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This is perhaps the greatest disagreement we’ve had in the last one year of our marriage.

And it didn’t really directly relate to us. It related to someone very close that we wanted to help but we didn’t seem to agree on the best approach to help that person without hurting ourselves.

In the course of arguing on this matter, I didn’t realize I hard hurt my wife in some ways. So I thought everything was fine. Only that, as we parked at the parking lot of our church that Sunday morning, while I waited for her to be set so we walk into the church together as our custom is, I suddenly saw my wife bolting away into the church without waiting for me. This was when I knew something was seriously wrong. I could have run after her but there was a visitor with us in the vehicle who I needed to wait for.

“But why didn’t she tell me something was wrong? Why would she walk away while the visitor was there? Anyone who is observant in church will easily know something is wrong knowing we normally walk in together sometimes holding hands and always sitting together.” On this occasion, by the time I entered the church, there was no more space beside her. So we sat seperately. I was mad all through the service. “Why did my wife choose to disgrace me publicly? This is not fair; I don’t even know what I’ve done wrong.”

For the next few days after, we were only running the home with “minimum level of care” which I’ve discussed with you in a previous episode. When we finally found a way to sit down to talk about the goings-on, and she told me what made her upset to have acted the way she did that Sunday, I was more mad. “So you mean that’s all the issue that made you disgrace me publicly? And it wasn’t that you told me earlier and I failed to redress the wrong.” She obviously was shocked I interpreted her actions as a public disgrace. I’m not sure she meant it that way. But that was my own understanding of it. “Me, a whole relationship coach! For people to think I can’t even manage my wife!” ?

As I became more upset, she became more upset herself. That day, the reconcilation meeting didn’t achieve anything. Well, maybe it achieved something though- it helped us to communicate our anger and displeasure vehemently. When I was running late for work, I had to ask her to excuse me. By this time she was crying, and informing me she would be reporting me to our discipler.

I quickly scanned the entire issue afresh checking all my actions whether I will be ashamed before our discipler if I was reported.? I never like to disappoint that man. At the end I believed I had acted rightly all through. So I told her that I will be ready to drive her down to the city where our discipler lives immediately I return from work. It is our policy that she can summon me anytime before our discipler to redress any issue without my prior approval.

But here is the real gist. This was happening a few days to her birthday. And she was going to be marking a remarkable age. Prior to the commencement of the quarrel, I had been planning to stretch myself to get her some very expensive gifts which she had been asking for. It wasn’t going to be financially convenient but I decided to stretch myself.

The moment the quarrel began and for days my wife continued to upset me without retreating or apologising; I was immediately tempted to cancel the surprise plan I was making about her birthday. While I brooded on this thought, I remembered the LIKEWISE message. I am to be like Jesus regardless of what my partner does.

So I decided to carry on with my plan regardless. It was a tough decision; but like I always tell you, the grace is already in me just like it’s already in you. The moment I made this decision, I really started looking forward to surprising her with the life of Christ and making God really proud of me. I must confess that being like Jesus inflates my ego these days. It feels good to see myself becoming more and more like my Master and Saviour.

The gift wasn’t in the whole of Ibadan. I contacted the distributor in Port Harcourt. They didn’t have. I called Lagos, they didn’t have. I kept searching everywhere. I finally got someone in Lagos to sell at a very expensive price because the product was quite scarce. So I paid almost double of my earlier budget and extra cost to transport the stuff down to Ibadan where we live. All this was unknown to her.

By this time, my wife was already mourning how her birthday was going to be a mess. This is because all the resources she hoped to use for the celebration were in my care. I noticed though that like two days to the event, she started trying to court my friendship. ???

A day to go, she asked me, “Gem, shey you’ll take me down to “a nearby city” to take photographs tomorrow? “No problem dear.” She was obviously nervous while asking me for this favour. “I don’t have money o, and I’ll need to fix this and that.” I assured her there won’t be any problem.

The birthday came and I drove her down to the studio. Supported her all the way. Cheering her and doting on her as she posed for the photographs. Those photographers could never have believed that a big quarrel was ongoing, not yet resolved. I was at my best and she was really happy.

We drove back in the night to our city. While we were at the studio, they had called me that my surprise gift had arrived. As we returned to Ibadan, I simply told her that I needed to pick something at a popular park. I found a way to conceal what it was.

After picking it up, as I turned to move towards the direction to our house, I handed over the gift to her. She was at first lost. As she opened it, she saw something she had been longing to have for over a year before that time. She screamed and almost took the steering from me. “When did you start planning this?” “Do you mean you kept planning this all through the time of our quarrel? Haaa!” She was too dumfounded!

At this point I must confess I was feeling fly! ??

As we both entered the room when we got back home, the unthinkable happened. My wife went on her knees and began to hold my legs, apologising profusely for what she had done in the past many days. “I do not deserve you Peniela. I had thought my birthday was going to be a complete mess.” She kept saying this repeatedly. I was so humbled. And I really also appreciated her humility.

This event touched me in a very deep way. It showed me that the way of Christ is the way that works! How else could I have brought my wife on her knees? If I had followed the way of the natural which is to withdraw love and support from a woman who is not submissive to you and upsetting you, how could I have achieved this kind of genuine result?

On account of this event, I became more committed to this likewise matter. It works. Nothing else works better. I will keep this likewise – love my wife recklessly at all times regardless of what she does to me. This is the only way I can straighten her on any occasion. Not by threats or force or withdrawal of my love and support.

And this is what I want you all to take away from this.

1. Don’t wait for your partner to keep their LIKEWISE before you keep yours. Even if only one of you acts as Jesus would in the midst of a crisis, it is sufficient to bring the other person to repentance and to salvage the marriage.

2. The best way to conquer a woman is through reckless love that is constant at all times – whether she acts right or not. The best way to conquer a man is through reckless honour and respect whether he acts right or not.

3. Being like Jesus in practical terms is the biggest secret for a successful marriage.

Your brother,
Peniela E. Akintujoye.

©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| hello@lovestraighttalks.com


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