“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” 2Tim 1:9
“You first have to know the harbor to which you are headed before you know the right wind to take you there” – Old Seneca Proverb
Just as this old proverb says, you don’t have any business getting married till you know your purpose in life. Can you imagine a ship setting out to sea without a destination in mind? It will be carried to and fro by any and every wind. That is what happens when you get married without any idea what your purpose is in life.
Do you know what the greatest tragedy in life is? Discovering your purpose after marriage and realizing you are mismatched! Let me tell you the only three outcomes of such a tragedy – a) giving up your purpose so as to hold on to that marriage or b) following your purpose and giving up your marriage or c) trying to fulfill your purpose and dragging your partner with you.
John Maxwell in one of his books said “It is better to go it alone than drag someone along with you. That person will forever be a weight holding you down”. Sadly, that is what most of us do.
There was a young woman in one of our universities some years ago. She was articulate, intelligent, had loads of charisma and was an awesome politician and strategist. When she talked, we all listened. She was chosen as Student Union Running mate by the would be president just to garner in votes and she did. I could tell she was going places. I knew she would one day be a political force in this country, maybe even the first female president. I came across her again last year and my heart broke. She was married to a man who did not want such a wife. She had three children, was selling provisions and completely broken. She had lost her shine and was desperately unhappy. But she could not leave her marriage. In that death of purpose, she not only lost herself but Nigeria also lost a great leader. Imagine what she could have achieved with a like-minded politically motivated husband. The sky would have been just a beginning for both of them.
Purpose determines marriage. Your spouse is your life partner! Have you ever asked yourself what he/she is partnering you to do? A pastor of mine once jokingly said “the next time a man asks you to marry him, ask him, ‘as your helpmeet, what am I to help you to do?’” What a wise question to ask!
If you know your purpose, you can never make a wrong choice. Purpose will guide you right. You will know the kind of character, principles, beliefs, passion that will fit into your life goals. If you and your spouse share the same purpose and passion, nothing will ever break you apart.
In Eccl 4:12, the bible says “a threefold cord is not easily broken” Many people interpret it to mean a unity of husband and wife with the Holy Spirit cannot be broken. But the number of broken Spirit filled Christian homes belies that. Do you know what that third cord is? – PURPOSE. Nothing can ever separate a couple united in purpose. Quote me anywhere on this!
Unity of purpose is the strongest bond that can ever be between a man and woman. That is why the bible asks “Can two walk together except they agree?” Am 3:3. Agreement i.e. unity of purpose is what makes two ‘walk together’. Please tell me, if both of you have the same vision, the same goal and are pursuing it with zeal and single-minded focus, what can come between you? Absolutely nothing! YOU WILL BE ONE IN THOUGHT, MIND, AND ACTION! ONLY PURPOSE CAN DO THAT!!!
And that brings me to the misconception people have that a woman is just to help a man achieve his purpose. That is utter baloney. Every single human being created by God has his and her own purpose. The way to choose a partner is to choose the man or woman that has the same purpose and passion as you and whose talents are a balance to yours. For example, both of you might have the same purpose and passion for pastoring but you might be good in preaching while your partner is good in prayer.
You MUST share the same purpose and passion but your talents should differ so you can bring the richness of variety to your purpose. She might be a good writer and you a good speaker but you both have the same purpose of motivating and inspiring people.
I beg you in the name of all that is holy; please do not ever marry without knowing your purpose. Do not marry till the passion of purpose has overwhelmed your heart, mind and life. Only then can you know who to walk that life path with. Only then can you, your partner, your marriage and your life ever find meaning and fulfillment.
And if you are already married without knowing your purpose or just discovering your purpose after marriage – return to God who knows you and made you for His purpose. He is the one to whom nothing is impossible. The Great and Only Fixer who can make all things right.