8 things I learnt during our time of dating
Four weeks ago we had our wedding, and as a writer it’s a habit to write based on my experiences. Let’s go; when we talk about marriage a lot comes to mind. To some people it is a threat, and to others it’s a joy. To other people it’s a long awaited dream, and to some “they don’t wanna know!” But for me it was a dream come true. For reasons best known to me and my wife, there are so many reasons to thank God.
Our journey started way back in University as I was finishing university and as she was joining. She was an innocent soul that came my way as I was leading the Alpha Course at church. We then became friends, and more friends, and again friends, and now husband and wife. Cool stuff just!
Well, here is what I learnt during the time we spent dating.
- Patience with one another: Well, when two people start up a relationship, it will feel fine for the greatest part of the journey, but there are moments when things will turn out unexpected. From those moments I learnt to be patient. A friend of mine at 36 shared with us in a leadership class how he regretted kicking his girlfriend out of his life while he was 24 at university. His reason was, the girl was not bright in class. Up to now, he is still single. That story tortured me, I learnt to be patient and mind about the things that really matter as opposed to things that can be dealt with.
- Different but meant for each another: I came to an understanding that the two of you may be different, and from different back grounds; therefore different mannerisms, but sooner than later there is a place you come to an understanding that “we might be different but we were meant to be.” Somehow along the way you see her emulating your character, understanding you more, believing in you, relying on you, and she is ok with doing with what does for you. I mean she is into you!
- People matter: The bracket of people can be broken down into; her friends and your friends, mentors, spiritual persons; pastors and reverends, and other persons who just delight in asking you the hard questions. Then in times of challenge, they come in to guide and encourage. We had more of these. And they have really impacted us.
- Faith matters: A relationship may not be a smooth sail but at some point it can if the two of you subscribe to the same faith. Even when you don’t claim to be religious fanatics as people say, there comes a time when you need God’s intervention. What a frustrating moment when the cooperative couple chooses to be uncooperative by default as one is going to the church and the other is going to the mosque.
- Challenges and trials will be there, no doubt about that: I wish they were not there but they always find their way in. There are things that I wished never happened but to complain I would simply be stupid. If you are relating, please find out the 80% you love about her or about him and pledge to work on the 20%. Perfection is the hardest part about human beings.
- It takes God to relate: Those who shared with me, their experiences helped me. One particular man who has been married for 27 years shared with us that even while he walking down the aisle on the wedding day, he was asking himself whether he had done the right thing. A relationship with a vision for marriage is a big deal because marriage in itself is a deal! It’s a life’s commitment based on agreement and vows to live forever with someone you were not born with.
You therefore want to be sure of what exactly you are getting into. It’s not that you are doubting, you are actually longing for clarity. Sad thing is, you never get to that point where 100% is clear. Therefore, it takes God to relate. Many times he is the reason you will always stay in as others are breaking up each and other day and finding new mates.
- Use your head: It’s quite a humbling message but that’s one of the things Apostle Ken Umoja taught me. He said, every problem is a wisdom problem. You have got to be in position to think through every decision you make. If you claim to have values, would you please use your head to stick to those values? Would you fight on to respect purity? Would you please walk all the way, and finish well. Many marriages took place after discussion when the two parties agreed to stay together, and save the money that would have been spent on a wedding – of course that’s called cohabiting. Well, “you are ready to relate if you are ready to use wisdom.”
- The wedding is not the marriage, marriage is what happens after: I will never forget that time when I was left all alone with my wedding ring, myself and my wife. All people had gone. All I had were my thoughts; feeling humbled for those who had come and strangely thinking about who I should have invited. Sometimes the mind is a mean place. That’s why we always deserve to be understood. Any way, we had crossed into another phase of our lives. Honey moon was a blast. Life is back to normal. God is still at the centre. And we are writing another story.