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Four things to agree on before marriage – Part 5

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James O. James


Text: Genesis 17:6-8; Malachi 2:15

So far, we have looked at the need to agree on Money and In-Laws and today, we shall be considering another important area – Children. Whether we acknowledge it or not, children can either be the icing on the cake for our marriages or become a source of regret and pain.

In the Bible narrative of Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 27, 28) we see how the children God blessed them with ended up dividing the house and leaving generational enmity between brothers.

In many African communities, late arrival of children and the sex of a child can become an issue. I know of a man from a particular tribe in Nigeria, who wanted a male child by all means. His wife had given birth to seven girls and so, he married another wife to bear a male child for him. Unfortunately, the new wife gave birth to two other girls before the first wife was able to give him a male child. Imagine the trouble that developed in such a house because of the desperate need for a male child.

Therefore, before tying the nuptial knot, it is important to come to a consensus about the children you and your spouse will have.The first thing is to agree that you will accept God’s choice for you, no matter the sex. In many instances, female children have been known to achieve great feats, if given equal opportunities as the male child because female children are in no way inferior to male children. The second thing to agree on is the number of children you want to have. This agreement should be based on the number of children you can afford to cater for. Gone are the days when our mothers had twelve or thirteen of us all crammed into one room.

Thirdly, it is important to agree on what kind of education you wish to give them. What a child needs to be the best is not necessarily expensive education, but quality education, and we must be strategic in our choice of schools for our children, but within the limits of our purse.

Fourthly, agree to jointly discipline the children. It amazes me that many of us that went through serious discipline from our parents now pamper and indulge our children. Also, do not leave the discipline of the children to just one spouse, especially the man or else, you will turn him into a monster in the sight of your children. The wife has a role to also play in this regard.

Fifthly, agree to jointly monitor the kinds of friends your children keep. Usually, it is the woman who knows all the kids’ friends, but the Dad should also take an interest in the kind of friends the kids have, as friends can influence your children, either positively or negatively.

Finally, agree not to have favourites among your children. This is what divided the house of Isaac and Rebekah.
For enquiries contact: Elshaddai Covenant Church, 7, Social Club Road, Off Charity Road, Abule-Egba. Tel: 08080929292; 08182281184 (Whatsapp messages only).


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James O. James
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