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Read Letter

Want vs. Need

My dear Jack, you don’t even know yourself though you think you do. You have no idea who you are. You just think you have self-knowledge. Young men can be that way – so confident and full of hubris. Only the confidence is vacuous. It’s what makes them prone to mistakes of choice of marriage partner – the confidence of ignorance. 

There are things you’ll only discover about yourselfwhen you’re over fifty. And that’s the truth. It’s when you begin to thank God profusely for his kindness if perchance you made a good choice of marriage partner. Look at some of the hurdles you have to scale through as a young man making a marital choice: You have to scale the hurdle of the obfuscation caused by your libido. It tends to point in the wrong direction. You have to scale the hurdle of your vanity. It tends to lead to the shallow end of the marital pool. You have to surmount the hurdle of your inexperience. You REALLY know nothing about life. Then you have to survive the manipulators – a member of the opposite sex manipulating you to definite ends. Then you have to scale the hurdle of your knowledge gap. Truth is, you don’t know much about women. The young playboy thinks he knows about women but all he knows is how to get into pants indiscriminately. He knows nothing about the spiritual dimension of women. Neither does he know their conceptual essence. And he certainly knows nothing about their purposing in God’s scheme of things, or how they impact destiny. If he knew one tenth of these things, he wouldn’t play around with women or toy with their emotions.

There are the things we want and there are the things we need. There are the women we want and there are the women we need. Young men tend to go for the women they want not for the women they need. But the wanting is often based on ignorance. Men are so prone to mistakes because men are visual. They’re led by sight. And all that glitters is not gold. The woman you need is the woman who truly loves you, and wants you. The woman you need is the one who has faith in you, the one who values you. The woman you need is the one who believes in your future, believes in the potential of your greatness in life. The woman you need is the one who’ll give you peace, who’ll honour and respect you. The woman you need is not the one trying to exploit you economically. Instead she seeks to add value to you. The woman you need is not a fair weather friend – associates with you in prosperity; distances herself in another clime. The woman you need is the one with values and character. Not the rude insolent one. The woman you need is not a wayfarer. She wants to build a home with you, settle down with you. The woman you need is a faithful one, one your heart trusts implicitly. If your consideration is limited to only physical qualities you’ll most likely miss it. Worse if you get carried away with inanities – she’s the daughter of so and so… You’re not marrying her father! If I were you I’ll sit down with God in humility and ask him to direct my steps in my marital choice.

I remember that prayer Jeremiah prayed a long time ago. He said it’s not within the capacity of a young man to map his way or direct his course. So he begged God for help. You ought to do same. It’s not about religion, it’s just commonsense. You can’t know enough about anybody. And unfortunately you have no spare life… You know, if this doesn’t work out, throw it out, employ a new one… You have this one life.

It’s why I keep writing you so you avoid expensive mistakes. And mistakes come in different orders. It’s why the English man coined the term tragedy. A good wife may not be very obvious at consideration stage, but she becomes obvious in retrospect. If you make the right choice you’ll thank God for mercy everyday in retrospect. A bad choice of marriage partner has retrospective quality too. You remember that moment when you ignored the warning. You’ll have regrets if you allow your vanity to lead you in the choice of marriage partner. Marriage is not a vain pursuit. A shallow marriage is lacking in essential consanguinity of spirit and oneness. You want someone who’s in tune with your spirit. She’s your soul and being, your joy and peace, and thanksgiving. You want someone who gets you wholesomely. She’s so one with you she’s you. She’s so connected with you it’s soul biology. That she went to this or that school is a qualification for work, not marriage. The primary considerations ought to be: Will she make me a good wife? Will we be happy together? Does she love me?

After the wedding the marriage begins. And the friends you sought to impress with your vanity… they can’t help when your marriage goes into epileptic convulsions. It’s okay to marry a beautiful woman but make sure that’s not the only thing you are marrying. The depth of marriage, the potency of it… a young man can’t know. Until he experiences marital trouble. Then the potency unleashes its energy, lacerating emotional and mental health in urgent fury. A bad marriage attacks incorporeal dimensions of our lives. It converts the energy locked in marriage to negative use. It follows therefore that a wise couple can harness the huge energy potential in their marriage to build a future. That energy is powerful. It can build happiness, it can build a home, it can make a young man successful. I wouldn’t play with the potency of marriage if I were you. It’s more powerful than you. I can’t tell you whom to date. But the right choice doesn’t like to get into argument with our foolishness. When you want to choose a marriage partner, think of the future not just now. And certainly not just sex.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Worth, Value, Character

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