Marrying off your children is probably one of the greatest challenges a person goes through in this world. If you live in Eretz Yisroel and are looking for a top learning boy, it will require astronomical sums by any standards and certainly for the average member of the frum community in Eretz Yisroel, even if they are working baalei batim. Most people are lucky to earn enough to get through the month. Even if one can save, how much can they possibly save? This is the hurdle after the engagement, and of course there are no shortage of hardships and challenges finding a the right boy and getting everyone to say yes.
But that is not it! That is not the aspect of Shidduchim that is actually difficult. That is the easy part, since it really has nothing to do with us. This is Hashem's job. "Hakosh Baruch Hu Yosheiv U'Mizaveg Zivugim." Parnasa is not in our hands either, it comes from Hashem.
So what makes Shiduchim so difficult then? Aren't we on this world to be challenged and to grow? Why does Hashem make Shiduchim such an energy spending force in our best years? Why distract us from working on true growth? The answer is that Shiduchim poses great challenges to us, as one of life's most important missions is to develop emunah, to understand that we are not in control. Marrying off children is the perfect vehicle for Hashem to teach us this lesson. Only the most arrogant can come out of it still believing that their destiny, and the destiny of their children, is in their own hands. The lesson is not only learned on the way to the Chupah, but continues to reverberate for years afterwards, as you deal with your young couple and your Michutanim whom you were sure you checked out down to the last T. The lessons in emunah taught through this process can't be learned anywhere else.
When a younger person starting shidduchim for their kids asks an older person how he managed to marry off children, the answer is always the same. "Don't ask me how I managed. I did it somehow, but unfortunately, what happened with me is a crazy story and it is not relevant to you." Someone once asked Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman why don't see open miracles in our day. He responded by looking around the room and asking, "Has anyone here ever married off a daughter?" No one needed to raise their hand, his point was self understood!
Kasheh Zivugan Shel Adam K'Krias Yam Suf. Kashem Parnasa Shel Adam K'Krias Yam Suf. Splitting the sea, marrying off children, and earning a living are all so hard. Yes indeed it is hard to see bleakness before your eyes with no earthly way out, yet somehow believe in a Hashem who you cannot see or hear, who can't in your mind be smart enough to figure it all out, when you know you are at a dead end with no solution in sight.
No one escapes the challenge of Shiduchim. For those who have already bought into this reality it is an exercise to push them to their limits as they give their guts, and sweat out the long uphill road to its successful happy conclusion. For others it becomes a road littered with painful lessons, twisting and turning their world from side to side, as they endure hardship and bewilderment at every turn, until they too come to accept the truth that awaits them at the end of the road. Either way it's a road you have no choice but to travel, and it will take you to a beautiful place.
Hatzalacha & Besoros Tovos!