As a rule I do not write about religion due to the fact that religion is a matter of faith and not logic. However I do write about societal trends and my observations. I have mulled and mulled about writing this post for awhile. I have finally decided to just write it as I feel it and be done with it.
So here goes nothing..
In February, Mavuno Church had a series ‘Finder’s Keepers’ that was about matters love. In a conversation with my friend she commented on how shortly there would be a lot of weddings as a result of the series.
This comment got me thinking about marriage and the church and the fact that early marriages are more the norm than the exception with born-again Christians.
In December last year, one of my friend’s, who is a serious dada-katika-Yesu got married. She was twenty one. It was a shocker to me but apparently quite normal amongst her crowd.
At same point I used to go to a church and would get bemused at the fact that the pastor was interested in the love life of the congregation. If a boy started hanging out with a girl then he would have emissaries from the Pastor asking him what was his plan with the girl.
There was no just dating for the sake of dating, there had to be a reason, preferably a relationship leading to marriage. If the boy had no long-term plans then he was discouraged from “wasting” the girl’s time. If the boy said he had long-term plans then he and the girl were promptly enrolled in a pre-marital class or a wedding class. Most people in that church would normally date for less than a year and bang they were married.
I have asked around and apparently this is not unique to the church I attended but the norm in most churches. Given this background I got to wondering whether there was pressure to marry young for those who are born-again Christians.
For those who are not born-again or avid Christians, the answer as to why the “Savedees” married young was sex. They reckoned since the “Savedees” cannot partake of sex before marriage then that it follows that their first serious relationship is geared towards marriage where they can rightly engage in sex.
The ‘Savedees’ reject this and say that the reason why they marry young is because marriage is a key component of life, also that as opposed for the non-‘Savedees’, due to God’s presence in their lives they do not waste their twenties searching for their purpose in life and finally the role models of young Christians marry young.
Maybe I am looking at this from the prism of my reality, but marriage at twenty feels like a rush job. I look back at myself at twenty, I honestly had no idea whether I was coming or going. I shudder to think of myself as a husband taking care of myself, a wife and a family.
However I am reminded that my parent’s generation did marry young and they did turn out okay. Makes me wonder when the culture of marrying when relatively older and quite well-off financially and career wise started and why.
I am no expert in matters love nor do I have a manual or correct time as to when one should marry. Neither am I convinced that the age at one marries has any relational to the success to said marriage.
What I am pondering on is if I was a young man who was “Savedee” and I really liked Girl X but I was not ready for marriage, would I be accepted or ostracized by my church? Or if I was Girl Y and I had not found the right person to settle down with, would I be then be the odd one out? What if I feel marriage is not for me, will I find understanding or will I be considered less of a man? How many ‘Savedees’ get into marriages so as fit in?
Just random questions ping-ponging in my head.
I do hope that the churches apart from encouraging their congregation to get into marriages when young are also providing the young folk with a good enough support system to aid them in the serious institution that is a marriage.
GOD BLESS KENYA!