Monday, 29 August 2016

Love, Life & Lightchild - Lessons I've Learnt from my Parents' Marriage

I am blessed to have my parents (both) together and still going strong after more than 35 years of marriage! How they have done it, I don’t know (this is where the Christianese in me will come out, to say “It is by God’s grace”, which is absolutely true).

The 'Rents and I
My folks probably don’t know that I talk about them a lot. About their lives, their marriage, as they are quite the best examples I could have to what a great marriage is (maybe they’ll get to read this one day and be encouraged to buy me a new wristwatch or shoe or something).

In this time and age when most marriages don’t make it past the 2nd year mark, I believe that when one sees a marriage that’s working and standing, you best grab a pen and paper study and take notes, to know what you can apply to yours, if you’re there or on your way there.

Here are a few of many lessons I have learnt from watching from front row seats, the marriage between my father and mother.

God’s the Centre.. always

I have heard a lot of people say this: "Put God at the centre, a three fold chord is not easily broken", that is all true, but with human beings, it is easier said than done. A good friend once said to me, start as you mean to continue. I believe before I was born, my dad and mum would most likely wake up in the morning and pray together before setting out on their daily duties. This carried on, even when we the kids came along, even up until now! When we all get the chance to go home, we still have the morning devotions (and I believe we still sing the songs today in sequential order, with my dad and his tambourine).

Truth be told, I have come to see that anything and everything that my parents do is done “as unto the Lord” and because they have chosen to honor God and put Him in His rightful place, there is no doubt that God has had a big hand in sustaining their marriage.

Whether it’s in the business, at work (in high profile meetings where you’d probably want to shy away from mentioning “God”, helping others, even when they travel), there is always an element of God being put into what my parents do. This is a classic example of “doing it as unto the Lord".

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No matter where or who they meet, they never shy away from mentioning God!
Perfectly Perfect Partners

Don’t get me wrong, it is not that my parents are perfect people, not at all, but they are perfectly perfect for each other. Where one is weak, the other person covers that weakness with their own strength and never uses it against the other. If my mum is doing some programme or has a project that she wants to embark on, once my dad knows, even with his busy schedule, you can rest assured that the project/event will be executed well because he will give and do whatever is needed as if the project/event were his own. And if the tables were turned, my mum will also go far and beyond to do the same for him.

This helps to maintain a balance and a good working order in the marriage and in the family as well.

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Perfectly Perfect Partners (PPP) - They get involved wholeheartedly in each others' projects / work
Integrity and Respect

This is something that is priceless and somewhat rare today. It is one thing for people outside to say that you’re a person of integrity and well worthy of the respect you get, it is another thing for the people who know you behind closed doors to have the same testimony of you. I have never, in all my years of existence, heard or seen my parents argue because of/over integrity and respect. Not once. They are a classic example of 'say what you mean, mean what you say', 'talk the talk and walk the walk' even if it will cost you. If my dad says he’s going to work, you’ll find him at work. I have come to understand that a woman will find it easier to submit and partner with a man (even if it is not in her natural nature to do so) who has integrity, and give him the respect that he deserves. Consequently, the same man who sees that his wife is submissive will find it easier to love and respect her too, most especially if it so happens that his wife is a 'Powerhouse'.

Just look at the look of adoration in her eyes :-)
Agree to Disagree / Compromise

I have not really seen my parents engaged in a fight or in an argument in public or at home that threatened to go out of hand and we needed some external powers to intervene. This is not to say that they don’t disagree on things, they do! My dad is quite simple and easy going while my mum is the 'attention to details' person - we have to do this and that... and my dad will be like “Is that necessary? I don’t think so”...

Most of the time, when it comes to doing something for my dad, he doesn’t like any fuss being made about him, but my mum, nahhhhhhh, she wants the fuss made and will plug herself into the fuss (and we do too ‘cos we have an awesome dad!).

The last time we went home to celebrate my dad's recent appointment, we had to keep a lot of 'information' away from him because he just doesn’t like folks fussing over him. This could potentially cause some unnecessary argument, but with some reasoning between them, you can rest assured that there will be some compromised grounds that would be reached and everyone will be happy in the end.

And this is not just for the times when we need to do things for one person, it is present in situations and scenarios where compromises need to be made.

United Front

I can’t recall ever seeing or hearing my parents use the word “I” as much as they use the word "We”. They are individuals, very opposite in nature, but there is always a united front that they present at anytime. I’m not just talking about wearing the same clothes (aso ebí or ànkóò things - of which I still don’t get the idea of couples wearing 'uniforms'...another story for another day). Even in discipline and principles, they still have that united front. Whether they talk about it and how to work it out in the bedroom/pillow talk board room, I don’t know, but you’ll always see them both stand for and say the same things.

Even when we try to outsmart them or play one against the other (you know you’ve done the same too! “Mummy can we go out?” even after daddy had said, “Go and bring your maths homework” - the next thing you will hear is “Let me ask your father or wait till your father gets home”... you know you ain’t going anywhere!)

Who would have thought we tried to 'outsmart' them?
Most people know that I’m the only boy, hence I’m quite close to my mum. With that comes some extra protection and tag team stuffs. Whilst in secondary school, we had this test, which a couple of friends and I decided it would be a good idea to change the test to an 'open book' test (for those who are not aware, most exams and tests back in those days in Nigeria were not open book, if your book was open during the test, it is popularly known as cheating). I got caught and didn’t inform my parents that I faced the disciplinary panel at school. Long story cut short, my mum got to know 3 months later, just before I got suspended. She didn’t lay hands on me, which I felt was weird, instead she waited for my dad to get home, told him and you can visualise the way that evening went.

Let’s just say I was 'delivered' and never did it again. During the “course of ministration - laying on of hands and other suitable items”, I could hear my mum say in the background - "fa ra ba lè, je ìyà e", meaning - be patient in taking your punishment - I could not believe that she had joined the ‘opposition’. But come to think about it, I’m pretty sure it must have one way or the other touched her ‘cos she hates seeing me in pain. Even though she came to give me some painkillers after, the united front was there when it came to discipline.

Selflessness and being mindful

This is one lesson that stands out in my parents' marriage - they put each other first. It has become their first (after God) hand nature. My mum won’t eat till my dad gets home. My dad will call to check on my mum before he goes to bed and intermittently, whenever she’s out of the country and vice versa too. If my dad is getting something for himself, he’ll get something for his wife (he’s like I need to get that for my wife too - they have their own definition of romance!) It’s no wonder when they say when you’ve been with someone for so long, you tend to finish their sentences, know how or what they think or even look/be like them.

My mum serves my dad first, my dad serves my mum first, each person ends up getting served first, at the same time. It works!
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The 'Rents with one of my sisters and their first grandchild (almost photobombed by yours truly!)
I could go on and on but will stop here. I cannot say how much I have learnt first hand how to make a marriage work from my parents' 37 years (and counting) of experience. I hope to not only observe but apply these principles when the time comes... So help me God.

...... Lightchild
You can read other Love, Life and Lightchild posts HERE. Also, follow Lightchild on Twitter@light_child , Instagram @lightchildfamily and Facebook -LightChildFamily

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What else could I possibly add to this. I have to admit that I smiled almost throughout, reading this. Isn't it amazing the vital life lessons we learn from people who have gone ahead of us?

I was discussing this with my friend and I said to her that it is very important to highlight these lessons and make an effort to ensure that we don't have to go through the process that our parents went through to be who they are today, however, while we look forward to emulating the marriage lessons we observe and learn from our parents or people who have gone ahead of us, it is important to be kind to ourselves and our partners, knowing that our parents weren't born that way, they developed it - with a lot of love, patience, the determination to make it work and of course by God's grace.
Please learn the lessons; beyond knowing them, apply them and of course pass on your lessons as well!
May God help us all.
So guys, please share with us, what marriage tips / lessons have you learnt from those who have gone ahead of you?
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Friday, 26 August 2016

Dear Daddy

Dearest Papa!

It's another Friday and I am as always very grateful to have such a wonderful, amazing, beautiful Father in You!

My Father and my Friend, My King and my Knight in Shining Armour, my Lord and the Lover of my soul, my God and my Gentleman of Galilee. Thank You for being such an excellent Lord and Saviour.

Thank You for Your goodness, Your kindness, Your mercy to me and for making this week a great one.

Thank You for the great support system that You have blessed me with. I was chatting with some of my dear friends this week and we just marvelled at how You have been very kind to us with the people You have surrounded us with. Thank You for my beautiful friends. Thank You for how You made our paths cross and the deep bond of friendship that exists among us.

Thank You for the trust, laughter, fun and memories we share. Thank You for making that phrase 'iron sharpeneth iron' come alive in our lives. Indeed, You have surrounded me with friends who are incredibly loyal and ones who are ready to encourage, chastise, defend and lift up during low moments.

Thank You Daddy for blessing my life with angels on earth. For them, I am very very grateful.

Thank YOU for being the BEST friend a girl could ever ask for :-). You are Everything Lord, Everything.

Love You Daddy,
One xxxx

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Dear Diary - Self Love

Start time: 22:37Hours

Dear Diary,

Today, I took myself out on a date, yes I did!

Pardon me, it seems like I only update you when it involves the word 'date'.. I promise to do better.... Lol

So, I went out to dinner today by myself to a restaurant I had always fancied and honestly I felt so thrilled to be able to do this. Here's why:

1. It was good to know that I enjoyed my own company.
2. While I love the company and friendship of others, I would survive if no one was to be found!
3. It was liberating in a very interesting way. I loved every minute of it!
4. I didn't have to endure poor conversation in the name of company *covers face* lol
5. Did I mention that it was liberating?

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Oh another bonus point.. Freedom to order like a glutton that I'm not of course :-D

The Marriage Course is for YOU!

Recommended for every married person who sees this!

Your marriage is worth the work you commit to putting into it. Be intentional about upgrading your marriage regularly..


Monday, 22 August 2016

Love, Life & Lightchild - Am I a Basket, Bucket or Tank?

When it comes to life, love and relationships, there are a number of theories, principles, ideologies that help to make sense of dealing with and relating to people. You have the likes of the 4 temperament types (Melancholic, Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic) and you also have the different love languages that tells your language of love, when it comes to how you give and receive love.

Recommended read
Taking cues and real life examples from either personal experiences or situations that I have come to know and be involved in, I can safely say (there may be more than 3) that there are 3 people types when it comes to relationships. You’ll probably find out that you’re mainly one (let’s say 90%) of the three, based on your personality, actions and character. 
We all know that life is governed by a number of principles, of which some are give and take, send and receive, sow and reap etc. These pairings help to maintain a creative balance in most or all of what we do and experience in life. 

Applying these to relationships, for analysis purposes, you and your partner will probably fit into one of these types of people:

Friday, 19 August 2016

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy!

This song by Your son Travis Greene illustrates how I am feeling right now... Thank You for making a way!



"... You move mountains, you cause walls to fall (for me) and I'm standing here only because You made a way!"

Thank You my dearest, absolutely AMAZING Father.

I love You over and beyond the galaxies, back again and then for all eternity!
One xxxx

Monday, 15 August 2016

Love, Life & Lightchild - Relationship Vs Marriage

I remember vividly one Summer time, my mum came visiting and usually when she comes into town, she stays at my sister’s house (you know, it’s better to stay in a family home than in a bachelor’s apartment - except you don’t mind starving and probably eating some sort of unbalanced meal of solely carbs, no proteins and oils. Just joking). So she comes into my apartment and she’s like "hmmm.. this house is so masculine! It’s just Black and White and Blue, no colour, no flowers, no pictures, no nothing." And I’m thinking to myself, ermm, excuse me mother, White is a colour, so also is Black and Blue! She then went on to say, if I had a 'lady friend' now, there would be more life in the house.
That got me thinking for a bit, not that she was encouraging or saying for me to co-habit, but she inferred that having a 'lady friend' put some feminine touch into my apartment would make it look more homely. 
That moment your mum asks about a 'Lady friend' *sips tea*

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Dear Diary - Can I Talk Too, Pretty Please?

Start time - 10:40pm

It's only the second entry and I am almost about to not write anything in...... So tired! It's only the middle of the week but I feel stressed already.

I promised to give gist from the date with 'Jerry Curl' last week.... Hmmmm

Unfortunately, Jerry Curl was not this interesting *sigh*

Monday, 8 August 2016

Love, Life & Lightchild - Time to Say Goodbye

When I read the topic, I thought to myself - Goodbye already??  
Thankfully, it wasn't goodbye to Love, Life & Lightchild.. It was more like opening the door for you to exit a relationship that is going nowhere.... Ladies and gentlemen, it's reality check time!

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One common thing that some of us love to do, even without knowing that we are doing it, is hoarding, holding on to things, sometimes too much, to our detriment. Sometimes we hold on to certain relationships for different reasons, maybe for fear of starting over, or not finding someone better (can’t be bothered to go through the whole process of waiting and finding) or thinking that we are running out of time and there’s probably no other one better out there, or the new reason - "Every relationship has its beauty and its burden, at least I have this one, I’ll endure and manage it"
*This is not a relationship*
When is it possibly time to say goodbye, I’m gettin’ outta ‘ere to that relationship that’s not working?

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Dear Diary 1 - In the Beginning...


Can't believe I am finally getting round to doing this! Last time I kept a diary was about 10 years ago! I was just about exiting teenage-hood.. How time flies! 

Oh well, I stumbled on old copies of my diaries while cleaning out my closet and I had to stop mid-way as I delighted myself with tales from my life long ago that seemed like I was reading someone else's story! I laughed, shook my head, and cringed at some of the things I read! How on earth could I have ever thought Kole was my ideal man! Oh dear!! Thank God for His mercies... And I wonder if Siju ever found out that it was my brother making all those anonymous calls!! *Secret admirer* indeed lol... I don't think I would want to go back there, but I can safely say that I loved that time (take away the spots though!).

Anyway, I thought I loved being able to see how far I had come and besides my diary was like my shrink! No judgement, just soaking in all the 'sordidness' - (at that time they seemed sordid! Haha) details of my daily existence... No complaints, no advice and no fees!

So I am doing this again Diary! Yes, you are back in business.. This should be fun.. I am too busy for daily entries though - then I was very jobless and now, man's got to work! :-D

So let's try once a week? Wednesdays to be precise!

I have a 'hot' date tonight... Cannot wait to write the details in my first full diary post entry next week!..

His name is Jerry (ewww).. I'm sorry but it reminds me of Jerry curl (double ewwww).. His face makes me forget how much I don't like his name though! He will survive lol.. I'm excited! It's been a while and I want to believe that Jerry knows how to make a date come alive (amen!)

Ok, let me practice small - Mrs Deedee Jerry Imaseun *Le sigh* lol

Alright, off to go get ready.. I'm excited already, not just for Jerry curl but for my brand new diary!! Whoop whoop!

DeeDee xx