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I attended a special event some years ago. The Catholic Church organized a Golden Jubilee Mass for couples who have been married for 50 years, an annual event.

The church was full to the brim, with couples marking their golden jubilee, their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, in some cases, relatives and friends. It was a high impact ceremony considering that it is not easy to find couples still alive and married after 50 years together.

Everyone was excited-and the atmosphere was upbeat until the homilist stepped forward after the gospel reading. He grabbed the teeming congregation with some Christian choruses and asked the choir to stop. Then he dropped the bombshell.

“If you’re a man, and you have been married for 50 years, please stand up for appreciation,” he started. About five men, in various stages of ‘disrepair’, stood up. In fact, only two stood on their own. The other two were supported either by their children or by walking sticks. One was in a wheelchair. The church applauded.

Then the priest asked all the women who are 50 years in marriage to rise for recognition. Over 200 women rose and yelled “Praise the Looooooord” in unison. The church exploded in response. All the women, almost all of them were looking fresh, bright, gorgeously dressed and absolutely gay.

The priest then said, “Is there anyone here who doesn’t have eyes?”

The church roared in unison “Nooooooooooo!” And there he ended the sermon. He didn’t say much but he said a lot.

I do not want to sermonize on his “unspoken sermon” except to ask men to be wise. Love your wives. Remember to love your neighbor (including your wives) as yourselves. Note, however, you cannot love your neighbor, if you do not love yourself.

I once told a story of a friend who wanted to ‘end it’ (kill himself) because he was having so much trouble with his marriage. Before I even agreed to speak to his wife and then both of them together, I took him out to a bar. There, I reminded him that his father had died and his mom was alive and well, just like my father had died and my mother was alive and well. We then tired a Vox Pop and discovered (more like confirmed) that all (and I mean ALL) the guys in the bar had lost their fathers and most of them still had mothers alive and well and traveling from country to country and city to city – as the case may be.

I then told my friend the inescapable truth, “Bro, going by the facts on ground, both you and I will die before our wives. You had better extend your expiry date.”

That got him and the rest was easy to handle. He’s living happily with his wife till today.

“Marriage,” my father told me, “is like Abakiliki rice. No matter how well you wash it you must see stone, but your ability to navigate between the rice and the stones will determine how far and well your marriage will go.”

Brethren, do NOT die. If you die, life will continue. Thank you.

Good evening to you all in this noble house.
Thanks and great day.

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