I have told this story many times but I cannot tell it enough because that is how much it changed me. I was having the hardest summer of my life, newly traumatized by a sudden lack of financial security, and interestingly enough, planning our wedding. I went into a meeting with my pastors about our upcoming wedding and was gently advised that marriage should not be entered into while financial insecurity was looming. It was good advice. But for someone who had been trying and failing to find a job for five years at the time, it was another reminder that my life was on hold until I had enough money.
I went into my car and cried my eyes out.
A good question for anyone to ask me at that time would be “why are you getting married when you don’t have a stable job?” They would be well within their right but they also would have poked a sleeping bear in my life. Career and finances were a sour spot for me. And anyone implying that I could not move on in any other area of my life because I lacked the finances would have broken my heart and earned my ire.
But let’s pretend for a minute that someone did ask me that imaginary question.
“Omowunmi, why did you get married when so many things about your life were still up in the air?”
I got married because it was time for me to get married, not based on my biological clock or any external pressure but based on where I was emotionally, spiritually and relationship-wise. My hubby and I did some really deep work on our relationship, from learning to communicate with one another, to discussing and making peace with our respective pasts, to learning to function as a partnership. We were ready. There was no benefit to our relationship by delaying our marriage; if anything it would have increased the temptation that was always a consideration for any couple that valued purity. We got married because we were both confident that God wanted us to. We got married because our maturity dictated it – we were both fully committed to making each other better and there was no higher calling to serve one another than in marriage. We got married because we were already best friends. We got married because my husband was ready to be a provider even if he did not have all the material trappings of success. We got married because I was ready to answer the call to submit to my husband’s God-given leadership. We got married because we were ready to build a legacy for our future family. We got married because we were tired of going home to separate homes at the end of each date. We got married because neither of us had ever meshed so well with any other person before; even our differences complemented each other perfectly.
And lastly, we got married because we wanted to honor God.
Financial security is an important part of marriage and I am not going to pretend that it is not. But it is not the only consideration. Being rich, comfortable or lucrative is not the underlying determinant of a successful marriage. If it were, teenage newlyweds would always end up divorce and millionaires never would. For me, marriage cannot be divorced (pun intended) from purpose. I got married because it was part and parcel of God’s purpose for my life. Right before our wedding I told someone that all of the increase and expansion that God wants me to have will be realized in the midst of my marriage, not prior to it. I had 29 years and 9 months as a single woman and although I did a lot in that time, the plan is to spend more years being married than I did being single. All the future achievements I intend to have by God’s grace are intricately tied to my position as my husband’s wife. There are certain things I want to do for him; there are certain things I want to do for me but cannot accomplish without him; and there are still other things that have to be done by us.
I got married because my husband needs the favor I carry and I need the covering he provides.
Not because my finances were perfectly in order.
Not because our lives were perfect.
Not because I no longer had any issues to work through (more on that in another post on another day – it is okay to get married before you reach the pinnacle of wholeness; as long as you have began the work and started the journey, it can still be perfected in your union).
I got married according to God’s will for my life. And honestly, I would not have it any other way.