When it comes to marriage, the difference between a man and a boy is not about age but maturity of the mind, emotions, intellect, actions, etc. Maturity does matter; but not necessarily in terms of age. As John Grier is believed to have said, “You are only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime”. See the difference?
A marriage between a 20 year old man and a 19 year old woman will be a rare occurrence in many parts of the world, where it appears the very first and sometimes most important determinant of the success of a marriage is the physical age of the people involved. In many such cultures and places the “a young man married is a man that’s marred” Shakespearean ideology rules.
Surprisingly though, the legal adult and marriageable age of 18 or lower is recognized for almost all purposes in this same places. It is well known that about 82% of the world’s countries and 67% of countries in Africa prescribe 18 years as the marriageable age. So what is the problem? Why hold strongly that marriage between 20 year olds will not succeed then?
Irrespective of all the benefits of marrying “young”, I always maintain that marriage is huge; very huge! Anybody entering that institution must thus “study to show himself approved” and anyone irrespective of the age (18 and above) who has done his or her homework well and has prepared adequately for it must be permitted to go in without raising of eyebrows simply because they are “young”. As the age old adage goes, “a child who learns to wash his hands well can eat with the elders”. Similarly, anybody no matter the age, who learns well the rudiments of marriage, can succeed in the institution. Or can we easily say as a fact that it is only at a particular age that people will be fully prepared for marriage and to succeed thereof?
Nonetheless, for a man, I think he should also make sure that aside every other thing, he is financially sound to run his family and if he can at 20, then glory hallelujah! And for a woman, if at the age of 19 she is well informed about marriage, motherhood and all wifely roles and is ready for it, glory hallelujah!
By 20 years however, most men and women in Africa and some parts of the world by the nature or structure of their educational and support systems would still be in school anyways. Funny enough, most will still be in high school anyways…and why think about marriage, sex, starting a family and all that when you are in school, probably still under your parents care and most definitely without any job anyways?
“Marriage is no child’s play” does not mean a man/woman should be above 30/40 before marrying. There are no rules. It just means marriage is no monkey business; it’s not a frivolous venture, but is serious in content, attitude and behavior (and the list goes on). It’s a maturity issue and we do know that in many cases maturity is not commensurate with age. Proof is that we’ve seen so many old folks behaving so immature!
I do believe in marrying “young” but not rushing into marriage when one is not well prepared mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually…and all the “llys” one can think of.
Marriage is an exciting journey…so good luck to everyone considering it, irrespective of age. Just know it’s no monkey business.
A healthy relationship or marriage requires honesty in all things!
In marriage, your partner has every right to have access to your phone; and in fact, investigate whatever they want on it. It’s just not always recommended because of not wanting to encourage or breed unnecessary suspicious behaviours towards each other as couples. But the simple truth is that marriage is a field of openness and truthfulness.
A part of marriage means or involves accountability. If you don’t want to be accountable to your spouse then you don’t need marriage. I don’t see why you would want marriage yet not want to be accountable to your partner.
The moment you decide to marry, you are saying you want to be responsible and you’re giving your partner exclusive rights to information on every detail of your life. Every action of yours affects your marriage, as such, it is every partner’s duty to keep the other in check. If you don’t want that, then you simply have to remain single because you can’t be married and still have singleness attitudes and mindsets.
Singles are only accountable onto themselves but once married, you are accountable to each other. The marriage vow enjoins you to.
Our accountability in marriage is not only in the eyes of God but also to our spouses; as such, you must not resent being checked by your spouse.
The trademark of a strong Godly marriage is complete openness; a relationship where couples can talk freely about absolutely everything. If you are faithful, there is no reason to want to hide anything. What at all is on your phone that you are hiding from being seen by your spouse?
Some may say one’s partner may see something that may trigger mistrust but the point is, trust never happens in a vacuum. It’s based on actions…always! I can never wake up one day and just start trusting someone. I must see evidences of your actions over a period of time to conclude on trusting you. And who said trust is a one time thing? It never is. It is constantly being assessed and daily renewed.
If a partner thinks once you marry, trust must just be there automatically, I don’t want to marry such a person. You need to continuously prove to me that I can trust you and I can never do that without genuine openness and accountability for your actions.
So yes, If I chance on something unpleasant or suspicious on your phone, there is something called explanation, clearing of doubts or putting things in their right context. It’s only people who don’t want to be accountable that don’t like being questioned. And for me, once you don’t want to be accountable and subject yourself to scrutiny, then you are a questionable marriage material. Even Jesus Christ says he will judge us so we must be accountable and if that’s cool with us, then it must be cool that we are accountable to our marriage or partners.
The simple truth is that in marriage, both of you need to take joint responsibility for how the marriage is doing. How do you do that when you want to keep some things a no-go area?
Imagine receiving wedding gifts that you don’t get to use years after your wedding. How possible is that? Well, it is very possible and very true in my case. And I believe it’s not a unique experience but one that is very common to many marriages. It is often the case especially when your loved ones who gave the gifts didn’t know what exactly your needs were and were left to just assume what will be useful to the newly married couple.
Recently my wife and I decided to reorganize things in our home and in the process, we chanced on a number of things including boxes of porcelain dinner sets, spice containers and some cookwares which apparently were gifts on our wedding. There were also some fabrics which never got sewn because apparently, they have either gone out of fashion or were not our taste in clothes. Those are just a few examples but that’s not the first time we realized how some of our wedding gifts turned out not immediately useful to us, and it still reminded us of how we would have traded them in for something immediately more useful, or probably should have done things differently like using a wedding registry. We personally had a lot of those stuff before getting married and they just became needless. Imagine having a blender or a microwave and being gifted same as a wedding present. Do you throw them away, gift them to someone else or keep them hoping the ones you already have gets faulty so you can use the ones gifted to you?
Simply, we failed to use a wedding registry and that’s why we experienced all that!
So, should there be weddings without receiving of gifts then? Well, I don’t know, but I don’t think majority holds a wedding without expecting gifts. The purpose is not for gifts but we naturally do expect gifts. And this may be funny but for some people, weddings are a huge financial investment and as such, they attach with it high expectations of receiving something back at least, otherwise they get depressed.
Giving of gifts is just how we show our love to people who are getting married.
There were things we didn’t have when getting married and we would have appreciated those items more if we had received any of them as gifts. But how would our loved ones (guests) know or have the slightest idea of our real needs or wants? It’s never an easy job planning a beautiful wedding. It is neither easy trying to get a meaningful gift for modern couples; it’s a near mental torture because you want to give something that would suit the occasion and that would most importantly be appreciated because of how relevant or useful it would be to the recipients.
That’s where a wedding registry like Zola comes in as a very beautiful resource for wedding planning and creating a unique wedding registry that represents a couple’s personality and style. Their beautiful online registry is very catchy, with easy starter guides and should typically be the go-to for modern couples that would love to create a free registry. The couple can choose a wide variety of wedding gifts they want (from a lot of major brands) and then their friends and family can access their gift list on the online store. It’s simple, fun, fully personalized and offers a lot of possibilities beyond the traditional way of doing things. A couple can get just anything imaginable.
A wedding registry is like a wish list but not a secret one hidden in your heart; but one that openly communicates to your family and friends (wedding guests) the items that you would love as gifts and that will be useful to you in your home. It’s like telling your guests literally “if you want to buy me a gift, this is what I want”. See it like someone asking you out for a drink and asking you what would you have. It’s a beautiful and elegant way or platform to ask for gifts tailored to your tastes and Zola is a sure bet.
It’s a great resource as it saves your loved ones the mental agony we all go through when picking a gift for someone because nobody likes to give a “not so useful” gift and nobody loves to receive one, especially not us modern couples whose tastes are quickly changing. Ever experienced how awful it feels when you give someone a gift and you never see them use it? Also, with the registry, when an item on the list has already been purchased, you will know so you wouldn’t have to purchase the same thing and the couple ends up having three blenders and not knowing what to do with them or having to trade them off for something else (if the registry has a good return policy). In essence, with a wedding registry a couple avoids ending up with a bunch of gifts they may not like or need.
A wedding registry is an amazing life saver for millennial couples and there’s a lot you can get out of the best ones like Zola.
Even if it is cash gifts you end up receiving from your guests, you can personally purchase the specific lovely items listed in your registry and it is always a joy for your guests knowing they contributed to or helped you get the best gifts you needed (must-haves) even if they didn’t personally purchase them for you.
Where to start on creating an awesome wedding registry then? It is always important to work together with one’s partner to set up a registry that captures the needs of (or gift items for) both partners and make sure there’s a wide price range of quality gifts (that can be cherished for many years) that your guests can select from. They must be gifts that suit or reflects your unique lifestyles or personalities and things that you will regularly use. The common things are mostly good kitchen or culinary items because you will always cook as a couple or host a lot of friends and family for dinner; or bathroom and bedroom items because a lot of sizzling moments are shared together there; or general items for the living room like decors that makes it shine because it’s the first space people see in your home. That pretty much covers every room in a modern couple’s home, right?
You may also include gadgets for family entertainment or items for outdoor life and travel because you will be having a lot of romantic getaways. You can also include some exclusive or fashionable items that you may only have a once in a lifetime chance of acquiring on a normal regular shopping spree but that you will adore forever. We all have that one thing that we only get to admire during window shopping and who knows, dreams do come true and by including that in your wedding registry somebody may just surprise you and give you a joy of a lifetime.
Nonetheless, you must know your target group (guest list) and know what they can afford so you can structure your registry accordingly. And not just what they can afford, but when you keep your family and friends in mind when choosing items for your wedding registry, you can almost guess what category of gift item each of them might give you. That maximizes your chances. And it will be important to set up your registry early to give your family and friends ample time to make purchases. Never also forget to send a thank you to anyone who manages to get you a gift. It’s just nice to be appreciated I think.
Anything is possible with a wedding registry because you are in control. So, jump onto Zola for your next big celebration and have fun with it. We all enjoy the experience of doing something new and there’s always new ways of doing things and achieving great results.
God has given you a great blessing in your spouse and in your marriage. God speaks highly of marriage because it is one of His blessings to mankind.
Focus then on the good in your spouse and marriage, and celebrate. Always celebrate each other! Always!
At the same time, realize that your marriage is bigger than you and your spouse. So, allow your relationship to also be a blessing to other couples (or even singles if you like). You don’t have to be a marriage “expert” to do this. You can help somebody from your unique experiences in marriage.
Finally, always bear in mind:
“what’s taken for granted will eventually be taken away; then you end up missing most what you least appreciated”
Today’s Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day), an annual international day in honour of our legendary African leader. The man who fought for social justice for 67 years!
As the day rolls to an end, I am reminded of my visit to his house and the Apartheid Museum last year.
Not only that, but more importantly, I am reminded of his life and to keep fighting for whatever I hold dear…like my marriage! Freedom never comes with a fight, a conscious effort to break the status quo. I’m reminded to exert as much effort into my marriage as I can…only then can I reap the benefits thereof.
Also I am reminded of one of his quotes:
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”
There is a lot of God’s favour on a woman’s life that rubs on and doubles a man’s favour when married to her. It’s a kind of favour that elevates; that makes a man rise; that pushes him to the apex!
The saying “behind every successful man is a woman” is just another way of putting the “he who finds a wife finds favour from the Lord…” biblical promise.
Every time I look back on how far we’ve come…I confidently say to myself “I have the best wife ever”. I truly am blessed with her.
And surely the blessing is not because of WHAT (material things) I have in my life but WHO I have. Her personality is astonishing! And her beauty? Breathtaking!
…And we really have come a long way on the road less travelled by many for fear of many unknowns. The “unknowns” have daily been with us, but we’ve learned to conquer many; riding at the back of the One who holds it all together so beautifully.
So today, halfway through another anniversary, we say…cheers to many more unknowns to conquer!
Again, here’s something interesting I want to share from the marriage devotional I’m currently subscribed to that I mentioned in my earlier post God, Sex and Marriage.
Here it goes…
What Kind Of Love Are You Making?
No, God didn’t make a mistake! Imagine that you and your spouse lived in sexual utopia. You always want to have sex at exactly the same time and the same way. Every initiation is met with an eager response. There is never any conflict about foreplay, being too tired, giving each other pleasure or trying something new in bed because your desires are always exactly the same. How fantastic would that be? It would be almost like the sex portrayed in movies–what a great love life!
God, the creative Creator certainly could have made sex that way. He could have created man and woman to be exactly the same sexually. But He didn’t. In fact, He intentionally made us vastly different.
Did God make a mistake? Did He “mess up” the master design of sex by making a husband and wife so diverse? Does He sit up in heaven and laugh that we can’t seem to please each other?
Remember that even before sin entered the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had primary sexual differences in the way God created them. God declared His creation of man and woman “very good” and this very good included your sexual differences.
God’s design for sex is NOT just for immediate exquisite pleasure (although He is all for that). But God has a much more beautiful gift of intimacy for you and your spouse to open than what the world says sex is about. Here’s the catch. It requires a different kind of love.
Sex is designed to be more than an expression of love between a husband and wife. It is also the refining fire of love. It tests and teaches a willing man and woman to reach beyond their natural desires and learn what servant love really is.
The world knows only of a love that feels good. We are born with the natural response to “love” those who meet our physical and emotional needs. This kind of natural love is essentially self-love. It really says, “I love the way you make me feel.”
The differences between you and your spouse will ultimately ask you a question: am I a servant lover or a selfish lover? God is very concerned about what kind of love you are making!
Action Step: Ask your spouse, with an open heart, how can I be a servant lover to you?
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did? Share your thoughts with me in the comment box. Cheers!