Good Afternoon all,
I am extremely sorry for posting this late! Please bear with me! As you know, I work in a Church office, I serve in two other ministries in Church, I’m on a Post Graduate degree, I also freelance for another business and I work with the UK CIPR. My hands are so full at the moment but I pray to send at least one post each day. I honestly love and appreciate every single one of you and I’m so glad I started this blog, I thank God for His mercies. It’s been a great journey so far, writing the posts, getting replies and questions but a large part of what I do is with the emails. Several people email me daily and it takes a huge chunk of my time. Please pray that God will give me grace and strength to keep on going and that no other area of my life will suffer. AMEN! Thank you all so much!
Today’s post is based on a sermon by Pastor Mildred Okonkwo (David’s Christian Centre, Love Dating & Marriage, Just Us Girls). The message is basically about managing the “waiting period”. Waiting for your husband or wife. As much as we try to be strong, I do understand and acknowledge that it isn’t always easy. So, I pray that this message will bless you.
1- Thou shall not be desperate.
Too many people when waiting for something become desperate and when you are desperate, you make poor decisions and most likely will settle for less than you should. The truth is that men can smell desperation a mile away. For example, when you like a guy even when he’s saying something that is not funny, you laugh hysterically and offer him your seat or the last cupcake. Isn’t that what the man is meant to do? All of that won’t make him marry you, it will do the opposite, make him run far away. Why? Men are natural born chasers and hunters. Pastor K (Pastor M’s husband) uses this example a lot, I love it. Imagine you are hunting and you set a trap for the animal and as you turn away, the animal jumps right into your bag. Not even the trap; won’t you run away. Or imagine staying at a hunting lodge and you set the traps in the forest and enter the lodge and you hear a knock at the door and it’s an antelope and it walks right past you, straight to the kitchen, jumps into the pot and even puts on the gas. Come one! How many of you will wait, of course you will run away. That is the exact case with men. Remember the story of Esau and Jacob, because Esau was desperately hungry, he traded his birthright just for a meal! He made an exceptionally silly decision because he was desperate. If you are still waiting on your future spouse, don’t be desperate! Just relax and wait on God, you don’t need to be desperate. If you take your time, it will also help you ensure you are making the right decisions. Amen.
2- Thou shall love yourself.
I’m not implying that you should be selfish but love yourself. Don’t put your life on hold just because you want to get married. Of course, many of us are from societies and backgrounds where so much emphasis is placed on being married by a certain age especially as a woman! You hear things like “she’s not married at this age? There is something wrong with her”. But that is a lie from the pit of hell. I don’t care what you have been told but there is nothing wrong with you. Mark 12:31- Jesus said love your neighbour as yourself; not more than yourself. Part of this is knowing your self worth. Like I always say, you were bought with a price. Jesus died for your sins. God had only one child and to show how important you are to Him, he scarified that child to save you. That’s how important you are, you are special to God! You are a prince or Princess of Zion! Please recognise your worth; many people don’t; that is why we find many Christians marrying unbelievers, please remember what 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 says, it’s like marrying a dead body; you will have to carry it around for the rest of your life. Take care of yourself, if nobody takes you out, take yourself out! Learn to take care of yourself, value yourself because if you don’t, whoever comes into your life will not value you and you will settle for less.
3- Thou shall get a life.
1 Corinthians 7: 32-34 basically explains that the single man/woman cares about how they may please God but when you get married, you will be concerned about how you can please your spouse; your interests are divided. So, when you are single, do something with your life, follow your dreams, your passions. Because when you are married, you will not have time. When you are single; that is the time to serve God and be passionate about the things of God because that is when you will have the time to do it. When you are married, you are no longer the owner of your time. So, when you are single, take advantage of that time. Develop yourself, pursue a career! Get a life, get a degree, get your PhD, start your business. Now that you are waiting to enter a relationship, focus on your life! Marriage will not turn you from a lizard to a crocodile. Marriage is beautiful and honourable but it won’t change you unless you change yourself first. Get a life; it is time to celebrate yourself; follow your dreams.
4- Thou shall not help or limit God.
Remember the story of Abraham and Sarah- God promised them a male child; it didn’t happen immediately and Sarah got desperate and asked Abraham to sleep with her maid and he did that. However, after sometime, the Angel of the Lord appeared to them and told them that wasn’t the plan. Hello!! If God wants to do something, He will do it! Don’t insult Him by trying to help Him, don’t get pregnant so someone will marry you. Don’t go and move into his house and take over all the domestic chores! If it’s not God, it can’t be like God’s. Don’t try to help or limit Him, He doesn’t need your help. Don’t limit Him by having a list- For example Pastor M shared her own personal account- When she was single, she had a list- She wanted someone who wasn’t a Pastor, not igbo and not hairy. However, the man that proposed to her was an Igbo Pastor to her surprise and at first she resisted but prayed about it and today they are happily married with a beautiful daughter. Don’t limit yourself to- “He must be from my village, he must be fat, he must be an accountant”. Because God will make you wait and believe me, you can not out wait God. You need to get to a point where you’ll be so absorbed with the things of God that you won’t try to help or limit Him.
5- Thou shall have faith in God.
I hear this statement a lot and I am also guilty of saying it in the past. “There are no men in this Church” “There are no good men in London”. God forbid! Please don’t use your tongue prophetically and destroy your future. Besides, isn’t it one man you need to marry? Not men! Why are you looking for men? It’s just one man! Let’s put our faith in God, not Church or any system! Many of us are blinded by natural things, for some of us we are sitting next to our future spouses but because they are in seed form, we don’t recognise them; we by pass them! Don’t put your faith in natural things; some of us have a long list- Tall, dark, handsome, rich, educated, born again, has a BMW, etc! But what is the motive? If your faith is in God and not natural things, He will orchestrate it! Just have faith in Him. When it comes to things of faith, just rest! Stop all the hustling, all the manual manipulation. God is God, He will do what He has to do.
6- Thou shall pray for the right things.
There are two categories of people- Those who don’t pray at all concerning marriage and those who pray but for the wrong things. Please read James 4: 1-4.
A lot of the time, people are waiting because they aren’t praying for the right things. Instead of praying for his character, you are praying about his bank account or his height.
Matthew 7:7- Ask and you shall receive. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive! God is not wicked! Pray about it but pray about the right things. Be careful about what you say- “I can never marry a short man”. Don’t say things like that because when it is time to eat your words, pride won’t let you and maybe that’s where God’s blessing for you is.
7- Thou shall love others.
Let me give you the example of Pastor M! When she was getting married, her best friend was coming out of a bad break up. But she was so selfless and helped her with all the wedding preparations. When it was time for Pastor M’s traditional wedding on a saturday, everyone travelled to the village on Friday but she couldn’t get the day off. So, she had to leave at 4am on saturday morning to make the event. She was there helping out, took over, she served everybody. During the ceremony, Pastor K’s brother said he wanted to eat, so Pastor M told them to summon her friend to serve him. Her friend went ahead and and served him, with no intentions whatsoever! Guess what? Today they are happily married with two kids. She had just come out of a bad relationship and was in no hurry to find someone else! She was working throughout the wedding, she really had no ulterior motives but was helping out purely out of the goodness of her heart! Out of all Pastor M’s friends at that time, she was the one that got married. What you make happen for others, God will surely make happen for you! It’s a principle that you can’t miss out! Be nice to others not just those you can marry. Remember the story of Isaac and Rebekah, the servant was an old man, not an eligible bachelor, yet she was so respectful and nice to him. That was what led to her marriage to Isaac.
Love also means putting an end to wrong relationships. For example, some men know who they want to marry but keep another woman on reserve. That is very wicked because you are letting her invest things she can never regain- her time, energy and emotional involvement. Please, let her go so she can find her own Prince of Zion. She may cry but better now than later. In shortening her wait, you will also shorten yours.
It is important that you love other people; don’t do it just because you want to get married but your motive must be right.
8- Thou shall have a good attitude.
This is the essence of Christianity. I don’t care how many people you heal, how many souls you have saved, if you don’t have a good attitude/character then what does your Christianity really say? I work in a Church office and serve within ministries and you find people that are in Church every single Sunday, many even serve in Church but if you watch how they treat others, you will weep. Women, please let’s not be rude! Someone passes by you and hits you by mistake and you insult them. God is more interested in your character and behaviour than bringing you a spouse. He will invest more time in that because He knows that if He brings the spouse too early, your bad attitude may chase them away or may make you have a bad marriage. Before you get married, be nice to people, be respectful! Please, thank you and so on. This waiting period is the time to build your character. In marriage you will be tempted by your marriage/husband, learn to deal with it now so you won’t disrespect or insult him then. One major character trait that needs to be addressed is pride! Yes! God wants to humble some of us and that’s why he keeps us waiting. For some people, it will take being a bridesmaid 20 times for them to become humble! God will rather you stay single than get married and then divorced because of bad character! May that not be our portion in Jesus’ Name! If you have pride, I ask you to pray to God and take up a role as an usher in Church! Believe me, I used to have pride but when I started serving God and His people, every ounce of pride in me was released. I bless God for the day I became an usher. God resists the proud- 1 Peter 5:5. Somebody needs to repent of pride today.
9- Thou shall learn about relationships.
Get informed before you get involved! You must know what you need to do before you start! That is why too many people have bad marriages and relationships. The waiting period is the time to read Christian books, buy CDS, attend seminars, read Christian blogs and seek counsel.
Hosea 4:6- My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
There is no shame in attending a relationship seminar or buying books and CDs. My dear, it is better to be equipped than to get there and begin to pray for deliverance.
10- Thou shall not make marriage your god.
Exodus 20: 3- Thou shalt have no other God before me
Too many people make marriage a god in their lives. The type of man we want then becomes a god in our lives. There is no must in your life! The only must is God! Too many people are looking for a saviour! Marriage is for giving; not for taking! This waiting period is the time to focus on God. For many people, their lives stop even before they meet their husband! God is looking for two whole people to become one! He doesn’t want to join two incomplete halves! Don’t make marriage the centre of your universe! Marriage is not a reward, it is an assignment! Just place your trust in God and God will do what He needs to do.
Amen! Thanks to Pastor M for such a wonderful sermon; I have probably listened to it eight times! She is such a huge inspiration to me and I pray that the message has sincerely blessed and inspired you to make good use of your waiting time, to have faith in God and to do the right thing always. God bless you all.