You can read the Part 1 of this post here.
Marriages are like startups.
I am not a relationship expert neither have I married before. Like I said, I am currently on my search journey for a life partner. So, I am a bloody grey horn or not? I’m a regular guy whose love and passion is for businesses especially startups. In my work as a business guy, I have often tried to understand why businesses fail or succeed. I know two very successful men whose life work is to do this. They are both professors of one of the world’s leading universities. The men are Clayton Christensen and Michael Porter of Harvard Business School. Sorry for the slight digression. My obsession with these two extremes (success and failure) have led me to discover a lot. Marriage is a like a startup. So, if there’s any justification I have to write about this topic, it would be this.
Arrogance + foolishness.
At the heart of many marital failures is arrogance and foolishness. I will define these two terms. Arrogance is the mother of familiarity. Its father is pride. Just because you have been with someone for 30 years doesn’t mean you know them. Take them for granted at your own peril. Foolishness is a very beautiful word. Its a very versatile word indeed. In some instance and a positive one at that, it means to be simple. Some other times, it means to be stupid. It also includes but not limited to want of knowledge, understanding and/or wisdom. It often manifests in form of blindness. Not the lack of sight but insight. I’m aware that I’m speaking a lot of grammar and not really addressing the issue of divorce just yet so lets get right into it. Why do people walk out of covenants? What can we do about this menace?
In the earlier post, I established my thoughts on why I think the idea of marrying your best friend is just over board and misleading. I concluded that post by talking about the need for us to go back to the basics. I believe that if it is true that we have a problem with marriage as an institution, we have to retrace our steps and seek God who is the author of marriage. You don’t have to be a so called born again to know this truth. Mere copulation of the two opposite sex is not marriage. Cohabiting is not marriage. Marriage is a covenant between three people. A man, a wombed man (woman) and God. I am sorry if this definition does not accommodate everybody. Wedding is not marriage. It is not a ceremony.
A mask for sexuality?
The core idea of this piece is to challenge the very cheap idea that marrying your best friend is a safe house and an insurance against the sad event of divorce. I hope we agree on that. If not, I insist that the idea of friendship is a very important factor but not a criteria for a lasting marriage. In most cases, when people talk of friendship, they have this understanding that if you really take your time to understand someone, you can manage them when they bring on their naughtiness. Sure, there are certain people who we seem to get along with better than others. They become our best friends. They hurt us, we hurt them in return but we manage to resolve our differences. They are either male or female. So it is possible for me to have a male best friend as well as a female best friend. The question however, what if my best friend is a guy? Does that make it right for us to marry? Your answer will depend on what you believe. Some would say, why not? Its a “new world”. Let’s get on right with it. I personally don’t think this is right because It is against God’s law.
Who should you marry?
This is a big question with an oversimplified answer. Nothing that you have never heard of. You should marry God’s will for your life. What is God’s will? God’s will is not always what we want. How so? Ask any lady or guy of marriageable age who they want to marry and you will be shocked to your bones. A truckload of wants. I want a marry a bloke. I want a tall, dark and handsome guy with six packs. I want a confident lady. A beautiful lady endowed in the right places. I want a rich guy. I want a fine babe. When you are lucky, you get to hear the multi-purpose and all time generic phrase. God fearing. When you hear this, be sure not to be fooled. What this person is saying is that he/she wants a faithful spouse. Whether they put if first, in the middle or last, everybody wants to marry a God fearing person. Once we get past these things, most of us shouldn’t even near marriage at all. We love the intellectual and romantic idea of marriage but fail to understand its purpose.
God’s will concerning marriage is that men and women will dominate the earth. Two heads are supposed to be better than one so naturally, they get more reward for their labour. The productivity equation of marriage is highly geometric (one will chase 1,000. Two will chase 10,000), its unity inversely arithmetic (1+1=1) with an integer factor (God). There is nothing arithmetic about it. Let us break it down a little. God created the female specie (the wombed man) as a helper. The man he created to be a defender and a cultivator. This is not a sermon so let us not start trying to brood on who a helper/cultivator is and all those ramifications. I wish there was a totally logical theory about marriage. There is no such thing. How often do those 10 steps to marital bliss and 20 things to look out for help prevent the breakdown of marriages?
The problem with us human beings is that we are too arrogant and foolish not to know when to relinquish control. Shall we talk about the massive disorder with respect to roles today? Identity crisis is roundabout us. For instance, If I make some statements about what the role of a woman or a man is, I will be labelled a chauvinist or more, a homophobe. While I do not suggest that women should end up in the Kitchen (I strongly consider this an abuse of destiny), I insist that a woman must be a helper. Same for men. God expects a man to be a provider. Its pretty simple. Let me attempt to bring all of these together this way. Only a man who is in God’s presence, whose identity is in God and who has a work (not a job) he is been called to do and his doing it qualify to have a helper. If all of these are not on ground, why do I need a helper? What will she come to do? Anything short of this, a man deserves to be alone. He is better being alone. Only a woman who is equipped to help should consider marriage. This is why a woman shouldn’t be pre-occupied with a question as important as Does he loves me? I would be disappointed if my future wife is not asking questions like Are you in God’s presence? Who are you? What has God told you? Where are we going? Where is your garden? What is my role as a woman? What am I coming to do? I also would have failed in my search, if I fail to pay attention to her natural talents and divine giftings. Reproduction is very important element of marriage but not the most crucial in determining success or failure.
If anything is clear from the foregoing, it is that marriage is not for kids. If marriages are failing, it is because the people in those relationship are either unprepared, immature or fail to see the real purpose of marriage. The purpose of marriage is growth. As we grow in our relationships with God, it spills over our human relationships. Anger, selfishness, unforgiveness, malice, pride, unfaithfulness and other manifestations are human weaknesses. Our greatest struggles as human beings remains these negative tendencies. Left to our own vices, the best of us will fail without God continually leading us. We are free moral agents but incapable of leading our own lives. Knowing this and making the right choices to submit ourselves unto God and saying yes or no when we need to is the only way not to self destruct.
So, don’t just marry your best friend.