Recently, I have found myself closing my personal prayers with this line ‘…and Father, help me to love myself and him through our growth’.
Okay, before I plunge into what this piece is about, let me first apologize that it’s been over 2 weeks since you last read from me. Sighs! Being an 8 – 5er hasn’t been particularly easy in the last couple of weeks, so bear with me. Bear with me not just for the last two weeks, but for the fact that I can’t promise it won’t happen again (smug face). I hope you have been keeping well and safe, I have been.
So, you know how a new baby is born and the parents fuss over this child; this soft, pink, cooing bundle of amazement? It’s been plus or minus 40 weeks of expecting and finally the child is here! Their joy knows no bounds and they are taken by the child. They want to touch, feel, play, and just stare at the baby all day if they had the chance. In fact, and especially if it’s the first child, the parents don’t really want to share, they don’t want people touching or carrying their child too much, they don’t want you talking over the child’s face, they are just very possessive and protective of their little one, and rightly so. They love this child to the moon and back.
…the expressions start to change
As days progress into weeks, and weeks mount up into months, the expressions start to change. Imagine a child you’ve painfully breastfed on cracked nipples (if you don’t understand this just pass), stayed on your feet for over an hour trying to pacify, sang all the lullabies you know and composed some even. It’s now 4:00am and you’ve been awake since 1:00am, but this child would just not stop crying. Let’s look at another scenario, this baby pooped, you got her cleaned up, and as you donned on fresh diapers for her, she pooped some more. You tell her she’s going to have to stay in her mess for a bit because you are tired (more like you’re talking to yourself anyway) but she would have none of that, and she tells you this by wailing. Remember just how much you love this baby?
…growth isn’t easy on anyone, especially those who must watch and participate in the growth process
I’ve seen mother’s snap at their precious babies, ignore them while they cry relentlessly, or even give them a gentle spank out of frustration. It is still the baby they loved so much when she was brand new, but now she is growing, and growth has it’s discomforts. A child’s growth isn’t easy on anyone, especially the parents. Actually, growth isn’t easy on anyone, especially those who must watch and participate in the growth process.
A friend I love very dearly, was responding to a post I made of a pastor teaching on Marriage, and she said to me “This man should come na… Let me be pouring the knowledge God has given me!” I laughed out loud at that.
…no matter how prepared you feel you are for marriage; …being married can be quite humbling
In a short while, I have come to learn that no matter how prepared you feel you are for marriage; how many books, devotionals, conferences, and mentorships programs you have had, being married can be quite humbling. It is a new kind/phase of growth for both parties. How deeply you love each other wouldn’t shade off the inconveniences of your growth, and very subtly like the new mother, we can begin to express irritation, frustration and even resentment, despite loving each other. Like the new mother who is grateful for the fruit of her womb, you too are grateful for the blessing of a spouse, a life partner, and exclusive bestie, but you just can’t understand why they won’t remain that ‘princess lovely’ or ‘prince charming’ that they were on marriage day 1. Why wouldn’t the baby just remain that wrap of cuteness that they were as a one-day-old?
…consciously put love forward in your expressions
Marriage provokes growth, just like many other things do too. In truth it is one of its greatest benefits – this unique type of growth and advancement. However mismanaging growth or being unaware of it can damage any union. Both you and your spouse are growing, not even at the same pace and not in the same areas too. You must be aware and sensitive, learn patience and make it your dearest virtue, give the understanding you also want/need to receive, consciously put love forward in your expressions, and perhaps make an habit of using this line when you pray – ‘…Father, help me to love myself and her/him through our growth’.