What you need to know:
Julie Pola is a Ugandan pastor who had her first child out of wedlockat 19. Being a servant of God, she chose to observe matrimony by marrying in Church. However, her choice of husband did not escape critics who found it hard to accept a man with shaggy hair.
“His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven,” is the scripture that came to my mind when I chose to marry a man with hair that is detested by religious fanatics and moralists.
I reminded myself that God chose Samson, a man with hair to slay a lion with his bare hands and fought an entire army of rebellious Philistines using only the jawbone of a donkey.
He is not a Nazirite like Samson but I am certain that he is a child of God like any other, and that gave me strength to face the naysayers and societal prejudice to find love in a man with dreadlocks.
It is quite challenging to get married to a man with dreadlocks in a society where people judge others depending on the way they look. In our society, people with dreadlocks are considered unserious, ghetto dwellers or substance abusers.
However, my opinion on men with hair has always been different even before I met my husband, Ronny Right. It is that love for men with hair that made me let my son’s hair grow long.
As a Christian, pastor and mother, I do not find any problem with people choosing to look the way they feel as long as they are in line with the Bible.
As a leader, I find it wrong for people, especially Christians to judge others basing on their appearance, which includes hair. When I asked him why he chose locks, he explained to me that besides feeling free with hair, locks are a part of the Nazarite vow, rooted in Leviticus which calls out against shaving the four corners of the head.
Judged by my own
At a time when I chose to present my would-be-husband to the people around me, I was judged, because many could not understand my preference for a man with dreadlocks.
However, I found solace in my close family members and friends who chose to support my decision.
A few distant relatives swore not to attend my wedding while others falsely prophesied that I would be dumped.
Drama ensued further when a few church leaders with a conservative mindset tried to question our relationship. Nonetheless, that could not deter me from my choice. With time, I learnt that the conservative type also thought that women who wear trousers are prostitutes and people with dreadlocks are drug addicts.
Shockingly, my shaggy haired husband is a preacher of the gospel who is adored by many followers, though in a different country.
I realised that any woman who finds herself with a visionary man regardless of the length of their hair who loves them and puts God first, are on the right track. It is the same story with other scenarios such as piercings for men who do it for the sake of wearing jewelry as long as it is not a cultic.
Long distance love
No matter how people want to talk about it, prolonged long distance between partners is not a good thing. I am not saying it will not work but it is bound to face a lot of challenges.
I thank God that my husband and I communicate more often and as of now, we can even video call whenever he is free at work or back home.
On a lighter note, my husband is a citizen and a resident of America which offers him a chance to travel whenever he can afford. However, we are planning for us to join him abroad because we both are not comfortable living apart.
Rampant divorce in church
One of the core ingredients of a good marriage is the motive. We have increased divorce cases due to wrong motives for marriages. For instance, if a young man in church is forced to marry because he got a girl pregnant yet they are not compatible, the marriage will fail. Some are also told to marry because that is what their parents or pastors feel.
Ultimately, marriage has a lot to do with emotions, chemistry and compatibility. Whenever people fail to understand one another, violence, adultery and many other issues come up.
Ideally, the Bible gives room for divorce in case of unfaithfulness and when a partner decides to leave (1 Corinthians 7:15). Therefore, if the marriage is threatening your life, leave it. Partners need to remember that physical abuse is unfaithfulness to their vows and promises.
We made it official
Seriousness in a relationship starts with making it official. As Christians who belive in holy matrimony, we were anxious to formalise our union. I am glad that when the time was right, we were both ready to commit to the union. We were both excitec to finally be merrying someone we looked forward to spending life with.
Our wedding was unique; we had the best service providers and unique venues. However, we limited our guests by fixing a number to 45 people (relatives, a few friends and colleagues).
We believed big numbers would increase our expenditure yet there is life after the white wedding.
Dreadlocks have a long history in Africa. Victoria Sherrow, the author of the Encyclopedia of Hair, A Cultural History 1, named the priests of the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church as some of the first people to have sported dreadlocks in Africa, as early as 500 BCE. For example, the Maasai people who inhibited Kenya and northern Tanzania wore locks often colored with red dyes to differentiate them from other tribes.