With Femi Akintunde-Johnson
Ibelieve, with the fear of God, working with your wife can provoke all sorts of miracles in your life. Of course, difficulties and obstacles may arise; that is natural.
Since God recognizes the oneness of man and wife in holy matrimony, He will continue to make things happen for you, and endlessly show reasons why the path you have followed is right and profitable. And the clincher: if you have a praying wife (in fact, a sensible woman in such a relationship has little choice apart from soaking herself in prayers); her selfless, fervent and unwavering prayers will unlock the windows of heaven over your head…when both husband and wife stay under such canopy, God, frankly, has no other choice than to bless the couple. Why? He is a God of covenant; and He never forsakes covenants; He is bound by His own words. As simple as that, really.
However, at the other end of the curve: if you do not have or actually live with a genuine fear of God, working with your spouse will be a nightmare, an inexplicable misery. It is not the fault of your marriage or yourself. You are simply incapable of breaking through on your own strength; because, let truth be told, it is much sweeter to be free and not be accountable to any one or being. Since you are two (as only a fruitful, accountable relationship with God can make the numerical impossibility of two becoming one possible), you and your wife will often walk at cross purposes; your actions and statements will always be weighed against some lies and misdemeanours in time past. In such instance, working together successfully is a remote probability, as there will always be healthy distrust and growing disgust.
While at this, let me remind you, “heaven helps those who help themselves” is not a scriptural statement. I do not know where it originates from. You are no use to heaven when you can help yourself. If you seek to find pleasure in the sight of God, you will treat His children (that is your wife and children) as God would treat them. And vice versa. You cannot want to please God, and hide your phone from your wife or husband; keep late nights with friends of any sex; hide under the shade of “too much work in the office”. With God, you have no fear of betrayal; you are not worried of incoming calls; you are not dreadful of joint accounts; you are not afraid of asking him or her hard questions; you do not worry of what tomorrow will bring… That is the miracle of a man who is conditioned by God to work with his wife. That is the original plan of God. Do it today; be creative and pragmatic… and watch how God will bless your efforts.
Just in case you imagine all these as righteous ventilations of a charmed man, I do have practical real-life stories to buttress my convictions.
As we conclude what has unwittingly turned into an inquisition into my past mistakes, we realize that to faithfully answer the initial question, we need to look at the spiritual and physical dimensions of the issue. First, it is not for nothing that the Bible says, “one shall chase a thousand; and two shall send ten thousand to flight”. The power wielded in the spiritual realm by two consenting children of God (husband and wife) evokes more potent devastation in spiritual warfare. I remember when I suddenly woke up in 2005 with a tiny wound on my left leg. It came from nowhere; but my wife who has a gift of discernment, said we needed to quickly “come against” the sudden threat so that it would not become worse than “what happened” to my right leg. So, what happened?
When I was in Form 2 at Lisabi Grammar School, Abeokuta (Ogun State) a wound sprouted on my right leg, from nowhere. It began to fester. I was carried to different hospitals, native doctors and Aladura (spiritualists’) homes, all sorts…instead of healing, the wound continued to fester, producing indescribable pain and embarrassment… until my final year in Lisabi. By then, it had grown from a speck to something wider than a flattened bottle top. We later met a spiritualist who gave me a bottle of perfume to drop daily on the wound. And that did the magic… more three years after the sore emerged! Therefore, you can understand my fear when another “strange wound” surfaced. We began to fast and pray and war against a recurrence. I was in pains throughout, but with her fervent support and the grace of God, a miracle happened within (48) hours: something like rotted twig came out of the sore, which within five days had spread one inch wide! Once the twig-like stuff broke off, the wound started healing….all was over in less than three weeks!
Our pastor later informed us that he saw me in a dream limping, and wanted to find out what was wrong. When we told him what we had gone through in the past two weeks, he admonished that we should have informed him, so that he could agree with us in prayers; revealing that what we passed through was a dangerous battle that was meant for “Princes”. My wife and I looked at each other and shuddered.
One more. At the height of our fame in Fame, we were organizing entertainment events in conjunction with nightclubs and such. One event was a DJ contest that our partners and promoter/friends had assured was going to be a breeze. We invested money and all that. One day, my wife called me aside, warning that I should not invest my funds into the project; that it was going to burst. Of course, I brushed her fears aside, since we had set forth all the necessary plans for publicity and logistics, there was no way it could fail. I was sure she was spreading the fear because I insisted she would not go with me to the event, as I would not be able to sit and enjoy the show with her. Well, show over, I bit my burnt fingers with 80% of the excuse for the colossal failure heaped on my wife. The “witch” has done it again, I screamed at her when I got home. She was suitably terrified, and promised never to advise me again. Of course, today, we are on the same page. When we pray over any project, and she drops any spiritual warnings, I seek God’s face further, and more often than not, I receive a similar caution.
Not once have I had the reason to call her names again. I also remember when our business was in doldrums, and all our staff had to go; we re-engineered the magazine such that both of us returned to full time reporting. I dragged her from her marketing field to start writing and interviewing … without pay. We did that for two years…and now, I look back at those days and give thanks to God, and a faithful woman….
I have since understood that God is exalted, and made manifest, in any home where order, unity, peace and love reign… and only oneness with one’s spouse can produce such ambience. Try it!!!
–––(These series are essentially taken from my book, “Lifelines”. to wrap up the outgone year as instructional pointers for young couples on how to sidestep mistakes we regrettably did decades ago. Happy New Year, folks).