The Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International, Bishop Charles Agyinasare, has said in Part II of his series on marriage, titled ‘Putting out the fire’, that taking one’s spouse for granted can break up the holy matrimony.
“If you’re going to deal with conflict in your marriage, the second thing you must do is that don’t take your spouse for granted because it takes two to tango”, Bishop Agyinasare counselled on Sunday, 16 August 2020.
He said as captured in Amos 3:3: ‘Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?’, “two people cannot walk together unless there is the power of agreement”, adding: “Marriage is about two people, a husband and wife and to make the marriage work, both must consciously contribute”.
“If the marriage will fail, both will make it fail”, he noted.
Below is a transcription of Bishop Agyinasare’s teaching on not taking one’s spouse for granted:
In science, we say that: ‘For every action there is an equal reaction’. In accounting, they say: ‘For every debit entry there is a corresponding credit entry’.
What I’m simply saying is that whatever attitude you show, you provoke an equal reaction’. So if you treat your wife like a doormat, she would treat you like a broom. If you treat your wife like a queen, she would treat you like a king’. And, so, it takes the two of you to make that marriage work.
Number two, don’t forget the past. In Prov. 17:13, the Bible said: ‘Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house’. That means that you have to remember where both of you are coming from. What contributions did each of you make to get you here because for some of you, when you started, you were all ‘suffer people’, but today see where you are.
Are you allowing wealth, position or status to ruin your marriage instead of cementing your relationship? Wealth, status, position are to help make your marriage better but when some start getting rich, they start getting prosperous, they have a better position, their status changes in the society, then they think that their spouse doesn’t deserve to be where they are. Why are you today just looking at the ‘deficiencies of your spouse?’ And suddenly you have started comparing yourself to other couples.
Why are you in a hurry to succeed. Because in the last part of Isaiah 28:16, the Bible says: ‘…He that believeth, shall not make haste’. And, so, if you have faith in God, you’re not in a hurry. Whatever you’re seeing in other couples, don’t let it intimidate you and don’t let it make you do the wrong thing because Rome was not built in a day.
The Chinese say: ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step’. An, so, don’t despise small beginnings. And not only must you not despise small beginnings, but don’t despise your spouse today. Today, you look at where you are and you are despising your spouse. In Proverbs 14:21, the Bible says: ‘He who despises his neighbour sins’.
The story is told of this man that was married to this dear woman, and when their son was growing up, the man never took the boy’s mother anywhere. And anytime the mother visited the boy in school, the boy would tell people that was not his mother. So, one day the boy was having a chat with her mum and said mum: why is your face like that? And the mum went to bring some pictures of how she used to look and said: ‘One day there was a fire and your daddy was sleeping and you were sleeping. I ran out and realised you were sleeping.
So, I ran back in to wake up your dad and to wake you up. By the time I finished doing that and you people escaped, the building collapsed, I was caught in the fire and they took me to the hospital and when I came out of the hospital, my face was disfigured. From that day, the boy changed his perception of the mother. That woman risked her life for her son and husband.
There are spouses today whose spouse risked their lives for them in the past. When you were nobody, your spouse risked everything to stay with you. For some of you, your spouse’s parents did not even want them to marry you but they risked to marry you. Today, you are a ‘Champion Atta’ and you’ve forgotten.
In 2 Chronicles 8:9, the Bible says: ‘But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and captains of his chariots and horsemen’.
When Solomon wanted slaves or servants, he did not take them out of the children of Israel because of their past together. If you look at your past, you don’t have to take your spouse for granted.
Some have become who they are by the contributions of their spouse and their family. Some of you, at the time you married, if your spouse hadn’t contributed, you couldn’t even have got a good accommodation. Some of you, it has taken your spouse to sponsor your education. Today, you have got the education and you think that he or she does not deserve you. Some of you watching me from overseas, it might have been your spouse and family that helped you to get your ticket to go overseas. You got there and you’ve forgotten about your spouse.
Many wives forfeited their carrier to take care of their children and their husband and today, they are far behind in their career. Some of them even stopped pursuing their education so that you could be able to succeed. Now, you’ve succeeded and you’ve forgotten. Don’t forget the past.
Number 3, deal with offences the Bible way. And the Bible way of dealing with offences is serious. Jesus said in Mathew 18:15-17 that: ‘Matt. 18:15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
Matt. 18:16 says: ‘But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Matt. 18:17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector’.
Now, Jesus did not say that: ‘If you sin against your brother, go and apologise. He said if your brother has sinned against you, you take the first step’ Now, there are so many married people who are waiting for their spouse to come and make amends. ‘She never apologises’, ‘he never apologises’. Jesus didn’t put the ball in the court of the person who has offended you.
He put it in your court. Even in this case he’s just talking about anybody, which includes your spouse. He says when somebody offends you, you go look for reconciliation.
So, let me ask you: ‘How much have you tried to exhaust the avenues for redress?’ He says if your spouse wrongs you, call your spouse, the two of you. Say: ‘Sweetie you offended me. This thing you did – A, B, C, you didn’t do it well’. If he/she doesn’t listen to you, go and get your pastor or marriage counsellors, if he/she still doesn’t listen to you, let relatives who your spouse respects go and talk to your spouse. If he/she still doesn’t listen, now tell your pastor. If they come to your pastor after you have gone through all these stages and they don’t listen, then the person is just a difficult person. The Bible says treat them as an unbeliever.
Now, why should the offended go through all these difficult processes?
In Mathew 5:23-24, Jesus said: ‘Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
Matt. 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’.
So, Jesus said if you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your worship, leave your prayer, leave whatever you are doing, go and get reconciliation and because you don’t want your prayers to be hindered, you seek reconciliation.
Why is your wife or husband the stumbling block or a witch or wizard to your prayers? Isaiah 59:1-2 say: ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear. 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear’.
So, God is saying the reason I can’t even listen to you is because you have sin, unforgiveness. You know, the longer I live, the more I realise how difficult those words are for many couples.
In Romans 12:18 says, the Bible says: “If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” So, you have got to make it a point to live in peace. Living peaceably means pursuing peace. It means taking the initiative to resolve a difficult conflict rather than waiting for the other person to take the first step. To pursue the resolution of a conflict means setting aside your own hurt, anger, and bitterness.
Jesus takes it a step further in Matt. 5:44. He says: ‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you’.
Even your enemies, Jesus says: ‘Love them’. Even those who are cursing you, Jesus is saying: ‘Bless them’.
Meanwhile, there are many spouses who are praying: ‘Let my wife fall down and die. Let my husband die now’. That your husband who you think is the trouble is not going to die now. That your wife who you think is the trouble is not going to die now. Because there are some things in your life that God must have to deal with and it will take that husband or that wife, who is your sandpaper, to sandpaper you till you get to perfection.
So, don’t allow Satan to gain a victory by isolating you from someone you care about.