In his book A brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking wrote that the whole of what is called the cosmos was contained in a particle of matter, infinitely small and infinitely dense, which grew and expanded prodigiously till it exploded and scattered the material of the universe into space many billions of years ago. To someone like me, who believes in logic and reason, that event can only be explained as a miracle. Logic and reason tell me that nothing cannot give birth to something. That miraculous particle that Stephen Hawking writes about could not create itself. So, assuming that what he postulates is a fact, that event confirms the existence of a Supreme Being, which Genesis affirms. And, it confirms also that before creation nothing material existed, which is the state that I will venture to describe in the next paragraph.
Before the Supreme Being, whom we call God, created the universe, which was before the Earth with animals, plants, other creatures, and finally human beings were created, there was nothing (no thing). Nothing animate or inanimate existed in what we call space. What is space? Space is only a name for nothingness.
To get an idea of space, consider that everything material that exists is in motion. The whole universe is hurtling through space at a great speed. The scientists say that the initial motive force of the universe began with an explosion, as described in the opening paragraph. If the galaxies were not in motion, they would fall, the way a stone would fall, through space, at a speed 33 feet per second, per second. Which means that in the first second, it would fall 33 feet, but in the next second its speed would increase to 66 feet per second, and so on. In five years, its rate of descent would be faster than the speed of light. The stone would continue to fall at an increasing rate of speed, unless it was destroyed by atmospheric friction. And since there was no atmosphere before creation, it would continue to fall forever. So would all the matter in the universe if they were motionless.
My thoughts on this subject are written primarily for the people of faith, to whom it will be comprehensible and acceptable. Yet, I am sanguine that my purpose will succeed with the majority of our citizens, because we are a nation which affirms the supremacy of God.
Before the dawn of creation, as we know it, from the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, nothing existed except the Great I Am, that we call God. Then God created the cosmos, which may or may not have been as postulated by Stephen Hawking in his A Brief History of Time. It took eons for the cosmos to cool down from the extraordinarily high temperatures attending its birth. Then creation continued as revealed in the Book of Genesis.
Everything animate and inanimate, everything seen and unseen, came into existence at the spoken word of the Most High. All the animals that walk or move above or below the earth, everything that flies in the air or swims in the sea, all plants and trees, species without number, all the physical features of the earth and the laws which govern them, come from an utterance. All except man (male and female), who was formed out of the substance of the earth by the hands of the Almighty. How then, can you have low self-esteem if you believe and understand that you were in the mind of God when He made the first man and woman, and ordained that future generations would come into being, through the power of His greatest gift. A bountiful God gave man many wonderful gifts, beginning with the gift of life in the wondrous habitation of the human body.
Have you ever considered how marvelously constructed is the human body; about its systems and functions; how it grows and changes; how it renews itself; how it can heal itself; how the human heart can keep beating every second, every minute for a hundred years without wearing out.
What about the senses? How they work and how they serve and give us a delight. Take the human eye. There are individuals called opthalmologists, who spend a lifetime studying the subject. What they know may fill volumes, and yet what they don’t know is more than what they know.
The human body and its systems, and its functions, and its uses, are a great gift, but it is nothing compared to the great powers with which we have been endowed; the power of the human mind and the transcendent power of procreation.
Can there be any gift greater than the human mind? The mind can reason; it can conceive; it can discover; it can invent; it can theorize and prove theories; it can make plans and implement them; it can reason and postulate; and it can dream and make dreams a reality. The list is not complete. Is there anything that is beyond the human mind? Only miracles, such as procreation.
If someone who really loves you brings you a gift, wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbons, your joy begins before you open the package and you would treasure and take care of it. What is dearer to you than your own body? It will be strong and healthy during your lifetime, if you take good care of it. Learn and practice good health habits. Sunlight and fresh air are free. Get a plentiful supply. The body is a machine. All its parts have to be moved regularly. It’s called exercise. It must have fuel in the form of food. Have a balanced diet. Eat for nutrition and also for taste. Drinking and eating go together. Water is best, but wine has more appeal.
Every part of the body has one or more mundane functions. For example: the eye is for seeing; the mouth is for eating; the nose is for smelling; the ear for hearing, and so on. The feet and arms have multiple functions. The feet are for walking, climbing, jumping and other purposes. The arms, which include the fingers, have even more.
Of all the parts of the body, only one has two entirely different functions. The genital organs of men and women have two functions. One is mundane, to dispose of excess water in the body; the other is sublime, the power to procreate.
Whenever a man and woman are joined together in physical union, without impediment, it is always possible that another human being may come into existence. At the highest point of the mating act, there is a tangible explosion of energy. Then, if the time is right, the male sperm unites with the female ovum and there is a second explosion, not seen or heard or felt, where the human meets with the Divine, and another human life comes into being. That is the essence of procreation.
The first command given to our first parents by their Creator was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Having man share with Him the power to procreate was the way He chose to propagate the species. That the physiognomy of the male and female are complementary; that there is almost irresistible attraction between individuals of the opposite sex; that the act of mating is such a wonderful experience; and that the mating urge is so powerful, are all parts of this grand design to populate the whole world. If this is true, then the mating act would have to be something that God intended men to treat with the greatest regard and respect.
There is a clinical name for the act, adopted by polite society. Then, there are a plethora of degrading names, coined by pagans, who regard the act as a sport. A nation which affirms the supremacy of God should not repeat such names.
For the male and female of the species, the mating act was not meant as an adventure or a frolic, or for children to have fun. It was intended for mature men and women, who are totally committed to each other’s emotional and spiritual happiness and, for having and raising children with love and care. For people of faith, such a relationship cannot endure, unless it is sanctified by marriage, which is a covenant ordained by law, divine law, not common. A sanctified union is more likely to endure.
The attraction of the sexes toward each other, and the desire for intimacies, are part of our human nature. It was so devised. We can indulge our sexual appetites, as we are disposed. It is our privilege. We can demean, trivialize, even desecrate the mating act in so many ways, in the pursuit of purely physical pleasure. Imagination knows no bounds to the thrill seekers, in their search for greater sensations and delights, ‘but trust me, when they have done all this, much will be missing still, and much will be amiss.’ That is so because there is a spiritual element in the mating act, which only the totally committed couple can experience.
If you don’t have a vocation to serve your fellow man as a priest or a minister, then you should prepare yourself for marriage. It’s easier for a boy than a girl, because a man’s role is to be provider and a woman to be homemaker. You have a duty to yourself and your country to find the way. It is better to marry early, before you become set in your ways, and it is harder to adjust. You will become one flesh with your spouse, but different persons. The early twenties for a man. Over sixteen years for a woman. There is an advantage when the disparity in age between the parents and their children is small. They can share experiences and interests, which strengthen family bonds.
It must be clear that from the outset, when the Creator gave man the power to procreate, that He intended us to live in a family, for our growth and development; for our safety and protection; for our happiness; and for our sense of personal worth. We belong to our family and they belong to us.
What is good for the individual is also good for the state. Nations in which family units predominate have higher moral standards; are healthier, stronger, more productive; have better leaders and less crime. So society should have a vested interest in promoting and supporting the institution of marriage.
Society’s interest has to be extended to preventing marriages from breaking up. Public education in the causes of divorce and how they may be avoided will help. When a marriage is ended without any offspring, it is a tragedy for two adults and there it ends. But when there are children, it is a catastrophe. For the children, nothing can replace the loss of their home. Children should not have to bear this scar on their psyche, especially if one or both of their parents thought some other consideration was more important than them.
And then, there are two social maladies that are inimical to married life. These are profligacy and promiscuity. The profligate is a narcissist, whose purpose in life is self-gratification. He goes about life as a predator, victimizing the foolish and vulnerable. He is a hero to himself and to some of his fellows, who are not so accomplished, who approve of his behavior. Society should condemn it. Promiscuity is worse. It is the reason why there are so many sexually transmitted diseases, so many abortions, and why our society lacks moral fiber. Also, it is one of the reasons why the Kriol element is at the bottom of the social ladder. This situation can and will be reversed when members of that ethnic group who are in leadership positions assume their responsibility. One suggestion: reorganize the Black Cross Nurses. There are many able and willing retirees who would volunteer their services.
It is time for us to appreciate fully what a wonderful gift is the power of procreation. Then we can begin to understand why it was ordained that a child should be brought into this world, through the sanctified union of a man and a woman. Only then will there be gratefulness and joy in the anticipation of his birth by parents, grandparents and all the members of the extended family. And he will have the loving care, affection and attention that every child needs.
Marrying and having children is obedience to our Lord’s command, “Be fruitful and multiply.” By these acts, also, the married couple express their appreciation and gratitude for the great gift of procreation.