Thank you all for your positive responses to the first segment. I’m grateful that it inspired some thought and introspection which I hope is conferred to action for greater good.
As promised, here is a second installment I would like to share with you all. The book is forthcoming I’m not sure when since research consumes all my writing and mental energies at present but I hope to get there in the near future. Kind words were appreciated xx
So to the meat of the matter, here are a few more things it may be helpful to be cognizant of when contemplating marriage:
1. In sickness and in health is a thing: I know these days people tend to rewrite vows to ensure that their food is safeguarded from their spouse’s voracious appetite or because they know that they are runners when the bank account hits a low. However, there are some key concepts from the traditional vows that imply the “regardless” nature a lasting marriage needs to have.
My parents have always said something that my husband often reiterates, you marry for love yes but more so you marry for commitment. If your mother or father comes down with a chronic illness the children tend to stick by them to the bitter end because of what they are to them. Some of us don’t have the best family relations but in the cases where they exist, one finds it hard to abandon the people who brought them into this world.
Likewise, when you are preparing to marry a person for a lifetime, you are opting to forge a family with them. You are bound by law but you are also bound by spirit, soul and body. This covenant should carry the same if not a greater weight than any blood relation. Many marriages fail because the spouse is tossed on the backburner in favour of John, Lucy or whoever other ride-or-die you find yourself prioritising over your espoused. Instead when you come into this grave situation, you must understand that if this person loses a hand, goes blind, ends up cripple, goes into a coma you have made a lifelong covenant to stand by this person and them to stand by you until morbidly death do you separation.
If this sounds too weighty then one is not prepared for a marriage that will last. Obstacles have to come and only a bulwark of hard work, faith and willpower will steer you through it.
2. Sex is not all there is to it: This is in continuation from the last point. There are two main conditions which can inhibit sexual relations (and I don’t mean when you get into a disagreement you withhold yourself from your spouse as vengeance; we’re too mature for that right?) I mean in circumstances where it genuinely cannot be helped, namely: the aforementioned sickness and geographical separation. It is in those moments that in order for your relationship to stay afloat, it needed to not be based on intercourse. Don’t get me wrong, sex is a crucial part of marriage. It has the power to rekindle connection, to settle disputes and to relieve distress among other things but when you hear folks racing toward marriage for the sake of tumbling into bed some red flags will arise.
Now I am aware that the scripture says that it is better to marry than to burn but since self control is a fruit of the spirit it will be a handy skill to develop in handling the day to day busyness and rigours of life. Especially when the two above circumstances arise. A spouse or potential spouse who cannot endure 3 hours without sex will tend to find another market when you are not readily available. I’m not going to pretend that we are not sexual creatures or that sexual temptation pre-marriage is not a thing.
But a relationship circling urges and starving healthy communication, mutual interests, goal chasing, sharing responsibilities, developing other friendships (including the one with God) and engaging the other full things in life can easily spiral into friction, disrespect, unfaithfulness, dishonesty, depression and other struggles in a marriage especially when illness and long distance come into play. Yes sex is necessary but when it is inaccessible your love and friendship need to be established well enough to carry you.
I’ll stop here for now. In the desperation to marry one must be a committed friend to be a good spouse.