29 June 2016

SELF ASSESSMENT 101: MARRIAGE.

 The very thought of marriage used to frighten me. I wasn't sold on the idea of monogamy. I saw so many examples of divorce and unfaithfulness that the beautiful picture of marriage wasn't an aspiration.I wish I could say that I was content on living a single life, but the truth is that I was going to keep "playing the field.”"  Cornelius Lindsey

Well, there is one part of life that we cannot avoid, and this topic has been one that has been part of most of our discussions lately (a group of friends and I). This is because my peers and I are at that point where we are making life long decisions, we are making life long investment decisions, we making our circle of friends finer because we are making lifelong friendships, we are making life long career choices, and most certainly (at some point) we will have to choose that lifelong companion. Now, as much as we are discussing it and praying about it, we are also reading much about the issue, coz let’s face it…the institution of marriage (from a Christian’s point of view) has been under attack. Cornelius Lindsey’s statement up there in one of posts lately (Speaking of which, The Lindsey’s are goals yaani…) sparked up a debate among us. When are we ever ready for marriage? I mean, we see some get married at 20 others at 40, others at 60 and slay this marriage thing. We have also seen others get married at the same ages and live in tears.

So as part of my self-assessment, this was part of my areas of assessment. Now, I have done a lot of reading from various local and international authors, I have consulted my mentor and sat at the feet of the married, divorced and single at advanced ages, and this article by Judy Karanja (She is the Author) written in 2012 was shared with me. This is what She says:

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DON'T GET MARRIED IF:

If you’re not ready to delay gratification when your are angry. To hold your tongue, lower your voice and sometimes wait till the appropriate time, day or even month before you can deal with an issue thoroughly…. don’t get married. Immaturity is the inability to delay gratification. Marriage is for the mature.

If you’re not ready to leave center stage and allow someone else to become your focus, your study, your muses… don’t get married. Selfish people make very bad spouses. In marriage you don’t lose yourself but your heart has to be big enough to gain someone else. And soon, with God’s blessing: little, crying, diaper soiling, demanding little ones are coming!

If you are not ready, to stand up and calmly deal with meddling in laws as a united front: The opinionated sister, the insensitive uncle, the domineering father, the manner less brother, the nosy aunt….. don’t get married. Boundaries do not exist automatically, they must be created. A good spouse is committed to respectfully stand up for and protect their marriage from meddling relatives. Don’t abandon your spouse to your relatives. It’s betrayal.

If you are not ready to pay bills…. don’t get married. Love does not pay bills. Kenya power will not give a waiver because your love is O so strong and your gazes at each other, O so romantic.

If you are not ready to let go of your opposite sex “best friends” and invest that into your spouse. To like, to laugh, to play, to be silly and to enjoy life with them, above anyone else… don’t get married. Affairs happen because people did not marry their best friends. Someone else holds their heart. Someone else gets them better. Someone else inspires them more. Marry your best friend and cultivate your friendship so that you remain best friends.

If you are not ready to stop competing with the Joneses…. don’t get married. Let the Joneses buy their yatch when you are still walking, and enjoy the walk. Your journeys are different. They may have to cross the oceans but you may be going through the road route. A boat might not do you any good on your journey. You must be ready to pace yourselves: stop competing, stop spending your future before you get there, stop the debt, stop trying to impress people. You must be able to be content. To enjoy your journey without deciding your happiness simply by measuring your progress against other people.

If you are not ready to be an open book. To tell the whole story of your past, deal with the memories, expose the failures and risk rejection…. don’t get married. It is fraud to have someone sign off their life to you without the full details. The past is a touchy and demanding friend. It always shows up in the marriage. It doesn’t enjoy being ignored and the more you snob, the bolder it becomes and the more tantrums it throws. It will mess up the “neat” and “all together lovely” image that you are struggling to maintain.

If you are not ready to let go of your philandering and wild oats farming…. don’t get married. Don’t take somebody’s son or daughter and subject them to your germs, your indiscretions and your chips fungaz. It never ends well. It’s romanticized in the movies, it’s being fronted as the only “realistic” way to stay married and keep the fire burning. But truth be told, the only thing that the fire will burn will be you, your spouse and your children. That family will burn for generations in bitterness, disease, fear, failure, hatred, broken hearts, broken dreams and conniving.

Finally, if you are not ready to let go of the adrenalin rush of a risque life and to settle down…. don’t get married. The great Colombus [who we were told “discovered” America, Have you ever wondered if the Native Indians who were in it, knew that it existed :-)] had a diary that was long sought for. People wanted to read about the wild journeys, the sea tempest, the reckless pirates they fought, the death and the danger they must have encountered. When it was found, there was great disappointment. Majority of the pages simply had 5 words: “This day, we sailed on.” 

Marriage, like life in general, has many “we sail on” days. You have to learn to find the thrill in the normal everydayness of it. If you depend on wild romance, all night sex [ha], romantic cruises, wild parties, compulsive moves across continents, tempestuous fights and make up sessions to be happy, you may be disappointed. You have to learn to thrill in gentle smiles, loving hugs, knowing looks, cozy moments, shared chores, cute babies, everyday work, dreaming together, praying together and simply living together. If these things are not thrilling, exciting and satisfying, you will look for a way out. The “boom twaff” moments are still there, but they are normally punctuations to the usualness of living. They cannot be your reason for getting married. They are unsustainable on an everyday basis. The one you choose must be thrilling to you even in the most mundane of moments.

I pray this helps someone. Remember singles, YOU HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF CHOICE. Never let anyone pressure you into marriage. You are either ready or you’re not: You decide!. But please don’t marry somebody and then punish them to live with your childish ways for the rest of their lives. A childish baby is cute but a childish adult is extremely frustrating.

Marriage is for the mature and in many ways, we the married, are still being confronted with the demand to grow up day by day. If you are not ready for that demand, don’t get married!!

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At the end of the day, when we realize that our lives can change at any moment and change forever, we start making decisions. Serious ones. But nothing can make us that prepared. Nothing can.




Facebook:  Njeri Kareithi
Twitter: @deekareithi


*all pics source: www.pixabay.com




12 comments:

  1. Great insight. It shows marriage 💑 as a good thing without demonizing single life.

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  2. This is extremely true. I concur with every word.

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  3. I concur. Very well written.

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  4. True Wise words. great article

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  5. "Marriage is for the mature and in many ways" how i wish the married people would read this article

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