Meeting someone you love is priceless. The whole process of falling in love is lovely. Your heart beats a little faster when you are around this person and you think ‘God, I can’t believe you created someone like this’ – He fits the bill perfectly. When He gives you that someone with whom you genuinely enjoy living life together with. If you are like me then the sweet feelings reach a crescendo with marriage preparations and then it’s your big day and you tie the knot. The first few years are usually blissful! If you start out without any abnormal negative outside influence, you generally think nothing/little of each other’s shortcomings. You see yourself as ‘the solution – the help meet’.
People have said in Nigeria that when you are preparing for you wedding, you face challenges. Specifically because you are getting married it seems. Ladies I have spoken to say they are confused by the amount of interest they receive from the opposite sex at just the point where, they are not married yet however unavailable. As though something was working against it. For some people, things become difficult; things that should go smoothly suddenly became an issue. So there is a feeling that once your courtship gets to the point of marriage you need to intensify prayers.
When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we decided to do a registry ceremony in UK and the Church/Traditional ceremonies in Nigeria. It was a difficult experience. There was a religious clash where I lived in Nigeria and a curfew was in place so by 4pm everybody had to be home and indoors. My in-laws and some of the wedding party were apprehensive about travelling but as per our tradition they had to present themselves to the wife’s family. At a point, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen but thankfully all things fell into place. The surprising opposition to the date when we finally selected it was a family friend decided it wasn’t a good time to do it and my husband was obliging. They said they wanted to be present but the grooms dad vetoed – thankfully. I won’t put pen to paper about the inner workings of my mind about this but I was grateful that my father in law sorted this.
I think one of the odds against marriage is the traditions we associate with marriage – mainly, the expense. In order to get married, you have to have a lot of savings to be spent on that one day. How many men are there who cannot propose due to bank balance issues as not all families are able to cover their children’s marriage expenses? I have spoken to sisters who even though have decent jobs, expect the men to do all or the bulk of the spending. Would couples be better off using their resources to build (figurative) their homes rather than the big party? Everybody has a big party and very few people dare to be different. Many couples rely heavily on the money sprayed on them to offset bills or survive on. I know of a wedding that descended in chaos by the end of the day. The groom’s sisters footed many bills leading up to the wedding and decided to seize the sprayed money (which probably did not cover their expense) and the couple went ballistic! What a start!
One way that this issue is surmounted in Nigeria is to have a marriage committee. So a year before the wedding or there about, you get invited to join the committee where you discuss the main expenditures (I discovered) and you make a pledges to help a friend out. This eases the burden. You also suggest ideas to reduce the cost eg business people you know, you could decorate the hall for free if there are skilled people.
My favourite cost cutting method is as per an inspirational wedding story I know which goes as follows; A man and woman were in a relationship and engaged. They wanted to get married but could not afford it and be able to live. The man is an accountant (might explain it). They went to their pastor and told him to just do something small during Wednesday bible Studies and that’s it. The pastor was so moved by their desire to get married in church he decided to organize a bit of fanfare to go with it. Behind their backs, he engaged the women’s group and got a cake baked, food on the ready and a far more packed church than usual. It was beautiful!! 10 years later, the man had enough money to celebrate properly and he did it in style. My dad actually got an invitation with a bottle of wine attached to it.
It really got me thinking that what really matters is not the dress and all those things that we become bridezillas over but our relationship with one another and a focus on the future. Doing all things within our means. Let’s take care we don’t go nearly bankrupt trying to put on a show. PS – in my case I did not have a committee but I emptied my bank account and took off to Nigeria (thank God it was pay day for both of us just as we returned!).
The fruit of our lips and negativity in our minds can play a role in fighting against our marriages. I am not saying we should not reach out when we need to but we need to check how we do so. I would like to share ‘The rice experiment’ with you all. Google it!}
I was watching GOD TV when a new program started. I thought oooooh this woman’s voice sounds a bit eerie and annoying. Preferring something vibrant, I picked up the remote to change but I felt the Holy Spirit stopping me. I decided to obey – did not really follow as I was working but thought God, I wonder why you thought I needed this. Towards the end I looked up briefly just as she was sharing about the ‘rice experiment’. This was what GOD wanted me to hear – for me and for all of the people I can tell.
According to this experiment, if you put rice and water in two containers (same conditions). If you bless container A and think positively on it daily then for the container B, you do the opposite, curse and think negatively, after some time, the container B was found to become mouldy and putrid while container A was fresh. There are different variations of the experiment but where negativity was spoken or thought over a container of rice and water, it spoilt, became putrid.
What does the Bible say?
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21 Thou shall decree a thing and it shall be. Job 23:22
Speak life over yourself deliberately every day and your thoughts will change changing who you are.
Speak life over your marriage deliberately every day and your thoughts will change changing who you are.
Speak life over your children deliberately every day and your thoughts will change changing who you are.
Speak life over each member of your family and think about them positively.
Speak life over you job and think positively.
Speak life over your environment and you will think positively.
BE DELIBERATE about thinking and speaking positively over yourself and others and you will see the difference. Not because of what they have done or what they have not done.
DISHUSBANDMATA……..passionate about relationships
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