Allow me to share one of my favorite photos as a precursor to what we will talk about today.
I love this picture.
Forget about the quality! This was 8 years ago (2010), my hubby was still in his military training and he was on his 2 weeks pass.
We tried to make most of the little time we had. To talk, and visit some places that he had missed. Safari walk offered the perfect place for just that. I on the other hand, had to take at least 4 days off from work – which was not easy.
We had fun, but what I remember most on this day was one question we asked each other. Actually he asked me, and I asked him the same question too.
He asked me if I was ready to walk down the aisle, and I said NOO! I asked him if he was ready to settle with me and he said NOOOOO!!
I know what you are thinking – feels like rejection right? Like he is supposed to say YES, he is ready to settle with me… right?
The truth is, we both knew that we would want get married eventually, our courtship had an end or goal so to speak, but we needed to work on a few things – actually lots of things!
Singleness is a gift – a time to discover your God given purpose.
Singleness has its own convenience – relish in the season.
Singleness can be a struggle, but none the less, you can overcome all temptations.
Singleness is just but another season in life – no need to fret.
While you may feel as if it’s taken long to find your mate, it’s all for nothing.
Am I not trying to anesthetize your “pain” either, but believe you me, the wait will bear fruit(s).
Nothing good comes easy. It takes the fruit of patience and grace to wade off all unwanted pressure that comes with waiting.
You may tell me, “Mary you have no idea! “.
Oh yes I do, I may not have waited in the area of your wait, but I have waited with bated breath and sore eyes for something – things that God needed and still needs to accomplish in my life.
I would rather tell you the bitter truth than feed you on sugar in a bid to satisfy your insatiable hunger for temporal highs.
Waiting is hard but rewarding. We too wanted to sort out our own hearts out first – for marriage is all about the attitude of the HEART.
I know it’s not easy watching your whole “generation” and classmates getting hooked up, and marrying while you are still at the waiting bay.
I know your heart has grown sick, maybe you are disillusioned and jaded.
But, I would prefer you wait, than make an obscured judgement that will have profound ramifications 2 years into marriage.
Or worse handicap your marriage – somewhere along the journey, and you will be bound to live with a “disabled marriage”, just because you were rushed enough not to wait.
You see, the decision you make of a life partner will affect every area of your life, let no one lie to you.
He or she leaves indelible marks on your life that no passing time can erase.
They dig new trenches in your heart and redirect every stream that once followed a particular course.
Woe unto you if you find yourself “wanting to get married “, ignoring every warning signal that the Lord gives you.
The Lord speaks, maybe not through thunder and lightning like He spoke to Elijah, but He speaks.
He speaks but most of us ignore and push the thought of “he can’t be the one” at the back of our minds.
We ignore that nagging feeling that says “it won’t work”, and instead, we help the Lord do His will.
We say “Yes” to ourselves, without thinking through our vision and how this person will aid you in getting your purpose accomplished.
We don’t wait for the Lord to say YES, after all, he meets the minimum cut and am late!
We play pretend “that his/her drinking ” won’t be an issue.
We play pretend that “his/her staying out late” won’t be an issue.
We play pretend and tell ourselves “he/she will fall into” a church routine.
We play pretend “that the late night chats” won’t be a problem when we move in together.
We tell ourselves that, “he/she will change” once we settle.
Years on, even after getting babies, nothing grounds him home.
Years on, even after satisfying her materialistic nature, she still doesn’t respect you.
Yes he was all shiny and golden but not grounded.
Yes she was slaying but never praying.
Do not think that your wait is all for nothing.
It could be that the Lord is growing you up, to match the standards of the one He kept for you, or He is growing your Mr. up somewhere to meet your standards!
So why compromise?
By standards, I don’t mean the externalities. Tall, Dark and Handsome and so forth.
I mean his/her values.
I mean his/her intents.
I mean – what else is she bringing on the table apart from the Indian and Hollywood knowledge of movies?
While at it, there are things you can do for you!
Not so that he can spot you.
Not so that she can love you.
No, it’s for you. Yourself!
As we transition from singleness to courtship and into marriage, there are things that you can do for yourself.
The Bible says in
Proverbs 13:12 that, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”, but that deferred hope produces something that no amount of studies in school could produce.
Hope deferred bears CHARACTER!
We also have joy [rejoice; boast] with our troubles [through suffering/trials/persecution], because we know that these troubles [suffering; trials; persecution], produce patience [endurance] And patience [endurance] produces [tested and proven] character, and [tested and proven] character produces hope.
CHARACTER is what will sustain you in the long haul.
CHARACTER is a byproduct of PATIENCE that has been tested and proven.
CHARACTER is forged in hard times, not in plenty.
CHARACTER is made when alone in the desert, not when surrounded by a crowd and comrades.
Are you failing in your test of singleness?
Are you finding had to prove your worth?
You are a work in progress.
Marriage will be a is a work in progress.
[If you are married, it might not be too late to pick up one or two things and incorporate them in your marriage.]
What are those things you can do you for yourself?
Single series continues…