The above topic is a controversial subject, especially in African Christian circles. As soon as such a statement is uttered people bind and cast the devil and his agents. Aunties say things like ‘watch your mouth’, ‘you must marry by force’, ‘God forbid evil’, the chastisement continues and the utterer is silenced. However, the reason behind their statement is never addressed; nobody ever asks ‘why?’ and when they do, they never listen when an answer is given.
Over the past year, I have heard ministers preach and read several books, and I have grown in so many ways, and I can say for a fact that marriage is not for everyone. It is a blessing and an opportunity to serve God well, but few people follow the prescription God set out. They have ignored the manual, created their rules and reproduced a confused generation. Marriage is hard work and it needs two people who are totally broken to God, fear Him and love Him to make it successful. There is a Yoruba proverb that says ‘ile oko ile eko ni’ which means ‘the house of a husband is a school’. A long-lasting marriage is not equivalent to a joyful, prosperous, or peaceful one. You have to be willing to go into spiritual warfare to desire to get married, ‘winging it’ is a careless option.A long-lasting marriage is not equivalent to a joyful, prosperous, or peaceful one Click To Tweet
Sacrifice is the key word in marriage, yet I know many women who have given up on dreams and aspirations in anticipation of marriage. They have chosen a mediocre life and lived below their abilities in the fear that they would not attract or keep ‘the right kind of man’. Do not be too educated they say, wait until you are married before you get that P.h.D, do not drive a flashy car, do not buy a house yet, your hair is too loud, it is not modest. I know a woman who is almost 35 and single, who had spent her 20’s making sacrifices in the hopes that she will be ‘suited’ for marriage. She made a career choice, limited herself, did not travel or live her life because she was waiting for the one. She despises the wastage of those years now, and I find that to be a tragedy.
St. Paul who lived a single life was called to live one, which implies that God calls some people to be single. Because of that fact, I do not think we should castigate those that remain chaste and single; whether they choose to or have been purposed to. Statements like those mentioned above have no place on the tongue of anyone and should not be heard by anyone either. There are too many people in trapped in unhappy marriages for us to be pushing unsuspecting people into a union that is meant to be for life and forever. The key word here being unsuspecting.
Marriage is a gift, as is singleness. I do not think that we should alienate those who choose to or have been ordained to remain single and celibate. I once heard a woman say, a single woman could never be happy yet, she was chronically unhappy in her marriage. I had the urge to encourage to her to work on her problems instead of finding fault in others, but I held my tongue. Mother Teresa would never have accomplished all that she did if she was married and a suburban homemaker would not have the family she has if she chose singleness. Each path comes with its challenges and tribulations. As a result, I am convinced that we should refrain from pointing fingers at those who make choices that we cannot understand. If God has given you a mission, do not refrain form it because the world and your family do not understand it. God did not speak to them, He spoke to you.we should refrain from pointing fingers at those who make choices that we cannot understand Click To Tweet
What do you think? Is marriage a must? Alternatively, is it a societal construct that we have come to chase blindly? Is singleness a blessing or a curse?
Do share your thoughts in the comment box below. You know Dami loves to chat.
Until next time