When we had just gotten married life was good for us financially. We both had good jobs, bought our first property, and little responsibilities or expenses that our combined incomes couldn’t handle with extra to do whatever we wanted. Then I started feeling myself (looking back, that’s how pride gets you). Although I had a good job, against all wise counsel, I left it to start my first business. I always believed that eventually I would be in business for myself but at that point in time I had no concept of timing and in grand style that business flopped.
That meant I had to go back to a job but the problem with that was I had to settle with making way less than what I was making at my last job. If that wasn’t bad enough, we had to deal with the presence of a mortgage, other regular household expenses, plus the addition of our son. Needless to say, it placed a significant strain very early in our marriage financially.
To help the situation, Charmaine got the idea to rent out our home as a source of extra income. Despite the financial difficulty we were experiencing, I wasn't sold on the idea for several reasons:
- As a man, one of my goals was to do what was necessary to provide a place for my family to live. That was completed and we had a mortgage to prove it.
- I had gotten used to and comfortable where we were. I wasn't about to let someone else enjoy the fruit of my labor.
- Our son was less than a year old and I didn't want to move him out of our home so soon.
- The alternative was moving into Charmaine’s parents house. As a man, that was a definite no for me.
Nevertheless, we went through the process to appease her and also because I never expected anything much to come out of it.
One day, Charmaine got a phone call that some potential tenants that we had given a tour to wanted the apartment. That was all fine and good except for one problem, we had to move out within 3 days! I was like nah! How are we going to move all this stuff? 3 days is not enough time, tell them that’s not possible. Instead Charmaine went with her intuition, ignored what I said and told them: "we’ll be out in 3 days".
If I tell you all that I wasn’t mad I’d be a bold face liar! I was livid that we had to move but what was I going to do? The decision had already been made and I didn't have any option that was better. So 3 days later, here we were moved into my in-laws home which was something that I didn't want. But the irony of this particular situation is this: before we got married, Charmaine brought up moving in with her parents as a suggestion as well but my male ego shot that down real quick. So to see that idea come back around full circle was, as you can imagine, a serious blow to my pride and ego.
But would you believe me if I told you that was the best decision I never made?
I can tell you that was a rough financial patch that we are slowly working ourselves out of. But because I humbled and submitted myself to the decision of my wife, we are now in a better financial situation, our apartment is still rented, and we are slowly building a foundation of financial stability for succeeding generations to build on.
I can hear some men asking how was I able to do that and go along with my wife’s decision? Well, here is my simple philosophy: since her life is now literally invested with mines, if she truly is a good woman, it would be crazy of me to assume that any suggestion or idea she brings forward would be outside of the best interest of this family. So if it's a good idea or suggestion, go with it because whichever way it goes, she would be ultimately affected as well. Besides, my decisions got us in this mess so I had to put pride aside because there was not much more to lose but a lot to gain by going along with it. Here’s Bible for that: Ephesians 5:21 NKJV - "submitting to one another in the fear of God."
Here's the thing guys: submission is mutual. We don’t hear that often in marriage talk but it is the truth. Submission is not submitting to one idea and decision maker ALL the time, it is about submitting to who has the best idea and decision at THAT time once it falls under the mission. After all, it’s all ultimately for the same win-win end goal. For us, the mission was financial stability and I was fresh out of good ideas!
Had I continued in my pride, arrogance, and ego and not trusted or listened to my wife’s counsel and decision, we probably would not have been landlords today and missed that opportunity to build wealth through the stream of real estate. I could have easily dismissed the idea because of pride and not listen to the wisdom or take advantage of the help she offers to build, carry, and handle the future of team Wilson but I’m glad I did.
Gentlemen: how many good things or opportunities are you missing out on because you refuse to listen to your wife or let her help? Don’t let pride, ego, and archaic traditions stifle the expression of God’s wisdom to you in the form of your wife (I’ll get there in Friday's blog, stay tuned). She truly is a help-meet or a helper that is that is meet especially for you. See how our hands are tied in this picture? That means it's not a competition nor is it a race, we are in this thing together!
Darren Wilson is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur based in Saint Martin. He is the author of several books including “Designed for Purpose” that is available on Amazon. For more information, visit his website at www.darrenwilsonglobal.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.