Recently I was in court to commence the prosecution of a divorce matter. My client is the petitioner, a man. His marriage had only lasted barely three years. He saw hell fire. He made several attempts at his own life due to depression within this period. Sniper wasn’t yet so popular then or else he wouldn’t have stood a chance of recovery. He had used some “junior” poisons during those suicide attempts. He was later chased out of his matrimonial home, the rent of which he paid himself, by his wife. If I hear again that women are weaker vessels!
As the matter was called by the court registrar, “No. 5 on the list; Case No…”, the court (the Judge is the court by the way) noted that there are always close to two thousand divorce cases filed in court every year in Ibadan alone. Now if there are two thousand divorce cases in Ibadan alone every year, think of how many cases yearly in the whole of Oyo State. Think of how many will be in Lagos. Now use the statistics to calculate average annual divorces in the remaining 35 states and the FCT.
Yet these are only divorces that have been formalized. In fact, perhaps many more there are of marriages that are long dead in its purpose and bliss save the decision of parties to embalm the corpse for life. Only those who choose to give the corpse a decent final burial ceremony go to court to formalise.
With the realities on ground, I have a compelling sense of duty to call a solemn convocation of young people to appreciate the reality of a difficult time upon us. The marriage institution is under immense stress and if our own marriages will not join the statistics, we ought to more reverently, carefully and deliberately approach upon the matter.
Though I be young at this business of officiating funeral ceremonies for these “corpses”, I may have officiated close to seven at the last count and none there was that didn’t die due to a congenital disease. In other words, the problems were all foundational. They were either marriages that should never have taken place or matters that could only have been fixed at foundational level which were omitted or which the parties thought would be fixed in marriage only that they could only have been fixed in courtship. You know now, for everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under the sun.Knowing what I know, I generally cringe at the carelessness, thoughtlessness and naivety with which young people, of which I am chief, approach marriage. Click To Tweet
Little, if any, there are who will approach the delicate discipline of being a surgeon or a court room litigator or other professions of great consequences without first investing years of studies, of training, of mentoring and of practicals before thinking it reasonable to handle real life situations and expect to succeed. But plenty are they who know not that being a husband or wife is a specialised discipline requiring much studies, training, mentoring and practicals BEFORE it will be reasonable to attempt a real life situation with the hope of success.
“Before” because the venture is too risky a one to learn the rudiments on the job.” Careless indeed will he be considered to be who learns the rudiment of a risky venture like surgery not with a cadaver but with the precious life of a precious living soul right inside the surgical room. Marriage is within this same risky realm.
There is a trap which I have noticed. It is a trap of thought – to think that all that is required to be a man is the capacity to impregnate a woman. Even mad people can. To think that being a woman is all about cooking meals, slaying and reporting in the other room. To think that marriage is all about romance and receiving flowers and going for dinners. To think you know who a woman is and how to deal with her just because you were born by one. You’re wrong, you know nothing about who is before you. You need to report for a Higher Diploma course on Who is a woman? What makes her thick? What’s the operational model for maximum productivity? What’s her communication system? What are the no go areas? No one was born with this knowledge and no regular school offers a 4 year course in “Womanology” yet to be successful husbands, we need a degree in this discipline. How can you hope to properly operate an electronic gadget if you’ve not first digested the manual?
One of those divorce cases was a marriage that was prophesied into being. The man (my client) had been in a relationship with another lady and things were fine until this Man of God came to their church and came with a word of wisdom. It turned out that the entire prophecy was arranged. The host pastor had actually informed this guest minister of a choice “daughter” that needed a husband so badly. The parties proceeded straight to marry. There was no proper courtship. If there was, maybe the scale would have fallen off the eyes. They made each other’s lives miserable thereafter. Of course they were never friends. The wife’s best friend remained her mother who did a good job in destroying the marriage. The husband was just her housemate. Their hearts have never been knitted together, their passions have never been shared, they haven’t really built a communication system, their is constant fights because they have really never known each other. How can you know someone you have never studied? Their values are contradictory. Don’t talk about a healthy conflict resolution culture. Will they steal it? In essence they have nothing in common save the same living space. These are what courtship is meant to achieve and no one can achieve this overnight. It’s a lot of work. And you’re not done until you’ve achieved this. Proceeding to marriage is utter foolishness if it is not done.
Maybe now you can appreciate the foolishness in someone who hasn’t yet even met his woman telling you he wants to be married by June. In essence it is his self imposed time table that determines when a relationship is due for the altar and not the facts and realities of the relationship itself. What is the rush about? Ok, it was your Pastor that prophesied and brought a word of wisdom that you’re marrying before the end of this year and so eventhough you can see how far from the mark your relationship is, you want to marry. Your middle name must be “Agur”. Just as the name sounds in Yoruba parlance. (Prov 30:1-3).
And some are carried away by physical and material qualities. They spend the whole courtship time admiring each other’s noses and curves. Foolish Galatians! They don’t know that true and lasting love must be built on the strength first of a knitted spirit and then a knitted soul before physical beauty can be valued. Is it not true that she looks so unattractive who is constantly opposed to you in purpose, in understanding and in values. When you’re not one in spirit and soul with your partner, the truth is you don’t even get sexual satisfaction with them. You’re mostly not interested. That’s why some of those our parents now have separate rooms. The sex has stopped many years ago. They really can’t stand each other. So you’re foolish if you focus on externalities in your courtship. If you don’t rather labour on building the real stuffs. We will start digging the real stuffs as from next week.
One of my clients was once so enamoured with looks and curves. When we served the notice of divorce petition on his wife, I can attest this was a beautiful woman. Very cute. He was so enamoured and in a haste to marry that despite the fact during courtship this lady breaks the TV for fun anytime she’s angry, he didn’t see it. All he saw was Miss Nigeria. He didn’t even meet her Dad. She claimed he was dead. Only that after marriage, the dead father was discovered to be based in Lagos. Through the premarital marriage counselling of her church, the lady didn’t allow him to attend. She lied to the Pastor he was away to South Africa for business and won’t be able to make it throughout. The man didn’t see nothing. Just the sexy lady.
Some of you need to postpone that marriage plan which is a disaster waiting to happen. What has your courtship achieved? Courtship is not for nothing! It is a divine opportunity for you to lay critical foundations for a successful future. I trust the Holy Spirit will guide us through the coming weeks as we hope to make courtship count.
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