CROSS-CULTURAL PRINCIPLES TO MARITAL BLISS

There shall be several parts to our discussion on this new topic. Some people may be considering in their minds, “How is this topic relevant to my situation since my wife and I are from the same tribe or same country? And for bachelors and spinsters, you might have taken a position that “I will choose a partner from my own tribe.” That’s o.k. But as the discussion progresses, everybody will agree with me that we all need a good understanding of these cross-cultural principles to help make our marriage relationships better and more romantic. What then is the first principle?

 

"SELF ACCEPTANCE"

Who are you? Many people do not really understand who they are. It is therefore important to spend time to understand who you are – study your temperaments, gifts, talents, likes and dislikes, strong and weak points etc. After you must have studied who you are, and how imperfect you are as a person, you will become sober. Can you run away from yourself? Definitely NO! You will likely not approve of everything about yourself, yet you have to accept yourself as you are. For example, a man may not like the shape of his nose, or a woman may not approve of her looks, but the Bible says in Psalms 139:14a, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Since you cannot run away from yourself, how then do you treat your partner?

 

ACCEPTING THE OTHER PERSON AS HE/SHE IS

A woman got married to a man of her dream, and she was so excited that she got the best among the men in her community. She is highly romantic by nature and she was looking forward to enjoying a married relationship full of kisses and all the attendant excitement. Alas! The husband could not meet her expectations. He is someone who wants to spend most of his time in the presence of God by observing regular fasts and prayers, coupled with prolonged days of prayer vigils, and he would always ask her to be part of the spiritual exercise. What a disappointment! “I didn’t bargain for this kind of ‘dull’ lifestyle,’ she said to herself. After sharing her dilemma with a Christian friend, she was made to realize that she can still enjoy her husband if only she will learn to accept him as he is, instead of trying to force him into becoming a different person.

 

She therefore changed her mental attitude and began to appreciate her husband, though not necessarily approving of everything that was going on. Having learnt to accept him as he is, and vice, versa, their marriage relationship took a new and happier dimension. What are you ‘fighting’ to change in your husband or your wife? You can not approve of all his or her character traits, but you can lovingly accept your spouse and appreciate him or her for who he or she is. Remember you are relating with God’s creature.

 
RECOGNIZE WORLDVIEW CHANGE

For married couples to really enjoy the joy and peace they long for in their marriage relationship, it is pertinent for both of them to become conscious of worldview change. As human beings we see things differently using our cultural lenses, therefore, the husband and the wife must constantly remind themselves that "though we are one, our perception of events differ from time to time." There was this Hausa guy who had lived among the Yoruba people for almost three decades of his life. His elementary, secondary and university education had been shaped by the culture of this people, and during all those years he had interacted with other students with different cultural backgrounds-some of them were Igbos, Ebiras, Eguns etc. By implication the Hausa man has been shaped by several other cultures. When he was matured enough to choose a wife for himself, he went back to his homeland, and got married to a Hausa lady who had spent most of her lifetime in the Northern part of Nigeria. She also had gone through many schools and interacted with various cultures. My question at this juncture is this: Is our couple 100% Hausawas?  Definitely No! This truth must be acknowledged that there had been changes in their worldviews, and this knowledge will either make or mar their marriage relationship. Therefore, dear married couples, be conscious of worldview change!

 

RECOGNIZE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

People come from different cultural backgrounds, and that gives rise to differences in culture. Married couples or would-be couples must take cognizance of this fact in their relationships. There was the case of a man and a woman who hailed from two separate cultures, and were planning to get married. In the woman's culture, wedding ceremony takes place at the groom's family, contrariwise, on the part of the man, wedding ceremony takes place at the bride's home. What a conflict! The husband -to-be took time to explain his culture to his bride-to-be and her family, even though it was a 'strange culture' to the in-law, they agreed and the wedding was conducted at the woman's place.

 

In marriage, there is need to respect each other's cultures. It is pertinent to study the differences in both cultures, take time to ask questions about behavior that is not clear to either of the partner, and spend time to understand each other in love. By so doing you will enjoy your home. There is no perfect culture anywhere, so do not insist that your way is best. Learn to understand each other and adjust where necessary. May God bless your home and make it a haven of rest.[...]

Read more 0

THE GIRL CHILD: HANDLE HER WITH LOVE AND CARE

The girl child is a GIFT from God to the family where she belongs, and so she should be treated with love, tenderness and care. The family is not complete until a woman is enlisted, Adam was not a complete man until God brought mother Eve into his life. It is written in the Bible, "And Adam gave names to all cattle...But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him."(Gen.2:20) God, the creator, knew how important a female specie is, so "the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man He made into a woman", the genesis of "the female child." Since this specie is so precious in God's sight, my question is, "How should she be treated?

In some societies, the birth of a girl-child is welcomed with joy and celebration, while in some others it is handled with some reservations. It is worse if a woman has previously had two or three girls before the birth of another girl. There was the story of a man who went to the hospital to visit his wife who had just delivered a baby, and by the time he asked about the sex of the baby, the nurse congratulated him that he had a baby girl, a drama took place. Instead of proceeding to the maternity ward where his wife and the baby were, he muttered some derogatory words and simply turned back to return to his house. When the nurses on duty noticed the bad attitude of the man, they called him back and rebuked him that he is not grateful to God. “What if your wife had died during child delivery? You are an ingrate this man. Go inside and see how your wife and your baby are faring.”

Many people forget that children are gifts from God. There are millions of people all over the world who are praying day and night, seeking all sorts of medical assistance to become pregnant and carry their own babies. Will such people mind female children? Definitely No. Historically, many girls have turned out to become bread winners within their nuclear families as well as extended families. The girl-child needs as much love as we give to the boy-child.

Children -Male and Female- are gifts from God, and they desire to be treasured highly. My focus on the girl-child is to discuss the uniqueness of this specie. Most parents do not pay enough attention to their female children. When a girl-child is just between two and four years old or thereabout, parents are less worried about them and their relationship with the opposite sex, especially with their uncles and male cousins around the house. It will surprise you that as small as a girl-child is, she can become a victim of sexual abuse. When adults are not observant enough even when they are at home, the little girl can get into trouble with a male adult that is mischievous. Children are fond of sitting on the laps of adults for example, just to play and enjoy themselves, but if a girl-child is unfortunate to sit on the laps of an unreasonable uncle or any male, it can be dangerous for her. Why do I say this? The male in question can begin to finger your innocent girl! Sometimes, he can open the zipper of his trouser. You know what that means, don't you? A counsellor’s advice to all parents- Please and please, protect your girl-children from "wolves in sheep's clothing."

Parents should spend time with their children after the day's activities, and ask them about their school work and other happenings of the day without suggesting that you are suspicious of any danger. From such interactions with the kids, a lot can unfold which can help parents in proper guidance. When bathing the girl-child in the morning, does she experience unusual pain whenever you try to clean her private part? If Yes, then that is a clue that something is not right. It could be a case of a boil, but if otherwise, you will save her future by seeking necessary medical attention. God bless the girl-child!

Is it only girl-children between ages two and four that are at risk as discussed in our last post? Definitely No! It is just an awareness to all parents and guardians that there’s much work on our hands to protect our girl-children. As the girls grow up, they approach puberty, and shapes and contours become more prominent. The next thing is that they become more attractive to the male species out there. Hun –un! It’s time to be more careful. While in a taxi one day, I overheard a mother telling her friend, “I tell my children, I am your mother, I am not your friend!” What’s your take on that? Do you buy her ‘philosophy’? The problem most parents are faced with is this, trying to force respect out of their children! These folks want to be friends with you, and be able to share their stories, confusion and pains, but daddy, you are not just there! Mummy, you are too strict to be available. Do you know what will happen? They look out for parent-figures who could listen to their woes and struggles, and before you know it, you have lost your teenage girl. Waoh! It is time to correct that ‘philosophy’ and be close to your teenage girl. She is ‘hungry’ for love and attention, create time to provide this or else, she will find it elsewhere! In the hands of boys and men who may end up destroying her future. God bless the Girl-Child!

Your girl-child is now a big girl. She is very conscious of herself and would not want mummy and daddy to discern her ‘pranks.’ What she forgets is the fact that mummy was once at that stage in her life. She buys some ‘strange’ stuff and literally hides it from the gaze of mum and dad! Dear mother, let me ask you, “When last did you visit your daughter’s room?” Do you care to investigate when she comes home with a new ball pen, a new wrist watch or a new shoe? If you ask, she may call a friend’s name to you, but do you care to follow it up? Why all the stress? Your heart questions? Well, it is for the good of both of you.


Your daughter may have started collecting ‘gifts’ from “boy -friends” that intend to destroy her, but unknown to her and to you the parents. That’s why I suggested in my last write-up the need to be a friend to your child. A mother was confronted with a question by her young adult girl, “Mum, why don’t you want me to have a boy-friend?” In this context it actually connotes some negative meaning? The loving mum asked with smiles, “My baby, tell me why do you want to have a boy-friend at your age? Are you planning to marry soon?” She replied her mum that all her school mates are into that and their boy-friends are giving them gifts. The understanding mother did not frown at her, she spent time to enlighten her daughter about the dangers of getting involved intimately with the opposite sex too early in life. The girl understood and she embraced her mum with a ‘thank you’ kiss.[...]

Read more 0

6 Cs OF RESOLUTION TO MARRIAGE CONFLICTS

CALM DOWN

In marriage relationships, challenges abound! Some manage them well, others chicken out because of frustration. In dealing with conflicts in marriage, the couple must take cognizance of certain things. An old wise man once told me during an interview that whenever there is any misunderstanding between him and his wife, the way God has been helping them is simple, "while daddy is the goat, mummy becomes a sheep, and vice-versa!" What he was trying to say is that both of them do not lose their temper at the same time and blow off the roof of the house. Anger is a deadly weapon. One partner should not flare up in anger and utter terrible words that he or she will regret afterwards. Calm down. Flee from anger. Lie down on your bed and begin to talk to God your father in heaven, to help you resolve the conflict at such a time. PEACE

COME LOW

Whenever there's misunderstanding between husband and wife, they must be ready to come low.  Both partners can not be claiming rights at such times.  Stoop Low. Be Humble as you relate with your spouse. I strongly believe that no couple really enjoy fighting with each other especially when they both have relationships with the creator God. In marriage conflicts, the goal should always be to resolve the issues amicably. Embrace humility and it shall be well with you.

CONFESS IN LOVE

Spouses do have differences in several areas. Opinions may differ, belief systems may not always tally especially if one is a theologian while the other is not too much into theological discourses. When conflicts arise both of them must be ready to confess first to God, that “Lord, I am sorry for this crisis,” then secondly to each other as intimate partners. Talk to each other in love. Forgive as God has forgiven you, no matter how deep the hurts, and say to your spouse, “I love you my dear. Let us not give place to the devil again.” When couples learn to forgive one another, no one will consider divorce. Think always about your relationship with God, and the future of those special Gifts God gave to you.

CARE FOR THOSE ‘WEAKNESSES’

This has to do with accepting each other’s weak points in love. Not that you approve of them, but spouses should love enough to forgive and correct each other as friends.

COMMUNICATION

Spouses should always communicate and learn to express their feelings. Do not save “Emotional Trading Stamps” (i.e. cataloguing all his/her mistakes in your imagination). Learn to express yourself in love.

COMMITMENT

Married couples should make up their minds not to disappoint each other in this sacred relationship that is ordained by God Himself at the garden of Gethsemane. Spiritual attacks will manifest sometimes in physical forms such as a sudden dislike of your spouse; situational crisis that may make one feel like quitting the relationship; interruption by a third –party in form of an intruder. Whatever may be the case the couple should prayerfully stick together remembering the fact that God has joined them together to become one whole. Be committed till death brings about the separation. For this to happen each party must play his or her part. In present times awareness of domestic violence is on the increase. Our society must keep crying out against this barbaric act of battering women. In few cases women have been reported to be beating up their husbands, which is an anomaly. This should stop. We can all join hands together and with the help of God restore sanity to the institution of family, whereby husbands and wives will live together in unity and be truly committed to each other.   [...]

Read more 0

DIVORCE: CRISIS THAT HAS NO LIMITS - I

One day I went to visit a friend in her office, and while waiting for her, I began to chat with her secretary. It was during a lunch-break so I engaged her in a discussion on marriage. I tried to ask few questions about her plans for the future, specifically her dreams about the man she would love to marry. Initially she was very relaxed during the interaction, but as the discussion progressed, I noticed that her countenance changed and she was no longer interested in our discussion. I then asked her what happened that she suddenly became withdrawn. She told me pointedly, “In all honesty I have no plans for marriage.” She said further, “I am alright with my single state, what do I need a husband for. All men are hypocrites after all. I would rather face my future without any intimate relationship with any man, called husband. I am o.k”

At this point I sensed that I had met a lady who probably had been hurt or had faced disappointments from some men in the past, so instead of changing the subject of our discussion I asked about her family background. How are your parents? I asked. They are fine, she replied. Are your parents living together? I asked further. She wanted to weep but she controlled her tears. After noticing this change of emotion, I inquired further what happened to her parents, and she began to share with me the pains of separation between her dad and mum, and the negative impact it was having on her and her siblings. You can not imagine what happened to me after my parents divorced.

Tell me more, I pressed further. She continued her story, “I was an undergraduate at the university then and my dad asked my siblings and I to leave his house with our mum, while he stopped paying our school fees. Two of my siblings were at the polytechnic while the youngest one was preparing to resume at the university for his first year of study. I asked her, so how then did you manage to complete your studies? She replied, It is needless to tell you that I struggled on my own to complete my studies, with the assistance of some friends, but mummy managed to help the others to pull through their schools from her meager resources. By this time she could no longer hold back her tears. Her red shot eyes spoke volumes, and she said in a low tone, “I have taken a stance against getting married in life, I can not allow any man to treat me the way my father treated my mother.”[...]

Read more 0

DIVORCE: CRISIS THAT HAS NO LIMITS - II

Many people are connected to any married couple who have chosen divorce as an option- children, mother, father, uncles, aunties, nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters-in-law etc. When decisions are about to be reached about calling it quits, it will be ideal to think beyond you. Care for the hurts your children and other significant others are about to be exposed to. Some ‘wounds’ may never get healed.

Divorce is a traumatic experience! Come to think of it. This man that has suddenly become a stranger to his wife was once a lovely man, one in a million, very caring and accommodating. Then what went wrong? What was responsible for the breakdown in communication? Is it not possible to resolve their differences? Couples should embrace communication at all levels. It is a significant key to building a successful marriage relationship.

FRIEND, find out what divorcees have to say: CAN YOU “HEAR” THEIR PAINS?
“Divorce is one of the traumatic things a man or a woman can go through.” - Bro. M.A.
“It is not a thing of pride for you to come out and say you are divorced.” – Bro. A’
“If I were this matured as a Christian twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have sued for a divorce…” – Sis. ‘B
“Divorce is not a good thing whether the woman was a witch or not. Trust me, it is not a good thing to go through a divorce.” – Bro ‘S’[...]

Read more 0

DIVORCE: CRISIS THAT HAS NO LIMITS - III

Now reflect on the following questions:

1. What is God’s position on Divorce?

2. Do I want to obey God or obey “my pains”?

3. What does God’s word say about perseverance?

4a. Where do I want to be on my daughter’s wedding day? At the front row or the back row or be totally absent?

4b. Where do I want to be on my son’s wedding day. Who will be the groom’s ‘proud’ mother on that day?

5. Do I want another woman to take over my responsibilities over my husband and children while I am still alive?

6a. what did I vow unto God on my wedding day?

6b.Am I backing out? What will I tell God?

7. Was my husband like this when we wedded newly?

8. What went wrong and how did I contribute to this crisis?

9a. Is money dividing us so soon?

9b. Should ‘another woman’ be a reason for dissolution of my vows unto God to remain till ‘death do us part.’

10. How can I cooperate with God to mend this broken home?

Are you troubled that your marriage relationship is heading towards divorce? Why not pray a prayer of confession, asking the Lord to forgive you and your spouse, and stop blaming your partner. Repent in all sincerity, and be determined to obey God’s word, God hates divorce. My suggestion is that someone should care enough to respond to the questions stated above. You may encounter a healing experience if you honestly desire to laugh again, and rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ. Peace![...]

Read more 0

DIVORCE: CRISIS THAT HAS NO LIMITS - IV

A friend of mine went to the city market on a sunny day to purchase some stuff. She bought so many items, and it became necessary for her to seek help from anyone who cares enough to help her get the stuff into her car. A teenage boy approached her,
“Mummy, can I help you with your load ma?”
My friend gladly obliged. What a sweet relief! She engaged the young boy in a dialogue.
“You should be in school at this hour of the day young boy, why are you hanging around at the market square?”
The little boy narrated his ordeal to my friend. Quite pathetic indeed! The mother had left the father and moved into another town. The father got another woman into the house who began to maltreat this boy. He was being treated like a slave and the father could not even help the situation. In fact he never believed the boy’s stories, rather he believed his new wife’s stories about how rude the boy was to her.

The boy said to himself, “my mother is no longer with my father, so what am I doing here? If I continue to stay in this house, I will die of hunger, and again the beating from my father’s new wife is becoming unbearable. I must run away from this suffering.” The boy ran to the streets and sad enough, he found himself a home under the overhead bridge where other street boys reside. What next?

Street children are vulnerable, and before long the boy was introduced to hard drugs and other vices. When the young boy narrated his ordeal he appealed to my friend to take him off the streets that his life ambition actually was to go to school and become an educated fellow. My friend agreed to offer help and they both agreed to meet with the uncle of the boy. After some meaningful discussion with the uncle, the boy was handed over to this “good Samaritan.” On getting home, the family accepted this boy as a member of their family, arranged with a school proprietress and the boy was admitted to the appropriate class. Did I hear you say, Oh, what a lucky boy? I’m sorry to inform you that he blew it! Not too long after his admission to the school, he ran away from the family, and it was found out later that he went back to re-unite with his fellow street boys. Very painful, isn’t it? Yes, our young boy could no longer relate with true love, since his mother walked out of his life and left him at the mercies of a father who cared less about his welfare.

Folks, divorce is a never-ending crisis. As much as possible, always seek lasting solutions to marital crisis, and never encourage divorce. Too many lives are at risk. God bless your reading and reflections.[...]

Read more 0

I RATHER QUIT: Missionary Attrition in focus

INTRODUCTION

One of the major concerns of mission executives is how to recruit, equip and retain missionaries on the mission fields. A very disturbing issue in mission circles in recent times is the rate of attrition among missionaries. The question is “Why do some missionaries leave their mission fields or change their areas of service? [...]

Read more 0

DANGERS OF PRE-MARITAL SEX FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

DANGERS OF PRE-MARITAL SEX FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

Physical dangers/Emotional/Psychological dangers

(1) It is a SIN. It can lead to Unwanted pregnancies, which can lead to ABORTION which can lead to DAMAGED WOMBS
(2) There is the danger of being affected by diseases.like Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and even HIV/AIDS. (2) The unwanted pregnancy [...]

Read more 0

MARRIAGE COUNSELLING - TURNING YOUR HOUSE TO A HAPPY HOME

INTRODUCTION
This seminar is specifically targeted at marital concerns. Areas of coverage shall include reasons for this God ordained institution; Communication in marriage; How problems develop; ‘Ingredients’ of a happy home; Handling the ‘enemies’ to marital bliss, and lots more. Also interspersed with relevant case studies to help drive the messages home. [...]

Read more 0
Start
1

About

is a Christian resource and training organisation specialized in Christian Counselling and Ethics; Cross-Cultural Missions, Leadership, Church planting and growth.

Latest posts

JV Twitter

Contact

Tel: +234 802-828-4293; +234 813-814-3021

Newsletter

By subscribing you will get the latest news from us.
bluebrowncustomgreenorangepinkredturquoiseyellow