The other day, my friend and I were discussing generally, and then we diverted into life-partner and marriage talk, and from the discussion I realised that for some of the people who are married, the reason they actually made the move at the time they did, was because of the pressure from the society.
I’m telling you, it is very easy to be pushed into making a decision to walk down the aisle against your will. What exactly do I mean by this?
Let a lady stand up and announce that she doesn’t want to get married but wants to spend her life making impacts around the world devoid of any other responsibilities, you will see how tongues will rise, from village to church to family, because for them It is abominable to speak like that.
You hear some women say, nobody can be fulfilled outside marriage and when you mention Paul’s name, they tell you he has a special call and you wonder what makes him different from other humans.
No matter how much that woman is doing for God, it is all a waste if she can’t point to a man and say, ‘this is my husband.’
So forget it, Society in many instances have a hand directly or indirectly in that anxiety and desperation to find a partner.
As far as the Nigerian circle is concerned, applause from the society matters more than anything. We are humans with feelings. We are created to be connected in relationships. Isolation is not part of our makeup so it is understandable when we react to the pressure coming from different angles.
The other day, I attended a friend’s wedding. As I got into the church, I wished I had not come. You see all those women who have been in your life from a little after the time you got off diapers, they are the hardest to deal with.
That was how one pulled me to one side of the church and began to talk in low tones. I stood there staring blankly like a child whose mother was giving an admonition on her first day into the secondary school. The kind of talk where a mother says, ‘Don’t talk to boys o, if you allow them touch you, you’ll get pregnant fiam!
I would hear mum say,
‘What’s happening now? People are talking o.’
As the pressure comes from her friends, she transfers the pressure on me.
There was a time my number was given to a deliverance prayer warrior. I’m talking about the binding and loosing prayer warrior. It was then I knew this one na serious wahala. I was expecting him to give me a time when I would come to his prayer room so he could drive all the demons of delayed marriage but thankfully he just encouraged me to depend on God.
The pressure is everywhere. You are sincerely happy about the stage you are in while patiently waiting for God’s leading, but the push here and there almost drives you insane. Most of these people have good intentions for us. But they will not be there when the marriage hit the rocks.
If you do not allow God develop thick walls in you, you will settle for anyone out of fear when you suddenly hear words like, ‘Do you know how old you are?’ or ‘all your mates are married.’ Those words sink so deep and you wonder what is wrong with you. Before you say jack, you are already climbing that mountain and visiting prophets. Your eyes begin to scan sisters as they file out of the church service. A brother says ‘how are you?’ but your brain reads, ‘will you marry me?’
Even for some who have found purpose and are pursuing God, those words sometimes get to them. There is no use denying it. They can laugh and say, ‘Can’t they mind their business?’ but still they are left wondering why they should be pitied for not having a man.
Fear is real. anxiety is real. But waiting on God is worth it.
What do you do when the pressure to get married is so intense? How do you stay unruffled while you wait for God’s direction?
1. Environment matters.
Get friends who are all out and living their purpose. Friends of like minds, friends passionate about their living life fully. Have fun and do things together. Pray together. The right environment will keep your mind focused.
2. Turn your focus to the Word.
As the pressure gets intense, get intense with the Word too.
3. Keep away from undue closeness to the opposite sex.
The period when the pressure was at the peak, I became close to a particular brother…and because I was pushed from external sources, my actions seemed desperate. I didn’t like the fact that a friendship that was supposed to blossom just went sour. At the time pressure comes from different angles, it is not wise to hang out with a man you already sense isn’t in God’s plan for your life. You will find yourself pushing yourself into a web that will bring you trouble.
4. Open your mouth and talk.
Let them know you don’t appreciate being pressurized. In a polite way, help them understand how their words are affecting you negatively.
5. Stay away from the places that’ll drive you into desperation.
You may not like this idea, but I’ll say it all the same. If every time you go home you get depressed because your folks keep making you feel insecure, reduce the time you spend at home. Let them see you less often. You can’t just sit at home all week and month and expect not them not to talk. Get a life. Let them see that you are busy with your life. If you can move to your own apartment, do so. But ensure you maintain regular communications with them.
6. Put all your strength into your purpose.
When pressure come from all sides, let your purpose give you joy and happiness. Continue to do what God has called you to do, while you wait for him to lead you to the right person.
The truth remains that,
Marriage is a big deal. It’s not something you want to jump blindly into. If you are in a relationship and you are already seeing signs of disaster, remember that after that wedding, your ship will leave the shore and whatever you encounter on your journey lies in your hands.
One scripture rightly describes the attitude every christian single should have in the face of societal pressure:
…Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee. Isaiah 26:3.