In this day and age, we have so many young people holding on to a wrong view of marriage and some even making excuses and brushing aside the idea of marriage altogether.To convey the message, imagine us at the airport. We overhear a conversation between two ladies, one in her early thirties and the other in her late twenties. In a very self-assertive tone, thirty says to twenty;
“I pride myself on being a hard worker. I have single-handedly acquired all that I have. On the other hand, my young sisters have both been married off to men who they rely on for everything. Yet my parents still see me as the backward one. They should just leave me alone. Marriage is not everything, as if I will die if I am not married. Besides, I will have to quit my job and raise kids. Do you know that our last born is a qualified primary educator with a diploma? She is wasting it all by just sitting at home, raising two kids, and play homemaker. All that money that mom and dad spent.”
At this point, twenty’s bottom jaw was almost touching the floor as she tried to compose herself and smiled nervously. She finally managed to reply, after a series of nervous chuckles.”I understand what you mean. I shared the same ideals. Until I met my now fiancée. I cannot picture my future without him in it. I know I am doing well; I have a well-paying job plus my savings, but I want to share all these things with someone. I mean, I would never, for the life of me, give up my career like your little sister, and my fiancée knows that very well. We have talked about this at length. We will find a house-help to take care of the kids when we are out for work or on trips and dinner dates. Between our salaries, we can afford to pay a driver to take our kids to school. Besides, we are not planning on having many kids. We are thinking of two, one boy and one girl. They will be out of the house by grade eight. We send them to boarding school and bring the nineties back. I am talking about date nights, movies, shopping, stuff like that.”
Let that conversation sink for a moment. Consider the gravity of what the two ladies are talking about. We have all at some point been witnesses of trendy “none binding contractual” marriages that are popular on TV shows and now in our own societies. Terms and conditions being “if my desires are not met, I am out.” There is a strong reason for my next statement, and might I add a biblical warrant. Marriage is for life, and it is not about us, but all about God and his glory (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 5:22, Ephesians 5:22-33). As a side note, this post focuses on marriage, not that singleness has no place in this world and the church. If one is single, they are to glorify God in their singleness (for further study, read 1 Corinthians 7).
The biggest question we have to ask ourselves as we contemplate marriage is, “what is the end goal? If that list is full of selfish desires and fantasies, then repent and re-evaluate. Marriage is God’s plan; entering it is by default, fulfilling God’s plan and glorifying him. One may ask what that plan is (Genesis 1:28). It is a command that God gave his prized creation in the garden to fill the earth and also subdue it (think childbearing and/or discipling others). This implies that the filling has to be godly (Ephesians 6:1-4). From day one, says, “I do,” the journey of selflessness begins. We have to understand that those vows are made before God. The crowd serves as earthly witnesses. So, the end goal is really to glorify God with and in our marriages.
There is a wave of superficial and unreasonable expectations in young marriages due to the “reality” television show. Really, the giveaway is in the name, because these shows are far from reality. Young couples feel the need to share their home affairs with millions of strangers and miss meaningful relationships in the church. I will be the first to admit, our generation is very self-assertive and overly documented. However, after two or so years in marriage, if things do not really look like what is televised, tempers and attitudes start creeping in. Before you know it, the couple that everyone liked on the internet is falling apart. Why? God’s plan was forsaken from the onset; he was not the center of that union. God has given us guidelines plus parents and older men and women in our churches (similar to parents), who have been at it twenty plus years. These are the people to seek advice from. At any stage, be it planning to get married or after (Titus 2: 4-6).
Finally, God created men and women to complement one another. The war in homes is a result of sin (Genesis 3:16). Titus 2:4-5 says young women should be taught to love their husbands and children, self-control, purity, working at home, kindness, and submissiveness. To a modern ear, this is “backward thinking.” But this is God’s plan. As we have already established, if one chooses to take this journey, they must know what is required and be ready to make significant life changes and sacrifices. Marriage is not all fun and games. It is a serious journey of accountability. When seen and lived through God’s words, marriage is wonderful. So, my sisters and my brothers, you do not owe the world a glamorous show and tell. However, you do owe God almighty your purity and faithfulness, with or without children (He is the giver).