Friday October 1st: My vocation is love
October 1, 2021
A Catholic Foodie: Mhmmm! Moreish Brownies
October 1, 2021

Good relationship advice

African couple having relationship problems, Cape Town, South Africa

By Niobe Rodrigues

In my childhood home, there was this quote on the wall attributed to Welsh theologian Matthew Henry:  Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”

Genesis 2:21 says: “So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.”

In Genesis 2, we have an expanded version of the creation of man and woman. Man had been created and he was the only one like him. He was different from the animals that he had the responsibility of naming. None of the other creatures had lordship over the rest of creation. After finishing this job, God put man in a deep sleep so as to create someone special for him. While man slept, God removed part of man to make woman. The relationship was made by God. What are our intentions when we enter into a romantic relationship especially as a single person?

My single days are long behind me but during that time, one might say I was particular, otherwise known as fussy. I think when I was in Form 3 at school the Religious Instruction teacher advised writing down what we wanted in the future including a potential partner. I lost the paper before I graduated from secondary school but at about age 19, I wrote the qualities that I looked for in a person and I think it served me well.

The start of a relationship cannot only be a matter of what we can see. Perhaps this is why Adam had to be put to sleep. A rib had to be taken from him so that he would be aware when he woke up that something had been taken from him. He had to sacrifice for the relationship to be formed. God used that rib to create his partner. In relationships, we must both give and take to create something new.

The song this week is ‘Good Intentions’, a duet by Jahzy Daniel and Vanessa Briggs.

The first verse starts: “I gotta watch how I step to ya, daughter of Jehovah”. Later on, Vanessa sings, “We won’t play, We won’t play, We won’t play, This not a game…Let’s exalt His name…”. The duet is deep because it shows the responsibility of both man and woman in the relationship. Seeing the woman as God’s daughter and understanding that their intimacy is not something to play around with.

Romantic involvements whether while dating, courting, engaged, or married take from us to be given to the other. It is hard to continuously be the only one sacrificing while the other only takes. In some unions, it seems like women pay for that rib through their nose without the man realising that they were both made to help each other. On both sides of the fence, some jump in and out of liaisons with others without realising that they are leaving ribs with those who will never put flesh, or a ring on it, and there are hearts exposed to permanent damage.

Before looking for man—or woman—sleep on it with God watching over your potential connection. Consider if this is the person really worth making the sacrifice for. Is this the one you would thank God that you have or praise God that you had not? How do you sleep while keeping your eyes open? Go to adoration. Go on a retreat. Invite the potential partner to church with you. Go to Engaged Encounter before getting married. Stay vertical before heading horizontal. Broken ribs puncture lungs. Broken hearts aren’t easy to mend. Ask God to put the flesh on your relationship, your union, your marriage today.