Dealing with the anxiety for marriage

SINGLES MATTER with ChinyereDistinguished

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Anxiety for marriage was my predominant emotion for the most part of 2015 and 2016. I was to turn 25 in 2015; so as I approached the silver jubilee age, I was determined to do so with a wedding band or at least, an engagement one, on my finger. This was because I had a subconscious programme in my mind which screamed: “you MUST be married before a certain age or within a certain age range.”

By August 2015, I was done with my NYSC service year, engaged to be married and eager to start my happily ever after. My traditional and church weddings were scheduled for 5 and 12 December, 2015, respectively. You needed to see how excited I was as I picked out the colours and other accessories for the day.

Unfortunately, some events happened and the weddings couldn’t hold on the proposed dates. They were postponed to some unfixed dates in 2016.

I felt so beaten, disappointed and embarrassed. I already told most of my close friends that I was getting married so my heart would cut to several bits each time they called to ask “baibe, how far naa?” Once I heard this, my anxiety would triple!

Since I already turned 25 (the supposed marriage deadline for ladies) in October 2015, I was determined to not step into age 26 as a single. So when 2016 came, I was anxious for things to work out quickly so I would get married within the first quarter of the year. But again, man proposes, God disposes (Proverbs 19:21). As the year rolled by, things fell more apart. To make matters ‘worse’, some of my friends who weren’t even engaged when I was planning my wedding, started getting married one after the other. This time, my anxiety skyrocketed!

Even though I still prayed all the prayers I knew to pray and also implored my friends and pastors to join me in prayers, my faith became steadily eroded by frets and I gradually lost my trust in God.

Looking back, I clearly understand why those prayers were not answered with a “YES”. Most of my prayers then were bordered on fear, anxiety and desperation for marriage; and not on Faith to hear God or the desire to please Him. Marriage had become an idol status I wanted to attain to prove some senseless points.

Of course, the desire for marriage is a beautiful and scripturally approved one. However, mine had drifted from good desire to anxiety and even more downwards to obsession. I had practically lost every sense or quest for a purposeful marriage.

Despite so many glaring red flags to make me pause and think, I was more determined to say “I Do” first, before I think. Thank God for His mercies and interventions in my matter, it would have been a different story today.

God needed me to repent and go back to desiring marriage for the right reasons; not out of pressure, desperation, anxiety or any other faulty premise.

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Dear Single,

Are you anxious about marriage like I was?

Are you letting your desire for marriage tend to an obsession that blinds you from logical reasoning?

Are you permitting anxiety to hinder you from hearing and heeding the counsel of the Holy Spirit?

According to the Concord Dictionary, anxiety means:

  1. An unpleasant state of mental uneasiness, nervousness, apprehension and obsession or concern about some uncertain event.
  2. An uneasy or distressing desire (for something).

From experience, I can tell you that anxiety is a terrible thing. It prevents you from living in the moment and reaping the inherent benefits in it; trust me, there are benefits in each moment – be it blessings or lessons. What is worse is, anxiety hinders your prayers from being answered because you are praying fear and worry, instead of faith and trust in God’s supreme ability to work things out for your good.

Listen, God already said, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18) and “None shall want her mate” (Isaiah 34:16). This means that God has your marital destiny and fulfilment in His divine plan.

Whenever the anxiety for marriage threatens to overwhelm you, this is how to deal with it:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Always remember and use the scripture above to make your desire for marriage and every other request, known to God. Do it with faith and He’ll make all things beautiful for you in its time.

I understand that there may be things around you which trigger this anxiety; but here’s my advice to you: ditch anxiety today and you’ll find the answers to your prayers closer than you’d thought. This is my testimony!

Next week, I’ll share with you how to deal with the pressures for marriage.

Till then, don’t forget to apply today’s lesson, and share this post with your friends. Remember to stay safe and stay connected to the only source of true love – GOD.

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