“Both men and women today see marriage not as a way of creating character and community but as a way to reach personal life goals. They are looking for a marriage partner who will ‘fulfill their emotional, sexual, and spiritual desires.’ And that creates an extreme idealism that in turn leads to a deep pessimism that you will ever find the right person to marry.” – Tim Keller
There are no good men, they say. It is so hard to find a good woman, others retort. When it comes to relationships, each of the genders has its own expectations, it appears. Negative experiences, attitudes. Stories. They cloud our judgement. Wonder no more why we often hear women say that all men are cheats and the men retort, all women are trouble. Why then do we bother seeking relations with the opposite sex?
In a recent meeting with some of my relatives, there arose an interesting conversation emanating from a Biko Zulu article, ‘Overnight Stranger’. I must say, that man is a writer extraordinaire. In summary, the wife of the story teller cheated on him, and to make matters worse, with the chair of their wedding committee. A sad and intriguing story. And yet, what saddened me the most was the comments from women who rejoiced over this affair. Their reason? Men have been doing this to women for years. It’s payback time.
My cousin agreed. “Men cheat” she said adding that she wasn’t sorry for the guy. According to her, the husband must have done something to his wife that necessitated her straying behavior. She took this line of thought from her own experience. Men are unfaithful. Here I was, with my sister, trying to convince my cousin that there are a few good men out there, but it all fell on deaf ears.
Some older women discourage younger lasses from getting married. We know, we’ve heard. They seek to stop ladies from making mistakes they made. Why? Men are canines. In the streets, in their big cars, we see them picking up young girls. We hear they have side chics who live comfortably off these husbands. Men only think about sex, so they will go hunt and get it out there. It is now said that a man who wears a wedding ring is an endangered species. For he is stable. However, his needs are probably not being met by his wife and, therefore, is a prime candidate for comfort. His current needs? Short-term, making him quite the easy catch.
Go talk to a HR practitioner and hear tales of female employees who do not list their husbands as next of kin. In the event of her demise, the husband will not inherit any dues owing to her. Instead, they list their mothers, siblings or children. Reason? They simply do not trust their husbands and there is fear that, upon their departure, their children will be at the mercy of a heartless stepmom who will not bother taking care of these children.
Look at the secret accounts. These are kept for the rainy days. After all, the wife expects the husband to go through a season where he will abandon her. These monies will cushion her and the kids in the event the relationship bids goodbye. Look at the nagging ones, those that complain about anything and everything. No wonder the Bible says, ‘It is better to live on a corner of a roof than share a house with a quarrelsome woman.’ Proverbs 21.9. And the men agree in unison.
In the cases above, there is no oneness-unity- in marriage. Then why even bother getting married? Why go into it expecting the worst? Are we doing it for the gallery? If we keep claiming negative thoughts, do they become the reality? If a woman wants a good man, she should stop saying there are no good men.
A couple of my single friends say that marriage is not worth it, because there are no good people ‘out there’. It does not help telling them otherwise when what we see and hear are horrifying stories of how relationships have been destroyed in ways that no one can fathom.
Are there good men and women out there? They do exist. What’s more, they are earthlings, in this universe not the next one! Perhaps the right question ought to be, are you the right person? You and I are capable of being good people. And we can do something to become better people.
Work on your inner self. Ask, how can I be a better person? Let us practice the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience, goodness and self-control. Learn to love your partner the way God desires. If there is no love for our spouses in our hearts, what will the Lord say of us? If you expect something, you have to be willing to give it.
If you are single, you have an opportunity to work on your areas of weakness and grow your areas of strength. If we want the best, we have to work at being the best. I know that many complain that the men are not doing anything on their part. There are those who are trying. Play your part. Do not fall just for any man that shows up on your front door.
Admit you are not perfect so don’t expect perfection. We are all fallen. My husband reminds me that we are sinners, married to other sinners. Why do we expect perfection when we ourselves are not perfect either? This does not mean that you should not have standards. We are only perfect in Christ and therefore must learn to submit ourselves to Him and learn from Him. Blogger Munene Gangi is in agreement in his article Color Me Perfect.
Lastly, if you feel that you have made wrong choices with regards to your relationships, please seek help. It may be possible to work things out. Do not suffer in silence.
Let’s give love a chance.
There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23.18.
Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time. – Maya Angelou