In today’s world, hearing successful marriage stories has become a scarce commodity. The news bulletins are dotted with break-ups and divorces that include partners going after property. The institution of marriage has suffered from greed vagabonds that it no longer has any taste amongst the current generation.
While this might be the case, we don’t want to overlook the successful marriages that a few couples share. On a larger scale, we’re looking at the trends which can conclusively make us say that marriage has lost its luster.
I am not the man who will tell the world how to resolve this situation. Perhaps we need a higher power in order to come up with great ordeals to fix this problem. Going down this path, I am not sure where the rain started beating us so that we abandoned this practice of leading happy marriages.
In trying to understand the exodus of this vagabond who stripped us of our sanity, the sin started when men and women began to eat the raw, forbidden fruit meant for marriage way before marriage. My approach may be widely skewed, and I totally accept that. When we all placed the entire value of our desires to experimentation, we ruined the institution that was meant to be holy and whole.
The first man or woman to conceive this preposterous idea cannot be traced. But just like Christians will say, all evil begins with the devil; with this rationale, we can heap the blame on the devil- that he deceived us into wrecking the holy matrimony. It wouldn’t be wrong to say so, it only would be right to say that we stopped being resolute in our decision making and allowed our thought processing to weaken.
When a pot cracks, even if it is a small fissure, it loses its potency to secure its content. The cracks will allow the content to sieve through. The cracks will increase in size over time. And our behavior as human beings is that we never take time to assess our functionality. We hardly invest time to identify the cracks in our selves. Some of us will find time but fixing these cracks is a thing we will procrastinate until late when the centre can no longer hold.
When we preferred tasting the food before the main meal, we started designing fate for ourselves when in fact it had been designed for us already. It is my strongest belief that each of us was meant to be with someone. There is a partner for each of us. It was the initial arrangement that each one of us would end up with someone they’d been designated to end up with.
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God did not create us to be lonely. But as time has proved, we have learnt to break and divert God’s plans so that we can achieve our quickly acquired ambitions, which after all are forfeited after we discover we landed our feet on wet soil.
Sex has become an ordinary practice in our society. It has been given potent prominence, people indulging in it left, right and centre. It is all over our TVs, movies, internet, conversation and it has consumed our lives. It is good that I stay clear in this argument: I truly concede that sex is the centre stage of human life because it brings forth life. It counts immensely when human lives are in line. But making it a casual practice is what makes it wrong.
Sex was referred to the forbidden fruit for one reason. To those married, it is not a forbidden fruit. For those married, a partner outside of marriage is a forbidden fruit. For young people who are outside marriage, it was or should be a forbidden fruit. It would be only a beloved fruit once you two owned it during the marriage. Imagine how delicious that fruit would be? A fruit so ripe waiting to be munched at the right time; a fruit so juicy and nutritious that it gives health to those who eat it. There was something special in that intricacy of marriage with both of you being virgins.
It is very easy not to forget the first person you had sex with. In fact, it is difficult to ever let them out of your mind. And many people’s lives are in the past thinking of their first love. Breaking virginity is special in a way that only someone who is truly in love will understand its effects afterward. There are a lot of emotions attached to this thing called first love. Something eternal. Something only meant for marriage.
With the world or liberalism, my argument won’t last or be adhered to. Many will condemn me (we’re good at it) and say ‘He is talking as if he is a saint.’ When everything becomes casual, the wrong ceases to exist; everything becomes right. And this is the mess we’re in where everything is common and normal. The truth is squashed and dismissed because times have left the right behind. Truth and right are sooo old-school.
What is the aftermath of such collective thinking?
The spiraling number of heartbreaks is an example of the result of pleasure over purpose. You see we sojourn this earth like we have no purpose. We just want to live for the day, as if we already know tomorrow won’t knock. We are afraid of investing time in loving ourselves, understanding ourselves, understanding other people and getting to know what we want.
There is a quote that says- if you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for anything. Our lack of success in relationships might be attributed to standing for nothing where we don’t have guiding principles towards where we want to go.
My reasoning tells me we have substituted personal values with moments of horniness. Moments of lust will allow you to only live momentarily. Ephemeral things don’t last. Leslie Brown says- easy come, easy go.
And now all we can afford is having kids out of wedlock. While many hide in ‘it is a mistake and there is nothing we can do’, there is a lot that we can do so that these ‘mistakes’ cannot happen in the future. We would love to comfort our wrongs. There is a way human beings will sugarcoat mistakes in a way to justify their weaknesses. It must be understood that doing the wrong thing is a result of our weaknesses. Siring a kid out of wedlock is a result of poor decision making. Making someone pregnant is having a weak resolve. Every wrong that comes from our hands is in a way necessitated by our weaknesses.
But as I aforementioned, we are not ready to learn, leave alone unlearn. Our appetite for repeating mistakes is so enormous that we always go back into the mess now and then without learning a single lesson.
Human beings are not perfect. Therefore, to err is very human. But this should not be an excuse for us to be careless.
Being a senior bachelor and being happy is still commendable. Being 35 years old and single but happy is still good. Being married at forty is still beautiful. Having children at 43 is still okay. Breaking your virginity at 50 is still okay. Waiting for 20 years to marry the one you love is beautiful. We all have our time…but the propensity for us to move with others’ times puts us in a hurry. Wanting to be like your peers forces you to make wrong choices. Wanting to be rich like your neighbor makes you become a robber only to end up dead.
Why the hurry? Why the hurry in tasting the cooking jar? Why the hurry into come we stay? Why the hurry to marry a man you don’t like just because he has money? Why the hurry to have kids? Where are we rushing to?
Do we ever sit down and think of the time we will waste when we make the wrong decisions? Do you know how much time you’ll waste looking for another person after divorcing that person you rushed into marrying? Do you know how much time you’ll waste raising a kid while studying? Do you know the invaluable value you lose when you spend time having sex before marriage? You’ll only get into your marriage with no magic in it. You’ve already seen and had it all. And your marriage becomes just like any other boring institution in which you’ll spend your entire life bundled in.
I am not here to fix any of these. I am trying to fix my life too you know. My emphasis is on if we ever take time to reflect on our lives. You see we lead lives like moving buses. They’re always moving forward, picking passengers at every stage. They don’t vet who gets on board or who gets out. So long as they reach their destination they’re okay. Sometimes they carry so much that even climbing a small hill becomes a task. They run out of gas. They destroy many machine parts. And sometimes, they’re beyond repair. So they sit on the rocks and spend the rest of their lives in the biting cold, not complaining but not happy at all with their state.
Life is full of challenges. Many of us live in quiet desperation, robbed by life in a way that breaks us. When we break, we either rush to our friends or partners for solace. This is a clear indication that we’re not made to be lonely. We’re designed to be loved and to love, to end up with someone and lead a beautiful marriage. To spend time with someone who you understand, someone who understands you. To grow old together because that is the beauty that life beholds. Life promises us so much happiness when we find the right person. But it takes time to find the right person when all you do is stop at every stage to pick anyone.
There would be no reason for God to create a man and woman if at all He never envisioned for them to form a union. It would be worthless to have them both if they’re living singly till they die. It is the desire and plan of God that His beings find a partner and live together, and bring forth children to form new generations.
We have, in a way, developed uncanny habits to design our own plans. That despite there being a path to happiness in front of us, we have decided to turn our backs like rebels and take a new course. We have become small gods who, with each passing day, have risen to ranks of altering the course of life. Are we that good? We might have succeeded in undoing some of the things envisaged in the original plan, only that we still end up at the tee line of life- we meet death. We’ve managed to beat things except for death.
There is a time in someone’s life that you need to stop in your tracks. When you are at this point, you face back and try to recall your past reflectively. The importance of it being to assess if where you’re going is the right route. It is demoralizing to come a long way only to realize that you have come the wrong way. And in a way, many of us can’t contemplate going back to find the right way. Just because you spent much time and effort on the wrong thing does not make it right, and clinging to it still won’t change the equation.
To live a more fulfilled life, there is need to examine the life you’re living. Is it right? Is it happy? Is it leading you to your destiny? Is doing so hurting everybody around you? Is your journey necessary?
Many times we like to thrill in the fact that others also passed through the same fate. It is not a must you go through the same challenges just because others went through them. You don’t have to go through them. They are different from you. That was their journey and this particular one is yours. The only justice you can accord yourself is to learn from their mistakes.
Taking moments in your daily life to reflect on your life refreshes your energy to stay on the right course. You’re able to track the progress of your life. It will give you an opportunity to discover where you went wrong and how to mend the bends.
Life is built on relationships. Without friends or family or partners, we would be nothing. That is why in one way or another we end up in affairs that lead into families. So that we’re able to say marriage is the centre-stage of our human value. We spend most of our time thinking of the ones we love, or our future husbands and wives. Our minds do not settle on staying single ever. They’re always looking for and trying to establish connections. We’re social beings.
Love is the greatest of all the things we might desire in this world. Happiness is not a desire. It is something inside us that we only evoke. It is like life, you only need to deal with it in a proper way. When love stands at the top echelons of the desires, it presents to us a question: where do we find it? I am not talking of the love that out family confers upon us. I am talking about the love that only our partners can grant us.
We can only get genuine love from someone who truly understands us. To find such a person might take you a leg and heart. Which brings me back to my initial point: that if you land the perfect partner meant for you your life will be complete in a way. But getting such a person when you’re already sharing the cake with the wrong partners will reduce the chances of you ever finding that person meant for you. All your life will be spent picking passengers at every stage just because they are passengers and you need money for gas and repair.
There is a dire need to change how we view things. Even if the world wants us to believe that standing by your principles is being uptight, there is a reward for every single right thing that you do. It is possible for us to stand for something. It is possible for us to sit down and patiently design in line with the original plan how our future should be. No one should rush us. No one should coerce us to fall into traps. No one should woo us into sharing their mistakes.
We can choose to learn. We can choose to invest in ourselves. We can choose to lead successful marriages. We can choose to raise a society of children who value principles. For we have the power to change our stories.
‘I gave out this speech at a convention a year ago. Some people cried, and some sat there not knowing what to do with this piece of information. Someone asked me to share it.
Where shall we go, we who wander in this wasteland in search of better selves?
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