By Not Known
Recently, I read an article entitled China’s ‘leftover women’: What It’s Really Like Being Unmarried at 30. The article talks about society’s labelling of unmarried Chinese women at age 30 as one whose life is ‘over’. This label has put immense pressure on unmarried Chinese women at 30. Even girls in their early twenties are experiencing marriage anxiety; their parents worry they’ll miss the chance of finding a suitable boy before they’re past their prime.
It is even harder when such discrimination thrives in the workplace. And at certain government-owned companies, there are ‘reservations’ when hiring unmarried women 30 and above. This has created a popular Chinese mentality among women in China to ‘catch’ their man while they are still young. Parents too try to match-make them. Marriage, therefore, is perceived as a way of escape from these prejudices.
Getting married as a way of escape from prejudices is doing so for the wrong reason. Marriage as a means of getting away from a bad situation at home; resolving unhealthy sexual issues; finding much-needed approval or seeking happiness is also marrying for the wrong reason.
Marrying for the right reason, I believe, is to build a God-designed marriage in which the marriage is God’s instrument to make us holy rather than simply as a means of escaping from unpleasant circumstances, or as a means of seeking happiness for ourselves. With marriage, we can learn about unconditional love, respectful honour, and forgiveness.
Unconditional Love is the ability to love the other person sacrificially. When one is in love and desire to build a lasting relationship, then one must view the other person as an unique individual – not as an extension of oneself. This is when one finds someone who loves you as you are, and you are able to love the person in return. They may be different in many ways and may view the world differently and have habits that you may not share, but you may still embrace these differences because he/she is the unique person you love.
Respectful Honour is when we come down to the particular relationship of husbands to wives, and wives to husbands, Scripture gives us an important, additional emphasis: husbands are told specifically to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25). Wives are told specifically to respect their husbands (Eph 5:33).
Forgiveness: in marriage, when there’s a union of two different personalities, conflicts between them are unavoidable. Marriage helps us learn to practise forgiveness; how to forgive and be forgiven.
Hence, godly marriages enable husbands and wives to restore the God-given purpose of marriage by turning them back to God and to deepen each other’s relationship with the Creator.