Ants are genius. Little wonder the Bible asked that the lazy man consulted them on how to become wise with regards to saving for the future. With my background in Biochemistry, trust me, there are a lot of fascinating facts about ants most of us have very little knowledge about. And… these facts very much relate to life, especially marriage. I have learnt loads of lessons from the ant. Let me share a few with you.
Two means one.
The ant is a social insect. Ants don’t live singly. In other words, they always live together as one colony/community. The lesson is simple. When you marry, you both become one people; one community. You don’t only bear the same surname but the same mind, too. You both need to learn to agree at all times whatever regardless.
There shouldn’t be competition between you. One helps the other to reach the top… and vice versa. Don’t be singly married. Don’t be a married bachelor or spinster. You and your spouse should be one people with one common vision. Marriage means “we” not “me”. Marriage means taking the attention off “I” to “us”. Marriage means living together forever!
Division of labor… literally!
In the ant colony, there’s division of labor. Each ant has a specific role it plays to keep the colony alive. Let me deflate your ego. As a man, the fact that you did nothing in your home doesn’t mean you must do nothing in your marital home. A wife is not a maid! Even if it means washing panties to help, no complaints! In this 21st century where women work as hard as (if not more than) men do, submission doesn’t mean she doing all the household chores. Slavery is not a synonym of submission. Help her sweep. Help her wash. There’s nothing as romantic as peeling yam in the kitchen. Chai!
Save today. Safe tomorrow.
The ant saves food in its stomach! Here is the lesson. In this fast-paced world, it’s very hard to save and invest. As a married couple, however, know your needs and wants. Spend less on wants… more on needs. More importantly, save and if possible, invest. A healthy bank account will always make a healthy marriage. Love tastes sour in the absence of money, trust me. At all cost, cut down on the excesses and save!
More and more sacrifices.
The ant can lift weights over twenty times its own weight. Bet you didn’t know that! Here is the lesson. Remember all the sacrifices you made for her when dating? Remember all the lengths you went for him before the wedding? Don’t let them vanish because you are now married. Don’t get too comfortable.
Keep getting her attention with those gifts. Pamper her. Keep getting him thinking about you all day with those sweet words. Every husband wants to enjoy the company of the woman he married as his girlfriend even decades after marriage… and vice versa. Keep up the pace. Don’t stop! As a man, don’t settle for a ‘one-pack’ potbelly just after a year of marriage. As a woman, don’t retire to become a granny after childbirth. Be abreast of fashion. Be in vogue. Stay fit. Be trendy.
Husband is wife’s servant. Wife is husband’s servant.
Literally, there’s no particular leader in an ant colony though there’s a queen. Get this. In marriage, each must be a servant; no master. Two rams can’t drink from the same bucket! Many spouses have locked horns because none wants to serve. True leadership is when we lead by serving. If you want to lead, serve! The longevity of the marriage should be on each other’s heart… not who’s in charge of the marriage!
Shed them off!
Queen ants shed off their wings when they want to start a new colony. You really want the marriage to work? You need to shed off some habits and friends! You can’t be hanging around bitter divorcees if you want to keep your man. You can’t be in a company of cheats and still keep your matrimonial bed clean. Shed some friends off!
Shed some habits off, too. You can’t be married and still think/act like a teen! Marriage is for matured men and women… not boys and girls who will go pouring their marital problems in public at the least chance.
…That unique name….
Ants communicate uniquely via chemicals called pheromones. You both should be the best of friends to be married. Have a unique communication mode with your spouse. Have a particular sweet name for him/her. Have fun in a unique way… even if it means having a particular mannerism, dance or song. You both should identify yourselves uniquely.
Your future is tied to your spouse.
When the queen ant dies, the whole colony dies with her. In other words, watch the back of your spouse. Don’t condemn them in public even if they are wrong. Protect them. When they go down, you obviously would go down with them. Whatever happens to them apparently happens to you, too.
Always come back home.
When looking for food, ants leave trails behind so they can find their way back home. This is the moral lesson. Home should always be your motivation for hard work. If your hard work is taking you too away from home, it becomes hard labor! Always find your way home… soon. Have time for your family. After all, they are the reason for your sweat.
In marriage, no third party!
Ants have no ears! And… this is it. There are many things that may threaten to come in between you both; friends, in-laws, hearsay, rumors, name them. None should have its way. As long as you both have decided to live together forever, don’t listen to anyone. Don’t compare your marriage. Don’t let any third party come between you. Marriage is for two… not three!
Well… you want to marry? Go to the ant.
Kobina Ansah is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm.