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Appreciating your wife’s cooking


Bishop Charles Ighele

Many years ago, my parents in-law, Bishop Michael Marioghae and Rev. (Mrs.) Rachel Marioghae (both of blessed and sweet memories) were invited to preach in another town. After preaching, the host pastor and his wife invited them to have dinner in his house. As the four of them were eating, my father in-law said something like this: “madam your food is very delicious. You are a very good cook. Thank you very much” and my mother in-law also affirmed the compliment. The woman did not respond to the compliment. And this surprised my parents in-law. After some seconds of thick silence, they heard the woman sobbing and she started crying. Surprise! Surprise! My father in-law then asked, “sorry madam, did I say anything that is offensive to you? If yes, I’m very sorry.” The pastor’s wife then replied, “it is not you sir, I am crying because of my husband. Since I married this man many years ago he has never praised me for my cooking any day.” And she continued crying. Oh! My God. I forgot to ask my parents in-law at what point the pastor’s wife stopped crying and how the dinner ended.

But the message I want to pass on to every male married or unmarried is to have the habit of complimenting their wives or sisters or mothers almost, during every meals. Women who have caterers or other people cooking for them should also form the habit of complimenting those people for their good cooking. It is not fair for a person to eat and do not compliment the person who did the cooking. You may ask what if the food is not delicious? Should such a wife be complimented for bad cooking? There are two issues involved here. First, if the woman is habitually a bad cook, steps can be secretly taken on how she can be secretly coached by someone else or by a catering school.

Second, if the woman is generally a good cook but she got it wrong this time around, do not ignore thanking her. Thank her? Yes, thank her for all her labour, for all the time physical and mental energy she spent in cooking the meal. You can say something like this “honey, thank you so much for all the time and energy and love you gave out in preparing this meal. If not that the pepper or salt is too much, it would have been better than this. It would have been a world class dish. The food is good but for the salt. You can reduce the quantity of the salt next time. I love you and I love your cooking.”

To me, this is how a man who cares about his wife’s feelings should behave. This is how a civilised man should behave. This is what the Bible means in Col 4:6 “let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer every person.” Imagine a husband speaking to his wife like an enemy because the salt in the food is too much. “How many bags of salt did you use to cook this pot of rice? You better improve on your cooking. If not you will push me out to be eating outside. I don’t joke with my food. Your mother should have thought you how to cook.” It is men who care only about their feelings (not how their wives feel) talk this way. Criticisms cripple people. Compliments make people glow and grow.

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