Does love make men strong or weak?
As my family and two other families sat in the living room of my Lagos residence during our weekly movie night, watching Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” last week, the thought about writing this article started to birth in me.
A man told Okonkwo (the main character) about a story that had to do with the relationship between one of the very elderly men in Umuofia their village and his wife. Okonkwo replied by saying something like this: “I thought they said that he was one of the strongest and bravest men in his days.”
Okonkwo’s thinking, as could be deduced from what he said, is that it is taboo for strong men to show emotions of love.
In my growing up years, some men who were so close to their wives were called, “woman wrapper.” Some males who shared the same plate of meals with their wives or often wore the same colour of dress were asked: “You be woman wrapper?”
I was in my room in my father’s house during my secondary school years, when my father suddenly walked in. He hardly did that. I think he sat down and I found that very strange. All he told me was that a man should spend more time with men and not with females.
After my parents gave birth to me, the seven children that came after me were all females. My mother’s elder brother used to travel down once in a while and he would gist and gist with my mother. My father then told me that the way my mother’s elder brother was spending time with her is not how a man is supposed to spend time with females.
From what I could see and from what he said, my father was scared that spending time with my seven sisters and my mother could make me become a weak man. So, from that very day, whenever I was with my mother or sisters and I saw my father coming, I would take off. I wanted to be the strong boy he wanted me to be. My father did not say it loud and clear, but I think he also belonged to the group of people who felt and still feel that love makes men weak.
About 14 years ago, when I saw that my love for my wife was no longer growing, but stagnant; I decided that one of my birthday resolutions every year was to decide to allow the love of God that was imparted into me at the point of my being made a new creature to deliberately flow in greater quantity to my destiny wife, Carol. And I have discovered that loving God and my wife more and more is making me stronger and happier. It is also making my wife stronger and happier. So, I can safely conclude from my personal experience that love makes men strong. It is only those that love has made to be blind that love makes weak, like Samson, whose love for Delilah made him blind before he became physically blind. Love makes men strong. Love you!