For better for worse – a poem

This poem was written on 18 May 1999, on request, for the Pentecost Students’ Association (PENSA) Ladies’ Day on KNUST campus. It was performed by then first year medical student and now Dr. Evelyn Jiagge.

A flower blossoms with alacrity

But its beauty fades with rapidity

Many a relationship begins with vitality

Yet quickly, so quickly comes its sad finality

With singing and hooting of horns

Many a man a dive into marriage takes

Yet soon, and very soon he mourns

As he swims in various unhappiness lakes

For better for worse

For richer for poorer

Till death us do part

Hmm, the nice sound of those words

Do we really appreciate this expression

Do they leave on our mind any impression?

Do we not rather imply

For better for best?

For richer for greater?

Till money us do part?

A relationship is not an experiment

It is very much a commitment

Marriage is not a trek into merriment

It is very much a sacrament

Before you say YES to each other

What do you consider?

Prestige, or character

Stature, or maturity

Admiration, or love

Riches, or wisdom

Can you together

Say the Lord’s prayer?

Before you say YES before the altar

How do you live?

In purity, or “anything goes”?

Get to know one another’s background

Or rather one another’s back?

In transparency, or behind a facade?

Planning for the future, or

Rather for the past and present

For better, for worse

To work best

The two need to be friends


I will call it out for you

And you help me okay?

Give me an F

For Faithfulness

Let love and faithfulness

Never leave you

Bind them around your neck

Write them on the tablet of your heart

For Finance, watch it

Money lubricates the wheels of love

But it is a bad main backbone of the entire structure

For Friends

Know that she who walks with the wise grows wise

Show me your friends, it is said

And I will show you your character

Give me an R

For Reputation, character

A wife of noble character who can find?

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown

But a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones

Be unique, be distinguished

Give me an I

For Indulgence

Giving way and satisfying the good desires

Of your partner

Be kind and you will gain respect

I for Industry, for diligence

Give me an E

Not Exulting, not proud

With humility comes wisdom

But when pride comes, then comes disgrace

Before his downfall, a man’s heart is proud

But humility comes before honour

Give me an N

For Nothing

Let nothing move you

Be steadfast in your determination

To make your relationship succeed

The YES is a promise

Which gives birth to a commitment

Which commitment must be seen

As a duty

Give me a D

For Devotion, for love

For affection, for friendliness

Love should be the foundation

Love must be the engine

That moves your vehicle of marriage

Give me more S’s now

For Sense, wisdom, discretion, prudence

Houses and wealth are inherited

But a prudent wife is from the Lord

Because she is wise, her speech is seasoned

The noble wife, who is difficult to find,

Speaks with wisdom and

Faithful instruction is on her tongue

S for speech

She who guards her lips

Guards her marriage

A gentle answer is her trademark

Pleasant words, which are a honeycomb

Sweet to the soul and

Healing to the bones,

Her emblem

For better to live alone on a desert

Than share a house with a

Nagging and quarrelsome wife

For better for worse

If you will be diligent

And apply whole body, soul and spirit to it

You will always better the worst

May this be your pledge

In your relationship

In your marriage

Good better best

May you never rest

Until your good is better

And your marriage best.


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