‘God save the world, but men first’

Maphelo Magodla.

Every day we see and hear about our young, mostly black brothers, passing on, leaving behind young and beautiful widows and young children in deep pain and confusion.

Surely, this cannot be the hand of our good Lord. It definitely cannot be the purpose our good Lord had in mind for these young black graduates.

Could it be due to the lifestyles we choose, especially us married men? Could it be because of the power of the people we associate ourselves with?

The lifestyles we choose in our marriages always tend to be worse than the lifestyles lived by single young men.

Is it the kind of lifestyles that begin to question our understanding of the expectations of husbands and fathers, from the biblical perspective?

It has become the “in thing” for married men to subject their wives to living emotionally empty lives – lives characterised by pain, confusion, doubt, anxiety, anger, sleepless nights and so on.

All these are due to us, married men, living a single man’s life. We seem to simply ignore the fact that when we made the covenant with our wives we were saying “my time is yours and your time is mine”. This confusion is displayed by beginning to live for friends instead of living for our wives.

This is seen when our wives and kids begin to accept that Friday, Saturday and Sunday are no longer family times. We leave our homes immediately after work on Friday only to return in the early hours of the morning. Reason being that we have been working hard the whole week.

Saturday afternoons have become time for our valued friends. We only hit our beds in the early hours of Sunday, but we also use Sundays to take our cars for a sparkling wash.

Our wives have even stoppedcomplaining, resulting in weeks of silence in the house.

We compete about who buys the most expensive whiskey. We even set drinking standards. We challenge our car engines and looks. All this is done to ensure we belong and get respected at public places.

The question is, do the wives and kids we leave behind to please our friends, feel the same about us?

Are we being regarded as heroes by the people we are supposed to protect and defend?

On a daily basis we hear of tragic accidents that result in young and beautiful wives losing their husbands. We often die untimely deaths due to diseases we could have avoided, but because we had to comply with standards set up by our associates, we found ourselves having multiple affairs.

Sometimes we get involved with the wrong women who are involved with bad characters who will not think twice before using their guns on us.

Every time we sit at local pubs or taverns we run a risk of being attacked for whatever reason, arrested for drunk driving or having an accident.

All these directly impact on the ones we leave home.

Providing cars, homes and other material stuff for our families has made us believe our wives are sorted. We are missing the emotional part they have given up on because of us neglecting their cries.

A friend of mine passed away in 2015, leaving behind a young widow and two kids.

He was shot five times while his wife and kids were sleeping at their home in Brackenfell.

He had driven his BMW to drop off his girlfriend somewhere in Nyanga after a good night at one of the hot spots in Gugulethu.

As they were sitting in the car outside the girlfriend’s home around 2.30am, someone knocked on the window. As he rolled down the window five bullets were pumped into him.

His wife woke up with a very heavy heart on the Sunday morning and pushed herself to prepare for church with her two young kids.

She was not aware that at that stage she was already a widow.

As she walked out of the church she heard some of the congregants talking about a man found dead in Nyanga. Not knowing that was her husband, she drove home with a very painful heart as her husband had not slept at home.

It was only when she got home and found the police waiting for her that she learnt of her husband’s death. Now his kids have no father.

For how long must that continue for us to learn?

God save the world, but men first.

God, make us begin to live lives of significance, lives of your purpose and positive influence.

* Maphelo Magodla is an alumnus of the Isiseko Family Institute (IFI). The institute works with couples in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Table View to build stronger family bonds. From Saturday January 21 until Saturday March 4, IFI will have couple’s sessions focusing on various topics. The sessions are free. Couples only pay R100 for the course manuals. The sessions will take place at the JL Zwane Memorial Church, in Gugulethu on Saturday January 21, Saturday February 4, Saturday February 18 and Saturday March 4. In Khayelitsha the sessions will take place on Saturday January 28, Saturday February 11, Saturday February 25 and Saturday March 11. All sessions start at 10am.

For more information contact Phatuxolo and Siphokazi Sybokwe on 021 483 8282 or 021 929 3206, or 079 476 2112 or 084 622 2210 or email pat.sybokwe@gmail.com or siphokazi.sybokwe@gmail.com