By Tatianah Green
The Southside Chronicles started off as a joke I made up on Twitter regarding the random acts that my fellow Chicagoans do in the city, predominantly on the Southside where I live. This account is about a train ride and a conversation I had no choice but to overhear last week. Ironically, it ties in with the November book of the month, check it out! All names have been changed to protect the identity of those written about.
Sitting on the train this morning, I was interrupted in reading the book of the month by a man who was having a conversation with his friend. This man, who I’ll call "Robert," was going off about how his girl mistreated or offended him.
From what I heard- and it was a lot-he was at home the night before, cooking and doing some laundry as his girlfriend, I’ll name "Shayna," suggested. He said that she came in the home that they share and went off on him about the laundry being too linty and the living room not being straightened up to her liking.
He was saying that she made these complaints while he was trying to sleep and that made him upset. Now aggravated, he is looking to take things out on Shayna. His friend, who is engaged to be married, asked what he was going to do next. Robert told him that he slammed doors this morning to wake Shayna up and proceeded to think out loud of the other ways he could get revenge.
“Your girl is gonna throw out your game,” said Robert's friend, who said that Shayna would destroy some of Robert’s property. To that Robert said he’d break her phone that he bought for her, not put gas in the car, and cut her off from communication. “[Shayna] can just call me when she’s in labor,” declared Robert, revealing to all who were under the sound of his voice that he was going to be a father soon.
At that point of frustration, Robert was not interested in Shayna or their child’s well-being. This was on my mind because he was distracting me from reading a chapter on forgiveness of all topics. One of the points that related most to Robert’s situation was in John and Minnie Hardy’s book “Getting to Happily Ever After.”
“The problem was that the longer we held on to our ‘right’ to be angry and hurt, the longer our relationship was in ‘bondage.’ We were oppressed by the past, and the offender was in bondage to guilt and shame. When we were burdened that way, we kept creating new offenses. What a dysfunctional cycle!”
Despite what Shayna is doing, Robert has to be the man and not stoop to petty, childish games. The atmosphere of the home he’s paying for is disrupted because he is not willing to speak with Shayna about what’s wrong. Since she’s pregnant, she could be going through a number of emotions that are causing her to act out. She may be truly frustrated with Robert, but both of them need to sit down and talk things out.
Vengeance only brings forth more vengeance and the word tells us to not encourage or stir up strife, stress and drama with others. The only thing I could do was pray for Robert’s situation. It’s not new, but it’s another example of the need for forgiveness, communication, and to love instead of fight. How would you handle the situation if you were Robert?
What I liked about John and Minnie Hardy's book was how approachable the advice advice that they give is. Reading it was like sitting at the table with an aunt and uncle who have been married for decades and this couple has. Not claiming a perfect start, this couple shares parts of their marriage testimony, breaking down key concepts and scriptures that help couples be more in sync with each other in marriage.
John and Minnie advise: “Day in and day out regardless of life’s situations or circumstances, your primary role in your relationship is to bring out the best in your [partner]. This can be reflected in no better way than through real spiritual leadership, which is seen in how well we serve.”