My dear Priscilla, the moment you ascertain that the person who has approached you for a relationship is indeed a new creation, he can proceed to the next stage of your consideration.
The next thing to then ask him is what exactly are his convictions about you? Why you in the midst of all the women available on earth? What stands you out? What makes him think it’s in you that God has parceled all that he needs to live a good and peaceable life? Why does he think that it’s in you that the help for his life and destiny have been kept?
My dear, you’ve not even started your own prayers and considerations. Before you begin the labour of praying and considering, you want to be sure that the man who is inviting you to join his life’s journey is clear that it is you and no one else and why. You want to know the basis of that conclusion. You want to be sure that you’re not just one out of three ladies that he has proposed to, only waiting for who will first say yes.
You also want to know the depth of his conviction – whether it’s based on ephemeral things that can easily fade away so that the moment they fade, his commitment to you also fades even if already at the center of marriage.
“Ehn, it’s because you’re beautiful?”
“Is that all? There are many beautiful ladies around? Why me of all of them? Then does it mean the day you see a more beautiful lady, I’m done? And is beauty alone sufficient basis for a life journey?”
See Priscilla, you need to interrogate the depth of his conviction. It is the depth of the man’s conviction about you that’ll determine how much he’ll be willing to pay to have you and how far he’ll be willing to go to keep you. The deeper his conviction, the more rooted and immovable your relationship together will be. So please, don’t shy away from asking the question, “Why me?”
If his conviction is shallow and uninspiring, then if you choose to accept, be sure that your relationship is like a house built on sands. A little wind can easily bring it into rubbles. Another woman can easily shove you aside at any moment. Never waste your time praying or going into a relationship with a man who himself doesn’t know exactly the peculiar value you bring into his life.
Mind you, regardless of the bias of our generation, it’s totally okay for a man to tell you his conviction about you is based on a revelation from God. He asked the Lord to recommend a suitable partner for his life and destiny, and God recommended you to him by a revelation or through other means by which God speaks to him. He trusts that the Lord cannot recommend anything less than the best and so based on that recommendation, even if he doesn’t yet know so much about you, he’s ready to stake his life on the process.
If he’s speaking the truth, what is a better primary conviction than that? It doesn’t mean you’re under compulsion to agree. But at least I can assure you that it’s a huge blessing to have under consideration for marriage, a man who won’t make any major life decision without getting divine counsel. And there’s nothing wrong in him telling you straight away that you were introduced to him by the Lord. It’s left to you to go back to the Lord to confirm if the brother is right for you or not. There’s no quarrel about it.
But please nobody should make it look old fashioned for a brother to seek the face of the Lord to recommend a suitable spouse for him. And I don’t find anything wrong in him telling you that he so did. It only means he’s not a frivolous brother. He’s deep. He has a walk with God. That he told you doesn’t mean he’s trying to intimidate you or coerce you. Not at all. He’s just telling you as honestly as possible the basis of his initial conviction for which he’s looking for the first yes. You go back and do your own home work too and return either Yes or No. Finish!
And it’s okay if the brother says, “I saw you first before speaking to the Lord about you. I first liked your person. I just don’t know why. But beyond that, I’ve found your life and character very attractive. I’ve been watching you for a while without your knowledge. I think you really have the new life in Christ and a heart for His Service. That’s the most important thing that drew my heart to you. Since then, I’ve been speaking to God if the special attraction I have towards you is from Him or at least whether our union together is something He’ll advise or sanction. The more I prayed, the more I have a deep sense of joy in my spirit about this step.”
Whether it was the Lord who spoke to him or he was the one who went to speak to the Lord, I’ll expect that a correct Christian brother would not take the final step to propose to a sister without haven first checked with the Lord whether to go ahead or not. It just doesn’t make sense to have a father who knows the heart of all men and who knows the end from the beginning and not ask for his counsel on a matter as life-altering as this. You’ll be doing that at your own peril.
Priscilla, just know that if he’s able to successfully establish in a concrete and convincing manner why it’s you and no one else, whatever he says will become a positive reference point all through your journey in marriage. If I were you, I’ll ask him to put his reasons into writing and send it to me so it can be safely kept in my archive. You will really find it useful through the coming years. It is what gives you that sense of security and value in matrimony. That sense that you’re something to your husband that no other woman is!
Sometimes when you see him going off course or dwindling in his commitment, you’ll find it useful to remind him, “thus and thus were your convictions about me when it all began.” That’s enough to reset the head of many men whose words are their bond. But if he said nothing concrete to you before you jumped on him, then there’s nothing to refer to.
Even he himself on a personal level will need whatever he’ll itemize as his conviction(s) in the coming days. (Itemizing them out in writing will help him retain the points clearly in his mind.) There’ll be those moments of storms in marriage when you’ll almost think you made a mistake in your choice. Then something will be telling you, “if you had married this other sister, you could have turned out better.” At those moments of temptation and doubt, he’ll need to remember clearly the basis of his choice of you! When he remembers, he’ll be able to appreciate afresh what you bring to his life that other woman may not even possess. Then you’re able to retain his appreciation of you and fidelity to you regardless of the momentary storm.
Just don’t allow him to jump this very important stage. Don’t! You will need it! It’s either it helps you know that the proposal is not strong enough for consideration and then you discard it straight away or it helps you to create a reference point that’ll be a perpetual blessing to your union for the rest of your lives. Either ways, the beneficiary is you!
Two years into Courtship, you must ask again, “Why me?” I expect that his reasons would have even increased by then when he would have known you more closely. Two years into marriage, ask again, “why me?” You must keep asking from time to time until death do you part.
A marriage that’ll remain strong is that marriage where the spouses are able to state clearly from time to time the value proposition and peculiar contribution of their partners in their lives.
Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye