When oral Roberts proposed to Evelyn in 1958, these were his words:
My huge, hilarious heart is throbbing, tumultuously, tremendously, triumphantly with a lingering , lasting , long-lived love for you. As I gaze into your bewildering, beauteous, beaming eye, I am literally, lonesomely lost in a dazzling , daring ,delightful dream in which your fair, felicitous , fanciful face is ever present like a colossal, comprehensive, constellation. Will you bemy sweet , smiling, soulful, satisfied spouse?”
To which Evelyn replied: Listen Oral , if you are trying to propose to me, do it in English language.
The issue of how to respond to a proposal is not an an issue to sweep under the carpet at all. So many sister s have missed it at this point either saying “Yes/No” at the wrong time, to the wrong person or nailing the very person they should have married with a very harsh 9inches “NO”. Let’s consider the following biblical guidelines when responding to a marital proposal:
- As a child of God, it is not all proposals that deserve your positive response: The Bible states it clear that God detests any marriage with the heathen (Gen 24:4,8) and those who did so always had themselves to blame when they were faced with consequences that follow! Cor.6:13 says, “ what fellowship (relationship, agreement , union, talkless of marriage) has light with darkness. If you are in the Lord, you cannot marry outside the Lord. The following category of people do not deserve your “YES”: An unbeliever, a player , a married man, one who has taken an unrenounced oath against marriage (e.g A serving Catholic Rev. Father), a boy (immature, not even knowing the implication of his words), a fellow lady (God forbids homosexuality – Leviticus 18:22;20:13; Romans 1:26,27) a sexually immoral brother or a brother that you know quite well that you would end up in bed with him before marriage.
- Say what you want to say: Say a firm ( not insultive yet not apologetic) “NO” when the person deserves it. Don’t confuse the brother with your words. “NO” is not the same thing as “NOT YET”. NO belongs to those who should not even bother (e.g. a married man) and you should not give “NOT YET” to them.
- Help a brother: Let your words be seasoned with grace and don’t tear down a life with it. Some brothers may never be able to gather themselves together again if harshly denied (nailed). Even if you will not marry him, don’t tamper with his self-esteem he needs it for him to propose to the right person. While you are firm, let your words be graceful. Sisters some times have always ended up regretting their words.
- Be Simple: Don’t use too much grammar to express yourself otherwise you may be saying “NO” while the poor brother may be thinking you were trying to say “YES”. Be simple, plain and sincere when responding to a proposal.
- Why the hurry? Don’t be under any pressure to respond to a proposal. If you’re not yetsure how to respond. Don’t say anything that could be misleading . Just be simple and sincere enough to say “I don’t have a response now. Some brothers are in the habit of insisting that you give them a NOW, NOW answer. Beware! Many have fallen into such traps already especially when it is a brother that looks like the desire of every lady in the fellowship. Whatever is yours will come to you and it would wait (reasonable) for you. When you are swept off your feet, make sure you are on your feet before you say “yes” otherwise you are likely to be seeing stars even when the man is not a star.
- Don’t use eternity to pray: Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life (Prov. 13:12). You should know that you need pray but as soon as you feel released in your heart, let him know. There is no holiness in proving hard to get. Many sisters have lost divine timing by unnecessarily delaying (posing to) someone they already know is God’s perfect will for their lives. This is wickedness. Moreover youshould have been praying about your life partner ever before anyone comes to pop up the question. It is easier to hear God when there are no proposals than to hear him when animpatient love-sick is waking you up every morning with love texts.
- Don’t sell so Cheap: Jumping on a guy ( no matter how attractive, spiritual and promising) makes a very cheap girl out of you. A serious guy may get so alarmed and shocked by the speed of your response that he may think there’s something fishy somewhere. No matter your disadvantage, never sell cheap ( even if you are crippled).Even though Evelyn liked Oral Roberts, she made him realize that grammar could not buy her.
- Watch your decision –making factors:Material things should not influence your decision. Never base your judgement on the present condition or status of a brother: you may regret it later. What you see now are temporal, those you do not see are eternal. Cars, houses, certificate, good figure, juicy income,nice job e.t.c, I hope you know they are temporal things and if you base your decision on them, your home would varnish when they varnish. Don’t rely on the opinion or information of people around you. It should not be because your mother took the names of those brothers to a holy mountain and the guy’s name was chosen. In fact the Pastor’s view should not be the only basis for your decision; he did not die for you and who knows? Pastor may be trying to fix one of his choice brothers for you.
Above all, you need to submit your life completely to the Lord and seek counsel from the spiritual authority God put you under, in order to be able to properly discern the will of God in marriage. Spiritual authority here refers to someone around you who has been like a father overseeing and watching over your spiritual development and not a mentorsomewhere in U.S.A who doesn’t even know you. The Bibles says, “in the mouth of two or three witnesses, the truth shall be established”.( Matt 18:16) and also in Proverbs 11:14- “Where no counsel is the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” and in Proverbs 15:22 “Without counsel, purpose are disappointed: but in themultitude of counsellors they are established”. Do not respond to a guy on the basis of familiarity or just because you like him. Only godless people do such things. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Cor. 4:18).
Seek the face of God before making any move. Be sincere with God and with yourself and stop saying things like, “ I must hook a matcho guy, a wealthy brother, a prayer warrior or a good looking bla, bla, bla”. Such things change. For we walk by faith , not by sight (2cor. 5:7). The one that is matcho today may be thin tomorrow. Just make sure that you are led by the spirit and be sincere all along. Remember, you will be the one to bear the consequences of whatever your decisions are, so make them properly. God bless you.
(C) Femina Magazine