We were both in the room totally lost in the discussion we were having- talking about different things and nothing in particular.
Suddenly, I lifted up my eyes and saw a stream of water coming into the room forcefully through the door. I immediately called her attention, quite puzzled. “Where could the water be coming from? I asked.” She was suddenly jolted and then screamed. “I’m fetching from the tap into the drum in the kitchen. I’ve totally forgotten.”
Apparently the drum had filled up and the pipe she was fetching with had slipped to the floor, turning the entire house into a river in the process. So, that water we saw entering the room came all the way from the kitchen.
The way our house is structured, the kitchen is quite a distance from the master bedroom. Before water could escape to the room, the entire living room and a long passage must have been filled with water. That was the case. By the time we stepped out, everywhere was filled with water.
By this time, she had already lost her comportment. A lot could be spoilt by the water including expensive electronics and other valuables. The other thing is she didn’t know what kind of reaction this could elicit from me. The natural reaction of the father of the house is to look at his wife and say, “see what you’ve done now. Why are you so forgetful? Now the entire house is water-locked. Just pray none of my valuables get spoilt. I don’t know what is occupying your thoughts so much.”
Under such atmosphere of tension, she will likely snap back at me in self defense and then there’ll be a big fight. If she doesn’t snap back, my criticism will compound the pain she already had for having such problem on her hands as a result of her omission.
Then of course, she’ll be silently waiting for the day I’ll make my own mistake. The day I also forget to put off the tap or make other mistakes, she’ll say, “Mr. Perfect, so you too can forget to switch off the tap. The other day when it was my turn, you were running your mouth more than the tap itself…”
This is how sometimes a couple begins to look for each other’s mistakes in order to weaponise it. I’ve seen this repeatedly, where people who have once confessed matchless love are now counting scores in hurting and criticizing each other. One of them must have started it – criticized the other party so badly when they made their own mistake as if s/he is so perfect and infallible.
Criticisms kill love. It kills relationships. If you want to have a peaceful home, avoid criticisms by all means. For me, the mindset I developed as an antidote to a life of criticism is to ALWAYS ADOPT MY PARTNER’S MISTAKES AS MINE.
The truth is there’s no mistake my partner makes that I can’t make myself. No one is infallible. Can I also forget to switch off the tap? The answer is yes. Can I burn the soup on the fire while browsing the net? It has happened many times. If I’m the one, will I beat myself? The answer is no. Why then should I bring out “Koboko” when it’s the turn of others? That’s the nature of the fallen man. It holds others to a standard it cannot measure up to itself.
So on this occasion, I immediately adopted the mistake as mine. I saw myself as the person who forgot the tap was running. So instead of reprimanding her, I was rather calming her down. “Don’t worry yourself, we’ll sort everything out now. You go and start mopping from the room, I’ll handle it from the kitchen.” That was how we both started packing water from different ends. In about 40 minutes we were done. She later came into the room with a sigh of relief all over her face to thank me. We slept in peace that night. I never said a word to review what happened even after we solved the problem. Not once to date. I just fixed it and moved on. It’s also not every event that needs a review.
Some men (or women) will say, “where then is the place of correction? I need to correct her so she can stop being careless.” Even if there’s a need for correction, it’s best much later. Not fit for that very moment. If you don’t want correction to come across as criticism, the timing is very important. That said, there are some omissions that do not even need correction at all because they are so easily besetting, they’ll happen again – to anyone. So, no need to stress yourself.
Just like a running tap forgotten, I will never worry about burnt food equally, except it has happened like five times consecutively in quick succession. It’s normal for food to get burnt from time to time. Don’t worry yourself about any correction. Make extra budgets in your mind for foods that will get burnt periodically. I sometimes burn them myself when I’m on duty. So what is the noise about? ??
Yes, it’s not everything that can be corrected – including certain personal traits of your partner – as long as they are not sinful traits. Know this and know peace. Some things are to be accommodated and adjusted to for peace to continue to reign.
If indeed two have become one, then the two have become one even in their mistakes and weaknesses. It then means that whenever you criticize your partner, you’re speaking as though the two of you are no longer one; you’re indirectly putting asunder what God has joined together. ??
This principle of adopting each other’s mistakes has brought us much peace in our marriage in the last one year and I’ll advise you to adopt it for your own marriage too. It’s already part of our marriage constitution and so we’ll work with it till we see Jesus.
This is the next principle I’ll be sharing with you in greater details in the next couple of days. Don’t miss any of the episodes.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org