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Read Letter

Two Beetles

Dear Jil, the late Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa was a most interesting man. He had all these anecdotes, some so hilarious; but they were nuggets of wisdom. He famously illustrated a piece of wisdom with the story of two Volkswagen Beetles. You have a flat tyre, you drive a Beetle. Your neighbor has an extra tyre, he drives a Beetle. Why pray for tyre, he asked! The lessons are myriad, the simplest being the unnecessary spiritualization of commonsensical situations. And the unnecessary complication of otherwise linear decisions. Now, what I’m going to say to you is going to rub some religious folks the wrong way, but that’s okay.

Here’s the thing: You’re a 37-year old woman going on 38. You’re single, never been married. From what you told me, the biggest item on your prayer menu is marriage. You desperately want to marry. Your mates have long been married. Their kids call you Aunty as if that’s your name. In fact they’ve finished procreating.

Now, a very successful 40-year old divorcee of the same faith with you is proposing marriage. He loves you dearly, he’s generous… Been honest with you about his past. Just that he’s a divorcee. He’s the ONLY suitor you’ve come across after a long while. He’s more than you ever dreamed of. He wants to start a new life with you, wants you to have children together. You don’t have any kid. He has three. And people are telling you not to marry him! Tell me, do these people have a husband for you? Are they not all married and in their own homes, enjoying family life? You want them to turn your life into a referendum? Tell me, what exactly more do you want God to do for you beyond the obvious miracle called this gentleman? Imagine two, three years down the line and you’re still single, what exactly do you plan on telling God in prayers? Might God not ask you, What more do you want me to do for you! You know I always say it as it is, so I’m going to be blunt with you.

With his success, his pool of options is significantly wide and deep. He can date very beautiful women. Yet he chose you, so much so you wonder! You keep pinching yourself. The ONLY ISSUE is that some people have decided they won’t forgive his past, assuming his past needs forgiving! Tell me, if God should hold our pasts against us who can stand? They don’t know the facts of his past. And even if they know, who are they to judge? They don’t know if he was the victim of his former marriage. They have no facts, never heard him out. They just assume he must be the guilty party. Proof? He’s wealthy! He must have done some terrible things. And they will hold him bound to the mistake of choice of his youth – barely twenty-four – never forgiving him.

Sometimes the log we think we see in other people’s eyes is the blurry pixelization of the log in our own eyes. An ideological stand on the word of God clouds even the essence of the word. It’s why Jesus kept having run-ins with the Pharisees. They were ideologues and hypocrites.

Let me spell it out for you: Given your age and circumstances there are five marital options you have: It’s either you marry a younger man, a widower, a divorcee, an older single or your age mate. Your age mates are mostly gone – taken. It’s just the way life is, there’s a season of availability. Truth is, if you’d met a 40-year old bachelor, the same people will question why he’s single at 40!

You struggle with the idea of marrying a younger man. It’s a cultural challenge, even if he’s very successful. So what are you left with in terms of options? Whichever option you choose they’ll criticize. If he’s a widower they’ll tell you to investigate the cause of the wife’s death, as if you’re a coroner. You can’t wish this gentleman’s past away. He’s a divorcee. He has three kids. Facts! Either you’re going to accept his past, or get out of the relationship to wait for another suitor. It’s that simple! You can’t erase his kids away. You simply have to accept them and relate well with them.

And they don’t have issues with their dad. They love him! If he treated their mum badly they’ll resent him. I’m telling you stuff nobody will volunteer though they know it’s truth. Society can be a very hypocritical structure. If you follow the wisdom of these folks you’ll lose out on God’s gift and benevolence to you. And you don’t know where they’re coming from. Some are reflecting their own pain, some are envious of you. And some are ignorant. Like Eve, many have gone beyond the commandment of God.

In marital issues, if you take bad advice you pay with your life, sometimes in age installments. A marital relationship is a triangulated covenant. It’s between you, your God and your spouse. Don’t allow these regulatory religious interlopers into your life. No one appointed them holy police. If this gentleman is who you say he is, you better marry him! They will talk. That is expected. They will say all sorts of evil things about him, just to poison your mind. Some of the stuff they’ll say about the facts you know will make you shake your head in wonderment. Human capacity for bigoted inventiveness is scary. And there will be those who’ll cry more than the bereaved.

God is the God of a second chance. The religious folk say it but they limit the application to themselves and their circumstances. God constructs highways through the wilderness of despair. He brings water out of the rock of life’s difficulties. And His mercy triumphs over judgment. Because of his past he should make you a better husband. He’s in a better position to appreciate marriage. He’s seen pain, he’s known despair. He knows what marriage joy should be. Marry him.

Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder 2014 |

Tags : Marriage, Past, Divorcee

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