My single years were a beautiful mess.
By the time I was meeting Gathoni, I was in desperate need of saving. I was at that time living all by myself in a bed-sitter in a locality called Mirema. I worked as a Network Engineer for a local Telco firm and my life was consumed by work. Simply because I felt an emptiness inside that nothing seemed to fill.
I frequently fell into long bouts of dark depression and work was a welcome escape. I had lots of unresolved pain & hurt from my growing up years. Losing our parents while we were still young, heartbreaks, failures, and a lot of stuff.
And so when I met Gathoni, she was the breath of fresh air that I desperately needed. She was fun and secure in who she was. I was instantly drawn to her love & light and fell desperately in love with her. Slowly by slowly, I started to heal and I no longer had those dark thoughts of my past.
During the early years of our marriage, we began realizing that my healing was incomplete. The reason was that I had a very low view of myself and very little self-love for myself. It was like I was always in a little pity-party all by myself and Gathoni never got the invite. As a result of not loving myself enough, it became impossible for me to love anyone else including my beautiful wife. Let me break it down.
You can only love someone else to the extent that you love yourself. Listen to what Paul said
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.Ephesians 5:28
I had read this verse hundreds of times before, but God showed it to me in a different light. Because I did not love myself, it was impossible for me to love my Gathoni. I loved her in the same extent that I loved myself. This completely blew me away. The reason was that the pain from my past never healed completely. Even though Gathoni tried her best to pull me out of my dark hole, she could only do so much.
When we got married, I unknowingly came with the expectation that Gathoni would continue saving me, just like she had done during our dating days. Unfortunately, after some time she got tired of being Super-woman and mothering me. This made me so mad. That was her job, she had passed the interview & had signed up for it.
And so, because I was so focused on myself, I had not time to focus on anyone else. It was all about me. I could not love Gathoni, and it became very difficult for her to react respectfully towards me. And so because she was loved so little, she began losing her belief in me. She was no longer pushing me & believing in me. In fact, I felt like she looked down on me now that she knew the real me. This only served to confirm what I felt about myself, that I was too messed up for love.
And so the vicious cycle started and this marked the beginning of the end of our marriage.
God pointed to us that the issues in our marriage started way before we met each other. Before I met Gathoni, I was broken and incomplete. I thought that meeting Gathoni completed me, but I was very wrong. I placed on her the impossible responsibility & expectation of saving me. We were just setting up ourselves for failure.
I needed to be complete, whole, and healed before I got married. And this is the focus of our discussion today. Before you get married fellas, ensure that you have healed. Remember that you can only love a woman to the extent that you love yourself. Let’s go back to the genesis of all this hurt & pain in my life.
Be A Man!
This statement alone is single-handedly responsible for the damage to today’s males. When growing up, I heard this statement repeated to me severally. Be a man, Ben. Just be a man!
Being a man, meant you had to be strong, showing weakness and vulnerability was for the sissies. Even though you felt pain or hurt, you had to keep it inside yourself, that was what being a man was all about. I realized that unknowingly, I kept it all to myself. All the pain, hurt, abuse & failure, all of it was kept inside me. And so, I walked around with a lot of unresolved emotion, unprocessed & raw. BE A MAN!
For a lot of men, all this pent-up emotion will someday have to find an outlet. Something like a huge reservoir dam with no outlet.
Some, like myself, will implode internally and damage their own selves. Self-hate, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, are all fruits of this. For some men, the outlet will be external, they will take it out on others and the innocent victims are usually their spouses. That is why the cases of GBV are on the rise. Hurt people, hurt other people. That is why I pray, we will not repeat the same mistakes of telling our sons to “Be A Man”.
We will teach them that, showing vulnerability and pain is NOT a sign of weakness. The damage that this statement has made is so far-reaching and now we are just starting to see its effects.
Unless healing & restoration is done & done FAST, then this is only a tip of the iceberg that we are seeing.
For those like myself, who are already married, the 1st step would be to recognize that this is the culprit and start dealing with it urgently. For those yet to get married, the best thing would be to start the journey of healing, before you ask someone’s daughter to spend the rest of their life with you.
The White Smoke
About 3 years ago, our car developed some mechanical problems. It was producing a gigantic puff of white smoke sporadically as we drove. And so we sought some help and advice form mechanics on what might be the issue. None of them were able to resolve it and after a while we got a brilliant idea. What if we took the car back to the manufacturers and asked them to take a look at it?
When we did that, it only took a couple of hours before they diagnosed the issue and a few days to fix it. Up to today, the car has never had this issue again.
Similarly, there are lots of people who may offer advice on how to fix your brokenness. I would humbly request you to get a second opinion from your manufacturer, who is God. God is able to mend you where you are broken and take you through the journey of restoration & restitution.
The 1st step will be forgiveness. One of the things that started my healing process was forgiveness. Forgiving those who had hurt me, forgiving my late parents, and most importantly, forgiving myself. God pointed that out to me. That I was harboring a lot of unforgiveness and that was what was keeping me from my healing.
Before You Meet Her
Before you meet her, get yourself fixed. Surrender yourself to God and let Him work His healing balm all over you. Unless you are completely healed and restored, you will not be able to love anyone else fully.
That is why it is very important for a single man to spend time in the presence of God, just like Adam did before God gave him a wife. God will show you how to learn to forgive & love yourself again. How to reconcile with your past and move on to your promising future.
That is the only way you will be able to love another person again, because you have learnt to love yourself.
Jesus over emphasised these very words
The second most important commandment is this: ‘LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF’ There is no other commandment more important than these two.”Mark 12:31
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY
I am a disciple of Christ, passionate about serving God’s purpose to my generation. I am a husband to Gathoni Kiruthi and together God has blessed us with 3 amazing children