Many years ago I listened to a preacher share about how his wife would leave the television on at night and sleep off and they lived in a country where you pay based on how long you keep the TV on. Leaving the TV on therefore increases the television bill.
That attitude of his wife would annoy him and he was always angry at his wife for doing that yet it continued. It was obvious it was going to become a strain in the marriage.
Then one day while ruminating over this issue, I asked myself, “Is your marriage not worth fifty dollars extra at the end of the month? If this attitude of your wife will mean an extra bill of fifty dollars is it too much to pay for peace to be in your marriage?”
Unlike me, my wife is not a morning person. I can wake up by 2:00am, work till 5:00am, go back to bed and still get up by 6:00am and start my day. For my wife, I literally have to drag her out of bed in the morning. Her day begins only after she has had her bath.
In some homes, the wife is the one who goes to the kitchen to heat up water for the family to bathe. I guess it comes naturally with women. In my home, heaven help me if I wait for my wife to do that. I will wait for a long time. So I have resolved to make that my responsibility.
Even with the kids I will still have to be the one doing that in the morning because my wife is not a morning person. If that is the price I have to pay for peace to be in my home, it is worth it. We are talking about the price of peace.
One of my friends shared with me how his wife will never monitor the fuel gauge when driving. It is when the car finally stops that she realizes the car has run out of fuel. Guess who she will call? The husband. He will have to be the one to sort out the problem.
After several of such calls he had to find a way around it. He ensures the fuel tank is full at the beginning of the week which will take the wife through the week. That way he does not get any phone call that the car has stopped. It is the price of peace for him.
When I was working on this article I requested that people share some of the prices they have had to pay to maintain peace in their homes. I got a lot of responses that revealed that no marriage is perfect. The reason we see certain marriages as better than ours is because the parties in those marriages are ready to pay certain prices to maintain peace in their homes.
Let me share a few of the responses I got.
“In my home I just have to tolerate my husband’s attitude. He has this habit of talking over issues repeatedly. He can talk, talk and talk when a situation happens and will nag you till you fall over. So to allow peace what I do is try and keep my mouth shut. No argument, no talking back or simply walk away so that peace can reign.”
Ajoke Mariam Osikoya
“I usually don’t turn off the lights in a room when I’m done using it. At the beginning of my marriage hubby would tell me to always make sure I do that when exiting the room, but after correcting me several times without change, he decided to just check back anytime I left a room and would help turn the lights off. He just stopped complaining and started helping me do it. Eventually, I had to determine in myself to be more aware and I’ve gotten better doing that.
“My wife has a thing for matchsticks. After using one, she keeps it for ’emergency’. This act irritates me. No matter how long we discuss this (more than 9 years now) she still does. So I decided to dispose them and then I offer her a fresh one should an ’emergency’ arise.”
“I don’t pressurize my husband to do or not to do anything, especially something he really wants to, or really doesn’t want to do. Putting pressure on him will only irritate him. I keep quiet and I pray instead. That way, I have peace and also get what I want. On the other hand, my husband will always hang the mosquito nets, switch off the lights and unplug my phones, because I always sleep off. He has stopped complaining. He will do the job instead.”
Bisola Muktar Mary
Those were just a few of the several responses I got about the price of peace that people are paying in their homes. A lot of other people were encouraged when they saw that they were not alone. You think you are the only one having an issue until you listen to others.
Sometimes we need to do things we don’t like for the sake of peace. If it is not too high a price then why not just do it and move on with our lives? Not every battle is worth fighting.
That is why it is important to be able to lead yourself because for these people whose reports we just read you find that either they or their spouses took responsibility for peace. That is part of what personal leadership is about.
I could have picked a fight with my wife for refusing to get up from the bed in the morning. Hamzah could have picked a fight with his wife for that thing with the matchsticks. Fatimah’s husband could have picked a fight with her for always forgetting to turn off the lights. But personal leadership helped us to take the other route thereby maintaining peace in our homes.
Now this does not mean you will never have to correct each other in the relationship or continually be in endurance mode throughout the marriage especially when it has to do with abuse. That is a completely different matter. You don’t endure abuse. But instead of fighting over why your spouse always presses the toothpaste tube from the middle, why not buy a second one so you have yours and he has his and both of you have peace? Has that not solved the problem?