Marriage pressure traditionally come be from family and friends but these days the church is now a part of the list of those who think they can tell you when and annoyingly enough, who to marry.
This is where the burden behind this post lies.
Why does the church authority put unnecessary pressure on single ladies in the name of “helping them make the right decision”. What right does a pastor have to tell a single, marriage-age lady in the church when to marry, who to marry and how to marry?
This is not to dispute the role they have to play as far as marriage is concerned in the church, this is only a charge to draw them back to the place of understanding that the priorities of many of their single ladies is well ordered just as their concerns are strong when it comes to relationships that would lead to marriage.
This is 21st century and one of the hallmark of this century is the enhance capacity for singles to make accurate decision for all aspect of their lives including marriage.
Marriage pressure from the church is not what is needed at this point, marriage might be an 18th item on a 20 list to-do before 30. Attempts to persuade her to marry a certain brother because “he is responsible and spiritually matured” should not come up at all.
His types are rare these days, they’d say without considering if this “daughter in the Lord” has marriage in view or not; they conclude she is not matured enough to know or tell when is the right time for marriage hence the need to “help her decide”.
Now, the fact that she’s an undergraduate with academic and social pressure to deal with counts for nothing because “a woman quickly fades like flower” hence the need to secure her future first, they’d try to make her see this.
A lot of young ladies have been put under needless marriage pressure to commit to relationships and marriage against their own consent for fear of not wanting to come across as rude and unyielding before the hallowed church authority. In the name of not wanting to appear rude to church elders another good girl ends up coaxed into something she is not yet ready for; a battle that will last a lifetime is initiated without any preparation whatsoever.
There is no justification in using spiritual authority to force a lady into something she doesn’t want. It’s even worse when she has other needs that need immediate attention and marriage is now brought into the mix.
Here are some practical ways to maintain your stand in the face of subtle pressure from church authority to get you agree to a marriage you don’t have as a thought yet or when worse still to a total stranger.
- Speak your heart to them with unmistakable conviction: Many times the church elders have their way because the lady doesn’t have vivid pictures of exactly what she wants or where she’s headed. know what you want and know how to communicate it in the face of many temptingly readily available
- Church elders have a strategy to at least get you to make them a promise of “I’ll think about it”. If they can get you to that tight corner be sure you’ll eventually do according to their bidding
- Do not compromise at any point during the usually long consultation process; not in words or in action. Let your yes not be maybe and your no, I don’t know. Anything other than this is a set-up to shoot yourself on your foot
- Do not bottle up the pressure in your heart. Look for a reliable person with whom you can exchange the burden of your heart for fresh wisdom and line of thinking.
- Never appear to them wearing the worried look on the picture below. It will make them think “we’re winning the war”. Your best bet is to appear as lively and excited as this gives them the impression that your mind is irrevocably made.
A little word for elders in church who are using their authority to coax single women into marital commitment just because a man informed them of the “vision” he saw. The lady does have her priorities which marriage may not be at the very top. Seek to understand her and strive to be her guide, strength and light, carefully and prayerfully supporting her instead of luring/coaxing or persuading her for what doesn’t exist as far as she is concerned.