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Making a turbulent marriage work

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Charles Ighele

The marriage between Abraham and Sarah had many reasons for it not to work. For example, they had no children for years. Not Abraham’s marriage. Their marriage remained intact despite many decades of childlessness.

Another matter that would have led to the marriage between Abraham and Sarah breaking up was when at the suggestion of Sarah, Abraham had to follow some earthly customs that allowed a wife who is not giving birth to pick any girl of her choice for her husband to sleep with in order to have children. Sarah suggested their domestic staff by name Hagar to Abraham. She got pregnant. This is enough for some men to drive Sarah away from the home and marry Hagar. Not Abraham.

Thirdly, Genesis 16:4,5 tells us that Hagar started disrespecting her madam, Sarah after she got pregnant.

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The disrespect was so much that Sarah could not take it any longer. She reported the matter to her husband, Abraham. Instead of Abraham to take sides with Hagar or appeal to his wife Sarah to be more understanding and mature, he followed God’s family and marriage governmental authority structure by telling his wife Sarah that matters about their domestic staff Hagar fell within her jurisdiction.

On hearing this from her husband Abraham, Sarah fully made up her mind to exercise her authority hundred per cent, and this made Hagar to run away from the home with her pregnancy. Genesis 16:7-9 says that it took an angel to persuade Hagar to return and to obey her madam. An ordinary man would have ordered Sarah out of the home instead. Not Abraham.

Another thing that could have rocked the marriage boat of Abraham and Sarah was a young man by name Lot. Lot was Abraham’s brother’s son whom Abraham decided should live with him. While in Abraham’s home, Lot was given the free hand to run his own business instead of working for his uncle Abraham. Genesis chapter 13 tells us that Lot’s business prospered to the extent that he employed many people. In Genesis 13:7, we are also told that there was a big quarrel and rivalry between the workers of Abraham and workers of Lot.

Instead of Abraham to call Lot to order as many women would have loved their husbands to do, Sarah allowed her husband to handle the matter his own peaceful and manly way.

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Many women will never allow such nonsense to be done to their husbands by a younger extended family relative. No, not Sarah.

Genesis 21 records that Sarah eventually gave birth.

As both Sarah’s child and Hagar’s grew up, Ishmael started making fun of younger Isaac and that got Sarah furious. She said that Hagar and her son Ishmael must be banned from the home.

1 Peter 3:1-8 explains to us what made their marriage work. They honoured each other. Verse 6 says, that Sarah honoured her husband and acknowledged his authority over her, while verse 7 tells men to give “honour onto the wife… that your prayers be not hindered”.

Personally, in my marriage, I try to invent ways to make my wife feel honoured. Carol also tries to do such to me. I have therefore found out that in a marriage where the couple honour each other, no matter the seriousness of any problem that may arise the honour poured into each other will make that problem to be solvable.

So, get your dictionary and check out for the meaning of the word honour and begin to learn to honour each other.

Remember, Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable”. I pray that God will give us the wisdom on how to regularly fertilise our spouses with honour. Honour, not because he/she deserves it but because God wants you to do so. Love you.

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