Read “Is Love Enough” here
Read “Dance with Me” here
‘I don’t know what is wrong with you’, Joshua started as we headed for the car. ‘Why do you belittle yourself so much?’
‘I don’t understand what you mean’, I replied.
He opened the passenger door for me to enter and then went over to the driver’s seat.
‘What were you thinking, rolling on the floor with those kids like a delirious teenager?’
His words hurt.
‘I was not rolling on the floor, Joshua. We were playing a game, one of the games prescribed in the children’s manual’.
He rolled his eyes as he turned on the ignition.
‘Ebube, how else do you want me to explain to you? Don’t you realize that in a few months’ time, you will become a pastor’s wife? Frolicking with kids all over the place does not befit that status!’
I looked at him. ‘Dear Joshua, I wasn’t frolicking with the kids. I am a children teacher for God’s sake. I teach children in Sunday School. It is what I love doing. It is my passion. That is what I find fulfillment in doing!’
‘Hogwash’, he muttered. ‘Look, Ebube, why can’t you find more prestigious things to do in the house of the Lord? Like joining the choir. You have such a golden voice, yet you allow it rot away’.
‘So, teaching children and showing them the way of life is not prestigious?’ I questioned.
‘I didn’t say so. But if you are going to be my wife, you must find another passion. I am a pastor, and I can’t watch you play and chat away with kids at church when you can put that time and energy into something productive and worthwhile. Better still, you can just sit beside me at the front on Sundays and give me emotional support. I’ll prefer anything than you jumping like a monkey and getting dirty with those kids’
I was quiet. I didn’t know how else to explain to my fiancé that teaching children was my calling, and I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. Joshua was a good and loving man, but he had high expectations of what his wife should look like, and it was starting to piss me off.
First of all, he stopped me from wearing my colorful tops, jeans, sneakers and beautiful jewelry, saying that a pastor’s wife should dress more soberly. I didn’t complain. Next, he made it compulsory for me to attend all church activities, without any excuse. A pastor’s wife must be committed to the church, he said. Many evenings saw me dragging my tired self to church after a hard day at work. I ended up sleeping and waking intermittently throughout the bible study or faith hour or prayer meetings.
Now, he wanted me to stop doing what I loved doing, all in a bid to fit into the “perfect pastor’s wife” picture. This was my calling, my God given mandate. I wasn’t ready to throw it away all in the name of marriage.
‘The Pastors’ wives seminar and training is coming up next month’, he said, breaking into my thoughts.
I shrugged. ‘So?’
He glanced at me. ‘You have to attend. It’s a one-week training’.
‘But I’m not a pastor’s wife’
‘You will soon be. It’s never too early to prepare, is it?’
‘I work, Joshua. I can’t attend a one-week training’.
‘It’s easy. Take a one week leave’.
I stared at him. ‘You think it’s that easy?’
‘I know it is. Besides, you wont even work there for much longer’.
I sighed deeply. Joshua was perfectly learning the art of running my life. In a flash, I remembered the children camp meeting and sat up.
‘What date is the training?’ I asked.
‘17th to 23rd of August’.
‘Oh no! It’s clashing with the children camp meeting and I have to be there. I can’t go for your pastors wives training’.
He smiled sardonically. ‘You must be joking. This training is priority and it supersedes every other thing’.
I felt the anger rising in my chest. ‘Joshua, I said I have a camp meeting to organize. This is my calling, and it is priority for me. When next the training comes up, I’ll find time to attend’.
He stepped on the brakes. ‘Ebube, are you trying to disobey me?’
‘Not at all Joshua. As much as I love you, I can’t trade my calling and my mandate for you. You don’t believe in my vision and my calling. How on earth do you want this marriage to work?’
‘What nonsense vision? Look, my vision is your vision. My calling is your calling. You better get that into your head and adjust quickly. Two shall become one, so you have to drop whatever you think is your calling and embrace mine. It is only in my vision that you can find fulfillment. Trying to argue or dispute this means you are not ready to marry me’.
I didn’t say anything for a while. Then, I opened the car door and stepped out.
Where are you going to?
I didn’t respond.
Having then gifts differing according to the GRACE that is given to us, let us use them… Romans 12:6
There are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all- 1 Corinthians 12:6
You see this thing called marriage, it is a fusion of purpose and calling. You both don’t need to have identical passion or vision; what matters is that there must be an alignment if you want to have a successful marriage.
It is important that you discover God’s purpose and calling upon your life as early as possible. There is so much you can do with your life, instead of sitting and dreaming of the day when your prince charming will come with his majestic white horse to sweep you into his palace. When you discover what God has called you to do, it will even help streamline and narrow your options when it comes to the choice of a life partner.
Never, I repeat, never marry a man who does not believe and support your calling.
Never marry a man who does not allow you to find expression and fulfillment in God’s mandate for your life.
Never marry a man who wants to twist and fit you into his description of a “perfect wife”, not considering your feelings or thoughts.
Never marry a man who belittles or mocks your passion and calling. This is why you need to pray before you say yes to a man. Ask the Lord to give you eyes that see beyond the physical. Ask the Lord to give you a man, in whom your calling and vision can find life, light and fulfillment.
If you don’t pray today, you may groan tomorrow. Don’t be lazy, get on your knees today.
Before you propose to that sister, make sure you understand the call of God upon her life, believe it and be ready to support it. She is first God’s daughter before she becomes your wife, so do not try to take the place of God in her life. If you don’t believe in her or in what God has called her to be, then trust the Lord for someone else, instead of marrying her and making her miserable with your selfish demands.
Don’t frustrate the grace and call upon her life, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Stephen was full of the Holy Ghost and power, yet he served tables.
That she is anointed doesn’t mean that she must become a deliverance minister
That she has a golden voice does not translate into being the choir leader
That she has leadership skills does not make her the women coordinator.
Allow God in her life. Don’t be a stumbling block. Create room for alignment of her vision with yours.
Broda, let me ask you sef, have you discovered your own purpose and calling?
Love may bring you together, but purpose and mandate is what sustains the fire.