Growing up I imagined a great deal about the man that I would marry. What would he look like? What would he be like? Where would he come from? Would he be a southern boy? A Californian? A South American? I had my “list” stored away in my mind and I knew for sure he had to be tall and I had to be attracted to him. Several years before I met the man that I would marry I had this unshakeable feeling that he would be from another country. Needless to say, that “feeling” was right!
I married a tall and very handsome South African man named Ciaran (Keron) who was born and raised in the heart of Johannesburg during the latter of the apartheid years. His family was very opposed to the apartheid and kept him and his two sisters sheltered from the political chaos, but he does remember the day Nelson Mandela came into power. Woo-hoo! We love Mandela! Unfortunately, South Africa has not gone in the direction he had strived for. Anyway, rabbit trail…
When Ciaran and I got engaged, culturally speaking, we had no idea what mountains we would have to conquer. Even though we are both Westerners at heart, he comes from a more British culture and I come from small town USA. We were challenged in more ways than not during the first years of our marriage. We survived with good Biblical counsel and accountability.
Now we have two beautiful children and we are living in the African bush just outside of Livingstone, Zambia. Ciaran has been here for seven years and this is my fifth year. We live on a logistical base with 25 other people and some of them have children too. It can be very interesting raising your children in community because everybody thinks they are the parent to your child, which is true to some degree. Sometimes it takes a village to raise a child for sure! Yet this whole idea presents its own challenges.
Do I worry about malaria? No! Malaria doesn’t scare me. We know the signs and symptoms and it’s very treatable. Do I worry about snakes? Sometimes! Those nasty Mozambique spitting cobras are volatile, but they don’t hang around my house praise God. Do I absolutely hate it when tarantulas crawl up my wall? Yes!
Ciaran and I love operating in the call of God on our lives, and in the last two years it seems as though our marriage is pure joy. What’s our secret when facing challenges in marriage?
Humility yields the right to be right.
It’s our motto.
We make it our goal to never take offense and we try our hardest to NEVER let the sun go down on our anger.(Ephesians 4:26)
What are some challenges in marriage you and your husband faced in the first few years of your relationship?