I used to think of myself as a hopeless romantic.
Some of my favourite movies include The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, Walk To Remember, Titanic—how much time do you have? because, trust me, I could go on and on.
In my 20’s when I lived alone in my tiny apartment, I would spend my Friday evenings sitting on the only couch I owned, drinking a glass of lemonade with a light snack, and, of course, a box of tissues, crying over these characters who I believed had finally found their true love.
The concept of true love is quite interesting. In my teens, it meant finding the person who made me feel butterflies (excitement and anxiety) whenever I spoke to them, saw them or even thought about them.
However, as I grew in my faith walk with Jesus, the idea of true love began to shift. In light of scripture, my understanding of love changed dramatically, which impacted my idea of marriage.
Harry and I sat in our first pre-marital counselling session as we heard these words spoken to us—Marriage is for assignment.
Marriage is fun, but its primary purpose is not so you can have fun. Marriage has a vibe, but it was not designed for “vibe-ing” purposes. I know, marriage will change your “level,” but that is not the primary design for marriage.
Any couple that does not discover, understand and execute that assignment is not fulling the mandate of their marriage—-that couple will have to ultimately answer to God.
Marriage is not a construct of the world. God is the Creator for marriage, and if you want your marriage to work, you have to stay connected to the Creator.
The plan of Satan is always to steal, kill and destroy what God creates; if marriage is a creation of God, the enemy’s goal is to exhaust all options to steal, kill and destroy your union.
That is why it is paramount that, even before you decide to get married, that you invest time in growing your relationship with God. Have a posture of praying without ceasing, delight in reading God’s Word, exhibit the fruit of the Spirit and find an opportunity to serve in church.
Your marriage is only going to be as healthy as the individuals in it. Marriage is made up of two whole people, not perfect people.
A whole person is someone who knows their values. Values are integral to who we are and the choices we make on a daily basis. We are our values, and our values are us.
Not only is it important to know what your values are, it is important to know what your partners’ values are.
The first time I said “I love you” to Harry, it was not because he was the only one who made my heart run helter-skelter, but mainly because, amongst all the other men, his values and my values were in sync.
He valued what I valued, and he respected my values. Marry someone who does not disregard your values, but respects and honors them. Marry someone who shares the same values as you.
Your goal should be to say I love you, not to the physical parts of a person, but to the core of their being. These are things that will never change, these are what I call, values.
The purpose of marriage is to fulfill an assignment God has for your union.
Marriage is a beautiful thing, marriage is a God thing, marriage is ministry, marriage is for assignment.
There is an assignment for every blessing God gives to us and marriage is no different. It is important to know what your assignment is, or at least have an idea of what it is before you get married.
In our Decision Workshop, we lead couples engaged couples, or couples in a serious relationship leading to marriage, to develop a purpose statement for their marriage, because marriage is for assignment and we all need to enter into it with that mindset.
When you have this mindset towards marriage, it will bring focus and clarity to everything you do. It will guide the relationships you have, the projects you undertake, how you manage your finances, how you raise your children, how you grow as individuals and many more.
Your marriage will weather every storm, when it has a focus. Your marriage will impact lives, when it has a focus. Your marriage will make you better, when it has a focus.
One advise I received before I got married was “STAND IN LOVE, DO NOT FALL IN LOVE.”
I extend that to you too. Think before you say I DO, don’t let the butterflies confuse you. Pray before you say I DO, don’t let your feelings cloud your judgements. Plan before you say I DO, refuse to let wishes and promises be your driving motive.
It is my prayer that, God you will guide you and lead you as you make this life-changing decision.
GOD BLESS YOU
Pastor Nhyira Otabil-Allotey, together with her husband, Harry, both pastor ICGC Cornerstone Temple, Dzorwulu. She holds a BA in Pastoral Care with emphasis in youth ministry from Oral Roberts University. Also from the Fuller Theological Seminary, she holds a Masters of Art in Theology and she is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Community Care & Counselling with an emphasis is Marriage and Family from Liberty University. Harry and Nhyira both founded The Love Project. The Love Project which is designed to help singles and couples build and nurture the relationship they have always wanted through fun, interactive, and transformative workshops, conferences, and various events, are aimed to equip people with the tools and mindset to succeed in their relationships.They are both YouTubers and their channel on YouTube is called Chatwithhn where they share content on Faith, Family, Relationships and Lifestyle. Nhyira and Harry are both proud parents of three lovely daughters Faith, Grace and Joy-Ava.