Kuwa Maskini Sio Ulemavu: Building a Marriage on Faith, Not Finances

A man and a woman seated apart on an bench during the COVID pandemic

“Being poor or lacking is not a disability.” This Swahili saying, “Kuwa maskini sio ulemavu,” holds a powerful truth. Poverty may be a temporary reality, but it shouldn’t define our relationships.

Early one Monday morning, driving home at 3 am, my driver, Kamau, not his true name, shared his story about his marriage ending during COVID. Hearing about broken relationships hits hard, especially coming from a family where many haven’t made it work. It made me yearn for a marriage built on God, a foundation strong enough to weather any storm. Thankfully, I have that with my partner. We’ve faced financial hardships together, yet God’s faithfulness has carried us through.

But what truly tests marriages?

Money Matters, But Faith Matters More

Finances are a major stressor in relationships. People leave marriages because of poverty, forgetting that marriage is a covenant. It’s not about feelings, but about a commitment before God and your spouse. It’s about seeking their well-being, not just your own.

Putting our needs first is a recipe for disaster. Instead, let’s prioritize honesty, truth, and faithfulness over fleeting physical desires. These shallow pursuits won’t sustain a marriage.

COVID: A Lesson in Proximity and Purpose

Studies show a rise in divorces during COVID. Couples forced together under one roof, with altered work dynamics, realized they weren’t truly compatible. Yet, for those built on faith, COVID offered a chance to strengthen their bond. We learned to navigate each other’s quirks, creating a foundation that can withstand any future crisis.

Building on Rock, Not Sand

The problem is, many relationships are built on shaky ground – fleeting beauty, wealth, sex appeal, or personality traits. While these things can be appreciated, they shouldn’t be the reason for marriage. Seek God’s will first. When we choose our partners aligned with His plan, He offers us the best gifts.

Kamau’s bitterness resonated with me. I reminded him that God’s plans are always good, and we should find gratitude in every circumstance. Our response to God’s voice ultimately shapes our lives.

Hope for Singles: Wait on the Lord’s Timing

To my single friends yearning for marriage in your thirties, I say this: wait on the Lord. He will provide for your needs and offer you the perfect partner in His perfect timing. As the scripture says, “Wait upon the Lord, for He will renew your strength” (Isaiah 40:31).

Remember, financial hardship is not a reflection of God’s favor. True love, built on faith and commitment, can overcome any obstacle. Let’s choose partners with whom we can walk hand-in-hand through life’s storms, knowing that together, with God as our guide, we can build a love that endures.

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