They had spent the past five years of their lives planning ahead from the day they would officially say I do. They had agreed on everything: what deco was needed in the house, who will do what, who was welcome to stay with them and for how long, how many children they would have, how they would spend financially and other things couples had to agree on before marrying. But nothing had prepared him for his wife’s comment on their wedding night.
“I think you we should use protection tonight babe”
His tone wasn’t angry. He just wanted to make sure he heard right. A lot of things had already started running through his mind, like did his wife have a disease she was not telling him about? He trusted her so he was not going to be too forward. He just needed to understand.
“It’s just I’m not ready to get pregnant it’s too soon”
He waited for more explanations because even her reason was outlandish and unexpected. They must have discussed wanting to have children and when, but he did not remember discussing how long they were going to wait till that happened. He said nothing but stared at the frame of her body in the darkness of the room.
Ada had a dilemma in her own mind. She was not ready partly because she wanted to enjoy her husband but also because she had her career to think about and being pregnant now would perhaps make the climb to the top a little slow. What if she would have to quit her job? Being overly dependent on her husband wasn’t her style. Another thought that bothered her was that what would happen if when she was finally ready to have children she wouldn’t be able to. Igbo women were fertile anyway but with the uncertainty of the universe, there was a possibility that things would not go as planned. She prayed against her latter thought. But at this moment how was she going to explain this to her confused husband?
This was the exact dilemma that Ada confessed to her mother the next morning. Her husband did not take her silence lightly. There wasn’t any place to get protection at that time of the night so of course it was lights out.
The mother of the bride stared at her daughter, mouth open in disbelief, as she listened to the drama that had unfolded.
“Didn’t you discuss this during counselling?”
“Well, we did, but was thinking along this line recently.”
“And you decided to wait till after the wedding to state this?”
“I did not want him to have any doubts.”
“About what? You’re his wife!”
Ada remained silent.
“Okay let me tell you the truth and hopefully this truth will set you free.”
Ada stared at her mother.
“What you’re feeling is very normal. But it’s a feeling borne from fear and fear isn’t permitted in the life of a child of God, neither is worry. But here’s what I’ve learned and I’ll share it with you because it’s a passage that addresses all your current problems”
Her mother rose up to pull out her bible from the bedside dresser. The older woman then returned and sat by her at the foot of the bed.
She opened the little black book and read:
The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
See, you’re under a new covenant and under this covenant you will be fruitful. Also under this new covenant, you will flourish.”
“You say new covenant but yet you read from the Old Testament.”
“Exactly, and that is because God’s promises are yes and Amen. Regardless of the time, he had decreed, He will bring it to pass. There isn’t any need to worry about this any further. Go home and agree with your husband. Honor him and please him. But don’t hold back because of fears, especially knowing now that your fruitfulness and prosperity have been settled long ago.”
Ada wipes away tears that have suddenly begun to slip down her chin.
“Thanks Mama.” She stretches her arm for an embrace.
As we should know, in a coupled relationship, it is not just what ‘I’ want or ‘you’ want. It is what ‘We’ want. This is a difficult bridge to cross and that is why couples go through months of counselling and take time to agree together before the big balloon day. But even after all the ceremony it takes a conscious effort to make decisions together. Another lesson displayed in the story is the importance of having a spiritual partner. Either a friend, relative or mentor, you need to be open with someone. You also need as much confidence that that person’s advice will steer you in the right direction of peace and joy and not fuel your fleshy emotions. The most evident lesson is not to let fear and worry cloud your judgment on certain decisions. God’s word has the answer to whatever questions we are asking in secret. The answers may not come black and white but if we seek for his opinion on life’s most challenging situations, He is ready with an answer and with a very active support system (the Holy Spirit)