Of Matrimony And Religion

“Discrimination among citizens on account of their religious convictions is wholly intolerable. Even the bare mention of a citizen’s religion in official documents should unquestionably be eliminated” – Vladimir Lenin

“Difference of religion breeds more quarrels than difference of politics” – Wendell Phillips

“Each of us is a book waiting to be written and that book, if written, results in a person explained” – Thomas M. Cirignano

 

I celebrated my birthday on the 2nd day of May. Now don’t ask me how old I am because I would obviously tell a lie. But you gotta know for sure that presently, I have just about 10months left to hit the dreaded number 30. So my good folks, y’all do the math!

Personally, I believe birthdays are not phuck-worthy events. So what did I do basically on my birthday? Well, I woke up and said a prayer to my ancestors, did a few pushups, crunches and my training routine for a lean body. Afterwards, I spent the whole day hustling at the clinic and at the end of the day, I pounced on my plates of cucumbers, carrots, celery and protein sources. I must get in shape by fire and by force before my wedding day…Insha Allah. There was no alcohol or weed to celebrate the day with, as my Dietician advised against taking any of them in my dreadful journey towards getting a ripped body. Cakes and chocolates were definitely out of the question. White rice nko? Nah, No, Nei…said my Dietician. Now that is the true meaning of Living in Bondage.

But on my birthday, it was really a time to reflect on my life: how far I’ve gone in this journey, the pursuit of happiness, the ups and downs, family, friends, foes, shawty, my dead pet dog, the hippy pastor living on my street, and every single freaking thing my life revolved around. In the end, I had to be grateful to the Almighty for still keeping a brother alive. A couple of my homeboys are dead and gone…but I am still here living. So I poured some of the water I was drinking on the floor. That’s the least I could do in the memory of the lost ones since there was no alcohol to perform the deed.

Very late at night, Mumsie’s younger sister called to wish me a happy birthday and also remind me that I wasn’t getting any younger and had to start a family ASAP.

Baruu, kedu? How are you? Happy birthday o. So hope you are fine and you had fun today?” she asked.

I am fine Aunty. Yes o…I did my best. How is the family?” I inquired with a lazy voice.

We are fine o. Bia, Baruu…what is holding you na? Why haven’t you invited us to your wedding? Or aren’t you going to marry her again?” she asked, her voice piercing into my soul more than a double-edged sword. She had asked the question I dreaded so much.

No Aunty, it is not like that o. We have finished the plans. In two weeks time, I would go to visit her parents in the company of Dee Mgbidi and my brothers. Just to perform the first rites of getting to know her people. Afterwards, we’d fix a date for the Igba Nkwu”, I replied while wishing to my ancestors that her inquiry would end at that point.

Ok, do quick quick o. Because I can’t wait to rock my Aso Ebi on that day. I hope you will dance well on that day o?” she asked while laughing.

No worries Aunty, I will do my best”, I replied while pretending to laugh.

Ok, nwa mu…ka o di. We will talk later. Bye Bye”, she said and hung up.

Phewww! Phucking Monitoring Spirit!

The journey to her parent’s country home was one of the scariest journeys I’ve ever embarked on. Throughout the journey, I had butterflies in my tummy. The crazy voice in my head didn’t help matters at all. It kept telling me her parents would reject me outrightly without even batting an eyelid.

C’mon, ma niggguurrr…itz gon’ be the end of ya fling with her. You don’t even look like a doctor in the first instance. Ohhh, and how you gon’ explain to them folks that you don’t attend no church…ma niggguurr? They’z gon’ think you’z lyin’ bra. They’z gon’ mistake ya for a thug and a kidnapper…fo’ real ma niggguurr. They’z gon’ label you the devil’s advocate…ma niggguurr. They’z gon’……

Mscheeww! There was no need to reply this crazy voice on this day because I was scared to the marrow. I looked into the side mirror for a second. For real, I definitely looked like a thug and a kidnapper. Dammmnnn!!!

When we arrived, the parents were in front of the brown mahogany door to welcome us. Dee Mgbidi greeted them like a titled man that he was. He had his red cap fitted perfectly on his head, mpi efi in his right hand and a small bag on the left that housed the kola nuts and alligator peppers. He looked like a dibia going to prepare medicine for the Igwe’s sick wife.

We were ushered into the living room. I saw her across the hallway and winked at her. She smiled and walked towards the kitchen. It wasn’t customary for her to greet the visitors until she was called upon to do so by her parents. We sat down as her mother kept telling us ‘welcome’ for the umpteenth time.

Kola nuts, garden eggs and ose oji were presented before us. She was the one that brought the contents in a metallic tray. As she walked graciously into the living room, my elder brother beckoned on me to come closer. He whispered into my right ear how lucky I was to find this awesome beauty. I said a quick ‘Thank You’, taking care not to betray my anxiety and apprehension. She greeted us after keeping the tray on the center table and walked away. After her father had presented the kola before Dee Mgbidi, he took a piece from the metallic tray and proceeded to give thanks to our Chi for bringing us safely to our destination. Afterwards, he took a bite from the kola he was holding and nodded in approval for my younger brother to pass the tray around so that everyone would partake in the ceremonial eating of the oji.

After everyone had taken kola and garden eggs, Dee Mgbidi decided it was time to tell our hosts the reason for the visit. He spoke at length about how important it is for a young man to seek for a soul mate when his time is ripe. He told tales of mbe, the tortoise and awo, the frog. He told other proverbs before finally saying we came to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage.

Her mother smiled gleefully and looked in the direction of her husband. My prospective father-in-law cleared his throat and after thanking us and telling a few more proverbs, decided it was time to quiz me, like a sergeant interrogating a street urchin.

So my son, you say your name is Baruu? May I know what that means?” he asked.

Sir, it is just a nickname. It is nothing serious”, I replied still folding my hands like a Christian faithful about to receive the Holy Communion for the first time.

Ok, I was just wondering though. So what do you do for a living?” he asked.

I am a hus-tle—r. Sor—r—yyy, I do a lot of things, Sir. Bu—t my main job i—s that I I I work as medi–cal doctor at a spe—cia—list hos—pi—tal, Sir”, I stammered as a quick rush of bile regurgitated in my stomach.

So how did you meet my daughter”, he quizzed further. Kai, this man no dey tire o?

We met at a medical outreach organized in a rural community, Sir”, I replied.

Ok. So are you a Christian? And if you are, what church do you attend?” he asked

Chai, this man has finally gotten me by the balls.

Well, to be honest Sir. I don’t attend any church. But I believe in God. Actually, I am an Agnostic”, I replied while looking at his changing mien.

So you are not a Christian then?” he asked, this time leaning forward in my direction. Maybe the short distance between us would make him hear me clearly.

I am a Christian but not just the overtly religious and church-going type. In short Sir, I believe in an Almighty and a Divine being. But as for attending church, I wouldn’t lie to you that I do so”, I replied while leaning forward also.

I saw the puzzled look of dejection on his wife’s face. I turned around to behold Dee Mgbidi looking at me with his big pomo lips wide open as if saying “this boy, so you have betrayed the family and left church, okwaya”. My brothers were indifferent, still nibbling on their garden eggs.

OK, my son. We would have to consult our spiritual father in this matter. That is our pastor, if you know what I mean. Let us all seek the face of the Lord in this matter. And whatever the Lord tells us to do, that is what we would do. OK?” he said bluntly.

Afterwards, we talked about other things amidst drinks and chicken wings. In the next couple of minutes, Dee Mgbidi decided it was time to leave. We said our goodbyes and promised to return after the Lord must have spoken. I saw her father’s mean face as they waved at us. He even refused to shake my hands when we said our goodbyes. I quickly realized my mission was all but over.

The battle between love/marriage and religion is a never-ending one. Nowadays, people don’t care what ‘true love’ is as long as it is not associated with the two people involved sharing the same faith, creed, doctrinal and religious beliefs. True love is difficult to find; therefore, it doesn’t make any sense throwing it all away because of religious or doctrinal differences.

The young single man or woman who is so religious would spend years seeking to meet that partner that attends the same place of worship as him/her. They’d keep searching and hoping and eventually spend many more years attending Shiloh and other similar religious programmes. Eventually, they get frustrated and have to settle for someone whom they share no feelings with but for the mere fact that he/she attends the same house of God. They’d spend their lives in pretense and misery, believing that a miracle would happen suddenly and they’d start loving themselves affectionately. Does the Lord look like Harry Houdini to you? Who told you this thing called love is magic? For Pete’s sakes, it is not rocket science. True love has to flow effortlessly.

It is a pity that religion has become the only source of hope to many people so they have placed it above every other thing, including love and matrimony. Religion would always win the battle between love and religion for such pious and devout folks. I believe that you don’t have to share the same faith with your spouse to know how he/she feels about their spiritual association. After all, it is the same universal feeling that comes from faith, even if the faiths are different.

People should learn to have the liberty to marry whom they choose to, irrespective of doctrinal differences. There would be challenges obviously in such marriages; therefore it is pertinent to learn to make concessions and sacrifices in such relationships. The place where the matrimony takes place is irrelevant; whether it is in a mosque, a church, under a tree, at the babalawo’s shrine, beside the lagoon…it is no big deal. The ultimate thing is that the two of you consummate the relationship and start living together as husband and wife, doing your best to make the relationship grow stronger as the days go by.

In marriage, each partner brings the best and the worst parts of themselves and together, they learn to embrace these aspects of their lives. They learn to respect their differences and willingly meet each other’s needs, whether they fully understand them or not. In the end, true love conquers all irrespective of the doctrinal differences.

So here I am, waiting patiently for my prospective father-in-law to bring the news from his pastor. I hope the pastor doesn’t phuck up. I hope his wife doesn’t annoy him on the day he decides to seek the face of the Lord. I hope she makes him his favorite Nsala soup filled with numerous pieces of stock fish, so that the vision he would see about me would be a good one. But if peradventure he decides to behold a vision of my inglorious past – the excessive booze, the reefer, the late night grooves…and all other ignoble deeds I’ve done, then I would have no other option but to unleash my vengeance on him.

So my good people, is there anything we could do to enable love win this battle against religion? Or should we continue keeping a blind eye each time the battle goes on?

Now Playing: The Matrimony by Wale ft. Usher

Word to Mutha: This work is STRICTLY the opinion of the writer. No Love Lost; No Love Found…It is what it is!

Image via Newswatch Times

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Comments
  • Avatar
    Gbolahan

    My brother, I feel your pain.
    I’ve lost count of the babes who have refused to even consider my suit on top this religion issues (okay, just three babes, but the pain is real). I won’t go as far as calling for an end to all organised religion (my mother would kill me), but people should realise that having the same religion doesn’t guarantee a happy marriage. Love is greater.

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Dr. Baruu

      Thanks bro…Now I know I am not alone!

      July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    blaqlotus

    Lol, we didn’t get the end of the story.. Anyway, i think every parent wants their daughter to marry a God fearing man, there’s the believe that more religious he is, the less likely he is to misbehave.

    July 14, 2015
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    Lade

    Don’t be unequally yoked. It’s just easier that way. Different religions have different ways of adressing certain issues, especially in marraige. So what happens when both of you can’t agree? Resentment can set in. I’m not saying that inter-religous marriages don’t work out or that some intra-religous marraiges aren’t messed up but you can’t deny that being equally yoked is easier. And for us the religous(I’m a christian), Our identity in faith(christ) supercedes all. I don’t blame her parents for being concerned. I’m curious though- how do you commune with God? since you’re not into organized religion and what is this vengeance you’re planning for your may-be FIL?

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Larz

      I know a lot of my friends who are not very religious. They go to church/ mosque if they cant seem to find a good enuf excuse to escape it and are not spiritual. Their parents are religious and are praying their children gets it. Here is what I don’t understand, if your children are liberal and not very spiritual does you “unequally yoked” argument counts? If your child is open enuf to date outside of your religious battle then I wud say, chances are they hold slightly different view from you.

      July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Dr. Baruu

      Well, Lade…to answer your question!

      First of…I believe there is an Almighty being…and I read/study the good book every morning

      I also make an effort to do what is morally right in every situation…as I find the some portions of the bible contradictory to my moral beliefs.

      Thats just it! You got another question…please feel free to ask!

      Then as for the end of the story…no worries. In the fullness of the time (though this is a cliche), I’d let the whole fam know about it. Gratitude!

      July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    Lade

    Oh! Forgot to ask if you read the Bible. Just curious.

    July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    Larz

    I know a lot of my friends who are not very religious. They go to church/ mosque if they cant seem to find a good enuf excuse to escape it and are not spiritual. Their parents are religious and are praying their children gets it. Here is what I don’t understand, if your children are liberal and not very spiritual does you “unequally yoked” argument counts? If your child is open enuf to date outside of your religious battle then I wud say, chances are they hold slightly different view from you.

    I know frns forced into marrying from the same religion and afterwards, the family dont pray, fast, go to church/ mosque except for wedding, Christening etc. so whats the point, they cud have married an agnostic person and it wudnt make any difference.

    July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    Maxpayne

    I am an only child and i have met one or two babes who are not of my religion but we have so much in common and are even better behaved than babes of my religion that I have met. But of course, I can’t take them home and tell the folks I wanna marry them. I for one I am not really bothered about your religion. It is you that matters. Do you know the number of babes of my religion that despite being holy ghost filled and what not are just not what you want. Good thing is my folks are not on my neck to get married, so I hope to find that babe of my religion that is what I long for in a woman.

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      BOMA

      Yo doc I respect your guts, sticking to the truth like that. One beer for you, dietician don’t GA t to know bruh. My mouth would have entered autopilot and I’d have lied so hard….
      My religious state is so and so but I try to do the right thing, sometimes I do other times….
      I get chewed on at home, work etc

      July 15, 2015
  • Avatar
    Julibravo

    i am a live-and-let-live person but sometimes it still doesnt work easily that way.

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Dr. Baruu

      Word to mutha…same here

      July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    DEJIDOPE

    The people i know that have gotten married this past few years didn’t marry people from their church, just people that were christians too, my mum was a muslim before she married my dad, she converted after, there is no rule that says you have to marry somebody from your church(don’t know where you got that from) and there is nothing wrong in seeking GOD for guidance(afterall HE created us all), i can understand the whole asking their pastor thing, but he doesn’t have the final say,( a lot of people in this country just see their spiritual leaders as GOD’S messenger to them, at the end of the day you can seek GOD for yourself, your pastor is not your middle man, you are your own LINK to GOD, you don’t need your pastor to ask GOD anything for you, ask yourself)
    When i plan on finding a wife i will pray and ask GOD to lead me to the right person, so by the time i meet her i already know she is the one for me.

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Dr. Baruu

      Deji…alright fair enough. Lemme keep waiting patiently to hear from the Lord.

      As for people marrying others of similar doctrine and religion, bro…this is as real as phuck. Dats what most churches preach, including some pentecostal ones and Jehovah Witnesses

      July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    J

    First of all, she allowed you peddle your agnostic beliefs in front of her ‘religious’ parents?

    That’s the part I really don’t get. Maybe because I actually stopped reading at that point. But I want to believe that before you go see a girls’ parents, the both of you would have had numerous conversations as regards how to approach said parents so as to gain their love and approval. No?

    But then again, you have to understand that our parents are of a different time. What we call ‘normal’ is totally alien to them and we need to begin to take that into consideration. So maybe you bin all upfront with your disregard for organised religion was not exactly the best approach. 🙂

    Now let me read the rest of the post.

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Dr. Baruu

      Well, J…first of…watagwan?

      Ookie dookie…I gotta say I am always a real person. So I wouldn’t hesitate to peddle my beliefs to anyone.

      I encourage every relationship to be based on honesty and realness…and if your partner doesn’t accept you for who you are, then it is best to call it quits. Pretense would only lead to regrets in the near future.

      So I base all my relationships on that premise…I couldn’t bring myself to lie to her parents. What was I to say? That I pray and shout on top of my voice at 12 midnight? Or that I attend weekly fellowships? Hell No! I wouldn’t do that…

      In the end, Love conquers all!

      July 14, 2015
  • Avatar

    I’m soo much of a liberal @ hrt nd so stuffs like religion,tribe e.t.c don’t exactly bother me…

    July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    Osato

    first off, let me just say I always thought you were Muslim, lol weird. Anyways I believe my husband to be should posses a level of Godliness… us having the same religion would make things easier… plus there would less room for conflict as regards doctrines. I don’t however believe your intended should attend the same church as you though. I had classmates who parents practiced different religions and you sense they were a little confused. I wouldn’t want that for my kids.
    All in all lovely Post Dr Baruu.

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Dr. Baruu

      Osato my sister…thanks a lot for the compliments

      No mind all those Islamic words I use o…

      But it is one nation under one God though!

      July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    saga

    The reason it’s so difficult for people to marry outside of their religion is because religion holds a stronger hold in their lives than anything else,love inclusive (That’s why a JW would rather watch his child die than consent to a blood transfusion for example). And if religion can cause people to let their children die,how much more when the problems that arise from clashing religious views come up,no way the marriage will survive. Even Jesus tried to emphasize the futility of religion as opposed to love with the story of the good Samaritan but ironically,many christians still don’t get it. Love is the most important thing in this world and until we all get it,religion will continue to eat us up little by little till there’s nothing left.

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Dr. Baruu

      Infact…Saga. Abeg, wetin be your location. Make we dey go the nearest beer palour ASAP. I need give you at least 6 bottles of Orijin…for real!

      Your words couldnt be realer. God bless!

      July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    Temmy

    There was a post on tnc abt dating the opposite and same.I think religion is part of this too.in as much as we love someone doesn’t mean we consent to their decisions and religion serves as a basis for taking some decisions. When argument abounds,one might fall out of love.

    July 14, 2015
  • Avatar
    Chinedov

    “The most dangerous weapon in the hand of an ignorant person, is religion. It is like handing a spoilt 7 year old a hand grenade.”

    I don’t know who said that, but it perfectly describes how people see religion.

    Only an ignorant people will base his/her decision to marry/not to marry someone on religion.

    July 14, 2015
    • Avatar
      Don Flowers Esq

      I kno a lot people who will say only an ignorant person will make such an assertion, but we all know you are not ignorant. They will probably go out and call Doc some unprintable names too
      Faith is an important aspect of people’s lives, whether Islam or Christianity. And the fact that you are not a keen practitioner of any religion means you, Doc, are not qualified to address this topic! It’s like a dude trying to explain how painful menstruation feels. It’s just plain stupid.
      There are sufficient difficulties in relationships and marriages for two individuals who have firm beliefs in contrasting religions to assume that their love will conquer all.
      Believe you me, love does not conquer all in relationships and issues like the religion a child is to practice, Ramadan fast, salah n xmas, duties and responsibilities under the quoran and the bible.

      What was the issue again, I usually forget d topic after a passionate rant.

      July 15, 2015
  • Avatar
    Tutu

    Interesting post. But let me just say, the bible isn’t just a book it takes the holy spirit to understand it…Most of us really don’t. @saga’s comment about the samaritan woman, Jesus was not marrying her..he was evangelising to her, which he says we should do to unbelievers with love! Marriage is an oath two people take to stay together through thick and thin so it’s binding. And that’s why the unequally yoked bible passage comes into play, marriage shouldn’t be something you just wake up one day and say you’re not doing again. Dr Baruu I get your liberty and other people who commented likewise. But you should understand the life and world we live in is spiritual …even the satanic ones. Things happen in the spirit first before they manifest here. Why I believe you should marry someone who is holy ghost filled and understands the bible(not religious) is so that it’s easier to work things out both spiritually and physically…If not 1 person is left carrying all the spiritual burden. My problem with alot of people is that they misquote the bible with no understanding or spiritual guidance… even though it sounds right, like the samaritan comment it does not mean it’s right.
    P.sThe bible had 2 different kinds of Christians the pharisees and the faith based Christians who knew what it meant to seek God and follow him through the guidance of the holy spirit. These days we have a lot of pharisee

    July 15, 2015
    • Avatar
      Kay

      I believe the comment referred to the Good Samaritan parable not the Samaritan woman by the well

      July 15, 2015
    • Avatar
      saga

      Hi Tutu,i was talking of the good samaritan story not the samarian woman at the well. The first two people who passed by the man were very religious(ie the priest and the levite) but yet they missed an opportunity to show a simple act of love most likely because they had religious duties to fulfil. Same way people let religion get in the way of marriage which is supposed to be about love and not another religious task. And what exactly defines equal yoking? Esp these days when even christianity has thousands of sub-religions(denominations) under it. Marry from your denomination alone?

      July 16, 2015
  • Avatar
    D.K

    I think it’s not up to her father. If you both want to get married, you will. Her dad will come to accept it. After all he wouldn’t be in the marriage with you.

    Personally, i would love to marry someone who shares the same faith as me, whose doctrine i understand and I’ve practiced most of my life. No debate or confusion as to why you are carrying black coal pot at midnight or why you hang feathers all over the house at the 3rd hour of the 5th day of the 7th month of a leap year.

    We must have the same understanding of who GOD is and serve Him with the same conviction.

    July 15, 2015
  • Avatar

    Oh lawd!
    Tbvh, I had my sights set on you Doc. uno..
    Now… *cries in tears* :’)

    July 15, 2015
    • Avatar
      Dr. Baruu

      Awww…Preshy Love…

      No worries…just keep fasting and praying that her parents would reject me…and I’d be yours forever

      Now lemme quote Keyser Soze in the movie ‘The Usual Suspects’…

      “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist”

      Some stories are just what they are…STORIES…It is what it is!

      July 15, 2015
  • Avatar
    Afuye

    I commend you for standing up for your beliefs and honesty; I was still telling a friend a couple of days ago, any woman I would lie to, I won’t marry.
    anyways, I don’t know about religions and all that, but if you are a christian, marrying an unbeliever probably won’t work.
    yes, you might get the person saved after marriage, a 50% chance.

    plus if you are a christian and your spouse is an unbeliever, how would he/she react when you have to stay away from the house for a prayer meeting every Friday? or if you have church functions 4/5 times a week, how well would your spouse understand the utmost importance of that?
    or if you have to wake up 4:30am everyday just so you can pray a bit? or would he/she understand that ‘that tongue’ you are talking in for 1hr is actually not gibberish? or would she understand if you decide to give a huge percentage of your income to the church every month?
    How well can you teach your child the “gospel” if your spouse is teaching her Mohammed’s gospel, or something else?
    these are real issues that would put a strain on your love no matter how great it seems to be.

    What fellowship has light with darkness?

    July 17, 2015
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