Have you all checked out the marriage blog for singles yet? If you are looking for some answers from God re: mate selection, it would definitely be the place to go in this season. It has been SOMETHING TO SEE!
As I’ve been editing, I have discovered a lot of things…lots of “ah ha” moments, but there are two submissions from two husbands that I want you to read and meditate on. Ladies, we really do deserve THE BEST that God has to offer. We need to start acting like it!
How he knew his wife was the one for him:
“I first met Toya when I was a senior in high school. I knew she was different than any of the girls I had talked to in the past (and there were A LOT). She was very different…she wasn’t ‘stupid’ (that’s what I use to call girls who would let guys treat them any kind of way and still let em ‘hit it’).
We had a lot of things in common in regards to drama in our home life. I also think birth order was a key factor in us relating so well. I had two older sisters and she had two older brothers, which gave us the perfect conversational grounds…we had seen it all. I had a brother under me and a younger sister under him, and she had the exact opposite: a sister under her and a younger brother under her sister.
All of it, on the surface, seemed great. We were having sex and having great conversation. I used to have a philosophy when it came to relationships: ‘We are not married, so I don’t have to put up with arguments or disagreements, we can just separate.’ I would never base my decision of staying in a relationship on how long we have been together. I had seen too many people stay in bad relationships because they had been together for a long time. It seemed like unnecessary bondage that was self-inflicted. ‘If you’re not married, why stay together, who needs the drama?’
We didn’t argue for the first two years of our relationship. But when we did, we separated. I was single during my sophomore year of college. After a year of the ‘single life’, I realized that I needed a true friend who I could understand and who understood me. We got back together. I knew I loved Toya, but I didn’t know she was my wife.
We were together about two more years and she got pregnant. I knew how to take care of my children because I seen my father take care of us my whole life. So I got us a place and started taking care of my new ‘family’. This was a life-changing experience, but it still didn’t make me realize she was my wife. We were ‘living in sin’, according to the ‘church-going people’ that I would talk to. I felt like if somebody wasn’t taking care of their family, they couldn’t tell me nothing or give me any advice. I had seen that so much in the Church that I was deaf to any comments.
What many people didn’t know was that Toya had stopped having sex with me when my son was born. This was hard for me to comprehend or compute. I was working more than 40 hours, in school full-time and paying all the bills. I felt like I was crazy, but it was growing me.
After about a year of this, I started going to church. I wasn’t because I was searching for the meaning of life; I was trying to figure out why she was going so much. I figured it was someone at the Church because I used to go to churches to hit on girls…there are always ‘wolves among the sheep’.
Well, I met the person, and it was Christ. When I got saved, I experienced the forgiveness and love of God. I realized that I was carrying non-forgiveness and did not know how to love with the love of Christ. I didn’t know what love or marriage was all about. I truly couldn’t love Toya until I first loved the Lord. I had to stop looking at my life, and start looking at life through God’s eyes and how He sees me. It was then that I realized who I was and who I would serve. It was like my eyes were opened.
She dedicated her body back to the Lord, and even though I couldn’t understand it at the time, the Lord honored it. We got married four months later.”
What he loves about her mind: When we met, I was fascinated that we could hold a conversation deeper than the normal “surface level talking” that I was accustomed to. She was very articulate and continued to defy all the categories I had formed for women. This is still the case after nine years of marriage.
What he loves about her body: My wife’s body is and has always been a fascination to me. She was formed by the Lord with me in mind. I couldn’t recognize this before we were married because I didn’t understand our bodies are the Lord’s temple. And only after true marriage covenant, can coming together as one become worship to the Lord. Anything before covenant is false idol worship in the Lord’s temple.
What he loves about her spirit: When I met my wife, I did not know the Lord or his Word, so I couldn’t comprehend or recognize anything in regards to the Spirit…only of the flesh. We must remember that, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
Melvin’s advice to single men about marriage:
“A woman who fears the Lord deserves to be praised. The Word says that a man that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. The Word says that a man who finds a wife; Toya was hidden in Christ and I had to find her by first going through Christ. A lot of women are trying to find a mate; the man is supposed to his mate. And when he has to go through Christ to find her, the Lord can bless it and give him favor. I didn’t find my wife or obtain favor until I was truly living for the Lord. That’s how I knew Toya was my ‘good thing’. (I also wrote a song that explains our testimony entitled “A Good Thing” and put it on my first album, entitled “Proverbalist”. The lyrics and album can be found at www.proverbalist.com).”
Wedding Anniversary Date: October 7, 2001
How he knew his wife was the one for him:
“I met my wife at age 19. I had just transferred from a small college in Maryland, to an even smaller college in Alabama. What I noticed first about her were her eyes. Not so much the color, though they are beautiful, but more so their intensity. When I looked into her eyes, I could see my future. Funny thing is, I don’t remember becoming friends with her. I just remember being friends with her. Ours was a great friendship because neither of us was available. I was dating someone else back home and so was she. This allowed us to get to know each other on an intimate level without physical intimacy, which was the foundation for what we share today.
I remember feeling comfortable with her from the very beginning. Being with her was not just fun, but easy. Neither of us had to fight for the other’s attention. It was generously given. I did not know then that I would marry her because I would not allow my mind to think of her as anything but a friend. Remember, I had a girlfriend at home who I loved and respected. But I grew to love my wife on a completely different level than my girlfriend. I just loved sharing the same space with her. I loved knowing that this really pretty girl was so incredibly cool at the same time. I loved that I could talk to her about whatever, and I really loved looking out for her. I even told her once that my children would call her ‘Auntie’ because I knew we would always be in each others lives. But I’m glad that they call her ‘Mommy’ instead.
10 years would pass between our meeting and our marriage. Long story short, she knew I was hers before I knew she was mine. Most women do. But when I knew…I really knew. Having fostered a solid friendship, I was afraid of exploring a relationship with her. I didn’t want to risk ruining what we had. But when she began dating a guy she had known all of her life, a casual friend of mine, I then realized that the possibility of us ever dating may never be. That made me uneasy.
At a wedding of a mutual friend we reconnected. She was a bridesmaid and I was the singer. As she came down the aisle, I was in awe of her. Though we had kept in touch we had not seen each other for a few years. She was now a woman – a very beautiful woman. She was the first bridesmaid to enter and I was singing, ‘I want to spend tomorrow here with you’, as she walked in. That day God gave me a foreshadow of what was to come. I saw her dressed in white coming to vow herself to me. For the rest of the day, I could not be away from her and when it was time to leave I did not want to. I always missed her when either of us left but this time I felt like pieces of me stayed with her. That day she took my heart home with her and didn’t even know it. I was afraid to tell her.
Nearly two years passed before I asked God who my wife was. I wanted to be with His choice for me. I had been dating and up to this point, all of my choices had proven to be inadequate. Unknowingly, I had been comparing every relationship to the woman my soul loves.
When I asked God, He answered me immediately. He said, ‘Carmen’. It was as if He had been waiting for me to ask. ‘How did I know it was God?’ you may ask? It’s just like when my mom calls me on the phone. I don’t have to check the caller ID to figure out who I’m talking to. Because I’m in relationship with her I know her voice. And even if we were in a noisy, crowded room, I would still recognize her voice above all others because I’ve spent years with her. Her voice is familiar to me.
The same is true of God. When you spend time with Him you get to know Him and how He speaks as it relates to you. Not only did God speak it, but He also confirmed it through the mouths of three others. It was made more than clear that Carmen was His choice for me. And when I reflect on the decade of friendship we shared prior to our covenant day, she had always been my choice for me as well.”
What he loves about her mind: It’s sharp and ever-seeking to expand. It is attentive to whatever the task. Be it one or many, she starts smart and finishes strong.
What he loves about her body: In her eyes is God’s reflection. In her smile there’s a radiance quite like the sun. In her arms there is such safety. In her heart is a special place for me alone.
What he loves about her spirit: It’s free. It soars without any reservations and is always focused on the big picture. It sees the good in all things.
Duawne’s advice to single men about marriage:
“My brothers, your standard of perfection will never measure up to God’s. Some of you are afraid to trust Him with choosing a mate for you because you know He does not have the same hang ups that you do. When you realize the weight of a husband’s role, you will not want to make that choice based on your own intellect. The husband is called to love. Love is service. Love will carry the weight, and keep believing when everything looks hopeless. Love will not give up when your wife wants to. Love will be patient with her as she is transforming, and will be kind to her even when she’s not. Love seeks no glory but will take the back seat and let her shine. Love will keep you faithful even when it’s being thrown at you. The level of spirituality in your household is directly proportionate to your faith in God. If you don’t believe your marriage will be successful, how can she?
As well, a husband’s role is to lead. I guarantee your wife will follow you if you lead her, but you must first be led of God. I have noticed that if I don’t lead on some things, my wife will not. Not because she cannot, but because she’s not supposed to. I am responsible for bringing God into our home, not her. And as with Adam, if there is a deviation from God’s plan for our marriage, He will come to me and ask what happened. When it’s all said and done and the trumpet sounds God will ask me, ‘Where is Carmen? Where is the family I gave you?’ I want to be able to say, ‘Right here next to me. You’ve trusted me with them and I’ve led them to You’.
A husband is the house band. You are the one responsible for holding it all together. Do not take that lightly. Do not allow yourself to be displaced or replaced. The enemy wants to ruin your marriage. Don’t let him. Cover your wife completely and never give her a reason to question your love and loyalty to her. When you do this, God will bless your union and your marriage will be a testament to the Kingdom and not a deterrent from it.”