Now that you have gone on many dates, you’re feeling good about John, and you think he’s Mr. Right. In your heart, you believe he’s the one. You’ve prayed for a spouse and you believe God has sent this man to bless you and not stress you. Alright then, the first question you want to ask yourself is:
Am I ready to commit myself to one man? If you must reason yourself into a “yes,” then you are NOT ready for a committed relationship. If you must convince, coerce or even give him an ultimatum to commit to you, then that is a big No, No!
See, as women, we miss all the relevant warning signs from a man. He’s telling you honey, you’re just not looking or listening. Truth is, a lot of times we are so intrigued with a wedding that we don’t plan the marriage. Now, Patricia, what do you mean by that? We take one full year to plan a beautiful wedding. we make preparations for beautiful flowers, a nicely decorated reception hall, and a gorgeous church, but we fail to plan the rest of our life with the man of our dreams. Remember, I said for every relationship you need a map; the better you plan your route to avoid all known and possible roadblocks, the better the trip will be. Because a wedding lasts one day, but a marriage is supposed to last a lifetime.
A relationship consists of two unique people. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” That’s deep. You have a soul and your partner has a soul; inherent in each of your souls is something known as “Intellect.” I don’t know about you, but I had one of those grandmothers who always talked about your stubborn will and guess what? In your soul’s Intellect resides a “will,” it makes some of us stubborn, some gentle and some of us easy going. Your ”will” gives you the ability to make decisions using only your own thoughts and ideas.
See, many men and women go into a relationship not having a full understanding of what it means to be in a covenant relationship, and we often force our “wills” onto our partner when they are not ready and the result it the relationship does not work. This is what I call a “mission impossible.” Sweetheart—you cannot force your will onto a man and make him commit to you. When a man loves you he is more than willing and able to commit to you without you having to ask. If you must ask a man where the relationship is going, the answer is “nowhere.”
A man by nature is a hunter, and he goes after what he wants. If he wants to be in a relationship solely with you, he would ask you. Most men chase hard after what they want—if he chased you hard then you are what he wants. If you’re chasing him then your mission of staying together will be slim to none. I’m placing a stop sign right here. If you are doing the chasing—stop now! Most men want to be the hunter and not the hunted. I’m going to tell you like I was told 30 years ago: “What you start out doing, you must keep up.” What do I mean by that? If you start out chasing him, you will have to chase him throughout the relationship and believe me when I tell you—they don’t make stilettos comfortable enough to chase a man.
Now, let me speak to the women who were chased and gave into the chase like I did. He’s won your heart and now you want to keep his. How do you keep him fully committed to you and is it even possible? Yes, it’s possible!
Thirty years ago, as I stood in front of my pastor and all those who came to witness our “I do,” there was someone in the audience whom no one noticed. As a matter of fact, he attends every wedding and because of his humility, he takes a seat on the back row and waits, just like everyone else in attendance to hear you say “I do.” When the officiant says, “If anyone knows why these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace,” he holds his peace, even though if anyone should and could speak, it’s him. Thirty years ago, I welcomed this silent witness into my marriage, and I knew then, as I know now, this silent witness is necessary if you want a committed, loving, and lasting relationship.
Yes, you guessed it. I invited Christ into my marriage because as I stated earlier: my soul connected with my husband’s soul and we took vows before witnesses. I did not want my sometimes easy breezy will to collide with his stubborn will so I knew it was going to take someone greater than he and I, and that someone was and still is God. Proverbs 3:6 states, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Anybody can get married, and yes, they can even stay together, but if you want a successful marriage where the disagreements are few and in between, then someone in the relationship must be acknowledging God.
It’s highly impossible for a man or a woman to fully commit to someone else without the power of God in their lives. Why? Because once again, two souls having two different and unique “wills” have come together. Your “will” tells you to not cheat, but his “will” could tell him cheating is acceptable. However, when you are both acknowledging God for direction in your relationship, he won’t lead you astray. His “will” becomes aligned with God’s “will” for both of your lives—your “will” becomes subject to his headship.
I believe in submission, not surrender, there is a distinct difference. O my, my, my, I will not go there with you, but yes, your “will” must become subject to his for the relationship to be great. Sweetheart, if you know like I know, being submissive to your husband is a great thing. I talk more about that in my book Women of Excellence, Where Art Thou? The exceptional pursuit of faith, family and fellowship. You can read more about it in that book. If you have submitted your “will” first to God and secondly to your husband, then the commitment mission is fully possible.
Let’s continue our road map to Mission Possible, next stop: Communication. The journey may seem long, and sometimes, the hills get hard to climb, but I promise you, when you have a good, detailed, and outlined map, you can, and you will succeed.
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Dr. Patricia Shaw, Master Relationship Coach
Helping women get clear about what they want, gain confidence to receive it, while staying committed to their values so they can succeed in life and love.