13 February 2014

HOW WILL I KNOW IF HE’S THE ONE?



HOW WILL I KNOW IF HE’S THE ONE?

     After you have accepted the fact that God has allowed you to be without that “special someone,” continue to prepare yourself first spiritually and then physically to receive that man when God sends him. Notice that I said, “when God sends him.” You should not be preoccupied with looking or searching for this man, because he will find you. The story of Ruth and Boaz found in the book of Ruth best illustrates how Boaz found his ‘good thing’ in a field while she was gleaning wheat. He found her while she was humbly doing the work of a servant. Likewise, the man God has for you will find you as you continue to serve God and His people by fulfilling your purpose. God’s Word confirms this promise in Proverbs 18:22 which proclaims, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” Honestly, the man will find you and he will not be intimidated by your exuberant God-given confidence because he will be complete and whole also. He will be prayerful about the way he approaches you and patient in the way he expresses his love to you. Of course, you can date and talk to guys when you meet them.  I am not saying to become a hermit but just don’t become desperate in doing all the searching. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a prescribed formula outlining the exact method and feeling you will experience once you meet your future husband. Therefore, continue to seek God and allow Him to orchestrate your initial meeting. I desire to share the experience I had when I met my husband. Through my testimony, maybe you’ll glean some insight and revelation regarding your future husband. Let me begin at the point where I knew I was ready to receive my mate, how we met, our dating process, and the realization of our marriage.

      My journey took several years though yours may not. After I had been delivered from several strongholds, relinquished numerous soul ties, consistently studied God’s Word, completed a rigorous process of healing, and began to gain a sense of self worth and identity in the Lord, I started growing and assuming my purpose. I acknowledged my call to ministry because I knew without a shadow of doubt that God had called me to teach (corresponding with Ephesians 4:11). As a result, I also knew that the man God had for me would have to have a strong sense of identity in Christ, and a willingness to accept God’s call on my life as a female preacher without any feelings of insecurity. I desired for him to embrace my call and support me as we support each other in ministry. I felt strongly that this man would be a pastor and I even had an inclination that I would meet him when I went back to school (but I did not know it would be at Oral Roberts University while completing a Masters degree in Theology). In 1994, I wrote down the qualities I desired in a mate, prayed and left it in the hands of God. Some of the qualities I listed included:

  1) A Christian man operating under the full guidance of  the Holy Spirit
  2) Unmarried with no children
  3) Tall (6ft or more preferably)
  4) Handsome
  5) Minister
  6) Athletic
  7) Compassionate/ Good communicator
  8) Educated (goal oriented and financially secure)
  9) Leader
10) Romantic as Solomon
11) Humorous
12) A good person in spirit and heart
13) Whole and delivered from strongholds of the past
14) Honest
15) Will love his wife as Jesus loves the church

     Though I listed all of these characteristics, I still had to preface my desires with a prayer that would allow God to give me His best even if it did not meet my entire list of requirements. God knew what I needed better than I. However, this does not mean we cannot acknowledge our desires because we must be honest in divulging what’s in our heart. Many times if our desires are pure and aligned with God’s will, He will give us our desires.

     Before I move into the account of our meeting, I would like to explain why I put certain requirements on my list that may seem controversial or offensive to some. Why did I list a desire for a man without children? Initially, I felt this was a selfish desire, but I truly wanted to be the first woman to give my future husband children. After praying, I felt strongly that God Himself placed this desire in my heart and it was His will and standard in the destiny of my life. Therefore, the Lord encouraged me not to change what was in my heart nor attempt to define what I believed was His perfect will. I would be remised not to believe that successful God ordained marriages can also include one or both persons with children prior to marriage; but that was not God’s will for me. The point I hope to communicate is this: God’s original plan and purpose for your life will be revealed to you and it is okay to list what your heart truly desires. If God adjusts your list, be willing to surrender your will to Him and trust that He knows what is best for you. Consequently, it is okay to have aspirations according to God’s original plan, but allow room for Him to redeem you if you fail along the way in this pursuit. Again, allow Him to guide you a different way, if He so chooses.

     The area of physical appearance is another request I listed. God wants us to be physically attracted to the person we marry and we do not have to suppress that inclination or become romantically involved with someone who is not physically attractive to us. In some Charismatic/Pentecostal circles today, we have a tendency to overlook or repress this desire so we won’t sound too un-spiritual. “Let’s be real,” as it is commonly said. How can you live with someone for the rest of your life, if you do not think he is attractive? Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and as long as you are physically attracted to him—it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. However, never let your physical desire outweigh the spiritual qualities or other important attributes that are needed in a mature Christian man. Just be honest and sincere at heart and list those things you genuinely desire. Hopefully, I’ve emphasized the idea of setting truthful standards, that you may be encouraged to respond favorably and honestly when drafting your own list.

    Now let’s move on to the story of how I met my husband. Previously, I considered pursuing a Master’s degree in Education in the Atlanta area because I knew God called me to teach. In May of 1995, I received a mandate from God to leave Atlanta to attend Oral Roberts University. Through repeated confirmations, I knew I was to attend Oral Roberts University. I quickly packed my bags, left my well paying position in education and headed for Tulsa, Oklahoma to begin my journey as a student at “God’s University”. When I first arrived in Tulsa, I settled into my one bedroom apartment without a job and without precise direction. I knew God was going to give me direction and provision, because He is faithful when we are obedient to His will. Sometimes this obedience may invite us to leave our comfortable, safe environments and step out in faith to do what God desires. I was afraid, but I stepped out of the boat just as Peter did.

     During the first three weeks, I cried many nights and felt lonely quite often, but I was willing to remain and see what lay ahead. In August, I started my classes at ORU and began to make new friends, one of whom was my husband. In September, during an ORU chapel service, I noticed this tall, dark, slim man sitting next to me. My immediate thought was: “I know he is not trying to flirt with me and I do not have time for any foolishness,” therefore, we had only a small conversation. During that short conversation, we discovered that one of his best friends, whom I knew very well, was a minister on staff at the church that I had attended in Decatur, Georgia. Consequently, we had a point of reference and I felt a bit more at ease. That very day, we went to lunch and remarkably he revealed some past details of his life. I was surprised that he told me so much so quickly and at the same time I respected his honesty. This gave me the opportunity to decide if I wanted to pursue a friendship or relationship with him. After some deliberation and much prayer, I decided to invite a friendship.

     When I prayed, God did not specifically say to me “this is your husband,” nor did He give me a word of prophecy that directly told me that Shawn was my husband. I am glad that it did not happen that way because many times, women are waiting for presumptuous signs or prophetic words instead of praying and hearing from God for themselves. In addition when God has not spoken, we sometimes have the tendency to run with our own desires instead of being patient and waiting on God’s direction. The word of direction that God gave me was “allow your love for him to grow as a friend, and then you will know if he is the one for you.” This is exactly what I did.

     As we cultivated a friendship, I began to see qualities in Shawn that exemplified Christ. He was saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, honest, loved God’s Word, and a good communicator, had never been married, without children and good looking. Just as important, he chose to go through counseling to deal with many of his strongholds, and as a result, he was released from numerous soul-ties. He was very confident and anchored in his position in the Body of Christ. Our friendship turned into a relationship and we both knew in a matter of six months that we desired to marry. One year after our meeting, we were married on August 31, 1996.

     This is a brief but comprehensive account of how God presented my husband to me after I allowed Christ to fill the void in my life. Now that I am married, I understand even more why it is important to enter a relationship as a spiritually whole woman. You should not expect your husband or any man to fill any of the voids that only God can fill.

     As I close, I want to leave a few nuggets of advice, encouragement and a prayer to every person who peruses these pages. First, I must reiterate the fact that God will lead each woman in her pursuit of marriage and God’s direction should be the ultimate plan for your life. Second, I would not advise you to marry as quickly as I did unless you are totally sure that God is thrusting you into marriage in accordance to His will and purpose— God is never in a rush. Third, I wholeheartedly believe 6, 8, to 12 weeks of premarital counseling should be included in your engagement period. Fourth, marriage is not a state that Christians should enter into lightly, because we enter into a holy covenant before God and man. God holds us accountable for the spiritual contract we enter and if we enter into marriage prematurely, we may find it harder to remain married and suffer severe consequences as a result of our selfish decision.

     On the more joyous side, I want to offer you a word of encouragement. When you do marry the person specifically and divinely appointed to you, I pray that you will find true peace, joy and fulfillment in your marriage. You will immediately see God’s purpose for your union and where your partner is weak, you will be strong. Where you are weak, he will be strong, and this reciprocal dynamic will cause each of you to grow and mature in a positive direction. Problems will be much easier to solve and you will benefit from the spiritual promises of God in the holy union of marriage. In no way am I suggesting that marriage will be easy, because there will be challenges and issues that the two of you will have to work through. However, with the help of the Holy Spirit and with constant communication, there is nothing you both cannot resolve. Since I am presently a 18 year bride, I can offer a little wisdom and insight about marriage.

Dear Father,

Open the eyes of the understanding of all women that they may know the hope of Your calling and the promises they will inherit as they submit to Your will. Give them the courage to pursue You, and not a man, as their first priority. I pray they will break through the human will of reason, intellect and rebellion, so that they may receive Your full, unconditional love as well as the other blessings You have planned for their lives. I pray that they will be released from strongholds and soul ties and begin to act upon Your will for their lives. I pray an immediate desire and zeal will motivate them to read Your Word and learn more about You through prayer and praise and worship. Additionally, I pray that “the man” that You have ordained for her life will also reach his point of wholeness and find her according to Your plan and timing. She will complete Your purpose and go forth speaking the Gospel of Christ Jesus so that other women across this nation and the world will know of Your love also. I pray a covering of protection against anything the enemy will use to cause her to stumble or fall. Go forth strong, courageous, confident, chosen Women of God.

In the name of Jesus, Amen