Young people in China are becoming older and older before getting married. It has evolved as a social phenomenon that almost every press or social media forum reports about from time to time.
There is a wide variety of such reports, for example: facts about the increasing number of singles; tricks to guide young people through their parents’ interrogation; description of elaborate plans that parents use to fix their children up with unexpected dates; and more - you name it, there is an article about it.
With tremendous attention given by parents and the society, there is often a huge collision between parents and their reluctant adults. Retired parents make it their goal to find an appropriate fit for their unmarried children. They print out their children’s resumes and gather in the matchmaking park, striving to match the closest equivalent.
Whereas, the dismissive young people just as often apply themselves to finding every possible solution to tackle their parents’ scheming. For instance, by steering the discussion away from the subject of marriage, reducing the frequency of visiting their parents, or renting a girlfriend.
I am one of those rebellious adults who would do anything except to gratify their parents’ desire. As my parents inquired more and more about my marriage, I grew less patient with such discussion and visited them less than before, in order to avoid unnecessary arguments.
Pressure and longing
People, who yearn for marriage but who are not yet married face the stress from their married peers and relatives, along with pressure from their parents and society. This only exacerbates their thirst for marriage. “I certainly want to be married one day, and I intend to have at least 2 kids. But I don’t know how to balance my faith, the external pressure and the inner desire I have.” Mary, a single sister, said to me one time.
Mary was in her 30s and the brother she poured attention upon regarded her as a friend only. Nonbelievers suggested that she consider non-Christian admirers to enlarge the range of options. Given her sister and friends were all married, she was drowned with urgency and helplessness.
Mary was not alone in such a situation. I know some believers who are dating non-believers, hoping to convert them to Christianity one day. I exhorted Mary not to take that route in any form.
As believers of God and His word, we know that our heavenly father takes care of every need. “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew Chapter 10, verse 30). How much more He knows our need for a life partner! If marriage is good for us, God will bless us with it in the opportune time. Our fleshly approach of forcing it may do a disservice, just like Sarah’s method of wanting a child through Hagar which caused mere conflicts later on.
Moreover, when analyzing the desire for marriage, we often find the need of appreciation, protection and connection. If we think it through, we will know that it all can be found in Jesus. There is none like Jesus who loved you and died for your sin; there will be no one as powerful as Jesus who brings you utter security; and there is nobody who promises to be with you always, to the end of the age.
A biblical focus
Seeing the incredible value of Jesus, apostle Paul advised that it is good for a person to remain as he is and secure his undivided devotion to the Lord. For the unmarried person is anxious about the things of the Lord and how to please the Lord, while the married person is anxious about worldly things and how to please the other half. Meanwhile, he also indicated that it’s not sin if someone marries.
As the world pursues marriage, the Biblical view is our final fortress to handle it reasonably. We should neither overact for being single, nor demean the God-given purpose for marriage. In the end, the present form of this world will pass away. Jesus Christ, the fairest groom, will come to take his church, the beautiful bride, with Him eternally. That’s the perfect wedding which every Christian looks forward to!
Cindy Cheng was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cindy’s previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html