Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WHY DO WE GET MARRIED?

“And the Lord said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him.” Genesis 1:18

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” Genesis 1:24

Now before you begin to wonder if this going to be some sermon, let me clear the air. It isn’t. This is simply a plethora of rants that have been bottled up inside me for so long and I run the terrible risk of exploding into bits and pieces of flesh, bones and clots of blood if I keep them in any longer. I have been married for some time now (technically for almost ten years, although in for a shorter period officially and traditionally; let’s save that explanation for some other time) so I dare say I have some experience and I could consider myself a sort of authority in the marriage business. Okay, scratch that but I know I’m not a rookie in this game at least.

I understand that just like in academics, experience in marriage also has its grade levels. A school of thought assumes that the first five years of marriage is akin to the First Degree (B.Sc) part while the next five years is the second degree (M.Sc) part. Then once you cross the ten-year mark, you’re in the Doctorate cadre. You get your professorship once you hit twenty years in marriage and thereafter, you sort of become a Professor Emeritus or whatever title experience in marriage could be measured with. So, I speak as someone about to begin my Ph.D and trust me, this comes with loads of experience. If you still don’t agree, bite me!
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In my part of the world, people seem to have a rather annoying fixation about the issue of marriage. Over ninety nine percent of men and women have ‘Marriage’ on their list of plans. The position of marriage on that list is not necessarily important but what matters is the fact that it is certainly on that list! I have also come to understand however that both sides of the gender divide see the ‘M’ word differently. While men seem not to be too bothered about when they get married, women see it as an ultimate achievement; hence it is usually in the priority list of every woman especially once she begins to approach her mid twenties. 

By age 22/23 as she begins to round up her first degree or second degree as the case may be, she begins to hope for an eligible suitor if he is not yet available or make plans with him regarding marriage if he is already in the picture. By 24/25, an eligible spinster without a man in the picture begins to get a little apprehensive and any eligible spinster between the age of 26 and 29 without a man begins to dread her situation. By the time she hits the big Three O and beyond, a sort of bitterness begins to set in and the prayer points begin to change from ‘I need a good job’ or ‘I need a breakthrough in my present job/career’. It becomes ‘I need a husband’. Of course, men also seem bothered about marital issues but it’s not as serious as it is in the case of women. For instance, you’d hardly find a 28 year old man praying seriously about marriage. In fact, some 35-year old men are still comfortable as bachelors and are not even bothered about it. The general assumption in my part of the world is: a man can always get married any time, any day! I hear this is because men don’t have that invisible clock women have.

Then I ask again: Why the apprehension? Is marriage really such an accomplishment that women seem so desperate to get married these days? Someone would then answer and say: You know, women’s cycle differs from men and once they begin to get into their thirties, chances of conceiving and having a smooth ride during pregnancy becomes slimmer. Okay, granted! Fear of pregnancy issues could compel women to want to get married on time but then I ask: Whoever said childbearing is the major reason for marriage? Is that what God actually ordained it to be? That takes me back to the first lines of this post and the bible verses.

“And the Lord said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him.” Genesis 1:18

I believe God actually ordained marriage for companionship between the man and the woman. That is the first reason for marriage and that should be uppermost in the heart of every man or woman intending to get married. You shouldn’t want to get married because you want to have children. This fixation with ‘having children’ has led a good number of men and women into rushing into marriage with people they eventually found out they were not even compatible with. Eventually, just as they rushed into it, they rushed out of it and left the offsprings of that marriage stranded as products of a broken home. You should be marrying your husband or wife because you love that person enough to want to spend the rest of your life with him (or her) with or without the children. There are so many issues associated with the idea of marriage that sometimes make me almost feel marriage is overrated but of course I bet so many people (especially women) would not agree with me.

I am certain I would not be able to complete this discourse in one post so I’ll take it as a serial discussion in as many posts as I can. I would look at this series from three perspectives:
  • Do you actually need to be married to feel complete?
  • Must you have children to have a fulfilled marriage?
  • Is marriage actually not just about you and your spouse?
Please note that whatever I say or I am going to say here are my personal opinions so don’t be too quick to crucify me. After all, every man is entitled to his own opinions. Feel free to share yours too. Let’s continue this in the next post.


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