WHAT IS YOUR STRUGGLE?

“Life is a book – read it!

Life is a journey – go through it!

Life is a feeling – experience it!

Life is a theory – prove it!

Life is an examination – pass it!”

This is the crap I used to write / practice in the initial days of learning Ms Word of Ms Office package (basic computer knowledge for everyone 😁) and used to feel so great about myself 🤣🤣. And seriously show it to the trainer in the disguise of getting my learnings checked – Look at the hidden writer in me, how philosophical I am (now I am realizing what a fool I was🤣). Well that was back in 2004-05, I was just 19 then. Now you know my age 😉. Old enough to understand what life is about? May be 😊.

It is a struggle for sure that is designed to check your temperament. The magnitude of struggle differ from person to person; situation to situation; day to day.

Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy – macro struggles (countries / economies are in constant face offs with these issues).

Anger, greed, lust, materialistic attachments – struggles of every soul.

But I am not educated enough to discuss anything so deep, serious and profound. So why not open up about our struggles that are no less serious than these 😁.

My biggest struggles: I am sure the list might seem and sound funny but definitely not easy to fight and even sure that all of us without any exception have such interesting struggles:

  • I struggle to keep my eyes wide open from the moment I enter any vehicle be it car, auto rickshaw, train, bus – just name it. This is the reason I refrain from sitting next to my husband in our car because as they say if you sleep sitting next to the driver you will surely rub off your yawning spirit on to him and driving needs utmost concentration.
  • I struggle to keep my diet on track. My taste buds accustomed to Dilli style spicy food (for Delhites its never Delhi but Dilli) salads and health drinks are too bland and boring. And sweet tooth is only aggravating my fight to keep a check on calories intake. But the only solace in this battle is that I am not alone 😉. There’s an entire army of food lovers who are finding it difficult to switch to alternative choices 😁.
  • I struggle to strictly stick to the list of “To Do Things” in a day. Yes, you call it Procrastination and I chose to term it laziness. Being blunt might give enough impetus to fight it😁.
  • I struggle to call a spade A Spade and that got me into soup lot many times.
  • Keeping things and forgetting them and worrying about the things ensuing.

That was just a glimpse into my mundane yet not trivial struggles. We all have such struggles that are laughed off, ridiculed but they have their own place in making our lives interesting, give us few memories. Won’t you agree? If yes open up about your “Struggles”.

ERUPT – XIV

Yes, I did just that but you know it had a manifold effect on Jay. He turned from riches to rags in no time. The humiliation he received on national television, the way the media stripped his character and the way he was kicked out by his own political party had a deep impact on him. He was nothing more than a wretched man. And you know there can never be a punishment bigger than having to plead and seek help and ask for forgiveness from someone who was once a puppet in your hands.” Reeta replied beaming with pride.

Do you mean you helped Jay? Are you still in contact with him?” Asked Nidhi with squinted eyes. There was a look of surprise on the face of everyone present in the room except Rex because he was aware of what Reeta had done really. He pitched in to explain to the audience.

Reeta not only forgive him but also gave him a new lease of life. After all that happened with Jay as an aftermath of Reeta unveiled the true face of his, he became very vulnerable. There was no place he could go and there was no alliance he could turn to. Everyone treated him like a piece of dirt. His political support was backed out, he did not receive any favors in cash or kind and soon he was left unemployed. He couldn’t come to terms with the turn of events and he took to alcohol. Needless to say he used to breathe, sleep and wear alcohol. Newspapers reported him to be found on streets of Mumbai in a semi conscious state because of over consumption of alcohol.”

Everyone in the room were listening to Rex’s narration intently.

Reeta chipped in and continued further. “One night Jay called me. He was under the influence of alcohol. He first started swearing at me and blamed me for his condition. Well, I was indeed responsible for it but I did not regret it even a bit. I was calmly hearing him out. Some how I was confident that he cannot harm me any further. He continued spitting venom for some more time and then suddenly be broke down. He started crying like a helpless child wandering on a lost road. He asked for my forgiveness. He said he wanted to change. He said he wanted to live a decent life again and asked if I could help him and suddenly he passed out. Having lived with this man for 15 years, I could sense that there was a streak of truth in what he just said. I used my contacts and networking and found out more about him. It turned out that he was actually telling the truth that day. So I decided to do my bit and got him admission to the rehab center so he has a shelter and gets a square meal a day and also frees himself from the shackles of alcoholism.

Slowly the crowd started clapping and applauding. A girl stood up and questioned Reeta, “What are you made up of ma’am! You have a heart of gold!”

Somewhere in Mumbai

Jay returned to his cottage after a hard day’s work. He cooked for himself a humble meal of daal rice. Ever since he returned from the rehab center he was a changed man. He lived a simple life. To earn a living he served at an old age home through the day. His routine would never deviate from his cottage and old age home and there was no element of any change or excitement what so ever. But today it was different. He couldn’t contain his excitement today because he had received a letter from Reeta in the morning. The chores at the old age home kept him so busy that he couldn’t even think of reading the letter then but now that he was home and done with dinner he couldn’t wait any more.

With trembling hands heart filled with love and respect he opened the letter…

Hi Jay,

Hope you are doing better now. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you as a changed man. I am proud of you Jay, it’s not easy to take the wrong path and find the right one again but you made it happen. I know your hands were trembling when you opened this letter and I know you will not sleep for nights together after you read this letter. I just know you well, after all, a woman knows her man like a sailor knows the sea!

Well, my secretary told me that you wanted to talk to me by meeting me in person. I am sorry Jay, I will not meet you. Not that I don’t have time but because I can’t spend even a second more with you than what I already have. I can read your mind Jay, I know you want to talk me in to getting back and starting a new life together but I am sorry Jay I can’t do that. That Reeta is dead long time ago. I am a fiercely independent woman now. The toughest time of my life curated me in to the best version of myself and I want the same should happen to you. Be the best version of yourself Jay, you don’t need anyone for that. There is a long way to go Jay. Continue to serve the elderly people and collect their blessings. That way you may feel little better from the torments of wrongs that you have committed. Apologies and regrets will fetch you nothing.

Stop thinking about how our life was together – good or bad. That is not going to help because now you are on your own. Think about how you want to channelize the energy and effort to make yourself competent enough to live rest of the life decently. Having said that, feel free to contact my organization for any kind of help if need be. We shall continue making fixed deposits in your name which you can redeem by presenting work certificate and salary slips. This will shield you from financial crisis if at all they arise in future.

Wishing you all the best.

Your’s truly,

Reeta
Founder of Shelter of Justice

 

THE END

ERUPT – XIII

Everyone in the hall were quiet and were listening attentively to Reeta when they were interrupted.

Ma’am, there’s a man who has come to meet you, but I asked him to wait outside in the waiting hall,” Ambika, Reeta’s secretary came to the meeting hall and informed her.

Does he have a name, Ambika?” Reeta asked with her eyes squinted.

Sorry Ma’am, his name is Rex, that’s what he said.” Ambika said.

Oh, Rex!” Reeta’s face lighted up as soon as she heard the name. She looked at the group of women she was talking to and said excitedly, “Speak of the devil and devil is here… You guys are so fortunate to meet the real man about whom I was telling you all… the man who rescued me when I was lying unconscious on the sea beach, you remember.” All the women giggled listening about the rescuer and were curious to see him as Reeta went out to meet and welcome Rex to the rehab room.

Reeta hugged Rex with joy of meeting him after so many years. It had been already 7 years from the time of their first meeting on the beach and after 5 years since they had met each other last. Reeta was always in touch with Rex as she had no one to support her. She struggled so much, running from pillar to post to stand on her feet. They could not speak much with each other at that particular time as Reeta was in her class with those victimized group of women who were rescued and given shelter at Shelter of Justice, an organisation founded and owned by her. 

All of them were eagerly waiting to listen to the latter part of Reeta’s story and to see Rex, a kind man, in their own eyes. Reeta walked in to the hall along with Rex introducing him while all others clapped and welcomed him. Rex acknowledged the respect he received and took his seat beside her as she started to speak.

Now I can continue with my life’s story while enjoying the presence of this great man. Guess what? I am feeling nervous now…” She said laughing while all others giggled as well.

Everyone’s eyes were fixed on Reeta as she went down her memory lane…

I was overwhelmed with emotions because of the life changing incidents that had been happening in my life for last couple of days. Though I heard Rex’s sorrowful stories,I had no patience to understand his pain at that particular time. But I was sure what I should be doing and what I was planning that night. I thanked Rex for everything that he had done for me and being my support for sometime and walked out of his house. Rex asked me to stay back at her place instead of going here and there at that hour of the night but I didn’t want that he should be attacked or harassed for my sake. That’s the reason why I just took his phone number before walking away from him. 

I didn’t know where to go as I was walking on the sands in the darkness while the moon beam shined over me with the silent sea seeming to be apathetic towards my plight. Tears were rolling down my cheeks as I walked as if there was no strength in my feet but I just dragged them to move ahead to an aimless journey of my life. I had a bag and some money with me which I had arranged before walking out of the house The Kapoor Mansion forever.  

Reeta was in tears and wiping it while narrating her condition of that dreadful night. The women surrounding her were in tears too. Rex was quiet and was happy to see a new Reeta in front of him who had grown up to be a leader and rescuer herself. 

Reeta gathered herself again to tell the tale further…

That night I went straight to the train station and took a train for Kolkata, knowing that it would be a cheaper place to live in and far away from the reach of that monster. If he was in the west, I was heading towards the east. It was a mindset that I will simply go in the opposite direction from him. My life in Kolkata was never safe even if I came here far from and on the opposite direction of where Jay was but I had that wish to fight and stand on my own to show to the world around me that, ‘No one can oppress me, living with dignity is my right as it is for any other human created by the same God.’ 

I had been mistreated, misbehaved with, misinterpreted, misunderstood yet no one could suppress me or oppress me anymore. It was this man, Rex, who never left me… He used to call me twice a day, once in the morning when I used to go out searching for a job or earning and once in the night before I sleep. I started working in different houses as a babysitter. That was the safest work that I found at that particular time as I needed a place to stay as well instead of on the road along with the street beggars. I helped everyone that I met on my way, who were oppressed and suppressed by others and I kept making friends along the way. 

I started teaching the kids on the street while I babysat and soon drew attention of those who were sold out for these causes. I was appointed as a social worker as I had my education backing me. And this man was the happiest when I told him that I got a job, a respectful job. 

Reeta smiled looking at Rex as he bowed his head down, acknowledging her praises. 

And here, you all see me, your Reeta… Reeta Didi, Reeta Ma’am whatever you call me today. I could found this shelter because of this friend of mine who gave me shelter seven years ago amidst all the odds. Do you all know? This man was harassed even after I took the precaution of not being associated with him. That monster, Jay, forced him and humiliated him to know where I have gone. He tolerated everything for me as a good friend and didn’t open his mouth.” Reeta spoke while clasping her hand with Rex’s with gratitude. 

That day’s talk was about to be over with Reeta’s long and dreadful story. The women were so encouraged to hear her story. Rex was happy to see that vulnerable woman lying on the beach whom he rescued once, is a powerhouse now for all others. But there was one young girl who was raped by her colleagues who was not looking very happy and satisfied. Although all of them were still more or less in traumatic state and trying to recover slowly.

What happened dear Nidhi? Do you need anything my child?” Reeta asked looking at her attentively.

How could you just leave that monster to live so happily? You left him by just ruining his career? Did he deserve only that much, not more than that?” Nidhi responded posing these questions.

Reeta smiled looking at her, she could understand the cause of Nidhi’s anger for Jay, for all those monsters. And it was her responsibility to make the young mind understand how to deal with those emotions…

ERUPT – XII

“Wh . . . What are you doing here and at this time?,” blurted out Rex with a bewildered voice as he opened the door for Reeta to step in. He hadn’t imagined in his wildest dreams to see her again in his cottage. As she stepped in, he peeped out behind her to make sure she hadn’t got any reporters with her.

“I came to thank you,” said Reeta with a crisp voice, devoid of any emotion. “I can see that just like everyone else, you have watched it too,” she continued to say glancing towards the television which was still ON.

“I’ll fix you some coffee. Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable,” said Rex showing his hand towards the same chairs where she had sat watching the waves and sipping ginger tea, the day he had brought her to his cottage first.

As Rex proceeded to his coffee maker, he couldn’t make much sense of Reeta’s visit.

‘After all that she has told the public, she probably can’t ever go back to her house. Does she want shelter here? I have to be careful. These high profile people can change colours any time. Or is she here to make me fall for her? She has an emotional vaccuum within her now and after all that she has told about feeling safe here, she may be looking to win my sympathy. Help me God! What do I do? How can I be of help to her without inviting trouble for myself?,’ Rex muttered to himself as he fixed two cups of coffee.

The sea was calm that night, symbolizing the uncanny calmness that Reeta felt within her. She sat in the same chair. But, there was no view of the sea as it was a dark moonless night. Two days before, she had been in the same place. The sea was rough and noisy then, and so was her heart within. Her life had seemed to be crashing again and again as were the waves on the shore that day. Today however, everything was different. The sea was calm and so was her heart within. Probably, the sea was acknowledging her feelings and reflecting them.

“Here you go, Reeta, if I may call you so, now that I know your name,” said Rex with a wink placing a tall mug of coffee before her. “By the way, you said some good things about me while answering to that reporter. I appreciate your kind words. Umm…mmm…let me share a slice of my life with you,” he continued without giving her any opportunity to speak. He was determined not to give any space for her to leap into his life.

“You know why I picked you up from the sandy beach that night? Well, of course, you know! I had told you,” said Rex with a laugh and a wave of his hand as emotions visibly swelled within him. “But, there’s more to it. Fifteen years ago, my sister . . . my only sweet younger sister . . . was swept away by the waves into the bottomless sea. It was a winter afternoon and she was lying lazily on the sea beach when a huge sudden wave swept across and pulled her in, along with the flow of current. No one could save her. It happened so quickly. I was right here inside this cottage and ran out on hearing the cries of people only to find her scarf nestled on a nearby rock. There was no sight of her. Perhaps, the scarf was her good-bye gift to me!,” sighed Rex wiping off the tears that streamed down his cheeks.

“Her name was Riva. She was twenty, then. And when I saw you that morning lying unguarded and unconscious, I felt a compelling urge not to let some sudden wave sweep you off without your knowledge. Another brother should not lose a sister, was what occurred to my mind instantly,” said Rex raising his voice suddenly.

“Of course, I don’t know if you have a brother. But if you have, I’m sure he’ll be glad to see you alive,” said Rex blowing his nose into a tissue.

Reeta sat motionless letting every word of Rex sink in. She had finished her coffee and had placed the cup on the table, this time carefully. Rex’s words seemed like a fairy tale to her. She had never witnessed such love, an orphan that she was!

“Remember, the mug that crashed to pieces that day when you were here?,” asked Rex with a sudden tinkle in his voice. “That belonged to Mary, my late wife. A pretty petite cheerful woman she was! We were married for twelve wonderful years. Three years back she developed a rare skin infection. I never thought a skin infection could take life. But, it did. It has been two years since my Mary left me. I loved Mary and so it never occurred to me to look at you with lust when I held you in my arms and brought you in, even though you were unaware of yourself that day. I have sealed my loyalty to Mary before God and that holds true to me to this day, even with her being gone to a land of no-return,” said Rex with sadness in his voice.

“Mary and I used to sit by the window and sip hot chocolate every evening. That mug reminded me of Mary’s presence in my life. When that mug crashed, I felt that I had failed her. I could do nothing to save her from death. And, I could do nothing to prevent her memory from crashing. But, don’t be mistaken. I haven’t pushed her away from me,” Rex got up from the chair saying this and went to the kitchen. He pulled open a drawer and took out a clear bag from it. He went to Reeta and held it up for her to see.

There was that golden mug, broken, but neatly joined together with the cracks clearly visible!

 

CHASTITY IN THE LAND OF LUST

Understanding Lust:

I have seen people using lust and love as similar meaning words on many occasions. But the meanings of these two words are completely different.

Unlike love, lust is extremely self-centered, it never allows a person to see anyone else but himself or herself, it lets a person focus someone’s physical body than their inner beauty and it lets a person to have physical intimacy than establishing a deep emotional bonding with another.

Let me explain how lust can affect a person…

Have you ever seen a drunkard blabbering on a road tottering from this side to that side of it? Yes, we all must have witnessed it many times on the streets.

Do people take him seriously whatever he says in that fully drunk state? No, because we all know it very well that the drunkard is not in his own control.

Lust is a state something of that kind. It is an experience of intense carnal urges and unbridled sexual craving. Lust is not an emotion, but it involves the experience of fleshly enjoyment with anticipation of sexual pleasure.

Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and psychoanalyst says, “Lust provides a rare window through which you can view your vulnerabilities as you are swept away by your imagination.”

But the condition is, only if we can realise about our vulnerabilities then we can learn from it for a future reference otherwise we move towards destruction gradually.

Depth of Lust:

We all know, how different companies produce different products for their customers according to what they wished in their minds. In the same way, the media produces different films and series basing on the mindsets and desires of people of this world today.

Would you believe that the psychological disorders which I had studied while doing a counselling degree are now slowly being accepted as sexual preferences or choices?

Let me explain…

BDSM which has been unknown to most of the people previously has become popular among many today. I feel very scared to even think about it even.

I watched a series recently on the same subject and was amazed how it ended. A married woman who loves her husband a lot. The husband is a very good man and loves his wife as well. They didn’t have any problems whatsoever. But the woman always feels very lonely staying all the time at home when her husband is at work. She eventually meets a man on a chatting site who insists her to meet him at his place. She doesn’t agree initially but thought of giving a try as she is attracted to what the man used to write about sexual submission and dominance. And finally, she visits him and submits to his dominance. She suffers from a psychological issue later on and to help her out, her husband comes to know about her secret life. The story ends with the husband releasing his wife to that man. Message of the story was – Lust won over the chastity of marriage.

Examples like the above, are many, I can’t list them out all here.

Famous psychiatrist and author Judith Orloff, M.D. rightly says, “As a psychiatrist, I’ve seen how intense sexual attraction is notorious for obliterating common sense and intuition in the most sensible people.”

Crimes Led By Lust:

Lust is an intense mental state which leads a person to commit heinous and soul stirring crimes.

The Bible mentions a good king who fell for a beautiful woman, slept with her and to marry her, he murdered her husband craftily.

We are aware of the crimes against women and children in the forms of sexual abuses, molestations, rapes caused by lust.

Have you ever heard about ‘Lust Murder’? Wikipedia explains, “A lust murder is a homicide in which the offender searches for erotic satisfaction by killing someone”. I was shaken literally when I read this sentence.

Apart from strong sexual urges, lust can also depict intense cravings for food, money and power as well which ultimately leads to various small and big crimes happening daily around us. Lust of money leads people to rob things from others. Lust of food makes people sick and obese. Lust of power creates disparity in the country and war situations around the world.

Chastity against lust:

In this context of lust, talking about Chastity seems meaningless and impossible. Isn’t it? It looks like Chastity has been swallowed up by the lust of human beings in this world. But we all are aware of the consequences; lust can only lead us to destruction.

The Bible stirs our minds with few thought-provoking questions –

“Can a man take fire in his bosom
And his clothes not be burned?
Or can a man walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?”

We know the answer very well. Lust is like fire, like burning hot coals that can burn our chest, our body if we embrace onto it. It can burn our feet if we walk on its path.

Chastity is also a state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse. Basically, chastity means sexual purity.

So, as human we can live in one or other way – live a life of purity or lead an impure life. We can’t stay in a 50-50 condition because, a tiny bit of impurity soils and spoils everything. Yes, I understand that we as human are not perfect, we have weaknesses but there have to have a constant striving within us for perfection – moving from impurity to purity. When we stay stagnant at a point, we stay impurity of lust.

In short, I want to mention a few helpful points for our striving towards Chastity in the land of lust. They are as under:

Guarding my eyes: The Bible says, ““I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman”. There’s a tendency in us to look at another person of the opposite sex with lust but when we prayerfully practice it not to do so, one day we see the result ourselves. Practice makes a man perfect. But there has to have goal setting and willingness to strive for a life of purity.

Guarding my mind: The Bible says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”The Bible verse doesn’t contradict the natural instinct of human beings getting attracted to the physical bodies of people of the opposite gender. In fact, that is how we are made! But, lust in the mind creates a craving for adultery in action – “a thought of having physical or sexual relationship with the woman I am looking at.”The eyes look at the woman, sends the message back and there’s a thought evolves in the mind instructing the eyes to look at the woman again and again. But when we guard our mind by constant striving, we can help stopping the lustful thought process and ultimately, we can hope for a positive result one day.

Guarding my steps: I always need to know whom I am following, what I am following. Am I feeding myself with filthy stuffs or feeding myself with good things? I can’t expect to be pure if I keep watching pornography. I can’t expect to be compassionate if I rear hatred in my heart. I can’t strive for chastity if I keep looking at this woman or that.

The Bible says,Don’t imitate the behavior and patterns of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” If I want to change the mindset of my community and the people around me then I have to first change myself. That is possible if I do what is right. I can do what is right if I know and understand what is right. If I follow what people are doing then I will surely be faltering sooner or later. I need to know where and how I am walking in my life.

Friends! Preaching is easy, practicing is very hard, and living it, is all the more difficult. It is a challenge for all of us to maintain Chastity in the midst of a lustful world but it is not impossible and also beneficial for us. Let’s keep guarding our eyes, our minds, and our steps.

Stay Blessed!

IS MY LOVING YOU, APPROVED BY YOUR SPOUSE OR PARENTS OR SOCIETY?

Oh boy! I was in the impression that this topic would be an easy one… But it’s not so… Now, I realised why the writers like Pradita and Kuljeet felt safe to run away from the battlefield 😛 . Even most of my writer friends kind of deviated from the main subject. I might twist it a bit as well… 😉

Sometimes, I wonder how acceptable my relationships with different individuals of opposite gender are, though the relationships are not of lovers!!! I call someone my sister, I call someone else my daughter but the question is how my wife feels about it… How do the spouses or parents of my “sisters” or “daughters” react to all these… And if all these relationships are without the cap of “sister” and “daughter” but just “friends” then there would be more questions raised and more eyebrows will be squinted against it. Now, if I think the other way around then what will be my reactions to such loving relationships of my wife or my close relatives with someone from the opposite gender…

Why do we feel that way? What is the reason behind our negative reactions or feelings towards such beautiful relationships?

I will come back to this later… Let me get into the more feasible examples around us where we shun love as taboo.

Let’s say, we went to Victoria Memorial (the renowned Monument of Kolkata) and saw a girl and a boy sitting on a bench and talking to each other… Just talking, let me highlight that…

What is the first thought comes to our minds? “How come these people get so much time to waste here?” “Oh today’s teens, they are getting spoiled day by day…” “How can their parents allow such things?” “Pity on their parents…” “They are such a nuisance in this campus.” And our negative thought processes or the curses for them are endless.

But the reality might be different. Those two teens might be discussing that, ‘this is not the right time for a relationship, we can concentrate on studies, we can’t meet like this behind our parents, we will be truthful to each other and protect each others from everything… We will keep our sexuality till our marriage…’ and so on…

I heard you thinking, “Unbelievable! That may be a rarest of cases…” Fine, I agree with you… but let’s think positive and react positively. What’s the harm in judging and reacting positively? And moreover, why is no one bothered to make amends when love is lost in a marriage, but quick to point out fingers to a male and female walking together without marriage?

Mind it, I am not encouraging premarital sex or trying to overlook the teen issues at all. That is not love but lust; I am dead against it myself… But, I want to raise a question against our thought processes, our narrow mindsets and our views or misconception about the purity of a beautiful emotion called ‘Love’. I want to proclaim the need of love in our lives individually as well as in regards to our families and societies at large.

The question still remains unanswered about the reason behind our negative reactions or feelings towards such beautiful relationships.

The ‘tendency to sin’ is the reason behind all this… It is because of the presence of sin within us which makes us feel that our spouse is exposed to vulnerability; our children are at risk of the lust with a covering of love… It is our tendency to sin (which means we can also fall into the same kind of temptation) makes us insecure about others as well even if they are safe and sound in the warmth of pure love. And thus, they feel it as not proper… they consider it as unacceptable… they termed it as societal taboo.

The presence of sin gives birth to two things… One, it distorts the meaning of love and confuses it with romance and lust which are just the fragments of Love. Secondly, it narrows down our mindsets and we judge without thinking even once.

In contrast to the above, the presence of love has a different effect on our minds and hearts. The Bible says,

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Fear comes when we commit sin, sin of fornication…sin of adultery. Sin makes us feel afraid of consequence and punishment. But love drives out fear and makes us feel comfort in its warmth.

Remember,

“We are born as helpless infants, dependent on our parent to fulfill our needs. Love, then, becomes need fulfillment and we seek this same love out as adults,” explains psychologist Dr. Beverly Palmer, author of “Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life.”

MARRIAGE A CONTRACT OR COVENANT?

(In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happily Ever After.”)

Marriage is a wonderful relationship, which according to general opinion is made in heaven. It is partially true because marriage is a union instituted by God, but also the partners have to play vital role to keep the fire of love burning on earth. It involves the active participation of both the partners in working out a good, healthy and everlasting marriage.

hand-861275_1920In the present generation with modern ideas about freedom and self- centeredness creeping in, marriage is viewed as a Contract between two persons. Two people make a deal to experience “live in” relationship as long as it suits them. With the appearance of suffocation and boredom, the partners split with mutual understanding. These relationships are not based on love but selfishness and ambitions, which can be easily broken. Sometimes marriage is treated like a business deal. Faithfulness until the work is done.

The correct perspective of marriage is that it is a Covenant between two people along with the presence and witness of a third party (actually the first) i.e. God. The seriousness of the Covenant relationship can be understood when we look at the unfailing and ongoing relationship of God with human beings. Though we fail time and again to keep our promises of faithfulness and love towards God, yet God remains faithful and never gives up on us.

A Covenant signifies an eternal relationship. It cannot break with the storms and tempests of life. Rather it grows stronger and sweeter with each passing hurdles. When two people commit themselves to each other for a lifetime, it demands undivided devotion, unflinching love, and unwavering faithfulness towards each other. This is possible only with God as the strong Foundation. If He is the chief corner stone, friend, philosopher and guide of both the partners, there is 100% guaranty that any marriage, no matter how miserably mismatched according to the worldly standard will never hit the rocks but will always have a safe landing in spite of rough weather.

Swapna Nanda