It depends largely on one’s perspective, but a Professor friend of mine, bemoaning the abysmal lack of intellectual acuity in today’s young couples said to me in response to the question, “Anyone that goes C-minus in logical reasoning has no business getting married.”
A few acquaintances disagreed with him. “Who cares about brains?” One asked me when I reported the good Prof’s prognosis. “Can she twerk? If yes, that’s marriage material right there for me!”
In the wake of some businessman allegedly beating his wife to death, the institution of marriage has come under intense scrutiny on Ghanaian Facebook streets. I’m not in the habit of cavorting with feminists but they had a field week on Facebook and its irreverent cousin Twitter, bashing the institution to the Dark Ages. I was sure they’d find a gun and do the alleged wife murderer violence before he had his day in court.
Until a few days ago, I believed in three things concerning the subject:
1. That marriage was a sacred thing, a God-ordained union between a man and a woman; inseparable until the death of a partner, or until one of them got caught in adultery.
2. That a couple would succeed who applied intelligence, wisdom and prayer in the choice of a partner prior to marrying them, and
3. That the power of eternal and temporal life and death, as well as eternal and temporal happiness and miserableness depended largely on who one married.
After all I saw, read and heard all through this week, my belief in the above remains unshaken. This is how my favourite Christian author puts it: “If those who are contemplating marriage would not have miserable, unhappy reflections after marriage, they must make it a subject of serious, earnest reflection now. This step taken unwisely is one of the most effective means of ruining the usefulness of young men and women. Life becomes a burden, a curse. No one can so effectually ruin a woman’s happiness and usefulness, and make life a heart sickening burden, as her own husband; and no one can do one hundredth part as much to chill the hopes and aspirations of a man, to paralyze his energies and ruin his influence and prospects, as his own wife. It is from the marriage hour that many men and women date their success or failure in this life, and their hopes of the future life.” – The Review and Herald, February 2, 1886.
But Betty’s discussion with me this week shook my beliefs to their very foundation. No, I didn’t change my mind on any of the three sacred points above, but I did develop a fourth belief:
4. Not everyone should be married!
I am here not referring to those of you hit and run upstarts traipsing all over any willing skirt on these social media streets, looking for pleasure without responsibility. Point 4 isn’t for you serial intercoursers. But Betty’s story brought to mind a truth Jesus Christ shared on the subject of marriage. He identified in Matthew 19:12 that not everyone should be married; not everyone is fit for the marriage institution, and that being single is not a bad thing. Of course all these fake pastors running around these days do not read that far into the scriptures, but a lot of people are better off not marrying at all.
I have known Betty and her hubby for many years. (Actually I know Betty more, but you get my point). They are smart, wise and prayerful people and have been married longer than I have. In the issues surrounding that poor woman’s unfortunate demise, she reached out to me and shared a profound write-up that succinctly spoke to the issue of selfish husbands who are nothing but devils in human skin. She shared with me so we could discuss the other point that I had failed to see in my many rants on Facebook on the subject.
Betty and Andy (not their real names) had been friends since school and grew up to marry each other. There is nothing in their past that was a precursor to what Andy became. And, like the smart couple they were, everything was perfect until everything wasn’t. When Betty got pregnant, Andy got upset rather badly. Apparently the bloke had no interests whatsoever in babies. So many years of friendship and marriage and the fool had never so much as hinted at his pedophobia.
No, folks. Don’t think of it as a mental disorder before y’all come to his defense. Before long you will be hash-tagging pedophobia as a disorder in the same way you demand attention to mental sickness. While I am all for mental health support, I can tell the difference between the attention-seeking misfits on social media peddling all kinds of mental higgledy-piggledy and those who need real mental health assistance, na mo yare dodo. (Eye-roll right here).
Fortunately, she told me, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage so that bullet was swerved inlaboratus. But it didn’t end there. For 10 years since the incidence, Andy would go coitus interruptus on her every time until she bailed! She suffered every imaginable kind of marital abuse except the physical kind, and for that I believe I know why. Betty is a beautiful giant of a woman, you see, and my money is on the fact that Andy feared she was more likely to beat the coitus out of him if he’d attempted to get physical on her. Four times she had left her home, and four times the cheating scallywag would beg like a rhino on heat for his mate to return. Betty did nothing wrong to deserve an unhappy marriage. Eventually she’d had it. She decided to live, and not die. So she dumped his duplicitous butt before last Christmas and filed for divorce.
How was I to account, as a God-fearing, jungle-loving Christian for this one where everything was perfect until everything wasn’t?These are tough times for the institution of marriage, and men like Andy bastardize the sacred institution almost irreparably. My feeling, from all that went on this week is that the following people should never be married:
Arseholes (like Andy)
People living inside their parent’s homes (unless said parents are rich and have independent chalets)
People fond of red lipstick
People who can’t cook
People who drink and/or smoke
Anyone with more than three fornicating partners prior to marriage
People who believe Mahama won the last election
People who speak in tongues.
In all seriousness though, the answer to the question, To Marry or Not to Marry, depends on the one asking. Whatever you decide, it is my privilege to inform you that if you are wondering about this at this point in your life, you’re screwed if you marry.
And screwed if you don’t.