I am home now after an unbelievably amazing 20 days in Rakops.
I wish you all could have been there as generational habits and traditions were traded in for healthier ways of doing things in families. Many of these testimonies can be viewed on our Facebook page: Talking with the Thabas. But for today’s article, I wanted to share a few testimonies to give you a snippet of some of the behavioural changes I observed.
lAn older pastor had been raised with the mindset that you shouldn’t be affectionate with your wife in public. We taught in our marriage book and sessions that a good marriage includes physical intimacy in and OUT of the bedroom, meaning you should hold hands, kiss, put your arm around the other, etc. throughout the day. As we taught these practical tips
on how to increase the physical bond of the marital union, many told us they were afraid to look too happy for fear that it would make others jealous and they might try and break them up. This older pastor decided to try out our advice.
He said he went home on the day he learned these tips and gave his wife a kiss – right there on the sofa in front of the kids and grandkids. At first they looked at him like something was wrong! Where did that come from? As the days went by, he became bolder and his wife began to enjoy and expect it. The kids began to cheer and say “look! Grandpa is kissing grandma!” They even told other relatives and the pastor testified he hadn’t felt so young and in love since his youthful days! Even his marriage age children began to adopt the behaviour with great excitement now that it had been modeled by their father.
Another older lady took us seriously when we challenged the couples to have fun in marriage. We gave an example about how we have dance parties in our home just for the fun of it. The next day she came back to our sessions and testified she had gone home and turned on the radio and danced with everyone. She said they all had so much fun that they will do it more often! We heard countless testimonies about how joy was entering homes which had been void of any outward expression of love and laughter.
l One family had participated in ritual killings and other dark activities which had brought a lot of sadness and pain to the family and those around them. Though they knew it wasn’t right, it was a tradition which had been passed down and continued. Just last month sadly the family plot had seen blood shed with another ritual killing. We led one of our family building sessions in this yard.
At first, only a handful came to the lessons since there was a fear to enter the yard and be seen associating with the family.
But, the more we taught through our marriage
l One of the lessons we taught in our marriage book was the importance of husband and wife openly sharing and discussing their finances. One of my favourite stories we heard was that of a 66-year-old woman. She shared that after that financial lesson, her husband came home and gave her all the money in the house and said “I have learned we should share this, so this month you can be the one to hold the money and decide how we spend it.” She expressed she was literally shaking! In her 66 years, her husband had always kept his money hidden from her and treated her as if she was another child in the house who didn’t deserve to be consulted in the issues of money. For the first time, she felt he trusted her! What a joy to know that even in their late age, they had adopted a healthier approach to their family finances which would bond them as a couple.
We had 832 people participate daily in the 18-day family building campaign so we heard hundreds of testimonies of lives changed and families strengthened! What a joy because I strongly believe that stronger families will produce stronger nations! What about you? Is there anything you need to trade in, give up, or improve in order to make your family healthier and happier? Would you like to partner with us to see families around you becoming healthier?
*Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, family building facilitator, author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – www.ashleythaba.com.You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books, Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas