Tag: broken heart

WHY SHE WALKED AWAY FROM MARRIAGE

WHY SHE WALKED AWAY FROM MARRIAGE

NB: This is a story about a divorced christian woman who prays to God about her painful experience in marriage. It is purely fictional and a result of my active imaginations. It is unrelated to any person dead or alive; any such resemblance is purely coincidental.


Mabel had done all she could to hold on to her marriage. She had endured her husband’s physical and emotional abuse at the expense of her joy. She took her marriage vow seriously and knew divorce was not an option for her. Haven been brought up in a broken home herself she determined none of her three children would ever experience her predicament. As a respected member of her church and women’s leader, she helped other women hold on to their marriage as she silently suffered. However, when her husband hit their eight year old daughter one day in a fit of rage, the thin line holding their marriage broke. She had taken all the pain and unfaithfulness from Robert. However, she was not ready to sacrifice her children. Thus, even though she had held on to the fact that God hated divorce for so long, she took a bold decision. No one could change her mind as she went through a painful divorce. But she knew that the lord who hated divorce did not hate her for that one important decision, her divorce.

My dear lord,
You know I have tried. I have done all I know how to hold on to this marriage though I knew for a long time I was chasing the wind. How many times have I not fasted and prayed that you heal my marriage? How many times have I not wet my pillow with tears as I cried my heart out to you? How long have I called on to you to save my marriage and turn back my husband’s heart to you? I have lost count and you alone have the mind to remember.

Why me? All I have tried to do is to live by the Christian tenets in my attempt to please you. If I had known behind that gentle look and handsome face was a monster that lived in Robert, I would have gladly died a spinster. If I knew behind the biblical quotations he gave, were abusive words that could tear at a person’s soul, I would have ended up with an unbeliever. If I knew he waited to marry me to have sex only for him to cheat on me because of his insatiable sexual desires, I would have avoided him like a plaque.

If I knew he pretended not to drink before me only to booze in secret, I would have confined myself in a convent. Why me Lord? After all the waiting, did you have to bless me with this curse? I thought he loved you as I did so I did not hesitate in marrying him though we didn’t meet for long. What was there to know when he was a junior pastor admired by many? How could I say no to our pastor who gave his blessing to our marriage when I told him of his intentions to marry me? At first I thought the lion was the most dangerous animal but now I fear the chameleon more than any wild beast.

How does one perfectly hide his true character even from a man of God who had known him for so long? Even though I was 26 when we got married I was in no hurry since I was content in waiting for your will. It saddens me that I believed our pastor entirely instead of carefully seeking your will. He is even dismayed about the way our marriage has turned out and blames himself for my pain. But what use will that do? My broken heart cannot be mended and I am devastated.

How could a man who said he loved me bring me so much pain? How could the one I freely gave myself to turn around and force himself on me when I was so tired from doing all the house chores? How did the so-called humility turn to such egotistic chauvinism? How did I get here? I am wearing my mother’s shoes though I vowed never to break my home. But what is there to break when the hearts are already broken?

Where did I go wrong? Have I not been the virtuous woman in proverbs 31? Have I not submitted myself to him even when I knew I was right? Have I not endured humiliation and lied to my colleagues at work about the bruises he gave me on the face? have I not subjected myself to all sorts of humiliation for his sake? What more could a person do? I wonder how you felt when you looked down at my pathetic life. Did you feel my pain? Did you wish to hold me in your arms as I cried myself to sleep.

When older Christian women who I confided in urged me to hold on to my marriage, I totally agreed with them. After all, you hate divorce. I did not want my children to be fatherless as I saw the effect this had on my own brothers who went wayward. It is sad when the bible is misused to encourage women to endure abuse. I now marvel at the strength you gave me these eight years of marriage.

I loved him so much and accepted his apologies that followed immediately after each abuse. My house is filled with gifts he gave me after his bad behavior and his promise to change. Why not, after all no one is perfect. But I have endured so much for this marriage and there comes a time when one can take no more. I didn’t deserve to be treated that way because I never used my higher education to Lord it over him. I saw him as the man in every way because I wanted to please you. However, although I submitted, where was the love?

Is the man not supposed to love his wife as Christ died for the church and died for it? Why should a woman submit to a man who does not submit to you? Is this submission not supposed to be a two way thing? Help your daughters God, for your words are being manipulated to suit evil. I have gambled greatly and lost though I have come out wiser and tougher. No wonder my mom did not approve him. When she told me there was something about him she didn’t like although she did not know what it was, I just laughed.

I called her an old woman and teased her though she was obstinate. I should have listened to her and taken my time to know him more in spite of the outward perfection he displayed. I was in love and blind but refused to heed the eyes that could see beyond the handsome pastor. Life is not fair but I take this as my share of its unfairness. I know I should have left the first time he hit me but I thought he would change. After all, he told me he was sorry. A thousand sorries and he never changed.

I was too ashamed to leave a marriage I had just entered for fear of what people would say. I should have used the opportunity I had when I was not yet pregnant to escape but no one held my hand and helped me. All I was told was to stay and pray until he changed. Oh what a cross I have had to carry at this young age? What did I do wrong? Is it a crime to love? Was I wrong to hope and pray for his change?

You know how it took a long time for people to believe he abused me. I protected him so much at the detriment of my life and now I regret it. I should have opened up an sought for help but I thought you would be angry with me. When he refused counseling, I should have left. Instead I stayed on, hoping and praying for the miracle of change that never came. I held on to something that was not.

I wonder why I stayed on when he was unfaithful to me even though I caught him red handed with that young woman at his office? I now look back at my folly and cringe in disgust because I feel I threw the wisdom you gave me away. I was foolish but in love. Anytime he said he was sorry I melted. He was my first love and what I felt for him was so deep. God, it was hard and even if no one believes me; you could always see with your omnipresent eyes.

This divorce is so difficult for me but when he hit my daughter Emelda, I stopped deceiving myself. The fierceness of a mother’s protection over her daughter took over and I went mad. I still remember her sprawled on the kitchen floor and I know I would never have forgiven myself if something terrible had happened to her. I can still hear the terrible screams of my two younger boys as they looked on in horror.

When I saw fear enter Robert’s eyes for the first time, I knew the bitterness in me had overcome my fear. If he had not run away, I would surely have stabbed him with the kitchen knife and went to prison for murder. Never again will I endure such nonsense and indignity. Never again will I put my children’s life in danger at the mercy of this beast. Never again! Thank you for the courage to remain obstinate despite his pleas and that of his family members to give him another chance.

Even the Pope couldn’t have coerced me to rescind my decision. I now realize I was waiting for a moment when I would rise above my fear to claim my dignity. I no more care what people say because I have realized that society has been unsympathetic toward divorcees. They say the word as if we are an inferior part of society. God help me, but this time I care less.

I am glad I have a good job to support my children and that my family is willing to support me. I now realize my loved ones were always there to lend a hand though I kept the truth from them. I pretended to be strong though I was tearing apart. I thought I could face it alone but now I know better. I am not as weak as I thought I was or helpless like I was made to think. The woman in me is stronger now and with your help, I know I can make it.

I am glad the law has allocated the properties perfectly and I have no financial concern. Even if I did, I know your provision will suffice. Thank you for the three beautiful children you have given me because at least I did not lose it all in this terrible marriage. You blessed me with fruitfulness despite my situation. You are a good God!

I don’t know if I will ever get married again for marriage has left a bitter taste in my mouth and I don’t want to taste it again. When I remember how he used to stand at the pulpit preaching; I feel so angry at the hypocrisy. I sometimes wonder if the congregation could not see through him. But who am I to judge how someone receives their salvation? You alone know why you do what you do. No wonder some pastors caution us not to use their righteousness as a yardstick due to their imperfection.However, how does one separate the two? Is a person’s character not supposed to conform to his teachings? You alone know, I will not judge.

I am glad the police report put fear in him and he has been warned not to come near us. I hear he was suspended because the senior bishop was disgusted with his ways. However, it brings me no joy since he is the father of my children and I wish him well. I am so relieved I have left that church to a peaceful one where no hands will be pointed at my children and me. I am so much at peace and envy the single who disregard their solitude in their quest for a marriage that may not end well.

I am so happy now and confident of your love and your ability to heal me completely. I am doing better at work and the promotion could not have come at a better time. Tears no longer wet my bed and sleep has visited me again. You are faithful and I love you. I thank you for seeing me through this bitter experience that could have killed me. In counseling battered Christian women, I have become more experienced and wiser. I will not make decisions for them but I will share my experience and leave them to decide. After all the choice has always been ours to make. Even you who are God never force us.

Help me raise these children with your support and that of my loved ones. My children are less anxious and it makes me happy. I will do the best I can; as far as you are with me I cannot fail. If it is your will for me to marry again, let it be. But next time; I will look before I leap. Thank you father, that although you hate divorce, you still love me. Amen.

RELATED BIBLE PASSAGE
PROVERBS 4
1 _ My children, listen to me. Listen to your father’s instruction. Pay attention and grow wise, 2for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my teaching. 3 _ For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved by my mother as an only child.
4My father told me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my instructions and you will live. 5 _ Learn to be wise, and develop good judgment. Don’t forget or turn away from my words. 6Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. 7 _ Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And whatever else you do, get good judgment. 8 _ If you prize wisdom, she will exalt you. Embrace her and she will honor you. 9She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
10 _ My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. 11I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. 12 _ If you live a life guided by wisdom, you won’t limp or stumble as you run. 13 _ Carry out my instructions; don’t forsake them. Guard them, for they will lead you to a fulfilled life.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. Do you think Christian women sometimes refuse to leave abusive relationships using the bible as their basis?
2. Like Mabel, do you think the word of a pastor or spiritual head should be the most important consideration in choosing a life partner?
3. Does submission in a marriage mean a women should endure abuse at the detriment of her life and children?
4. Do you think God hates Mabel because of her divorce?
5. How do you think the church can support abusive women in the congregation?

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BROKEN PROMISES

BROKEN PROMISES

I was in the company of three naughty male cousins when we met a lovely young woman who according to them was a childhood friend. I had not met her before so I began asking general questions in my quest to know her better. One of my cousins cut into our conversation, he jokingly asked if she was available because he wanted a woman to settle down with.

She quickly responded that she was off-limits, taken and absolutely engaged. With a twinkle in her eyes, she lifted her left arm to show off a ring dazzling on her middle finger. With the seriousness with which she answered, I thought she was actually married at least traditionally.

Interested, I asked if she was married because I felt she was rather too young. She told me her boyfriend had not yet done the necessary traditional rights that would make him lay claim to her but that “He had promised”. I was shocked at the way she had completely believed in the promise without considering the possibility that the gentleman could break it.

Before I could utter a word, the notorious young men in my company burst out unanimously singing a popular praise song. “He has promised he will never fail, I will adore him, I will adore him. He has promised he will never fail, his faithfulness is forever more, his faithfulness is forever more”. We all laughed and the guys continued to tease her.  She became annoyed and told the young men they did not know what was up.

She added that they were jealous and went on to vehemently defend her boyfriend’s undying love for her. I don’t know how the story will end but I pray it ends in a happily ever after and that the gentleman would fulfill his “promise” to walk her down the aisle. Even though I found it amusing at the time, I know it will not be an amusing situation if her boyfriend breaks his promise.

When I was going through marital counseling, my husband and I were so sure we would definitely end up together. We had made up our minds and had gone through all the necessary processes. It was just left with a few days and all we had to do was the traditional marriage ceremony followed by the wedding itself. The knocking ceremony was out-of-the-way, it had been announced at church and invitations were already out.

One day during counseling, the wise priest made it clear to us that until we were pronounced man and wife after exchanging our wedding vows, any of us could change our minds. We were surprised because none of us had considered changing our minds, or was I wrong? As if in answer to my question, my husband told the priest he was not going to change his mind.

I also told him I was not planning on making a mind change. He smiled at us and gave us examples of couples whose partners changed their minds few days to their wedding. Some had made announcements at church and already sent out invitations. Yet still, some were left standing at the altar alone. The sweet promises they had made to each other lay broken before their very eyes. From that time, it was at the back of my mind that anything could happen on the road to the altar.

A popular song by boyz to men caught the hearts of many back in the day as its lyrics promised an unending love. “I swear (I swear) by the moon and the stars in the sky I’ll be there (I’ll be there) I swear (and I swear) like the shadow that’s by your side I’ll be there (I’ll be there) for better or worse (better or worse) till death do us part I’ll love you with every single beat of my heart and I swear, I swear I swear. If you are familiar with this song, i am sure you are singing along by now that is if you remember the lyrics.

Who wouldn’t love such sweet words backed by promises of until death do us part? However, it is safer to believe such words on the marital altar where it is said before a multitude of witnesses and before God. Promises are beautiful but they can be broken, In fact they are usually broken. Don’t you remember a time when you were so sure you would fulfill a promise but surprised yourself by breaking it? In other words, adding weight to a promise by swearing will not make it come to pass.

Numbers 23:19 tells us that God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? That means a man or woman can lie or change their mind, it is only God who does not break his promises to his children. He is the only one who is noted for actually doing what he says he will do. King David said of the Lord in Psalm 138 verse 2 ” For You have magnified Your Word above all Your name”.

That is why Jesus cautions us in Matthew 5:33-37 “Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

It is not uncommon to see many unmarried women wearing promise rings from their lovers who promise to marry them in future. Some even wear it on their wedding ring finger to deter other suitors. What a dangerous thing to do! What if the promise is broken and all the good men who thought you were married did not dare came near you? What if a man who could have made you happier passed you by to the next single lady with no ring on her finger?

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools; Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay”. This verse shows our fallibility as human beings and reiterates that it is better not to make a vow or promise than to do so and fail to fulfill our end of the bargain. If we as humans are capable of breaking our vows to God himself despite the repercussions, is it not easier to break promises we make to our fellow humans?

After all, there are so many excuses that can be appropriately used to break off a promise to a partner. With the application of such clever excuses such as my mother doesn’t like you, the one who breaks the promise takes himself out of the picture. Some even tell their partner that their parents do not agree to the tribal differences or that they had a vivid dream that revealed doom for them if they were to get married.

I am not casting a negative light at making promises which we intend to keep but rather at broken promises which has left many women broken. At times, the heartbreak and disappointment is not deliberately planned. A man can be serious at the time he promises heaven on earth. However, let us not forget Numbers 23:19 that reveals how man is prone to change his mind. Momentary feelings can be fickle and trusting in them completely can spell doom.

In the world of love and romance, men will continue to make promises to women. Some will fulfill these promises whilst others will break them due to one reason or the other. Women will also continue pledge themselves to men who have not taken serious steps towards marrying them. It is up to us to keep it at the back of our minds that promises made by man can be broken unlike promises made by God.

With this understanding, we can pray to God to allow his will for our lives come to pass. By reminding him of the promises he makes to us in His word and the fact that he cannot lie. That way, we challenge him to grant us our heart desires. Promise rings are beautiful symbols of love and many find them attractive. But the invisible seal of constant prayer on a single woman with bare fingers is better than a symbolic promise that can be broken.

When the fingers of a single woman in a relationship remain bare, her man knows that she attracts others who may be quicker in fulfilling their promises without symbols of delay. He makes himself ready to quickly lay claim to the woman he loves. The woman who constantly prays to God to fulfill his desire for her life has nothing to prove to the world. God makes sure to prove to the world around her that he is a God who does not lie.