I remember the first date I went on with my wife. It was in 2011.
I had known her for over a year at the time, but in different contexts- as a random classmate, then as a leader in the fellowship I attended, then as a friend with no strings to it… But now, I had gotten some strings (thick ropes, actually) and was trying to see if they would tie any knots across.
I know what it can be like at that point of trying to make a decision on someone you’ll spend the rest of your life with. She was the first person I asked out though, but I remember all the thoughts and considerations that came along with it.
If you feel ‘Ah, spend the rest of my life with? Ah ahn, that’s a lot to be thinking about!’ then I’d tell you honestly that it’s a simple indication that you shouldn’t even be looking for a relationship. All you’re probably looking for is a feel and it’s no use sparking unnecessary fires in yourself prematurely.
In making relationship decisions, people seem to think a lot about deal breakers.
Without doubt, there are key things from one context to another that could be deal breakers.
But perhaps, we could put a little more emphasis on deal makers, could we?
For many people, it’s almost like they’ve decided this relationship can’t work and they’re just spending the next couple of years to find the reason why it can’t and then tag it a deal breaker. If however we somehow surprisingly make it through our deal-breaking search period, otherwise known as courtship (or dating or seeing, or whatever you call it), then we get married.
So I was talking about the first date with my wife. It was a Sunday afternoon. I’ll rather not talk about some of the details that would have been deal breakers if I knew about them back then. I mean, how could you have just gotten back from a date with another ‘brother’… No, not even gotten back. You simply had me pick you up from where he dropped you! Anyway, let’s not talk about that.
I wouldn’t say it all sat in a specific moment, but I remember there was a sync: there was this deep seated awareness that God was providing this for me. It synced with the season of life I was in. It synced with God’s dealings in my life. I wasn’t having to push a right button in a wrong time and stuff like that.
That was huge for me.
What more did I really need to know than that she was a gift from God to me? Not a gift in terms of the value when you open it and love what you see.
I mean just knowing that I had a need and that God brought something to me. What else could have given me confidence and courage about committing my life and future to this girl than simply realizing that God who knows me through and through was blessing me with this?
That awareness was my deal maker. It still is.
I needed something more than twenty-one things I like about her and seven ways she’s like my mother. I needed something more than one hundred and one critical questions to consider. That works for some people and I readily admit that there might be a lot of wisdom principles in some of those considerations.
But ultimately, I can’t make the second most important decision in my life (after the decision to accept Jesus as my Lord) on a list of twenty-one questions. Make that list one million, then maybe we can start talking from there.
Please get my point. God didn’t instruct me to marry my wife. I chose to. But I made a choice in line with His workings in my life that I had progressively come to know over the years. I could tell that He was in this. That was my deal maker.
Am I suggesting every relationship God intended will absolutely work out?
It’s as simple as considering that God intended the life of every human being on the planet and a good number of them have failed or are failing miserably.
God’s intentions lean on human participation. There are wise choices to make. There is a whole lot of work to do. There are a lot of lessons to learn. But the foundation for me is my deal maker. If God is in it, then I can explore the journey confidently.
That’s what I’ve done with Adebola these eight years. And that’s what we keep at.