A couple of months ago, I went to the butchery to buy a quarter kg of beef so that I could prepare my supper. I live alone, so I only buy what is sufficient for my consumption. So here I was, waiting patiently for my turn to arrive so that I could place my order. Once I did, the butcher man asked me in Kiswahili, “Kwanini unanunua nyama kidogo hivi? Mzee atashiba hii kweli?” which means, “Why are you purchasing this little amount of meat? Will your husband really get full?”
I remember feeling an immediate rush of emotions. I was instantly mad, confused and offended by his assumptions, yet he went on. “Unajua kama mama wa nyumba, unafaa kupikia mzee nyama ya kutosha na watoto pia ndio washibe vizuri.” meaning “As the woman of the house, you need to cook enough meat for your husband as well as for your children so that they are all well fed”.
I think a lot. I tend to analyze statements and turn them in every possible angle in order to get a clear picture of anything I am told. In that short moment, I had already come up with five deductions on his motive.
1. He assumed I was married and should carry out my ‘wife duties’ accordingly.
2. This was his new business idea to increase the amount of meat he sells on a daily.
3. He wanted to find out my marital status and wanted to ‘try his luck’.
4. If at all I wasn’t married, do I have children?
5. He simply has the worst choice of topics for small talk.
I smiled, calmly looked at him and told him that I am single. Consequently, he told me how he was also single and would not mind coming over to my house so that I could cook for him and we could take things to the next level. I was so amazed at his ignorance; the nerve, the audacity! My 3rd deduction proved to be correct. I am normally completely numb to these things. A woman, especially one frequenting Nairobi town, builds her own thick skin to ignore the catcalls and disrespectful utterances made by random men. This situation, however, proved to be much different than the usual. You see, this one touched a very sensitive part.
I have reached the age where my friends are getting married and for some reason, the number of comments by people who assume I should be married with kids increases daily. Society has some sort of ‘standard pattern’ and the people bound to this system believe that everyone should follow the set timelines of certain significant events in life. In other words, you should have graduated school, getting married and having kids, working and earning lots of money by a certain age, etc. Yet believers are not to conform to the patterns of the world. The may not all be wrong, but they should all follow God’s perfect will and timing. Romans 12:2 NLT says;
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, and let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Lately, talks about depression and mental illnesses are becoming extremely popular and solutions are given that only last a moment. In my opinion, depression issues stem from comparisons and trying to comply with set standards and timelines which most people adhere to; even when it’s not in line with God’s perfect will. Yet here we are, struggling to follow in line with the rest in the system as we become more empty within.
I occasionally listen to Amani Aila’s show on Hope FM 93.3 called ‘Shangilia’, an educative show which based on the content; mainly targets married people. In some shows, he has engaged married people on their experiences with their spouses on different issues. While a good number of people celebrate their marriages and their spouses, a good number also calls in to shame their spouses and even talk about how they want to give up. How their spouses are sexually involved with other people and how love has completely left their unions. This really broke my heart. I am not an expert in marriage, but I do know that God designed and instituted marriage for his glory. Our relationship with Christ has been directly likened to the matrimonial covenant between a man and woman, which clearly shows the place of marriage in the eyes and heart of God.
While listening to the concerns of some of the people who call in during the show, one underlying concern that takes center stage in all the situations is the fact that most of them do not find their completion in Christ. Colossians 2:10 states,
10. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
We are made complete in Christ yet most people do not live in this reality. Our completion, joy, and fullness come when we are in Christ. All other issues stem from the fact that he is not our focus, our joy, and strength. I learnt this the hard way when I was involved in relationships and friendships which I believed would complete me and make me feel wanted yet I was empty and lost within.
One woman actually called in during the show to mention how she regrets getting married quickly since she does not have any joy at all even after waiting to have sex when married. My heart really went out to her. This, to me, was a perfect example of someone who thought that marriage would complete her only for her to experience disappointment. Many people say that single people rush to get married while the married rush to get out of it. As horrible and humorously dark as it may sound, the reality is all around us.
God has strategically placed some amazing couples doing marriage God’s way in my life as examples and mentors i.e. my parents, my pastor and his wife just to mention a few. The kind of marriages that minister to people and even point people to Christ, and that’s how it should be. While the focus of this particular post has been marriage, completion in Christ affects literally all areas of our lives. I think it is important for me to mention that I never understood what being complete in Christ meant. I was born and raised in a Christian home yet only knew how to carry out my salvation recently. I felt like I had to work so hard to get God’s attention which made my quiet times quite few. As I have grown, here are some things I learnt and understood which I believe can be helpful and beneficial to you too.
After all is said and done:
While you are waiting for whatever door is next, go deeper in knowing Christ and being complete in Him.
There is always a deeper level.
BTW, I model bridal gowns for an amazing woman called Anne Njue. If you have a wedding coming up, be sure to reach out to her on her Facebook page for a lovely gown. Here is one of them. 🙂
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. Please share it with your family and friends as well. Stay blessed and stay happy always.
Gown by: Liana Bridal House
Make up: Simple Everyday Makeup By Ythera
Photographer: Kaymoney Photography
Studio: Metz Photolab
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