Why I have not been praying for my marriage

Wooden figurine in prayer

I’ve just gotten off the phone to a dear Aunty who is setting up a ministry for mature single women. Oh man, how I *hate* being referred to as a “mature single woman”, even though technically that is what I am! Hmm, it occurs to me that I never hear a similar phrase being used for men – unless they are in their 60’s! But anyway!

So yes, I have somehow, quite happily escaped being drawn into any singles’ events, whether they be meetings to try to set me up with supposedly eligible young men, or praying sessions, or whatever! By the awesome grace of God I have somehow managed to escape everything! But no longer (apparently)!

It really seems as if things are coming to a head this year in terms of this Huggie-Wuggie thing. Actually – deep breath! – a certain man’s name is starting to occur to me more and more and I’m starting to ask myself a few questions. However it represents much a monumental thing that I can almost not dare to even release myself to hope. I honestly don’t know whether I could be making the whole thing up completely or whether these impressions could actually be coming from God…

Let me talk to you a little about my dear mother. Now my Mum is like any typical Nigerian Mama, and they are notorious for applying lots of pressure on their unmarried daughters (and sons). So ordinarily speaking, I would be facing lots of pressure from her to find someone, to get married: “Come on Tosin, what are you waiting for, you’re not getting any younger you know!” However, my Mum also lives in the West and is surrounded by newer Western ideals about giving your children space etc. So even though I know that she would love to go on about this endlessly, she has been making such a big effort to not pressurise me overly, to not keep going on about it.

That said, on the first of January, the very first day of the year, we had a Talk. Not by any means, remotely the first time we’ve had a Talk, of course! Long story short, I explained to my Mum as best as I could, the reasons why, as old as I am, Finding Mr Huggie-Wuggie is not actually the big priority in my life – that is, the blog is currently a bigger priority than finding the man. Apologies if that sounds awful, especially to any man who might be wondering whether he could contemplate being my Huggie-Wuggie. Basically, money – and time. I sometimes wonder whether I overshare on this blog. This might well be an instance of oversharing. It finally occurred to me, late on in 2019 that I have been working towards a state of achieving financial stability and security before wanting to get married. Up until now, I have not been able to articulate it to myself or anyone else that that is what I have been doing. All the same, that is definitely what I have been doing!

Should I explain why that is the case for me?! It is to do with my own experiences that I have had over the years, and it is also to do with my own current experiences just now, my various unexciting experiences of the world of work. So I am thinking that even if I were to get married just now, circumstances around work and money would make the marriage somewhat unexciting. And then if you add the potential of getting pregnant and having to deal with babies on top of everything else – no baby! No babies, just now, thank you! I am also not the kind of person who would want to marry into a situation where a man is taking care of me. I am desperately ambitious in my own right, and such a situation would make me feel curtailed, or thwarted.

So I have been focusing on my businesses. Actually it has been such a challenge to work out how to conveniently fit in my business dreams into my current lifestyle in terms of time. So if I’ve been struggling to find time for that, then obviously I’ve not had the time to be praying for Huggie-Wuggie the man!

The hope is that once, by the grace of God the businesses actually take off, then I will have lots of time or at least some time to finally dedicate to the cause of finding a husband. And please believe me, I will pray! It has not been out of an overwhelming desire to remain single that I have been investing so much thought and reflection and observation and analysis into writing this blog for so many years. So yeah, I will pray to my heart’s content – even my Mum’s heart’s content!

So I tried to explain all this to my Mum. “But Tosin you could be doing both at once!” Oh, sighs! Actually I really don’t think I can! But my Mum was not going to take no for an answer – especially after she had been patient for so many years! So as it is, I’ve kinda promised that I will be praying for my marriage alongside working towards my businesses. In fact, my Mum suggested that maybe getting married would help me in my business. And I said “Yes Mummy!” (I said “Yes Mummy” many times during that phone call!) In candour, I’m not really open to this. I want my businesses to be my businesses, run my way, not his. Perhaps there are businesses I could do with my husband, but then we could conceive of those ones together. More than that though, the fact is that I would love to be financially stable before I get married. To be fair I have made that same promise previously, without any real intention of investing any serious time in prayer, but somehow I know that my Mum is on the case and this year is going to be different. (I would not call it a “lie” exactly, just pragmatic and diplomatic parent-management, especially when you know that there is absolutely No. Point. Arguing. If you knew my Mother you’d understand. In fact, I’d best not go on about my Mum too much, otherwise she and her personality would quickly become the star of this blog!!!) But then to be fair, regardless of my Mum, over the last few days and even before that, if I’m honest, I felt this paralysis come over me and there was something blocking me mentally and emotionally so that I could not work, even though I desperately wanted to. And this paralysis did not lift until I prayed for my marriage and really poured out my heart – believe me, I tried everything – focusing on a certain name…

But you know, something else that complicates this issue is this: I can’t help feeling that if you are female and single over a certain age then you are regarded as a failure in the Nigerian Pentecostal Church, and people who are married are regarded as having achieved a certain level of success, at least maritally. So presumably someone could assert superiority over me just because she is married, regardless of the state of that marriage, regardless of the likely future of that marriage. If I am single, it is not because I have completely failed to find anyone who was attracted to me. There have been so many men who have expressed romantic interest in me – and happily there still are so many men who continue to express their interest! (Not all of this is about men overtly asking me out, rather it is often about reading explanations into their behaviour, but I still find it sufficiently convincing!)

If I wanted to get married to just anyone, and thereby be deemed “a marital success”, then I have had so many opportunities in the past. However, I have been holding out for a marriage that would truly be excellent. These people who did get married in a way that was not as careful as I advocate – what kind of unspeakable issues might they be facing in their marriages? What kind of arguments and shouting might be occurring on a daily basis? These are exactly the kind of issues I want to avoid by marrying very very carefully. Frankly, between me and the vast majority of married people, I consider myself to be the marital success, even in my singleness. This is not true of all single ladies, of course, I’m sure many ladies would be happy to throw themselves into marriage, no matter what they might find on the other side.

This is why I resent going along to/getting involved with single outreaches/whatever, where the implication is that “thus far you have failed!” No, I have actually been incredibly successful thus far in managing to avoid allying myself with husbands who would not be compatible with who I want to be, and avoiding lots of the marital stress that many married women find themselves in. However, I *have* failed in finding someone who would be compatible with me. Part of me thinks “Well, these men who might be truly compatible with me, are so rare, considering how ambitious I am – so I am not going to beat myself up about that.” But another part of me thinks that this is exactly where prayer could have made a big difference. But once again, I am not going to beat myself up about that – after all, I’ve been busy!!! 🙂 (Now I’ve written the post, I know it may perhaps come across as being a bit glib. But please believe me that these issues I have written of in this post have been issues I have seriously struggled with, and these are the decisions regarding them that make sense to me; I do not regard any of these issues casually at all.)

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