“Congratulations on your engagement!” they said. “When is your wedding?” they asked. Bridal shower came, advice was given and then wedding day happened. We said our vows, in sickness and in health, for better for worse, till death do us part.
Woman are you hearing yourself?
Now, marriage is an institution by God created in the Garden of Eden. Marriage is always celebrated and should be, however, not even pastors are open about the real issues in a marriage set up.
In as much as marriage is a beautiful thing, it is one of the greatest challenges you will face in life. A marriage relationship is a taste of our relationship with God. It is a covenant you make, not to your husband, but to the Almighty. It will shape you for better or for worse.
“In as much as marriage is a beautiful thing, it is one of the greatest challenges you will face in life.” – Swazi
With just a few months in marriage, I have come to learn that we are so imperfect and in need of a Savior. I love my husband and he loves me too, but we are also human and have expectations of how each of us should show this love to each other. We have fought. One of us attempted to leave in a few months of marriage. We were extremely overwhelmed by marriage and that is what we were never prepared for.
Two totally different people came together: one from a ‘perfect’ home with mom and dad, the other from a single parent family. One from an abusive home and the only thing that they know is to fight and the other, from quite a decent setup. One who is too independent and the other quite relaxed. One who is OCD and expects a clean house and one who had a helper and does not see the need to clean. One who is too traditional and one who is modern. One who is very strict, cheeky, loud and confrontational while the other is just way too understanding and overlooks things.
Our backgrounds, and value systems kicked in. Undefined roles were a hindrance, our understanding of God and church attendance was questioned. Living up to people’s expectations, pretending as if you are in the honeymoon phase while you are far from it. Negative thoughts that “maybe marriage was not designed for you, just like your mother” filtered down.
Then the dreaded question came up: “How is married life?” What do I say? Am I willing to show the world that I am failing at this? Do I pretend as if I am doing well when I am not?
Na, let me just be honest. “Well, Marriage is a challenge.”
Then the next comment was, “Well the truth is, it is a challenge, but I just never had the courage to be as honest as you are about it. I have learnt to put on a façade and pray”.
Now this my ladies is something I don’t subscribe to. Marriage, a perfect institution, is entered into by imperfect beings. When we go through challenges it does not mean that God didn’t bless our marriage; it does not mean I have failed; it does not mean we love each other less.
It does mean that at that moment, we are not at our best. Our arguments are not because we don’t love each other. We are evolving beings with a lot of baggage from our past, with teachings, upbringings and experiences that have shaped who we are, and because of that, we clash.
That is why marriage is not about us, but about a loving and faithful God.
Getting closer to God has brought a sense of peace, not because my husband is better at being a husband, but because of God’s grace and mercy towards me, I am able to share that Grace I so overwhelmingly receive.
Marriage is not about us, not about what my husband does and does not do, but about God and what He did for us on Calvary.
Marriage is sweeter with God in the presence of adversity, poverty, confusion and just plain frustration.
Marriage is a place where I understood the cross and grace.
My duty as a wife is to love God and to submit to my husband unconditionally.
He will definitely irritate and annoy me from time to time, but in the same breath I irritate my Maker, Yahweh.
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3
So, let us not put up a façade. Marriage is real. It is a happy place, and it can easily be a lonely dark place, but with God, we are more than conqueror’s.
I am a happy wife, who just needs to adjust to my husband’s way of living. He is a husband who needs to adjust to his wife’s way of living, and that is no small adjustment. It is Real!
Recommended materials that have helped me in my short time of marriage are:
Swazi is a young black African woman who got married last year and is passionate about her fellow sisters receiving correct and truthful information around marriage before stepping in. She believes it is a beautiful institution but one which we are not adequately informed about in most instances.
Thank you Swazi for opening up and sharing your story with us. We have no doubt that it has encouraged some other young woman or man.
Let us know whether you have similar thoughts to those of Swazi. What advice would you give to a person in Swazi’s position as they navigate the often delicate institution of marriage? What other advice should young bAw be receiving before they enter marriage?
Thanks as always for reading and sharing ladies!