Pressures of young married couples

Young married couples need money to run their life. Once you marry in our part of the world, your responsibilities skyrocket because it’s never about just you and your partner. There’s so much to do and there’s so much external pressures…especially from our families. You don’t have to complain in our part of the world…you just have to cope; it’s called being “responsible“.

We’ve seen many young couples unable to survive because many fail to sit down and plan their monthly expenditure early in their marriage. When you do, you’ll actually realize you have very little to save for your future after trying so hard to satisfy “everybody”.

Everybody is trying to get money out of you in our part of the world and funny enough, they see it as their “right” to have a part in your small money. Family, friends, church, strangers, etc. Some take it as a loan and do not pay back, perhaps thinking your situation is better than theirs. Others think it is their “human right” to demand money from you just because they are your family. The Churches especially, if they have their own way, they will take all your monthly salary and tell you to go depend on God’s supply.

Many churches these days don’t care the source of your money or how their members make a living. It doesn’t matter to them how young folks make their money (genuinely or not), as long as they bring it to Church. The more you give in church, the more you’re liked and the closer you get to (or the better attention you get from) the “man of God”. The more affluent you seem, the more the Church tries to get closer to you or act as if they care about you. Minus the money, you’re on your own. Some Pastors live on Church funds (which of course keeps growing) so it doesn’t matter to them to even think about the kind of financial responsibilities their members carry outside the Church.

Out of over spirituality too, many struggling young couples themselves too don’t mind throwing money at Church even if they can’t feed their family. If their family member is in real need even, they will rather send the money to church than help the family member with it and not have anything (e.g. tithe) to give at Church.

Some churches have no clue at all what work their young members do. In fact, they know close to nothing about the people they call “members”. They care rather more about “members” bringing in money to give tithe, offertory, covenant offering and all the many others they have devised in our part of the world.

We are living in a time where many people are doing very dubious things just to make money and some feel encouraged or rather pushed by our churches and their constant demand for money and so will do just anything to “save face” in church or feel they also belong. Imagine how close you are to the “man of God” or the position you hold in Church and most times that he asks for members to sow “a seed befitting your status” you are unable to give. Some Pastors will even force you to give by calling out your name or putting you on the spot with all manner of tricks.

But the sad truth is that, most times when young married couples or “members” are even in need, family and friends offer help faster than the Churches we give all our lives to with 100% religious devotion. In fact, you even feel more comfortable going to family and friends for help than the Church. The Church mostly becomes the last resort when all avenues have been exhausted. How many churches even help their poor members? Most times, they even take longer to help. It is mostly when “members” need the Church to come through for them that the Church starts acting funny with their “are you a member in good standing” antics, but surprisingly, one’s membership never comes into question when the Church needs your money (tithes,offerings,fund raisings for projects, etc).

The financial pressures are just so much on young married couples…but many times too, we are our own enemies because we try to do too much to please everybody. We must learn to live within our means, always watch our finances and have good financial plans for our life. We must live with the mind that help is never coming from anywhere. It’s sad because I often see young married couples depend on alms just to get by, yet still give all they have without thought to church, family and friends…just to save face and thereafter wallow back into poverty. I don’t know what kind of mentality that is though. 🤔

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Image source: El Carna Studios

Marrying late

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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Image sources:
http://www.economist.com