THE BIBLE FIGHT
Written By: Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle
I heard Dennis’ car zoomed into the garage and I tiptoed hurriedly into the kitchen. I opened the pot and the rice was still not done. I knew I was in for talks.
“Hello, I’m home” He called out and I heard the children’s giggles as they welcomed him. He was probably hugging them too.
I opened the tap and quickly washed the carrots. He had suggested we have carrot rice for dinner. I had prepared the sauce but was carried away watching a Korean series in my room to realize it was late already.
“Honey, hey” He called out.
“Hi” I replied as I placed the carrots in the carrot cutter and pressed the lever.
“I got you the mangoes you requested for. I got a lot so you can make enough juice for Sunday.” He announced.
“Drop them on the dining table” I said curtly. I wasn’t happy that he loved food so much. After his Bible, I thought the next person he loved was food!
Moreso, in the morning while going to work, he had called me ‘a home made grandma’ and I wondered what triggered him to say that. He didn’t even call all through the day to ask after me and there he stood saying ‘hey!’
I added the carrots in the parboiled rice, poured the thick sauce, added some more curry and sprinkled some diced offals. I tasted it for salt and it was nice.
I covered the pot so it could steam and strolled to the sitting room to meet my overly serious childen. Simon was reading on a settee and Sarah was on the floor, lying on her tummy, reading a novel.
“Dinner, not ready?” Dennis asked as he entered the sitting room. He was holding a pack of juice, drinking hungrily.
“Not ready!” I said and focused my eyes at the TV.
“Sweetie, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. It seems you have forgotten that verse of the Bible” He said and suddenly, I turned to face him.
“Why must a man love food so much that he reminds his wife that he is the head, huh? And I guess you do not read this in your own Bible. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both. ” I screamed back at him.
“Were we fighting before I left this morning?” He asked as he settled in a settee.
“Fight? Wrong use of word! The only fight I do is the fight of faith!” I threw back at him, hissed silently and faced the TV. He broke into a loud laughter.
“Sweetie, huh, the Bible says ‘Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, quarreling and slander be put away from you, along with all hatred’ Don’t let’s miss Heaven because of little things o, eh…” He said and I waved him off.
“Dennis, do all things without grumbling or disputing! Do all things without grumbling or disputing ooo. I wonder what the major…”
“Mum, the food is burning!” Sarah almost shouted and I jumped up.
“Chai! May God deliver us from the enemies that want the house to burn down all because of food ooo. Amen” I said as I turned down the knob of the cooker. I knew that I was supposed to have stopped the rants but I was just pissed off.
Why must he always insist on being right?
And showing me he knew the Bible more?…Crap!
“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil!” He said silently though my sharp ears picked them up. My stomach kept boiling as I served the food.
“Pass me the salt container” Dennis said and I acted deaf. If his hand was too short to pick the container, then he should leave me alone.
And the salt in the food was just perfect that I knew he was only only finding a way to just say something!
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife’ says the Bible” He said as he stretched to pick the container and it tore my heart to pieces.
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” I threw back. I didn’t know where the argument was headed but if he wouldn’t stop, why should I?
“And who is that man? I provide for my own house anyways” He said and I smirked.
“You really do! Isn’t it the load of mangoes you bought that we will eat for the week? Children, better wash mangoes well and pack in your lunch boxes tommorow. That’s food o” I said and laughed wickedly.
“So, the money I gave you on Sunday has finished? You are invariably asking for more shae? But why? See, the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
“Our family friends are coming over on Sunday, shae its the twenty thousand naira you gave me that will be sufficient nah?”
“Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich. Manage the money. Why must we spend more than we have? You love pleasure too much! Show off lady!”
I choked on my food at that and tears rushed to my eyes.
“Issokay” I said in between my teeth
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Hmmmm…Thus saith the Bible” He stabbed me the more.
I allowed the tears stream down even though I wouldn’t want to. The verse he quoted injured me badly.
“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…Selfishly proud…” I still managed to say.
At that, Simon stood up and banged the table.
“Mum and dad, what’s all this?” He started
“Now, you aren’t even considering that your children are watching and you can just argue and argue?” He asked and I swallowed.
“When did this start?” My fifteen years old boy asked and looking into his face dumbfoundedly, more tears beclouded my eyes.
“Dad, you left mum angrily this morning. If you had said ‘I am sorry’ to her after calling her a home made grandma, you would have met your happy wife” He said and paused.
I swallowed and started sobbing.
“And then mum, when dad said he dropped you a bag of mangoes, ‘thank you’ wouldn’t have been a big word to say instead of ‘drop it on the table’” He said to me too and my head started banging.
“You wanted the salt container, ‘Please pass it’ would have been better. Where did all the magic words you taught us go to? All this Bible knowledge show off makes you nothing less than overly spiritual people” He said again and I started gasping for breath.
How could Simon stand up against me? The child I bore in my own womb?
“I miss my parents! My parents who were always quick to tell each other ‘I love you’ ‘You look good’ ‘I am sorry’ ‘Please’ ‘Thank you’. I don’t know where all this fight using the Bible came from. It’s choking!” He said with a finality and I couldn’t stop the smoke in my chest from rising into my head
“Simon, go to your room right, NOW!” I screamed and panted for a while. I was really embarrassed at how right Simon was!
“I’m sorry” He said briefly, picked up his plate of food and left the dining section. Sarah stared into my teary face for a while. She afterwards picked her plate of food too and left the dining section.
I swallowed severally as Dennis and I looked at each other for a long time.
“What the hell happened?” He asked, shock written all over his face.
I blinked severally as I tried to push off his hand that was grabbing mine.
“I am sorry” He said.
“Leave me alone” I said, my head aching badly.
In all of our relationships, let’s always endeavour to take our time to maintain (keep) the bond of love.
Oh I am sorry.
I love you.
You look good.
Woow, you are amazing…
They are words that we can sincerely use ONLY if we let aside pride in our relationships.
As children of God, pride isn’t something to toy with. It destroys so much. It blindfolds! It exaggerates! It brags!
The unbelievers insult themselves with some deadly words and you want to prove you are better by quoting the scriptures? Oh no!
Dennis and his wife in this story were obvious quoting the Word with bitterness and strife. It goes nowhere!
Competition between couples and friends alike isn’t wise, nay, it is foolishness!
Let’s do the needful so we do not have to go overly!
You can never be too spiritual to speak the magic words!!!