THIS is a true story of a man who died in his early 40s. He left a wife and four young children between the ages of 2-8. His wife had not been working and could not fend for herself and the kids when he died. The man had insisted that his wife be a stay-home mum and never allowed her to trade or do any form of business.
Now, she has to fend for herself and the four children of the union. No job or work experience, no house to live in because the rent is now due and the landlady who herself is a widow cannot allow them to stay because she needs the rent to take care of her own children. Her husband's friends help out with the school fees of the children from time to time. She cannot work because she cannot afford a maid to look after the children and pick them from school whilst she is at work. Her husband's family has taken the functional cars in the house.
Most men for one reason or the other never allow their wives to work or to build themselves in one business or the other. Some feel good being the breadwinner, some feel their Madams are too sophisticated to work, some feel women should be home 24/7. Fine, no problem with that, but have you opened the pages of our newspapers lately? Have you noticed that these days young men have strokes, become sick or even die suddenly from one thing or the other? Gone are the days when we see only old people in the obituaries in our newspapers. Those are the ones that we see, what about the ones we do not see or hear about?
Men, lend me your ears. Build your wives up to enable them stand. Enable them to stand on their own in case anything untoward happens to you. Some of you know that in the event of an unanticipated eventuality your wife and children are in trouble because your family will deal with them, yet you do nothing to protect them whilst you are alive. Some of you know that your jobs are risky and that when you go to work you may not return, yet you do not prepare for the future of your family.
Wickedness is what I call it. You could never have loved that woman. If you did, you would not have left her so exposed. She has to mourn you, fend for herself, your children and in some instances your mother and the many relatives that you have brought into the house to live with you; but she is just one person. You can imagine what both of you go through to bring up the children together? Imagine her having to do that by herself, with no job, no house to live in, no car, no money or business of her own. Wickedness! That's what it is. Your children may be left having to drop out of school and become beggars on the streets or robbers because they have to fend for themselves by whatever means possible.
Men. Listen. Yes, women can be head-strong or proud, they can be intolerant or argumentative, or even ungrateful, but it is your duty to protect them now and hereafter. That is the promise you made to her and to God when you married her. Failure to keep that promise could leave you gripped in eternal restlessness. When you build your house, nothing stops you from building in her name or both your names. She doesn't even have to know it. If or when you pass on, then at least she and your children would have a roof over their heads, and that's one problem solved.
Another way of safeguarding your family is to buy shares or make investments in the name of your wife and your children, so that when the children grow up and in case of a rainy day, they have something to hold on to. They can pay their school fees, buy a house or learn a trade. Again you can make these plans with or without the knowledge of your wife and children. You have to know your family well and then decide whether or not you want them to have the knowledge of those investments. Some wives and children knowing what is coming to them tend to misbehave and be irresponsible.
Most men die intestate i.e. without a will. Every man must write a will from the age when he begins to acquire property. When I say property I mean cars, wrist-watches, houses, shares, shoes, clothes, bank accounts etc. Anything you own can be given to any person of your choice in your will. If you die intestate, you can rest assured that all you own will probably go to those you least expect.
Men. Daddies. Guys. Buddies. Take a good look at your wife and then your lovely children. Those children who make your day each time they hug you or smile at you. Those children who make your heart skip and make you proud each time they get an award in school, each time they win a race, each time they take part in a competition, each time they write a poem or play the piano to a listening and admiring crowd. Do you want them to suffer? Do you want them to beg on the streets? Do you want them to become miscreants? School dropouts, drug addicts etc. I know your answer is No. Then start to build their tomorrows today.
No matter how bad your wife may be, you do not want her to suffer. Start to encourage her today. Assist and encourage her in her work, trade or business. Improve her, educate her, supervise her, support her, make her a good worker or business woman in whatever she does. Do this in love and she will be a success. When she is a success, you are a success. If she is a failure, then you are a failure. "Mrs. Foolish is Mr. Foolish's wife". If or when you die or become sick or incapable of taking care of your family, she, being a success will stand strong behind you. She will be capable of supporting you and your family, because you laid the right foundation by supporting her and training her to be strong and responsible. Do not allow her to sit at home doing nothing even if she prefers to do so and is not complaining.
I know of a woman whose husband had his leg amputated after a gangrene infection. She and she alone has been looking after her husband and three children for the past 12 years. She has never once complained. You may say people like that are rare, but at least they exist. Chances are, if you care for your family, they will care for you in your times of need. To you men who are irresponsible, who leave your families in disarray when you die, with several wives and concubines, those of you who leave your families with heavy debts to pay, those of you who have very many or even little secrets which eventually destroy your families, listen. You have a chance to tidy up. If you want to rest in peace, you have to leave in peace.
Now do not say I'm only 30 or 40 or 50. I tell you, even babies die. The only reason why we have VGC Cemetery and Vaults & Gardens following soon after is that Abatan, Atan, Ikoyi Cemetery and all the others are full. If you visit these, you will notice that many of the departed are young men and women like you and I. So it may be you or me tomorrow. There are no particular types of people that die at particular times. Tidy your affairs as best you can, so that your family will only have to contend with the sorrow of losing you and much less.
Women. You must be wise. You must be strong and you must be sensible. Listen well. Listen very well I tell you. Do something with your life. Don't leave this world without having achieved anything, even if it is to be able to bring up your children properly, it is an achievement. Some of you will say, I stay at home so that I can have time for my children. Hmm! God forbid you lose your husband tomorrow. Will you stay at home to bring them up properly? Who will pay the bills? I beg you, be sensible. Pray for your husbands everyday so that God will preserve them but even as you are at home, you can still do something, even if it is between 8am and 3pm when the children get back from school.
If you die, your husband is likely to remarry.