Help! My Resolution to Get Married Never Materialises – Worried Lady

Hello CBG¹,

I am 34 years old, gainfully employed but tired of making new resolutions particularly in the area of settling down. In previous years, I made every conscious effort to get married. I have even written down what I would like to see in my dream man. I go through that list every day and I pray for him, but, it’s been six long unsuccessful years of searching for that ‘dream man.’ I am really tired and have decided not to make any resolutions regarding that subject this year. Since you’ve been preaching about planning and making resolutions, what do you advise I do? Should I still make resolutions and get disappointed or simply relax and see what God will do?

– A very worried lady

CBG’s Response

Hello Miss,

Marriage, as an institution, was created by God and His idea for the majority of people. Not everyone will get married, though, but as long as it is in your heart to be married then it is part of what grace has made available to you. The provisions that are given under grace does not work in isolation but work in tandem with faith. Faith is what causes you to receive the things that grace has already made available. Thus, if you say you made a resolution the previous year to be married and it didn’t materialise so you wouldn’t be deliberate about that subject anymore then I’m afraid you are never going to get married. What you need to do is to keep praying and remain visible to the circle of men in your various levels of socialization. Package yourself nicely while keeping the vision and desire alive. Once the vision and desire exist and as long as it is a provision under grace, then it means it is within your reach and you need to lay hold of it by faith. Faith is dead if it is not accomplished with works. The Bible says that if the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves (Ecclesiastes 11:3). Keep doing what you are doing, remain visible, continue praying and eventually, you’ll find somebody.

Note: In case you were not deliberate about this subject previously, plan to be more visible this year. If your location does not necessarily get you exposed to meeting a man, then you need to go to places where you’ll meet them. Getting to those places will be influenced by your values and the idea of a man who’d like to get married to. It’s good to know you have a perception of who your dream man is but if you find yourself in the wrong places, you’d definitely meet the wrong people. Ensure you go to the right places and are in the right environment so you meet the person you want to be married to. Ruth was deliberate and she met Boaz (Ruth 2).

All the best and remember to invite us to your wedding. ☺️

Do you have any piece of advice to share with this lady? Post it in the comment box.

CBG¹: Christian Blog Ghana

Feature Image Source: Pixabay

Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary and the 3 Lessons We’ve Learnt

19th December marked our wedding anniversary. Last year, I wrote a letter to my husband to mark our second anniversary but this year, we (my husband and I) would like to share three lessons we have discovered in the three years of being married. Please find my (Delali’s) lessons first: ☟

Lesson 1: Different Prayer Dynamics Needed for Marriage’s Success

I have never underestimated the importance of prayer to the success of every marriage but I discovered sometime last year that I had relegated personal prayer time to the background and was depending solely on my husband’s and family’s prayer times. This can happen to any family, particularly, if the head of the household is a strong Christian and you have regular family praying times. It, however, occurred to me that I needed to pray in order to become a better wife, a better mum and I needed to pray to commit my own ambitions into God’s hands. Yes, it is very important to pray as a family unit but it is also necessary to have your own prayer and quiet times. God may have words for you as you go on your knees to pray for you and your family.

Secondly, I knew where I wanted to be for instance, in my career, before I met my husband. He also had his own ambitions and dreams and marriage became that intercession for both of us. Even though we work hard to accommodate each other’s goals, sometimes it becomes challenging. In such instances, instead of praying selfish prayers of binding and losing when it is time to make sacrifices or accept my husband’s dreams (the very difficult ones) I rather pray for the ability to accept those changes and for God’s will to be done for the family.

Lesson 2: It is Possible to Do Everything and be Successful at it as a Mother and a Wife

Uh-huh! It is very much possible to achieve everything. 😊 Let me use me as an example, I am a mother of a two-year-old without any help, I do an 8 am – 4 pm and before that I went back to school (while pregnant). I manage the Social Media platforms for my church and currently leading a team to gather content for its magazine which will come out next year. I have this blog and its social media platforms to manage which I feed with original content and I am a WIFE😊. How do I combine these? I sacrifice a lot of sleep and I have a supportive husband. I also plan ahead of time and sleep a lot when I realise my body needs it. Do I get overwhelmed at times? Yes, I do and when that happens, I turn off my data and throw my phone away. I am strongly convicted that the world doesn’t wait for anyone because they are a wife or a mother. It is even tougher for us but no one should make excuses. We can be successful in every area of our lives. All things are possible – Matthew 19:26

Lesson 3: Sex in Movies are a Scam

Raise your hands if you believed having sex could as spontaneous and effortless as how we saw in movies or read from books while growing up. Don’t be deceived. Sex in marriage and, particularly, if you have a toddler involves a lot of strategies and tactics (blog post for another day). And if you have to combine that with the various roles you need to play, then it becomes very challenging and requires more effort than what is seen in movies.

Those are the three lessons I (Delali) have picked up so far. Below is my husband's (Emmanuel) perspective on the three years of our marriage:

Our 3rd wedding anniversary: What I have learnt so far – Emmanuel

  1. To have success in marriage, for me, has always been about following the principles outlined in the Bible. I’d often impress on her (Delali) that our wedding vows meant so much to me than her because the day it loses its value, she also loses value (take a second look at your wedding vow). The years spent together have been awesome during which I have mostly been occupied with giving my life for her because I love her (Don’t get it twisted; read Ephesians 5:25). Nothing short of seeing her smile and beam with joy. I gave, I am giving and would give. If you don’t give as a husband, “Wetin you gain”. Cheers to many more years of giving. (Editor’s Remarks: I can attest. Indeed, this man is a giver🤣).
  2. Delali epitomizes submission. (Editor’s Remarks:😑) For a woman like her, I would move heaven to make her happy ( I think I’m doing well so far). She never calls me ‘me wura’ (My Lord) but makes me feel like one. No man would exchange this for anything in this world (at least I won’t). I remember saying jokingly (after watching a Nigerian movie) that I won’t eat stale food in my house. ‘Like joke like joke’ (let me sound like a Ghanaian small) she cooks fresh food every day. Hardly do we eat stored food. How she does it I don’t know.
  3. Then we welcomed Lady Charis. The adorable young lady who turned two recently. Her introduction was met with mixed emotions (at least for me). Routines changed, sleep patterns were altered amongst others. Man know thyself, as intimated by the Bible (Psalm 31:7) just hit me (a story for another day). Our lives changed, however, we have been able to manage it well, steering our affairs in the right direction and maintaining the original purpose of marriage.
So there you have it. Here are some lessons we have learned in our three years of marriage. Are you married? What are some of the lessons you have picked up? Do you intend to get married soon? What are your expectations? Share with us in the comment box.

Book Review: Your Guide to Marriage

John Boakye’s Your Guide to Marriage is an encyclopedia for anyone desiring to be in a relationship that will ultimately lead to marriage and for married couples desiring to have a better relationship also, this is the reference book you need to have in your library.

The 329-page book covers the whole concept of marriage in the biblical context, how to prepare for it, the different roles of the husband and wife, communication and conflict management in marriage, dealing with in-laws, friends and work in marriage, money and sex matters, family planning, parenting, self-care, spirituality and legal matters.

The author does not mince words in spelling out what the Bible says about marriage and how to have a good one. This is probably the book we need in this era where statistics indicate that over 50 percent of Christian marriages end in divorce.

Several factors account for the high rate of divorce in Christian marriages and one of them is the question of who plays what role in the marriage institution. In John Boakye’s book, he clearly states the role of the man and the woman in marriage with the bible being his reference point. He reiterates the important point of making God and the Bible your focal point in marriage since He (God) is the author/initiator of it. The reader can thus, allude that marriage without the God-factor will definitely lead to confusion and subsequently to a divorce.

Marriage is a divine institution. It is of God and by God. He does not hand it over to you to do what pleases you with it, but He merely calls you into it to serve Him – John Boakye

While the man is the head who oversees all matters in the home, irrespective of his talent, age, wealth or education, the woman, on the hand, has the role of accepting the leadership of her husband and submitting to him as a believer of Christ. This should, however, inform the woman of who she chooses as her head.

The issue of submitting to the man in marriage is one which has raised concerns in some feminists circles in recent times. They see the concept of submission by the woman in the marriage as ‘prescriptive’ and making the woman subservient to the man. This has led to these feminist rejecting the submission concept outright but Reverend Andy Yawson in one of his sermons had this piece of advice for people, who in the name of empowerment, are not willing to adapt:

tweetThe book provides all the answers for individuals who did not go through the regular pre-marital counselling organised by the church or those who did not take it as seriously as they should have or those who simply want to refresh the memory on what they already know.

Your Guide to Marriage is written in simple language and in instances where the author needs to go technical, he does that and sometimes provides illustrations which help the reader understand the topic better. The examples provided are relatable and to the Ghanaian context.

John Boakye’s Catholic background reflects heavily on his references but that notwithstanding, Your Guide to Marriage is a must-read for any individual who desires to have a good marriage.

The Hard Truth about Marriage 

“Marriage is an encounter. How many couples would agree with me?” Pastor Fiifi Otabi Wilson of ICGC Faith Temple asked in his sermon on Sunday, May 28, 2017.

The cheers from the married couples in the auditorium were enough to confirm that marriage is more than a bed of roses but a real ‘encounter.’ Some of us are not too old in this encounter (just a little over a year and a half) but we can attest to the fact that marriage is a lot more than what meets the eye.

Most married couples, when given the opportunity, would definitely not settle for the people they are living with. If there was a petition which allowed them about a year’s orientation of marriage before they finally make the decision, there would be a lot of signatures and I’m sure some people would not even get married after the first year.🤣

Marriage is indeed a classroom on its own. It is a course by itself but a lot of married couples love to show the beautiful aspect of it, especially on social media (that’s fine). Just like every media form, we are selective about how our marriages should be perceived. Nobody would let you see the challenging aspect of marriage but when I am approached by my friends and asked the famous question, “Oh, so how is married life?” I tell you the truth, unlike most Christians who would only smile and say, “Oh, it’s wonderful.”

In my opinion, young people who are yet to sign these agreements deserve some exposition on marriage. When this question is posed to me, I like to be as real as possible. I don’t pretend. I clear my throat and say, “my friend, it isn’t a joke. If you know you love to be by yourself, in love with your sleep and love your simple lifestyle, then marriage is not your thing,” I say to them.

“You better stay in your parents’ house or rent your apartment and be by yourself oo. Do not worry yourself or someone’s child by getting married to them because this institution is hard work,” I add.

Marriage is a period in life where the couples are stretched on all sides – your patience, hard work, Godliness and every aspect is tested. No wonder, the congregation agreed with Pastor Wilson that marriage is an encounter. The institution has its own requirements which include being a manager of resources – money, time, people (yes, your in-laws are waiting for you particularly if you are Ghanaian). This would go a long way in defining how the union turns out.

Seek Godly counsel. It’s very important. Do not write off some counselors because they do not speak your kind of language. Listen to them all and select what is useful before you settle with a partner because, for us Christians, divorce is mostly not an option. It is after you marry, that is when you realize the importance of the premarital counselling (even though during that period, our main concern was the wedding ceremony 😞 ).

All is not gloomy if both of you share the same faith because God is always available to provide us with the help that we need, for He is our shepherd. This is when you begin to understand the importance of marrying someone who is a friend.

Before you go to the altar to say your vows, remember to invest a lot of prayers in the decision you have made for the journey is indeed a long one. And as my mother keeps saying, there is no vacation in marriage 🙂

This
post was put together by Delali Sogah. 

5 Actions that Kill Relationships

For the past couple of weeks, we have been describing various ways of building relationships. While we build them up, it is important to keep in mind that there are certain actions that can also kill these relationships. Below are five such killers:

1. Introducing your partner to everyone in the early stages: In their excitement, a number of couples announce their relationships too quickly to the world which isn’t a bad idea but the best thing to do is to build the foundations properly before introducing yourselves to friends, family, work colleagues, etc. The more you introduce third parties, the more you open the relationship to varied opinions which may be contrary to what you saw in each other. You may second guess and that could be disastrous for your relationship.

2. Announcing on social media: One of the deadliest actions which kills relationships is this. We know we must have faith as Christians but changing your relationship status or the display or profile photos to your partner’s does nothing but attract attention to you and your partner. What if you announce on social media and the relationship does not go as planned? As much as possible, let us keep our relationships to ourselves. They are private and not meant for the world.

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3. Avoiding early warnings: Most of the time when we fall in love, our brains go on vacation 🙂 We avoid all the signs and allow our hearts to lead us. This guy is not generous; everything he acquires is for him. The lady spends all the money she acquires on clothes and make-up. You know you would have preferred the opposite but you are allowing your heart to lead you. These signs develop to something different and they kill relationships.

4. Not investing in the relationship: Building a relationship requires time, money and creativity. If you know you do not want to invest in any of these then don’t start one. You need to spend time with each other and on each other. The Bible mentions that in Proverbs 21:26the righteous gives and does not hold back.

5. Fornication: Most young people quickly give in to sex in the relationship. Guilt from the encounter normally kills what has been developed earlier. Having sex also takes away the innocence of the couple. Sex is addictive;  it has the power to take away a lot of things from the relationship including the time that the couple spend discussing and planning for the future. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, the Bible warns, Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.

What to Consider Before Accepting a Proposal

In the previous post, we discussed the various factors that contributed to making a Christian relationship work. Apart from praying, keeping a checklist and developing the friendship, there are other factors that come into play for a relationship to progress and they will be considered in this post.

Friendship development in the early stages of the relationship cannot be understated. Ensure you are friends and to test if you are ready to move the relationship from one stage to the other, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will I be able to have all kinds of conversations with him?
  • Can I really call him/her a friend?
  • Do I care so much to help him out when he is in need?
  • Will I be able to introduce him to my family and friends?

In accepting the proposal, you have to bear in mind that you will not go back on your words. Deuteronomy 23:23 says, “You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.” Keep the promise.

Nobody is perfect. Even the most handsome, richest Christians may have an issue or two. Make up your mind that you are going to help him/her solve their problems and you will not run away 🙂

If you know you look for the nearest exit immediately a problem rears its head then don’t accept the proposal.  Do not test the waters, as some ladies end up doing. Be certain, before you take any step. Yes, counselors advise it is better to break up a relationship than marriage but don’t also lead a person on if you aren’t certain about them. When the guy proposes to you, tell them you are thinking and praying about it. Commit it to pray. Get convicted. It can take days and even months or years. If the person is the one you are meant to be with, they will wait for you and the relationship will surely work out. The Bible even testifies to in Romans 8:28 that “All things work together for good for they that love Him.”

It is important to seek the face of God especially regarding issues such as who you are going to spend the rest of your life with. As a lady, don’t be moved by the looks of the guy or his money or the fact that you are growing older and that person could be your only choice. Ask God, get convicted before accepting that proposal.

Marriage Series: Making that Christian Relationship Work

Achieving anything good in this life requires effort and dreams can only come true if you make deliberate effort to achieve them. The same theory goes for relationships. In order to build a long lasting relationship with the opposite sex which can lead to marriage, one needs to work hard at it. Every good relationship requires some amount of effort. If you do not have the time, don’t even start a relationship 🙂

How do you begin a relationship with the opposite sex? One which can lead to a relationship? I once had a conversation with a friend at Senior High School where she admonished me to start praying for my future partner. My reaction was, ” ah! how do I pray for someone I do not even know ?” Of course, at that point in my life, all I cared about was passing my exam and making it to college but my friend gave me a different perspective. I think I prayed for my “future” partner a couple of times. Looking back, I guess that was one of the best advice anyone could give to a friend. If you have not met that partner yet, why don’t you start praying for him or her? It is never too early to do that and the Bible says we should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Apart from praying for that one, it is important to list the qualities that you wish to see in him/her. Do you not make a list of items you wish to purchase before you go to the market? List all the qualities- physical characteristics, interests, hobbies. Do not forget about the fact that as a Christian you need to select another who shares in your faith. The other factors are only secondary but are equally important. It will prevent you from looking around at other people when you enter into the relationship.

One foundation that is helpful for every relationship is friendship. Friendship is the most crucial factor that can help your relationship progress from one stage to the other. Have regular conversations. Feel free to share your thoughts with each other. Talk about the regular things. When you build up the friendship, you will begin to enjoy each other’s company. You will miss the other person when they are not around. When you are friends, you hardly run out of conversations and the relationship does not get boring. Even when you decide to be quiet around each other, the silence is not uncomfortable. The Bible testifies to that, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV).

There are other tips that make a Christian relationship work. Tell us what you wish to see on the list…

Marriage Series: Christian Dating and Courting

Dating. What does this word mean to a Christian in Ghana? Well, in most developed countries, dating or going on a date is doing something fun with the opposite sex but in Ghana, dating is the very first step to getting acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. This is the period that a guy and a lady decide if they are right for each other. Dating may lead to courtship and later, marriage 🙂

During the dating period, a guy and lady discuss everything except marriage plans. The courtship period is when the couple is certain they want to spend the rest of their lives together and start making plans towards marriage. Also, they make their intentions known to their parents. According to renowned counselors, there are no clear-cut timelines for the various stages but to prevent pre-marital sex, it is advised the guy and lady do not court for more than two years (I know people who disagree to this).

How to build a successful relationship

So how do you even start a successful relationship? One which will lead to courtship and then to marriage? Even the Bible establishes that it is not good for a man to be alone, so how do you identify the right person especially if you are a Christian. The first character to look out for in a prospective partner is someone who shares in your faith. The Bible categorically states that believers should not be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). That peculiar feeling that you have especially at the beginning of the relationship, the butterflies in the stomach. Yes, that feeling – it fades away. It does after a few months of being with each other. How do you sustain the love if the person does not share the same faith as you?

As Christians, we base our love on 1 Corinthians 13 and not on that weird feeling at the pit of your stomach. People outside the faith have different opinions and beliefs on what love ought to be which is quite different from ours. Never compromise on that – do not allow the stomach flutter to direct you. Fall in love with someone who shares your faith and you will share your testimony with us 🙂

Watch out for other factors that account for successful relationships which lead to marriage.

The Marriage Series: Weddings

I would be a liar if I mentioned I wasn’t a big fan of marriage and wedding ceremonies. Wedding ceremonies are beautiful. I always get blown away by the colour combinations, the decor, the music, the bride’s dress, the bridal party and all that there is to the ceremony. Personally, I attend weddings to watch how the couple celebrate their love and my most favorite part of the ceremony is when the couple share with the guests how they met 🙂

Weddings are fun, no doubt about that. It is the period where family and friends gather to celebrate the union of a man and woman who have come to the conclusion they would want to spend their lives together. It is awesome but in the celebration of love, a lot of couples get carried away. They forget about the union and make the ceremony their main focus.

Interestingly, marriage is NOT the wedding ceremony. Neither is it the pomp and pageantry that accompanies the ceremony. According to renowned counselors, the wedding ceremony is the vows that are made by the couple in the presence of God, with the guests as the witnesses to the vow.

I am not saying spending money on the ceremony is not important. If you have the money and you can afford to feed the entire town during your wedding, why not? Just do it but if you are a young couple from a humble background with other dreams which requires money, then a smaller wedding is best option for you.

Couples who had small and very intimate marriage ceremonies provide the following tips:

1. Stick to your budget, no matter what”

2. Do not announce to the world you are getting married so you cut down on the numbers that attend.

3. Do not entertain too many opinions. They are likely to inflate your budget.

Keep these tips in mind when preparing for your wedding ceremony. There are other websites that provide additional information, tools and tips on how to reduce your budget when organizing a wedding ceremony. One of such sites is Pinterest .

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Instead of breaking the bank to organize a huge wedding, why don’t you invest some time into some “hot” prayers for the union itself? A couple getting married in September are are doing one of the most amazing things ever. The couple with their bridal party meet once in a week to commit the ceremony and union into the hands of God.

God is the architect of marriage. In Genesis 2:18, after He had created Adam, He saw that Adam was alone therefore created a helper (Eve) for him. If you have plans to tying the knot, why don’t you start putting everything into the hands of God, the one who initiated the union?

The Mystery of Marriage

I get subtly amused when I attend a wedding ceremony and the certificate is signed and presented to the couple. The words that usually accompany that is the fact that marriage is the only institution where the students are presented with a certificate before the actual course is taken. Upon serious thought, I know this comment is true. I believe there are a lot of couples out there who wish they had more information about this institution before they attended it.

Although I am not married yet, I sit down to assess ‘marriage’ and I am convinced it is a real mystery. I always wonder how two different people from different backgrounds are able to stay together all their lives. Looking back to boarding house in senior secondary school to college, there were moments I had fights with my roommates, some even good friends and in those times, what comforted me was the fact that we were going to part ways in a year’s time but in marriage, there is no way you can part ways after a year or two. Marriage is forever except for death separates the two.

To us Christians, marriage is not just a union of two people but a covenant with God where divorce is simply not an option. Men of God can only separate the couple only when alive is at stake. That is why it is important to really choose your partner with a lot of caution.

Who are you choosing?

For me, that is one of the most important decisions any person will ever make in life. The Bible does not joke when it tells us not to be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). At least if you share the same faith with your partner, the union is likely to succeed. There are other important factors that make marriage work and most of them depend on what you did during the dating and the courtship period. What are you talking about now that you are in dating or courting? Are you discussing the future when you meet or you are busily “touching?”

Marriage is not a child’s play. As my pastor correctly puts it, “it is not like going to a shop to buy items and if you do not like it, you come back to exchange it for something else.” Marriage is for a lifetime.

What are you compromising for the relationship that you find yourself in? For the women, it is important to bear in mind that your husband is going to be the head. Will you be proud to have this man lead you and the family in some years to come? Or you desperately want to get married so your family stops bothering you?

to be continued

This is the first part of the Relationship and Marriage Series. If you have any opinions on this mystery (marriage), share them with us.

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