I have just finished reading a powerful treatise by my fiancée, Stanisław, regarding the commandment we all have from Yahweh to marry. There can be no doubt for anyone who reads Scripture that Yahweh intended for all to marry, except in rare circumstances. Scripture leaves no doubt to the purpose Elohim (God) has for men and women to join together and be fruitful. And it is also evident that it is through Godly marriage only that human beings may reach their highest potential. Why then do we find so many people either rejecting marriage outright or avoiding it like the plague?
There are certainly spiritual implications. We live in a time of apostasy and disobedience to Elohim’s (God’s) word in general. It is hardly surprising that marriage and family would suffer in this context. It has become chic to be cynical about the importance of family and marriage. This disregard for marriage has visibly affected all aspects of modern society. But let’s look at why a particular individual might reject it out of hand.
Everyone I knew when I was a child just assumed that when they grew up they would marry. It was a given that no one thought to challenge. Little girls used to dream about their wedding days and play with doll brides. Little boys used to talk about playing field sports with their little boys when they grew up. It was something that seemed to be ingrained in all children. No one I knew consciously planned to go through life alone and single. I know I certainly didn’t.
Then we grow up. We reach puberty and the games begin. Depending on how we were raised and what our value structures are, we begin to look to the day when we marry and “settle down”. As we reach later teenage years, we begin to see our friends pair off and perhaps we do so ourselves. It seems the driving force when we are young is to find a mate. Being unattached when you are a senior in high school is taken to mean there is something wrong with you, some reason that no one wants you. So you find young people getting involved very carelessly with just about anyone, just to say they are with someone. Of course this has little to do with what Elohim (God) has in mind, this is the way the world attempts to put people together, often with disastrous results. This is the result of young people trying to play the dating game with out any guidance from Elohim (God) or parents
This is the first break in the chain. No guidance. Parents do not teach their children about marriage and relationships as they are growing up. In this time children are usually not even given any Scriptural teaching regarding marriage or any other aspect of life. They are not taught how Yahweh expects them to behave in their relationships with the opposite sex. What teachings there are are usually purely secular and tradition-based. They are not taught what to seek in a partner and usually the only information they have regarding the day-to-day living in marriage are played out in their own homes. Experience is most definitely a teacher, whether the best teacher or not is very much open to debate. When a child grows up seeing his/her parents behaving in a certain way, he thinks that is the way it is supposed to be. So learned patterns tend to be replayed over and over. If the home is dysfunctional without the love and respect Elohim (God) intended to be, then the child comes to expect that that is what family life is in reality.
Even in traditional churches, there is little practical teaching. Some parents think they are fulfilling their duties to instruct their children to see that they get to church regularly. But what are the churches teaching children? Lets look into that a bit, shall we?
Here is a glaring “for instance”. I heard all my young life about the Scriptural injunctions for wives to submit to their husbands. It was yelled from the pulpit and taught in the Sunday school classes. It was used as an excuse to keep the women subservient because, after all, it was Scriptural. I remember resenting that idea as early as 5 years old. I could not understand why Yahweh disliked me so much when He made me this way. See I grew up seeing how my mother was treated behind this idea. I was grown and searching for my own truth when I discovered the “rest of the story” in Ephesians. I never once heard the verses that described how a husband was to treat his wife. It was just never mentioned. Of course there are other Scriptural references but the Ephesians is the one that most commonly comes to mind.
So I grew up thinking that for a woman to be married was to be enslaved to a life of mindless childbearing. I do not know many who would consciously aspire to such a life. And society around me was also beginning to teach girls that marriage was somehow a lesser way to live, not fulfilling or fair to women. It was kind of a double-edged sword. By the time young people reached marriageable age, there was a great deal of confusion the various gender roles.
So we have young people, with much confusion and lack of knowledge, reaching an age where they are beginning to seek marriage partners. For you see, no matter what we are taught when we are growing up, nor what we see in our own homes, we are still driven to mate. We are not designed to be alone. This factor alone lends credence that it is what Elohim (God) intended, the fact that we are all driven to it. So we have people with no idea what they are doing marrying whoever catches their attention and thinking that once they are married all will be well.
What a great fallacy! Once the celebration is over and the party dies down we are left with day-to-day married life and the true fact is most of us are not prepared for it. We begin to struggle with the issues of authority and family structure without any preparation or foundation to build on. As the woman struggles with the issues of submission and the man struggles with issues of dominion the power struggles begin. And all too often they degenerate into a nightmare of abuse and vilification. The truth is that too many people do not want to know how to live their marriages. They are more concerned about their rights and what is fair than they are in fulfilling their God-given duties in their homes. And when selfish and shortsighted people do not get their way, the meltdown begins. And the next thing you know, they are in the middle of a nasty breakup without either one really knowing why, just that they have been terribly hurt.
Then there are the poor unfortunates, usually women but not always, who get mixed up with the violent sociopaths and spend years being physically, mentally and frequently sexually abused. If these poor souls do manage to escape these deadly relationships with their lives, it goes without saying that their ability to trust and relate to others is profoundly impaired. These are the people, most commonly, who find themselves single at late young adulthood and approaching middle age.
So what is it to be single? Is it truly peaceful to be the only living soul in the house you live in? Having spent many years single, I would like to share with you my observations about living single on a day-to-day basis. I have heard married friends with children remark that it must be nice to be single, with all the peace and quiet. Well I can tell you, you have plenty of quiet. You have so much quiet that you talk to yourself out loud just to hear the sound of a human voice. When everyone around you is celebrating children’s birthdays and spouses’ anniversaries, you are sitting alone with another cup of coffee pretending that this is the way you want to live. Your phone goes so many days without ringing that when it finally does it scares you, and then turns out to be a bill collector anyway. And for some, particularly women who live by themselves, a house large enough to have rooms you cannot see into and corners you cannot see around becomes a nightmare in the middle of the night.
You see, if you live your life in solitude, before long you really begin to develop your own reality. Your whole world is egocentric and tiny, revolving solely around you. You begin to obsess over every least problem as if it is the greatest crisis in the world. And when you do encounter problems, when you get ill and have to be in the hospital, when a loved one passes on, when you feel small and lost, you get to face these things by yourself. Because I can tell you that at these times Elohim (God) can feel like a galaxy away. Nothing in the world is colder than being alone but you tell yourself that you really wanted it that way.
This is not a very pleasant image is it? No wonder Yahweh never wanted us to be alone. We stagnate and retreat into ourselves when we spend our lives in solitude. Our souls literally shrivel and we become shadows of what Elohim (God) meant for us to be. I have heard psychologists say that singleness is just as viable as marriage, but it is my conclusion that that viability is just an illusion, a lie the devil feeds those living single to make them complacent of living single no matter how miserable the actual living of it may be.
I know this scenario. I lived it for many years. Only now, as Elohim (God) leads me out of cold solitude into the warmth of the love of a husband (to-be) and loving family do I realize what has been missing, why my spirit was always restless and uneasy. Why I always felt like I was missing something not quite within sight. For you see, no matter how much I tried to tell myself I was happy alone, it could not have been. Yahweh didn’t make us that way. I know there is ample Scriptural foundation for these ideas. And it is just one more example of the truth of Elohim’s (God’s) word, for I have seen in practical application, the solitude that Yahweh would have us never know if we are obedient to Him. And I have to tell you folks, Yahweh’s way is better.