(UPDATE 28th July 2014 This post was split off from an earlier existing post.)
Something that strikes me now as it has struck me many times before, as I have also shared here a few times before, is that when we are measuring our age against how many years of marriage we might have had by now, if we had been whisked down the aisle at an earlier age, we naturally compare our age against the happiest expectations of marriage.
So I’m sitting here thinking: Now I am in my thirties. By now I might have had 8 years of married bliss…perhaps even 10 years! People who did get married at these earlier ages sometimes do work overtime to present their marriages as wondrous exciting triumphs, as we also (surely!) will present our marriages when we also do eventually get married.
However the flip side of getting married earlier would have been having to make unknown compromises regarding things that you did not yet know or were not yet aware of – and having to stick with your decision made in youth.
So yes, if I had found myself married in my early twenties, I might have had ten years of marriage by now. However that alternative Tosin might now find herself with the loveliest husband in the world – but one who is averse to the kind of business risks that the real Tosin takes in a blink. Or an alternative Tosin and hubby might find themselves with their arms full of wriggling, giggling, naughty, cheeky and utterly adorable children – *just as mischevious as their mother was in childhood (what goes around comes around lol!) – whom the real Tosin would also adore, and is greatly looking forward to, by God’s grace. However, because of these same business risks, the time would not be right in the life of the real Tosin for children, even if I were married, until there was greater stability in business choices, and the real Tosin is grateful for having the current freedom to take risks and experiment as freely as I like with different ideas. All these things might be true even if my husband happened to be the most excellent man on earth. What if that had turned out to not be the case, and I now found myself with regrets about my actual choice of spouse? That is a thought that I do not like to consider as possible for myself. In a way I’m wondering if this would ever have been possible, if I had made different choices, but remained deep in God and deep in prayer. Or what if I did marry a potentially excellent guy – but at the wrong time – a matter of a couple of years – two years, let’s say! – might have made all the difference in setting the foundation for an excellent marriage.
So when we think of our age in terms of years of potential marriage missed, because marriage is a positive thing, it is natural to think of these “wasted years” in terms of only the highest and most positive expectations, if our marriages had been ecstatically happy and if they had in every way corresponded to the dreams that we would have now. However, it might have been the very act of getting married that might have stopped us from being able to reach for those dreams. So yes I have potentially missed out on ten years of deep-felt intimacy, holding hands, hugs, kisses, long talks (this blog might never have materialised, as it may all have been poured instead into the patient ears of my long-suffering husband – obviously not the parts about needing a husband because I’d have a husband as he would be the one into whose ears I’d be pouring all this!) – and ahem, other exciting marital things! On the other hand, I might equally have saved myself from ten years of less blissful interaction, or I might have had ten delightful but energy-sapping years of babies everywhere!
Seeing that I’ve only just worked out or come to a place (very “Christian speak”!) of understanding many of the things that would be necessary for this blissful marriage; I’ve only just grasped an important point about unconditional love, I only now feel confident about being able to make a marital choice that I could still be happy about decades from now; I think it is only fair to say that by avoiding marriage up until now I have only saved myself (and any man I’d have married) from much pain, confusion, arguments, disappointment. This is not to say that these elements will be totally absent from my future marriage. I am sure that even the happiest marriages possible have significant amounts of all these things.
One of my big fears has been the thought of working out these things as you go along – through pain, through disagreements, through arguments – and then realising that you would probably not have married the husband you did choose, if you had known these things beforehand.
Perhaps the real point is that I as a person have just needed to be in a place of unshakeable confidence before I could take a single step forward (no pun intended – for once!);)
*I have to confess that I am quite proud of my childhood exploits! Can it be any surprise to anyone to discover that I was naughty as a child?! I did originally make here a point about a certain one of my siblings (possibly female – who knows! possibly younger than me – who can say?!) who might have been “head and shoulders” deeper in naughtiness than I was, but then I thought, that this point might not be “highly” appreciated – ha ha! 😉
4 Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
Image of red hearts by George Hodan at http://www.publicdomainpictures.net