Sunday, January 30, 2011

My thoughts on marriage

To my mind, if marriage was a movie, the man would be the pictures and the woman would be the sound, and if marriage were a painting, the man would bethe picture and the woman would be all the colours. Indeed, one can ‘operate’ without the other – but there is a lingering feeling of a lack of wholeness.

Today has been both wonderful and exhausting as a new phase of my life begins. So while I fix me a quick meal, I am glad to back the cooker for a while and type upon my keys a ‘few’ words…because at these points when spoken words fail me, I have come to understand that “my pen is the tongue of a ready writer”.

I think of marriage and how wonderful it is and God knows that by no means do I consider myself an expert. I have known my wife of a few years for over a decade and would I choose her again? Definitely. I would choose her again and again. But before this becomes a treatise on my emotional ‘dambuliarity’ (let he that readeth understand that there is no such word, but rather it’s a word that expresses a thought if you fill in the gaps), I will go on to address the topic of marriage.

Now, If you do not agree with the article, kindly write me a mail. I would really appreciate if it is personalised. Then obtain from me the updated address of my house. Obtain also, if you may, a stamp, which you should moisten and affix upon the envelop – and promptly post it in the trash can. I have chosen to write personal thought – and you have chosen to read my points of view. So, shall we begin?

My thoughts on marriage are: Do not get married to someone if you cannot let them have your password to your mobile phone and email addresses. If you plan to operate in your home anything other than complete openness, perhaps, you should keep up with dating. Marriage is best enjoyed when one realises that it is a willing ‘fusion’ of two parties.

My other thought is this; the most important person in your life when you get married becomes your partner. Ah, yes. People raise eyebrows at the thought that a spouse from the outside takes over the spot of their favourite parent. If you are not ready for that as well, then I suggest you keep living with your parents. Quoting scripture, a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh. The person who should hold mothers or fathers as most important are their spouses, not their children! But my father/mother is single, you counter. The world is not ideal, and you are not the architect of your parents’ fate. However, this is divine order: The older takes care of the young and weakens over time to be taken care of by the ‘young’. That is the natural cycle of life and honour of parents is a principle that should not be trifled with.

Marriage can be great fun when you are married to a friend, not an individual who comes along to ‘dazzle’ you with his romantic charm over a six months period. That is an easy timescale to wear and sustain a mask, but when you live with someone in the same house for that long, true colours come forth. So I say, if you have known someone for a long time, known and understood the individual’s nature and you can like that person’s company, do not think to yourself, ah, he is too much like a friend or brother. Your partner will be too much like a friend or brother ANYWAY and all that ‘swag’ and ‘jazz’ will wilt under the scrutiny of time.

One of the most enjoyable times, I have come to see, are moments when you can sit with your mate – and just enjoy who they are without words, champagne, glistening dinner lights or romantic music. I tell you what – if I had a partner who made candle light dinners with perfume and music EVERY NIGHT, by the end of the third year, I would be quite worried.

Ah, I just burnt dinner – but a burnt offering of yam, to my nostril, is a sweet smelling savour. I like burnt yams, you see.

Now, let me say this at this point. The man being lord over the woman is a result of the curse. Yeah. In a scenario where the man is the boss and the woman is the underdog, you are seeing the unravelling of the curse God placed on the woman at the fall – “He shall rule over you”. The man and his wife are partners and he may give a final directive, for the purpose of administration which is simpler with one head. However, the concepts and thoughts that shape the final decision must have given ample room for his wife’s point of view. What many men fail to realise is that decisions only based on logic are not always the best – and what many women fail to realise, is that you cannot leave your whole life based on feelings and intuition. There is need for balance – that cursed tightrope!

Borrowing a Chinese saying, ‘the man must have hands of steel well wrapped in bands of wool’

Before this becomes too long, here is a ‘final’ thought. When you get married, men, get ready to die.

That is so true, John, one must be ready to ‘die to the flesh’…

No. I mean die – or in very plain language, get killed. You are the defender and pillar in your home – or you must be building yourself up for that role. I once heard of a bishop who hid behind his wife when armed robbers broke into their home. While it is funny, it is quite an eye opener – that if you have not trained your mind with scenario planning on how to react, you will be caught pants down when life happens!

And beyond prayer or religious meetings, there is a highly important ingredient not emphasised by many. In monasteries, there is the Latin expression, ‘Otium Sanctum’ – which in English, means ‘holy play’. The ingredient I am talking about is PLAY. God has put play in all nature – just check out the pointless prancing of rams and goats or the mischief of moneys and mosquitoes! Play with your partner. Play with your kids – and play is not just about organised outings. Play fight, if you will. Toss a pillow, toss a ball, take pictures of funny moment – for God’s sake, life is already tough enough to be serious or ‘spiritual’(what bullocks!) all the time. Laugh more, take yourself less seriously sometimes and enjoy the wife/or husband of your youth.

Obviously, this is not a complete manual of marriage does and don’t. It’s just the ranting of a writer waiting for dinner.