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OUR PARENTS ARE INTRUDING IN OUR MARITAL SPACE; WHAT DO WE DO?

Some weeks after we had our first baby, I was still a few hours from the end of my working hours. Irewamiri called and asked me, “Darling, when are you coming home?” It was an unusual call. I could sense the tension in her voice. She must have been under pressure. I asked if all was well. She tried to cover her troubled tone with a “Yes”. I went home immediately.

We had made a family decision that my mum did not seem to agree with. She had a conversation with my wife. She thought Irewamiri was the driver of the decision. In communicating her stand on it, she was pretty assertive.

I consoled Irewamiri, but it did not end there. I had a mother-son conversation. I said, “Mummy, you know we love and appreciate your input, but this is a family decision. You only had the privilege to know about it because you have access. If you were not here, you would not have had that privilege, ma. At best, you would have just persuaded us”. The matter ended there.

First, it is a must that you honour your parents and your in-laws. Honour is scriptural. The word of the Lord must be obeyed.

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honour your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:1‭-‬3 NLT

However, honour does not mean you cannot disagree. There will be times when parents, out of genuine care and love, would say and do contrary things to your marriage and family decisions. Any such disagreement is an opportunity to be firm.

Honour is tested when there is a reason to disagree. Honour has two significant components: Submission and Obedience. Obedience is about your action. Submission is about your attitude. You can disagree in terms of your action, but you must never do it with a bad attitude.

For instance, you cannot start raising your voice on your parents because you disagree on a matter- that is dishonourable. You cannot withdraw support from them because you have a disagreement- that is dishonourable. Your attitude must be that of honour at all times.

Dear husband, you are the head of the family. When the body is inflicted by any form of pain, it is the head that responds. The mouth speaks. You must not keep quiet while your wife is being pummeled with words and acts that do not regard her and your marriage. Let the head respond using the mouth. Open your mouth and speak. If you do not, the head will also begin to feel the impact of the pain.

If the body should respond, it may end up being a reaction. If the leg responds, it can be a kick. If the hands respond, it may be a slap. The head is the seat of wisdom and understanding, but it is also the seat of pronouncements. Speak as the head of your home. Defend your family. Stand in your place. Do it in honour. Do it with the intent of ensuring peace is restored, yet lines are no longer crossed.

temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa

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