I attended Harps and Hearts which is a concept by Barbra Olesi to bring fun into Christian dating. We had a night of music and laughter as we listened to James Okumu talking to us about relationships. Barbra was kind enough to share her notes with me on what James Okumu talked about.
EXPECTATIONS IN RELATIONSHIPS. Talk by James Okumu)
1. What standards have you set for your relationship? Are they God’s or your standards? It is important to determine what matters most. Is it your woman’s beauty or her character? Is it your man’s money or godliness? Whatever you chose has pro and cons. Do the math.
2. You need to define your relationship. Make it clear from the word go whether you are dating for marriage or just for the pleasure of the company. Make sure you are on the same page with the other person. Every relationship is headed somewhere and each spouse has expectations. Make your expectations clear. Lady, don’t be shy to ask if you don’t understand what consistent coffee dates mean. Is it just coffee or is the guy interested in you? If you are unsure whether you are dating, please ask.
3. Perfect spouses don’t exist. Much as you want a list of things you want your spouse to have, don’t be stiffened up on expectations of unimportant things. A tall, dark, and handsome man or pretty woman with curves are quite a catch. However, what if you met the person you desire in terms of character and godliness but they are not as hot as you desire will you just let them slip away? The perfect spouse never existed in real life so learn to excuse some flaws.
4. While you are being careful with your list remember that there are some non-negotiables like religion or salvation or doctrine. If you don’t both believe in the same God or one is saved and the other is not there’s bound to be problems. If you believe in speaking in tongues and they don’t you’ll not will you be free to exercise your worship in this way. If you believe in going to church on Sunday and they believe in going to church on Saturday, what happens to your children? Do they attend the Saturday or Sunday church? It is important to talk about such early in the relationship. That is why it is important to attend premarital counseling so that you can discuss such issues ahead of time.
5. Know your identity away from your spouse. Don’t lose yourself as you try to fit into their desires. Don’t throw away your beliefs and values as you try to fit into a relationship.
6. Don’t overlook everything just because your desired mate says they are saved. What doctrine do they believe in? Some Christians believe it’s ok to drink a little alcohol some don’t take alcohol at all. Make sure you understand what salvation means to them and if it resonates with your belief.
7. This is especially for men. Do not date more than one person at the same time. It’s never a wise thing to cause people pain in this way.
8. The person you’ll marry is very likely to be in your circles. Open your eyes and appreciate the people around you. They might be the person you are looking for.
9. Invest in a relationship with someone you are attracted to physically. That attraction is important for your appreciation of each other especially once you get married.
10. Guard your heart. This is especially for ladies. Don’t open up to everyone that looks interested in you. Be secretive with the details of your life because not all your details are for the public and they can as well be the reason why you turn the other person off.