A Socio- Religious Perspective of Late Marriage and Stigmatization of Single Adults and its Impact on the Church in Nigeria

Oderinde Olatundun A.

Abstract


Late marriage among adult youths is one of the challenges in the church in Nigeria. It affects the image of the church and the spiritual growth of the people concerned. Many of the youths marry at late thirties to late forties.Late marriage here refers to situations when aperson who hasreach the state of maturity in every facet of life that is; mentally, spiritually, financially and physically is not married probably as a result of unavailability of spouse or some other factors. Although there are a few who deliberately choose to delay their marriage probably because of academic, career or ministerial pursuit but majority of those who are having late marriage are not prepared for it. They have their life planned out only to find it difficult to settle into blissful home.Many of those with delay marriage are being mocked by their relatives and peers; many times they are seen as people with peculiar problem. The church also treated them sometime as people who have spiritual problem or are not spiritual enough to pray through and get answer in the area of marriage. Sometimes their case is termed demonic and they are stigmatized. This attitude discouraged many adult singles, particularly the females, and made them feel not welcome in the Church. The loneliness and the temptation the matured singles face in their various offices are beyond imagination: the harassment of bosses, insult from colleagues and ungodly proposals from ridiculous quarters coupled with fellow Christians teasing them that ‘how is bro?’ when it is obvious that the fellow is not into any relationship is like putting salt in a sore. The paper attempts to examine the causes of late marriage, the socio-religious perspective of marriage among the Yoruba, stigmatization of female single adults and the impact of these on the Church, using the descriptive and socio-historical approach. Findings showed that many go into marriage to satisfy social and religious expectations not necessarily because it was the best thing for them as at the time they married. It becomes necessary to re-orientate the youths on the need to make necessary preparations before marriage and see marriage as a gift from God. Most important is the fact that late marriage or no marriage at all does not make one less human or less intelligent.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/res.v5n4p165

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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