Originally posted on SINGLES AND MARRIED
Message by Pastor Kunle Osunkunle
(President, Single and Married Ministries, The Fountain of Life Church, Lagos, Nigeria)
The reason why you were born is not to get married. God has a purpose for you. Therefore, chasing marriage as if it is the only thing you have got to do is not it. If the purpose for which you were born is to marry, then Jesus Christ did not fulfill purpose.
Singleness (your single state) is a gift that must be celebrated. Singleness is a time of growth. It is a time of self discovery, spiritual discovery and service. It is a time to sit under God to discover who God has made you. It is a time to concentrate on the content and not the container in order to have an inestimable or valuable content.
My intention for presenting this to you is to ensure that you understand this gift called singleness; you understand your wholeness and uniqueness as a single, so that you can make a right decision about when to get married and who to marry. It’s also important that you enjoy where you are on your way to where you are going.
SEVEN GIFTS OF GOD TO MAN
This is a trail from Dr. Myles Munroe.
Genesis 1:26; 2:15-25
1. Spiritual Nature and Character:
This is the first gift to be considered as a single man or woman is not marriage or relationship. You need to know that you are created in God’s image and likeness. The first thing to be concerned about as a single man or woman is your spiritual nature and character. What you need is to first find yourself, not to find a wife or seek for a relationship. There are so many people who are confused about who they are. The only thing they know about themselves is the name they bear and probably where they hail from. You need to find yourself and be secured in the knowledge of who you are. You need to have a healthy self-esteem and self-image. The only way to go about this is to find it in God. You need to be confident in who God has made you. This confidence can only be drawn from God.
Some people are not confident because they are poor or perhaps don’t have a car or jobless. It’s true that sin has demoralized men, but you need to come back to God and take your confidence in Him.
Never take your confidence from what you possess like money, car, social status or educational status/qualification. Some derive their confidence from these things. As singles, we need to start to take our image from God. It is natural to always look up to things like material possession in order to be confident. But, we need to begin to consciously look up to God alone.
Some even say that I don’t have this and that so I cannot relate. No! It is not about what you have or don’t have; it is about God and who you are on the inside. God created you; let Him express the person on the inside of you. After all, Adam never had clothes on him when God created him and he was not ashamed. He was joyful because the glory of God was upon him.
The challenge is that people who don’t have self-worth or self-esteem, who haven’t derived their confidence from God eventually become liabilities to whoever they marry. (No one wants someone who will always want to take away from him or her, but someone who will add to his or her life.) Such marriage will lose trust and faithfulness, because you will always be defensive. When you marry someone with an unhealthy or poor self-worth or self-esteem, such will live his or her life trying to become someone else usually by attaching themselves with the identity of another. He or she tries to become someone else.
Everyone is unique. You can take the confidence for your uniqueness only from God. You need to become like God. Marriage is at its best when two God-like people get married.
A man is truly changed when he has fully changed the way he thinks. You need to get into the word of God in order to know God and be able to change the way you think about yourself. That’s why single state is a time to be highly devoted to studying God’s word. Then you become like God and anyone who sees you will see God in you. You will begin to attract only God-like people.
2Corinthians 3:18 (THE MESSAGE, AMPLIFIED)
The more you look into the word of God, the more you become more like Him which is what you need to do in your single state. When you become more like Him, it is easier for you to love, forgive, give, be humble and not keep records of wrong. These are things you will be tested with in relationship. In marriage, you will in one way or the other offend each other; if you have not learn in God how to forgive and be patient, how will you be able to forgive and resolve conflicts? You learn patience, longsuffering and other spiritual characters needed to build a healthy relationship and marriage in God. Therefore, it is important that you get your image from God and not from the society, environment, Hollywood, tradition or culture.
Single state is the time to become more like God so that the man or the woman coming into your life for relationship can see unadulterated love in you.
2. God’s likeness:
Likeness means to be like Him. The purpose for which God made us in His likeness is so that we can function like Him.
“A person without self-control is like a city without fence (a city with broken-down walls).” Proverbs 25:28.
Anyone who doesn’t know who he or she is becomes a fair game for someone else to mould into another image. Until you become whole, you will always be dependent on other people for self-worth.
Amore so, you need to work on your appearance, your speech, and general outlook. Man looks and sees the outward; only God looks on the inside.
Proverbs 18:21-22. To have a very good, attractive and pleasant likeness, one of the things you need to work on is your MOUTH. Get you tongue sorted out before you go into a relationship. Learn how to speak confidently for yourself so as not to depend on others for approvals. Learn how to speak the right things at the right time. Your tongue should minister grace and be like a tree of life to people.
3. God’s Presence:
Before Adam needed the presence of another creation, he enjoyed the presence of the Creator. The first Presence that you need in your life is not that of a boyfriend or a girlfriend; but the Presence of God. Imagine someone who just got saved say about 3 months ago and is just getting to know God now wants to go into a relationship. Such is still a babe and will only carry his or her old characters, how he used to live and what he or she knows into the relationship. He or she is not yet matured in the Spirit and has not learned more about God’s nature; and His likeness is not yet fully formed in him or her.
You need to use your prospective marriage life (single state) to know more and more of God. Your intending spouse should find you in Eden, that is, God’s Presence.
The glory of God’s Presence is a defense. Because Adam and Eve were in God’s Presence in Eden; though they were naked, but they never knew and were not ashamed. God’s glory covered them. The glory ensured they were not self-conscious and selfish. It was not about what they wore or didn’t wear, not about lust or flesh; they only saw God’s glory in each other’s lives. Flesh was not their focal point; it was the glory of God.
Anyone who wants to marry you should meet you in God’s Presence and be able to see His glory in your life. He or she should not be concerned about your body as it were or how he or she wants to sleep with you, kiss you or touch you. Such is not seeing God’s glory in you, but is only concerned about flesh.
As a single man or woman preparing for relationship and marriage, what you need to do is to function in God’s Presence. When you have God’s Presence overshadowing you, you will be joyous and whoever sees you will see happy countenance on you. Some people when you see them, it is as if they are carrying the problem of the whole world.
You need to be hardworking and diligent in whatever you do. As a young person, someone who is ready to get married, you cannot be lazy. You must have dreams and goals that you are working towards. You must not be like someone who lives with “no future ambition” (NFA) or as if the “future is far away” (FIFA). You must have goals, pre-determined goals that you are working towards. You must be diligent at work and diligent in seeking God. At this stage of your life, you have got a lot of time, you need to use it accountably and be diligent. Though, you say you don’t have work, you are not gainfully employed; the issue is what can you do? What are your gifts and talents? What do you do best with your hands? You need to creatively be engaged.
5. Cultivation of Garden:
“To cultivate” means “to bring out” or “to nurture”. If you have not nurtured yourself, you cannot nurture somebody else. You need to first of all bring out the best in you so as to be able to bring out the best in somebody else. Do people enjoy being around you? You need to be able to cultivate yourself in order to cultivate someone else and make him or her better and not bitter.
Before starting a relationship, you need to first of all consider this, are you a weed that will constantly choke the relationship or a rich fertilizer that will help cultivate and nurture it? Fertilizer improves the quality of what you are planting and also increases the yield. But a weed stifles quality. Fertilizer gives 100% without expecting anything in return. Weed does vice versa and rather compete and reduces. It is a parasite that always wants to take without giving or contributing.
So you need to find out, if you o into relationship, will you cultivate and improve your partner or reduce him or her by being a parasite?
Cultivation takes time. It requires persistence, patience and focus.
You need to develop the capacity to defend and protect the interests and lives of those under your care. You need to be able to safeguard people’s dignity, interests and confidence no matter what. You cannot afford to be a tale bearer that always gossips.
People who come to you to gossip about someone will surely gossip about you too. Tale bearer causes crisis.
As a lady, you need to ask, the man you want to start a relationship with or marry, can he protect you or is he always asking you for sex? Any man who asks you for sex only wants to steal from you. He doesn’t love you, but lust after you. You should let such man go. Why should you accommodate someone who wants to steal from you? When a man loves a woman, he will always want to protect her and give her such joy and comfort. Not otherwise. Love doesn’t take away, but lust does.
7. The Word of God:
It’s only in the word of God that any relationship can maximize its full potentials. This is because marriage and relationship are concepts out of the heart of God. Therefore, for you to get the best out of it, do not play with the word of God. That is where you will get your image and the likeness that He wants you to get. That is where you will get the real life and build strength of character which will sustain your relationship and marriage.
When you have developed these things, you are right for relationship and marriage. Now you can begin to function like God because you have His likeness. People can now trust you, that is, you can win people’s trust.
I pray that as singles, you will be celebrated uniquely in Jesus’ name. You are bold and confident singles going somewhere to happen. You will marry rightly in Jesus’ name.
I look forward to hearing from you. God bless!