What to do?

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues

On my way into church to the benches, I am always greeted by older ladies who stand near the entry and the back, who always talk to me about marriage on a weekly basis. They point to my ring finger and start making facial expressions and saying things like "when will this happen?". It is seriously slowing me down on the way to the benches in church.

There is a context around this. My friend, who happens to be younger than me by a little less than a year got engaged a few weeks ago. And I have another friend who got married at the age of 17. There is a peculiar mentality that is shared among some people which I personally frown at- "Settle down by the age of 22, after that a woman becomes too old". I frankly don't care what the world thinks, I want to wait.

I have tried the following things:

-I have tried praying about it so I don't get approached.
-I have tried talking to my FOC about it, he says that because they are older ladies (older than him) he would feel that he is not in the position to bring up issues with them because its a matter of culture rather than religion, (and thats perfectly understandable).
-I have put on my sharb outside covering the sides of my face so they don't notice me when I make my way inside. But they did.
-I have come earlier to church but they are always some of the first people who turn up.
-I have tried terminating their words by telling them that I will talk to them later, but they still persist.
-I even tried the "enshalla, enshalla, enshalla" approach, and then they start with the "I have the best man for you, my son's son... blah blah blah ebn nas, tayyeb...".
-I have tried telling them in all honesty, "I want to wait", they point at their watch as if my biological clock is running out.
-I held the Agpia in front of my face and prayed on my way in so they don't disturb me, it worked for a few months actually and I was so happy until my friend got engaged and they started disturbing me again.

I can suffer this when church is finished, I don't mind, but when I am making my way in church I expect not to be disturbed by useless talk. This has really become an obstacle to my spirituality in the church especially since the engagement of my friend, where I have never heard so many people say "you're next" over and over again, it still rings in my ear and gives me a headache thinking about it.

Because they are older, I don't want to disrespect them by telling them to stop, they are lovely ladies and I know they care (maybe a bit too much) but they really slow me down as I make my way to the benches of the church, sometimes even ask me to take a walk with them to the church kitchen to do a "favor" for them before I have a chance to step foot in the church in order to talk to me about marriage. What to do?

I would really appreciate answers from people who have experienced this.


  • ah, that is a pain! you have been very gracious with these ladies, and it is the nature of old ladies to ask over and over when will you get married.

    my husband and i are swamped weekly with "so, when are we going to get a new member of our church from you two?" (as in "when the heck are you guys going to have a kid already?), and we smile and say "when the Lord wills" or "we are working on it!". we just have to keep saying it week after week. it is a bit tiresome, but what to do? we can not be rude. and they mean well.

    in your case though, these ladies are bothing you at the church service itself. without being rude, the best thing is to smile graciously and say "i am waiting on the Lord to arrange my marriage for me! when He wills, He will give me a good man". pray to be able to answer these ladies kindly and quickly, and then move on to the service. they will probably not stop asking, so the best thing to do is to pray that the Lord would help you to be more patient, and to find gracious and brief answers. if they ask during the service itself when you are trying to pray, just remind them that we are in church, and i am trying to worship the Lord and hear the priest.
  • Hey Gracia,

    Thanks so much, I will work hard on it and try out your advice. I guess I cannot totally be immune to it no matter how much I try, because I assume it happens everywhere and not just characteristic to one culture, but truth be told, with God everything is possible especially when it concerns our spiritual lives. Please pray for me.

  • my 39 year old friend had a great approach when asked in front of a crowd in asia about his singleness, he said 'i don't know why i'm single, isn't it shocking that a nice guy like me isn't married yet! well, i shall have to look into it and see what i can do!'
    so, act surprised like, 'oh, am i not married yet? how did that happen? i must have been concentrating too hard at confessing my sins and serving God. i shall see what i can do when i have the time.'

    the same, gracia about having children. now i am in my 30's people are panicking on behalf of my husband and myself asking this question a lot. after i've tried all the usual answers (it's personal, it hasn't been easy, i have lots of nephews, i am looking for spiritual children), i give up and say, 'oh, yes, you're right, i must have forgotten to have children!
    may God give us endless patience!
  • Hey,
    Thats a really different approach. I like it! Thanks mabsoota. Indeed, I do forget as I am just so busy because I want to make myself intellectually, spiritually and emotionally ready before I remember all the other things, like get married!
  • you're welcome, and it sounds like u have your priorities right! if yr still single at 39, p.m. me, i have some great Christian friends
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