I see Men as Solid Trees

Nnedinanma, walked briskly as if she were in a hurry, could it be an emergency of some sorts. She raced quickly to the other section of the house as she tried to make sure “Papa” was awake. He’s fine, in fine mood, and cheery too. Not so for Nkemdi. Since the rising of the sun he had been awake, meticulously trying to balance his accounts. But it was still not adding up. His outgoing was more than the incoming by a factor of two. And he was not due for a pay rise for the next fifteen months. How can we survive as a family for the next fifteen months especially since the school fees, mortgage and other expenses are mandatory – which explains the outgoing deficit! He could not see anyway out, and refused to borrow anymore. Exhausted with these thoughts, he slowly crept back into bed and continued to wonder what would become of his family.

Good morning dearest, you are awake said Nnedinanma, what would you have me make you for breakfast, your favourite? Nkemdi a little sullen replied, I’m not very hungry munchkins, don’t worry, I will be ready in a giffy to take the kids to school. Are they ready? I think so replied Nnedinanma, I’ll go check. It had barely gone past the hour when Nkemdi moved the car onto the drive way and the kids all jumped in and off they went.

Today, I telephoned my friend Nnedinanma, of ten years to see how she was, and how family life was treating her. Since it’s my day off I wanted to drop in on her before carrying on with my home chores.As I stopped by her house, I found her relaxing on a two by two settee, whilst watching desperate housewives. Her house was in an immaculate order, especially when children were supposed to live in the house, and it’s only 10am.

Dina I exclaimed, even the house cleaner I pay good money, is not able to have my house in such order and you are no better than me, spill! She replied saying, I have an aunt that has been living with me for the last seven months, who can not stand the sight of dust, and she has been helping with the kids, Papa, and even all the house chores. Cooking too? I asked, hmmm she replied, her food tastes better than mine.Then I said to her, what then do you do? Dina replied, I am a housewife, so the house is my domain. Dina I replied, for the last seven months you have been doing nothing since your aunt came, wouldn’t you consider getting a Job, especially when I know I will hire you in a matter of seconds. You’ve always been the best statistician I have ever had the pleasure to work with, and I wouldn’t mind having you in my group. She replied saying, it is the role of my Husband to provide for my family and for me to be provided for. I asked her, so how long will your aunt be staying? She replied saying, since she’s Papa’s only sister, she wants to be around to make sure Papa is taken good care of. But Papa now lives with you I interrupted. Exactly, she said. So you mean, yes, indefinitely.

I spent the next couple of hours talking and laughing with my good friend Dinanma, and didn’t realize how time flew. It was now 3.30pm and Nkemdi drove in with the kids, greeted us, and continued on his way back to work. I looked at her again and said to her do you really mean to tell me Nkemdi brings the kids back too? The house is my domain she replied. On realizing how late it had gotten, I decided to take my leave and promised to visit her again before the year runs out. But I couldn’t help but ask her one more question. So if you are in charge of the home, what happens to the financial responsibilities? She replied, Nkemdi is the provider, and he is in charge of making everything balance.

On leaving the house I couldn’t help but wonder on the role we as wives have to play in helping our husbands, and if Dinanma was fair in her attitude towards the distribution of roles.

In the story, we see a family in a temporary financial mess (which if not dispelled could lead to even greater problems). And all it needs is a “fifteen months bridge” to help get them out of the small mess. Currently Dinanma is free and wouldn’t find it difficult to find a job, but is not interested because of the way she views her husband’s responsibilities. He is not complaining, he just needs some help until he is able to sort out the mess. After all if aunt wasn’t around, Dinanma would still have been busy with her chores. But that is not the issue. If he had told her of the current status, would she want to help, since she is of the view that it is “his responsibility to provide for herBy wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures – Proverbs 24:3-4;The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down – Proverbs 14:1; Genesis 2:20b, But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

How suitable is she to the needs of her husband and to her family. How flexible is she, and is she willing to compromise? What sort of help does that make her? What is your perception of the role of your husband, and is he therefore responsible for falling short in difficult times.