Who should I marry? Please help me decide – part 1

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While some women pray daily for God to bring their dream husbands their way, others are at a cross road having to decide who to marry from a handful of suitors. In a situation whereby you are torn between two suitors who are asking for your hand in marriage, how do you make that vital decision that would change the cause of your life and destiny? This 5-part series is a response by the author to a request made by a woman in this situation. She had asked for his advice to help her choose between two men that had proposed to her. The content is true but the names and references to places have been changed for privacy.

Dearie Felicia,

Thanks for your mail and the question you had asked, but I keep wondering when I’ll ‘quit’ relationship counselling in that I am not married as yet and am having to do all this by default even when I would like to live my life quietly and savour the riches of being on my own and enjoying my own company. I try to keep off from giving counsel about relationships and marriage because I am not even engaged let alone married, but the reality is such that friends (married/single) keep approaching me for counsel in these areas.

I have seen myself helping friends to resolve relationship/marriage problems that they have had with their spouses at one time or the other and to my joy, things changed and it still amazes me. Two weeks back, a female colleague came to my desk holding back tears as she narrated how her hubby who used to adore her had started receding and withdrawing from her. And in her frantic efforts to win him over, she ended up sending him further away that he got consumed in watching football on TV and playing computer games even in the toilet and she’s hurting badly.

Somehow, I gave her some nuggets on how she can get back his attention by taking interest in what he does, playing computer games! In doing that which she doesn’t naturally like doing, she would at least be around him while he plays the games and then she can chip in a word or two. Also, she could take time to learn to play the game herself, and look out for the latest play station and get one as gift for him. I assured her that if she can do that she would at least chat with him while the games are on and in doing so will keep him company and with time, the game will recede to the fringes of his heart and she’ll take her rightful place. Not long after, she almost shed tears after reading an email her hubby sent to her because he started treasuring her company again.

Last night I did some thinking, after I visited a friend who’s planning to marry her ex after he ‘dumped’ her a few years back. When I talked with her, I realised it was a tough thing for her because he’s been her 1st and only guy. I deeply sensed that she could have loved to be with someone else but somehow, her heart had long been bonded to him and she’s taking a leap of faith despite the fact that she is aware of some of his negative tendencies and personality traits. I cautiously and consciously did my best not to interfere with her decision. I made this point months back when she asked my advice…” That she knows the guy better and that she should ascertain why he is coming back to her and how he can convince her that he won’t leave her again…”

So last night while I thought about what to tell you in response to your emails, I decided to consult a mentor whose books and tapes had sharpened my thinking considerably. He’s called Dr Myles Monroe, a citizen of Bahamas and well respected pastor, technocrat, and leadership expert. He once preached a message in 2001 that he termed: Environment for Family Success and I would share some of his original thoughts…so I don’t take credit for all of this!

He said that for anyone to get anything right, one needs to go back to the ORIGINAL design and plan. You want to get marriage right, go back to Genesis where it all begun and soak in the spiritual principles and unchangeable values that God started man out with because when Jesus was asked if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife, he didn’t say it was OK because Moses gave ground for it….infidelity! But to Jesus, there’s really no ground for divorce if one from the outset follows the divine template. In His response, He said…” In the beginning it was not so…”

In essence, the issue is not about whom to just marry but what foundation is the marriage going to be founded on and what materials is it to be built with. In proverbs, we’re counselled that one needs wisdom to build a house, and understanding to do the interior decoration i.e. to make it become a home. I suppose that you know the difference between a house and a home. I got a better understanding of this in 1997. I went with two friends to pray for a lady seeking the restoration of her marriage. Now they are both doing well professionally, they have a big house in a posh area but they’ve never enjoyed their marriage. The woman is beautiful and very attractive and has a cute 9 year old son….but when we complimented her on the beautiful house she lived in, she quipped…” I would rather have a home than a house “because her hubby had literally stayed out of the house and that’s why they have just one child! They weren’t divorced or separated in the real sense but he absconds from his house….what a tragedy!

So when Jesus tells us that in the beginning it was not so, it means we have to take all the caution to ensure that the beginning is right so we can reach the end of the race well, and not just “till death do us part” but we’re to also ‘enjoy the ride and cruise home with joy and mirth and not sorrow and pain”. So take conscientious efforts to screen the guys that have gained access to your heart, remember that the bible asks us to guard our hearts with all diligence because the choices we make most times determine our experiences in life.

When John admonishes Christians to ‘test all spirits and know if they’re of God’, he is speaking as an elder who’s been around Jesus long enough to have had deposits of Jesus’ wisdom in him. So don’t shrug or twitch if it appears that you’re thoroughly scrutinizing guys that come your way. The exit out of marriage is not divorce but death in the real sense, and a good start ensures that. Even after a divorce, the parties involved are never themselves again.

Honestly, I have met a couple of women who have had broken marriages and from interacting with them, I have come to reckon that somehow before they got married, they had for some reason, had brushed aside that deep seated feeling of uneasiness and perturbation that something wasn’t right about the choices they were making. This makes them sad and broken now that their marriages ended up in divorce and separation.

Now let’s get back to the Garden of Eden and check out Adam and you’ll find out certain features that characterized his life. These are features that will guide you in making the right choice. The truth is that two good and nice people may not be right for each other, yet it doesn’t negate the fact that they’re good and virtuous, just mismatched and hence are not configured to fit each other. I’ll take time to expound this, please pay attention to the subheadings below to help you know what kind of man you should say yes to his proposal to marry you. – "Who should I marry? Two men seeking my hand in marriage – part 2"

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