Prov 31:10 – 12, 23, 28, 30: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life… Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land… Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her… Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”
It’s thrilling to read romantic notes shared between lovers. The sincerity it exudes and the tears it draws to the heart of the receiver. Love is best expressed in actions, and when the heart is overwhelmed with sincere love, words pour.
Basically, the rant above is about Mike Bamiloye’s touching and inspiring article written to celebrate his wife’s 51st birthday. Though long, I recommend that you read it to the end. (I did, and was immensely blessed by it).
Trust me, if this article does not kick your butt, I doubt anything else will. *wink*
P.S: Article is slightly edited for easy read. (Bonus included for you below)
ARTICLE TITLE: My Dearest Single Sisters
AUTHOR: Mike Bamiloye
(Tribute to My Wife – Sister Gloria Bamiloye)
Yesterday, February 4th, 2015, was my wife’s 51st Birthday. And this year makes it 27 years since 1988 the year we got married, when she was only 24 years old and I was 28. Since then, we have travelled through thick and thin together. We have climbed the mountains and descended into the valleys together. We have faced adverse physical and spiritual situations together. We have both confronted daunting challenges that have stood and those that are still standing against our lives and ministry.
Yesterday, she clocked 51 and she got phone calls and congratulatory text messages on phone and on Facebook page throughout yesterday till late in the night. Our two sons brought her gift – two digitally painted pictures of her early years on film set. And I also bought her a small teddy bear. The several phone calls and congratulatory messages of the birthday made us feel a large crowd of well-wishers had attended our birthday party. Thank you all.
But what is special about this great woman is when I remember how we started and how we have been gliding through this journey since then. And when I recall some of the things that happen today among our single and marriagable sisters, I cannot but give praises to the Lord God who brought this simple and humble sister my way several years ago.
I published this story in some of my write-ups and in one of my books, however, there is need to recall some of it for the benefit of some of our single sisters who might need to learn from it.
I graduated from higher institution in 1983 and served in 1983/84. I have been involved in drama ministry right from my days on campus. Throughout my Youth Service, I’d send drama scripts back into the fellowship for drama presentations and I would travel from Plateau State to direct the rehearsals and participate in the major drama presentation on Drama Night.
After my Youth Service in 1984, I was involved fully in campus drama evangelism with the fellowship drama group, travelling to other campuses and churches outside the campus for drama presentation. And Sister Gloria was among the new members that joined the drama group.
How The Journey Began
In 1985, sometimes in early July, I proposed to her to marry me and she told me she would pray over it. On August 4th, 1985, she revisited my proposal and said “Yes” to it. So, our journey began.
Now, the real issue is that, I had nothing at the time. I had nothing physical or material that any lady could be proud of. I had only a single room, with one bed, a table and chair, a standing hanger where I hung my few fading shirts and one suit which I used to iron from time to time and red tie for special occasions.
In the single room was my cooking stove and a dilapidated standing fan, which had lost its foot and the head was tied facing the bed. And of course, a precious item – my bookshelf, serving as a small library.
So, when Sister Gloria visited my apartment for the first time, these were all I had and she saw. My physical and material possessions could never be compared to what I was on the campus. “Bro Mike” was famous among the fellowship as a “gym-gym” brother full of zeal for drama and drama only.
And the drama group of the fellowship became the most influential of all the sub-groups of the fellowship, because almost all the executive officers became members of the sub-group, including the President and the Vice-President and the General Secretary of the Christian Fellowship. Thus, I was so rich in spiritual substance and full of great visions, but had no enviable physical or material possessions any young lady could be proud of.
However, when Sis Gloria entered my room, one afternoon, she never saw all those things I mentioned. Only one thing arrested her attention: my bookshelf containing several spiritual books, including the books of Kenneth Hagins, Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborne, Osward J. Smith, etc. She screamed and hurried to the shelf. She sat by the bookshelf and began go through those precious books she had longed to have and read. Ah!.
I was happy I had what she wanted and desired. She wanted spiritual books that would make her grow. And I had just that! All other things never mattered to her.
A Journey That Started With Nothing
I had nothing physical, but I had a great vision of the future and she embraced that vision with all her heart. When her elder brothers and her parents demanded to know what work her fiancée was involved in that could qualify him to marry her, she defended me before her people, saying that I was into drama ministry and there was a great future ahead of us.
The people could not see what she was talking about, because I was already on full-time drama ministry and I had no physical enviable thing they all could hold on to. They were furious with her and thought she was out of her mind to have agreed to marry “a man who has no job and no physical possession and no appreciable future”.
After courting for three years, we informed our people we were set for marriage. They revolted and my Mummy (my elder sister), led the war to Sis Gloria’s parents to warn them never to give their daughter to me in marriage because I had no job to take care of their daughter. Gloria stood by what God had told her about me, that there was a great future ahead of us.
The Lord convinced them all and they supported us. We got married in 1988. Three years after the Mount Zion ministry launched. And our journey to that future began.
27 years later, we are still on the journey to the future. We have not arrived there, but our story is better than when we began this journey together.
The Blessing of Believing
Now, to my Dearest Single Sisters, a lot of us are missing it today. A lot of us have been seriously deceived and misled by erroneous marriage teachings and lectures of confused marriage counsellors and teachers.
A woman was once invited to one of our sisters’ conferences. She was requested to come and minister to our single sisters. Soon as she mounted the pulpit, she shocked us by saying, no sister should marry any brother who is not materially capable of being a husband.
She said she also counselled her daughters to gather as many material things as possible before getting married; that her daughters must go into marriage with enough self-sufficiency. In her words, she said sisters ought to have a lot of things like fridge, electronic gadgets, dinning sets and other things that would make her stand tall as a self-sufficient lady.
I was stunned by the message. I told my wife that the woman would never be invited to any of our conferences again. The teaching was confusing.
I heard some marriage teachers taught their single sisters to check the Bank Account statement of the man who comes proposing to them before they consider their proposal. If the Bank Account is very lean, then, they need not bother themselves considering the proposals. Some sisters would go and pay visit to the houses and apartments of the men who proposed to them, before they start to consider their proposals.
A young brother who had waited for almost a year before the sister finally said “Yes”, later came back to me after almost one year of courtship, to tell me that the lady suddenly began to ask some strange questions about his projections for the future and what he hopes to achieve and possess in a year’s time and what he hopes to acquire in two years’ time; the amount he hopes to save for the wedding in two years. And when he told the sister that he was not sure of the amount he could save for the wedding neither does he have any future projection, but he is a minister of God and she could see all the works he has been doing for the Lord and he knows the Lord has a great future for him as he keeps serving Him.
This made the sister began to reconsider the relationship. Then, she said later, that she didn’t think they were compatible, because she thought he had no future plans.
Meanwhile, such sister would readily believe a lie. If the brother had began to blow an invisible trumpet of himself and began to paint an unrealistic picture of his future for this same sister, she would have believed everything.
If the brother had said something like “making a saving that would enable him acquire a jeep in a month to their wedding; and how he would tender a business proposal before an oil company or come up with a business idea that could fetch him some millions, which would afford him an opportunity of purchasing a duplex apartment in Lekki part of Lagos, the sister would readily believe that he had a future plan. She would take him for a very serious-minded marriagable brother.
We have come to a strange generation where lies sell heavily than the truth. We are now in a season when our young sisters believe a man by what they see of him physically or how sweetly he could run his mouth by saying big and boastful plans and not by what they spiritually perceive of him. This is a season when, sisters only accept you based on the way you package yourself. Even if the beautiful shirts and suits with shoes were borrowed to be returned later.
Many, not all, many of our sisters love to believe in lies today.
Some sisters’ choice of who to marry would depend on where the man is working: Bank? Oil and Gas? Real Estate? Insurance? Constructions? And some sisters’ readiness to consider a proposal rests on the family status of the man who proposed: is the family rich and wealthy? Are they based in US or Canada or Germany or Asian nations? Famous and Influential?
Today, a lot of brothers love to live on lies and falsehood, because this is what many sisters want. I once read on the Whatsapp page of a young brother in Christ whom I happened to know. He wrote under his name, CEO of a Motivational and Purpose Group Company and under this are about two or three websites of his Motivational Purpose Company. In one of his write-ups, I read where he said: One day, as I was coming from my office, I saw…..”
When I read that, I wondered which office he was talking about, because, I knew him to be working as a shop attendant or sales man in a shop. I looked at his profile picture. He dressed like a Director of a corporate organization, but he is a sales boy working in a shop. These are the type of lies many of our sisters love to hear before they can consider a proposal.
What does the Bible say about responding to marriage proposals:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5–6
A Christian lady who would have a great future and pleasant home would commit her ways, the proposals into the Lord’s hand. I think this is the actual source of the problem: many sisters can’t wait before the LORD to know the mind of God concerning who to marry again. Many sisters are guided into making their marital choices based on the physical appearance or material or financial possessions of the man, and not on the leading and convictions of the LORD their God.
If Sister Gloria had considered my physical, material and financial possessions when I proposed to her, I would have been outright disqualified, because I had nothing besides the burning visions to evangelize the world through Drama ministry. And if she had considered my proposal based on my future plans or projections, she would never have considered me, because, I had no financial, material or physical future plan or projections at that time, but was only armed with evangelistic visions of the work of God.
Oh! What unpleasant results all these fake future plans and projections yield. Because, truly, no life is secure except the ones hidden in Christ and entrusted in His care. Many of these future plans and projections flop because they are castles built with sea-sand on a sea-shore. They crumble fast when the foundation is not laid on the leading of Christ and the home is set on fake foundations and false projections.
The World Isn’t What It Used To Be
The banking industry is not what it used to be. The oil and gas industry is no longer like before. Considerations of your response to a proposal should never be based on anything physical or materials, but Godly leading and convictions after a lot of heart-searching prayers and humble waiting upon the Lord to know His heart on the man who proposed.
Only the LORD God knows the future. The brother working in a bank or occupying a managerial seat today may be demoted by circumstances and negative situations tomorrow. And the man who has nothing now may be on his way to the top very soon.
So, physical or material status should never be paramount in considering marriage proposals, but the voice of the LORD who knows tomorrow. If you desire a peaceful home and fruitful marriage that will afford you the opportunity to be ministerially fulfilled, don’t let any physical, material or financial things give you your husband. Rather, let the Spirit of the LORD lead and convince you of who to marry.
You are blessed,