How was your weekend? Hope it was great, just as mine was. So today we have a guest post from Lorraine Onyango. I have previously written about Lorraine in this article: “I Decided Early on in my Marriage that I Wasn’t Going to try and be Superwoman”.
Lorraine has purposefully taken on a path where she shares insights into the walk that marriage is. Today, Lorraine takes us through the motions of living up to societal expectations and how we, in the process, say hurtful things to others. She writes…
“Take a walk with me, will you?
See that couple fighting over there? Their disagreement is compounded by many things, but one of the underlying issues is that the gentleman’s family doesn’t approve of his choice in a wife.
They don’t like many things about her. They say she’s not a ‘home-maker’, she’s not wife material, and that she doesn’t come from the ‘right’ family. And many other things.
As a result of all this, Mr. Husband finds himself pressuring his wife because he wants her to fit in a mold that would make his family happy.
Let’s keep walking…
See those two exchanging terse words over there? They also have their disagreements. The wife is unhappy that hubby isn’t bringing in the money that she expects in order to be “comfortable”. He works hard, but his income is not steady. And she’s not happy. That’s not how she imagined her married life would be.
One day, without realizing the implications of her words, she blurts: “Whatever it is you’re doing isn’t good enough! What kind of husband doesn’t provide for his family?”
We could walk forever and still come across many other situations. Such as being driven by the need to impress, and desiring things (usually material stuff) to validate yourself. The list goes on and on.
When people get married, they often have expectations of a fresh start, new beginnings. Marriage is itself a new beginning, so this expectation isn’t entirely misplaced. But what trips many people up are the optics.
You start wondering what people will think when they see you among the crowd at the bus stop waiting for a matatu to get home. The thoughts continue. Didn’t the so-and so’s buy their car just a month into their wedding?
Shortly, you are reenacting the Old Spice ad where you “look” at others, “look” at yourself and look at others again and find yourself wanting. And miserable. You’re not doing as well as they are.
But yet, there’s a beauty that comes from resting. I’m talking about rest that starts in your heart. I’m not talking about living in denial about circumstances. I’m talking about cultivating a position that recognizes the unchangeable nature of God. If He allowed it, then there must be a reason for it, right?
When you’re at rest, the pool of opinions you draw from gloriously narrows down to just one. With God in the lead, you look out for his direction for the journey ahead. Your furious attempts to “do something” about your situation fade into the background, because you understand that your life is in the ever-loving hands of God.
So you’re not where you thought you’d be by the age of 35? Rest. Your life is in his hands. So you don’t have the job you wanted? Rest. Find out where God wants you to be and what He wants you to have.
The point I’m trying to drive at is this: don’t be so consumed by the worries and cares of life that you forget what truly matters.
Rest. Rest. Rest. Just Rest.
Lorraine Onyango is the author of Coffee and Love Chats, which presents models of working marriages. The book gives insights into the struggles and lessons in marriage, with the aim of offering a realistic and balanced view. By changing how marriage is portrayed, Lorraine aims to highlight issues faced in marriage but ultimately communicate hope in the institution.
To get your copy, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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