Oh yeah, almost everybody dreams of marrying young I believe, at least in their twenties. But someway somehow, life happened and you feel like you are on a time bomb. For some it was their own choice; maybe focusing on their career in those early years and assuming love will just find them. For others, it’s a chain of disappointments and broken hearts; wasted years on the wrong person and then as the years go by the right people seem hard to come by. Perhaps the longer the wait, the more potential partners get taken off the marriage market and the shallower the pool of potential singles become?
You’ll find so many reasons why people’s marriages have delayed but what’s kind of true is that only a few such people are able to still carry on in life with their self esteem still intact, especially when it wasn’t by choice. It’s such a frustrating feeling not being successful in love and having to wait for so long to find that happiness and fulfillment when it’s not by choice. Unfortunately for some, when that ideal time is past, they are left with a feeling that can best be described as having to settle with a less than ideal partner.
It’s hard, I know. I didn’t have to go through that but I think we could still pause and try to see the blessing in marrying late too. Marriage is hard work and so much responsibility; sometimes crippling your personal development in some areas of life where being unmarried would have ensured faster results. Plus, younger couples, perhaps just starting out in life are often battling financial problems (from the huge demands on married life) that can put a lot of stress on a marriage.
One woman shared her story:
“Getting married at barely 20 meant my husband and I literally started with nothing and we were broke much of the time especially by the time the kids started coming in”
I believe for many young couples, the testimony above is just like a drop in an ocean. For indeed, many young couples have had the challenge of building their life from nothing, right from scratch!
Perhaps for those who married late, though having been denied the early bliss of companionship and perhaps the opportunity of having a child early, they would have used the period to set stronger financial and material foundations. It is expected that most couples who marry late would be more financially sustainable and would have more essential material possessions (say their own house, car, etc) compared to younger couples and this could be a blessing in disguise. To say the least, paying high rents for an apartment with little to save for one’s own house (a great necessity) is a growing challenge for young couples. Reminds me of a friend who told me recently that if he had not married early (which he appreciates though) he would have had his own house by now and I told him people have houses but are not married and are not happy and wishing the opposite has happened.
It is often reported that as a result of financial security alone (which most young couples take a big risk on), those who married significantly later in life report less work-related stress, less marital conflict and more couple interaction and satisfaction.
There’s a blessing in everything o. Count your blessings where you find yourself. Delay is not denial and maybe you just have to reposition yourself better; maybe you have to try doing things differently and relating with people differently; maybe you just need a new outlook on life and not let such disappointments knock out your self-worth.
But whatever the situation, if you are Christian, you can trust that every life circumstance eventually works for your good. After all, the most important factor shouldn’t be time but who; time is of essence but who you marry tops it all. That’s because depending on the character of the person you marry, your life can either be one of perpetual bliss or hell on earth, whether you married early or not. Also because Christians don’t believe in divorce merely on the grounds of some little “irreconcilable differences” nor do they treat marriage as merely a contract between two parties that can be terminated at any time and on any grounds as they so wish, makes who you marry an important factor than time.
Nonetheless, even if there is a perfect time to get married, then it’s only God’s time. And God’s time for everybody is different. Your time will come and don’t let our self esteem deteriorate as if the only way of measuring success and fulfillment in life is whether or not one is married.
Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
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