Today, I read a newspaper article with the headline, “Remember we are in Covid-19 Lock Down.” I thought the headline was a great method of catching the reader’s eye, encouraging a read. The article goes like this:
Outside we wear masks, but indoors the masks are off and true identities reveal themselves.
Hiding behind a mask is so easy … you can’t see the smile or the anger! The article continues:
[A lady] was engaged to her then-fiancé for five months, and they were set to get married in December 2020. For a while, things had been going well between the 28-year-old and her fiancé until Covid-19 hit. … [She says], “We’ve always lived apart, but we decided that we would quarantine together at my place. We’ve always had sleepovers, so we didn’t expect much to change this time around. Little did I know that 30 days of being under the same roof would lead to calling off our engagement and saving me from marrying the wrong person. The first week of being under lockdown together at my place was terrific. We cooked together, watched our favourite shows, and just enjoyed spending time together. We worked in separate rooms and would have lunch together on the patio. Our routine worked, and it was such a delight having him around. One evening, it became apparent that he did not respect my career. I’m an art director for a beauty and lifestyle brand, and he is a financial advisor. On that specific evening, he told me that he doesn’t understand why we need to take turns cooking because my work isn’t as demanding as his because all I do is ‘create mood boards for photoshoots.’ His tone was condescending and dismissive. I was utterly shocked at the things he said and felt like I had gotten the wind knocked out of me. Who was this man that I was living with, and how could he disrespect me like this? But I didn’t say anything. I had an important meeting on the following day, dinner to cook, and I couldn’t face such a serious conversation. In a non-cohabitating situation, I probably would have broken up with him right then (it was that bad) or taken time to re-evaluate our relationship seriously. I did neither of those things. I told myself that I could change his mind sometime in the future and left it there. We went to sleep that night as usual. Unfortunately, similar situations played out over and over again in the coming weeks. He eventually stopped entirely helping around in the house, and his other excuse was that he bought the groceries; therefore, he didn’t need to do anything. On day 30 of the extended lockdown, I sat him down and voiced out my concerns and worries regarding his remark and his actions of late. He was quite nonchalant about it and didn’t see anything wrong with how he views my career. ‘I’m sorry if I hurt you, but I’m just trying to show you that my job is far more strenuous than your creative career.’ – those are the words that made the situation clear to me. I realised that I couldn’t be marrying someone who has low-key been a misogynist, and disrespects my career and me. Living with him was draining, and after a lengthy and emotionally taxing discussion, I ended things with my fiancé. As you can imagine, I am still grieving and hurting, but I’m glad it happened. It is less painful to call off a wedding than it is to file for divorce later on. Funny how a global pandemic revealed the cracks in our relationship! I don’t think trying to live with someone for the first time when there’s the pressure of a pandemic, with absolutely nothing else to do besides work and being in each other’s faces, is a good idea. I also wish there were some guidelines for dealing with breakups in quarantine. Usually, when you go through a breakup, you spend time with your friends, going out, and meeting new people, and that’s not possible right now. I’m healing and taking it one step at a time.”
Her story is sad and one wants to be sympathetic … then you re-read the story and realize that a few fundamental mistakes were made from both sides.
Firstly, the relationship was built upon lust and not love (as a good friend of mine would say). They were engaged and had sleep overs and with the arrival of Covid-19 they lived together full time. Not one in their right mind is going to believe they lived in different rooms for a sleepover or once they shacked up. We live in 2020 … and know that intimacy was active. They broke the first spiritual law of ‘engagement’ by being sexual before the ‘ring thing’ made the relationship permanent. Remember, engagement is not marriage! (Look how easy it was to break the engagement!)
The second relational fault was that she thought she would and could change his ‘mindset’ after a while. He is a male chauvinist and bigot! Only his opinion and comfort is important to him. You accept a person’s ‘mindset’ or reject it because you will never get someone to change–if they do it is superficial and temporal! She said: “I also wish there were some guidelines for dealing with breakups in quarantine.” There are guidelines, not just for the quarantine period, but for all time … for life! It’s called the Bible. When people ignore the Bible, they land up getting hurt … badly … with dreams shattered! The concept of “Try before you buy” is not Biblical. In the Bible, an engagement (betrothal) lasted for at least one year. After that the man would take the lady home as his wife and only then would he consummate the marriage. Compare this to the lady above who gave herself fully to this man who gave little in return. So often, all kinds of people make this mistake, whether young or old. When will we learn? Scripture is clear:
1Co 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
1Co 7:2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
1Th 4:3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.
Dear God, please help Your people, especially the younger ones, to follow Your guidelines regarding intimacy, engagement and marriage. Graciously protect all Blood washed souls to honour You in their relationships. Amen.