Sara and Rodrick sat at the front of the Mbagathi sitting room. Even after coming from a gracious barbeque, no one would dare doze. The topic was so interesting; courtship. Rodrick would begin the telling and Sara would spontaneously add detail. Both of them were really funny by the way. Waves of laughter punctuated the get-together.
Rodrick, of Ugandan nationality and Sara a Spaniard, met in Kenya where they are currently settled. Rodrick is a civil engineer, Sara is an artist, she teaches at Strathmore University while working to a Doctorate.
Challenges and the languages of love
One of the challenges the couple faced early on, was the diversity of their personality. It was the case of a poet and engineer; the former feels, the latter thinks. But this turned out to be only an apparent obstacle, they complement each other.
Rodrick and Sara faced a rift of cultural barrier. Interestingly, Spaniards show affection differently from how Ugandans do it. Their courtship was a confusing and difficult experience. Both expected different languages of love. The advice of the couple was that one should get to know their language of love, and perhaps more importantly, the language of love of other.
So what are these languages of love? Physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service and receiving gifts. You may ask why there are different languages of love. The simple answer I’ll give you is that we all have a personality. It is also good to keep in mind that just as we have polyglots in the order of proper languages, we may have more than one language of love that gets to us. Perhaps some may even be able to rank their languages. It is also true that our upbringing and culture will influence the language of love that communicates to us best. Observe that languages of love are not meant for romantic relationships only; friends and family would likewise love to know they are loved.
The vocational aspect
Rodrick emphasised the need to look at courtship from a vocation viewpoint. Taking it to prayer. This calls to mind a piece of advice St. Josemaria gave. I heard this in one of the videos of him that have gotten to us; that a boyfriend may place the picture of his girlfriend by his work-desk and that would remind him of God’s presence.
Rodrick and Sara decided to marry in Spain. Afterwards, while in their honeymoon, they met the Prelate of Opus Dei who told them, as he must have in his slight eye-squinted smile, that: in their marriage, the realisation of each other’s defects should not surprise them. They also had an audience with Pope Francis and received his blessing.
This is the point where I should add(perhaps on a lighter note!) that rings, good ones, can be bought more cheaply from overseas. Rodrick advises this if you do want to get broke really fast. Courtship and wedding rings do cost a lot locally.