Why vow?

Standard

image

Why did I get married is a 2007 American film written and directed by Tyler Perry which tells the story of the trials and tribulations of the marriages of four couples. Why did I get married too is the 2010 follow up where we see the four struggling to save their marriages once again on their annual marriage retreat while each of them has their own physical, emotional, mental or emotional battle to fight.  These two movies are a must see whether you’re married or not. You get to see the love, drama, tears, secrecy and humour that plays out in these four couples’ marriages.

On page 424 of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, 1979 it is written that “The union of husband and wife in heart, body and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity, and when it is God’s will, for procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and deliberately and in accordance with the purpose for which it was instituted by God”.

We’ve seen people getting married for all different reasons but marrying for love is the least of those reasons. If people don’t get married for money and social status, they’ll get married because of the birth of a child which is the wrong foundation for a marriage.

The very definition of “marriage” is being debated but what we know is that marriage is suppose to be lifelong not temporary, pure without adultery, faithful without abandonment, love without hate and it’s suppose to be fruitful not futile.
The question is, why did you get married or why do you wish to get married?

If we get married because we want to find a soul mate, someone who will complete us then we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. No human being who is an inhabitant of this world and is of flesh can complete you, only God can complete a person. No person can live up to God, we all have imperfections – all we need to teach ourselves is to say “you’re perfectly imperfect for me”. If we go into  marriage with happiness as the primary goal then as soon as happiness seems to fade we will be heading for the divorce court. If receiving love is the primary goal of us getting married then immediately our spouse’s attention gets disturbed by the simplest thing as work we will dump our spouse and jump to the next one. We should marry to experience the love of the Higher Being or God through our spouse. We should make our  marriages the santuary of unconditional love.

We should get married to strengthen those who are weak, to fall forward and not backward and to love the other as you would love yourself. We must also get married to pray for each other everyday – “Lord how can I love my spouse today like she/he has never been loved before and never will be loved like that?”

Marry a person not only for what they are but for what they make you to be when you’re with them and marry them not only for what they’ve made of themselves but for what they’re making of you.

Advertisements

Precious Makoti

Standard

image

In South Africa it`s called Lobola and in other countries it`s called dowry or bride price – this is the cultural practice of asking for a bride`s hand in marriage from her family in gifts, money or livestock. Since the dawn of the 21st century lobola has become a very controversial subject, its controversy has been sparked by people`s greed and that very same greed has also distorted the meaning of the practice.  A lot of eligible bachelorettes are now insisting that they don`t want lobola paid for them despite the cultural connotations to it, reason being they feel as if this practice commodifies them and would be daylight robbery to their partners.

Is lobola still relevant in 2016 – the answer is yes. Lobola is about members of two families both the dead and alive getting to know each other. In African culture we have what we call clan names, people who share a clan name can never get married to each other i.e if your surname is Nxumalo you belong to the Zwide, Ndwandwe and Mkhatshwa clan and if you marry anyone who identifying with these surnames, it would be considered as incest even if you grew up not knowing each other. As a way to prevent kids of the same blood lineage to get married the elders should meet and get to know each others background (a lot of families have paternity secrets).

The lobola practice is also a way of the bride’s family to command respect from the groom’s family – the bride’s family should make themselves known as a family that goes to great lengths to protect their daughters. A bride’s family should act like the holders of a hard to find cure (their daughter) that cures the most fatal condition that affects men only, and once the groom’s family locates the whereabouts of that cure they should be made to climb mountains, walk until their feet hurt and cross rivers were crocodiles live to get to the cure that is placed on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, so that when the cure is finally handed to them they can greatly appreciate the heroine who saved their son’s life.

If we were to make death pay for taking away a loved how much would you make him/her (death) pay? This is how a mother feels when she gives her daughter away in marriage, yes she’ll be happy about her daughter finding happiness but admist her happiness is the sadness of losing a daughter; because of that she’ll want the new beholders of her daughter’s life to pay a hefty price for taking her daughter away from her. We all know how parents especially mothers get when their kids move out of the home, it’s a roller coaster of emotions – she probably worries 10 times more than the bride (her daughter) during the preparations of the wedding.

Men aren’t the same – when a sane man looks at his wife, he’ll  remember how love made him brave the “uncle storms” before he wedded his wife and he’ll think to himself that he fought for her, thus he’ll keep her very close to his heart. An insane man on the other hand will look at his wife and think that he bought her.

One other thing, lobola cannot be returned if it happens that the bride and groom part ways – that goes against culture. The reason why it’s impossible to pay back lobola is that back then lobola was paid in cows and cows are food – how do you tell a person to return a slaughtered and eaten cow? The fact that in some cases money has replaced livestock in lobola negotiations doesn’t mean that it makes it easier to pay back the money – what if the bride’s family has used the money to erect someone’s tombstone, would you ask them to take back the stone and get a refund? That’s why lobola isn’t paid back no matter how much money the groom has paid to his bride’s family.

Men should think of the lobola practice as a knighting ceremony and women should take the practice as another way of her family showing that she’s very precious to them and her new family.

Culture condemn all those who’ve turned lobola into a quick money scheme and it is hoped that a couple of rotten potatoes won’t spoil the whole bag.

If the practice of lobola is conducted properly it is one of the marvels of African culture.

Grasp life by the handlebars

Standard

image

This is the opening post for 2016 and it`s also a tribute post to a very dear interpersonal relationship in my life – I thought I should change gears a bit this new year and give the world a sneak preview into my life.

Life events like the death of a loved one and the birth of a new member of the family gets a person thinking about the kind of relationships you have in your life – are they bitter, sweet or sour?  I have a couple of noteworthy relationships I could shine a light on in my life, but for now I want to shine the limelight on a mesmerizing one.

4 years ago at the funeral of a fellow church member I finally got the opportunity to put a face to the name of the very charismatic gentleman I had been told stories about (all good of course) a couple of years ago – (for the sake of this post I`ll call him BO). What stood out for me about BO and that remains memorable was how he instantly became comfortable in my presence as if he had been long prepared for us to meet. As a social norm after such an alluring meeting between two people contacts will be exchanged and constant contact will be kept; but that didn`t happening with us, we parted ways on that day after our meet and greet only to meet up again after 15 months. As usual he was as charming and charismatic as when I met him – at least with our second encounter I got his contact number but it was on a professional basis; to his dismay I contacted him after a good 6 months. On the day that I called him he sounded very giddy and that was the start of preparing the ground for the cultivation of growing a rich friendship, if you may call it that.

In all of us there is a sleeping or half awake dimension of ourselves that is waiting to be fully awoken by someone or something – BO “rang the alarm”, he sharpened my intuition and bolded my spiritual dimension. I once went through a flurry of dreams about him, all showing me one thing, his death. I started consulting different dream interpreters, they all couldn`t come up with any specific interpretation except telling me to pray for the divine protection over his life. I immediately started praying to a point where my mind would just switch off from things happening around me and I`d silently start praying in my mind and my heart. Thankfully none of the things I saw in those dreams ever happened to him.
I thank BO for being chivalrous with his life and opening the door for me to walk into his life by narrating the things that happened and are happening in his life both good and bad. Sometimes I`m forced to be his voice of reason and comfort but I never mind it because I manage to do it with a smile, that’s how most if not all of our conversations end in laughter.

I could go on and on about how meeting BO has taken the both of us on such an exclamatory journey but for now I should probably stop the horse carriage right here and I’ll stop it by saying that the mere-exposure effect gave birth to this interpersonal relationship. This relationship is like a lair where we both retire to when the whirlwinds of life have drained our souls and it is also a place where we celebrate each other’s achievements and happy moments. I`m happier just knowing BO and if one day I find myself questioning the existence of God I will not look any further than this relation with BO – our paths crossed when we least expected it.

It`s through relationships like these that life makes more sense and can help a person to find even the most difficult answers to situations that seem impossible to handle.