Growing up, I used to love to read and hear romantic stories. And from all the stories I heard, one particular true story stayed with me for a long period of time. So, the story of this man and his woman used to be the topic of everybody’s coffee time discussion. And I love to hear about them. This man, as they said, “loves his girlfriend so much that if any man decides to look at her, he will fight with that man. If she decides to say hi to any man, it doesn’t matter whether the man is her uncle or brother, he will put her in trouble.” So, wherever this couple goes, there is always a drama to tell. As a little girl, I used to sit and dream about having a “macho and loving man” like that guy standing next to me, because I thought that was the definition of love.
I mean think about it! As a little girl who didn’t have anyone to teach her how a girl should be loved and treasured by a man, I thought that was the most romantic relationship any girl can ever have with a man. So, I made a decision with myself to find that kind of man for myself.
Let me fast-forward the story a bit and get to the man I am now married to. So, the one thing I first wanted to make sure my Berhan had – was whether or not he gets ticked off when other men on the street look at me.
First, I thought he didn’t notice when other men looked at me. So, I decided to tell him the story of every man whoever approached me for a relationship, with a bit exaggeration to see if he gets jealous. Actually, he became very interested in all my stories.
I would say something like, “Tomorrow I have an appointment with my high school classmate. I like him very much and he invited me for lunch.”
Guess what Berhan says? “I hope you wear that off-white dress. That color matches your skin color very much and you look very pretty with it.”
I thought to myself, “This man, first, doesn’t love me at all and second, he is out of his mind.”
After I tried many different scenarios, I decided to try something real! So, one day I said to my Berhan, “Hey, I think I like this guy and he invited me for dinner.” (My Berhan still remembers that day)
He listened to me and didn’t say a word. At this point, our relationship was kind of in a serious path. And when I told him about my real appointment, I didn’t want him to suggest a dress for me and I guess he got that from my face. I was furiously upset with him already for the things he had decided to say that day. My Berhan is very good at reading my mind as if it was an open newspaper sitting in front of him. (He is still good at that; sometimes it leaves me no choice but to tell only the truth! Frustrating!)
So, I told him my plan for dinner and waited a few seconds for him to say something but he didn’t say a word. So, I said, “You don’t care about me, huh?”
He said, “Where did you get that?”
“How could you let me just go with a man for a dinner?”
“Why wouldn’t I? Missy, I love you; but I want you to be happy with the man you decide to be with. So, if there is a man who can make you happier than me, I want you to go with him. My desire is for you to have a happy life. That is all!”
I hope you wouldn’t expect me to go to that dinner; and I am glad I didn’t. And that was the day I quietly decided to marry him. Imagine, he didn’t even decide to propose to me yet; but I decided to marry him anyways. From that day on, I learned that true love knows no jealousy! (1 Corinthians 13:3-8a) ///