Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lessons from a Seahorse

I was listening to a series on male and female relationships, especially marriage and gained some valuable insight. The most obvious issue is the male and female difference, physically of course, but also mentally and emotionally. Looking back to the Garden of Eden, Adam was without human companionship until Eve came along. Is it a wonder then that men are typically not very communicative, while woman tend to be more expressive? After all Eve had another human ear to bend as soon as she was created. In my mind I imagine that Adam was fascinated by her mellifluous voice; her laughter; her beauty…

I imagine that they were the best of friends, could read each others every mood and anticipate each others needs, even without words. But that oneness was shattered when the first blame game was played: Adam blaming God; Eve blaming the serpent. The Bible doesn’t tell us, but I would also imagine the shame and disappointment that they would have felt toward each other. Eve may have felt betrayed by her brother; her lover, while Adam probably felt angry. Angry at Eve for being gullible and for implicating him in her sin, angry at God for giving him Eve, angry at the serpent for deceiving Eve and even angry at himself for eating the fruit. These were emotions they had never before experience. Tongue in cheek here: Eve probably tried to over explain, while Adam probably went into broody silence. Their unbreakable relationship was now broken and I’m sure everything went downhill from there.

Fast-forward thousands of years. People break up for all sorts of reasons. I imagine that if Adam and Eve could see the world as it is today they’d be both perplexed and exasperated. Irreconcilable differences, fraud, infidelity, the list seems endless. I hope I’m not coming off as judgemental, because that’s not my intent at all. I’m just trying to pour out my heart and maybe get some understanding of why (from an outside perspective anyway) people sometimes give up on their relationships so easily. Could it be that expectations are unrealistic? Or that there are other choices out there that make leaving appear more attractive and worthwhile than fighting to stay together.

Is it possible that any marriage could be fixed as long as there is someone who is willing to humble themself? The thing, though, is that it’s hard to humble yourself when you feel that you’ve been wronged or that you’re in the right.

Marriages today seem to last about the same amount of time as casual relationships. The vows taken at wedding ceremonies don’t seem to be taken seriously. I understand that sometimes relations are irreparably damaged. And I believe that no matter what stories are told, only God and the 2 people in the marriage know exactly what went wrong.

This whole issue of break-ups makes one consider the seahorse. Seahorses are fascinating creatures that we can learn a lot from.

As most people know, seahorses are monogamous and mate for life. Each couple go through through complex rituals every morning, when they perform an elaborate courtship display. This daily morning meeting serves to reinforce their commitment. A lesson here for us humans is that it takes regular effort to strengthen a relationship.

The other thing fascinating about seahorses is that they have extremely good eyesight. They have eyes on either side of their head and work independently, meaning that they can look backwards and forwards at the same time. Imagine if we as humans had that ability. But hmm maybe we do in hindsight and foresight, but most importantly as Christians we have the Holy Spirit.

Females have a territory of about 1.4 sq metres and males have a territory of about 0.5 sq metres. Their territories overlap. For someone like me who can be anal about her space, this one spoke volumes to me, but suffice it to say that a relationship cannot thrive if the people involved don't have a shared sense of ownership. Trying to categorically state that this is mine and that is yours, with little or no 'ours' surely can't be good. Yes we're each unique but one should come into a relation, especially marriage with a team mindset. The power of agreement is formidable.

What does Scripture say?
"Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But who to him who is alone when he falls.
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can be be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. "
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

But then again, maybe the beauty of the male/female seahorse relationship is born out of the knowledge that the male fertilises the female's eggs in his pouch. The female transfers her eggs to the male which he self fertilises in his pouch. The number of eggs can vary from 50-150 for smaller species to 1500 for larger species. I'm sure that alone creates a deep bond, understanding and appreciation between.

From which other animals or species have you learnt a human lesson?

Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Senior Technical Author and Software Trainer. She lives in Potters Bar just outside London. She is working on some new stories about relationships and is trusting God for connections leading to publication.


  1. Wonderful post, Uuoma. No animal comes to mind but each day my hubby and I begin the day with a lovely long hug.
    May I have permission to reprint this on my Inspirational Romance blog? Naturally I would give you the credit and inform you the date of posting.