Thursday, 27 February 2014

Do you LOVE?

There's this question that crops up time and time again - What is love? Like, when you say 'I love you' what are you trying to say or express?

                            source

I'm not just talking about love in the romantic context but just love - as human beings, particularly love as God commands... Remember, all the commandments summarised could be - Love God (with all that you are and all that you have), love yourself (completely and just in the way God does) and of course love your neighbour as you love yourself!

I think in describing love, 1Corinthians 13, breaks it right down (it's a favourite at many weddings) and I'll use that as my cue for describing the characteristics of love:

1. Patient – When you love, you have the ability to suffer long; you take your time to help people without complaining or sighing at every opportunity. When you love, you are willing to wait and be of good cheer while doing so. Are you patient?

2. Kind – Dictionary defines being kind as being considerate, helpful or being humane.It means you go out of your way to help people, whether you know them or not. It could be that you ensure that people around you feel comfortable being in your presence. It means that you think of how you can make someone’s life better without being asked to. Are you kind? 

3. Does not Envy – When you love, you resist the urge to feel jealous about your neighbour. They could seem to have a nicer home, drive a better car, have a more successful business but your love for them means that you pray for them to be blessed even more! It is quite rare to see a mother competing with her child, in fact most parents pray that their children achieve much more than they did. It is time to stop competing with ourselves and instead learn to start complimenting ourselves in love. Are you envious? 

                                       source
4. Humble – Do you flaunt your achievements in the face of others so that they know what you have and they don’t? Are you humble? 

5. Not rude – Acting rudely is described in the dictionary as being discourteous or impolite especially in a deliberate way. Do you watch your manners and the way you speak to people - young or old, boss or subordinate? If you aren’t, God is. He loves and regards every single one of us equally and sees us all as precious in His sight. He expects us to do the same to every one of His children that He thought important enough to lay His life down for. Are you rude? 

6. Not selfish – To show love, you need to be able to think about others when thinking about yourself. To love means to sometimes go out of your way to do things that are not convenient in order to help some other person. Do you think about yourself and how each decision affects you all the time? Are you selfless? 

7. Peaceful – Everyone loves a peace maker, everyone wants to be in the company of an individual who promotes peace, no one wants to be associated with trouble makers. What’s your story? Love is not easily provoked. Love does not act or speak in anger to her neighbour. Love forgives easily irrespective of what has been done. Are you peaceful? 

8. Pure in heart –Love thinks no evil and believes the best in everyone. It does not sow discord among people nor entertain gossip of any kind. Are you pure in heart? 

9. Rejoices! - Celebrates truth, progress and not failures or weaknesses. Do you see the good in others AND let them know about it? Pay someone a compliment today! 

10. Bears all things –Love is not overly sensitive nor takes offence easily. Love is open to correction and chastisement without feeling the need to get defensive. Love waits to listens to what the next person has to say. How much are you able to take?

11. Believes all things – Love is trusting (No matter what precedence may be) and is willing to fully let go of the past. Are you still holding on to an offence?

12. Hopes all things – Love has faith always.

13. Endures all things –Love never gives up

14. Never fails – Love is constant, consistent and unwavering in its support of its recipient.

Wow! What a tall order! To love is not the easiest of things! But to do we must, and the grace to do is made available by the One who proclaims that He is Love!

He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love - 1John 4:8


xxxx

Show some loveee -
Twitter: @1plustheone
Email: oneplustheone@gmail.com

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Out in the open!

Hiya!

                                        source
First of all, a MASSIVE thanks to everyone for the love shown here, on twitter, Facebook, email and phone calls!!! Honestly though, I am blessed with the most amazing family, friends and blog family!! You guys absolutely and totally rock! The encouragement I have received has been invaluable and I can only say thank you from the bottom of my heart!

My bestest friend in the whole world who happens to also be my sister is just a wonderful human being, as in honestly! She’s known about the blog for a while now and she’s been one half of my biggest cheerleaders (the other being my fabulous mum who introduced me to the world of blogging through her regular visits to Linda Ikeji’s blog many years ago! Thanks mum! :-).

I didn’t know until recently that my sister had read every single one of my posts and actually comments anonymously or with a pseudonym – she never said a word about it and I remember times without number how I accused her of not visiting nor giving me her opinion etc etc – and the babe would just be quiet, not saying anything! + She used to send the link to her friends asking them to check out “this very good blog” lol – You just got to love her!

Then, I remember having to send the link to my wonderful mum the day before to ‘confess’ (as I had never told her about it), and ask her opinion before going public and she, responding in the most enthusiastic of ways with pointers and suggestions that I just threw my head back laughing when I read it – knowing that God has definitely blessed me with such wonderful treasures in human skin…

Talking about treasures, the response and positive comments from bloggers whom I have never met physically but have been such joyous comrades in blogsville have been beyond what I could have expected! Thank you so much guys, you are all just too much and I have learnt sooo much from you! Lord knows how many times I have used your resources to inform many-a-decisions and also gladly shared with my friends! (There’s love in sharing ey?)

                                               source

And my friends in 3D, first of all, a huge thanks to those who did not dump me when they knew I had a blog but was unwilling to share the details! Lol – You guys are pure gold! And to the ones who knew but pretended like they didn’t (haha), God bless you! (Especially my funky fly Pastor in the diaspora – James Bond ain’t got nothing on you! Lol

Ok, so this is a formal welcome to first-timers and a re-welcome to old-timers! I sincerely and deeply appreciate you!

First time here?

                     source

Not to worry, here are hopefully easy navigation tools:

1. You can view older posts on the right hand corner under the heading – ‘There’s More to Love’ - You can read by dates/months/years if you prefer

2. If you want a more specific topic, please find under ‘Easy Navigation’ (further down on your right) and click on any topic you fancy

3. You can also look to the right to view the most popular posts based on number of views!

4. If you would like to receive new post notifications by email, please follow by entering your email in the box on the right (this means you get posts fresh off the press!)

5. If you are a blogger or on Google+, you can follow using the link on the right

6. Very importantly, under ‘My Blog Hall of Fame’ please check out as many other blogs there as possible (all if you can) – trust me, there’s blog-gold right there! You will discover so many blog-treasures there, you would possibly not one to stop reading! Absolutely fantastic blogs!

Ok, I guess that’s all folks! Please don’t forget, you can email me directly at oneplustheone@gmail.com and please follow me on twitter @1plustheone. I always welcome your feedback and comments – they mean a lot to me!

Thanks people, you absolutely rock absolutely! xx

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Waiting and Loving It!! - Feat Emma and Obinna Anyadike

Hello everyone!

First of all, thank you veryyy much everyone who left a comment on the last post and on twitter too! I felt the loveee and I am grateful *kisses kisses*..

Today, we continue the waiting and loving it series.. If it's your first time visiting - WELCOME!! (with bells on!) You may want to read Series One, Two and Three too (just click on one of them)! Series One will give you a better background to this series!

In the meantime, please sit back, relax and enjoy reading the experience of our featured couple for today!

1. Hiya both! Delighted to have you on here and thanks for agreeing to do this! Please could you tell us a little about yourselves?

                               

Obi: Hello, my name is Obinna; I am Nigerian, from Nanka, Anambra State. We have been married for 4 and a half years and it has been a learning experience. I work in Tata Steel as a SAP Support Analyst. I studied Physics as my first degree and Masters in Business and Law. We also started a Healthcare business with Forever Living which we believe will expand further and give us an opportunity to achieve our dreams

Emma: Hi my name is Emma; I am Welsh from Penygroes (Head of the Cross). We have been married for 4 and half years though it feels like 55 years!!! I am an accountant but I run a dental practice as the manager. We have a little boy called Noah Dafydd Ifeanyichukwu. I have been a Christian all my life. I used to play the piano in my worship band but haven’t done so in a while.

2. That's lovely. So Mr and Mrs Anyadike, how did you meet?

                                            

Obi: After my Masters, I always hung out with friends from our church Swansea Elim City Church, especially as I was part of the football team. We met in 2008 as she was in the worship group, and we started chatting unofficially then it went official. Missed her when she went on holiday.

Emma: Through a friend in church and we started chatting on Yahoo mail. Then we continued chatting via Facebook while on holiday. Very excited looking forward to his messages.

3. Obinna, what initially attracted you to Emma, and Emma to Obinna?

Obi: Her blond hair, companionship and her sense of humour. She is funnier than me. She just has pure Welsh humour where it is common to make fun of yourself. I love to have a good laugh

Emma: Nothing really!! (Laughs her head off) No seriously, his nose, his muscles (saw him in a black vest playing tennis!!) and his friendliness which was the biggest thing as we could talk for hours.

4. How did you know that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with Obinna/Emma?

                               

Obi: It was a battle but God first changed my mind set and showed the great love I had for her through a dream. I never knew how much I did, until I had that dream. The most interesting thing though was the grace we experienced. Things that people thought would be difficult we discovered it wasn’t an issue for us. We believed we could build our future on what we saw no matter the obstacles to the contrary.

Emma: Despite the huge culture differences, we seemed to click immediately. Getting those butterflies every time I saw him just didn’t go away. We could talk for hours on anything and everything and never did we get bored. And most importantly despite huge challenges and opposition I knew that this is who God has brought into my life, who am I to argue?

5. Now getting to the main question, what made you make the decision to wait?

                                

Obi: I already had sex before marriage and though I enjoyed it, it felt empty and unsatisfactory. No fulfilment. As I walked deeper with God, I knew the essence and importance of intimacy and I knew it had to wait, not only for honour sake to myself and God, but for true love for God and my spouse. I re-dedicated myself and body

Emma: Having spoken to my pastor a few years ago, he was explaining that sex is not a dirty thing as we often think it is and that it’s wrong, but he made me understand that it is to protect myself and keeping me from hurt and that saving myself for my husband was a special thing.

6. That's great. Please share with us some practical measures you took to ensure that you stuck by your decision.

Obi: When I came to Swansea from Nigeria (for my Masters programme), I made sure I had no female company alone, though when I started going out with Emma, I didn’t abide by that rule, but I was in the middle of my dissertation. We made sure we never moved in to the same house till we got married. We also ensured we had fellowship and prayer.

Emma: Even though we bought a house together 4 months before getting married we didn’t live in it. Obi moved in but I continued to live at home.

                                           

7. That's very useful, thank you. Now, what one advice would you give to your single self in preparation for marriage now that you’ve crossed that line?

Obi: It is easy to create hype and fall into temptation before marriage, but focus on what’s important, love and honour. So to grow in honour and favour with God and men (meaning of Israel) across boundaries, keep to this code and God will bless you as He did the early Christians because Jesus said ‘Whatever you agree to bind or release in heaven…’ complete it yourself.

Emma: With regards to having a sexual relationship before marriage, I would advise to refrain. That part of the relationship is what bonds the marriage and adds the special touch.

8. Finally, please describe in 3 words / sentences the best part of being married!

                                 

Obi: Love, soul mates and oneness

Emma: soul mates, love, belonging


             

Thank you so much for being honest Emma and Obi! May God continue to strenghthen the friendship and love that exist in your home and marriage!

I hope you loved reading and hopefully learning from Emma and Obi's story.. Do you know what is beautiful too? You can do it too!

Like Obinna, you may have been there, done that and even probably bought the T-shirt! However, once you make a commitment to God to do what is right by Him, He is able to give you the grace to do it. That's great right?

And like Emma, even if God has to bring your spouse on a long journey - cross-continent - to meet you, He will so do it! God is the Perfect Master Planner (PMP)... and He knows how to orchestrate things in such a way that it leaves you wow-ed! Don't stop believing, God's got you covered!

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work" - 2Corinthians 9:8

Do you have personal questions or would like to be featured on this series? Please feel very free to contact me, I love it when you do! xx

Email - oneplustheone@gmail.com
Follow me on twitter too! - @1plustheOne

Monday, 24 February 2014

I'm Coming OUT! Hi, my name is....

Lol..

The time is now!

Hi my name is Ayo Thompson and I am a blogger!

I have been off and on since 2008 but I think I have been a bit more consistent in the past year or two. I hope that improves even more!

I have met such AMAZING people here - some whom I now count as friends. I loveddd my privacy and being able to say as much as I could (not like I did anyway! lol) without thinking "hmmm"..

However, today, and as part of the goals for 2014 - 'Building Relationships' for this blog, I am coming OUT! :-D - What better way to be better accesible and hopefully build better relationships with blogsville than becoming un-anonymous ey? lol... I'm so nervous mehnn!!

 I love Man U and the no 7!

 I have a SWEET tooth (many actually lol)

 ... Buy me food and I can literally fall in love with you!


   
I believe that everyone should let out their inner child frequently!

 This picture was probably taken the same year I started the blog!  :-)


That's all folks! Now you can ask me any question you want! lol

PS Waiting and Loving IT series continues tomorrow xx

Follow me on twitter too @1plustheone or email oneplustheone@gmail.com

Prelude to the BIG disclosure!

Hiya people! Hope you had a fabulous weekend!! I did.. Busy but fabulous!

 source

So, thank God I am still on this amazing winning streak - Yayyyyy! lol.. I won another giveaway from the lovely and sweet Frances Okoro who blogs at www.imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com .. It was a ticket to see any movie of my choice and I was delighted!! Thank you so much hun, you absolutely ROCK!! God bless you and keep blessing you until you don't have room enough to contain it!

By the way, as I got comfortble in the packed cinema, I looked to my right and I thought to myself "Aww, cute couple" - It's always nice seeing them all cosied up etc.. I looked a little closer and guess who it was?!! None other than Berry Dakara of www.berrydakara.blogspot.com and her Cakes!

I was mega excited! lol.. I just smiled like a fool and I hope they didn'think what is wrong with this one?

Anyways, hope you all had a great weekend.

I am excited about tomorrow's couple on the Waiting and Loving It series! + I have news up next!! xxxx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Waiting and Loving It! - Feat Eziaha and Bolaji Olojo!

When the plan for this series started to take root last year, my dear FAB E of www.eziaha.com was not yet married, but we her loyal readers knew about the FAB Mr Olojo! I was impatiently waiting for her to sign the dotted lines and I don't think I gave her much breathing married space before bombarding her with the request to be featured here lol.. She graciously obliged - She's absolutely fab like that!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading their interview and I know that you will be blessed too! Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you, our third couple of the series *drum roll* Mr and Mrs Olojo!


1. Please tell us a little about yourselves

                     

(I would be answering this on behalf of my hubby and I so...) My name is Eziaha and hubby's name is Bolaji Olojo. Hereafter referred to as E' and Aku m. We got married Nov 30, 2013 after courting for 5 and half years (LOL). Ours was an inter-tribal marriage and so came with plenty drama but hey, we made it!!! I am largely extroverted and Aku m is introverted.

He is a Lawyer and I am weeks away from completing my NYSC (She has actually now completed it - Congratulations E!) after which I begin my career as a Social Entrepreneur with an IGO.
We are both born again Believers and we live by the Word.

2. How did you meet? 

We met on Campus. He was a Pastor in Winners Campus Fellowship and I was an Executive. He was the Pastor that girls had the hots for and I was the member the Pastor had the blazes for...

3. What initially attracted you to your spouse?

                                            

We had been thrown together in several projects and his wisdom and maturity (especially with how quiet he is) in handling challenges threw me off balance lol (he did have a lot of female admirers ooo cos he was just wisdom personified and had a solution to everyone's problem but dude had his eyes HOT on me and I gave him plenty wahala too) while my energy and effervesence attracted him to me (I was MISS POPULAR in Uni then, had about a gazzilion Admirers and wasn't your poster girl for BORN AGAIN Christian) Classic case of opposites attract. Not too many gave us a chance of a snow ball in hell. We were just too opposite. I think most people pitied him. They felt I would just give wahala to this quiet Man of God. Lol

4. How did you know that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him / her?

                                    image

This may sound very spiritual but at about 16 or so, (I was a spiritual daughter of late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya and so got a good foundation EARLY in relationships) I had an encounter with the HS (Holy Spirit) after which I was led to write out the qualities I would see that would confirm the man I would marry. It was in TOO MUCH DETAIL. I still have that book till today as it contains several of my dealings with the HS. I didn't carry the book around ticking off qualities in the many toasters and admirers I had (I didn't consider unbelievers at all) but it was after we became friends and were getting closer that I checked the book and I was goose-bumped at the similarities with him. I was a teen when I wrote it and some of those things there were definitely not the TDH and fairytale the average teen was looking for. It had what you would term 'imperfections' and stuff (incidentally, some of them would go ahead to make my Parents disagree at first and vehemently too in addition to tribe and in that book, I already knew Igbo men stood NO chance). He wasn't perfect but it was HIM. I knew in my Spirit man, which I must admit has been well fed and so sensitive to spiritual promptings in every area of my life. For him, aside the fact that this bubbly, all-over-the-place, Miss Popular totally had a heart sold out to God, he felt PEACE. We had several challenges but we knew God was in it. God would tell me stuff and he would confirm it and vice versa. Sometimes it was scary. Then we had Pastoral consent. I am my Pastors' baby girl, a very special daughter to both and so it was very important they accepted. And they did. They just love him. His Parents too accepted me easy but the challenge came from my parents who weren't crazy about their babygirl following 'ndi-yoruba'.

So that was a tick on all counts save my Parents and though the challenges were intense, almost bloody, they were sentimental (just based on tribe) and the conviction and love we both had (plus counsel from my Pastors) were stronger and saw us through. Eventually we got the victory and frankly, the sweetness of the marriage has reduced to less than nothing all the wahala before. The devil just lost in a very disgraceful way. We practically buried the devil.

And we are still testifying...

5. What made you make the decision to wait?

The Word. Simple. Obeying the Word is important to us. Plus I had a good foundation in Pastor Bimbo. She married a Virgin and she was soooooooo proud about it. She would say it so much at our 'Single and Married' meetings. She made it very attractive to me. I wanted her testimony. We need more vocal people like she was. She is my perfect role model on this... She was very pretty, eloquent, fabulous, attractive, a power dresser and married a Virgin and had a made-in-heaven marriage. She was the 'glamour girl of the pulpit'. I wanted to be and have all of that and more. She gave me a very good example to look at. In that book I earlier mentioned, I wrote out a commitment to stay chaste till marriage at that young age too and signed it. I pretty much had my mind made up on that. In my good fortune, I met a man too who had vowed to wait till he got married (His vow was even extreme lol). We were both practicing the Word in other areas of our life, abstinence inclusive. Sex before marriage was NEVER a consideration no matter how it was doing us. We made that commitment even before we got hooked in any relationship. It is very important you plan to WAIT even BEFORE the spouse appears.

6. What practical measures did you take to ensure that you stuck by your decision?

Our Pastors were very involved in our relationship so knowing that we were very accountable helped too. I recall one time we were to take a vacation together and I mentioned to PK, and he said 'Don't do it. Different country, cold weather, long story, you may fall so don't tempt yourselves...' End of vacation. Lol.

For 4years out of the years we dated, he was in a different town. When I visited, sometimes he would lodge me in hotels, or he will leave the house for me and go stay with a friend. Even when we slept in the same house for one reason or the other, we both had defined the boundaries of our relationship. Plus we knew we had many years ahead of us to have all the sex we wanted to so why the rush. Now that I have crossed the line, I would also wanna say as an advice especially to single ladies, sex is such an intimate thing where you share the whole of you with someone else without restrictions (especially if other forms of sexual activities beyond just vaginal penetration is done). It is me stripping all of me to another. It is me at my most vulnerable. At my 'messiest' It is tooooooooooo intimate (I can't think of the right term I mean) Personally, I can't imagine doing this with anyone else or even before the commitment of a marriage. If that guy truly loves you, he will wait abeg. He should wanna protect you. And as a lady, please love and respect yourself enough to wait. You deserve more than having to share yourself with random men (or man) who hasn't covenanted himself to you before God. Nobody should just be dumping stuff IN YOU anyhow. Ewwww... Single Ladies abeg eh, close your legs!!! Thank you.

In marriage, sex or lovemaking is PERFECT. It is GODLY. Outside marriage, sorry to say, sex is dirty, irritating and debasing to the woman. I almost wanna say it is a curse abeg...so WAIT!!! If he can't wait, he should take a really long walk on a short lane and you throw a party on the streets cause God has just saved you from a SELFISH BOY (operative word: BOY) who has shown you that he will keep crossing the line even in marriage with women he aint married to. REAL men and WOMEN wait!!!

I know some people fear that they may be sexually incompatible which may lead to bedroom frustrations but trust me hun, sex is not rocket science!!! You will learn on the job. I am. We are. And where we need some help (please don't be shy to get help ooo), there are medical/professional materials online and everywhere too, there is my Christian female network of married ladies too I can ask questions and of course there is the Holy Spirit. God is not wicked. He created sex and he can't shortchange you on anything, especially not sex. So wait for the right time and all would work well. I promise. You may also wanna visit this SEX confessions a friend Mrs. D has on her blog. Totally awesome. It helped me and is still helping. (See link HERE)

7. What one advice would you give to your single self in preparation for marriage now that you’ve crossed that line?

                                 image
Everything I did as a single I would do again if I had a second chance.

With all humility, I consider myself very blessed because I learnt very early and from the best all the right godly lessons on marriage and relationship. From Pastor Bimbo and Taiwo Odukoya (Single and Married) to Dunamis and Sophia Okunowo (Kisses and Huggs though my time was very short with them) to Pastors Kingsley and Mildred Okonkwo (Just Us Girls and Love, Dating &Marriage) and Rev Femi and Teju Oduwole (Sex, Dating and Marriage). I prepared myself like a soldier going to war. I was armed with an arsenal of information... Many books, millions of CDs and tapes, question and counselling sessions, etc. I have always attended churches that weren't shy to discus relationship and sex (and seriously, we should talk sex more in church so young people don't learn the premium CRAP we have out there) I was blessed to have a personal relationship with them too and I saw them lead godly homes and enjoy the marriage of their dreams. Aku’m goes to Winners and relationship is not their forte there but he happily devoured all the regular supplies I was sending to him and he was very willing to learn too. He too has a relationship with my Pastors (esp The Oduwoles) outside of me and I know he gets counsels too. So I was a wise and knowledge-loving single woman. From day one of my marriage, I keep hearing their voices leading me on the right path. Like I said, we are burying the devil, one testimony after another.

8. Describe in 3 words / sentences the best part of being married!

                             

The knowing that someone is just COMMITTED to your good at all times. I mean, we are falling over ourselves to do good for each other. I stop worrying about me because he has me covered and he has better plans for me. He stops worrying about himself because I got him covered. It is a lovely thing. Especially when the two people are NOT selfish.

The fact that I can enjoy the incredible pleasure that comes from love making and knowing that it is NOT sin. Ah!!! Heaven. In the beginning, I had to keep telling myself (while speaking in new tongues) 'This is NOT sin, This is NOT sin...'

There is a certain respect that people accord you when you are a Mrs. Or a married man. Especially when young and born again Christians. I mean both of us are far from 30 so people just auto assume that you both must be very responsible and stuff. I am not saying this is ideal but society just has this thing for married young couples.

And one more for the road...

The favour and blessings that come from God when two people leave Father and Mother and become husband and wife... It is like heavens open and blessings start to pour out.

Then for me especially is the exhilarating feeling that comes from knowing that this is my home and so I can build it to my own taste. I have a say in choosing the furniture, kitchen ware, beddings etc. I own my kitchen and I can cook up a storm. I almost get orgasms (lol) from just planning the weekly food roster. I can do English, Thai, Chinese, anything!!! The buck stops at my table and that feeling is priceless yo!!!

Lol.

Marriage is a beautiful thing darlings, and the best gift you can give yourself is marry well.

And it is not too late to make the right decision to abstain. Our Jehovah forgives, wipes our slate clean and gives us a fresh start...

And so here's to right choices and new beginnings...

Muah


E' and B. Olojo

I'm sure you were blessed by that! E sums it up nicely, it's not too late to make the right decision to abstain!
You can get more from E's fountain of wisdom, inspiration and fun on her blog www.eziaha.com - Thank you Mr and Mrs Olojo! xx
PS If you have any questions, would like agreement in prayers or would like to be featured on this series, please send an email to oneplustheone@gmail.com!

Lots of love people! xx

Monday, 17 February 2014

Will I have a good marriage?

Not everyone is looking forward to getting married.. Some people are scared of the prospect of marriage! Like, what would happen after we say 'I Do'? Would I be happy? Would we be true to our vows and committed for the long haul?

 source

There are deep set doubts as to being in a committed relationship and sometimes the thought of it can be almost suffocating.

For some the desire is there alright, but it's like what if I get it wrong?! What's the guarantee that I would not end up like Mr A or Mrs Y?! They started happy and all that, now look how they turned out!

I used to be scaredd (bold and underlined!) of the prospect of marriage! Don't get me wrong, I wanted to get married, sure! I have always had a bone of romance but I had seen so many bad examples of marriages that the thought of it scared me! I had heard and seen people being destroyed or a shadow of themselves as a result of poor marriage decisions! To be honest, at some point, I used to genuinely believe that after 5years of marriage, couples endured each other.. You do your duty as a mother, he does his as a father, you find a way to relate (awkwardly) with each other and if you can manage that, you stay married! (Did I hear you say "Oh dear!")

This fear for me was real because I am a Christian and like the bible enjoins, I don't believe in divorce cause God says He hates it so as I thought then, God help me if I end up in a wrong marriage, with a wrong man.. Imagine a lifetime of agony! Real hell on earth!! Trying continuously to 'fix things'.

As I grew in my relationship with God and I grew older, I started to actively pray about it - my fears, my concerns, the prosperity of my marriage! I remember then, anytime they asked for a prayer point/request - mine would be concerning marriage "Lord, give me a good marriage, I don't want to marry wrongly, I don't want to endure my husband or my marriage".

And God answered my prayers concerning my fear about marriage..

I have mentioned previously that I believe that marriage is one of the biggest acts of faith - deciding to commit to a long term relationship without actually knowing what will exactly happen afterwards. Many of us know that "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God". Now how that was translated in my life was that God started with my mind and what I heard and saw. He transformed my thinking and renewed my mind by bringing me in contact with people who had exemplary marriages - like the real deal, not TV stuff..

I didn't even know what He was doing until a little after. One way or the other, I started mixing with people who had been married for a while and still enjoyed being married to each other.. not one, not two.. My faith was being restored, good marriages no longer belonged to novels but were achievable! I read a lot and prayed some more, renewing, changing, re-setting my mindset to agree with God's idea and plan for marriage.

God did a work in me from within. He didn't wait for me to get married to prove this to me, He healed my heart and my mind when I didn't even realise that I needed it! It was practical - I feel like I went through a 'school of marriage' by watching examples of others, listening attentively to lessons learnt etc. And I didn't plan it - the Master Planner did!

And now, I look forward to the prospect of marriage and I KNOW that by God's grace, I am having an exemplary husband, marriage and home in Jesus when it comes - until death do us part!

                              
      source                                                               source

This explains a little bit of my zeal for building relationships, celebrating God-ly marriages and discussing fruitful relationships. We are highly influenced by what surrounds us, what we hear, what we see and what we interact with!

Marriage was created by God to be beautiful. It is God's own creation/idea. He saw a need in Adam and decided to make him a helpmeet. God created an avenue for companionship, friendship, sex, fruitfulness and generational continuation. Everything God made was GOOD.. Marriage is GOOD!

This post was inspired by a question asked HERE by Mizadventures of Mizchif and I know that some people may be facing doubts about marriage based on many factors - probably having never seen nor understood how a good marriage can happen, an experience of a bad relationship or from negativity and lies that have been constantly fed on.

God wants you to have/enjoy/live life and have it in abundance! If you are struggling by an impaired perspective of marriage, you can ask God to renew your mind and ask Him to teach you how to get it right..

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" - Romans 12:2