If you have any sort of social media then you have probably seen the reports of T.I. admitting that he is ready to end his marriage with Tiny claiming it is a “distraction”. Soon after, I saw a post circulating on my timeline supposedly written by Tiny’s best friend that saddened me just as much, if not a little more than T.I.’s comments about his marriage. The post read: Dear Self, Don’t give a man your good years, become a felon for him, let go of friends, give up your career to support his, don’t be too loyal because one day he might get to where y’all worked too hard to be and consider you a distraction. Love Always, Me. Let me first say that T.I’s comments were disappointing. He spoke of wanting to leave a legacy for his family and take them as far as possible, failing to realize that his wife is the backbone of that family he speaks of, the one who he is supposed to esteem higher than any other, the other part of himself. But I digress. What I’d like to dive into is the social media post. Like I said, it saddened me because I saw many women re-posting it and sharing its sentiments which tells me that people no longer believe or at the very least are beginning to question the legitimacy of relationships and marriage. Some are taking a “why even bother” mentality and turning into self professed “savages” only as a defense mechanism and to mask the pain and disappointment of failed relationships. My thing is, just because you’ve had relationships that have failed in the past (even if there were many) and just because you haven’t had any men to prove your doubts wrong and just because you have seen other relationships and marriages fail, does not mean that it does not work and it also does not mean that you are not able to having a successful one yourself. Perhaps the issue is that you are looking in the wrong places, giving your heart to the wrong people, or going about it all the wrong way.
Think about it like this: Let’s say you’ve purchased a new gadget and you have been trying to get this thing to work for weeks now, but it is just not working for you. You bought this gadget for a specific reason, but it is not doing what you need it to do. Finally you say you know what, I’m just going to give up because obviously this thing does not work, and I want my money back. Sweetheart, the issue is not with the gadget, it’s you. The gadget works perfectly fine, there are no defects, it’s been programmed correctly and it’s waiting to fulfill its purpose, you just need to pick up the user manual and figure out how to work it instead of trying to figure it out by yourself through trial and error or by asking your friend who has the same product believing they must know how to work it right? Do you catch my drift? If there is anyone who knows how this thing works, it’s the manufacturer. They are the one who created the very thing you are trying to use so, it would behoove you to actually pick up the instructions that they took the time to write out just for you in order to make yours work successfully for your life and needs. Likewise, God is the one who created relationship and marriage; it was His idea. Therefore, if you want to know its history, its purpose, how it works, and how to have a successful one yourself, then you’re going to have to take your cues from the Book that talks all about it. If you are constantly looking to the world for its standards, its examples, and its way of doing things, then you are going to constantly find yourself falling short and living with disappointment. If you want a happy relationship and ultimately a happy marriage with a loyal man then that is available for you, but you must be willing to abandon everything you think you know about it and everything that you have been conditioned to think about it in order to renew your mind to the right way.
Psalm 127:1 says this: Unless the Lord builds a house, those who labor it labor in vain.This can apply to a number of things we are attempting to “build” in our life, but let’s just use a relationship for example. Unless God is in the middle of that relationship building your metaphorical house, it is bound to have its issues and eventually may come crashing down. Trust me, you want your relationship and marriage to be built to last so why not do it the right way with the right person?
Ok so back to that post- now course you should never become a felon for anyone, but I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with just about everything else in that post. Why? Because it perpetuates fear. It lends itself to the idea that if you put everything you’ve got into your marriage which includes sacrificing some things, then one day, it might end and you’re left with nothing. This reminds me of a time I went to get my nails done shortly after I was engaged, and a woman noticed my ring. She then went on to give me a piece of advice which was to always keep a stash of money that my husband doesn’t know anything about so if were to ever break up, I wouldn’t be left with nothing. Some might call this wisdom, and yes it sounds good but at the end of the day, the motive behind that is rooted in fear. First off, it’s deceptive and I believe that there should be no secrets in a marriage, but that’s a whole ‘nother subject. Secondly, my trust is never in a man, it’s always in God. If I've decided to yoke myself up in covenant with a man for the rest of my life, best believe I've done my due diligence-he has been fully vetted, I have watched him through different seasons, and I believe that this is the man who God would have for me to marry. The issues come when people see red flags before the ring and think things will change so they override those things hoping, wishing and praying that it will be different once they say I do. If you go into a marriage with a mindset of anything less than we are in this forever and I am fully committed after counting the cost, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
So I’ve decided to come up with a letter of my own,
Go after love with everything you’ve got. Allow yourself to love harder, deeper and more selflessly than you’ve ever loved before. Be open, not stupid. Don’t be picky, but have standards. Don't give any man of your past the power to determine the beauty of your future. There will be pain, hurt and confusion, but it gets better. The man God intended just for you although not perfect, is perfect for you. He leads you, but not in an overly demanding way; it’s more of a quiet confidence that makes it easy for you to follow. He recognizes your worth and is not afraid to act on it, he recognizes your potential and is not afraid to pull it out of you, he also recognizes your mess, but he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. You will get everything you’ve ever dreamed of and and more in him because he is your Ephesians 3:20, a manifestation of God’s faithfulness. Will it always be easy? Hardly. Will it be worth it? Always.
***Part of this letter contained actual pieces from my vows to my husband in October 2015
Still Hidden in Him,