YOUR FAMILY MATTERS with PASTOR CHANDA
Friday, June 2, 2017: Maggie was on the eve of her wedding but she was very depressed. I was surprised that she was not excited when the biggest day of her life was on the horizon.
Did she recently discover that the guy she was about to get married to was the wrong man?
“Pastor, the amount of trouble my relatives are putting me through, you would think that I have made the worst mistake of my life. I am being rebuked about literally everything and by every conceivable relative—even those who messed up their own lives.”
As Maggie said this, she began to cry. I gave her some tissue to dry the tears.
After calming down, she said, “Some of the people who are making my life difficult are people I have never seen in my whole life. I had no idea they existed. Now they want to rule my life.”
“My elder sister was impregnated outside marriage and later taken to the man who impregnated her. The whole saga brought shame to the family. My dad even had high blood pressure. Yet, she did not suffer the way I have suffered during my wedding preparations.”
“I wish I had just gotten pregnant also. Maybe all this noise and pain would not have been the case. I am confused. Instead of people congratulating me that I have honoured the family by remaining a virgin until my wedding day, it is as if I have committed treason.”
Maggie again began to cry again. As she was sobbing her heart out, I began to reflect on what she was saying. She was not the first bride to regret the way the family was treating her on the eve of her wedding. I have heard many other stories to the same effect.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that our wedding traditions are not written down anywhere. Young people planning to get married have no idea what the expectations are until they have already crossed the invisible line and bring on themselves the wrath of relatives.
The fact that our wedding traditions are not written down anywhere also cause a lot of confusion. One relative will say one thing and while the couple are working on it, another older relative arrives and says that what they are doing is wrong and must be reversed.
Speaking about relatives; this is yet another source of trouble. In most of our cultures your parents are not the ones who have the final say as to who you marry or get married to. It is the clan leader, who might be from your mother’s or your father’s side.
This is where Maggie’s problem came from when she said that some of the people making her life difficult were individuals she had never met before in her entire life. Most likely she was referring to people in the clan leadership of the family.
They normally show up on the eve of the wedding and have the power to overturn everything that you have worked for.
They demand a report on what has taken place thus far and then you hear them say, “No, no, no, no. That is not the way it is supposed to be done.”
Once they say that, even your parents know that they are in trouble! As if that is not enough, the woes at weddings are made worse by the fact that the extended family wants it to be a day when their pride will soar to the highest level.
They want all their dreams realised. They all come with their demands.
You may have budgeted for a wedding reception that you can afford and may have even paid for the venue but they want the most expensive venue and they are not willing to contribute a Ngwee towards the cost. That is frustrating!
In Maggie’s case, the other source of her pain was the so-called “bridal training” she was being put through to prepare her to be a wife.
What she told me she was going through cannot be put in writing without scandalising her and her family. It is abuse of the worst kind.
Hearing Maggie say, “I wish I had just gotten pregnant,” makes me sad. It suggests that we are not rewarding faithfulness but are instead rewarding waywardness.
There is need to revisit this area of life, otherwise we will not have God-honouring weddings soon!
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