“To be loved for what one is, is the greatest exception. The great majority love in others only what they lend him, their own selves, their version of him.” ― Goethe
I wrote this in 2013 a few months after I started dating my husband. We were intentional from the word go and he asked me out with the promise of engagement that will lead to marriage. Like he actually said that to me. God told him to but still. Sema member league of extraordinary gentlemen! Haha. This post was probably the birthplace of the idea of me have a website. It’s still as fresh today as it was then so enjoy!
PS: This will be long and possibly emotional. Though I know it will incite different emotions in many, please remember that I mean well. In every way, I do. The choice to read and heed is yours. Very well…
When I got into a relationship early 2013, the conversations that were happening around me with the girls I was hanging with were just… Let’s just say that it was good I was silent. The girls would give me that squinty look that says, “You are a brave, brave, brave soul to say yes to be in a relationship with him.” And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sting me. It did. But I forgive you.
Here’s why: The girls were talking about the kind of men they would want to get married to or be in a relationship with. Most of the generic answers were that he has to be tall, buff (definitely well built) and I’m sure though it was never vocalized, a number of them probably muttered rich under their breath. But definitely not any of the men that were around them at the moment, that is: short, chubby, skinny, younger than them or immature (I believe was mentioned) and maybe, just maybe someone who is a student (I sense familiarity and a lack of discernment of the men around them) And they went on to describe just how brave I was because those were the very things they wouldn’t sign up for.
If brave is choosing purpose over shortsighted imagination, then I’m it! I don’t think some ladies are single because they haven’t met the right guy. I think it’s because if you knew who God has in mind you would straight on reject him and miss out on purpose a.k.a you still have an aspect of immaturity in you.
Purpose is never far away. You see, a lot of us girls will miss it if we’re stuck and hell-bent on shallow irrelevant particulars of the men to get married to. Brief background 2012 for me was a year of healing from a lot, a lot, as in A LOT, of things. I wasn’t ready for a relationship because I was in pain and healing from my past. One conversation with my friend Marie led us to talk about the kind of guy we would want to marry and this was my response:
“Someone who will love me, who will stay (committed guy) someone who won’t lie to me, and someone keen on their relationship with God (spiritually mature or growing toward it).”
“No physical attributes or other qualities?” she asked.
No. Not coz I was awesome. I’ve just always been open and thought that way. In the past I had dated short, tall, younger, chubby, buff, brown, dark and all sortsa tribes. I was never choosy. That’s just how I’ve been.
So I stayed single through 2012 and kept turning down the few guys that showed interest. Why? I wasn’t ready yet. Then 2013 God just turns it all around and then boom, I agree to be in a relationship (coz He had been leading me to warm up to a good friend of mine and now husband. Hey boo!) In my head, I was doubting that I was ready. I mean, I was warming up to the idea of being in a relationship, the how and whom was what I asked God to fill. And so He did. And both David (my then boyfriend now husband) and I said yes. Then came the brave stares and the questions.
The girls: “You don’t mind that he has a bit of a tummy?” (My nicer rendition)
Me: No. Not really.
The girls: I dunno if I’d be ok with someone who has a big ‘tumbo’.
Me: *Nods and smiles awkwardly* Because in all honesty, my tummy ain’t flat either way!! And he’s hot to me.
Movies and TV are killing this generation! People want to get married to a prize and fail to consider whether they are also a prize to the guy anyway. I’m wrong? Ok then, why? Why does he have to be tall, and buff and working (substituted with loaded)? Is it so that others can envy you or be jealous of you? Think about it honestly.
Because many people are missing out on purpose and God’s will because of a shallow checklist they wrote down inspired by Hollywood chick flicks? I’m not trying to rubbish the tall, buff, loaded guy. No way. He worked to get there and kudos for that. And, he might just as well be God’s will for you. Not because of his looks remember, but because of the life you are to build together in light of the purpose of God over both of your lives. And anyway, who said that broad shoulders are what carry and sustain a marriage? It’s God and how a man carries you and your family in the spirit.
But if you’ve discounted everyone else for a particular looking guy such that if another guy that is God’s will and in line with His purpose for your life is brought to the picture it’s a deal breaker because he doesn’t fit in your checklist, then I feel very sorry for you.
It is God who packages purpose. You see, when God tells you He’s heard your prayers and His desire, will and purpose is for you to be with so and so (insert name), He’s not making a suggestion. He’s not a match maker that will parade different men to you so that you pick whoever is to your liking. He is God. His ways are higher than ours and He’s seen the end from the beginning. He is saying, “In light of My purpose and My will for your life and your future, this is whom I have found suitable for you. But the choice is yours.” And what should follow this grace from God is gratitude. Not disappointment.
That’s why many times when you dream about getting married or being in a relationship, the person in the dream tends to be headless (as in you can’t see their face no matter how hard you try. trust me, I’ve tried.) It’s because the person you marry/get married to is not necessarily a particular person but an expression of the eternal purpose of God over your life/lives. My friend Justin helped elucidate that once. Thanks Justo.
Allow me to repeat this again. There may be other reasons God has not ushered you into a divine relationship but this may be one of them: the fact that you have shallow expectations of the kind of person you should be with. Here’s the thing, the Israelites could have been in the desert for 1 year rather than 40 years if they would have been prepared mentally and spiritually for Canaan. It’s just that it took them 40 years and even then, the older generation died because they were stubborn and just weren’t getting it. It’s not that God was mean and vindictive and trying to teach the Israelites a lesson. If anything, 40 years was God being patient and gracious toward them. He’d have been stoked if they took 3 weeks. He would. God really would have been excited. It’s a principle of exiting and entering. You need to exit right (leave those things behind keeping you from a relationship – attitudes, mindsets, baggage) before you enter right. And your willingness to obey and incline to the voice of God determines how long it takes you to exit before you enter. It’s all you really.
Also, not to rubbish the fact that God does honour some or all your desires. Growing up, I loved the idea of getting married soon after Uni to a guy I met at Uni, like my folks did. I loved the thought of building a life together from scratch straight out of Uni, like my folks did. Let’s just say I was inspired by my parents’ story. And when in 2012 I thought all hope toward that was lost (to the point that I got excited about meeting and growing in love with someone I would get to know).
In 2013 God revived a dead hope with someone I had thought was lost to me (as in I had humanly burned every bridge towards us ever being together. Haha!) And truly, David (now my husband) was my favourite 2013 gift from God to me. A gift that keeps on giving. He’s all the man I need. He is.
What I’ve been trying to say in this long post is that we should let go of Hollywood and Hallmark and all those shallow standards we cling to as the way to go. Let God lead you to someone right for you as He sees best and He might surprise you. Reality may just as well be better than the utopia you were hell-bent on getting.
And the truth is: love and purpose is for the brave who choose to obey God.
That is all.