When I think about my single days and the guys I met at various times, there are some comments and experiences which stand out in my thoughts. For example, I remember getting to University and wanting to really experience what it was to be a ‘girlfriend’. While I had hung out with guys and attempted a long-distance relationship (which started while we were apart), I had never really been anyone’s girlfriend in what I thought was the proper sense of the word. It didn’t take long to get ‘hooked up’ but the process wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. My boyfriend was dark and very attractive, not a student – so he had his own car and house, and he had experience in life. I heard a few of his friends warn him that I was ‘A wife’ and not ‘A girlfriend’. To be honest I took that as an insult as it didn’t make any sense. I never knew there was a difference between the two apart from the fact that a good girlfriend should become a wife eventually.
When the relationship finally ended after a few months, I reflected on that statement a lot and I had to accept that being ‘a wife’ was not a bad thing. I also recall a female friend saying of a guy, ‘Sam would be a terrible boyfriend but an amazing husband’. I was so confused by that comment that I asked God for days how Sam was ever going to be a husband if he couldn’t pass the boyfriend exam! I then met ‘a brother’, who really did become a big brother to me (after I was forced to admit we could never be more), and I clearly remember him saying “not all girlfriends are wives, and not all wives can be girlfriends, but blessed is the man who finds a girlfriend and a wife in the same woman”. Talk about a statement blowing your mind! I had to really look into my life and not lie to myself. Based on my upbringing and my mother mainly, I had gotten the wife role pretty well. I knew I was wife material. Mummy always talked about being a wife. Every chore, every punishment, every assignment, etc, was to help me build my home and become a good wife someday. And generally, many people saw that in me; but this girlfriend business was a different matter. Worst of all was the painful fact that being a good girlfriend, did not always make you the wife, and being a good wife does not guarantee you a faithful husband!!!! Aaarrrrrrhhhhhh!
So how do I prepare myself to become a husband or wife and still have the excitement that fired the relationship in the first place? This question will most likely have different answers for different people. However, another comment I heard while I was single asked “why would your dream guy want to marry you?” I have used this question to chase many people away from my life, but I am grateful that I heard it, because it made me think in a direction I had never really thought of before. We all have/had our list right? Of the things we want in Mr or Mrs Right, yes that list. I had a young man who met me in church and was convinced I was his wife. I entertained conversation for a few days but since I had no intention of leading him on, I asked him what the top things he wanted in a woman were. I don’t remember everything he said but I remember he said ‘hard-working’, and I asked, “why would a hard-working woman want to marry you?” The question startled him, and I had to explain that I wasn’t being rude, but I genuinely wanted him to think about why a single woman who is described as hard-working would want to marry him. For example, would you expect her to continue hard work for the rest of her life? If she is addicted to her work, will you be happy when she has no time for your own interests? He was quiet. He eventually said he needed to give his list another look as he had not really put himself on the arm of his Mrs Right.
These were some of the questions I had to ask myself. I wanted a responsible man, whose career complimented mine, but was not in the same direct field. I had to tell myself that a responsible person implies there will be responsibilities that he would be taking care of and I shouldn’t expect him to drop them because he married me. Some people want a rich man or woman saying, they don’t want to suffer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that; but you may need to consider that making money can be time-consuming, could mean lots of business meetings and late nights at work, or the person could have trust issues because many will be attracted to him/her for the money, so why should that person choose you? As I said earlier, the questions to ask and their corresponding answers will differ for everyone but considering some deep things might make us take a different position on our relationships and marriages, as in, we might become more understanding to our spouses. I had to understand that although it made for good conversation for my husband and I to have similar career paths, it also gave room for a little competitiveness every now and again, but it was on my list – and the Lord granted my request. Selah!
And don’t’ forget the girlfriend part – prepare for both roles i.e. wife and girlfriend / husband and boyfriend, within your marriage. Being a good mother and a faithful Sunday School Teacher does not stop you from being his Delilah in the bedroom. I heard that one in church! And being an elder or the financial manager in church does not mean you can no longer be romantic. So, to my lovely brothers, please don’t stop all those wonderful things you did while dating. You gave the impression that this was the life you were offering, so don’t expect us to understand that things are different now that we are married. To be fair that goes to the Sisters as well. Whether you are married or yet to marry, understand that there is work to do and the ‘oneness’ process is not automatic. Seek counsel and take the time to really understand yourself and your spouse, so that our marriages will indeed stand the test of time and not be a burden on our way to eternity.
From my heart to Yours,
Ps: Maybe working on the wife and girlfriend / husband and boyfriend roles in harmony will reduce the need for another person to play the role, thereby reducing the excuse for cheating as discussed last week. Just saying…..
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