I remember having a conversation with a female colleague when I just started graduate study. She expressed to me that she wouldn’t dear take on studies beyond the undergraduate level until she was married. This was because most men that are single and looking for a wife are not as qualified and having a master’s degree would rule out possible future mates. I could understand her logic, men being egotistical and all, but my question to her was: “What if you never got married?”
This conversation happened eight years ago and this young lady still has all her career dreams and aspirations on hold waiting for this elusive mate. Why should one delay their dreams without even being in a committed relationship? By committed relationship, I mean married or officially declared/ engaged. Not a mere promise from someone who is not accountable to you or anyone else and can leave the next minute if it pleased him.
To an extent I think women generally have an innate need for commitment. Sometimes when its not there we still assume it to be there. A woman can be in a relationship for months and years and her main reason for staying is because she believes that he is going to marry her. She will give up opportunities just for that very fact. Even if officially the other person (the man) did not declare this. Her hope is place in what she sees in the future and as this commitment is delayed, disappointment sets in. She may even become resentful often considering what she gave up or is still giving up.
My dear sisters, live your lives in contentment. Appreciate your current situations and make the most of them. If you are not committed to a man, there is no need to delay your life just to please him. But you will find, if you live your life being happy in your state, giving of yourself to the Lord and seizing each day, you will have joy and peace in God’s comforting presence. Don’t get manipulative or use ultimatums to get men to commit to you. Just live the life God intended for you to live. Who knows in putting the Lord first, He’ll just send you someone who is truly ready to commit. At least then, you won’t have any resentment. Trust the Lord!
… And then you meet someone who seems to be all you ever daydream about. In the midst of the excitement, are the questions of uncertainty with what will happen next. Well these three things can help settle your mind.
You need to know that you can trust this individual with being faithful to you. The coming together of two people also means the leaving behind of other things. Some of this requires careful planning because it may require leaving family, friends, employment, homes and whole long list. It is not wise to take these decisions without being committed in that relationship. So one of the first things that should happen before any such decision takes place; is actually being engaged. An engagement officially declares that we are planning to spend the rest of our lives together. It is a official commitement. It also causes the individual to be accountable to you and others for upholding the relationship.
Once you are committed to each other. You each have a responsibility to build and direct your relationship. Accountability is very important in ensuring that even though you are not married there is a support system that will ensure that you do. Accountability involves other individuals who help in making the transition seamless. These individuals include but are not limited to pastors, marriage counsellors, parents and close friends. They help to guide you especially in difficult moments. Accountability is very important; imagine taking a decision to leave your employment and home and then the other person changes their mind. That could be devastating.
After being committed and accountable to each other, there needs to be some level of comfort as to what the future will be. Where will we live? Will there be sufficient income? Will I be worse off than I was before I got married? These will be especially important to the individual who will have to leave most behind.
If these three areas are resolved it begs for a good start to marriage bliss. But I will advise that if there is no commitment, one need not to worry their brain about what it is that will happen. Enjoy each day rather than stress about it. Once you become committed deal with the questions as they arise. Remember to enjoy every day, make note of them, they will be fund memories to review later on in life.