Before you jump for joy at the marriage proposal and give thanks to God for answering your prayers, think about this; are you both going in the same direction? This is an important question because one of the fastest ways for any marriage to fail is for two people travelling in different directions to try to come together as one, the Bible says that two cannot walk together except they agree. Are you both in agreement? You won’t be able to answer this question unless you know who you are. In my latest book, Preparing to Cleave, I stated that knowing who you are is prerequisite to knowing who to marry. And only a few days ago I realised how right I was.
Early this year a man I have known casually for about four years popped the question. I asked him to give me time, not necessarily to pray about it but more to think it through. After giving it some thought, I got back to him. I began the conversation by properly introducing myself to him, and I don’t mean my name, where I’m from, or anything like that, he already knows all that. But I let him know who I am, as in what my purpose is, where my operational base is, and what my plans are, as already revealed by God. When I was done, he expressed some concern that my base being in the United Kingdom and his base being in Nigeria meant a long-distance marriage and that it worried him. I said I completely agreed with him, it should worry him, especially as I had no plans to relocate. Then he asked a very important question.
“Are you willing to have more children seeing as your life is so very busy?”
I responded that I was willing to have children however, with my dreams and visions, I could only accommodate two more children as I also had to make out time to care for them not just give birth to them.
“And why do you think you will be caring for them all alone?” He asked.
I immediately understood that he was trying to say he would be by my side to provide for the children, and I appreciated that. It’s always great when a man can provide for his family but as I pointed out, caring for children goes beyond leaving money on the table for their food, clothes, tuition, etc. As a mother, more is expected of me even from me, and two is the number I believe I can reasonably look after. Moreover, I made him aware that at my age, two is a more realistic number if I didn’t plan to spend the rest of my working life nursing children, or as I jokingly added to myself, if I didn’t want to be nursing a baby when my older daughter married and had her first baby.
He wasn’t very pleased to hear that, and as he very reluctantly agreed that I was right, I realised that he had not given enough thought to the whole marriage proposal business. If I had been excited, I would have said yes, we would have married and then started to fight and blamed the devil. I quickly brought the conversation to an end by stating the obvious; our lives were going in different directions and so there was no possibility of a future together. Each one of us required a partner who better fit into our marriage and family life vision. And of course, I thanked him for his interest in me.
Now, ladies, I have shared this story, so you understand that not every marriage proposal is an answer to your prayer and not every marriage proposal must be prayed over. With this one, there was no need to pray. I know who I am and where I am going, the man meant for me will not take me off course, he will be on the same track, and as we travel together, we will support each other. So, bottom line, know your purpose, as it is a prerequisite to knowing who is right for you.