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Understanding the ‘essential oil’ needed to lubricate a relationship

Quite often, you hear some men say, ‘I need a good wife or I want to marry a good wife.’ Well, there is nothing wrong in having such desire. No reasonable person would wish for anything, but the best: have children easily, at the right time, not having prolonged delay in conception; graduates get good jobs right after youth service; all ladies marry the best husbands, couples live in choice areas of town, drive sleek cars, shop in highbrow malls; children attend the choice elite schools, etc. But in reality, life does not always play out like this.

The question we need to deal with is simply this: do men who say that they want to marry a good woman have the ‘essential oil’ to back up this desire? Should a man, who is a rotten nonentity, desire to marry a good woman just because he has a third leg? A man who has no character, no integrity, no responsibility in his timeline, is he worthy of a good woman? In life, one could be driven to heights through determination, hard-work and sound academic performance and excellence, but it can only take strong character, humility and upright living to sustain that position. Poor character has failed a lot of people. It has also destroyed relationships and led men of God to crumble like packs of cards. Essentially to forestall immoral conduct prior to matrimony, that is the main reason most churches created marriage counseling, seminars, and workshops where intending couples are taught what marriage entails before they take the bold step into marital union.

Picture this regrettable scenario: a very successful and financially comfortable maritime expert lived big, but was mocked by the same staff he paid salaries because of poor character. He had the seemingly insignificant bad habit of giving his staff knocks on the head when there were issues that could have been resolved otherwise. His first reaction always was a knock on a married man’s head while pouring thunderous abuses on him. When some policies were introduced into the industry, it affected his business, which caused the fortunes of his company to nose-dive. The men he gave knocks deserted him and within a year poverty and ill health set in, he went down the way of the mortals with no care from his staff who would have been his back up and defensive cushion.

Similarly, this type of situation comes up in marriages as well. A man without ‘essential oil’ might not successfully take his family to the Promised Land. Unnecessary arrogance, disrespect and unruly behaviour have never made and cannot make a difference in one’s life. Men who think they are the gods because of a few coins in their pockets should know that power would change hands one day. You find some men who exhibit verbal violence at home. Due to a little misunderstanding, such men haul abuses on their wives’ parents because he provides financial assistance to them. Men, who are simply drunks and keep side-chicks, do not have the ‘essential oil’ to sustain relationship. If you are the type without confidence, trying to get rich fast, thinking of wealth which you have no means to achieve, be warned. A man who would keep his wife under house arrest, dictate when she must return home, especially in a place like Lagos where the traffic situation is hellish and would not listen to any excuse, does he have the essential oil? No! He does not have it. Men who are ashamed of their spouses, but celebrate their girlfriends, men who look the other way when their lover is sick, those men who can never allow their women access to their finances, businesses or office environment. Those men with lying tongues (like a certain United States president who twists facts to suit him, and is an apostle of alternative facts), clearly do not have the ‘essential oil’ to sustain marital relationship. Men who are in sharp competition with their wives do not have essential oil. Do we talk about men, who treat their wives like trash and always shut her out of discussions as well as insulting her in public? Such men desperately need the essential oil.

Men who do not have listening ears, but very reckless with life and finances should be cautioned. Know it, all ye men without essential oil, when power changes hands, you might end up like the maritime expert. If you do not have time for your family now that they need you, a day of reckoning will come and you will be on your own.

Explicitly, intending bridegrooms who are reckless in nature, but seeking the hand of a good woman in marriage should begin to work on themselves. The woman is no trash bin that swallows all junk in the name of marriage. A good woman deserves a good man who will complement her. She needs a loving, caring and responsible husband who would hold her up. A man who needs a good wife should also show responsibility before seeking the hand of a good lady to spend the rest of his life with. Marriage is a serious matter, not child’s play.

Instructively, this is also a call for women and mothers to start training their sons and wards from the onset. Good character formation in boys from early life is very key. It goes a long way to shaping them for a responsible life. A friend told a simple story that stuck with him till date. It came as a word of advice and a warning. Hear him: “While I was in school, my father in his usual moral instruction teaching said, ‘if you commit any offence in school that requires your father’s attention, tell them you don’t have a father.’ My mother followed suit and said, ‘if the school authorities get hold of you for irresponsibility, tell them you have no mother.’ Then I asked, so what will I say? My father replied, ‘tell them you are an orphan, they should go ahead and do whatever they want to do with you.’

Now, to show the extent training can be part of a child’s growth, picture this: in an interview, a professor told me this about his late mother: “We, her children, and mostly boys, called my mother ‘3:30’ p.m. That was when she closed from work as a civil servant. The moment she got into the house, which we had thrown things all over and disorganized, she would beat and scream at us, to correct us. So, when she goes to work, and it was about time for her to return, all of us would scream, ‘3:30 would soon come back oo and we would hurriedly sweep, arrange, clean and keep the house in order before she came back. All that training has remained with us even as celebrated professionals till date.”

Mothers who think that the chores are for the house-help and girls alone are making a great mistake. Train the boys to have human feeling, be humble in nature and polite, learn to integrate with others, share and care for others. Let them do all domestic chores like cooking, washing the lavatories, sweeping, washing cars and clothes. If they visit the village, let them get to see farmlands and even participate if need be. All these would equip them to have the ‘essential oil’ to sustain their relationships.

There is no woman who is well treated, cared and provided for as well as celebrated who would not appreciate the kind gesture and show her true colour. When most women shout wolves, there is an urgent attention that needs to be sorted out.

Dear Nigerian men, strong character formation which is the ‘essential oil’ is very important in everyday life especially men who God has made the head of the household. An Igbo adage says, Ogo akpaghi aku, ya kpara olu oma (An in-law who is financially low, should at least have a polite approach). The ‘essential oil,’ when applied, goes a long way to sustaining relationships and it works like magic. At the end of the day, you will reap the fruits of your labour. Do your best and be proud of yourself in the presence of God and man.

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