This is the second part to this post. The first is available here
Actually, I believe that everyone has the potential to be excellent. However many women pick their husbands before their character has fully matured into excellence. This might remove the incentive to pursue further growth, and even where a man might genuinely desire to grow further, he might find himself preoccupied by the need to look after his family. So in a very real sense the character that a woman settles for in marriage might be the character that gets “sealed in” to the nature of her husband. So this means that if a woman were to let a man grow to excellence before marrying him, she might still be able to marry the same guy, but confidently look forward to a far better experience in marriage.
Many guys are taken
I guess you could say “That’s all very well, Tosin, but the fact is, whether or not they are excellent, more men are getting married – which means that there are fewer men available to choose from/fight over period!” (I am of course not seriously suggesting that you should fight over a guy!)
It is true that the passage of time is reducing the pool of available men. However, instead of panicking and using that fact to just accept anyone, I would encourage you to have faith and hold out for God’s best for your life.
All the great guys are not gone: they are still growing!
I choose to believe that somewhere out there is a man that is being shaped and refined by the Spirit of God, moulding him into a better and better potential husband, even as the Spirit of God is working on me to make me a better and better wife. By not rushing and settling (even for one another) we are giving ourselves the best chance to mature fully into the excellent people that God intends us to be. Perhaps the very reason that he is still single is because he like me is patiently growing to fuller understanding of what life in God and marriage involves, and he does not want to settle for any relationship that will be less than excellent.
Waiting is an advantage because I believe that while people can and will mature during marriage, there is some growth that would happen best before marriage. Have you ever heard anyone say “We married too young”? This is an example of what I mean. While everyone will of course grow after marriage, certain things should be understood before marriage about life, about the opposite gender, about people, about yourself, otherwise this lack of understanding might contribute to a foundation of resentment or other kinds of negativity which might have been avoided if there had been fuller understanding before marriage.
The amount of necessary pre-marital growth might be different from person to person, from potential couple to potential couple. Similarly the things that each person might need to understand before marriage might vary from person to person, or might depend on whom they will actually marry. For instance, if I were to marry someone from a different ethnic background, I would quite like to be sophisticated generally about inter-ethic marriages, and specifically about his own culture and issues that might arise; however I would probably not need this information to the same extent if I were to marry someone from my own country who has grown up in the same locality and culture as I have. (“Interracial” is the word that many people would use instead of inter-ethnic, however I object to this word as there is only one race – the human race. I guess though that this could be considered an issue of semantics. I of course mean marriage between two people who come from different countries, cultures or parts of the world.)
“But Tosin, what if God is preparing a special someone for me… and that someone just goes and marries someone else?!” That is nothing but the voice of fear speaking. I think that you have to do everything necessary to put yourself in the right place to come across an excellent spouse: pray, go out, meet people, pray further, watch, observe. However, if you are doing everything correctly, you are praying as you should, and “the right guy” still misses you (if God has specifically set apart a certain individual for you – I don’t necessarily believe that that is how God works) – then that just shows that Mr Wouldbe-Right was himself not in the right place.
In summary, I believe you have to stop thinking about who may or may not already have been married, and how many men may or may not still be available. When you meet someone, the question to ask is not “Will I be able to find anyone else?” but rather “Is he truly excellent? Is he passionately pursuing growth in Christ with all that he has, so that I can be confident that ten years from now he will be even better than he is now?”
If you cannot answer “Yes” to these last two questions, then I would say: “Do not marry him”. Instead wait and trust in God’s power to grant you a future that will truly be worth waiting for.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
Photo of Abacus from Pixabay