“Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a match, Find me a find, Catch me a catch. Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Look through your book, And make me a perfect match.” Soundtrack adopted from the movie ‘Fiddler on the roof’.
Many young people (male or female) would wish this song could become alive. But, unfortunately, it looks like the matchmaker is not thinking of them, or her charms are not working for some reason. Walking around, I hear this cry from young people, especially in the Church circles. ‘Pasie’, they say, ‘There is no match for me. You are lucky that you found someone when you did.’ I sometimes laugh it away and often throw back the ball to their courts as I want to do now. Was I lucky? Did karma (If it is a thing to believe) look my way with favour? Or maybe cupid had me on his ‘Most Wanted’ list.
The fallacy of modern-day expectations
In the past several years, we saw the wake of wedding shows in Kenya (Samantha bridal and The wedding show) that got, primarily girls, excited and dreaming. They got dreaming about their day being like those they saw on Tv; limousines, choppers, horses, vintage and classical cars, motorcades and other flamboyant expressions of monetary muscles and extravagance. And most of the weddings captured were extravagant!
From high flying, senior government officials children to the top businessmen and women’s families. The pomp was beyond imagination- and attractive! No sooner had these shows established their interests in Kenyans’ minds than the focus for marriage and even the basic understanding of relationships changed. Young people started looking for partners who seemed to be well off financially and could pull off a Samantha Bridal kind of show. Things were changing too fast, and the appetite for grand weddings and jawbreaking engagements became the order of the day. On the other hand, it did not leave behind the boy child gaping and wondering! No. It left him strategizing on making it big between the ‘I WILL’ of engagement and the ‘I DO‘ of the wedding day. This move invented a two-fold problem without a possible cure from the inventors.
Unrealistic and Unreasonable expectations
Young people started having unrealistic and unreasonable demands and expectations- both guys and ladies. The ladies, for instance, had this mind in them; if he has no cash, he cannot have me. They say it in our country, “Mwanaume ni wallet”, which is translated, “The value of a man is the wallet.” That means it did not matter anymore how the man got the money; as long he has it, that is okay. Over and over again, ladies got swallowed up in this notion. And we are not just talking about small money. No. It had to be in overflowing measures. That led some to settle and make a living as slay queens and socialites (ladies who date rich married men).
So, we had guys who have just cleared their college, not coming from a ‘silver plate’ family, meeting these pretty girls who expect them to be on top of the world as soon as possible. There seemed to be no patience and an appreciation of life’s process. Where do you get a man who is a year or two after college earning his millions? That is unrealistic and unreasonable. But the girls did not want to hear anything about it. ‘Fake it till you make bro” was the mantra.
With the already established reality of statistics of male-to-female employment rate in our country at an interesting level, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics is seen in the link; https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/money-careers/article/2001361378/more-women-than-men-in-employment-while-26-million-are-jobless.
This report says that 9.89 million working women, which is about 100,000 more than the 9.79 million men employed. This report translated to women accounting for 50.2 per cent of the working population and would burst the myth that men are the sole breadwinners in the country. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being a breadwinner, but notice the pressure brought to an already non-commital generation of men. Young men started pulling away with the same sentiments- there is no match for me! The ladies nowadays are too expensive!
Dissatisfied and Disillusioned souls
Just in case you think this is a case against the ladies, you are wrong. Much as unrealistic and unreasonable expectations become common, there arose a crew of young men who allowed themselves to fall into unprecedented but uncalled for dissatisfaction and disillusionment. Instead of doing the basic minimum for any young person- hustle, they are caught up in their excuses. In the wake of PlayStation and betting, many young became busybodies and lazy muscles. They no longer knew how to express themselves before an educated crop of young girls. They chose to become bad boys for life! Some end up looking for older, richer women to keep them for their sexual pleasures, hence Ben10s (the equivalent of a slay queen). The young men benefit from these old ladies staying in, designer clothes, and her car to drive.
Ladies- even those who never got caught up in the mess we discussed above- started wondering what was happening to men. Instead of being upfront about issues, the men had become like some stunted growth problems. They had no zeal for work, passion for what matters most, and vision for family life. All they wanted was to be left in their man-cave and be left in that darkness so that they may enjoy casual sex without commitment and waste their lives in bars.
So for the ladies who had chosen to be different, the cry also became true for them- there is no match for me. This environment crippled and is crippling society today; many young men have no idea of what they want to achieve in life because the pressures for ‘love’ have escalated rather too high. They cannot handle the societal pressure of being a man, and they assume and project expectations from all over the world. Many young women are caught up in some stereotype man they have never made- not even their brothers would match their expectations. Let us not mention their fathers for now! We have an officially dissatisfied and disillusioned generation.
The God of small yet progressive beginnings
Where did we go wrong in this love and wealth conversation? At the point of mental religion that replaced heart relationship with Christ. We have received a man-centred gospel to the extent that many of us cannot comprehend the thought of struggle, pain, not enough, and the gospel. What does the biblical understanding dictate about our estimation of others?
- Life is not about gaining the whole world! Matthew 16:26, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” That is serious rhetoric from our master, Jesus. The world is passing and fleeting like the grass. It is not about what and how much we have gathered for ourselves. It is about having the Lord and serving him. Even if we get all these things, it has no power to change the heart from where we draw the issues of life.
- Life is about godliness and contentment! 1 Timothy 6:6-10 reminds us that godliness with contentment is great gain. Riches are not bad, but they are not the point of life. God warns that there is an invitation for temptations when that is our sole pursuit. Often, a lack of contentment in one area usually broods the same in another area of life. Godliness and contentment apply to relationships. If you cannot be contented with the men or women around you, especially the one you are dating, what will stop you from cheating? The man or woman you have in mind does not exist; you better start asking God to help you be contented with those who are available.
- Love is more than what catches the eye! 1 Corinthians 13 is the signature chapter for a proper understanding of the subject of love. It is a tall order because it brings out true love as a heart issue and not a possession issue. Secondly, love is not about physical appearance per se. If we make it that way, we will end up wrongly dismissing those God has created in his image and his glory, with our limited and selfish criterion.
- Life is progressive! Life is not an event but a process. We are ever-growing from one point to the other in every aspect. Every adult was once a toddler; every wealthy person was once without much; everything in life passes through a stage, and at times, not paying attention to these truths makes us ignorant of those with whom we interact.
Young men and women need to move away from their selfish and unfounded ideologies of what a good life partner should be and have. Life is not an event, but it is also too short. The issue is not that we do not have a match for us in life. Yes, there are things we would love to see in our to-be partners. But some of our ideas are too lofty for people on earth within our interaction circles. In our journey with God and men, we need to practice humility and patience. All men and women are transformed beyond the point of dismissal in Christ, save for a sinful lifestyle.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 reminds us that we do not look at people from a worldly perspective, just as Paul stopped seeing Christ from that dimension and his mind got transformed and renewed. Is there a perfect match for us? No. Because all men and women in Christ are, before God, a match. The question is, “Are we willing and ready to be humble and receive from the Lord?”