This response always ends up in a long debate. Men reading this will probably ask,” Building a house? Really?” You may argue that I may not be best suited to discuss this because:
1. I am not married and therefore I cannot understand just how important a woman who can cook is to any marriage.
2. My second name, means someone who cooks. I should be last to bring up such a proposition.
However, I am going somewhere, stay with me…
Traditionally, a man could not marry until he had a house, which he had built himself. This excludes some nomadic communities where women took up the task of building temporary houses. In fact in one community, a man could not marry until he had the three cooking stones in his house. These are indications that it was a pre-requisite for a man to build a house, before bringing in a woman who could cook. Fast forward and today, very few men can actually build a temporary shelter. At least we still have those that take up all plumbing, electrician and repair works in the house; and in the same breathe, women are fast neglecting cooking roles.
Biblically, it is clear that the woman was responsible for ensuring that her family ate. Looking back to the story of creation, the woman actually saw that the fruit was good for food.
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
The Proverbs 31 woman, even portions for her female servants.
16She is like the merchant ships,
She gets up while it is still night;
She gets up while it is still night;
We can therefore say that instinctively a woman would want to provide food to her husband and family. The first thing that attracted Eve to the fruit, was the fact that it was good for food and Adam partook of the fruit because it was food given to him by the woman. You must have noticed that when travelling, a woman will always make stop overs to buy vegetables, fruits and other food substances. She instinctively realizes that it is good for her family. She will even pack some food before leaving the house to eat along the way and in some cases will even feed her husband while he is driving.
A male colleague told me that he was concerned because the girl he wanted to ask out could only cook the few basic meals everyone can cook. “She can’t even cook ugali and chapati.” This was cause for alarm. He was looking for someone all perfect and she ranked last in his ‘someone who can cook’ scale. She therefore could not make a good wife because she could not satisfy all the things that excite his stomach. Was it worth it to let her go on this basis? Is a woman who can cook a pre-requisite for a good marriage?
Marriage is a momentary gift and there are things that make a woman marriageable; most times, they are not taught. Those things are inherent; and those things are pre-requisites for a good marriage. A woman who has the Word of God hidden in her heart, one who makes you a better man, one with whom you can have a proper conversation with is a pre-requite for a good marriage. Knowing how to cook can be taught and learnt. It is therefore a secondary need. In his book, ‘This Momentary Marriage’, John Piper says:
I am not encouraging women to neglect cooking roles. Cooking is enjoyable and there’s so much delight when you cook a meal and it provides nourishment for those you love. If you want to know how to cook, look for opportunities to learn and keep practicing.
As for men, if she does not know how to cook, don’t dismiss her, she may never have got the opportunity to. Encourage her to sign up for a cookery class. If you know how to cook, plan cook outs and teach her. She would still make a good wife even if she did not know how to cook. After all, a lady who can cook is not a pre-requisite for a good marriage.