Driving down the remote Texas border with Oklahoma down the beautiful nothingness of the hills from Ranton to Amarillo, the only radio station worth listening to is country music. The heart-warming romance of well-crafted guitar songs and the heart breaking conclusions gives one a reason to speed up and get back to civilization. Nothing lifts the spirit like a great romantic song. And nothing depresses like a country song where the woman is said to have taken even the cat before the husband came home to an empty house.
One day while resting on my bed in the Sunshine State, I tuned to spike TV. They announced that the movie Purple Rain was coming up next. I grabbed my sprinkling cider, a delicious non-alcoholic drink: very priestly drink, if I may say, and I do say! By the time I was done watching the movie, I was in horror. Why do men and women love so deeply and hate so passionately? Why is it that outside of a loving relationship there is usually no violence? Domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, and all kinds of emotional torture come from relationships that were founded on “LOVE”. This is the story of men: Love and Hate. Why? It is true friends fight, but once these become lovers, the war begins. Usually dating couples do not fight, but wait until they get married! Why?
After his divorce, a buddy of mine is in distress because his wife refuses to have a relationship with his mother. His argument is that her refusal to keep the adult relationship going with his mother results in their children migrating away from his mother, and from him. Her argument is, she did not want the divorce. He filed for the divorce. Given that therefore, he cannot demand that she loves his mother, who did nothing to encourage him to not file! She argues that her state as a daughter in law was founded on the marriage and once the marriage was done, the covenant of in-laws ceased to be. I wonder who is right. But the question remains, why do lovers fight?
The biblical narrative on Samson and Delilah shows us the mystery of love. But the issues of love, hate, passion, is best demonstrated in the case of King David and his family: What a mess! But the extent to which love and marriage can be catastrophic is seen in Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 13-20). The love between the two leads to Abraham’s fathering of Ishmael and Sarah’s digression into rage that leads a man to throw away his son. Imagine Abraham giving Hagar and his son a portion for a day knowing that they will be in the desert for days! Abraham and Sarah were sending the two to die, but the grace of God! This is the power of Love, and passion.
The theory that makes sense in explaining the passions of love is looking at what happened in the beginning. Before man fell, God created Adam with an intention of procreation. In order to force man to procreate, God created these invisible desires and instilled them in Adamu na Eva. Male and Female relationships can be described as states of mental absurdity. It is absurd that out of 1000 girls, a man focuses on one and pursues her with all he has got. And any negative vibe from friends or family results in his dismissing them. This is also true of a woman.
I know Christian women who have married Muslims knowing that Islam gives the man the right to marry multiple wives. But at the moment of absurdity, the woman does not care. Others marry men who clearly demonstrate their love for alcohol and at the state of absurdity the woman believes she can yank the alcohol out of them. Even the idea of the anatomy and physiology is absurd. The objects used to bring the greatest feeling in love are the same that are used for waste! (St Augustine). Yet the absurdity removes any sense of reason or rhyme. The desires that result from state of being male and female drive men to stop at Koinange street Nairobi at night to pick prostitutes. How does one have sex with a stranger? What drives people to this madness?
Divine agenda guarantees that humanity fulfills God’s obligation for them to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:26ff). We have multiplied. A couple friends of mine have four children. During the birth of their third child, the woman took the ring out of her hand and threw it across the hospital floor. She screamed, “I will never, never, never, have children again. He will not come close to me.” Here they are with four kids! That is the State of mental absurdity.
Genesis tells us that after the fall of man, God cursed the ground and Adam. Then He ordered that women bare children with pain, and that they desire their husbands. (Read Genesis 3:1ff) What we miss in this narrative is that God never removed the passions he instilled in man before the fall. Therefore sinful Adam and Eve find themselves trying to control passions and emotions that were meant for perfect man! So then, God established the war of the roses forever! May be to remind us of, “thou shall not?” May be.
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)
HTBluff Associates. An EMG Consortium #HTTBluff.
Diaspora messenger Senior Columnist