“…We are happy to have him and his wife this evening. He is not a guest but someone, who ministers here from time to time,” was the way I was introduced at the Assemblies of God Church, Isolo, Lagos, on April 4, 2019. ‘Can Men live longer?’ was the topic. I appreciated them for inviting me.
How long a man will live is relatively his personal choice. God has made it clear that it is His desire for us to live long, “With long life will I satisfy you” – Psalm 91:16 and Prov. 3:2 & 16. In the distant past, the average Life Expectancy of men was higher than that of women: 65 years for them and 55 years for women. At that time, poor medical facilities led to high mortality rate of women during labour. General poverty, which affected women much, contributed also to their early demise. Personality of men, being determined by the number of their wives and children, compelled many of them to marry many wives. In consequence, it brought hatred and rivalry among the wives, resulting to the death of some of them. Contrast this with polyandry, an old Eastern custom, in which marriage was woman-centered, and it allowed a woman to marry, at the same time, as many men as she liked.
The story has changed today. A wife can be working in a blue-chip company, earning fabulously, while her husband settles on a humble pay somewhere! Education has improved the longevity of women and we seem to have more widows than widowers. May it not lead us to conclude in haste that more men are dying! The difficulty of a widow remarrying may swell their number. A widower can decide when he will replace his dead wife. It is a matter of one year since the marriage contract is, ‘Until death does us part’.
It is not so with a widow. She may no longer be attractive to men physically for marriage. Age is another inhibiting factor to her. A lady can accept a widower of 50 years and above, but most men may shun widows of that age bracket. Most men may not marry a widow with children. Imagine! To retain her late husband’s property, a widow may refuse to remarry. Fearing that her new husband may not treat her children well, and also that she may not bear children again, may preclude her from remarrying and then abandoning her children. If age determines when someone will die, then most of our men at death will leave behind very young widows, since most men marry ladies far younger than themselves.
The average Life Expectancy of men is now 70 years while that of women is 74 years. It means that, of a truth, more men die than women. Many things could be responsible for it. Harsh economic conditions bite harder on men, the bread winners, than on their wives. Some wives add also to their husbands’ agony through bogus demands, though they know that the money is not there. This may lead to frustration and early death of their husbands. Some men are lazy and proud, causing them to reject certain job offers, unlike our US friends, who can work anywhere, since the Dollar does not disclose where it is earned! Poverty contributes enormously in terminating the life span of some men.
Many men are very secretive, hiding their sicknesses and become victims of untimely death. Some of them also keep their problems to themselves, resulting to high blood pressure, which is a known killer! Women will rather cry out, letting out steam, and are soliciting for help indirectly.
What is the remedy? I attended the burial of a Christian brother and when the wife saw me, she started weeping, asking me what she would do. I asked myself whether they were ever in love, recalling what her husband told me about her! Can men live longer? Yes, if we and our wives agree. In that case, we should live in God’s secret place – Psalm 91:1, making Him our refuge – v9, Setting our love on Him – v14 and then be making the right confession: “With long life will I satisfy thee and shew thee My salvation” – Psalm 91:16. To avoid dying and leaving young widows behind, our men should be marrying early, and allow God to choose for them.
We should live as God’s children, ensuring that we have deep relationship with Him and that our family devotion is refreshing. We must know His Word, live by it and act it. I had a terrible accident on March 20, 2019. My wife prayed me back to life. She did so because she knows God’s Word and also her Throne right as His daughter. We have to live happily with our family. In the past, spirituality was judged wrongly by serious looking. May we create the environment for happiness in our homes. Live in love. Though we may know God more than our US brethren, they know how to live in love – handholding, profession of love, et cetera. May we not love anybody more than we love our spouse. May we not wait for death to strike before appreciating our spouse!
Couples should form the habit of sharing all things, the good, the bad and the ugly. Frequent misunderstanding may prevent this. Men should learn to be disclosing their problems and sicknesses to their spouses. Nothing, however, should stop our wives from ‘intruding and interfering’ by asking questions. Our spouse should be our prayer partner. It is advisable for couples to be going out for lunch or dinner from time to time. We can plan our vacation for fun. We can drive to Abuja without our drivers, spending days on the road! It is not a waste of money. We should be going for medical checkups. Funeral cost is by far, higher that hospital bills. We should be careful of what to eat.
During the birthday and marriage anniversary of a retired Major General and his wife, they assigned me to perfect their marital vow. I obtained the permission of the General to disclose what he had done, before I would do the assignment. In his Will, which I witnessed legally, he shared his property to his wife and children. He gave his wife the right to remarry after his death and still to retain the assets in her new marriage. I had never heard anything like that in the many years I have lived. This is an example worthy of emulation!
God gave a beautiful name and assignment to wives from creation, ‘Help meet’ – Gen. 2:18. Some men do not know this and if they do, they do not allow their wives to play the role. Some wives, either out of ignorance or whatever, do not also play the role. This may lead to the death of their spouses. May we allow and encourage our wives to be performing this role. My wife is my medical doctor, and my health officer, controlling what I eat, especially, concerning sugar and oil.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]