Saturday 4 July 2020

Keep Your Home (Part 2): Cover Me

Cover me, Babe You are my Clothing
Here is the second in this series as I take one rule every other day of the 30 rules for godly women. Hoping this helps resolve the misconceptions.

Rule 2: Don't expose your husband's weaknesses to your family and friends. It will bounce back at you. You are each other's keeper.

Marriage is an institution for mature persons and minds. Unfortunately, a few immature folks find there way into the institution for various not too farfetched reasons. I guess the first place to start is to state in no unclear terms, without fear nor favor, nor missing of words, that, "marriage is not compulsory. You don't have to marry. You can have a full, fulfilled and complete life without marriage." Don't let anyone deceive you otherwise.

Marriage is a choice. It is a choice to give up being independent and lay hold of interdependency. It is a decision that only mature people can take. I am careful and conscious of the usage of the word, "can." Anyone can go to the registry. Anyone can wear whatever wedding garment they choose, have a ceremony, etc. None of that is marriage. Those are mere ceremonially outward appearances of what only can take place between two mature and willing hearts.

Marriage is not only a choice. It is a commitment. It is a choice and a commitment that only two independent people can make. The challenge is most marriages today are between either two dependent individuals, yet to cut the umbilical cord from their parents and/or other elements of this life; or between an independent person and a dependent person. A mismatch from the very get-go, an accident only looking for where to happen. And, happen it does severally within a lifetime until resolved. 

One of the unfortunate attributes of a dependent person is a lack of understanding of, nor the respect for boundaries. Why? "They have a high need for validation and approval from others," says Gregory L. Jantz, Ph. D. "Dependent people have difficulty making everyday decisions without advice and reassurance," he adds. The key phrase here is, "everyday decisions." "If you're going to make a major life change, of course, you would talk over your decision and get opinions from family and friends, Dr. Gregory points out. 

Every normal, sane person has boundaries. These are the limits we decide to work for us on how people can treat us, how they can behave around us, and what we can expect from them. As can be imagined, these boundaries determine the level of intimacy we allow each person in our lives, they define a minimum of two circles of relationships, some choose to have three, around us. 

What happens in each circle needs to stay within that circle, otherwise, the cohesiveness of the circle will be threatened. In short, what holds each circle together is the commitment to secrecy and fiduciary within the circle. Otherwise, the boundary loses its meaning.

In a healthy marriage relationship, the innermost circle ought to only contain two people, the couple. It is big enough to contain them and small enough to contain no other person in addition to them, except their creator. So, whatever happens, and is considered secret in that circle ought to be kept there and not disseminated in any of the larger circles. This innermost circle is where each is supposed to be the most vulnerable, naked, and unashamed.

Lo, this is the ideal state that is either upheld or threatened by the maturity, the couple brings into their most sacred union. Boundaries are what keeps this alive. An understanding and respect of the boundaries keep the stream of life of the union ever pure. Disregard of these boundaries is a threat to the lifestream of the union. Some of these boundaries are personal to the individuals involved, others are general.

General boundaries include an assumption of trust and honesty. An African proverb says, "if there is no enemy within, the enemy without can do us no harm." The assumption is the person I have brought to my place of power, my place of rest, my place of utmost nakedness is my friend and not my enemy. The assumption is that this person with cover my weaknesses, fight on my side, and on my behalf even when I am not there. Anything other than these is disrespect of boundaries and hence comes with its consequences.

Though sounding rather ludicrous, some people don't seem to understand what it means to cover their spouse's weakness. Some of these are leaky mouths anyway and nothing is heavy in their mouth. For the avoidance of doubt advertising your spouse's nakedness includes any action, behavior, or discussion that dishonors his/her person, sense of emotional, psychological, or physical privacy. It is one that exposes your spouse to shame and/or fear. When you engage in this you are digging out the foundation, and taking out the pillar of trust in your marriage. Whatever you get out of that is your own handiwork, not any devil. 

Now in closing let me state there are healthy and unhealthy boundaries. All we have spoken about so far assumes healthy boundaries, a situation where you are not usurping another person's privileges. An unhealthy boundary, one which usurps your's or another person's values, wants, needs and limits needs to be challenged.

I hope this helps, especially in addressing the subject matter. Feel free to share any dissent you might have. Don't be intimidated by my truth. What is yours?

© 2020 Akin Akinbodunse

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