Who gave you the TIME TABLE for MARRIAGE: SOCIETY or your own PREPARATION?
The comical, yet serious paradox of our time is that people who are married are desperate to become singles and singles are desperate to become married. In a society like ours, starting from age 25, well meaning individuals around us begin to hint subtly or directly about marriage . The matter begins to assume an unusual proportion in their questions and counsel to us.
We know how powerless singles, especially those within “marriageable age” can be against such barrage because society has empowered this seemingly well-meaning individuals to pressure singles to hook a man or woman up desperately. Failure to achieve a relationship as at when considered due is viewed as a deficiency in the quality of your existence. You are considered incomplete and only a man or woman will fill up the void. Some even begin to think its a spiritual problem.
What might not be obvious to you in their scorn, pressures and constant questioning is that they are not concerned about you marrying the right person as they are about you celebrating a wedding event. The means is not important but the end. Your knowledge, character, quality of thinking, readiness and skills to succeed in marriage is not their focus but your change in marital status.
In our society, the decision to marry is considered a critical part of a developmental cycle that looks like this – you are born, next you go to school, get a certificate of some sort that society can recognize, get a job, MARRY, have children, pay bills for a very long time and die. It therefore suggests a case of developmental malfunction and a misfortune if you don’t get married when society thinks you should.
There is an assertive ignorance in our society that considers your getting married as a debt that must be paid. If anything should become a compulsive and critical action to take (as marriage is suggested), then it should hold promises for a consistently positive experience. To shatter this myth, a consistently positive experience can not be delivered by an institution(marriage) managed by two imperfect individuals. Therefore it should not be promoted as a do or die experience.
While the foregoing statement could be seen as undermining my fascination for marriage as a noble, demanding yet satisfying responsibility, I must point out that its great value can only be sustained by a certain kind of education and mastery. It’s a good thing but not a precursor to meaning or purpose at any level. What I mean to say is that an unmarried state in not an indication of a lesser being, and individuals in this state can have as much quality of life as anybody on earth.
Singles, if someone is running away from a house you are desperate to get into, should that not create a sense of caution about how you evaluate or judge that house. That is the caution I think you should exercise in your evaluation of marriage and marital choices. There is a reality about marriage that should thoughtfully calm and slow down every zeal to enter it.
You need a reality that will help put things in perspective enough to secure the great and positive experience marriage is designed to deliver. A faulty perspective on the other hand will create wrong realities that can lead to your own desperation to get out of marriage down the line.
If marriage is the definition of bliss, then everybody married should be happy and those singles should be miserable. And obviously, this is not the case as there are countless who are married and frustrated as there are many who are single and fulfilled. Also there are people who are married and fulfilled as there are many who are single and frustrated.
This brings us to a misplaced evaluation of age as a critical factor for marriage. There are 60 year old men messing up as there are 25 year old boys directing the affairs of huge global corporations. Marriage is about how responsible, knowledgeable and matured you are. And age is not guarantee of the aforementioned.
Most people have settled down because their birth certificate said they should, while they have let down their potential or let up their effectiveness in life. For them, age is presumed to aid maturity but in reality no one is old enough for any level of responsibility. You can only be knowledgeable, ready and matured enough for it. Marriage and parenting are skills and they are not developed by osmosis. They must be learned.
My question to you is this: Is your decision for marriage informed by an helicopter view of the responsibilities inherent and the impact of marriage on your peace and that of the other person? Or is it based on your birth certificate. If you can’t answer positively, please help reduce the statistics of broken homes and broken lives created by irresponsible and unwitting adults at such crucial decision-making phase.
It is wiser not to create pain and unhappiness for yourself and your unborn children by acquiring the knowledge, skill and maturity needed to sustain a marriage. Society can get you to make a decision but society is not responsible for the outcome or consequences of your decision. THIS IS YOUR LIFE!