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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our Marriage "Peg"

      Mr. and Mrs. Ruben M. Cleofe, 1975
Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Andre P. Alejar, 2004

Peg in Filipino-speak is a model or person or thing to imitate or follow, as in:

"Anong peg mo sa wedding gown mo? Kim Kardashian o Princess Kate?" (Who are you imitating in terms of gown style -- Kim Kardashian or Princess Kate?)


"I am so cute today, peg ko lang si Anne Curtis!" (I am so cute today. I am imitating Anne Curtis!)

In short, a "peg" is somebody or something to follow or liken yourself to.

In marriage, we have pegs too, but sadly, and I am speaking for myself, there is a dearth in godly married couple pegs. :(

Without meaning to demean or malign my late parents (Mama passed away 20 years ago, Papa passed away nearly 5 years ago.), my parents' marriage was not exactly one to imitate, so I was led to believe that how they handled each other and related to one another was how it should be. I am wont to believe that they too had no godly mentors or godly married couple pegs to imitate that's why they acted the way they did. It is sad really to think that on Mama's sick bed, when Papa was finally giving her attention again after years of none, she said, "Ah, mahal pala ko ni Butch," (Oh, Butch loves me after all..)  :(

My purpose of threshing out the wrong ideas I learned from my parents is aimed to let you readers know how we too could be acting out wrong "pegs" simply because we do not know any better.

1. The Peg: Pursue Career at All Costs! - Mama told me as a young teen, that I should never compete with my husband in terms of career. However, the reverse was true in terms of how they seemed to us kids. Mama was a very busy TV executive who was always traveling abroad, while Papa was a hotshot corporate lawyer for the Philippine Basketball Association. We rarely saw Papa home and Mama was always out too. We (my sister Erica and I) were actually brought up by our yaya (nanny) of 17 years, Ate Sepa.(In the Philippines, middle class to upper middle class families usually have helpers/nannies living with us in our homes.)
Yaya/Nanny Sepa took care of me from 3 years old to 17 years old.
How It Affected Me: Although I was not really competitive towards Dong in terms of career, (he was not competitive towards me at all in anything, being really of the laid-back sort) I was really super ambitious and goal-oriented. I wanted to reach the apex of my career! I wanted to be very successful. I wanted to be known in my field. Nothing wrong with being a go-getter per se, except that this strong drive to succeed was a cause of many anxiety attacks and bursts of anger/impatience especially as a young adult wanting a break in the broadcasting industry. The desire to be successful was too consuming too, to the point of idolatry of self and career. It was not healthy nor was it godly. :(

Realization: Not only should there be no competition whatsoever among married couples, there should also be no competition in terms of time, talent or treasure between career and family life. In fact, I, as the wife, must be the helpmeet of my husband. I must acquiesce whatever superior thoughts I have towards him and be Biblically submissive to him. Only when I was convicted of my sins of disrespect towards my husband did I truly experience peace and joy that the world could not give.Only when I have given up my selfish desires to be deemed "successful" in my career, and relished my role in the home, did I find my most authentic self. :)


Bible Verse: 

Colossians 3:18

18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Colosas 3:18
Colosas 3:1818Mga babae, pasakop kayo sa inyong asawa, sapagkat iyan ang kalooban ng Panginoon.

2. The Peg: To each his/her own money! - Growing up, Mama and Papa maintained separate accounts and spent their own money. I never saw them talk about a purchase together or discuss how money would be spent on this or that. It was always, Mama's money is hers alone and Papa's money is all ours! We went shopping with Mama always on a weekly basis and ate out at new restaurants in the spur of the moment. I was so used to this mentality that it shocked me when maybe during a time that money was an issue to her and I wanted to buy an expensive item, Mama said, "Nikka! Do you think money grows on trees?!?"

How It Affected Me: Not until lately, as in very lately, as in 2013 lately, did it hit me that MY money is MY HUSBAND's money, and HIS money is MY money too. We are one after all. We are stewards together of whatever material wealth the Lord gives to us, whether because of a good project or a windfall from a sale of a property. It does not matter how the Lord blessed us or where it came from (it goes without saying it must come from good and not evil!), but what matters is that WE as a married couple take care of it, invest it and make it grow...together. Not to each his/her own. Not, what is mine is mine alone and what is yours is yours, or worse yet... What is mine is mine and what is yours is still mine!

Only when I realized the depth of this misunderstood behavior did I experience true peace. Only when I let go of my desire to control my earnings, did I experience true freedom.

Realization: I was a very selfish and clueless woman and I am ashamed of such thinking. In my sinful thoughts, I wanted whatever windfall or earnings I had to be mine alone. I am not a shopaholic now. In fact, the opposite is true. I am quite thrifty thanks to the influence of Dong, but my attitude was far from correct. I wanted my money to be spent on how I wanted it spent or invested, not on how my husband wanted it spent or invested. There was no "us" in the equation. I wanted us to be like Mama and Papa -- kanya-kanya (to each his own)! I did not trust that God would lead us to the path of progress and even prosperity through my husband, but that MY own plans were the best for the family! How arrogant of me! Such laughable pride!

Bible Verse: 

James 4:13-16:  

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil."

Santiago 4:13-16

13 Makinig kayo ngayon, kayong nagsasabi: Ngayon o kaya bukas, kami ay pupunta sa gayong lungsod. Mananatili kami roon ng isang taon. Kami ay mangangalakal at tutubo. 14 Ngunit hindi ninyo nalalaman kung ano ang mangyayari sa kinabukasan. Ito ay sapagkat ano ang iyong buhay? Ito ay tulad sa isang singaw na sa maikling oras ay lumilitaw at pagkatapos ay naglalaho. 15 Ito ang dapat ninyong sabihin: Kung kalooban ng Panginoon, mabubuhay tayo. Gagawin natin ang bagay na ito o ang gayong bagay. 16 Datapuwa't ngayon ay nagmamapuri kayo sa inyong mga kayabangan. Ang lahat ng ganitong pagmamapuri ay napakasama.

3. The Peg: Let others take care of your spouse, not you. - I don't know how this happened or what circumstances led to this, but I never saw my mother serve my father. Whether it be his morning coffee or paper, or fixing his things for a trip or simply checking on his needs. It was always the house help or me. In retrospect, I am grateful Mama always ordered me around to attend to Papa's needs but at that time, I was always in a pouting mood because it was always I who was being tasked to do all those, never my younger sister and never her herself!

How It Affected Me: In the beginning of our relationship, I was extremely needy of Dong. I was his "Baby" after all, and he called me such. I was always asking him, albeit in a sweet tone of voice, to do this, to do that... I was Miss Bossy. I thought that was how it must be, that the woman be served by her man at all times. Not a bad thing at all, since Dong does love me, but what about me? How do I show him I loved him? I did not want to go out of my way to attend to him and when I did, it felt awkward.

Realization: Being a homemaker is such a lovely thing to be. Serving my husband and attending to him with a smile on my face and joy in my heart is a humbling, beautiful gesture. Taking care of my children's needs over my own is fulfilling. I am not diminished by my role as helpmeet to my husband. In fact, I am elevated by it. It allows me to serve God through His God-ordained authority over me, my loving husband Dong.

Bible Verse:

 Ephesians 5:22

 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

 Efeso 5:22

22 Mga babae, pasakop kayo sa inyo-inyong sariling asawa, na gaya ng sa Panginoon.
Dong embracing pregnant Nikka (1st baby), 2004

My prayer is for all wives to find godly pegs for marriage. We are deceived by the enemy into believing that couples with good looks, money and power are whom we should emulate. May our standards of what is a married couple worthy of emulation be up to God's Standards.

1 Peter 3:6
For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.

1 Pedro 3:6

Tulad ni Sara, sinunod niya at tinawag na panginoon ang asawa niyang si Abraham. Kayo rin ay mapapabilang sa kanyang mga anak kung matuwid ang inyong mga gawa, at kung wala kayong anumang kinatatakutan.

I do not think I will be calling Dong my master or lord or even sir now or well...ever, for it will make us both feel uncomfortable and knowing us, make us laugh in great fits :) , but I do know in my heart that my husband Dong will be God's Vessel of leading me and my family towards where He wants us to be led. It is through him that I will be able to follow God's Will for me in my life.

Here's praying we all find our godly pegs! I have. :) Please follow her blog too. Her posts opened my eyes and convicted my heart of my sins. April and Greg Cassidy of . May we all be richly blessed today, dear sisters in Christ! God bless us all. 

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