Today we were introduced to vocab around marriage. In Swahili, there are different words for ‘to marry’ depending on whether you’re talking about a man or a woman. To simplify, you talk about a man being married in the active voice – he marries someone – but about a woman in the passive voice – she is married to someone. On one level it’s semantics and etymology, on the other, language is tied up with culture. Read more
Posts tagged ‘marriage’
Arthur and I make an effort to do some sort of marriage building activity each year (e.g. read a book, do a course, etc.) Recently when friends loaned us Laugh your way to a better marriage, we thought we’d give that a go.
It’s a set of 3 DVD sessions – better than a book because you can do it together and it’s less time-consuming. Mark Gungor is an American pastor / marriage counsellor /comedian. While he comes with a Christian worldview, this is definitely more pop-psychology than theology and would be suitable for most married couples, not just Christians.
The three sessions are on the differences between men and women; sex; and forgiveness. Read more
Arthur and I went to a seminar on marriage with our Sudanese friends once. We were all ready to have a discussion about Ephesians 5 or 1 Peter 3 but our friends saw nothing controversial there. They wanted to talk about dowries. Living in Australia, the traditional dowry of cows was much more expensive than it was in the Sudan. How would they ever afford to get married?
This week, the values of marriage across cultures are again in the spotlight. Daily Life ran an article about Kenyan legislation to legalise polygamy. It’s aimed at making sure that all wives have the same rights but controversy has arisen because it also does away with the bride price. Read more
At a deputation event yesterday, a lovely and very supportive older woman asked me, ‘What does your husband do?’ At first I was confused. ‘We’re both going to Tanzania,’ I said. Then I worked out, she was asking because she’s assuming that Arthur’s the ‘missionary’ and I’m ‘the wife’.
That’s how ‘missions’ used to be — like, back in the 50s — they’d list the man as the missionary, and after his name there’d be a little ‘w’ (for ‘wife’) if he was married. These days, both partners are seen to have a significant role to play, regardless of who is the official visa holder. CMS talks about sending families.
Anyway, I said that we’d be working in student ministry together at a university. That’s reflected on our residency permits as well – Arthur and I both had to fill one in. (Although admittedly, I went on Arthur’s as ‘accompanying wife’ but there was no place for me to write about my ‘accompanying husband’ on mine!)
Most nights, Arthur reads me to sleep. Most of the time, it’s quite soothing. Other times, it’s too exciting. Occasionally, there’s a particularly stand-out moment. Like this one, when he launches into the Grand High Witch’s song from Roald Dahl’s The Witches.
For those who are not familiar with the story, she’s incredibly evil and is singing a song about using poisoned sweets to turn children into mice. The potion she uses is called Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse-Maker.