Valentine has come and gone and yes, we know we are late to the party but better late than never. This post has been in the oven since last year and what better time than to share this with all of you than at a time when we are celebrating Love. We have a King and Lord who is the epitome of love, who has paid the eternal sacrifice for us. We are joined to him in an everlasting covenant which is what marriage, a covenant that bonds us together which is why Christ calls us his bride and him the bridegroom. Now we are going to be talking about #WhyMarry and we do not want spoilers so as usually dig in. However it is to be noted that this is a long post as such we crave your indulgence, settle in, get a glass of chilled wine and learn the lessons that are within.
A friend called me and said she wanted me to be a guest writer on her website, I was thrilled. Yea, the ability to reach a wider audience, who turns down such an offer? The next question was what do I write about? First concern: we strictly write on the Christian faith, our journey, the struggles and issues surrounding it and other life issues because that is the route we have decided to channel our gifts and that is the purpose GWA is heading towards. Do I go all religious? Tone it down a bit? This is almost impossible… how do you tone down purpose! My second concern came after I had gone through the site. It had a whole lot of varied content though Eva had given me free rein, so I could choose what I wanted to write on.
Fast-forward to a discussion with Zed on a shared interest in BOM (Break or Make up on Instagram) the issue of marriage came up and on and on we discussed, and Zed asked me the question that prompted this post: “Why do you want to get married?”
I went blank, totally speechless. Before now it had never occurred to me that there had to be a reason to get married apart from the obvious ‘we are in love with each other, it is the right thing to do, I am getting older, I am ripe for marriage” (this one makes me laugh) reasons for marriage that we often give. I could have answered any or all the above, but somehow for me the question or answer went beyond the obvious, it called for an inward look as to why I or you or anyone else should consider getting married. This here is an attempt to answer that question.
So, take one minute (or two if you need more) and ask yourself these questions
If you are married:
- Why did you get married?
- Why that person? Why not another person?
If you are single:
- Why do you want to get married?
- Why this person? Why not the other person asking you to marry him or her?
What answers did you come up with if you are truthful to yourself?
So, we asked some people the same questions on why they want to get married and for the singles these are the commonest reasons:
- Raising a family
- To reduce or erase loneliness
- Increases responsibility
For the married ones, we ask why they were married, and the answers were the same as above with additional insight as to the reasons they knew this was the ’one’
- Sense of belonging
- Sense of rightness
- Peace in their heart
- Someone who understood them, complemented them and brought out the best in them.
And finally, we asked someone who was engaged and about to get married and this was her response: “Well for me, getting married has never been a part of the plan because before now, I never saw the need to but it got to a point in my life when I met someone who loves me more than I love myself, who complements me in all ramifications, someone who sees me way better than I see myself. What I call my flaws are or appear to be strengths to him. With him I soar higher, achieve greater things and find peace. This was tested by ‘time and prayers.’ Then I knew I was ready and would be getting married to him.”
Love, Love and Love seems to be the driving force in a lot of relationships, the one cord that holds the whole, so let’s talk a little bit about love.
1st Corinthians 13:4-8 is the perfect base on which to hinge love. Let’s do a simple exercise. First start with yourself, I was reading a tweet yesterday and it said: ‘you keep praying for the right partner, are you a right partner yourself.’ It got me thinking, we, I inclusive keep praying about the right partner but am I the right person, what steps am I taking to make me the right person, are there areas of improvements and am I working on them. Okay back to our exercise; 1st Corinthians 13 talks about the attributes of love, so replace love with your name. So, it should go like this: ‘Helen is patient, Helen is kind…’ so are the qualities present in you, are there attributes you need to imbibe that are currently lacking, you need to be the best person for that best person you are waiting for. Now let’s move to the other person, replace their names with love and ask yourself does he or she possess the attributes of love, since I don’t have a significant other, I would use a unisex name: ‘Tolu is not proud, Tolu is not rude…’
I know, I know Humans are flawed, we are all imperfect but don’t forget that we are all constantly striving towards perfection. You hear them say that Love is not enough, that you need friendship, trust, respect etc. But then what is love? If you love someone shouldn’t you trust them, shouldn’t you respect them, shouldn’t they be your friend, shouldn’t you want the best for them. God loves us and has given us the perfect example of what love should be, He has given us himself and sent his son to die for us.
I love this passage of the Bible 1st John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.” Most times our service to God is one borne out of a fear, not ‘the fear of the Lord’ but a fear of punishment, fear of ending up in hell, we do not love God because we ought to but because we think if we don’t then there is something He would do to us. I often ask God this: ‘Do not let the fear of hell or punishment cause me to love you, stir up in me a desire to love you with all my heart.”
Now that we are on the issue of fear and love, let’s talk to our friends who are in a relationship?
Yes, I know we have put in a lot of exercises, so it doesn’t become boring.
Now ask yourself a couple of questions?
- Does the relationship leave you constantly afraid?
- Are you always wondering what next would happen?
- Are you never sure of where you stand?
- Are there niggling doubts as to the rightness of your decisions?
Do you know that there is something wrong but live for the Instagram-worthy moments, the admiration of others, the likes and the loves and the comments, the oohs, awwws and the aahs? These moments seem to in our minds make up for the other not-so-good moments, the sometimes-physical abuse, the psychological both emotional, verbal and mental abuse. We pretend that it is a one-off never-to-be-repeated occurrence while we fearfully wait for the other shoe to be dropped. We lose ourselves and our self-esteem in the process, become less of a person because we want so desperately to be married, because time is moving at break-neck speed and we would rather endure a sham called love rather than leave.
The loved-up moments are so sweet and romantic that they leave you breathless, he steals your breath away you say, she will change you console yourself, I will pray, he or she will change for me. My love and constant devotion will make them change, on and on you deceive yourself, you are plagued with doubts. You make yourself a fixer of character, Mr/Miss fixer of human defect is it until your life is stolen that you would make that decision.
Why are you getting married?
Stop, ask yourself why?
- Because he/she completes you
- Because he/she gives you joy/happiness
- Because he/she is your better half, that part that makes the whole come together.
- To fill a void in your life.
The truth is your happiness does not depend on man, true happiness can only from a life dependent on God, only God can fill the void in your life and make you totally complete. You need to be enough for yourself, it is difficult especially when the pressure gets much, it is easy to just settle because time is passing, and you would rather be married than single.
Social media, music, movies and books seem to help sell the ideal of a love that is unattainable, and we often want to mirror that, and this often leaves us disillusioned when what we see doesn’t match what we get. Only God who is love is the foundation upon which love should be built. Only in him do we find happiness and fulfilment, only in God does everything make sense. You can take him away from your relationship or marriage and expect everything to be fine.
Have we left with you with more questions than answers?
I know, I started this as a means of me answering the question Why do I want to get married. However, it has shown the reasons that should not be the basis for your decision. Marriage is a vocation, one that should not be taken lightly. The wedding day with all the lights and colours is just one day, the marriage is for life. So, your reason for getting married should be clear cut. They say marriage is not in heaven, yet life on earth should prepare you for that. That said any marriage not leading you to heaven should not be something you be headed into. There might not be a loud voice saying to you: “My child stay clear” but there will be signs, that lack of peace that this is the right thing to do.
It is important to state that because you have been in a relationship for so long is still not enough reason to be married if you are not sure that this is the right thing to do. My answers are a mix of everything, the pressure is real, like there are days when I have to literally shut my eyes and ears not to be in that head-space, I want a family, I want love too, I want the companionship, you know that feeling that this person gets you for real, because this is my answer to God’s call on my vocation and because I believe that this is the person helping me in the process of becoming a princess fit for my King and God. So am I there yet, I am that Miss right, no I am still a work in progress, I still have doubts, I still have fears, there are still questions in my head who would love or want me, would I get married, are my desires valid, are my standards high, am I not getting older and maybe I should lower my standards and the quick stab of envy when someone I know is getting married.
I have learnt so far that when you trust God all things work out in the end, that though the process be long and arduous, his plans as He says are for good and not for evil, to bring me to an expected end so while I am waiting, I am going to enjoy my singlehood, work on myself and be a princess fit for my King and God.
Now it is your turn to answer, WHY DO YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED?
See you all next week as we continue with #Aqueenlikenoother and our prayers is that the many lessons God has in store are learnt. Stay tuned, God bless you all and do not forget that God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Please don’t forget to drop a comment and also tell a friend to tell a friend to read, share and subscribe. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising
Image credit: Google