Courtship, It's Like...

Well, it all started when I was born...

Honestly, it did. God knew even before I was born who I would marry. He knows every one of my future children's names. He knows where my future family will live. He even knows about my future kitchen that will be painted golden yellow with floral accents, and not to mention my genuine Kitchen Aid brand stand mixer that my husband will approve of…in JESUS NAME (SAY AMEN!).

A sister got dreams.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end
— Jeremiah 29:11

For some reason, I believed that I would never enter a relationship until it actually happened. Some would probably agree with me because if you know my community of believing friends, one cannot "spot" one serious "marry-able" brother whose mind was on marriage. Many of the sisters around me are between the ages of 23-30 and marriage is definitely a topic of concern. So many of us have yet to see our Adams awakened from slumber, and we are sometimes even tempted to awaken someone for the sake of satisfaction.  

I remember a time I was in a prayer meeting to pray for a family, and the leader raised a prayer point, "now let's pray for your future husband." Talk about random. I laughed. I was like Sarai when God said she would have a baby despite her dried-up womb.

Of course, like every girl, I desired a relationship. I desired to be a partner to a diligent worker in the house of God. Shoot. I wanted someone who complimented me too. I desired to be the object of a guy's affection. I desired to have someone to dream with, and so much more.  

By God's grace at the appointed time, He brought him to me, and when he came with his proposal of courtship, and I had to pray and make my decision.

Now can I tell you that this was the hardest and toughest decision I have ever had to make so far in life, for a few reasons. Like, I actually felt like I was being processed through a cheese grater to come to a decision. Y'all…He wasn't my "type." Like seriously. He's shorter than me, older than I preferred, didn't know me well, of a different tribe. You name it, I didn't want it. Having to pray about this took me to a place in my walk with the Lord where I had to seriously die to my flesh. This chapter of my life was called: "Girl, DIE"

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish
— Galatians 5:17

The battle was real. To face the possibility that this brother was God's plan for my life was scary. But as Jesus said in the garden of Gethsemane, "not my will but yours be done." So for me to clearly hear what the Lord was saying, I had to remove my biases and make room for the Lord to have His way and speak to me. And guess what, the Lord made it crystal clear to go ahead with accepting his proposal. Like crystal-poppin-shiny-DUH clear. But if I kept my biases, I wouldn't have heard the Lord. Think of Jesus as described in Isaiah 53:2

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,

And as a root out of dry ground.

He has no form or comeliness;

And when we see Him,

There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

When you look at Jesus with a carnal eye, there

When you look at Jesus with a carnal eye, there is nothing about Him that would ever draw us to Him. But guess what, He was (and still is) the plan of God for our lives. God's plan for us doesn't always look attractive or like what we expect. And so was future hubby to me.

Now, of course, it is different for everyone, but in EVERY Godly relationship, this is KEY: God has to be the originator of it. Psalm 127 says that "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." And guess what? It starts at your "yes." When the Lord makes His word and will clear, you will be able to stand strong in your relationship even in the difficult times. You may feel like giving up because he is plucking your nerves, or told you the jollof you made was soggy and needed more salt, but because the Lord spoke, you stand strong and suffer long. Build your house on the rock, so that when rain and wind comes, it won't all come crashing down.

But anyways, after I said yes, we started courtship officially. It's funny after I agreed, I went to my car like "WHAT DID I JUST DO?!" Now, the honest truth you don't hear every day, but I had no feelings for him. *GASP!* Yes, not a typo. No feelings. But because of God's word and confirmations to me, I trusted that the Lord would grow my love and affection for him. That was how I was comforted every day. God really made sure that my flesh was dead, He took full control. He wanted the glory, and He got it. I can proudly say I played no manipulating hand in my testimony. By God's grace, I grew more and more in love, in all purity, guided and strengthened by God's hand. Today I testify that I am in love with him, and even when it doesn't make sense to love him, I still love him.

Praise God for lovey-dovey mushy gushy. That is a major part of it, but the best and hardest part of godly courtship is going through the pruning process. BRUH. Like OUCH. It's like when we started courting, the Lord started to reveal everything wrong about me. I thought I was perfect. Everything that I CANNOT bring into marriage God started revealing and uprooting. Godly courtship changes you and plays a part of God's overall plan for your life. Here's a freebie: the proof that something in your life is godly is if it assists in transforming you into God's image. Does it edify you spiritually? Or does it cause you to sin and backslide? The blessing of God makes one rich and adds no sorrow (Prov 10:22). And that's what this courtship did and is doing. I didn't know I was rude, irritable, deceitful, a man-pleaser…oh did I mention rude? I‘m discovering that there is still work for the Lord to do, and God sent us into each other's lives to sharpen one another (though it feels like stabbing). Once you enter courtship, you'll see that it is not how you imagined it would be. But you'll love every second of it.

A word to my sisters: your "dream guy" that you think is your husband could be the opposite of God's plan for your life. He could be the cause of you stumbling and missing your salvation. I could have married a 7 footer, and that 7 footer could cause me to sin against the Lord. That 7 footer could marry me and then physically abuse me the next day. All in the name of satisfying my flesh. Or I could have married one guy from my village in Nigeria just to please my family and guarantee peaceful relations. Remember, God's will doesn't always look like how we want, but in the end is exactly what is best for you.  I beseech you, be praying about your husband seriously, and completely surrender to the Lord about it.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
— Psalm 37:4

Please don't misinterpret this scripture to mean that God will give me the man I desire. No! He is saying that as you delight yourself in Him, and you enjoy Him and His presence, as you abide in Him, He will create desires that don't come from your own flesh.

And Lord I pray, as you have done it for me, so do it for all of my sisters soon in Jesus name.