Saturday, 14 September 2013

For the single ladies...and men too!

Today, I would like to share some great insight I picked up from the singles’ summit my church hosted last month. Trust me, it’s that good. Here goes...

So, as a single, before you go about focusing on a potential spouse’s strengths and weaknesses, you need to answer a question: if you found someone exactly like you, would you marry that person? If the person has the same beliefs, habits, likes/dislikes, quirks, passions, flaws as you... would you marry the person?

Thing is, you need to be miss/mr. right. You need to be Godly yourself before asking God for a Godly partner. The journey starts with you. Develop yourself first. Becoming a Godly person is a process, not an event. You develop yourself for life, not just marriage. Truth be told, marriage isn’t everything. Marriage isn’t a destination. It’s not an end in itself. It’s the beginning of another phase in your life.

In developing yourself, there are three important relationships you need to pay attention to:

·         The vertical relationship: this represents your personal relationship with God. You need to develop a strong passion for God. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. Matthew 22:36 Ask yourself, “What am I ready to sacrifice for God?” Fall in love with God’s Word and obey it. Let the Word of God affect your personal life. (Joshua 1:8, 1 Peter 2:2, Psalm 119:11)

·         The horizontal relationship: this represents your personal relationship with other people. You need to learn how to relate with others, how to love people (yes, including the ‘not-so-lovables.’) “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.” 1 John 4: 7-8 Develop a social life (Lord knows I need to. Lol I barely hang out with friends lately), surround yourself with Godly friends and be hospitable. Have good clean fun. (Proverbs 18:24, Ecclesiastes 11:9) Some things you can do socially with friends are; eat out at a restaurant, have a cookout, go watch a good movie, take a tour/trip. You’ve got to relate positively with the opposite sex without having sex with them, kissing/touching them. (1 Timothy 5:1-2) You need to learn how to disagree without being aggressive and learn to be a door, not a door-mat.

·         The internal relationship: this is the relationship you have with yourself. How you see yourself goes a long way to affect how you relate with others. Have a vision for your life because a person without goals needs no helpmate. Develop a healthy self-esteem. See yourself the way God sees you. Do not devalue yourself. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Fall in love with wisdom and knowledge. Have a great appetite for knowledge. Read wide and develop yourself. (Proverbs 3:13-15)                                                                                                                                                            

Are you surrounded with bad marriages? Ok, then I’m sure you’ll relate to the next couple of points. 

Challenges with bad marriages in relation to singles.

1.      Singles get to find out how unhappy some people can be in marriage and this scars them off.

2.      Singles get to see respectable friends turn into horrific wives and husbands due to issues in the marriage and have second thoughts about marrying.

3.      Singles are forced into becoming marriage counsellors by disgruntled married people.

4.      Singles are approached for illicit sexual relationships by unhappy married people.

The effects of such bad marriages on singles are:

·         Skepticism: singles begin to think there’re no genuine happy marriages out there. You start to generalise and say all men/women are liars/cheats.

·         Fear: you begin to think the chances of your marriage working are very low.

·         Pessimism: you start to think marriage is a trap and should be avoided where possible.

·         Mercenary: you see marriage to be all about looking out for yourself instead of looking out for your partner too.

     So you ask yourself, “is there hope?” Well, you’re more likely to hear about a bad marriage than a good one- bad news travels fast!

Remember these:
·         The fact that others failed, if even they were your parents doesn’t necessarily mean your marriage will also fail.
·         Beware of what you make of the bad stories you hear about peoples’ marriages- you may not be hearing the whole story. “He who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18:17
·         Learn from other people’s mistakes and bad experience. (Proverbs 24:30-34)
·         God instituted marriage and He’s the best one to advice on it- not friends or traditions. Seek Godly counsel. (Proverbs 24:3-6)

How should I approach my relationship/marriage you may ask. First, learn some lessons from Abraham in Genesis 24:1-20. See how he didn’t want his son Isaac to be unequally yoked with any of the daughters of the Canaanites? Exactly. “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

Love is not blind. Open your eyes and know what you’re looking for in a partner. Know that marriage is not your destination, it’s a stage in life (Colossians 3:17-19). Never sacrifice your relationship with God on the altar of marriage (1 Peter 2:9).

Six pillars of your approach to a relationship leading to marriage.

1.      Conviction- your faith is non-negotiable. You probably really like someone but he/she isn’t a Christ follower. What do you do? It’s simple. Do not compromise, hoping that you’ll be able to change them. It’s a no-no. And do not throw away your Christian faith to be with the person either.

2.      Consultation- seek God’s guidance and pastoral counsel. Never commit your life to a man/woman who isn’t ready to see your pastor for counselling.

3.      Core values of the person- find out the values of the person because the values the person holds makes the real person.

4.      Character- granted, no one is perfect, but some traits are inexcusable. Know that the flaws which you decide are excusable about the person may or may not change. So, are you ready to live with those flaws?

5.      Companions- the association of the person says a lot about him/her. Are his/her friends Godly people or are their behaviour and beliefs questionable? “He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20

6.      Charm- the person’s charm may be great and even intriguing, but charm my dear, is temporary. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 I believe this verse doesn’t apply to only women but men too.

Dear single ladies (and men) out there, remember to first be the Godly person a Godly man/woman will be attracted to. And never settle for less than you’re worth. Marriage is no joke. Be patient and pray about that special someone. Oh, and ladies, let the guy find you and pursue you! Not the other way round. :) Ponder over “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22 and “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

This post is a lil lengthy, but thanks for sticking through till the end. I hope you’ve gained some crisp, fresh insight. ;)

Keep praying, and be patient. xoxo


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Soaring Up In Sunshine
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