#iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
#iRemember | Episode 321
I had a chat with one of you last night—one of those that I know quite well outside of being a group member. She wanted to discuss about the guy-pressure that was going on in her life. The conversation ended up with me writing an epistle to a ‘younger sister I never had’. I thought the points I raised in the epistle will help a handful of you in your first or second year in Uni and within the age range of 18 and 21. Below is a reproduction of the epistle but with an anonymised identity of the sister in question.
And yes, brothers will learn from this as well.
After my sister had told me about the 7 brothers disturbing her 19-year-old beautiful self and asking of my opinion, I thought to digress and ask her a question as well:
“Is there a young married woman that you look up to and really admire and hope that you will grow up to become like?”
After a little clarification about what I meant by my question, she answered: “Your wife, Anu.”
What follows below is the epistle I sent to her afterwards:
I will tell you why I asked you that question…
If someone had asked me the same question as a guy back in my first or second year in Uni, I also have a few young men that I could think of at the time—people that I really admire and hope to grow up to become like. And I spent my University days trying to follow in their footsteps.
It’s good to have such people in our lives that we can use what we know of their story to assess or interpret our current phase—not with the intention of becoming photocopies but simply because they’ve been there. They’ve gone through the phase we are now going through and they made decisions at that stage that got them to the enviable status that they now occupy. If we could learn from the decisions they made back when they were at the stage we are in, we could also go on to become fulfilled in our individual pursuits by making similar decisions.
My wife is not perfect. Neither is any other person you may think of. But if there’s one thing I know about Aanu (and few other people that I can think of in that category on your behalf), it’s the fact that they didn’t give themselves to ‘guys wahala’ while they were in University.
That didn’t mean that they didn’t have friends that were guys. It simply meant that they didn’t make being someone’s girlfriend part of their University agenda.
They knew that their focus at that stage of their life was to grow and develop as much as they could SPIRITUALLY and ACADEMICALLY.
They knew that if they could get those two right at that stage of their lives, when it’s really time to get a husband, God will bring the right young man their way.
You’ll be 20 this year.
I honestly think you shouldn’t even bother yourself about taking ANY guy seriously at this point. If a guy is running after you and saying all sort of sweet nonsense to you now, it’s just what it is. A pretty young lady like you will definitely have many suitors. It is absolutely NORMAL. But you must be able to stand your ground and say no to them. They are nothing but DISTRACTIONS.
There’s a stage you get to as a Christian lady in the University when you know that you are ready for a marriage-bound relationship (that is, a relationship with a guy that is not just asking to date you but to actually marry you because he believes you are God’s choice for him). Most sound Christian ladies I’ve met get to that stage in their final or penultimate year in Uni. At that stage, they know they have laid a solid foundation for their academics. They are beginning to see a beautiful prospect of a good career. And when that brother comes and says whatever he wants to say, they know that it is time—and can discern if he’s the one for them or not…
If what I know of you is anything close to reality, then you are still far from getting to that stage—and that’s okay. Don’t rush yourself. But whatever you do now, endeavour to release yourself to serve in the fellowship you are attending in your Uni and in your church back at home. Take on responsibilities that will strengthen you internally. Take your academics very seriously and deal with the challenges that arise in your academic life as they appear. As you do these things, you are making eternal investment into your worth in life. At the end of the day, you will be glad you did.
Back to the example you cited—my wife. Like I earlier said, she’s not perfect and neither am I. But our wedding ended up going viral on the internet basically because of two things:
1. The fact that she got married on the same day she’s graduating with a First Class in Law.
2. The fact that we are both Christians who chose to have a very simple unexpensive wedding.
It takes a lady that has set her priorities right to get to that point. Our wedding was supposed to be a very quiet one—so quiet that I didn’t even inform members of the Alive Group till a day or two before the wedding. But God himself decided to publicise it as a testimony to many other Youths out there that it pays to be virtuous and to wait and be diligent.
I see you as my sister from another mother—a younger sister I never had—and I desire the very best for you. So take this is a brotherly advise from your big brother.
If you commit yourself to any relationship now, you will jeopardise your academics. It’s as simple as that. There are no two ways about it. But if you could let guys be for a couple more years while you work on developing yourself in various other ways, you will be eternally grateful to yourself that you did.
I’ll be at your wedding, God willing. And we will both remember this long post that I sent to you on a night in January in 2018 and we will thank God for His faithfulness together.
I love you so much, my sister.
Hope to talk to you soon.
A final word:
Guys, you too should help these sisters. Stop running up and down after these pretty ladies when you are yet to know what you want to do with the rest of your life. Give yourself to a discovery of your purpose and your mission here on earth—and in my understanding, if you take the pursuit of purpose discovery very seriously, it takes a good part of your University life if not all of it.
So get to work. Yes, the sisters are looking irresistibly beautiful and you want to have the prettiest for keeps as early as you can, but guess what, your definition of ‘pretty’ is warped until your purpose is in clear view. You are in your first year and you are running after a girl, is that what you came to Uni to find?
Okay. I’ll stop there. I’m beginning to switch to a mode that will get on the wrong side of the superficial reader…lol
Love you all.
May the Lord order our steps—guys and ladies alike—in the fullness of His will for us in Jesus name.
I hope that helps one or two of us today.