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Love is a fire


Charles Ighele

It was love at first sight the very day Segun and Tina saw each other for the first time. Both of them were to tell their friends later that the Spirit of God in them woke up their human spirits to the truth that they were meant for each other. After exchanging contacts, they discovered that they had so many things in common. Segun began to feel that if he is not fast enough, a smart person might take Tina away from him. His love for Tina knew no bounds.

On Tina’s part, she had fallen seriously in love with Segun. But as females with self-respect are expected to behave, she decided never to allow Segun know of her love for him. She felt that if Segun seriously loves her as she has started noticing, he would propose.

Three months after getting to know each other, Segun could not take it any longer. His love for her brought him so much joy. But on the other hand, there were also the fear and consequent pains of losing her to a smarter man. He is a real Christian who does not run after women for sexual satisfaction. He has never asked any girl for her love before. One beautiful Sunday morning, he summoned courage and decided to worship at Tina’s church, with the plan of proposing marriage to her after service. Eventually, the two lovebirds got married. Anyone who knew them could feel their love during courtship.

After they got married and moved to a cute three-bedroom flat, one could feel the love in their home. Theirs was a perfect example of how a couple should be in love the way God wants it to be. They cared about each other’s interests and feelings. After about four years of marriage with two children, their love for each other started getting cold. They had “fallen out of love.” Like another couple said about their own love lives, they loved each, but they were no longer in love with each other.

Tina and Segun’s marriage became a functional marriage. They were not quarreling, but they discovered that the things they discussed were the children, family finance, in-law relationships and other family responsibilities. The long chats they used to have ceased because mummy had to look after the toddlers and supervise the home, while daddy was with his computer or glued to the television.

I have noticed this kind of transition in many homes from deeply loving marriages to functional marriages. By functional marriage, I mean a marriage, where the man fully plays the role of a husband and the woman performs all the duties expected of a wife. Why is this trend common in many marriages, you may ask? Love is one of the most delicate feelings one can ever have. Real love is deeper than feelings, but it must produce feelings. Love that has no feelings is difficult for me to understand as deep enough. Love needs a lot of care and attention. Like a newborn baby, love must not be left unattended to.

What Segun and Tina and many do not understand is this: love does not grow all by itself. It needs to be nurtured. Love is like a fire made with wood that needs constant fanning. After getting married to Carol, I vowed that our love would never get cold. After over thirty years of marriage, people who know us are aware of some deliberate steps we take to fan the fire of our marital lives because love is a fire. Love you.

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