Tuesday, 24 April 2012
The Lilies toil not to blossom by Lily
Now, before I go any further, I must introduce myself. I’m an unashamed, unapologetic and hopeless believer of love. Right from when I was a little girl, I knew I was going to marry the Man of my dreams. (No, not Denzel). A man I was head over heels in love with. Of course ‘’the Man of my dreams’’ began to change in form as I matured. Whereas a starry eyed teenager on my list was the usual ‘’TDH’’ (tall dark handsome) I’m sorry, have never been into light skinned guys. They look fragile. I’ve always wanted a strong black man… anyway, moving on… I had this list where apart from obviously being TDH, he had to be witty, intelligent, FUNNY, sensitive, strong, honest, full of integrity, bla bla bla… funny enough I never wrote a 2God fearing man". I just knew I could never love a Man who didn’t love the Lord.
I’m genuinely puzzled when I see scores of women bashing marriage everyday on social networks, and to be honest, I feel sad. Who or what could’ve hurt them so bad to be this vehemently opposed to something the Lord created to be a beautiful joining of two people? I believe environment and genetics forms us as individuals…as well as personal choices. And so it is with Marriage. Your perception of Marriage possibly arises from these three things;
1) Your parents’ Marriage (or lack thereof), the history of Marriage in your family, sisters, Aunts or the like,
2) Views on Marriage from various TV shows and movies,
3) Your own personal belief In the Institution of Marriage.
It’s almost as if every day is a "Marriage Bashing Day" on twitter. There’s someone I follow who constantly tweets horrible stories of how evil Men are and why Marriage is a terrible idea. After a while, I had to follow encouraging accounts of how beautiful Marriage can be, and the way God intended it to be. Where did we go wrong? I have this friend that gets off on when relationships/marriages end. She would quickly ping me to break it to me how so and so was divorcing. Yes sadly, sometimes people fall out of love. Marriages end, some women go through hell on earth just to remain married. It doesn’t mean every relationship is doomed to fail. You can’t live your life on that premise. I loved being single, having fun with my girls, doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Having my space, deciding not to cook. But I also knew that I couldn’t do that forever. I wanted babies. And I wanted someone to love. Most importantly, I wanted to be a part of something meaningful; Someone to come home to or vice versa, someone I could share a part of me I never have with anyone in the world. And I knew there were certain things I had to give up. You can’t enjoy being married if you don’t make up your mind to close some chapters. I’ve never been the type to enjoy 10 different guys calling me, frankly, it gave me a migraine. I love having just one man tell me I’m his sunshine, I love knowing that this Man will be the father of my children.
For me, my first views on Marriage stemmed from my parents. I grew up in a household full of love and laughter. I’ve never seen a Man love a Woman as much as my Dad loved(s) my Mom. He was never ashamed to shower her with lots of praises before us the kids, visitors, in public and even in her absence. Of course they argued, also in our presence, but they always seemed to get over it so quickly! They never kept malice. This taught me that a woman can and should have her own opinion, hold her own and not be a door mat, however, don’t let the sun go down on your anger and learn to hold on to what’s most important! When it came to in-laws, my dad showed top priority to my Mom, even as a little girl I knew you couldn’t mess with my mom, my dad wouldn’t allow it.This invariably put everyone in their place.I remember whenmy dad looked at me and said, if the man I married loved me half as much as he did my Mom, I would be fine because love never fails. He always said he first met my mom when she was 18 and more than twenty years after, she was still the most beautiful woman he had ever beheld. Sometimes when she cooked a special meal, he would say, ‘’ah Madam, I should go back and pay another bride price, you get better with age!’’. They were always laughing together and many times, we would catch them exchange loving glances at each other. I never ever saw him or heard him belittle her. And she would tell you a thousand times that she has never felt threatened by him in anyway, physically or otherwise. And this instilled in me the belief that this was how Marriage was meant to be. This is how a man should treat a woman. And I expected no less.
Perhaps this gave me terribly high standards on what to expect from a Man. However, as I got into the University, my ideals began to change… in fact the whole picture I had in my head about dating a guy who was cool, sensitive and funny just disappeared. Blame it on the school I went to, I don’t know, but I just froze up. I left University without ever dating anyone. I was too disillusioned. These guys were nothing like what I’d been reading (and expecting). Big apology to all my University guys. It’s not you, it’s me. I knew I had to make that climb down from the high horse soon. But even then, I knew I wasn’t going to settle for less
But I held out, I wasn’t giving in to just any guy. Sometimes I wonder if I had experimented with a lot of guys, perhaps I would also have had the view that ALL MEN ARE THE SAME. Be that as it may, the only two Men I ever dated showed me a lot of respect and made me feel special. The first broke my heart, the other, I married. So perhaps, my knowledge on men is vastly limited. I do know however, that where one was very indifferent and non chalant, the other was extremely sensitive to my needs and very attentive. It made me realize, no two men are the same! You just can’t have it all. Sometimes you have to experience a little bit of the bad to appreciate the good. Life is all about compromises. You just have to be discerning and know what to compromise and what to hold on tightly to.There are pertinent qualities that must be present, others you can learn to live without, and others you must never tolerate.
As for me, I believe when you strongly believe in something, call it fate, call it cosmic synergy, or the Will of God, it just comes to be... what you expect, you end up getting and you’ll find you didn’t have to struggle hard for it. ’’The lilies toil not to blossom’’just be true to you. If you abhor marriage for whatever reason and want to remain single, that’s okay, whatever makes you happy? Just don’t make it on the premise of your parents’ failed marriage, or some celebrity marriage, or worse, just to join the marriage bashing bandwagon. I admire strong, career oriented women who don’t feel pressured by society. And I certainly don’t think Marriage is the be all, end all. My husband is probably more passionate about me following my dreams than I am! I may not have a perfect marriage, and lord knows my husband has his numerous flaws, but you know what? So do i. And if he can see past all that and love me so amazingly, then so can i. There are little things that warm my heart, like when he brings me breakfast in bed every weekend, rubs my feet, annoys crap out of me, and the inevitable fights (and makeup). I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s not a walk in the park, but nothing of lasting value ever is. I did marry the Man of my dreams (well, minus the Chateau in France, the Swiss bank account, the Newyork penthouse suite, the castle in Scotland, the Villa in Spain and the Yatch in Venice). Imperfect as he is,I am committed to enjoying Marriage the way God intended with positivity, constant forgiveness, trust and love.
Yes, I’m a believer of love.