This is a transcript of a blackberry conversation I had with a friend last night. Tweaked it a bit to protect identities and get rid of the boring bits, otherwise….
I’d like to hear (abi read) your thoughts:
Friend: So why d’u think ppl should get married.
NINa: Because, and I quote:
Two are better than one, and they will have a good reward for their labour. For if the one falls his fellow will lift him up, but woe to him that standeth alone.
Friend: I don’t agree with you. Friends can do much of that for anybody. Good friends. That’s not enough reason to get married.
NINa: Wait let me finish. As I was saying:
Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie down together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? (Ecc 4:9 AMP).
Friend: Jeez! You bore me to death.
NINa: I bore you to death? I’m interested in knowing why.
Friend: Well, shouldn’t there be a more fundamental and universal reason to get married, not necessarily a Bible quote?
What if I weren’t a Christian?
NINa: I’m sorry hon, but that’s all you are likely to get from me ever. Fundamental and universal did not invent marriage, God did.
Your so-called fundamental and universal have managed to screw up the institution of marriage big time and make a mess of the whole thing.
So(and I think I speak for all wise people) it’s back to the drawing board. Or the manufacturer’s manual, if you will. But it’s okay if what you want is a ‘fundamental and universal’ argument. You are just not going to get it from me.
Friend: Hmmm. I see
What and what are you looking for in a man you’ll consider husband material?
NINa: The list is always long ni.
Friend: Don’t start with God fearing. Have never understood what that means
NINa: But there are a few basics which are non-negotiable. However, I fear I may bore you to death.
Friend: Lmao! Don’t wori, I’ll be long suffering dis time.
NINa: I think you never understood what ‘God-fearing’ means because 99% of the people you hear it from don’t have a clue either. They just say it cos it sounds right.
Friend: Lol. I think for once we’re on the same plate
NINa: Hmmm. Maybe I should finish first before you decide we r on the same plate abi cup.
Friend: Lol ok.
NINa: Can two walk together except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3).
For me, that has always been the most important thing- compatibility.
And the area of spiritual compatibility is for me, the most important. If we get past that stage, we can start looking at other areas
Friend: Ok yea, compatibility pretty much summarises everything. Emotional, financial, spiritual compatibility
But d’u think you can be under a man? As in completely obedient, in every sense of the word? Like the bible admonishes women?
NINa: Oh of course. Which is why spiritual compatibility is too important.
Because God’s most important command is to love. And not the flowers and chocolate love. The 1 Corinthians 13 love.
Friend: Can you be subservient to someone like me all the days of ur life?
NINa: You see, if( or let me say when) I am married to somebody whom I know will always put my needs above his, submitting wouldn’t be a biggie.
Friend: You’re being fairly too idealistic with all these, scriptures, good as they are; men are fairly the same. That’s the catch; there’s no fire proof guarantee that he’ll continue to put ur needs above his.
And will you put his needs above yours? All the days of ur life?
NINa: Lemme chill for u to finish then I can make my point.
Friend: Is there any guarantee of that? No
Nobody has everything planned out
The future is where you put ur very next and every step
Nothing is guaranteed
NINa: Let me bore you a bit by telling you some fundamental truths. You may not agree, but these are things I KNOW to be true and it is upon them that I am basing my theories.
Friend: We shouldn’t mistake opinions for facts, but continue sha.
NINa: 1. God invented marriage. And it stands to reason that He would have also provided guidelines on how to run it successfully.
2. If you do not believe in the bible, NOTHING I say now is going to make any sense to you.
Do I continue?
NINa: 3. Marriage is an extension of the normal human relationships, so if one has not learnt to walk in love with the people around them, they are not going to fare better in marriage.
4. Love is unselfish. If two people who live together are each preoccupied with looking out for the other person’s good, it won’t take a genius to figure out that that would be one very successful relationship, regardless.
5. Finally, this is a tall order. As in very tall. And that is where the ‘God-fearing’ comes in. I prefer to say ‘God-loving.’ Being a Christian does not end with goin2 church and reading the bible occasionally. It means having a relationship with God. The more you hang around Him, the more He rubs off on you. And He is the epitome of selfless love.
I can tell you that I am not where I was yesterday and definitely will not be here tomorrow.
Let me pause and hear your ‘against’ arguments.
Friend: Maybe we’re still on the same plate
NINa: I am not exaggerating when I say this is the singular most surprising thing I have heard this year!
Friend: Lol. I’m not a heathen biko.
NINa: You don’t know how happy that information makes me.
Friend: Gud to know; just that the proliferation and bastardisation of Christianity esp in Nigeria depresses me to no end.
NINa: My dear, have you ever seen any good product that does not have a counterfeit?
If an original product is rubbish, do you think people would bother producing fakes?
Friend: The blind followership doesn’t help matters either.
NINa: It’s saddening, no doubt, but the solution is not to attack it.
Friend: Lol. Pray about it?
NINa: Nope.Fight back. Not by attacking it, but by reinforcing the Truth.
For instance, instead of using social media to run-down the ones u perceive as fake, use it to propagate the Truth.
When people go online to castigate a pastor or denomination, you might not realise it, but that action is usually counter-productive for two reasons:
1. The pastor/people assume the ‘martyred’ position and the gist becomes that they are being “persecuted for righteousness’ sake”
2. You are just giving them publicity. And there’s a saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Friend: I see.
Guess I’m a lil bit more enlightened.
NINa: Imagine the impression we are giving the world we are meant to be winning over. That is why unbelievers can say whatever they like about Christianity, because we are giving the impression that we are confused.
NINa: Let me round up my ‘homily’:D by creating a simple analogy:
We are both doctors, and fiercely protective of our profession abi.
Friend: Ok. Yea.
NINa: You realise that there are probably more quacks in medicine than most other professions? Would you ever like/share a Facebook status that said that doctors of these days are criminals and should be arrested(or words to that effect?).
The fact that fakes exist does not mean we should throw away the baby with the bath water.
I rest my case.