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Monday, 29 September 2014

What Are You Looking For In A Spouse.

I have heard of women who have mentally drafted a list of what their ideal husband should and should not be. If for any reason a suitor seeking their hand marriage falls short by one point of what their ideal husband should be, he is most definitely going to be turned down or rejected. Such people in the process of being to selective of their choice of spouse end up turning down God's ideal choice for them.
This explains why we have a considerable number of woman who are still unmarried when they are gradually crawling past their marriage age. And for those who are lucky enough to find their ideal husbands or wives are quick to run out of the marriage if for any reason their spouse no longer meets up with their set standard of a spouse to be married to.
Such people do not give room for the mind of God in making a choice of a life partner, neither do they look in the mirror at their own selves to see if they are fit and good enough for the selection they are trying to make. As time passes by, they become miserable and frustrated as no man will be willing to marry them in their old state.
In order to help these category of people, and those who are still in the business of setting high standard for their choice of spouse, I will trust God to use this post in revealing His mind on the ideal and best way to make a choice of a life partner.

Genesis 2:18, 22
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The passages above shows God's pattern of how a man and a woman should come together and be united in marriage. For a woman seeking peace and comfort in marriage rather than myopic ideals that might not last, its important that such a woman seek the face of God realistically and objectively without any form of bias before going ahead to accept or refuse a marriage proposal.
I have come across quite a number of women in their 50s that are yet to be married and at that age, are not enjoying the loneliness that has accompanied their state of life. It will be rather wrong to say that all single ladies gradually crawling past their marriage age are still single due to their high handedness with suitors in their earlier years, or high standard set for an ideal husband. But for those who have fallen victim of singleness as a result of their own making, I am sure they will look back and wish they had not set those unrealistic high standard for a prospective husband.
I have come across a number of women who will not marry a man who is not rich or at least have a good paying job. One of the deciding factor for parental consent when someone close to me was seeking his parent's consent to marry the lady he loves was whether he was financially capable of taking care of the woman he wanted to marry.
I totally agree to the need to be financially prepared for marriage, but that should never be a major reason for a man or woman to marry. I have come across couples in which the husband was very well financially stable and rich enough to take care of and provide for the needs of the wife he is about to get married to just before they got married. But a few years down into the marriage the story changed and what seemed more than enough became barely enough for one person not to talk of two and with a marriage that has produced children then we speak of more persons to care for.
Yet in another story I have come across a man with close to nothing in his pocket before getting married, yet a few years into the marriage his fortunes changed and the Lord had mercy on him and birth him in favour such that he is not only able to financially provide for the needs of his family, but also their wants.
So if one of the major reasons why you have decided to marry that man was the weight of his bank account, or his physical build and facial appearance then in that marriage their are no guarantees. At anytime the tables may turn and then what becomes of that marriage? And if this person decides to walk out the marriage for yet another money bag or handsome man and still the tables turn, one will then wonder how many husbands such a woman will have to give herself to before hitting the grave. And what lessons of life will she teach the children she has birth into the world?
But when you look beyond your ideal standard, and let God make you and place you in the life of the fitting husband He has created you for, then you are guaranteed of peace and comfort in that marriage. Once I came across the picture of my husband 19years ago when we first met, I looked at the picture and then looked at a more recent picture of his and wondered how he has evolved from the less than appealing man he was then, to the very handsome man he has grown to become. A lot of ladies have made advances at my husband in the recent past years, and I wondered if they would have done the same 19years ago.
But for me, it was not the money he had, because he didn't have much at the time we met up till the time we married. But I prayed to God because I didn't want to make a mistake in marriage. I never had any set standard for a prospective husband, I just wanted what God wants for me and someone who will make me happy. But with time, in that same one man, I have a husband who now can financially provide for me and our children and who is also good looking physically. All these because I allowed God direct my steps to His choice for me. At that time he didn't seem like one who is an ideal husband for many with high standard, but a lot of ladies see him now and wish they had been married to him.
There is never a time too late for God to shine down on someone reading this, and bless such a person with a loving husband. But you might just miss the choice of God for your life if you allow yourself get blinded by unnecessary setting of standards that you also might never be able to meet using the other persons yardstick. A perfect loving husband, or a perfect loving wife is attainable only with the help of God and not by human standard.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

There Shall Be None Barren In The Land

There are many things I have experienced in life, and a handful of them in my marriage. So that explains my passion for marriages to work as God has planned it to. But one area of life where I lack experience is in the issue of barrenness, as God has blessed me with four wonderful children as a gift in my life. But tonight my heart goes to those who are trusting God for the gift of the womb. It might appear as though I lack experience in this matter, but there is the truth of God over this issue that will never fail if we are wise enough to exercise enough faith to move the hand of God.

Deuteronomy 7:14
You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young. 

Roman 4:18-21
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead - since he was about a hundred years old - and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Just as it is required of us as children of God to have faith in order to receive and retain the blessings and promises of God, so is it required to have faith to receive the promise of the gift of childbirth. So I hope and pray that the Lord will through this post ignite the faith of someone still waiting on God for the gift of children in his/her life and marriage.
If you are yet to be aware of this, in the promised land of God for His children, none of God's men or women should be barren. This is not just a promise from God, but a verdict directly from the throne of God. And so the fact that you are yet to have children is not the expected situation or circumstance in the promised land of God for his children.
Now if God has given a verdict that in the land which He is giving his children as inheritance none of the men or women there shall be barren, then no circumstance or situation can upturn that verdict. And so the only thing stopping you from having that verdict operative in your life and situation is your inability to believe God through to your miracle.
I do not mean to sound insensitive to what those who are in this situation might be going through, but I want us to learn some lessons from what Paul revealed of the situation of Abraham in the book of Roman 4:18-21. I might not have experienced the situation in my life, but there it is in the Bible. One important fact that Abraham did not deny was that his body was dead and his wife's womb was equally dead. But there was something that was not dead in Abraham's case and that was his faith in the promise he had received from God.
Abraham knew one truth which kept him going as he waited on God for the gift that was promised to him. And that truth is: God has the power to do what he has promised. Just as Abraham knew that truth about God, so will I encourage all those who are waiting on God for the same gift as Abraham was, to have the same truth at the center of their mind; that for God to give a verdict that no man or woman shall be without a child in the land, He the Lord has the power to fulfill that verdict.

Number 23:19
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?

The passage above was the basis with which Abraham believed. He knew that God will not promise what He will not fulfil and neither will God speak when He does not intend to act. And so Abraham against all hope believed in God. He understood the facts on ground yet he knew he had a truth that far outweighs the fact about him. He had a promise from God that will never fail, because the God who had promised had the power to make good His promise.
There are some fact that might have been revealed to you about the conditions surrounding your inability to bear children. Those facts cannot and will not be denied, but there is also a truth contained in the verdict of God that there shall be none barren in the land. One thing is very sure in this matter, the truth far outweighs the facts, but until you believe that truth and hold on to that truth you will not receive the gains of that truth. Abraham believed and so became the father of many nations, and so if you dare to believe you will have your quiver full of arrows as sons will also be born to you in your youth.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Wife And Her Unmotivated Husband

The Lord God said that it is not good for the man to be alone, and so He made a fitting/suitable help for the man in the person of a woman and then brought her to the man to be his wife (Genesis 2:18-25). Since I began to understand the full meaning of this passage, I knew that I had a very important role to play in the life of my husband and an assignment to fulfill for God in my husband's life.
Noting that God did not specify the aspects of a man's life where the wife would be required to come in and help, then it means that in every area of a man's life where help is required, the suitable/fitting help that God has made and provided for him in the person of his wife is to come in and help in accordance to the plan and purpose of God for marriage.
But then for the purpose of this blog post, how is a wife expected to handle and deal with a lazy or better put, an unmotivated husband? Mindful of the fact that the wife is suppose to help her husband but definitely not to assume his responsibilities as her. Some men who understand their roles and responsibilities as the head of the home, who have been assigned by God to lead the family unit and shepherd the family unit in every way, are self-motivated and as such strife to meet up with what God has assigned them to do for their family.
But not all are self-motivated. As a matter of fact some men take comfort in the fact that if they do not carry out their assignment, their wives will take up these roles. This happens the most in cases of financing for the home. Quite a handful of men rest on this particular responsibility on their lives due to the fact that they know that their wives have good jobs, or earn good income and as such they do not have to strife just as hard to make money for the family as the money required for the home is already provided for by their wives.

1 Timothy 5:8
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 

2 Thessalonians 3:7-10
For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, labouring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 

The passage above shows the expectations of God from the shepherd of God over a family unit. Looking up the meaning of the word shepherd from the dictionary, I found this meaning that really relates to what this blog post is all about.One of the definitions of the word shepherd says "a person who protects, guides or watches over a person or group of people." So if the man is regarded as the shepherd of the family unit, that confers on him the responsibility of the one who protects, guides or watches over the family. In the course of doing all these, he needs to be the one who provides for the family too. So it is not strange when Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:8 that a man who does not provide for his relatives, especially his immediate family has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Such a man is not working or operating according to the plan of God for the family. He is deliberately running away from his God given assignment.
But even to this man described above, a wife has been assigned to him as a suitable help. What role is the wife to play in the life of this man? Is she to assume his role of the shepherd of the family or try to motivate him to assume his God assigned responsibility?
These questions are what I trust God to help us answer through this blog post. 1). The wife is a helpmeet and not the original burden carrier. She to assist the man in fulfilling his responsibility and not to assume the responsibility herself. 2). She cannot neglect the identified problem in her husband's life as one who lacks motivation and the will to fulfill his God given assignment as one who provides for his family. 3). She can try to motivate her husband, but for a hardened man who is not willing to change, she will be seen as one who nags rather than one who is wanting to help. So the wife can be seen as one who is at a loose at what to do.
But there is one option that cannot fail the wife who has been saddled with the responsibility to help this man as described above. That one very sure option is prayer. There is no problem that bets the reach of God. And there is no problem that is above God's solution. When a wife is fervent in prayer and holding firmly to God night and day over the identified problem in the life of her husband, it is just a matter of time for God to create an urgency in the life of that man that will awaken him from his slumber and trigger in him the need to raise up and begin to work in fulfilling his God given assignment.
There is no need for you as a wife to loose heart at your husband's nonchalant attitude to life and his responsibility. When you have learnt to pray heard for him, God will awaken in him the need to do that which he is required to do as the head of the family and the shepherd of your home. But while waiting on God, you are also needed to help take care of the needs in the home so that the problems in your family is not visible to the outside world. 
I will want to emphasize at this point that if the husband is genuinely making effort and striving hard to provide for his family but is having some bottlenecks in his effort that it is just ideal for the wife to come into the picture and render support. If she temporarily becomes the sole provider for the family it is okay as long as its still a support role. May the Lord uphold our homes to the glory of His holy name. 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Marriage Investment

The main aim of making investment is to earn profit when considering it in monetary terms. But not all investments are done in monetary form. Parents invest in their children with the hope that the values invested in them will make them better people in future and thus produce for the parents children that can take care of them in their old age or at least give them some form of peace and less to worry about when they are old and grey. Also people ought to invest in marriage, and these investments are bound to yield returns for the one who has made the investment. The important truth is that no investment made is useless, because even the so-called bad investments have lessons attached to them that should be learnt to prevent future mistakes and makes the investor wiser.
But in this blog post I want us to look at Marriage Investment. What you put into your marriage determines what you get from it, and also the amount of investment you put into your marriage determines the value of reward or returns it yields to you. So to say that if you invest little into your marriage, you should not expect a bountiful harvest from it. And also if you have not made any investment at all into your marriage, then you should not complain when are not receiving the dividends of marriage. What you put in is what comes back to you.
First I want the women to consider this issue of marriage investment, the instruction that God gave to the woman is to be a suitable helper to the husband. The help that is required, suitable, fitting and ideal for the man in all of his life's challenges is what the Lord has called the wife to be in the life of her husband. The woman has not been called into marriage to sit as a beauty queen and expect to be waited upon. Rather in addition to the fact that she is to help her husband overcome the challenges of his life, she is also assigned by God to build her home. These are the investment the Lord expects the wife to put into her marriage for which she is to be and should expect to be rewarded.

Proverbs 31:10-31
10A wife of noble character who can find? she is worth far more than rubies.  11Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from from afar. 15She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16She considers a field and buys it; out of her earning she plants a vineyard. 17She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19In her hands she holds the distaff and grasp the spindle with her fingers.
20She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seats among the elders of the land. 24She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29"Many do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31Give her the reward she has earned and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 10:10-31 the passage above, detailed out the expectations from the wife of noble character, these are some of the investments expected to be made by the woman into her marriage. And for these investments made, the Bible says she is to receive the well deserved reward that she has earned.

Ephesians 5:22
22Wives, submit to your husband as to the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1-2
1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of their lives.

Colossians 3:18
18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

The instruction of God in the passages above, commanding the wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord is another form of investment in marriage that deserves a reward and for which reward is earned. Obedience to any and every command of God is an investment made, and no investment made in the things of God goes without it's reward/profit in whatever way we wish to view it.
Been a suitable helper to your husband as the Lord has designed marriage to be at the beginning is an investment made into marriage. It is the fulfilling of God's command that will surely be rewarded when done truly and in accordance to God's will and purpose.
It's not just the woman that is expected to make investments in marriage. Though I always discuss marriage issues mostly in the direction of what is expected of the wives, but the husbands also have big roles to play in the matter. The man who is expecting to reap the dividends of marriage should know for sure that he needs to invest something. And just as it is with the wives so it is with the husbands. The quantity and quality of what you should expect out of your marriage depends on the quality and quantity of what you have invested in it. If you have put little into your marriage, then you should expect little in return. And if you have invested much in that marriage it is just natural that you should expect much from it.

Ephesians 5:25-28
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Colossians 3:19
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:7
7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

In these passages are some of the investments that God expects of a man in marriage. He has been instructed to love, be considerate and treat with respect the wife that God has blessed his life with. One important thing for the men to note is that the love referred to here is not just ordinary love, it is the unconditional love that overlooks all wrongs, forgives unconditionally and one that makes the man ready to die for his wife just in the manner in which Christ loves the church. That is the love we are talking about here, that is the investment that God expects the man to make in his marriage.
Investments are like seed sown, for them to germinate they need to be nurtured, water, and cared for to grow. When a farmer plants a seed, he just does not abandon it, but he watches over his seed, he waters the plant, and tries to remove the unwanted weeds that are growing alongside his plant. So also we need to watch over our marriage investment so as not to labour in vain. We need to pray heaven down into our homes and marriages alongside the investments made. We need to invite and retain the Presence of God in our homes and marriages.
When making your investments, don't grumble when your spouse isn't responding favourably at the beginning. Seeds take time to grow and investments takes time to yield results. Beware of negative thoughts within you and also watch and war against external influences that might want to grow and crush the seed of your investments before the harvest is ripe.
Marriage is a beautiful thing. An institution that is worth investing in. No man should be alone, and no man should live in misery of marriage, but you should be ready to invest in marriage to be able appreciate and enjoy the full joy of marriage. I just saw a quote on google by Amy Grant that says "The more you invest in marriage, the more valuable it becomes." With this I totally agree, and I believe you share the same agreement too.

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Sacrifice Of A Wife

I was driving and listening to a radio station that was airing a program with a very interesting topic. It was a call-in discussion on a specific issue on marriage. Although I didn't get to hear the topic on which the program was based, but from what I heard of what was discussed I realized it is a discussion worth seeking the face of God on.
The thread of discussion I was able to gather was based on women who had given up their dreams in pursuit of the family dreams and in the process had bottled up resentment that turned into rage or better still anger overtime. And as would be expected of bottled up emotions it results in outburst.So I felt this would be worth discussing on this blogsite. As mentioned in some of my earlier blog posts, my blog posts in times to come will feature a lot of topics on marriages.
So as women, how do we handle situations whereby we have to give up our dreams and aspirations for the sack of our family's needs or even wants? Giving up our own dreams in order to run our husband's race with them?
To start with, I am also finding myself in that same situation, and I can tell you that a lot of women are in one way or the other having to give up something precious that sometimes might be in the form of a dream or life's pursuit just on concentrate effort on the success of their family. But how to make this sacrifice and not have bottled up emotions that will result in any form of outburst that might endanger the peace of the marriage and home is what I will trust God to help us realize through this blog post.
Based on the account of marriage in Genesis 2:18-25, the primary assignment from God to the woman is to be a suitable helper to her husband, but this does not in any way prevent her from having dreams and pursuing after her dreams. But the way and manner with which she handle her dreams go a long way to tell how far she will be able to realize those dreams.
As a child of God, when you are making effort in pleasing God in the assignment He has laid on your hands of which one of them is your marriage, then you can be sure the Lord will also make efforts in pleasing you on the issue of the desires of your heart.
Having bottled up emotions on your pending dreams and desires is dangerous to your marriage. One truth that we should know and always remind ourselves of, is that no matter how much we want to blame our spouses for these pending dreams, it ultimately not their call, but God's call with your cooperation. Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed," all those beautiful dreams of yours will only be made successful by the Lord and not your spouse.

Psalm 37: 5-6
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Learn this secret today about your dreams, aspirations and wants; first commit those dreams to the Lord in prayer, never mind whether you discuss them with your husband or not, first discuss them with God and lay bare before Him what it is you are planning to do.
Secondly, take time to please God. Get busy doing something meaningful for the Lord that truly deserves a reward. Remember it is God you are doing it for and not man. The aim is to please God in what you are doing. One act of reverence for God is reverence for your husband. You show forth the hand of God in your life when you show reverence to your husband. You should also make every effort at working towards building a peaceful and beautiful home. This is one assignment that God has given the woman to do. Wise women build homes. And a wife of noble character is the crown of her husband's life. These works are worth all the reward that God has to offer for them.

Proverbs 21:30-31
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

The book of Proverbs 31:10-31 says so much about the wife of noble character and all she gets to do as a woman who fears the Lord. And just at the end of the passage it speaks of her deserving a reward. So when you desire your dreams coming to pass, get into the business of pleasing the Lord by making effort at being the wife of noble character that God has called you to be. Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." In truth there is a reward for the work you have done.
As a wife I have many dreams that I have had to put on hold because of my family. Some of my dreams I have shared with my husband and most of the time his views are always very different from mine as he does not appreciate my own aspirations. But that has not stopped me from dreaming, neither has it caused me having negative bottled up emotions for my husband. In fact he shares more of his dreams and goals with me more than I share mine and I have had to agree in line with him even when I see things differently because I have learnt about the power of unity.
But more than I speak with man, I commit my dreams and desires into the hands of God. Several times my husband has gone against my desires because he does not appreciate what I am working towards but eventually overtime has comes to adopt my method and often times he has been the instrument God has used in fulfilling my desires that I have prayed about.
It's okay to put your dreams on hold as a sacrifice for your family for the meantime, but its not fulfilling to give up on your dreams. It's also not good and healthy to have bottled up anger towards your spouse because of unfulfilled dreams, because the realization of your dreams is not a factor determined by him in the long run. He can only make you feel good or bad about your dreams. It's just his encouragement that will be missing. Learn the secret of engaging God in your pursuits and be patient for Him to bring to reality that which you have prayed to Him for. He alone makes all things beautiful in His time.

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Leaving & Uniting In Marriage

I thank God for another beautiful opportunity to share the word of God to inspire and give hope to someone somewhere needing hope today. I bless God for the month gone by and the grace to see another beautiful month. And I pray that the word that will be shared on this blog today will make a positive impact in the lives of many to the glory of God.
I will be sharing someone's experience in my post today and I pray many will learn a thing or two from it.
A couple who have been married for over 10years need to help a family member needing somewhere to stay for sometime. Because the one in need is a family member, this couple felt obliged to welcome him and his wife into their home. Along the line what was suppose to be a brief stay was gradually turning into weeks and eventually into months.
With time the visiting couples were constituting a nuisance in the home of their host couple. They offer not much assistance in the home, and take too much advantage of the hospitality shown to them not caring in any way how the house is kept clean and other house chores. In fact they wait for their laundry to be done for them.  They became too comfortable and where beginning to feel like co-owners of the home. There was no word from them to their host on any progress made on their mission to the city and no feedback to their host on how much longer they needed to stay in order to complete what they came into town to accomplish. With time the host couple began to feel uncomfortable in their own home and so resolved to spend as much time in the confines of their bedroom to avoid contact with their over-stayed visitors and thus avoid any confrontation that might result from the frustration they feel at the unplanned intrusion in their home. What started as a kind gesture was growing to be a thing of regret, yet they don't know for how much longer they have to cope with the situation in their hands.
This story I believe is happening to not just the person I know, but too many couples who are at a loss as to how to deal with external interference in their homes. This external interference in marriages is not just restricted to relatives coming to stay over, but friends and family trying to interfere and dominate the marriage. They want to give advise and insisting that their so called advise be followed and adhered to. This also comes up with parents and parents in-laws, and so we will trust the Lord to help understand how to deal with situations like this.

Genesis 2:24(NKJV)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Matthew 19:4-5
And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?

There are two important things that must take place in every successful marriage, and they are: 1) the leaving and 2) the joining or uniting. For every couple who has learnt the secret of leaving and joining for their marriage, they are working along the path of God's design for marriage at the beginning.
From the beginning when God designed marriage, he designed that all family relations be left behind on the journey of matrimony and the husband firmly unites with his wife. If for any reason a man unites with his wife without first leaving his father and mother and his household behind it will not be long before strife crops up its ugly head in such a home. And same applies to the woman.
I have come to realize that the calling of man to the journey of matrimony is very similar to the call of God in the life of Abraham. And just in the same way we see God call Abraham in Genesis 12, to leave his father's household, take his wife Sarah and begin a journey to a place where only God knows. This journey was supposed to be a journey of separation, but for some unknown reason Abraham embarked on that journey with Lot his nephew. This journey was supposed to be a journey of blessing as the Lord had pronounced blessings on Abraham along with the call.
But not long into that journey in Genesis 13, there began a quarrel between Abraham's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen. The land was not able to support Abraham and Lot together (Genesis 13:5-7). And that is exactly what happens when you carry with you the relations and father and mother that the Lord has asked you to leave behind into your marriage. The home that is meant for you and your wife on the journey of matrimony filled with blessings and the favour of God (Proverbs 18:22) becomes insufficient for you, your wife and your relations. With time strife and quarrel will start. If this is not recognized early and checked quickly, it destroys the home and marriage.
Either the wife is caught between her family and her husband, or the husband is caught between his wife and his family. If you as the wife is not wise enough to let go of your family in order to hold onto and unite with your spouse, you miss out on God's design and purpose for your marriage. There is never a portion in the Bible where God permitted external interference in the marriage union, there is a leaving and then a uniting/joining to happen for a successful marriage. Jesus said in Matthew 19:6b that "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
As a man, no matter how right your mother or father maybe, once their interference in your marriage is causing a strife in your home, then it is time to leave them behind and face the business of your marriage squarely, letting God direct your steps as to how to make a success of your marriage. Also as a wife, once your relation/s that have come to seek temporary accommodation under your roof are beginning to turn you and your spouse into prisoners in your own home, then its time to politely and with good respect show them the door. You can assist in providing alternative accommodation that will not infringe on the peace and comfort of your home as long as you can afford it, but you should not compromise the peace and comfort of your marriage for any external influence in the name of family, relations or friends. May the Lord bless our homes in Jesus name.
Before I close on this, I want to state that you owe your family respect, and this should be duly paid for in full. In the bid to shield your marriage and home from their interference, do not be rude to them or show disrespect. But politely make it clear to all that your marriage and home is not a public affair. The Lord will bless you as you make every effort to make your marriage a success.