BALANCE is KEY in MARRIAGE
The idea of valentine is great, to remind ourselves of it on a particular day is not evil as long as the practice of what it represents will be daily as against occasional. Love is definitely missing in most of our definitions of value. But in the family unit, love is red. Love is red because what blood is to the human body is what love is to the family institution. Love means many things in family settings; but one uncommon meaning of love will be the establishment of the kind of balance in the home that makes all parties available to play their roles and fulfill their responsibilities. See, generally speaking, beyond the family, one of the greatest forces in life today is balance. The ability to avoid extremes is one of life’s most critical greatness factors. Every achievement has its opportunity cost, which is, the alternative forgone. And in most cases, the values we embrace determine the alternative we deem appropriate to forgo.
You cannot be a success in the corporate world and have a dissatisfied wife and straying children. Who really is a successful person? Can it be a man or woman who produces outstanding results in the workplace and yet fails terribly as a husband, wife, father and mother? This has almost become the norm in today’s world; absentee, negligent parents, husbands and wives who are lauded as successes in the corporate world. This tradition is passed down to our children, who by observing our values conclude that material and corporate success can actually cover up for time spent with the family. We only need to look at the state of our world today to realize that most of the troubles we face are being fermented by folks who were not properly trained at the most primary and tender levels of the family.
My name is Olakunle Soriyan —that’s in case you have not already met me and I am a family man. I am happily married to a beautiful queen, Tiwalade. My wife is a spirited woman of deep intellect. She holds a first degree in Economics and a Masters in Business Administration. It is instructive to note that we expected our first child for nine years. I had low sperm count for a while but my wife and I were later certified fit by the doctors. However, it is instructive in the sense that in those nine years, we never…and I mean never…we never had a single squabble over our not yet having children. No internal tussle, no external tussle. This is uncommon for an African couple. The normal scenario should be that the husband’s parents are already agitated; already making incursions into the home and in extreme cases, already forcing another wife on the husband. It’s a matter of culture. Some people were tempted to ask me how I have been coping with the pressure. Pressure? Truth be told: I experienced no such thing; we are completely happy and undisturbed by the seeming challenge. That’s balance right there. It is balance that ensures you do not reduce the essence of your commitment to what biology can deliver.
I’m sure you have seen naked but pregnant lunatics on the street before. It means any fool can have a child by engaging a sex organ; that is a gift of nature for the wise and for the fool. Bin Laden had so many children. Common…there must be another reason why I got married. We got married primarily because we love each other and not because we wanted to have children. That’s balance. The balance of the family is bigger than babies and children.
Now, no organization or unit has gone through more tribulation than the family, and if the foundation of society be faulty, what can the nation do? The marriage union is critically important and all must be done to preserve its sanctity. Dysfunctional homes breed dysfunctional children and dysfunctional children breed dysfunctional societies. The virtue of love must be preserved, unconditionally, between the wife and husband or else it cannot be given to the children or the rest of society.
Nothing must hinder the sanctity of the family…not even the idea of not having a child. In marriage, there can be ups and downs, and challenges here and there, but the home should not be starved of the commitment it deserves. Especially in uncertain financial times, it’s easy to get very anxious about work, even if one has a good job. We can be tempted to make any personal sacrifice in order to maximize our work opportunities. But it’s important to remember that giving up everything for work is no guarantee of success. Balance between family and work is key. But most importantly, the issues are about how do couples balance what I call “us time”? “Us time” must be created with the work time necessary to achieve a certain lifestyle? Does your wife support your devotion to your job or is she already feeling neglected, and fears for the future and vice versa? It’s important that decisions about how each spouse makes major time commitments be mutually acceptable since presence is a measure of marital commitment. Couples have to work these things out for themselves, but not by themselves. It’s time to have a heart to heart talk with your spouse, and after, go to men and women you admire and can trust, who have achieved balance in their lives between family and work. Ask them to tell you about the choices they made, and the challenges they faced – perhaps even the mistakes they made. Then in prayer, ask God to guide you as you make your own decisions. Most problems in life don’t get “solved,” they get managed. What makes love work is a journey, and not a day’s journey. Begin a valentine life from today and begin by wishing everyone you know a happy valentine life.