Are your screws loose?

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Today, as we celebrate our wedding anniversary, I cannot help but thank God for his grace and mercy. My mentees usually ask "what is the secret of your marriage? Or "tell us the principles to follow". I am usually quick to say that I do not have a secret and I also do not like prescribing principles (PP's). Yes there are biblical principles, but I don't like PP's because I have come to recognise and appreciate that all marriages have their peculiarities, and no two marriages are the same.

Anyway, whilst thinking about the goodness of God in keeping us together over these 26 years, I am suddenly filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude when the Holy Spirit vividly brought to my mind the fact that not every couple that started the journey with us is still together. As all these thoughts are going through my mind, I decided that I might as well write them down. So I picked up my reading glasses in order to clearly see what I would be writing. As I opened up the glasses, I realised that the screw on one of the arms linking the glass frames had come off. My initially reaction was one of annoyance; then I started looking for the missing screw but could not find it. As I was still trying to figure out when and where it fell to, I felt the Holy Spirit minister to me that the screw falling off did not just happen (it was not a sudden occurrence). The screw had most likely been turning and coming undone gradually over the last few days or perhaps even weeks; but I did not pay attention to it until it eventually fell apart.

This is usually the same thing that happens in marriages. The things that hold the marriage together start to come undone and because we don't pay attention to them, one day we come to the realisation that both parties have drifted far apart. They might be living together, but their minds and spirit are not together.

The Holy Spirit also reminded me about the scripture in Ecclesiastes 4:12, which states that "a three-fold cord is not quickly broken". It is interesting that the scripture says: the cord is not quickly or easily broken. Jesus is the one that is supposed to bind us together. The cord is usually bound tightly around us. However, the question is: what eventually causes the cord to break? Let's think about it logically; when frictions occur, the constant rubbing against each other will eventually cause wear and tear, and if care or attention is not paid to it, one day, we find that the cord has come undone.

Coming back to my reading glasses (that provoked this reflection); I further reflected that - it is just one frame (with two lenses), but it needs two arms to hold it in place securely in order for it to function effectively. Without one or both arms, a spectacle (pair of glasses) cannot sit properly on a person's face and aid sight the way it was designed to do. In the same way that the two arms (the two people) in a marriage are required to play their parts in holding up the marriage so that it can function effectively and be fulfilling.

Therefore, the message is: watch the screws that are holding your marriage. Are they coming undone slowly? Watch the little foxes that spoil the vine. Pay attention and tighten the screws on both sides (arms) of your spectacle (marriage). Pay attention to the incessant frictions that are wearing away and weakening the bond.

May God keep your three-fold cord tightly bound and may He give you the grace to do whatever is required of you, so that your marriage will not come undone but will glorify God. Amen.

Mrs Funke Adeaga

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