“Fake love” is being attributed to one of the root causes of gender-based murders, four of which have rocked the country in the month of January.
In a sermon at the St Charles Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Rev Daniel Teelucksingh sought to examine what could have caused the love, couples pledge to each other, to go so wrong as to result in death and suicide.
A marriage counsellor for the past 52 years, he said at one time, all of the couples involved, whether they were married, in common-law relationship or “shack-up”, would have been involved in a love affair but everything that can go wrong, have gone wrong.
“You say you are going to love each other in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, for better or for worse, you are going to stick it out together. What has become of that love that is confessed?”
He disputed the notion that love can grow cold, telling the congregation, “love does not grow cold. Love is a very beautiful virtue that does not grow cold. What we practise in our relationship is devalued love. We want to devalue love. We are looking for a love but it is a fake love.”
Teelucksingh said two of the victims, Gabriella Du Barry who was murdered by her ex-lover and Roger Singh who committed suicide after killing his wife Naiee, were members of the Presbyterian congregation. Du Barry’s funeral was held at the Fyzabad Presbyterian Church and Singh’s at the Balmain Presbyterian on Friday.
“We have a very serious social plague in this land which has created an emergency in TT more deadly than the coronavirus.”
He compared love today to diamonds and rhinestones.
“Look at diamonds, all of you may have genuine diamonds,” he told the congregation, “but one, one of you might have rhinestone - a costume jewellery as pretty as the diamond.
“The real diamond, the costly diamond, the genuine diamond sparkles beautifully and the diamond we make, cut nicely from Austrian crystal is beautiful, but cheap. That is what we have, fake and imitation diamonds and fake and imitation love and this is the crisis in domestic violence. This is very serious business.”
He said it is not limited to one religion but couples would have confessed their love in a warden’s office, a mosque, a mandir or in a church, spent thousands of dollars for big celebrations, high-priced artiste and honeymoons, but the marriages were not lasting long. “The question is why?”
“This thing call love is such a beautiful thing, why is it so fragile and unpredictable? Why where love once existed there is so much hate leading to murder? Is there more to marital/spousal love that is yet to be discovered,” he asked. Referencing the book of Amos in the Old Testament which speaks of God telling his people their love is like the morning dew that disappears with the early sun, Teelucksingh said that is the kind of love existing today.
“That is the kind of love we are talking about. Love that is beautiful and shining but dries up as soon as the sun comes. That is cheap love and we have to find an answer so we can bring back in spousal love in marriages, love that is genuine, costly and priceless.”
Warning against flirting in offices with men and women who are married, he noted, “There is a kind of morality in the country that threatens the very fabric of spousal love and that outside third party has created so much disaster in countless marriages.
“Infidelity thrives where spousal love is taken for granted. You have been practising love that is cheap and love that is ordinary and this is why you have endless problems.”
“This relationship between husband and wives, boyfriend and girlfriend, people who live common-law, that relationship has to be a two-way street.” He said love has to be patient and kind, that jealousy, conceit and pride are dangerous to relationships, that husbands have to love their wives and wives must respect their husbands.” He challenged the congregation that if they found this to be old-fashioned to find something better.