Bristi Bandyopadhyay_at the end of the colour_YUJmSGpY.jpg

MARRY ME NOW OR I DIE!

A Few weeks ago, my team in church decided to break out of the jail of noise, stress and every draining factor that weigh people down in the city and we headed for a camp meeting in one of the most serene locations I have ever visited. Almost immediately after arrival, we all dived into the sea of spiritual rebirth, some got drowned and a few others got lost. In all, we returned more energized and empowered. For a fact, the planning as well as execution was excellent; topnotch accommodation, good quality food served in very large quantity as well (my love for food though…lol), and also, sensational and seasoned ministers to set us on course. The event was livestreamed being that some team members were out of the country or unavoidably absent. In one sentence, it was a five-star event! According to the time-table, day 2 (5:00-6:15 am), happened to be what I tagged “moment of segregation”. The married were expected to go on a prayer walk (a combo of spiritual and physical fitness) while the unmarried were supposed to gather in a place to pray. My initial plan was to go on the walk with the married folks but Victor (Bro Victor sounds more correct to some spiritual folks though), labeled it as an act of rebellion, pride, deceit etc. So, I decided to be a good dude.

Arriving at the venue to be used for prayers by the singles, I noticed most of the ladies wore a very virtuous and courteous demeanor: probably the strategic part of their church mind told them they might be standing next to their Mr. Right. I could read despair on peoples’ faces as they passionately and violently banged heaven’s gate with the body language that I could only interpret as “give me a husband (or wife) now or I die!” In as much as the presence of God was evident, more evident was the despondency of his children, the cloud of desperation was as thick as an Italian duvet and I almost choked to death, but mercy said no. I saw tears meandering down some makeup free faces as some sisters walked themselves into miracle marriages (they literally convulsed), as well, I heard brothers prophetically declaring their wedding date as some men of God led us through this dramatic session. Everybody’s marital goal suddenly switched to the next 365 days as they all cried: “by this time next year I must be settled!”. I wished I could yell that “THE BEST TIME TO SETTLE DOWN IS NOW THAT YOU ARE UNMARRIED. IF YOU THINK MARRIAGE IS A PLATFORM OF SETTLEMENT, THEN YOU ARE A JOKER. MARRIAGE IS SETTLED WHEN TWO SETTLED UNMARRIED FOLKS ARE INVOLVED. ANYTHING ELSE IS TROUBLED WATER. TAKE HEED, ELSE THOU SHALL BREAKDOWN AND GO DOWN”.

In my opinion, if you are desperate to get married, then you do not understand the concept of marriage, neither do you understand the dynamics of the war you are about to start. Desperation only attracts wrong people into your life. Since I was born and now I am getting old, I have never seen a desperado get it right in marriage. Never! Marriage is like driving, you wanna make it fun and fulfilling, then acquire the necessary skills. If you are inexperienced behind the wheel you cannot differentiate between the pedals, accelerator, brake and in some cases, the clutch and this is suicidal irrespective of your age or the bank account of your spirituality. For there is a way that seems right unto a man or woman, but the end thereof is destruction. I often ask myself, why are folks so anxious to die? Show me a man or a woman who is desperate to get married and I will show you a victim of societal pressure who is unprepared about the very thing she is asking for.

Permit me to go numeric and bore your with statistics , 147 unmarried folks attended a meeting (out of the approximately 600 people in attendance), and when Pastor K asked us to indicate how many of us are certain that we are not ready to settle down in the next 365 days, I waved with both hands and the brother standing by me did the same. Trust me, I saw nobody else raise their hands. The effect of this is :100-0.0138% =99.9862%. As such, I am expected to eat rice at 145 venues in the next 365 days (2.517 weddings per day); just one department, just one sphere of my life (I still have families, friends, bloggers, colleagues, neighbors just to mention a few). Believe me, the next one year is going to be very busy for me and please forgive me in advance if I struggle to publish as few as 10 pieces during this time frame. ‘Team owambe’ on the fleek! As the meeting continued, Brother Larry (not his real name) mentioned by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that some folks among us had attempted suicide because of this life partner/marital saga. He encouraged them to step forward for prayers while he sternly instructed with that familiar religious phrase: “All heads bow and all eyes closed.” Naturally, I am allergic to that sentence and consequently, whenever I hear it, my eyelids become rigid and my neck turns in various directions, and I do the exact opposite no matter how hard I try, and that day wasn’t any different. So, I saw 8 folks (6 cute ladies and two lads) fall into the center of the circle we had formed as we held hands. At this point, I was slightly confused. How on earth would anyone want to take his own life? How would you convince God that you took your own life because he was trying to keep you away from wrecking some destinies (or vice versa) all in the name of marriage? Does your bible say “for without marriage, it is impossible to please God or be fulfilled?” If you are contemplating suicide because you are unmarried at a particular age (and I don’t care if you are 80), or because of family or societal pressure, what would you do if you are caught in the web of a turbulent marriage where you have a mother-in-law that is a monster, or where your position in the family is threatened due to infertility? I think I know the answer; genocide (you will kill everyone and everything). Now, we both know the reason God is afraid to entrust a home into your care and leadership.

The pastors and leaders’ thoughts were far from mine just as the heaven is far from the earth; they graciously prayed for them after which they returned to their positions before others could open their eyes. Somehow, I felt (and still feel) they would be more impacted and delivered if only someone could tell them after the meeting that the concept of marriage in their mind is either overrated or totally wrong. Marital bliss is rare and sometimes overhyped. To make a marriage truly work, you need capacity and you don’t build it in marriage, you do that while you are unmarried.

I Corinthians 7:26-28 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

Beloved, marriage is not for sissies of an age range, it is for folks who are in the center of God-given purpose for their lives, those who really need helpers and those who are helpers themselves. Marriage is for people who are maximizing their gifts, talents and resources to be a blessing to humanity. People who are assets to God and humanity.

Beloved, one shall put a thousand to flight and two shall chase ten thousand. How many lives are you touching? How many people are you influencing? How many adversaries are you chasing? If you cannot answer these questions succinctly, you might be one of those who are being chased by the beast of life, and I can boldly say that you are unfit for marriage? These are some of the factors to consider before the thoughts of marriage begin to seethe the corridors of your desperate mind. Your age, body size and shape or societal voices should not be a yardstick to determine your readiness to say “I do”. If you are one of the great minds putting a thousand enemy to flight, I don’t think you would have enough time to be depressed about this minor issue. If you must be depressed at all as a believer, there are better things to invest that energy in. Nehemiah was depressed because of the wall: locate your own wall and start building. Life is too short, please learn to live it well. I stand to be corrected, but I say it with all humility and sadness of heart: this kind of ‘I must marry now now’ prayer meeting is purely cultural and anti-scriptural. It is unhealthy and highly poisonous to the entire body of Christ (my heart just raced now because I feel I just spoke like a pastor). I understand many of us are victims of societal pressures which are heavy and real. However, I think we have healthier societal pressure which many of us (even the church) ignore while we run to embrace a toxic, self-immolating, self-glorifying ones. The bible says the society are groaning, quaking and patiently waiting for our manifestation. I think we should care more about manifesting via our skills, talents and purposes instead of disturbing heaven about life partners. If you are not part of the manifesting soldiers, then you should be depressed, and your depression should inspire you to be more valuable. I encourage you to channel your prayers and energy to more productive activities and tasks.

Thanks so much for stopping by…. It’s quite a long piece and I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know what you think via the comment section and share with your friends if you think it is worth it.

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