Thursday, September 26, 2013

Looking for Mr. or Miss Right?

There seems to be an increase in the number of weddings over the last few year. Not surprisingly so because the church is growing and the number of young adults have increased too in our midst. A significant number of them are single and hopefully, eligible. But you may ask, “What do you mean ‘eligible’? As long as he or she is single, they should be eligible, right?”

Interestingly, let us look at the definition of eligibility, in the context of marriage. The online dictionary ( defines eligibility as: “Desirable and worthy of choice, especially for marriage: an eligible bachelor.”

I like the word “worthy”, which the same dictionary defines as: “Having worth, merit, or value; honorable; admirable.” Getting into a marriage relationship is therefore not just about “the time is right”, “I am already getting too old” or “I found the person of my dreams”. These are not good enough reasons, if they are the only reasons you have. In our self-centered thinking we look around for someone who will fit into our mould of who our spouse should be. We look for someone who can give into this relationship, rather than whom I can give to. He or she would need to serve our kind of desires for our kind fulfillment in life. This whole process has become so self-centered, contrary to an other-centered relationship in a healthy marriage. The scary part about the whole thing is that we will all soon discover that none of us could ever fulfill what our spouse expect of us and that’s when we begin to hear phrases like “That’s not the man (or woman) I married!”

You see, we go into a relationship looking for Miss Right, forgetting that an equally, or more, important thing that we need to do is to BE Mr. Right first. We look for eligibility in others, forgetting that we need to ask ourselves, are we in the first place, desirable and worthy of choice? Occasionally I hear some young adults lamenting to me about the inability to find a potential mate and they expressed the desire to go to another ocean to look for fish. Eventually some do leave and a few returned and said, “Pastor, there’s no eligible fish in that ocean too!” I had jokingly said to them that it's because they are sharks! All the fish will be scared away. Ouch!!

Before they start pointing a finger about why there are no eligible partners around, or that the church is not doing enough to provide a good catchment area, they should ask the first question: “Am I eligible myself?” And I am not talking about whether you are smart, wealthy or good looking. I am talking about an inner beauty and strength that transcends all these; a beauty in character and inner life, a godliness and holiness that is an inherent hallmark, possessing a humble leadership over your own life and others that you become a fragrance of Christ that attracts.

Godly character takes years to build. A few years ago in my conversation with my then sixteen year old eldest son, Ian, I remember telling him that if he invests in building godly characters and a love for God in his teenage years, there is no reason why he should be worried about finding the right mate. Of course I am assuming too that when the inner character is in place, what flows out of his life is the fruit of the Holy Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Not that it is a guarantee of success but he would have rule out his side of his ineligibility first and let God do the rest. I am assured that Adam was deep in sleep when God brought Eve into his life. He didn’t strive to look for a partner. God knew the loneliness in Adam and try as He may to bring other animals to be His companion, God knew it is only a special kind of lady that would complete Adam’s life. There is a sense of restedness that Adam had.

When one become Mr. Right, he presents himself as one maturing in Christ, trusting in God for his daily provision and fulfillment of his needs. I have often told courting couples that the best gift one can give to each other at the wedding altar in the sight of God and witnesses, is a maturing man or woman who loves God deeply and is prepared to include God as a full partner in their marriage.

This maturing process does not end at the wedding day. It continues right through our marriage “until death do us part”. So whether you are single, courting or married, are you the Mr. or Miss Right?

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