Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marriage: We have to make it work
The Standard, Sunday, 30 October 2011 13:56

On October 25 my wife and I celebrated 30 years of marriage. When someone remarked that we had been in love for 30 years my response was that we had been in love even before we got married officially. We are aware that there are many couples that have even celebrated 60 years of marriage in this country and abroad. While this is not something to write home about, there is every reason to celebrate. We celebrate because it was not an easy journey as some might think. The good thing, though, was that when we celebrated, we had forgotten the bumpy parts of the road.

There is often the wrong notion that marriage is all bliss. Bringing two people together is not a joke. It is a serious matter that has to be considered carefully before commitment. The expectation is that it should last for life. The vows that we take explain it all, “till death do us part”. Those who are watching from afar might have wrong assumptions about what is going on inside. In Shona we have a saying, “chakafukidza dzimba matenga”. There is no easy translation but what I can say is that the Shona believe that the struggles in family life are naturally protected. The home is supposed to be an environment that makes things seem as if they are always okay.

The goings-on in a home should be known by those who are in it. Those who are outside should know by being told and not by assumption for they are often wrong. When, as a nation, we celebrated 31 years of independence, we were aware that we had passed through so many difficulties. The good thing was that we overcame those difficulties. The fact that one has survived a struggle means that one has triumphed. The same applies to marriage. It is all about surviving the huddles. When celebrating, you celebrate the package that has both the good and the bad.

Life, and indeed marriage, is all about learning how to manage each other. Friction is the order of the day but that has to be managed. Once that is done then there will be every reason to celebrate. I believe that nothing comes easily. Love in marriage has to be worked for. One singer sang “rudo imoto runotokuchidzirwa”. We have to make it work. Fire keeps burning just because someone stokes it. Let us all try not to give up. We all go through the rough and tumble of life. It is no easy journey. We can all make it as long as we know that it is not all rosy as some want us to believe. At the end of the day it is really worth our while.

God bless.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge
Does being 60 not count any more?

The Standard, Sunday, 23 October 2011 11:59
My wife and I are fast approaching 60 and our worries seem to be multiplying by each day. Can someone clarify whether attaining 60 is still treated as being a senior citizen? We took a relative who is 70 to the passport office and we were shocked to be told that he had to join the queue at night. When we mentioned that he was a senior citizen no one was interested to listen. From 60 and above we are no longer competing for jobs with anyone. We acquire passports to visit children and grandchildren abroad and that should not make us have sleepless nights.

When we arrived at Makombe building (passport office) by 4am we saw what appeared to be an endless queue and were instructed to follow it to the end. We joined the line just by Samora Machel Avenue. We were told that the line had started building up at 4pm the previous day. We had to leave our relative in the queue and our worries never ceased. Should we treat each other this way?

Putting aside the case of the old, is there no other system which can be used to issue passports in a way which respects the ordinary citizens of this nation? Those who are well-connected, I am told, do not face such humiliating experiences. I know there are passport offices in other towns and the situation there may be better.

Those who come to Harare have to go there. My relative does not live very far from Harare. Many have their relatives in the capital and going to these small towns may not be the best option for them.

What are the benefits of attaining 60 years of age? Will it be asking for too much for the ministry concerned to set aside one official at each passport office to cater for the old? This officer may serve the young ones if there are no old people who want passports.We do not lose anything by respecting the elderly. We actually lose much by not respecting them. Christians know this from the scriptures, that when we honour our parents/elders we also get more years to live. Is it that because we no longer respect elders so we are dying young? — Food for thought!

In other parts of the world, once one has attained 60, there are so many benefits that come with age. It is like the nation is congratulating one for attaining such an age.

Many concessions are given even in shops, transport and other amenities that are essential. Should Zimbabwe remain hostile to its senior citizens or we repent and do the right thing? We can do it.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge, Harare.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Instant things: The evil among us

The Standard, Sunday, 10 October 2011

While most Zimbabweans welcome the easy availability of places of worship much seems to be at stake as confusing teachings abound. One priest remarked that many a preacher today have taken the Cross from Christ and are offering something that is

contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Who said Christianity is problem-free gospel? Our pastors are telling us that when we join them we will be rich, diseases will disappear; suffering is no more and whatever we want we will get.

This is just as good as taking the cross from Christ. Christ says whoever wants to follow him must take up the cross. When Paul faced a terrible illness, he prayed and fasted for the ailment to go. The answer from God was, “My grace is sufficient”.

Many a Christian is disappointed for life because they are lured to our churches for healing and do not understand why when that does not happen. God sustains us even in our infirmities. I am not in any way saying God does not heal us.

We live in an age of quick-fixes. We are used to instant coffee, instant pudding, instant love, instant healing, and instant riches, quick-quick and so forth. The church has been caught up in this as well. This is our enemy, the evil among us and the cancer of this generation.

Many a home today has hordes of pieces of cloths which are for different purposes. We are told when you have headache just wet the cloth and put it on your head and the pain disappears.

When you want a certain type of car just take the cloth and wipe it and you will get a similar car. How different is this from voodoo religion? Are we really happy to get things such simple?

Yet the scriptures are very clear; we will eat out of our sweat. We have to toil for our food. It is commonly known that what comes easily also goes just as easily. We all need riches but we have to work for them and not just to wish for them. As preachers, let us teach our people to be workaholics. We need to create a work ethic for which Zimbabweans are known across the world.

To a greater extent missionary education and Christianity taught us to love work. This is what we, as modern day preachers, should concentrate on. There is no need to deceive each other as we try to win more members to our side.

Let us preach a gospel that makes people become resourceful so they gain things by honest means and hard work.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge