This is a phase of bearing the fruits of manhood. A man is expected to be well developed physically, emotionally, mentally; with a fully formed identity. His spiritual life is built on the strong foundation of Jesus Christ and His word. He has developed spiritual discipline; he has become a responsible man and is ready to lead or become the head of the family. You must be ready to lead yourself, your wife, children and other people that God brings in your life.
At this phase, a man must know what makes a man and what destroys a man. He must be ready to walk this journey with a mentor. This is a phase where ego, pride and attitudes of ‘I know it all’ must be subdued, they should stop at teenage and adolescent phase. This is the phase that Apostle Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 13:11,
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways”.
Note this: I spoke like child (speech), I thought like a child (mind), I reasoned like a child (mental ability). What shows the maturation of a man is the way he thinks and reasons. God knew that when a boy crosses through teenage phase, he has fully developed to become a real man and ready to give up all his childish ways.
This phase is not for having fun, it is a "do or die" phase.
No more excuses.
No more blaming the past, you are fully responsible for your choices and you must be convinced that every choice you make affect the family and generations that will come from you.
This is the phase where I fought with the monster called lust which had messed up all men who came before me. One time I thought I was ready for marriage because most of my friends were getting married. I struggled with the spirit of lust, what helped me was my prayer life but I feared that I might lose the battle in the hands of the spirit of lust. I intentionally wrestled with this monster until one day I felt a break through after a long time of prayer and fasting.
PIECE OF ADVICE:
Never think that, when you get married, you will overcome the spirit of lust because you have a wife. That is a lie from the devil. If you are struggling with the spirit of lust while you are single, make sure that you subdue it before getting into marriage. Lust is a spirit, if you don’t overcome it before marriage, it will bring you down. Don’t just get excited with the idea of marriage. Take your time to consider your history. If your history is good, you are ready to go but if you have a history of sleeping around with women, I fear for you. You must go through a process of cleansing your mess, if not, you will carry it into your marriage. These are struggles men go through in marriage if they don’t deal with their past.
If you happen to have crossed through teenage and adolescent phases without defiling yourself, happy is the woman who is going to marry you. You know the importance of mentorship, you have been there and ready to continue on the journey, you already have mentors and you are a good mentee. Challenges will come because they are part of life but you are ready to take them head on.
You remember the story of Jesus Christ about the two builders? One built on sand and the other built on rock. Both of them were hit with calamities, the house built on sand collapsed badly but the one on the rock remained standing. Why? Because he built on the sure foundation of the rock.
All men face the same challenges of life but what makes a difference is the foundation on which their manhood is built. Some men opt for devotion at any given chance. Some hang in there and find a solution to retain their marriage and for sure God intervenes and you find them growing stronger after going through a tough storm that threatened their marriage. I have heard beautiful stories about men working through issues that everyone thought would cause the end of their marriage.
One prominent servant of God was hit with a strong storm in his family when his wife strayed and committed adultery. It was as hard as you can imagine, the media published the scandal everywhere. Much to the surprise of everyone, this man of God forgave his wife, he kept quiet, never exposed his wife to the outsiders. Everyone wanted to hear bad news, only to hear that he forgave his wife and resolved to work through the issues that triggered unfaithfulness in their marriage. This man of God is growing stronger in ministry, has received more respect and commands authority in the body of Christ.
Another man of God was faced with the same storm in the same city. His wife also committed adultery, it was bad because for him, he even called media to talk about what his wife had done. Many friends came in to reconcile them but he determined to chase his wife away by quoting the bible that God allows the marrieds to separate on the grounds of adultery. His wife pleaded and tried every means to reconcile with her husband but the man of God said no and went on to divorce and remarried. Because of his prominence, his action encouraged many pastors to follow suit. To many, the first one is highly respected, while the second one lost authority among real men.
This phase is not for boys. You are not single any more. Childish ways are gone, this is real Kingdom business and a generational mission. No more flirting carelessly, you have passed that phase. If you have ex's, you must let them go or else they will mess up your marriage. You must count the cost; you must know the value of your marriage. No more selfishness, you need to die a little, you must know when to submit and when to say sorry. Forgiveness is the order of the day, you must learn how to let things go. You must be ready to forego some friends. Man, it is a tough call, accountability is the new norm, communication must be worked on and continuously improved.
HAVE YOU FOUND THE ONE?
Praise God for the new found love. This talk is for serious guys. That woman is not your wife yet until you finalize the requirements of parents and of God (in case you are a serious Christian). You have to prove to her that you are a real man by preserving her body until the right time. This is very important in building a strong foundation of trust, and avoiding cracks in your relationship. You have all the power and authority to direct your relationship in the right direction of trust and faithfulness. Many marriages are struggling in this area of trust because they violated the principle of trust before marriage.
When I found my wife, I already knew what to do as man. I knew what I wanted, I discussed with my fiancé and we agreed to be each other’s keeper. We agreed that we would not visit each other without an accountability person. So, whenever we met it was either in an open place or with someone else. This may seem old fashioned but it kept us. Our courtship lasted for five years, it was extremely hard but we were intentional and we knew what we wanted to achieve in our relationship.
This approach built a very strong foundation of trust. My wife travels a lot and I do the same but not one time have any of us felt insecure. We have never sat down to talk about issues of unfaithfulness or suspicion in all our 23 years in marriage. So, the thing of trust in marriage is very important and must be intentionally built before coming together and maintained in marriage.
Things don’t just happen, two people must know what they want. People who want happy marriages must stick to the game plan, trust the Lord to give them grace to walk the talk. They must be intentional in this journey must be led by the man because you are the leader and the woman is the responder.
TESTIMONY ABOUT MY SON
When my son became of age for marriage, I walked with him in this journey. He called me and informed me about his new found love. My wife and I had prayed for this for a long time. I knew the girl he talked about because she was a church member and one of the serious girls everyone would wish their son to marry. Before that, we had talked a lot about women and relationships, I was his number one mentor. I walked with him through every step.
He was living abroad but we would call each other and discuss not only about wedding about things that make a real man. We talked about how to keep himself pure till the honeymoon, talked about what to do when the time for honeymoon came, and how to prepare himself for his bride. Believe me, we talked. Don’t say for him he was lucky because his Dad was available, yes, he was but God provides a man figure in your life if you are serious and feel the need for him. After marriage, we are still talking, mentoring him in many areas of fatherhood and also how to continue becoming a better husband.
God bless you on your journey to marriage. Don’t forget, you need an accountability person, a mentor and must be convinced about what you want your marriage to become.
“Men are Born, Real Men are Mentored”.