Excerpt from While You Are Single: A Guide to Finding and Keeping the Right Mate for Your Life

Chapter One

Understand What You Are Getting Yourself Into

I find it interesting that relationships are like investments. If you want to get great returns from a relationship, not only do you need to invest wisely, you also need to find the right investment. This is what smart investors do. I learned that smart investors generally look at five things to help them make smart investment decisions. For example, before they invest in a stock, they look at the fundamentals of the stock. They call this fundamental analysis.This analysis deals with evaluating a stock by looking at the financial health of the company offering the stock, their management, their gains, losses, debts, etc.

The second thing they look at are the technicals of the stock. This is what they refer to as technical analysis. Here, they use mathematical computing formulas and charts to help them project whether the stock will go up or down. The third thing they look at is the economy. This approach involves noting what is happening in the economy and how this affects the stock. The fourth thing they consider is sentiment, which has to do with listening to analysts or financial experts’ views of the stock. Finally, they pay attention to any news about the company offering the stock. Is the company going bankrupt, merging with another company, facing a lawsuit, releasing their quarterly profits or loses, or bringing in a new product?

These five things: fundamental analysis, technical analysis, economy, sentiment and news, help wise investors decide whether or not to invest in a stock. As a result of applying these techniques smart investors choose the right stocks and reap good to great returns. Every once in a while, they lose money. But because they did their homework they don’t lose money as badly and as often as unwise investors do.

Unwise investors don’t perform due diligence to their stocks. They often do what everyone else is doing. They invest in stocks that are popular, and they are quick to follow stock tips from anyone from anonymous emails to the guy in the barber shop. Consequently, they lose big. Sometimes an arm and a leg.

That is kind of what happens in a lot of relationships. People are doing what everyone else is doing. A plethora of individuals are going about relationships based on what is popular. They receive tips from any and everyone about relationships. They invest in relationships like unwise investors. Therefore they end up disappointed and distraught when the person they invested in, did not yield returns. Rather, the only “returns” they get is their love interests returning home to their parents. Some others return to being single. Others return to the volatile singles’ market, hoping and scoping to invest in another prospect. Others quit completely. Mad at the world. Mad at marriage. Mad at the opposite sex. Even mad at God.

A vital key to being successful in a relationship, especially one that leads to marriage and stays in marriage, is to approach the relationship like a smart investor. This approach will more than likely help you end up with the right person and experience a wholesome relationship. This does not mean that you won’t encounter losses in the form of finding out that the person you thought was the one for you turned out not to be. However, it means that should you encounter a loss, you encounter it before the altar rather than after you’ve said your vows. It also means that your losses will be parting with a few prospects as opposed to going through a whole bunch of prospects before you end up with the right person for you. Even if you have already gone through an annulment or a breakup, learning to think and act like a smart investor will help you in your next go around toward the altar.

Just like smart investors educate themselves on the investments they are about to put their money into, we should also educate ourselves on who we’re planning to share our lives with. We should also understand a fundamental aspect of healthy relationships necessary for us to find and keep that person. This aspect, which we need to understand but is often misunderstood, is love.

There are all kinds of love today. There is the one night stand love, midnight love, thug love, puppy love and popcorn love—none of which is really love. It is imperative and advantageous for you to understand what true love is—especially while you are single. If not, you are likely to end up in a relationship that will end up in disaster.

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…. (Hosea 4:6)

A lack of knowledge of anything in any area that is relevant to you leads to your failure in that area. For example, not knowing the material on which you are being tested in an examination leads to your failure in that test. Not knowing that you should not microwave any food wrapped in aluminum foil can lead to fire. This fire can destroy the microwave, the food and the aluminum foil in the microwave, the kitchen, the house, and the realtor’s confidence in your ability to handle domiciliary responsibilities.

Prior to marrying him, a lack of knowledge of who Benson really was, left Janet with the impression that he’s charming. But not long after their wedding she found out that he’s harming—harmful. She didn’t know that when he said he had a job as a freelancer he meant that he was free from not having a job. She also didn’t know that he had incurred huge amounts of debt as he owed Wells Fargo, the local credit union, Wal-Mart’s layaway department, Home Depot, Best Buy, child support, and three women. These women were the mothers of his five kids for whom he owed child support. Kids that Janet didn’t know about. All these led to her depression, destruction of her credit, her dignity and her marriage.

A lack of knowledge of who Isabella really was, left Richard befuddled and feeling manipulated when he discovered that without makeup she transformed from looking like Halle Berry to looking hardly pretty. Her alluring rosy colored manicured nails were artificial. Her Miss Piggy eyelashes were synthetic. Her vivacious hair was just a wig that she bought for five dollars at the local thrift store. And her beautiful teeth were actually dentures which she obtained from her Dentist. Subsequently, on the night of their honeymoon, when she took them out of her mouth in an attempt to consummate her marriage vows, Richard was appalled by her façade and his romantic intentions were abruptly extinguished.

Not knowing that the non-citizen married her because he only wanted to reside legally in the country, left Dorothy devastated, dispirited, and in a dilemma after the individual obtained the immigration papers, served her with the divorce papers and of course, nullified the marriage paper. Regardless of how ludicrous these examples are, I don’t want you to miss the main point. The issue is not the chaos faced by these fictitious characters. The issue is the lack of the proper knowledge that would have either prevented the individuals from being in those situations or prepared them to handle them better.

A lack of knowledge of the true meaning of love has lead droves of bachelorettes and bachelors to search for it in night clubs, astrology, tarot cards, reality shows, soap operas, twitter, facebook, myspace, your space, outer space and every other space. As a result, countless numbers of relationships have been short-lived. This was inevitable since one or both individuals involved in the relationship didn’t really know what love is. Subsequently they didn’t know what to look for. And even if they did know what to look for, they didn’t know where to find it. So they were left in a quandary of either looking for the right thing in the wrong place, or looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place, and worst still—in the wrong person. Whichever case, the results were still the same: disagreement, disappointment, discontentment, and even divorce.

There are different perspectives about love. One of those views about love is put forth by Dr. Pat Love. The relationship consultant categorized love in four stages: infatuation, post rapture, discovery and connection.

What I found particularly interesting in her discussion of love was the physiological aspects of it, which she began to elaborate in the infatuation stage. She describes this stage as the one in which we find ourselves very attracted to someone. Our euphoric affection for this individual is often characterized by having those bizarre “I’m so in love with you, I can’t do without you” feelings. Hmmm, sounds familiar. However, she cautioned that what we often think is love, is actually an aftermath of the influence of a mix of chemicals, which she labeled the love cocktail.

According to Dr. Love, when we are in contact with the person we are infatuated with, these chemicals aggressively alter our brain chemistry. Some of the culprits that comprise this chemical mix are phenylethylamine (PEA) also known as the love molecule, dopamine and norepinephrine. These work in unison and boost us with excitement and energy, which inspire us to do whatever it takes to please the objects of our affection. This naturally-produced love potion is so powerful that it inhibits the amygdala, the inhibition center of our brain from helping us to be reasonably cautious about getting involved in a relationship with the person we are attracted to.

Unfortunately for us, these hormones don’t tell us when they take a break, a vacation, quit, resign or retire. Neither do they give two weeks notice before they take their typical undisclosed hiatus. And when these chemicals go “AWOL” and if we don’t know any better, as we often don’t, so does our relationship with our beloved; because, it is now up to us to willfully duplicate what the chemicals did for us. Dr. Love also revealed that the infatuation stage lasts for about six months to two years.

That is when reality hits and this is when true love begins according to the marriage therapist. She designates this impasse as the post-rapture stage. She said that this second stage of love can be marked with huge arguments or gradual and subtle changes. Like, couples not hanging out and conversing with each other like they used to. Couples not as excited about each other, and even noticing things about each other that they thought were cute and overlooked, but are now getting on each other’s nerves.

If these individuals survive the post-rapture stage then they progress to the third stage of love. The discovery stage. Here, they truly begin to discover each other by gathering information from each other about each other. They begin to understand each other and work out ways of meeting each other’s needs. They begin to find out what says “I love you” to each other—each individual’s unique love language, and express it appropriately and accordingly.

Having done this successfully, couples can now connect and usher themselves to the fourth stage of love. The connection stage. In this stage, she emphasized and expounded on the invaluable and healthy results of commitment to a relationship, which in the long run promotes and illustrates true love.1

I found Dr. Love’s research on the truth about love very insightful. Her discovery on the truth about love had always and continues to be epitomized by another physician. In charismatic circles, this individual is known as The Great Physician. He has “been there done that” in all aspects of all relationships. Therefore, this Physician knows how you feel and what you deal with in any relationship; whether you are single, married or divorced. While others can only claim that “there is no mountain high enough” to keep them from their respective heartthrobs as an expression of their love for them, this Physician spoke to mountains to move and told them were to relax.2 I hope you know whom I’m talking about. The Doctor of Love—Jesus.

“Why Jesus?” You might ask. Well, He personifies what true love is all about.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Amongst numerous and equally profound insights revealed from that verse of scripture, Jesus is the perfect embodiment of love as He is the way to love, He is the truth about love, and He is the life of love.

1. O. J. Toks, While You Are Single (Paoli, PA: Elevator Group Faith, 2016), 12 – 18.

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How To Find God’s Will for Your Life

According to Mark Twain the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why. God has a purpose for everyone in life. Perhaps you’ve often heard people tell you that God has a plan for your life. But, do you know what that plan is? Do you have any idea about your purpose? If not, don’t fret. Below is the first part of a 14-part video series I recorded regarding how to find God’s will for your life. I encourage you to watch it to learn how to find God’s purpose for your life.

 

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Date God First Part 2

DateGodFirst2It is only through God that you can find a faithful person. The text below further shows God as the best Person for the marital setup job.

House and riches are the inheritance from fathers, but a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord. (Proverbs 19:14 AMP)

The Good News Version of this same scripture simplifies this statement even further:

A man can inherit a house and money from his parents, but only the Lord can give him a sensible wife. 

The Message version puts it this way:

House and land are handed down from parents, but a congenial spouse comes straight from God. 

If you don’t know God, you cannot benefit from this exclusive service. More so:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8) 

How can you truly love the person God is going to give you, if you don’t know God? You can’t truly express and operate in love which is birthed from God if you don’t know Him. I presented some information about love, but applying them to yourself would be futile without God in your life. Trying to love without God is like having knowledge without understanding such knowledge. It’s like undergoing surgery without a surgeon, taking a prescribed drug without its prescription, or building a house without an architect. Given these situations, you’re heading for disaster.

If the Lord does not build the house, the work of the builders is useless…. (Psalm 127:1 GNB)

Unless God builds your marriage by finding the right person for you and directing you on how to build and maintain your relationship with that person, your efforts in building your marriage by yourself will be in vain. It’s to your advantage that you have God in your life first, and through your relationship with Him, He serves as an unshakable foundation for your marriage.

For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?(Psalm 18:31 NKJV) 

Anyone who comes to me and listens to my words and obeys them, I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who, in building his house, dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. The river flooded over and hit that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But anyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a man who built his house without laying a foundation; when the flood hit that house it fell at once, and what a terrible crash that was! (Luke 6:47-49 GNB)

 Without God in your life prior to marriage you stand a reasonable chance of finding the wrong person. And if you marry this individual and you still don’t allow God’s say-so in your marital affairs, the storms of life will rage and flood your marriage toward the rocks. On the other hand, knowing and trusting God as your Rock and obeying Him regarding your relationship with your spouse amongst other things, helps prevent your marriage from hitting the rocks—since it was built on The Rock in the first place. Understand? You’re standing on what you could have collided with.

The good book says that men should love their wives like Jesus loves the church and gave His life for her. But a man cannot love his wife like Jesus loves the church if he does not know Jesus. If he does not know the Lord then he does not know how to love like Him. The only way he can love his wife like God loves the church is by knowing God in the first place. This is why you date Him first. In addition, since the church is the body of Christ, a man is supposed to love his wife like he loves his body or himself. This is applicable to a woman as well.

If you don’t love yourself how can you love someone else? Why would you not love yourself? Maybe you feel condemnation due to things you’ve done in the past and even the present. Perhaps you feel you’re not physically attractive enough, smart enough, good enough and so forth. Thanks to labels that you’ve allowed others to place on you—and perhaps, you also placed on yourself. Possibly because you’ve been abused and abandoned by people who should have loved you, but their actions said otherwise and likely contributed to a low self-esteem. If these apply to you and Jesus is your Lord, you must not know who you really are—and you must not know how special you are.

Whether you know Jesus as your Lord or not, it’s imperative that you know that you’re somebody because He loves you. Since the Absolute Person of Love loves you, you must be very valuable to Him. He died for you. You must mean something to Him. This is what you should use to measure your value. Whatever you might have done wrong in the past—and even the present, irrespective of its magnitude, He took care of it—all of it—or all of them. You can only benefit from this if you acknowledge, believe and accept Christ and all that His done for you. If you haven’t, please do. If you have, know that you’re His child, His beloved and very precious to Him.

Since you’re worthy of God’s love, you’re worthy of your love. This should motivate you to view and carry yourself with the dignity and prestige that Jesus placed in you by loving and laying down His life for you. Begin to know who you are by beginning to know the Person who truly loves you. As you begin to know Him, He helps you to know and love yourself. This is God’s standard platform from which you launch off to love whomever He brings to you. So take the label off and unwrap your real self. God is love. Spending time with Him offers you the privilege of knowing true love and knowing Him intimately.

While you are single, endeavor to date God first before dating anybody else. Have a relationship with God before embarking on any other relationship. Your relationship with Him helps you understand and know love. It serves as a blueprint that defines, outlines and qualifies how you interact with your mate. Having a relationship with God first, teaches the man who did not know God, how to love his wife like Jesus loved the church and gave His life for her.

1. O. J. Toks, While You Are Single (Paoli, PA: Elevator Group Faith, 2016), 62 – 65.

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Date God First

dateGodfirstIn our society dating is commonplace. Usually when couples date they are attempting to get to know each other better. The dating scene is also an avenue through which individuals try to find their soul mates, ascertain their compatibility, and build their relationships. I’m not one to overemphasize dating since the Bible doesn’t say anything about it as a means of finding a mate. Although some good relationships have evolved from couples who started out dating each other, you don’t have to date forty different people, call singles’ lines, sign-on with online dating services, or enroll as a member of dating clubs in your area in order to find the right person for you.

You don’t need to consult Miss Cleo to find your God-sent. You don’t need to browse the horoscope section of your local newspaper via your alleged zodiac sign to figure out who is best for you. You don’t need to be a guest in a day time talk show to hook up with your childhood sweetheart. It’s not necessary for you to audition for a spot in reality dating shows in order to get hitched. And you certainly don’t need to interview various individuals under the guise of a date, and check right or wrong on your mental notepad as a stamp of approval or disapproval—and a means of screening out your prospects and narrowing them down to the right person for you.

You might argue that although the good book doesn’t say anything about dating, it doesn’t say that it is wrong, either. I concur. Dating is not wrong; sometimes, it might just be a waste of time—except, if you date the right person first. This will help you save some sleep, gas mileage, cell phone minutes, dollars, and maybe even your sanity. You’ll probably also save yourself from unnecessary disappointments, time for project deadlines or school assignments, professions of love, and of course—your pick up lines, if you date the right person the first time out.

The only way you can accomplish that, though, is to make God your first date. It’s best that you date God first because He’s the guide to finding the right mate for your life. Not only is He your guide, He’s also the best lover. He is love. As you date Him and allow Him to woo you with His love, He shows you true love which enlightens you on what to look for in a prospect, what to expect from him or her, and how to radiate this same love to the person. Besides, if you’re into blind dates, you couldn’t have a better blind date. He puts a new meaning to the concept of a blind date—since you can’t see God when on a date with Him. Also, God is a “hot” date. You can’t get any date hotter than God because He’s a consuming fire.39

By dating God I mean seeking Him, getting to know Him, and spending time with Him. You build your relationship with Him by reading and adhering to His words in His book. Dating God includes attending and committing yourself to a good Bible-based local church where you listen to and learn from your Pastor and peers in Bible study or other “extrachurchicular” functions. And perhaps, other ministries on radio, television and internet broadcasts. You also date God by communicating and complimenting Him through prayers and songs of praise and worship. This is somewhat similar to how couples often communicate and compliment each other during a date.

Although people are encouraged to come out of the closet, I suggest that you go into yours, and pray, cultivating your date with God.40 Your prayer closet could be your walk-in closet. It could be your room, a quiet spot under the shade of a tree in your favorite park, or your car if you have one. It could also be a rich, green, neatly, mowed lawn juxtaposed to a lake, where you feel God’s breeze blow softly through your Jerry curls, greasy fade, corn rows, wig, weave, dreadlocks, receding hairline or afro, which might still have a comb in it. Or blow through braided, blonde, black, red, or brunette hair that may or may not need a touch of Vidal Sassoon.

God is the best date and lover that you can ever have. He is never late for a date. He never stands you up. He always knows what’s on your mind, even before you tell Him, if you tell Him. You don’t have to wear a special attire to impress Him. He accepts you just as you are. But after dating Him, He won’t leave you as you are. He never embarrasses you by being unmannerly or obnoxious during your date with Him. He never ignores you, neither does he disrespect and demean you by blatantly checking out others while on a date with you. This is the best part: He always picks up the tab. Actually, He already picked up the tab on the cross.

He is always available to talk to you. You can call Him anytime, any day and anywhere. Sixty seconds a minute, sixty minutes an hour, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. He never puts you on hold although you might feel like He does, especially when you’re waiting for your mate amongst other “seemingly” unanswered prayers. He’s the only lover that does not mind you having an affair with someone else. As long as that someone else is the mate He gave you in marriage. He’s the only lover that allows you to express the love He lavished on you to the person He gave you. He even instructs you on how to treat the mate He brought to you. If you have any problem with your mate, He’s the only one that can help you solve it. He said:

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25 NKJV)

Jesus tells us not to worry about basic necessities like clothes to wear and food to eat. He acknowledges that life is more than these things. Life has to do with everything that concerns you. Everything that has to do with your total existence, which must also include the person that you’ll be living the rest of your life with.

In addition to concerns about those basic needs of life, He’s also saying that you should not worry about your mate. He knows you need somebody, but don’t worry about who that person is, where that person is, and when you would meet and establish your relationship with that person. Thus, the scriptures read:

…If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (Matthew 6:30-33 MSG)

God already knows what you need, but what does He tell you to do? Seek Him first, or should I say date Him first. After doing this then everything else, which must also include your mate would be added to you. He knows you need somebody in your life, but seek Him first, date Him first, get to know Him first, and He’ll add that person to you. Always keep in mind that He’s your guide to your mate.

When you seek God’s kingdom, you allow God the King to have dominion over you. In doing so, He calls the shots. You yield to His proficiency in directing you according to His will, and offer him the liberty to have control of your life. When you let Him direct you in line with His purpose, He’s able to lead you to the right person courtesy of your full cooperation with Him. During your date with Him He reveals more of Himself to you. He gives you guidelines that’ll help you identify the person He reserved for you. He implores you not to get involved with someone who does not believe in Him. If you’re a man He commends you to look out for a woman who’s virtuous, not promiscuous, hardworking and reverences Him. A woman who’s gracious, excellent, wise, and expresses an attitude of servant hood. A woman who has good understanding and is beautiful to you.41

If you’re a woman He advises you to look for a man after His own heart. Since you dated God you should know His heart and desire for you. You utilize this information to discern any man that comes your way. God admonishes you to look out for a man that is Christ-like, valorous and faithful. He instructs you to look out for a just man, not just a man. A man of wisdom, understanding, vision and integrity. A man who’s prayerful, you’re attracted to, and of course, employed.42

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NKJV)

God already knows your needs. He also supplies them. These needs include having someone to love you and be loved by you. They include having someone to be married to. Someone who’s open to your thoughts, soothes your hurts, protects your heart, and encourages your desires. Someone who does not berate you for your failures, celebrates your triumphs, appreciates your time, dime and feelings. Someone who beams at your smile, empathizes with your tears, and embraces your idiosyncrasies.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

As you spend time with God and get to know Him you learn to trust Him. You learn not to depend on your understanding of the ideal person for you, but acknowledge Him in everything you do. You completely depend on Him to direct your path to the person He intends for you. You should let Him be responsible for finding the right person for you because anybody can claim, perpetrate to be, and look like the right person for you.

Lots of people claim to be loyal and loving, but where on earth can you find one? (Proverbs 20:6 MSG)

1. O. J. Toks, While You Are Single (Paoli, PA: Elevator Group Faith, 2016), 57 – 61.

 

Introduction to While You Are Single

This book was first published 12 years ago—while I was single. While I was updating this book I was engaged to a one-of-a-kind, rare gem of a lady. Before this revision was published, I married her. Thanks to God’s grace, I have practiced the guidelines I present in this book. My wife and I are still practicing them.

I have learned a great deal these past 12 years. I have included them in this update. Therefore, you have a more concise guide that will help you in your search for your mate. This revision reinforces the truths I discussed in the first edition. It also includes information that addresses new trends in the search for love, as well as insights that expose lingering issues that often hinder relationships from moving forward.

The idea for this book was conceived in my heart close to 14 years ago. I was asked to speak in a True Love Waits, Bible study event hosted at Virginia Commonwealth University by VISION, a student organization. I sought God to direct me on what to speak about and I believe He inspired me to discuss what I learned from my failed attempt at establishing a relationship with a certain damsel whom I had cherished. It became clear that my disappointment was actually the trigger that propelled me to seriously evaluate my readiness to be in a relationship. It was also a blessing that gave rise to the lessons for my discussion in the event and this book.

This work started after I was infected by what I considered to be the love bug. The infection didn’t invade me rapidly; rather, it gradually inched its way through my heart and weakened me. The source of the infection was a lovely young woman whose body was gracefully sculpted and glossed with a buttermilk complexion. This lady had the kind of smile that sold toothpaste and real estate; the kind of smile that landed million dollar accounts; the kind of smile that companies placed on the cover of their brochures and the front pages of their websites.

The love pathogen’s progress on my heart was reinforced each time the image of the lady rested on my retina and floated in my thoughts. I considered asking God to give me another dose of breath as I fantasized that she took my initial supply away. In essence, this “mama” was h-h-h-ot! Perhaps that explains why my heart burned so for her.

Unfortunately, my excitement and anticipation in establishing a relationship with her was dealt a hard blow when she tactfully declined my feelings. I was distraught. My affection for her, which I had conserved for a few months before unveiling them to her, seemed to be flushed down the toilet in a single instance. I felt as if I had been knocked out of a boxing bout before the bell rang for the first round. That notwithstanding, its effect was not a rude awakening but a good awakening for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better position sprawled, with my back on the canvas like the alphabet, “X.” In that stance, and at that point, I had nowhere else to look but up. Moreover, “up” was my source of help. I reached out to God who pulled me up and sustained me through that emotional distress.

Although she understandably turned me down because her feelings were not congruent with mine, she inadvertently turned me on, and I’ve not been able to locate the “off switch”—not that I tried looking for it. I was impassioned to write about my frustration and disappointment regarding the unrealized relationship, and in doing so, I channeled the energy she inspired in me.
In all fairness, I realized that the issue wasn’t whether she was the right one for me; it was whether I was the right one for her. Was I good enough for her—or for anyone else? If I was not, what should I do to make myself a prime candidate for the description, “The right one”? Whatever I needed to do, I had better start doing it now while I’m single rather than later, when I’m married.

Scripture and other sources helped me identify appropriate guidelines helpful for finding the right person with whom to share a lifetime. I first discussed some of these guidelines in the true love event. While discussing them with my peers, truths were unveiled that effectively addressed major issues that singles, at large, were wrestling with. Several months later, after much deliberation I concluded that the information disclosed in that Bible study was too important to be confined within the walls of the red-bricked, Baptist Student Union building where the program was hosted. I felt charged with the responsibility to spread the word.

Therefore, the guidelines are presented in their entirety as the chapter titles of this writing. This book’s title was coined from the realization that preparation for a mate should take place before marriage. This will help save an individual from the consequences of ending up in a relationship, ill-prepared, with wrong expectations—and with the wrong person. With this in mind, this was written to help you avoid unfruitful relationships and the heartache that goes along with them. It was written to help you learn from mistakes that, perhaps you, and others, have made in relationships, and to prevent you from repeating them. It was written to help you maximize your singleness by conserving the time and energy you’d have otherwise exhausted in such relationships.

This was also written to forewarn you while you are single to forearm you when you are married. It assists you with taking advantage of your life now as a single person, to help prepare you for your life ahead as a married person. It helps you learn what you can know now about marriage before you get married, to help you handle what you might not know later when you do get married.

In a nutshell, this book will help you make the most of your singleness, prepare you for holy matrimony, and guide you in finding the right person to share it with—an outstanding mate for you. This will facilitate a relationship that will emulate in reality, the idea of a marriage made in heaven. Having and applying all the information relevant for securing and cultivating a healthy relationship prior to wedlock will go a long way in helping you maneuver your upcoming marriage in the sea of life without it hitting the rocks.

Oftentimes in the search for a mate, people place most of their emphasis on finding someone who looks right for them. If you have tried this and discovered that your incessant efforts proved to no avail, perhaps, you might need to have a paradigm shift by changing your focus from the other person to yourself. Have you ever thought of being the right one for someone else? Maybe you should not be trying to find the right person; but rather, be the right person to be found.

Before you can become right for someone else, it is sensible for you to find out what makes a person right for any other person. Learn how you can become that right person. After you have done this, and developed yourself to be suitable for someone else, you will put yourself in a better position to find the right person—since you will now know who to be on the lookout for. Someone like you. Someone who will emanate qualities that you developed in yourself. Qualities that will complement and be compatible with yours. Qualities that characterize the right mate for your life.

While you are single, the investments that you make in yourself pertaining to matrimony will determine the returns you will get in marriage. Your lifestyle as a single person is a seed that will determine the harvest you will reap as a married person. It is important for you to see that your singleness is an opportunity for you to train for marriage. Your singleness is an excellent time for you to work on yourself so that when you meet and marry the love of your life, you will have something of value to contribute to the relationship. Although people have survived and still survive marriages on the brink of destruction, you do not have to go through a divorce or have a disastrous relationship, before you learn what you can do to avoid being in one.

It is with great pleasure that I re-present this book to you. Rest assured that this book will be especially helpful to those who desire to tie the knot—and perhaps, to those who desire to retie theirs, to those who desire not to untie theirs, as well as to those who desire to keep theirs taut. Come with me and let us journey through the pages of this writing. While I drive as the designated chauffeur, relax, buckle your seat belt, and open your heart to receive the information that will take you on the quest of what it takes to obtain and retain God’s best—the right mate for your life.

The Matchmaker

Many single adults are trying to find a mate. Many of them have found this task daunting. Consequently they have sought different avenues to accomplish their quest. These avenues include friends, prayer, multiple dates, speed dating, online dating, matchmaking apps and professional matchmakers just to mention a few. But how effective are these approaches? Are any of them adequate to help a single adult Christian who wants to get married, find a Godly spouse? I addressed these questions extensively in a series of videos titled “The Matchmaker.” Here is part 1:

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