In the olden days, parents, extended family and older siblings chose spouses for their children and younger siblings. With modernity exploding on us, many cultures of the advanced West have stopped choosing spouses for their children and siblings.
In most African countries generally and Nigeria in particular, choosing spouses for grown up children and younger siblings still persists in spite of supposed advancement in education and civilization. Interestingly, this act has caused many ladies to fail to get married at all in their life time or to end up with an unhappy married life. The effort to stop children and younger siblings from marrying the man or woman of their choosing has ruined their opportunity and introduced lifelong confusion in their psyche. This has resulted in misery and lack of faith in the marriage institution.
Instead of worrying about your children and younger siblings making wrong choices on the subject of who they end up with as spouse, it would pay much better dividend if parents and older sibling taught their children and younger ones how to make wise choices.
The ability to choose wisely could be attained by the learning, practicing and actually gaining skill in understanding and establishing life values or standards. Values are principles that guide one’s life. Parents and older siblings who wish to have their children and younger siblings make wise choices in all aspects of life and especially in the destiny defining issue of who to marry would do better by inculcating the timeless principles of the good life such as service before honour, empathy with other people’s situation, respect for other people’s view and persons, positive mental attitude about life, integrity and self respect.
Parents should be busy teaching their children to learn about themselves, their appetites and passions and how to keep control of the emotions of anger, peer pressure and sexual desires.
Helping the children to get access to reading materials, books, audio and video materials giving information on important issues of life such as clean knowledge of their sexuality, potentials and opportunities would be strengths and assurances that would help the girl-child especially but also the boy-child to know who she or he is and hers or his important place in the circle of life.
Parents and older siblings should teach their children and younger siblings from the best books. There is so much we can learn from the scriptures of all religions relating to the self, relationship with others, peaceful co-existence, wisdom in choosing our path in life, choosing a spouse, sacrifice for the benefit of family and in respect to the Creator to mention but a few. The scriptures are good for instruction, for guidance and the illumination of the mind and heart of upcoming generations and helping children to grow up properly.
Parents and older siblings should teach their children and younger relations about their culture and tradition. The children of each home should be taught trades and economically sustaining skills that could lead them to earning direct and extra incomes.
University education is very important. Parents and older siblings should encourage their children and younger siblings to pursue tertiary education and make sacrifices to create opportunities for the children and younger generation to obtain higher education. However, while the course of tertiary education is being pursued or before that, the upcoming generation should be helped to appreciate and to obtain hands-on training and experience in maintenance and creativity through which they could earn income before, during and after their tertiary education.
When children and younger siblings are raised along these lines, they would grow up rounded and versed and wise. This wisdom would give them the power to use their agency – the freedom to choose – wisely especially in the critical matter of choosing a spouse.
Your children and younger siblings expect you to trust them to be able to manage their lives as they grow you. If you do not trust them, they would lose the trust they have for you and your judgment.
Teaching your children and younger siblings how to make wise choices would serve the family better than choosing spouses for your children who in most cases end up in unhappy marriages, divorce and loss of peace and happiness and sometimes death as a result.
Think about it.