It is no longer news that globally, the economy is biting. Most families are finding it difficult to cope with towering bills as a result of rising cost of living. One way couples can cope with this is to empower women by inspiring them to harness their potentials. Sometimes you wonder why after many years of marriage, a woman is still struggling to settle or narrow down into a career, business, vocation, and the likes. On the one hand, doing so enables her support herself which ultimately reels in fulfillment. In addition, she is also able to support her family as the bills grow horns, especially among low-income families. I got a glimpse of this when some friends complained about their partners’ lack of prudence, inability to tough it through and lack of common sense. They come across like: my wife just can’t run any business, she has wasted my hard-earned money, she’s very inconsistent, she’s a sloth, and many of such outbursts of frustration. It reminds me of a man who vented out his frustration by calling his wife a goat for being slow in learning how to drive. It goes without saying that such profiling do not sound as music to a woman’s ear. Apart from the usual nagging, sometimes it results to undercurrent, like passing through a dark tunnel, inhibiting the normal flow of communication for days, sometimes leading to divorce. To say the least, homes with these kinds of challenge leave the husband struggling to cope like a man who suddenly finds himself on high waters. So what‘s the way out.
Every time I hear statements from men that have the semblance of blaming the woman for not finding her footing, I cautioned such men to look deeper before crucifying their wives for their own irresponsibility. Men must understand that women are wired to look up to them in all things – in the choice of occupation, vocation, and other vital areas of decision. As leaders in the home front, men are expected to chart the course in all aspects of life. Much insight is required here. In his book, Developing the Leadership Within you, John Maxwell defines leadership as influence, with insight at its core. There is no gainsaying that influence is easy contingent on insight.
It is the role of husbands as leaders to spend time in studying their spouses, with the view to gain relevant insight in order to influence them positively. Try to figure out what your wife is cut out for; if she’s averse to crowd, then she should perhaps work from/at home; if she can keep loose changes from the upkeep money at the end of the month, then perhaps you should set up a small kiosk business around the yard; if she’s very open to visitors and also good at meals then perhaps a restaurant business will fit; if she love’s solitude, then she should have a garden at the backyard, or be producing local soap, candy, baking cakes or even writing books; if she blahs more against her wishes, then she should consider public speaking; the list is quite longer. Husbands must figure this out and inspire their spouses accordingly.
We can also learn from global concept of leadership. In this parlance, the expectation is problem-solving; that is, the leader is expected to navigate his way against all odds towards a positive end. Leaders who give excuses for their failures are never taken serious hence end up without followers. However, those that are able to overcome obstacles can boldly tell their stories and the world will listen. Those that are leaders indeed do not give excuses; they just put their shoulder to the wheel. They show the results and tell the stories of their struggle to inspire others.
Few years after our wedding, I was part of the school of thought that my wife should just square up. My expectations never saw the light of the day; in fact, it got worse, as she drifted farther away from her
potentials. It was not until when the essence of leadership in marriage dawned on me.
From her undergraduate days, friends had pointed that her skills in event management was captivating and she had often taken lightly such commendations. Fast-forward to six years down the marriage lane, I noticed that, most of the feedbacks from her catering were very positive. Hence, I pointed it out to her that it revealed potentials. I further advised that she commercialized it for she had offered those services for free. To top it off, I began the process of business name registration and opening of company account. That was how catering became one of her businesses. The most interesting part is that no sooner had the process of account opening completed, than a golden opportunity came knocking. Just a day later, a friend visited our city. He was given the responsibility of conducting a one-week training for some folks. We dived in to offer catering services. “But you know, we don’t pay money into individual account,” he said that evening. “We do have a company account,” I quickly responded. The deal was sealed right there. Your guess is as good as mine if I hadn’t stepped forward to give direction to my wife.
Ab initio, she had wished that the furniture in the sitting room be replaced; understandably they had served for almost a decade. But I wouldn’t budge, for I had been preoccupied with other higher priorities. On our return from the one-week catering however, to her credit, we walked confidently to the furniture shop. Indeed, it pays to pay attention to your wife’s interest!