It seems that marriage that once used to be a solid institution has become a very shaky one. Today, divorce rates have hit the highest ever, and it is even made worse by the fact that couples who have been married for a short time are now getting divorced. When couples announce their engagements, the first thing that some people usually say is that, “I hope they will not get divorced o” or “let’s see how long they will last.” These comments are not out of malice; these people reacting to what has become a trend in our society: People strolling out of marriage at the slightest whim.
So, to bring some perspective to this issue, we are going back all the way to our 2011 edition to bring you an article penned by our Editor In Chief, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, on the issue of marriage. If you are married, about to get married, or single, you need to read these words because they may just change how you look at you view your current marriage or your future marriage…
At a wedding recently, I heard the preacher tell the newly wedded couple that marriage is not a bed of roses and I thought to myself how wrong he was! And so is anyone who has ever mouthed this same advice to newlyweds as they began their forever journey.
A rose is a lovely flower in its look feel and fragrance. I am not green fingered, but I have heard that the rose plant requires quite a delicate gardener. As it emerges, it sits prettily atop a stem of thorns, so really, a rose is incomplete without its thorns or else it becomes simply just petals; and you couldn’t make a bouquet with that! Likewise, marriages come in different shapes and sizes, but are equally prickly and could hurt if not handled with care.
My suspicion and very uneducated guess about the challenges most marriages are facing today, and the fact that more are breaking down, is that many involved parties are seeking that it smell like roses, but should be free of thorns. Or if they get the words like “marriage is not a bed of roses” and they start to think, “oh wow! There are tough times ahead,” but if we expect the thorns and the roses, then we will know that like the seasoned gardener and florist, we learn to minimize the damage caused by the thorns. The defter the florist is, the less likely the pricks on his or her finger!
Your chances of success can also be dependent on the source of the knowledge you acquire to achieve your dexterity. For example, if as a Christian the bible is your source, then Christ forms your standard, and you would then be looking at those thorns as he would… through loving eyes. Such eyes seek to anticipate the need of the beloved and place that ahead of personal need and therefore can endure the thorns or find ways of reducing their impact. Such eyes know that with Christ, nothing is impossible. Such eyes are patient, long suffering, and never keep record of wrong, and so on, as described by Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans.
The Bible teaches that Love never ends. If this is true, pray tell, why do we hear things like “I don’t love her/him anymore?” I believe it should rather be, “I don’t ‘lust’ her/him anymore?” Because it seems to me that in recent times, we are more inclined to count on lust rather than love to see us through marriage, or else why would your wife’s size or lack of dexterity in the kitchen or in bed say, be an excuse for not loving her again? Or why would your husband’s shallow pocket or height or looks be an excuse not to love him again? Lust is fine, especially within a committed relationship, so both parties have to do all to keep it going, but please, losing it is never enough reason to stop loving, because then you will only have been looking at the thorns in your rose and miss out on the soft petals and sweet smelling fragrance: the companionship, friendship and shared interests that make what you both have worth it. I wish our mothers taught all men this, and I hope we are teaching our sons too that only genuine love that never ends will help us live with our rose, complete with its thorns. Actually, this doesn’t leave women out because it takes two to tango, it is just that when it comes to making a relationship work, typically women are the ones preached to rather than men. And I believe that for healthier marriages, this needs to change… if the truth be told.