The need to seek sound advice from mentors and friends with godly insights and exemplary marriages cannot be overemphasized when deciding who to marry. Though true love should be the motivating factor with trust as the bedrock, you need to consider other aspects as well in order to make a well informed decision that would ensure a lasting marriage.This is a part 3 of a 5-part series. Continuation from: "Who should I marry? Two men seeking my hand in marriage – part 2"
5. Can the guy CULTIVATE you?
From my own personal experience and study of human behaviour and interactions with women over time, I have come to the conclusion that a woman to a large extent reflects her experiences with the men she has interacted deeply with in her life. Her character, motivation and outlook in life are so much influenced by the men in her life; father, brothers, and more importantly for older girls, boyfriends then spouses for the married.
Show me a confident woman who’s well adjusted and I’d most likely see it in how her father, brothers or uncles treated her at home. Show me a bitter and insecure woman and I’d point to some man she had loved, and who had mistreated, disrespected or disappointed her. Show me a woman who’s afraid to trust or let men into her heart and I would trace a man who had dumped her after she’s given her best and all, or you’d see an older woman in her life (mom, aunt, sister, friend or colleague) whom had it rough with men and had told her to be wary of trusting men. Tell me a woman who’s indifferent about marriage yet desirous of settling down, and you’d see one man that had waltzed in and out of her life sometime in her past. This may be too much of an extrapolation but I think you’d agree with me if you looked inwards at your own personal experiences and those of others around you.
But what does it mean to till and cultivate a woman you’d ask me? This is no small job because cultivating and tilling are no mean stuff. I grew up in the village and rainy seasons were not the best of seasons. It’s the time for ‘clearing the bush, burning the debris and rubbish in the farms’. When the 1st rain hits the soil, mama would pick up her hoe and head for our numerous farms. I had my own hoe and we toiled together so did other families. We tilled wishing all the soil were as soft as sandy soil…nay, some were hard due to the weed and shrubs that stuck in there. But as you tilled, the soil softens and then you can SOW SEEDS, and watch them grow and if it’s something like yam, you got to stake them and guide them as they grow. You don’t stop there, you also weed the farms as time grows to ensure that the choice seed so planted won’t be snuffed out and you lose out eventually despite all the toil. But when all the labour of cultivating is over, HARVEST comes and that’s what we all desire and deserve but its sheer WORK to say the least!
The man who can cultivate you would have to help you discover who you really are…he feeds your potential; he builds your confidence, and makes you a real woman. He isn’t threatened by your gifting because he is at his place of calling. He mentors, pastors, and enlarges you. He assesses your growth needs and gets the right manure to apply. When you fret and feel insecure, he understands and gets to the root of the matter. If you have a calling to be a career woman, he doesn’t feel you’d surpass his accomplishments but would be your sure prop and cheer leader. Even when you don’t think you can be someone important, he nudges and pushes you tenderly, mixed with firmness till you come to accept you can be what God wanted you to be….I’d give you some examples:
Who doesn’t know about Pastor Bimbo Odukoya that touched lives but her story is founded on what her husband did in her life. She celebrated him wherever she went as she least knew she’d ever be a preacher in the first place. She had thought she’d only be a ‘preacher’s wife’ but he saw beyond that and helped her grow, mature, deploy her gifts and impact destiny. She has left an enviable legacy for posterity.
I can tell you about three well respected American lady preachers (Paula White, Joyce Meyer and Juanita Bynum) and you’d be glad they married the men that are their husbands because they had a difficult past of sexual abuse, molestation, brokenness, disappointment etc they were bitter and hurting until the men walked into their lives and the rest is history. A caveat though, Paula White and Juanita Bynum in 2007 had problems in their marriages.
Please take time and mull over the above and am writing from my heart because that’s by far the much I could do aside praying along with you. While you assess and check out the guys that are sending their ‘ memos ‘ to you, have you taken the time and pain to consider what you would contribute to the man’s life? The truth is, as much as you desire the right man, you also got to be the right woman that fits his life and purpose and where there is a disconnection, friction becomes inevitable and the ultimate purpose of marriage may not be realised after all.
So as you think about your “selfish desires” also ensure that his own “selfish desires” find their last bus stop in you! It’s a two-edged sword and a reality. The bible says, ” the two cannot work together except they be agreed’ and that is one that can’t be overlooked – "Who should I marry? The wife you should be to your husband – part 4".
Most single women have heard the old adage “Men are like buses. If you miss one, there’s always another one coming.” But single relationship expert Michelle McKinney Hammond asks, How do you recognize the right bus? And if you didn’t learn anything when the first bus passed you by, how can you be sure you’ll catch the next one? The key is being the right kind of passenger.
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