WHEN YOU LOVE GOD AND UNDERSTAND TRUE LOVE, THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU WILL NOT ACCEPT FROM ANYBODY
MARRIAGE WASN’T DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. IT IS RATHER EASIER TO BE HAPPY WHEN YOU ARE SINGLE THAN WHEN YOU ARE MARRIED.
THE PROOF THAT YOU ARE NOT READY FOR MARRIAGE IS TO BE DESPERATE FOR MARRIAGE
TO BE BEGGING SOMEONE TO LOVE YOU IS THE HEIGHT OF SELFISHNESS.
YOUR SINGLE YEARS ARE NOT THE YEARS YOU ARE WAITING TO MARRY. YOUR SINGLE YEARS ARE YEARS YOU ARE USING TO PREPARE FOR LIFE.
DEVELOP FINANCIAL CAPACITY. LAST MONTH, MY WIFE AND I WERE PAID 8000 DOLLARS BY YOUTUBE.
Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo on THE FOUNDATIONS EVERY SINGLE SHOULD BUILD BEFORE MARRIAGE at the IGNITE Conference.
Your single years are not the years you are waiting to marry. Unfortunately, that’s what most people think. Your single years are not a curse you are trying to escape from. They are a gift you should embrace. The gift of singleness is precious. It is a gift by God that you might never have again when you marry.
Many people are eagerly waiting to escape their single years. Embrace your single years because they are crucial to your successful life.
They are years you are using to prepare for life. How your life will end up is largely dependent on how you live your single life. Check any Kingdom or world shaker; you would notice that most of them found their path in life when they were single.
They laid the foundation of the success they are enjoying today in their single years. Your single years are a precious gift given to you by God. And if you can maximize it, you will not only be happily married but you will also live a fulfilled life.
Marriage wasn’t designed to make you happy. It is rather easier to be happy when you are single than when you are married.
Many singles are not happy now; they are postponing their happiness until they are married.
Marriage wasn’t designed to make you happy. Marriage was designed to make you better. One of the things I have noticed as a counselor is that there are so many unhappy people in marriages. The reason is they came with high expectations but low preparation. They thought marriage was going to make them happy and fulfilled.
If you are not happy before marriage, you won’t be happy inside marriage.
The proof that you are not ready for marriage is to be desperate for marriage because in your mind there is something special you are going to receive there; not knowing marriage is for giving and not for taking.
There is nowhere in scripture where it is written: “thou shall marry and thou shall be happy”. There is nowhere in scripture where you will receive in marriage. Any mention of it is about what you will give and do for another person.
And even when you marry and you come to God and complain about your spouse, guess what God is going to do? God is going to talk to you about what you can do.
God is not going to talk to you about what your spouse can do. It is none of your business.
Marriage wasn’t designed to make you happy. Marriage was designed to make you better. Now if you become better, you can become happy. The concept of marriage is like school. The University was not set up to make you happy. So lectures can be put at odd times. Its aim is not to make you happy but to make you better.
To be begging someone to love you is the height of selfishness. I get this question all the time: “Pastor, there is this boy. I love him so much but he slaps me, insults me, cheats on me but I love him. Pastor, what should I do?” When you hear people talking like that, it sounds like they are in love. They are not; it is the height of selfishness. If you think you love someone and they can’t reciprocate it, begging them to love you means you want them to go against their wishes to fulfill your wishes.
Nobody should persuade another person to love him. What you need to do is to present yourself and give of what you have. Once the person sees your value, they will reciprocate. If they don’t reciprocate, that’s the answer you are waiting for. They’ve answered you. The fact that he didn’t call or text back is the answer.
You cannot beg someone to love you. Love must be voluntary. It must be mutual; both of us must see it; both of us must want it. It is not me convincing you to love me. That’s not love.
Marriage is a place where you go to give; it is not a place where you go to receive. If you are not happy now, fix it. Marriage will not fix it. Marriage will only complicate it. A lizard now will not become an alligator in marriage.
An interview was conducted for a newlywed lady who is nearing one year in marriage. They asked; what was your biggest surprise in marriage? She said, “I was surprised I had to be cooking every day”. And I was thinking; so what did she think the children eat to grow up?
Embrace your single life. Now you can pamper yourself so if you can’t find happiness and fulfillment now, marriage won’t fix it for you.
People that are single and unhappy are most likely going to be married and unhappy. The reason they are unhappy singles is that they are trying to put the responsibility of their happiness on someone else. They think when that special somebody comes along, he or she will make me happy. That is faulty thinking. It is easier to be happy when you are single than when you are married.
When you are single, you care and depend only on yourself. When you get married, by design it brings vulnerability and exposure. You have to factor another person in; you have to sacrifice for their happiness in hope that they will sacrifice for yours too. In hope means that there is no guarantee.
Even Jesus killed himself for us in hope that we should reciprocate and many people have not yet reciprocated. That is what love is. They might not reciprocate.
Most times people do not reciprocate their love. People are selfish. It takes time and training for people to become selfless. So people become unhappier when they sacrifice so much and get little or no return on their sacrifice.
This leads to serious frustration and it is why many married people are unhappy.
Be extremely happy because marriage comes into play when you are so happy you want to share this happiness with others.
You are even content when the other person doesn’t reciprocate your love. That means you’ve found so much fulfillment in your life if the other person doesn’t reciprocate, it won’t make you depressed. Many people are coming into marriage incomplete but you have to come complete. Whatever you are giving your spouse is an overflow of what you have. When you reciprocate, you are not empty; you are still full.
When you come full: you have found purpose in God; you have enjoyed the love of God; you have found what your passions are; you have learnt how to compliment yourself.
Many years ago when I was still single, one day I bathed and dressed up. I had some people in the Fellowship that lived in my area. They asked, “Pastor, where are you going?” I said, “I am going on a date”. They are were excited and asked, “Pastor, who is this lucky person?” I said, “This person is very special; very lovely; this person has been good; this person deserves a treat; this person is the love of my life”. They were so excited and asked, “Who, who, who?” I said, “It’s me”. I am taking myself out. If nobody will take me out, I am taking myself out. I deserve a treat. And I don’t care if you agree with me or not; I agree with me.
Life is so personal that sometimes your spouses have their hands full with their own issues. Even when they love you, they might not have the capacity to fill certain areas of your life that only God can fill, that only you can fill. So you need to give yourself attention.
Your single years are not the years you are waiting to marry. Your single years are years you are using to prepare for life. Life can be complex. Your single years are your “gym years” where you build your muscles. This is where you build your faith; character and wisdom because the thing about life is that you don’t even know the challenge that life is going to throw.
There are two things you don’t bother to pray about: challenges and opportunities. You don’t need to bother praying about them; they are going to happen.
Challenges will come and opportunities will come. The best you can do about those two is to prepare. You train yourself to overcome challenges; you train yourself to seize opportunities. You can’t pray it away.
When people are broke at a certain time of their lives, it is because they didn’t seize opportunities or they were not equipped enough to overcome challenges when they came. And the bad thing about challenges is that you don’t get to choose the ones that will come to you. It is like the lottery.
My wife was told that she will have trouble with giving birth. That was her challenge.
But the beauty of it is that before I met my wife, I was already eating God’s Word. I wasn’t expecting any challenge but I knew that life brings challenges. And the Bible says, “…And this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith”. So I kept building my faith. When I finally met my wife, she told me she has been told since she was a teenager that she will have issues with childbirth.
My wife used to bleed uncontrollably. You know the woman with the issue of blood; my wife was in that WhatsApp group.
Her period had no beginning and it had no end. She has seen many specialists from when she was a teenager. So when she told me she was told she might not be able to have children, I said, “Who said so? “. She said, “Doctor”. I said,” Who is a doctor?” I wasn’t asking for the description, I was asking “who is a doctor in the grand scheme of things? Who has the final say?
Because the Bible is clear: There shall none be barren in the land. It was not that moment I learnt that scripture; I learnt that scripture way before. So I told her we will have children. I told her let us even name the children now before we marry.
If it were to be others, they would have run away. What they don’t realize is that they are running from one problem into another problem because in this life Jesus said, “There will be tribulations”.
One day, she was standing and she was bleeding profusely. And the devil told me; “This woman bleeding like this, will she ever have children? Maybe God has called you to adopt and also be a spiritual father to the church. That is still fathering now”. Satan was trying to convince me. And immediately he said that a scripture came from inside me; In Him, there is no variableness or shadow of turning. What does it mean? If the scripture says “None shall be barren”, it is so for every believer”.
So your single years are to build your capacity. Life happens and there is nothing you can do about it. Life won’t give you what you deserve, it will give you what you demand. So it is you that will insist or press for it by the power of God. Glory to God!
The Bible says a rich man hates honey but to the hungry soul, any bitter thing is sweet. If you are entering marriage as an empty soul, then you can marry anybody. You are looking for love. Any amount of love you will take. But when you enter marriage full, you are very selective about whom you want to join your life with. But to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet: he loves me but he is not a Christian; he loves me but he doesn’t have a job; he loves me but he beats me; he loves me but he is cheating on me. But you still want to marry him. It is because your soul is empty.
When you experience the love of God and you know what true love is, there are some things you will not accept from anybody.
I see people living below God’s best for their lives but that will not be your portion in the name of Jesus.
There are 7 areas every single should prepare themselves to live a good life and fulfilled marriage.
1. Spiritual life- if you want to marry and have a fulfilled marriage, develop your spiritual life.
Everything in this life I am enjoying, I am enjoying by faith. I don’t care about the economy of Nigeria.
The Bible says, the just shall live by faith, not the economy of the nation. You are first the citizen of the Kingdom of God before the citizen of Nigeria. That is why you are born again. The first time you were born into Nigeria; you didn’t choose. Now you are given the chance to choose for God to be your father. The Creator of the whole universe is now your father.
Do you hear God; do you want to practice hearing God? It is too risky to want to let God speak to you suddenly about your plans and marriage. Start hearing God now in small things; e.g. the cost to study.
Every child of God already has the capacity to hear God. Children are not sent to school to go and hear. No! Why? Because they were built to hear. Birds don’t fly because they have wings nor do fishes swim just because they have fins. No! They were created to do so.
If you are a child of God, you are created with the capacity to hear God.
You shouldn’t now be confused asking God to speak to you once two men have proposed to you when you have never proven God’s voice in anything. God leads people uniquely. You want to practice how to be led by God.
My wife was in a relationship for five years before we met. And God had been telling her- this is not the way to go. And of course, she wasn’t picking it. God mainly speaks to my wife through scriptures. One time she was reading the Bible and the Holy Ghost took her to the scripture where Jesus Christ met the Samaritan woman at the well who had five husbands. And the Holy Ghost highlighted to her that – The man you are with is not your husband. When she is reading scriptures, some things are highlighted to her.
She asked the Lord, “Lord so what should I do?” The Lord said, “End the relationship”. She told God, “I can’t end it; tell the man to end the relationship”. God then told her, ask him that if you are called to ministry, will he allow you to do ministry?”
This is why you need to get a purpose for life before you get a partner for life because some partners will crush your purpose. You can change partners but you can’t change purpose.
So God then told her, ask him that if you are called to ministry, will he allow you to do ministry?” My wife thought, “That’s a no-brainer since he was a Christian”. So one time they were talking and my wife asked him – if I am called to ministry, will you agree to let me do it?
The man said, “No! I don’t want to marry a pastor”. He was clear and she knew God really meant this thing.
When they broke the relationship, one day she was studying the Bible God took her again somewhere to the place where David was being anointed. The Holy Spirit told her, “These are not the ones. For the chosen one, he is the last born; he is fair and he is keeping sheep. So God asked her, “which born is Kingsley?” She said, “The last born”. God asked again, “what do pastors do?” She said, “They keep sheep”.
God said, “Arise, anoint him for he is the one”. And there is nothing like having spiritual conviction when you want to marry. Many people don’t have settled minds when it comes to their chosen partners for marriage.
Some people are already married with three children. They are still doubting if they married the right person. There is nothing as powerful as having spiritual conviction when you are walking in purpose in where you live; what you do. Please don’t join this bandwagon of just relocating anywhere. Let God lead you.
Purpose is superior to just living anywhere. We will all still be judged based on purpose not on whom you marry. We are all called and we will be judged accordingly. In fact for those in ministry, their work is to prepare you for the work of ministry.
There is no secular work for a Christian. If you are a born-again Christian, you are first a spiritual person; so your purpose is not dancing; the medical field; or engineering. Those things are your platforms. Your purpose is reconciling men to God. Just that your platform is different.
2. Domestic Development – Proverbs 31:28
You need to basically know how to nurture. If you are a man, you need to how to live peaceably with a woman. If you are a woman, you need to know how to care for the household. People don’t want to teach about domestic responsibilities because we are in a civilized age. In as much as women have been found out to be better managers because of their multitasking abilities, it doesn’t stop them from also being controllers in the house. It is also an assignment from God.
I agree with the fact that men should also be domestic. However, for women, it is their principal place. How do I know? It is very simple. The womb and the breast you have as a woman is a sign. Don’t see raising children or giving birth as an inferior thing. That is how the world wants to make us feel. That when you are a housewife, you are inferior; you are not.
What God is saying by giving you the womb and the breast is that – it is you I trust with the next generation. It is a promotion, not a demotion. God attached the first food of the child to women. The breasts are not detachable. It is a sign from heaven.
It doesn’t stop you as a woman from going to the highest height professionally.
The goal post is not the same with men and women. When men go through stress and they are meeting deadlines, they are releasing testosterone. Testosterone makes men feel happier. So you see men bragging about stress. That stress at the workplace is not killing men; they actually like it. That’s why when men retire, that’s when they start dying. Testosterone empowers men.
On the other hand, when women go through that same work stress, it releases cortisol – which is a negative hormone for a woman. It reduces the woman’s immune system and literally kills a woman faster. Her own happy hormones oxytocin are released when she sees a baby. This is why you when carry a baby anywhere women will be gathered around it. When a woman is in a happy family, oxytocin flows.
That is why a woman will gladly leave work to go and stay with her family in another city. A man will leave his family to go to another city to work. They are both chasing happiness.
The first thing God gave Adam was work; the first thing God gave Eve was marriage. Even when they sinned against God the consequential curses were work-related for the man and family related for the woman.
3. Mental development – Proverbs 31:26
Build yourself mentally. Your shape can attract a man but it takes being sharp to keep a man. This is why the only thing some singles bring into a relationship is sex. Because to bring money to a relationship, you have to be working hard; to bring advice to a relationship, you have to be thinking smart. And those two require work and because they are too lazy, the only thing they contribute is sex. Bring something more. Your beauty is a gift but sense must be cultivated.
After King Solomon by experience with a thousand women wrote this- a beautiful face on an empty head is like putting a gold ring on a pig’s nose – Proverbs 11:22.
You need to start reading. What are you reading beyond your academic books? What are you studying beyond just studying to pass examinations? As a man, you will automatically be the head of a family. How can you be a head that can’t think?
4. Financial Development – Proverbs 31:24
If you are always broke, always begging then you need to go and work on it. Poverty is not a state you are in; it is an attitude. It is either your attitude to work, problem, people, or service problem. You can be an Uber driver and still be the best Uber driver.
Joseph was below a house boy because he was a slave yet the blessings of God were upon his life. Start learning the principles. Money answers strictly to value. You need to ask yourself what value can I give to somebody and there is no valueless person. You only need to find that thing you can do. You can start small and the blessing of God will come on it when you start practicing kingdom principles.
The first millionaire that was ever raised in our ministry was a student. Many years ago when we were still a Youth Fellowship, the man came to our meeting just released from the Police Station. He had beaten up a girl and he was locked in the Police Station. So someone invited him to our fellowship meeting for the first time. He was not even born again.
On that day I preached on – What do you have in your house? It was the story of Elijah and the widow in the Bible. So the guy went home and literally checked what he could find in his house and he found his father’s camera.
His father used to be the Principal of a school and had the camera to do side hustle. The guy took the camera and began to take pictures and began to practice kingdom principles.
He will tithe and give massively. Before long, they were flying him to other countries for photography. It is wasn’t that there were no photographers in those countries but the grace upon the works of his hands multiplied it. He became a multimillionaire. He was a student driving a car; paying his own school fees and those of others.
Most millionaires started earning money when they were in school. They found their gifts and found their value and started giving them to people who were paying them. Time is a convertible resource; you can convert it into a skill.
The skit you are watching is work for the actors; they are not playing. They are earning money from them. Last month, my wife and I were paid 8000 dollars by Youtube.
5. Physical Development –
Take care of how you look. Take care of how you dress. As they say, you are addressed by how you dress. Package yourself well. Look good. People see you before they know you. People see you before they hear you. Look good at all times.
Don’t copy every fashion style you see; it is not all that fits you. And the best dressing accessory you can wear is confidence. If it is one shoe you have, wear it with confidence. There is a way you exude confidence people won’t notice what you are wearing. The Bible says wisdom makes the face of the wise to shine.
So wisdom brings confidence. Eat healthily. Do exercises. We live in a natural world. God says, “Men look on the outward”. It is only God that looks at the heart.
There are some blessings only God can give. There are also blessings that men give. So you can still have a good heart and still have a good dress sense. The Bible says Jesus found favour with God and with men.