I am getting married tomorrow...but that is not what this article is about because in as much as marriage is a good thing, and I am looking forward to what that phase holds in store for me, I am not under the illusion that my life would suddenly transform from that of dystopia to a life of utopia.
You see, almost all my friends are married, and I have asked most of them few months or years after marriage, that “Which is better, being single or being married?”
It is interesting to note that not a single one of them has been able to tell me conclusively that being married is better than being single. They all respond with the familiar lines of “It’s different. Marriage is good but it comes with its responsibilities. They all have their pros and cons.”
I’ve been single for all my life. Yes, it might not be a lengthy period of time in some people’s eyes, but it is far longer time than I intended to be single, especially considering the fact that I graduated at the age of 21, and have been financially independent since then.
And I would like to say something that an average young girl might never get to hear.
BEING SINGLE IS A BLESSING!
This might be contrary to what we have heard all our lives, especially in this day and age our mothers start drumming their desired specs for a husband into our ears from our teenage years. With society’s several comments, it is implied that we are worth about just half our value as single… that marriage is the answer to all… that the unmarried cannot stand tall in the society… that something is wrong with us because we are single.
Firstly, marriage is not by force. You have a right to choose to be single or to be married. Nowhere in the constitution, not even in the bible does it say that marriage is compulsory. So let’s stop preaching heresy from the pulpit we have mounted in the lives of people who never begged for our sermons in the first place. Unfortunately, society seems to take that power of choice from us, but I am boldly saying that whether you want to get married or you want to be single, LET IT BE YOUR CHOICE!
Secondly, there is nothing wrong with a girl just because she is not married. She is not incomplete, neither is she a leper. This point is what the crux of this post is about
I have been single for long enough to know that singleness has a lot of advantages that married life can never dream to offer.
As a single person, one has the time to fulfil so much without the responsibility of caring for children or attending to spousal needs. You do not need permission from anyone to make important decisions, neither do you need to consider the children’s school requirements before you jet off to Paris.
To be single means to be ONE in every way… to be CONCENTRATED… to be WHOLE… to be UNIFIED… to be SINGULAR… to be SINGLE-HEARTED. Unfortunately, due to societal pressures, many single people are not actually single. They are single in status, but not in mind. The focus has shifted from being focused on desired goals, to worrying, searching for that right man, testing the waters, drooling over bella naija brides with envy, and jumping from one relationship to another.
We have failed to teach our single people the definition of true singleness, i.e. being singular in mind. It is in the journey of doing your work that your spouse will find you. 1Cor 7:32-35 explains this point a great deal, where it says the focus of the singles should be to serve God without distractions, while the married will always be distracted.
Sometime in my single years, I used to worry about my singleness, and daily prayed about marriage, amongst other things. At a point, God asked me, “what if I tell you that you that will not marry, that you will remain single forever, will you still serve me, and pray this earnestly?
I answered, “I would.”
And I heard it clearly, “So concentrate on other things, and stop praying for marriage. Live your life as if you would never marry.”
After that day, even though it was my desire to get married, I stopped praying for marriage, and I felt no more pressure to get married. It was from that moment I truly started enjoying my singleness. I enjoyed it so much that I wasn’t looking forward to getting married again. No, I wasn’t gallivanting round clubs or moving from one owambe to another. I did more than that.
I accomplished in a total of 4 years what would be difficult for a married woman to accomplish in 10 years.
I travelled round the world, organised shows, taught teenagers every Saturday and Sunday, wrote books, developed IPs, performed at events, ran businesses… I had so much time to give that I invested every moment of my life in one cause or the other, and I enjoyed it.
I became so comfortable in my singleness that my only fear was that I was getting too comfortable. So I told myself, “if I am going to leave this my extremely comfortable life, sacrifice all these, and get married i.e. submit my life to another human being, then that man has to be truly worth it. Or else, I will sit down here in my father’s house for as long as it takes, because no one is chasing me away from my father’s house, and in my father’s house, I am a princess.”
Am I saying that not all men are worthy of me? Absolutely yes! I have come too far in my journey of self-development through singleness to throw it all away to just any kind of man.
And so I rocked the party called singleness, but now, that party is over.
I think that is what we are supposed to be teaching our ladies…
That singleness is a status, not a disease. Being married is a status also. The fact that one is married doesn’t mean he/she is better than the single one. I don’t care how our parents, churches (with endless “deliverance from singleness” service, and discrimination against singles), and society at large have made it seem. You are not a more worthy human than I am because I am single, and you are married.
I have lived my single life to the best of my ability, and tried to accomplish all that singleness could afford me, even though I could have done more. So one thing I know is this, come tomorrow morning, when I am changing status, like we did in high school, I will hold my head up with pride, boldly beat my chest, and sign on the wall of fame of singleness “Atilola wuz ‘ere!”
And that wouldn’t be a lie, because even singleness can attest to the fact that I rocked the life out of it.