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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Preparing the Young Girls for Marriage

The Girl Child 

The girl child is being prepared for marriage from the minute she takes her first breath, at least in many parts of the world. She needs to learn how to cook because she needs to keep her husband filled and happy. She needs to learn to do some chores around the house because, well, who's gonna take care of the house? She needs to learn to look good, cover up her flaws as much as possible because we all like to pretend one could exist without flaws. I remember growing up, one of my mom's favorite catch phrases was: "Is that how you'll be acting when you get to your husband's house?"
(Now, imagine that in an irritated Yoruba mother's tone) Bless her heart, she meant no harm when she said this and I bet her mom probably said the same thing to her and her mom heard the same thing from her own mom...trace the history down. Marriage has always been the job description and you'd be damned going past a silver jubilee and not already be in the role you were born to play- the wifey. Even now in the Christian circle, a lot of our gatherings center around: "how to prepare for marriage" , "how to be a purposeful wife", "how to live the single life in preparation for marriage". These things are not bad, I even benefit from some of these myself, but making that the subject of discussion 80% of the time? Errm, Aren't we missing out something? I understand how much trouble the institution of marriage is in today but I also think we may sometimes be taking a different turn on the issue (story for another day)
So, I wonder, what happens when this young woman fails at the one thing she's been trained to do? What happens if marriage doesn't come close to the bed of roses they made it seem like ? Does her entire existence become nullified by her inability to prove "useful" ?

The Revolution

It was only a matter of time before the 21st century woman realized there was so much more outside the wedding bells board room. She was opened to a whole new world of possibilities when she saw herself capable of so much more. The women empowerment era did not only come to help her fight for equal wages or a right to vote, it also came with an emancipation from "damned to be a wife" syndrome; hence, the revolution. While the revolution came with lots of liberty from the initial status quo, she wasn't protected from the harm that ropes in as well. She now moves from the bondage of "damned to be a wife" to another similar but beautifully packaged bondage of "damned to reach the apex of corporate ladder" or "damned to be defined by how much she brings home at the end of the month". And the ones who still wish to retain the wifey duty while running for the corporate ladder, stay battling the balance. Does it ever stop? Can we stop with the damnation.

Preparing for Marriage 

You see, the issue was never the fact that she was being prepared for marriage from the beginning. the issue was her being prepared for the wrong type of marriage. The young girl was being prepared for something she would never be able to handle on her own even with a million years of preparation in her back pocket. She was being prepared to satisfy a man who was just as flawed and fallible (or even more) as she is. She was being prepared to be the best wife, the best mom, the best cook, the best homemaker when in reality, she only needed to be prepared to be the beloved bride to a worthy savior. And when she fought her way out of that status quo, she hopped into another vehicle of preparation to be the best co-worker, best employee, best manager, best deal maker, best asset to the company, best "self-made" business owner when really, all she needed to be was a good servant to a worthy savior. Do you see where I am going with this?

To Our Little Girls 

Marriage is supposed to be a gift to mankind not a means to an end of damnation. I respect women who choose to be homemakers, I respect women who choose to pursue a career, I respect women who choose to be both. But in all of these, I admire women who choose to be one or both of these things with an identity to glorify their heavenly father through it all, regardless of what "it" looks like. We need to stop letting the world decide what purpose looks like and then when we fail to meet up to their standards, we give them the power to tell us we've "failed" at what we were made for.

We need to teach our girls to be prepared for the marriage that truly matters, we need to let them know they were created for the ultimate purpose of bringing glory to God and that purpose looks a lot different for different people.  We need to show them that the success of their existence has very little to do with how much money they bring in at the end of the day but much to do with how much service they pour into other people's lives. No, I'm not saying to teach our kids to be complacent or mediocre. In fact, I am saying the exact opposite, let us teach them to be bold enough to be whatever God calls them to be: a wife,a mother, a C.E.O, a teacher or all of the above. And while they are at it, they do it all with hearts filled with gratitude.

There's no guarantee that a marriage will go the way we want it, there's no guarantee that our careers will end us up in a monthly 6-figure bracket but for a woman who counts all of these things as losses when compared to the eternal glory of living a life pleasing in the sight of God, there's guarantee of JOY in the arms of the father.
Let us prepare our girls for the heavenly marriage with their savior and their savior will prepare them for all other things before that day comes!

P.S. See this as one of the sequels to "Feminism through the Eyes of a Christian Woman".. more coming later

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