and stop complaining about what they have not done. Also be wise and do something meaningful with your lives. No matter how much they earn or give to you or provide for you, you should also work. You also have a destiny to fulfill. Do not waste the fruit of their labour on things that do not satisfy because you want to belong to a certain “class”. Do not force them to send the children to some schools just because that is where your friends’ children go. Think of the welfare of the children and not standards your friends have set and which you want to follow. Be wise enough not to expose my sons to unnecessary risks by telling the whole world about the wonderful things they are doing and how well they are doing. If you do so you will expose them to envy and if God does not intervene it will lead to their downfall and yours. Be wise wives.
Be decent and moderate. I have taught my sons to be decent and moderate in everything they do. Jesus was so moderate a person. He is God who came down in the form of a human being. But he walked on this earth 30 good years and nobody knew he was God. You don’t gain anything by showing off. I have told them to do everything in moderation. I have taught them to be decent in their dressing and appearance. You are not likely to see them wear earrings or braid their hair or have tattoos. I have taught them that God’s sons are not supposed to appear that way. I have taught them that even when they become stars or celebrities, their stardom or celebrity status would not be taken away from them because they do not wear earrings or braids or tattoos. So my potential daughters-in-law let your appearance be decent and be moderate too. Do not dress provocatively. Do not try to be the centre of attraction for all the wrong reasons. I love attention and whenever you want to attract attention, attract attention for the right reasons. I would be very happy and proud to hear that my daughter-in-law feted the aged, the orphans, and widows or has led the community to build a community library or is the worship leader of the Church, the women ministry leader or has an NGO that mentors the youth, or is even the President of our nation etc., and not the opposite.
Be a help meet. God created the woman to be a help meet for the man. It is believed that God took Adam’s rib to create the woman because of its strategic location. I told my sons that their wives are not inferior to them because they are women. I told them their wives are equal with them and so they should treat you as such. But I told them you would be helps meet to them so whatever they would be doing they would expect your total support. Stop criticising them unnecessarily. There are times they would be down, very discouraged and you are the only people who can raise their courage.
They will not know everything so you are supposed to be their strength when they are weak. Stop behaving towards them as if you are on assignment to torment or destroy them. The best every man wants in a wife is a woman he can go back to for consolation when all places are discomforting. The worst any man expects is to have a wife and know at the back of his mind that the woman cannot be trusted to be supportive. Be the trusted shoulders my sons would always come home to, for comfort. Inspire them and encourage them even when you yourselves are struggling. At least that is better than when you begin to blame them and make their situation worse. There are levels every man yearns to reach but sometimes we would need someone strong and powerful to push us on. That push should come from our wives. This is what I expect from you for my sons. After all, the old adage says, behind every successful man, there is a woman; the opposite is equally true.
Be prayerful. Prayer is the key to all doors. I have told my sons to marry prayerful woman. Prayers move mountains. I told them they would definitely face mountains in this life because everybody does but prayers would move them. I have told them to be prayerful but the power of a praying wife cannot be underestimated. As men they would have a lot to deal with as they play the leadership roles not only in the house but at work, church and all other social places. They would be exposed to a lot of risky environments where you cannot go with them but your prayers should go with them and guide them. Pray for their careers, their faith in God, self-control, finances, investments, travels and other things that the Holy Spirit would lead you to pray about. I am sure you want them to love you alone. That is good and that is possible but only by prayer and not nagging. Use the time you would use for nagging to pray. You would get better results from that than nagging.
I have spoken a lot. Forgive me if I have said things that you are not comfortable with. I want the best for you. When you are happy, I am happy too. I would visit another time to see how you are making use of my advice. When I come we would have more conversation about life. Thank you for listening to me but my interest is in the doing and not really the listening. I wish you all the best of everything. God empower you and bless you to do your best.
Written by Eric Ellington Agyedenah. He is the Executive President of INSPIRE ACHIEVER, an NGO that supports the education of orphans and poor children and as well mentors the youth. Eric is also the founder of KINGDOM INVESTORS ASSOCIATES, an NGO that is dedicated to the evangelistic of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the author of the book, A Letter to My Son, an inspirational read especially for the youth.