It was one of those days in high school that was filled with hype. There was a lot of anticipation in the air as people discovered who their secret admirers were. It was a season of love and love was surely in the air. I did not get a card but shared in the excitement of a roommate of mine who got one. You see, receiving a card was very rare then and people loved to display how many birthday cards or Valentine cards they got It was a thing of status especially for us in the boarding school. We studied my roommate’s card and eventually discovered the sender who was a fellow classmate. I can still remember the new spring in her steps.
There was however another babe who was a year ahead of us. She walked around with an air. She always received several cards on her birthdays and Valentine from supposedly friends, fans and air-conditioners(our description then ). It was after we left school that I got to know that those cards were self-bought and addressed and she was actually living a lie.
Sometimes the need to be accepted or seen to be accepted can make people do several things. Back then, it was a matter of how many cards you received. In our present era, the event of social media has made it easier for people to be hypocritical and the extent to which people go to portray a certain status can be shocking. But a closer look into the several reasons why people decide to give a certain picture could be traced to the advice they have been given. Sometimes, we can receive an advice that if followed will make us live a lie.
Several years ago, someone, I respected a lot decided she needed to do something about my marital status. Let us call her auntie Cordelia. She also had another friend(auntie Olivia ) who was concerned about the marital status of someone else(a guy) and then they arranged a meeting. As a rule, I do not really like introductions and meeting up with people. I prefer to speak to them for a while before deciding whether a meeting is necessary. However, because the people concerned were much older, I had to oblige to an arranged coded meeting where I could watch this brother from a distance. It was eye revealing and I knew it was a NO-NO.
I told auntie Cordelia that I was not interested but she did not give up easily She insisted because her friend had sung praises of all the goodness of this guy with the fact that the only missing piece in his life was a wife. I stood my ground and eventually shared the matter with a very close friend of mine. Interestingly enough, my friend actually met this guy and was also of the opinion NO-NO NO. I will not forget when she brought the truth home by saying “auntie Olivia has an unmarried daughter also if this guy is so wonderful, why has she not arranged him for her daughter “.The truth of that statement came to light when auntie Olivia’s daughter got married but that story is for another day.
I also remember another occasion when another leader(let’s call her, Lola) felt I should consider someone with the excuse that “after all, he is a believer “.To be honest, this guy although Christian was first of all not someone I was attracted to(this must be present o ) and secondly, he was someone whose mannerisms were a bit over the top with an entitlement mentality. I did not think that was something I could cope with in a marriage relationship but Lola thought otherwise. In short, to further buttress the point, was the idea about marriage being for the glory and purpose of God. Lola went on to cite two examples. One was of a couple we both knew that had become recently engaged saying that the lady did not find the guy attractive. I wish I could tell you I believed but what really drove it home was the second example given to steer me in a supposedly right direction.It was of another married couple she knew who supposedly married for the glory of God. The wife was not attracted to the husband and even when they took evening strolls, they would walk on separate sides of the street headed in the same direction.I was like, wait, that is living a lie and
I am sure I have not offended God that much for him to punish me with a spouse like that. Why will I marry someone I cannot openly take a stroll with hands clasped together in public for lack of attraction.
I am not saying that physical attraction is the basis for marriage but if you do not see yourself locking willingly into a bear hug embrace with someone talkless of sharing a kiss , then performing marital duties is going to be an ordeal which sometimes can eventually become the breeding soil for adultery.
I have seen some people make the choice of a marriage partner based on advice from their leaders. It looked like the ministry work was more important than any feelings and people were passed on as compatible simply because they were both zealous. Unfortunately, I have also seen some of these relationships crumble because it takes more than having the same religious beliefs to maintain a relationship. Not all of the people have the boldness to walk away, many are in misery, blaming their leaders as they discovered too late that it takes more than doing the work of God together to keep a home.
Receiving advice should help us make decisions that will ensure we are true to our innermost convictions and not just what some people think would look good. We should have the freedom to refuse advice as they are not meant to be instructions otherwise we might just find ourselves living a lie.