Sunday 17 September 2017

Questions and Answers (Twenty): Ready for Marriage?

How can I know when I am ready for marriage?

You are ready for marriage when you are able to truly take care of yourself - psychologically and physically. That is to say, you have graduated from being dependent to being independent. In a layman's term, we refer to this as the age of maturity. Maturity is looked at in, basically, three ways. These are, biologically (physically), chronologically, and psychologically. All of these are essential for marriage.

Biological maturity refers to the physical development of all the essential features of a person. A person is said to be biologically matured when they are full-grown and functional. Hence, the person is able to fully function biologically (physically) in a marriage relationship.

Chronological maturity, on the other hand, refers to the reaching of some societally accepted age. This varies across cultures and religions. It is basically measured by the passage of time. In fact, the other two maturity types rest on this as a foundation. This is because the natural expectation is for people to grow (mature) with the passage of time. 

The reality of life, however, is that we all grow at different rates and in different dimensions at different times. Herein lies the challenge of measuring maturity chronologically. The most important maturity type, especially as it relates to marriage, is psychological maturity. This, in a sense, trumps the first two maturity types. Psychologically speaking, the person should be able to relate and carry him/herself as an adult. 

He or she must be able to bear the responsibility of raising the offspring that will come as a result of the marriage. He or she must be able to bear responsibility for someone other than himself or herself. As Albert Einstein rightly teaches us, "Maturity appears when we start to worry more about others than about ourselves."

Psychological maturity can be further divided into Intellectual, societal, and emotional maturity. Of these, the most important, especially as it relates to marriage, is emotional maturity. The other two can be easily caught up. Emotional maturity is simply the ability to handle emotions responsibly.
"My father taught me how to be a man  and not by instilling in me a sense of machismo or an agenda of dominance. He taught me that a real man doesn't take, he gives; he doesn't use force, he uses logic; doesn't play the role of trouble-maker, but rather, trouble-shooter; and most importantly, a real man is defined by what's in his heart, not his pants." Kevin Smith
You should, typically, not enter into a marriage relationship until you are emotionally mature. By the same token, you should not enter into a marriage relationship with someone who is not emotionally mature. This is irrespective of the suffix or prefix attached to his/her name. Emotionally immature people are accidents looking for a place to happen. Stay away from them like a plague.

Hoping this helps.

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