I had been invited to speak as a panelist in an online platform on some pressing political issues. I connected on Instagram that night. It was a very rigorous panel. I expended all the energy I’ve got speaking and attending to questions.
By the time I was done, it was around 9pm. While the program lasted, my wife was taking a rest behind me on the bed. I knew I would be very hungry by the time the program was over. And I saw that nothing was going on in the Kitchen.
Finally we were done with the program and the following conversation ensued:
“Jewel, aren’t we eating tonight?”
“Are you hungry? She said.
Already getting pissed, I replied, “At 9pm?”
I waited for a little while expecting her to jump out of bed but that didn’t happen. She appeared to have slept back. Yet, I was so so hungry. I immediately thought, “I have to go fix this thing myself if hunger will not remove my eyes tonight.”
I fixed a meal for two, served the two, took hers to the room and set it before her. I then took mine in and began to eat. As I began to eat, the table shook. Immediately it did, the sound woke her from sleep and she jumped up trying to rush to the kitchen to get something done.
I just looked at her and told her I’ve already fixed the food and that hers is set before her. It was set with even water to wash her hands and drinking water and everything. She was full of thanks. As she ate the meal, she said she was so lucky to have married me, that I’m such an unusual husband and other romantic words that are for my ears only and which I thoroughly enjoyed. ???
I certainly don’t have to do this kind of thing all the time. Just those few occasions when she’s unable to rise up to the occasion. Any time it happens this way and I’m having to step in because I called her and didn’t get a response as in this case or like the case in the story I opened this matter of food with, at the beginning I’ll be a little angry as I make for the kitchen to get it done myself. I will also have to fight the temptation to fix mine alone. But beyond that I will always take her food to wherever she is (living room or bedroom) to set the food before her. I ensure to do this all the time. Why do I do that? And this is the focus of this particular post.
I do so in order to send a clear message to her that I’m not angry. If I serve mine and leave hers in the pot, she may still think that I’m angry. But serving hers and taking it to where she is to set the table before her totally contradicts the impression of anger. Yes, I was angry initially, but I don’t want to remain angry as that is inconsistent with the new life in Christ.
To be momentarily angry is not the problem, to allow the seed of anger to fester is what the Bible frowns at. See Ephesians 4:26. A genuine Christian must be slow to anger and quick to come out of it when it eventually happens. Within the brief period while the anger lasts, s/he must equally display the fruit of the Spirit called self control so that no wrong word or action comes forth.
So, by reverently serving someone I should not have even cooked for if I was operating by the natural, I’m trying to be deliberate in cultivating the new life in Christ. Deliberate in completely contradicting the natural order. I’m deliberately training my senses in a new normal, a new order, the order of the life of Christ, so that a time comes when acting in any other way will become abnormal to my senses.
For all of us who have been genuinely saved and have consciously grown in our sanctification ever since, indeed the Old occupier of our life -the Old Man- has been evacuated. But before he left, our senses were already used to him for the many years he was in charge. They already were used to certain standard of reactions, behavior, interpretations and responses so that even after the New Man has come into our lives, our senses have refused to adjust to the way of doing things of the New Man.
We have to consciously adjust our senses. We have to sometimes be hard on ourselves. We have to determine to contradict the natural way of doing things.
If we do, my conviction is that our senses can truly be fully adjusted after some time to Jesus the new man in us so that even when we act unconsciously, we will be acting His life. Yes, it’s a product of much use. This is real friends. I can testify to it.
Anything that is made a habit can become addictive. Bad behavior can be addictive; good behavior can also. By reason of use, a man’s senses can become addicted to a new (Christ-like) way of doing things so that after some time, he does it effortlessly, and then after some time he begins to see his old way of life as very abnormal and can’t even get himself to act that way any longer.
This is what I’m inviting all of you into. Be conscious and deliberate in cultivating a new normal in your relationship with your spouse.
The scripture below summarizes the message:
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who BY REASON OF USE have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Become deliberate in contradicting natural tendencies in your relationship with your partner. Choose to do the opposite of the natural, do it again and again and then in a short while, by reason of use, your senses would have been exercised – addicted – to expressing Christ as the new normal.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org