Friday, December 22, 2017

Why it is not advisable for couples to work together

Why it is not advisable for couples to work together

The new thinking is that spouses should not work together. A man and his wife should work separately so that each one of them enjoys his/her independence. There are dangers associated with working together as husband and wife. 

They can work together just for a while, or as one of them looks for work elsewhere. There is need to work in different fields so that you have the freedom of working with workmates without your relationship getting in the way. While working together brings the two of you together, co-workers may find it difficult to relate to the two of you in your official capacities and as a couple.

It is workable in some instances, for example in teaching. A couple can be at one school and find it easy to work together and have fun. They can share accommodation and other amenities. The profession offers the convenience of staying and working together. It makes bonding easy. That arrangement gives comfort and looking after children is made easy. The family feels safe together.  Problems may arise when one gets promoted. If the woman gets the promotion, it is notch higher for the family, but this can be very demeaning to the husband who might not be able to come to terms with his wife’s new status.

With or without the challenges of promotion, the couple is required to maintain a professional relationship at work.  This is very tough, but it can be done.  There is no need for one to shy away from the other because of a promotion.  As long as the promotion is on merit, there shouldn’t be any problems both in the family and at work.

Work in the health sector also allows couples to live together and work separately, say in a hospital.  Suppose you are working in the same place and one of you gets promoted, you can accept the new post yet opt to remain in your allocated house. This gives the impression that you are humble, if you choose to remain in the same house you lived in when you got promoted. 

Some couples work in the industrial sites and may happen to do the same job. They travel to work together. Such couples must respect boundaries and not encroach onto each other’s work space.
A typical example is what happened recently to the former first lady Grace Mugabe. She wanted to compete with her husband, Robert Mugabe. While there is nothing wrong in aspiring to do what your husband is doing, you have to be very strong to convince people that you have the capacity.

The end result was no one wanted to support the wife because of her actions. People just turned into spectators and there was no sympathy for what befell Grace. Now both the husband and wife have been retired to their home because they failed to negotiate their way as the wife sought power.  It was clear she was fighting to be where the husband was, but she lacked the tact and decorum to weave her way to the throne.

So many women have brought down their husbands because they do not look at the hazards of trying to work together. Grace wanted the husband to leave the post for her even if it meant creating a dynasty.  She took a lot of things for granted as she pushed and shoved people to land the coveted prize.

There is much to it than just working together. Everybody is working to succeed in his or her career. It must come as a shock to find out the one vying for your post is your spouse.  If your spouse wants your post, it is very difficult to work at cross purposes with your husband or your wife.  The load is more damning if it’s the wife who wants to grab the post.

To be safe, work as far apart from each other as possible, otherwise you pay heavily for working together in this world of competition.  Let your own prowess take you to the greater heights of growth. We are where we are not because someone backed us, but because we worked for it without anyone pushing us.  So, no man or woman should be given what they do not deserve because they are in it because of their partner.  Work towards your own goal without compromising those that are close to you.

There is no need to grab power by taking advantage of proximity to it. Grace should have worked her way

up without being backed by the husband, mindful of the fact that she was eventually going to be by herself after the husband retired. She had to prove her acumen and political shrewdness without being unnecessarily disrespectful. Now people use her as an example of how a wife can bring down a husband if both of them are not careful.

Let those with ears hear.
l Levee Kadenge is a theologian based at United Theological College.  He can be contacted at

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Martha and Mary in service if the Lord

Martha and Mary in service of the Lord

By Rev Dr Levee Kadenge
Martha and Mary were sisters. Their brother was Lazarus. At one point Jesus visited them at their house.

The scripture says: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10 v 38-42)

The two women waited upon the Lord in different ways. One was prepared to listen to the Lord while the other one was ready to work for the Lord. Such was the plight of the sisters — of the one who worked for the Lord and the one who sat down to listen to the Lord, which one was doing the right thing?

The great news was that both ladies were prepared to serve the Lord. One was working for the Lord by preparing food for him while the other one was working for the Lord by just sitting under his feet to give Him her ear. She wanted an understanding of the Lord’s work and to learn. Both acts constitute working for the Lord in the scheme of worship.  

What did the Lord do? The Lord understood that they were working for him in different ways, each one doing her own thing.

Each one of them did her part whole-heartedly. They worked very hard to please him. He was the centre of attraction.

People work for the Lord in different ways. They indeed would be doing well for the Lord. However, whatever work that a person does for the Lord should be done to the best of one’s ability. We cannot all be doing the same thing for the Lord because we are gifted differently. You do not want to think you are the only worker in the kingdom. All are called to serve.

When one chooses to work for the Lord, it must always be in the best interest of the kingdom of God. Naturally, we care for what we do as individuals and care less for what others are doing for the same Lord. We want to take the prize, but it is not a competition. What images are we projecting when we compete in the house of the Lord? We cannot be said to be working for the Lord yet not take notice of what others are doing for the same kingdom.

We do right when what we do fulfils the aspirations of the one we are working for. The Lord understands that His people are working for the kingdom and each one is doing their best to serve Him. As a collective, we must realise is that we are all working for the Lord. The Lord is the personhood to work for in all our small ways.

All people were created to work for the Lord in one way or the other. Do not be discouraged, discover your talent and work for the Lord to the best of your ability.

In this case, Mary was listening to the Lord while Martha was working in the kitchen then Martha complained that Mary did not care to help her. She was just sitting doing nothing listening to the Lord. This must have annoyed Mary because she was doing something. She was working. She was learning. She was doing her best under the circumstances. But the sister could not appreciate the kind of work Mary was undertaking. Jesus then said Mary had chosen what would not be taken away from her — an education.

They could have been doing the same thing but the other one chose to work for the Lord in a different way. When you have chosen to work for the Lord, you can either be doing the work at his feet or you can do it in the glare of everyone. When you are working for the Lord you should not be surprised to hear that other people are doing the same. No one should rubbish your efforts.
Whatever you are doing, you are free to work for the Lord in the way you can. Nothing is impossible. You can work for the Lord even in secret. There is no work which is lesser than the other. All is invaluable work when you do it in the name of the Lord.  
Many people like to be seen to be doing more for the Lord. They crave for an audience. Just doing something is enough, people do not matter. Their comments do not matter. Their acts of discouragement do not matter. Their competitive spirits do not matter. In the greater scheme of things, only God counts.  
Let those with ears hear.

l Levee Kadenge is a theologian at United Theological College. He can be contacted