Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Marriage: For companionship or childbearing?

This post is a question filled with many other questions. I have decided to write up on this because I do not fully understand the dynamics of this aspect of marriage and I hope my dear readers can give some input regarding this issue.

Is marriage for childbearing or companionship or both? You may have thought about this like I have; perhaps you have taken a stand like I have but that stand is not exactly built on a solid foundation....

When two people start courting and wedding plans start getting underway, it seems there is nothing on earth that can tear them apart. Fast forward, two or three years into the marriage and tensions start to build because there are no little ones turning the house upside down. In some marriages, the husbands become irritable and start to call their wives names that must not be heard from any man that stood before God to take vows to love his wife forever. Sometimes, family members get involved and compound the problem, making a woman's home hell (In case you're wondering why the woman is at the receiving end of all these, it's because in Africa, it is the woman's fault when there are no children). Life often becomes unbearable for many wives whose wombs have not been opened and many husbands in such situations believe they have the motivation to cheat, perhaps they can have a child out of wedlock with a fertile woman. *deep sigh*

What happened to the promise to to love and cherish one another come hail or storm? What happened to all that love that they both shared? What happened to all the "I'll always be there for you" promises? How does a couple so madly in love with another go from loving each other to simply tolerating each other all because they don't have children? Is marriage just a means to an end- to have children to carry your name? Or is it about finding someone you love and spending each day with that person, walking together in Christ, praying together and carrying each other's burdens?

I took a stand; that marriage is for companionship. Many say I'm wrong and are quick to quote the "Be fruitful and multiply" bible verse. What happens if I'm not fruitful within the first few months or years? Does this mean I'm a failure? Does this mean I'm the wrong woman for my man? I get very uncomfortable when I see newlywed brides fidgeting about their inability to conceive right after the wedding. It makes me feel like they believe there is an expiry date on the magic they share with their husbands and they need babies to keep the marriage afloat. Am I the only one that thinks that is just sad? Did this man get on one knee simply because he loves you for who you are or because he sees you as a suitable incubator for childbearing?

I know a couple who were married for eight years! Eight years and not once did the wife get pregnant; she worried and cried and prayed. He worried and cried and prayed but not once did any bitterness ensue between them. Instead they went to God together in prayer and continued to live their lives like any happy couple should. This year, God surprised them with a baby boy. Eight years of perseverance, eight years of faith, eight years of tears but also eight years of togetherness, eight years of companionship and eight years of love.

I put my question out to you again, perhaps you can clarify this part of marriage that I am yet to comprehend; is marriage for companionship or childbearing? If I can't have children, have I failed as a woman?

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