It is very unfortunate that I am not married yet and had the audacity to write this. Well, before writing this, I had to look myself in the mirror with some pity amidst warning saying “George, after putting this out, make sure you also listen to yourself.” I agreed and I am heeding to my warning but I beg you, don’t take up the responsibility of bringing it to my remembrance, I will do that for myself.
Fear and lack of will power is the only reason some of us are not yet married! Our society isn’t helping us, many resource persons are also selling a lie to us and unfortunately we have all bought into that lie and we are in the days lies look like truth and truth seem to be becoming old fashioned. Marriage has been defined to us as something we enter into after we have struggled enough and decide to settle down. Settle down? Yea, in this part of the world, when someone says “I’ve got to settle down now” he is just saying “I’ve got to get married.” When exactly is enough? How long makes the struggle enough struggles? Is marriage a kind of retirement or a start of a journey?
Marriage has become a kind of finishing touch to a completed building rather than the start of a new world. We are told to make enough money, reach enough height, and make enough achievements before getting into marriage because marriage would be a big limitation. While this may appear like the truth to some certain career, it is not generally true, at least to me. How much is enough money? How tall is enough height? How many achievements is enough? If you are twenty-five these days and you talk about marriage, people look at you as though you are a moron because they believe you’ve still got like 15 more years to struggle before finally settling down. Is marriage a retirement plan?
Isn’t marriage supposed to be the foundation of real adulthood and parenthood? I believe late marriage is what made a lot of people claim that forty is still youthful because these days forty seems to be the norm and the ideal to talk about marriage. Hey! Don’t misunderstand me, I mean no pressure and my time may not be your time, so, it is still okay if you believe that you are supposed to be getting married at sixty. However, I believe marriage is beyond making babies, it is actually about starting up a fresh new world and you need time, strength and youthful vigour to adequately start up a successful family.
The economy is the major setback for some people! We have to admit it rather than cover it up with something else. You wouldn’t need so much money to start a family but you will need a steady stream of income. It doesn’t even need to be coming in thousands but if it is steady and trusted it can start up. Does it make sense to live in “dating spree”? Jumping from one relationship to another and breaking up yearly just because you aren’t ready for marriage yet and all of those crap excuses we hear! Truth is if some of us were qualified for marriage and the reasons why we broke up are things within our abilities to handle but we didn’t want to handle it because we aren’t ready for that lifetime commitment and don’t want to get ourselves stuck up to one person.
Talking about being ready? Who gets you ready? Mum? Dad or God? No! It’s you who prepare! It’s you who start getting yourself ready! It is you who decides to break out of that fear and take the big step! Oh! George… You know you’re on this table you are shaking, right? Why keep exposing ourselves to a series of breakups, carrying about many pieces of baggage that make no sense at all? What is it that we are even looking for? Some truly aren’t looking for Mr or Mrs Right, they just don’t want to be alone but they also don’t want to take the bull by the horn because they are scared! Yea, I am scared too! Looking at my credit status, looking at my monthly earnings and all of that, I always feel I am not ready for this yet but if I should calculate what I have spent so far in relationships, the troubles I have got into, the resources I had used just to keep relationships flowing, I have this feeling I should have been better married than jumping from one relationship to another and deceiving myself with those flimsy excuses on why we broke up!
Too much relationship also brings in the risk of unhealthy comparisons into what would be your marriage in the future. Many of us dated and broke up with who should be our life partner on the ground that we are not ready for a lifetime commitment as we are waiting to hit that jackpot before using marriage as our “retirement plan” when we eventually get tired. We’ve dated all compatible persons and ditched ourselves! Then we resort to just “settling down” with anybody, sometimes, based on recommendations. This is why many didn’t marry their friends! A man at his forty is likely to have lost most of his faithful and very loyal female friends who understood him better and will make better partners. He ends up marrying a very younger stranger because Mama needs grandchildren and it becomes a very formal relationship. “Getting a life first” has become a very wonderful and comfortable excuse for some of us who do not have the will power to defy odds and create a new world will the “love of our hearts.”
I am not saying early marriage is for everyone but even the Bible gives a very strong indication that marriage is the start of a new world! It should be a time of building together, a time of investing our youthfulness into our kids and training them with that beautiful youthful intelligence. I believe God designed marriage to be consummated from younger age; I believe marriage isn’t a retirement plan. Please, this is what I believe and not necessarily what I am forcing you to believe, no pressure should be sensed from this. But the Bible talks about the wife of our youth and I’d be sharing a few verses
“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth:”
“…the LORD is the witness between you and the wife of your youth.”
“..who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.”
“For this reason, a man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
From all indication above we can see God’s design of marriage is that it is a journey we start young and not a retirement plan. Marriage is even one of the reasons we leave our father and mother! “Don’t be in a haste to get married” has become the beautiful mantra but no one talks about “being too slow to do the needful.” When I look at girls who once enjoyed serious relationships and men who once had very promising relationships now going from Church to Church, looking for who would introduce them to someone they would marry and “settle down” I shake in despair. One even said to me “George, I used to have very faithful and good friends! I don’t know what happened and they are all married. I am ready for just anyone…” Well, when we miss them, we open up for “just anyone”.
You are supposed to marry a peer, someone you share a lot of things in common with. I don’t understand the idea of marrying from another generation. It’s like bringing a past dispensation into the present dispensation. Well, when you’ve missed your mate that is what happens! You can only marry your mate when you are young because the body chemistry of the man and the woman isn’t the same and the woman will not wait as long as you do! When you are still in the midst of people who share the same vision with you; that is where you should pick your life partner. That time you are still in the youth fellowship, university or some other youth groups; those times are the best times to start getting ready for marriage because that is when you can see a peer who sees what you see. The Ying to your Yan isn’t in another dispensation! When you miss it, you start blind dating, online hook-ups and other random risks! Talk about wanting to get married as a young person and you are given that look that makes you think “am I a moron?” Young people don’t talk about marriage with confidence because we have been made to believe that marriage comes after we have achieved enough feats… Don’t think marriage now, just think business! We end up doing well in business but end up ignorant on the issues of marriage… That balance ought to be there! Think both! Marriage is not a distraction.
Do you think late marriage isn’t contributing to the moral decline we are experiencing in the world today? God designed humans to start having sexual yearnings at a certain age because He wants us to start getting ready for marriage early. It doesn’t mean marriage stops perverts from being perverts but it stops people from rather having sexual relation with someone they haven’t married yet. Many people had sex because they taught they would marry and they ended up not getting married and they kept increasing in “body count” as they progressed from one relationship to another. Concerning this Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:1-2, 9
“Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good to abstain from sexual relations. But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband… For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
Do you know that as you grow, you tend to move to greener pastures and you keep disconnecting from lots of people and it keeps becoming difficult to stick to those loyal people? Believe it or not, the more you get older (especially for men), the more someone you had always admired gets off the list. Searching for a partner isn’t bad but it would have been a lot easier if you did it early because people who come to the river early drink the best water. The more we stay unmarried, the more we are exposed to things we are supposed to learn with our spouse! It is also better to grow with your spouse than try growing alone and maybe bringing him or her in after you have grown. The idea of marriage is for partnership and not for mere formalities. These days, marriage is more of a show off of “what we’ve got” than a starting point of building towards a goal together.
Do you know it’s easier to build your dream when you are building with someone? We have been deceived into thinking you must live that dream to the full before getting married! Believe me; a lot of people are displeased with me right now because they feel “George shouldn’t be saying this!” But it is the truth! Unfortunately, I am also caught up in this mess and we’ve got to find a way out of it. There was a time I sat down to take an analysis of how my life is going and I realized that as I grow I keep disconnecting from certain people! These people are people who know me better and know my dreams and share some things in common with me. It was when I moved to a new location that I got the worst hit of this reality!
Let me admit that for some people the economy is very hard to even take a step! I understand those factors which include difficulties to meet up with the cultural requirements in certain regions and I am not asking anyone who isn’t capable yet to take that step but for a lot of other people who already have a consistent stream of income, who have great people around them but still feel they’ve got to hit certain jackpot before thinking marriage; I think they should think again.
It is good to have kids when you’ve still got the energy to play along with them; this is the prime time to raise kids. A research was conducted and it was discovered that when young couples have kids and raise them, these kids have better IQ. If you want to raise your kids well, raise them while you are young! You want to see your great-grandchildren and also contribute positively to their lives? Raise your kids early! You shouldn’t wait to have the entire world to start your own world.
Don’t get me wrong! I am on this table too and it’s time I start working towards getting it right. This is not a call to get overly anxious and desperate! It is a call to works towards your marriage too as you work towards other areas of your life. I am never saying you should jump into the bandwagon of “married people” when you aren’t sure of yourself. I just want us to know the huge benefits of marrying as young people. Again I know our times aren’t the same, so live in your timing but don’t claim a wrong timing for yourself thinking that is your destiny.
~ George O.N