All parts of this post are now available together as a single free ebook in a full variety of ebook formats here
To prevent any confusion, let me first clarify what this post is NOT about.
This post is simply about a husband preventing his wife from reaching for her dreams because of only one reason: his ego.
This post is NOT about a husband asking his wife to give up her dreams for the sake of his own dreams, or about a woman voluntarily doing that, for instance by leaving her own dream job in one country to go to his dream job in another. Rather it is about when there is more than enough space and opportunity for both dreams, like when both dream jobs are in the same city, but the husband feels that his wife’s success would threaten him.
Similarly, this post is NOT about a woman giving up her job to raise the family or manage the home. It is NOT about her husband asking her to make that choice for the sake of the family, even where she may be reluctant. In many cases I believe that this would be a valid reason for a woman to give up her career or dreams, even if she had never planned to do that beforehand. Rather this post is about a husband asking his wife to give up her dreams for the sake of his own ego. To complicate matters, some husbands might hide their real motive in the excuse of needing their wife to look after the family (for instance there might still be space for the wife to pursue a few goals of her own, even where doing a thorough job of looking after and bringing up the family).
The premise of this post is that a husband vetoes or hinders his wife’s plans and dreams for the true reason of his ego alone, (even if he does actually try to wrap a legimitate excuse around his actions, like one of the reasons given above which I believe actually are legitimate reasons for a woman to surrender her dreams.)
Let me start off this post with a little (true) story. I had just been thinking through the concept of this post, mentally fleshing out the idea, when I received a text from one of my sisters, saying that she and another of my sisters were getting together to have prayer sessions, and they would be praying especially for me to get a husband. As the idea expressed in this post does not portray the most positive view of husbands, and it was so fresh in my mind, my face automatically contorted itself into an expression of horror.
“A husband?! For me?! But why?! Don’t you guys love me?!”
And one of the sisters in question also happens to be my AuntyNaija sister – seriously, you’d think that she’d know better!
On thinking about it, I realised that I have succeeded in scaring myself while thinking about marriage and writing these posts, to the point where the idea of marriage is no longer a happy thought, or an idea that automatically thrills my mind, as it might have done in younger years. Rather I think about all the hard work, all the prayer, all the sacrifices…I think about how amazing and prayerful a husband would have to be to make it worthwhile, and how unlikely I am to find such a prayerful husband when Christians generally do not seem to be very prayerful. However you know what, I want to find an amazing guy, and I want to get married! I should not let myself be scared by anything I have shared on this blog, because the point of prayer is to be able to deal with all these issues, and trust that God will give me a husband and a marriage that will be tremendously worth everything. Perhaps the way to look at these (negative) issues is to consider these as issues that someone might be likely to encounter unless they pray very hard, and also as issues that it would help to be aware of, to pre-empt in prayer before they materialise.
And to be blunt, today’s issue is extremely negative.
The point is this: As a woman, I am personally extremely ambitious. I want to make the most of my years here on earth. I want to do that in a number of ways. Firstly, and most importantly, I want to know God as much as I possibly can. I want to walk in His power, I want to walk in His truth. When my character is squeezed, I want pure Bible to flow out! I seriously want and need to know the Bible inside out, upside down in every way possible! I know that there can be no greater aspiration for my life than to invest it thoroughly into the pursuit of God. If you really knew me, you would know that I am not just saying this, either for the sake of trying to impress people or to win any kind of religious kudos for myself. This has been my life, and for me it is the only feasible way to live.
Alongside this, I also dream of success in other areas; I love developing and expressing creative talents. I want to excel in expressing the gifts that God has given me.
At the moment, I am my own boss in all of these areas. I write for my own blogs, I run my own businesses. Because of this, I am not currently aware of any glass ceiling that could curtail my achievement in any of these. I can literally go as far as I want to go, as far as I am prepared to work. If this was not true in any other regard, it is definitely true with God. I and anyone else in the world, can go as deep with God as we like. God does not impose any limits on how deeply we can know Him, or how hard we can pray, how passionately we can pursue the Bible, or how much His power can resonate through our lives. In fact, God actually encourages us to pursue Him. The Bible teaches that we should be greedy for God! I am the kind of person who always overreaches myself by having an extra serving at dinner, an extra piece of cake, so I am more than happy to be greedy for God too! [Please note that where I am saying that there is “no glass ceiling” I am talking specifically about my individual pursuit of God. I am not talking about the Church. Because the Church is a human organisation, there certainly are various glass ceilings at work there that will vary from actual church to church, from group to group. Yes in theory the glass ceiling effect should be minimised because we are all so deep in pursuing Christ and Christlike character, which means treating people fairly and ridding our hearts of prejudices, but in practice…ahem! No comment!]
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
CONTINUED Part 2 of this blog post is available here
Bride and Groom image courtesy of Microsoft images at
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/ Not currently available: July 2014