Ever since I got married, I have gotten a better understanding of the essence of marriage. With an equally focused and committed partner, you enjoy the companionship, camaraderie, relaxation, fun and not to forget outstanding sex that bonds you together. More than this is also how God uses marriage to build society. One family, one child, godly values & traits at a time. In marriage, you recognise God at work daily when you see the changes that happen in you and your spouse. Beyond that, you get a front-row seat to bear fruit as a believer in Jesus Christ. Fruit that is tested on all fronts.
It’s these realisations and conversations with friends that made me think of Singles Mingle. I realised that most churches catered for those in relationships and those married. Those single and looking to connect with godly brethren usually get encouragements, declarations and prayers. Aside from telling them what to do and what not to do in a relationship. There’s little done towards connecting the dots to help these singles who desire marriage meet like-minded believers.
If you’ve not heard of Singles Mingle yet, it’s an initiative to connect searching believing brothers to searching believing sisters. Find more information in the image below. You can register here if interested.
With the introduction out of the way, let me get to the core of this article. I saw the need to write this article because I don’t want anyone who will attend or be part of Singles Mingle to have the wrong ideas. I want to use this piece to clarify some mindsets & attitudes that you must have if you want to succeed at a relationship and turn it into marriage.
To start off, I want to clarify these things:
What is dating?
In the Radical Marriages world, and perhaps you should also adopt it, dating means this: a period of meeting new people, having deep conversations & figuring out if any of them have the right foresight, vision & attitude to succeed in a marriage relationship.
In this stage, there is no commitment. There is no boyfriend or girlfriend. It is simply a friend. A friend with whom you have conversations, share ideas, pray & grow together in the Lord. You are free to go on dates with several people. Each of them not an indicator of anything deep.
You are not ‘dating’, but ‘going on dates’. This allows you the freedom to befriend multiple people. Interact with and study them to see if there’s any of them you want to commit to long-term in walking the journey God has for both of you.
What is a relationship?
In this stage, you’ve befriended several people, can share ideas with and pray with them, but you’ve chosen a candidate to commit to. Here, you’re not juggling several people and ‘trying to see if it will work’. You have committed to one person & you’re focused & bent on seeing it work.
Obviously, there will be things you’ll learn about this person in the relationship, but you don’t leave and run away because of the issues. You remind yourself about why you chose the person and focus on how you can make it work.
This stage will require a lot of selflessness from you. It will also require selflessness and commitment from your chosen partner. Both of you need to come to the place of ‘this is the one person I will change/improve for’. With a focus not to please the person, but to become a more potent instrument for God to use. This partner becomes God’s aide in the ‘maturing you’ agenda whilst you also become that to them.
Most people call this stage courtship. I call it a relationship. Because between a friend and a spouse, there’s commitment. That commitment isn’t a dating nor boyfriend/girlfriend one, but an ‘ I see God working mightily with our union’ commitment.
It calls for you to take a hard left from your selfish disposition. You invest in learning your natural dispositions (temperaments), getting counselling together on how to have a thriving relationship, introduce each other to parents & accountability partners and most importantly, keep God at the centre of it all. Regardless of the many temptations that will come your way.
What is Marriage?
This is the ultimate launchpad where your maturity stunts or improves. It’s a lifelong commitment to the one person you’ve chosen to partner with God on this earth.
It’s akin to the airport that has different flights to places you dream of going to. Your marriage is the airport and the flights can be children, businesses, ministries, personal maturity, etc. Whichever flight you want to take, needs you to work hard to make the cut (get the ticket) and fly to that place.
Meaning you put in work if you want a God-honoring marriage that despises the word divorce. It means you have sex regularly and check your fertility status if you want to have godly seed. It means you share ideas and work together on ministries and businesses that God gives you both.
So your marriage isn’t a destination. It’s a work in progress. Work that if you’re truly committed brings unprecedented results. Results that affect not just you but every person who comes in touch with you. Look at me as an example. I was an anti-marriage fan, but today, I’m heading in the complete opposite and preaching how God can use it for HIs glory.
Tying these three things into my introduction, Singles Mingle is for those who want to work towards marriage. But also, are ready to be in a relationship. All excuses and experiences aside. The only key to being a part of Singles Mingle is a relationship (commitment) with Christ. Because you can’t join without sharing your salvation story.
The vision is to create a community where brethren can interact with one another and make choices for relationship then marriage. Through constant learning, sharing, praying, studying & growing. A sneak peek of the program outline is this:
Speed dates – spend 10-15 minutes with someone finding out if you connect
Meet & greet – interact with several single brethren and build friendships/connections
Open forum – ask questions about relationships & marriage
Temperament discussion – learn about the Arno Profile System temperaments & see how you fit it
Once again, if you’re interested, kindly sign up here. Registration ends on the 13th of February 2021.
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Mrs Enam Afenyo works as a digital project manager with QodeHub where she enjoys figuring things out with her boss, clients & the team to produce exciting digital products. She writes mimispassion.wordpress.com blog to share everything from career, walking with Jesus, to stories & poetry. For all relationship-related content, you’ll find her writing on radicalmarriages.wordpress.com and Instagram: @radical_marriages
You can contact her about mentoring, speaking or training in digital marketing, writing and content creation/strategy. Connect with her: LinkedIn, Twitter.
This post first appeared on radicalmarriages.wordpress.com