One Important Question to Ask Your Wife

One fateful February afternoon, I was in this cozy and classy restaurant, having lunch with a senior colleague. Toni Braxton was crooning the song that won her her fourth Grammy, ‘He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me.’

I was transported to my first two years as an undergraduate when singing and listening to jazz and R&B songs was like breathing. Those days I even sleep and read with music playing.

For the first time, I really considered seriously the lyrics of the song in relation to me.

As I mused on the words of Toni, I asked myself, ‘Am I man enough for my wife and boy?’ How will Njeb, my wife, respond to the question, ‘Is your husband man enough for you?’

My musing ended with a resolve to pose the question to Njeb.

Two days later, when I got home from work, wrestling with reluctance, I mustered courage and popped the question.

My wife, sensing my emotional tension, enjoyed the moment. Mercilessly, she delayed her answer by responding, ‘Why are you asking?’ I answered, with a smile that I hardly felt, ‘I need to know.’ After what seemed like an hour (actually several seconds), with a serious look on her face (I held my breath waiting) she said, ‘Gem, you are man enough for me!’

That was seven years ago.
A few days ago, I asked Njeb the same question.

This is not an easy question to ask. I struggled to ask it seven years ago. I struggled to ask it recently. I know It is an important question to ask. Yet each time I wished I did not have to ask it.

Why?

The question “Am I man enough” is an invitation for feedback. And everybody I know squirms at the prospect of receiving feedback for fear that it may be negative. You see, I knew I was giving my best shot at being a husband and father. I still am. But I am also aware I may not be doing as well as I think.

Whether you think you are doing well or not, take the bold step. Ask your wife, ‘Am I man enough for you?’

How else would you find out if you are man enough? Who else would you ask if not the person who really knows you?

If you get positive feedback, great! Really, great (in the light of the dearth of men who are manning up as husbands and fathers).

If the feedback you get is not positive. Don’t see it as negative. See it as constructive. Because you have been given valuable information for growth and improvement.

When you get feedback that is not positive, don’t see it as negative. See it as constructive. You have been given valuable information for growth and improvement.

The goal of asking this question is not for your ego to be massaged. But for you to know how well you are doing – as a husband and father – for the purpose of improvement. Because being man enough is not being perfect. There is no perfect specimen of manhood anywhere on God’s green earth. You can never be man enough, enough. There is always room for growth and improvement.

Decide today to ask the most important person in your life this important question. Otherwise, you will be denying yourself valuable information you can never get elsewhere. You can’t afford that.

In my next post, I will talk about what it really means to be man enough.

Yet Another Change, For Men

Life teaches you change is inevitable. Some changes happen to you, some are forced on you. Others you initiate, in response to dissatisfaction or the desire for improvement.

Since I started blogging I have had to change things: focus, name, theme and design, domain and platform.

One change that was forced on me was the move from Blogger to WordPress. Blogger came up with a requirement that was unfavourable to blogs that weren’t self-hosted. I was forced to move elsewhere.

Since I moved to WordPress my blog has gone through a couple of related changes. The following header images show some of the changes.

I changed from sharing Words of Wisdom & Love. to writing about truth that inspire authentic living.

Then a related change of design and a finetuned message for young people..

After which I moved to writing about little changes that cause significant impact in a person’s life.

Then I dabbled into podcasting, still talking about little changes that cause major impact in a person’s life.

With the podcast, now my focus is helping young men – both single and married – be intentional husbands and fathers.

The latest change is a major one – complete move to a different niche and target audience. I no longer write and speak about little personal changes that brings the most impact in a person’s life.

Currently, my focus is helping the married, especially men, to win at home by making their most important relationships the one with their spouses and children. My podcast, which has the same focus has changed name from Little Tips to the Cleavage. See the previous blog post for an understanding of my context of the word, Cleavage.

More specifically, my target audience is young couples/ spouses who have been married for not more than ten years. However, Those who have been married for longer will find my content relevant.

This change is informed by the fact that my work for about three years now, involves helping married people build thriving families and intending couples prepare for the lifetime commitment of marriage.

Over and over again, I see that most marital problems are related more to the husband/father’s inability to love and lead well at home. Many a man sacrifice winning at home for winning in other areas of life. As a result, many men are failing to step up to be the leaders they ought to be.

Most marital problems are related more to the husband/father’s inability to love and lead well at home.

Some don’t know how. Others simply don’t care. So I want to help.

I am intentionally learning how to lead and love in my own home; and I care that others do the same.

Hence, the change on my blog and podcast.

I am hopeful this change will see me helping many couples and spouses change from being clueless or passive about marriage to being effective and intentional at home. I am passionate about this.

Win at home. That is where it matters most.

Cleavage, a Most Important Responsibility of Men

A man’s biggest and most important responsibility has to do with cleavage.

The mention of the word cleavage mostly concerns the chest or breasts of a woman. Or more specifically, it refers to the furrow between the breasts of a woman. No thanks to how increasingly revealing people dress today. That’s not what this piece refers to. Actually, I am talking about marriage.

Yes! Marriage!

The word cleavage is derived from the word cleave, which has two opposite meanings. On one hand, it means split, severe, or separate. On the other hand, it means to cling to, to adhere closely, or to remain faithful.

Take the latter meaning of cleavage, to adhere closely or remain faithful, add the suffix –age, you have the word cleavage meaning, the act of, or state of sticking with, or adhering closely or remaining faithful to something or someone. This is a great description of marriage, or the commitment of marriage. 

So why is marriage a man’s most important responsibility?

I believe a man can, and should have a significant impact on his marriage and family. I believe a man’s biggest and most significant impact should be at home. That should be every man’s life goal. I agree with Joshua & Christi Straub who encourage and help couples to be famous at home, “because the greatest red carpet you’ll ever walk, is through your front door.”

Home is where life matters most.

Home is where life matters most.

There is a general notion that there exists a scarcity of authentic men; a dearth of husbands and fathers who lead well at home.

Whether you agree or not, the need for men to step up and be men, especially at home, is a real need. Many men are not doing marriage right – some because they don’t know how; others simply don’t want to. Many husbands and fathers today were underprepared, or worse, not prepared for marriage and fatherhood. Sadly, many single and engaged guys are treading the same path.

Men, real men, are critical, to the survival of marriages and the society.

James Dobson, one of America’s foremost authorities and spokesmen on family and marriage matters, in his book Straight Talk to Men, said, “I believe with everything within me, that husbands hold the keys to the preservation of the family.” Absolutely! If you are a man reading this, a lot depends on you; a lot is at stake, more than you know, regarding the choices you make as a husband and father.

Dobson further asserted, “If America is going to survive the incredible stresses and dangers it now faces, it will be because husbands and fathers again place their families at the highest level on their system of priorities, reserving a portion of their time and energy for leadership within their homes!” He made this statement about America in 1984. But the same is relevant for Nigeria today, and any other nation or society.

Men, real men, are critical, to the survival of marriages and the society.

Men, we must rouse ourselves from the numbing state of sleep and inaction, strip off the passivity that emasculates us, and step up to assume our God-ordained roles as leaders – intentional husbands and fathers – in our homes.

Nothing less is demanded. Nothing less is expected.

Also, It is imperative to help young single men become, and young husbands and fathers to step up to be, men who live out their roles with intention; men whose most important relationships are with their wives and children; men who lead by serving.

That is my aim.