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“Who Stole My Wedding Gown” – Read Pastor Tony Rapu’s Interesting Article

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We read Pastor Tony Rapu of This Present House‘s article in ThisDay Style this weekend. We found it on his official blog and we just had to share.

Who Stole my Wedding Gown Tony Rapu
Pictures of billboards and fliers of church events with titles like “This Beautiful Sister Must Marry” or “Lord, Give Me A Wife Or I Die” have often gone viral on the Internet and generated a good laugh. “Who Stole My Wedding Gown?” was a particularly humorous one. Whether these events actually took place or what the content of those programs were is anyone’s guess. Once upon a time, churches would establish youth events to address the needs of younger members and create avenues through which their energies could be expressed. Initially, these fellowships provided a forum where basic Christian principles of life, marriage and courtship were taught. They grew out of a legitimate need to address the complex issues of relationship, marriage and family. Strangely, over the years, many of these meetings mutated to the point where they began to run as clinics to deliver their members from “the curse of singlehood” and obsess over marriage. It was marriage at any cost. Preparing people for marriage is a great thing, but an overemphasis on marriage as the sole objective of every single person is questionable and ultimately detrimental. This approach is not consistent with the biblical understanding of singlehood, or even marriage for that matter.

The idea that single adults are somehow incomplete or less whole than their married peers is false and has no basis in Christian thought. That unmarried persons have to attend night program to be ‘restored’ or delivered from enemy attacks is preposterous. Jesus Christ the founder of Christianity was a single man; Paul the Apostle, Christianity’s greatest proponent was also single. Paul’s assessment was that both singlehood and married life were good conditions to be in. He said being single was actually better in some circumstances than being married. In any case, whether single or married, only Christ can satisfy the longing in the soul for higher purpose and meaning.

We must beware the idolatry of marriage, which is the perception of marriage as the pinnacle of the Christian life and the answer to all of life’s problems. Not only does the propagation of this dangerous myth devalue singlehood, it also creates a false impression of marriage as a state of eternal fairytale bliss. Having spent their single years waiting for marriage, many then enter in entertaining delusions of ease, hoping to live with Prince or Princess Charming happily ever after. They are completely unprepared and ill equipped for the rude shock that the journey of marriage represents.

The best marriage on earth cannot fill the God-shaped vacuum in the human heart; only Christ can do that. We must therefore keep our priorities in perspective, seeking wholeness and completion first in a relationship with the Creator before building relationships with others.

We were not created for marriage; marriage was created for us. It was designed to enhance our purpose with God on earth, purpose that exists whether we are married or single.

Singleness is not a limitation or a negative thing. Marriage is good but singles should enjoy life and live it to the fullest on their way to the altar instead of bemoaning their single years.

Young people who spend their youthful days mourning over being single end up living below their potential. In fact, they unwittingly undermine the high purpose of their existence. Rather than put their lives in a state of suspended animation ‘believing God’ for this suppose ‘ultimate goal’ in life, single people should spend their time pursuing their divine purpose. This is the time to live with a sense of mission. A time to be equipped with spiritual strength. A time to acquire skills, hone gifts and discover purpose. This is the time to prepare young people to charge into various sectors of society and unleash change. We should be priming the vocational and entrepreneurial instincts of our youths for a life of excellence and maximum achievement. The season of youth is the time to clarify faith and values and deepen principles. Single years are a time to prepare for the great days that lie ahead.

50 Comments

  1. MIA

    May 23, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I love this!! “Singleness is not a limitation or a negative thing. Marriage is good but singles should enjoy life and live it to the fullest on their way to the altar instead of bemoaning their single years”. Lets all try and live our lives. And please stop telling every single lady please go and marry.

  2. Peju

    May 23, 2016 at 8:47 am

    More need to be done by the marriage counsellors to prepare the minds of the about to wed,to be more helpful and tolerant of each other.

  3. Cindy

    May 23, 2016 at 8:54 am

    ??????????????????

  4. larz

    May 23, 2016 at 9:04 am

    So true!

    I wish churches will stop encouraging its members to turn to beggars of the Lord and instead advocate being at peace and enjoying where they are planted. As far as I am concerned, at any given point (even at our lowest point), we have more blessings to be thankful for than unmet needs. More often than not, we focus on the one (major) unmet need.

    • lolipop

      May 23, 2016 at 10:42 am

      off point minister…..U derailed from the essence of the article!!!….tnku Pastor Rapu…spot on!!!

  5. DR.N

    May 23, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Loud it Pastor!

    • Thatgidigirl

      May 23, 2016 at 9:34 am

      As in!!!! Pastor give am belle abeg ????????

  6. Ada Nnewi

    May 23, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Kpatewo!!! This is what i have been trying to tell people who think i should put my life on hold and get married first before chasing my dreams….I will just send all the people that ask me crazy questions the link to this article. Thank you Pastor Rapu!

    • Sisi

      May 23, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Amen Pastor, this message needs to go viral. Mind you as a single person I dare not re-post before world people abuse me that it’s because I’m still single that I’m posting such!

      Life is for living NOW, you can’t always be waiting for that tomorrow (marriage, holiday, Friday, lottery win) to live life to the fullest and maximize today’s opportunities for love, fun, happiness, laughter………

      A timely reminder.

    • idomagirl

      May 23, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Me I will repost o, anybody wey wan insult me make dem come ?

  7. A girl has no name

    May 23, 2016 at 9:26 am

    This should also apply to getting pregnant/having kids…

    • Omowunmi

      July 30, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      so on point, like the pressure we go through, 1st go to school, get a job, get married, get pregnant, just start with one abi what are you waiting for, then after some years what is happening so we can start to pray etc and then I begin to ask, when do I get to live my OWN life

  8. Rayva

    May 23, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Its gratifying to see someone finally have the same mind set like mine.

    • Speak

      May 25, 2016 at 6:14 am

      It will be gratifying to see you express that mindset on paper….

  9. Ayaba

    May 23, 2016 at 10:12 am

    wow,u spoke my mind sir,much respect

  10. duke

    May 23, 2016 at 10:15 am

    ‘The best marriage on earth cannot fill the God-shaped vacuum in the human heart; only Christ can do that.’ We are not created for marriage but marriage was created for us. God bless you Pastor

  11. opelolu

    May 23, 2016 at 10:16 am

    preach pastor preach

  12. kuku

    May 23, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Marriage is Nirvana….*smh*….*rolls eyes*

    The psyche of the average young woman on the streets is damaged…Marriage is a good thing no doubt but most babes pine away for marriage and scheme their way into relationships so society accepts them!

    Picture the regular street advice:

    God forbid !!!!!!!! I no fit dey my papa house when i hit the big Three-O..na curse?
    Carry bellle, use am hol’ the guy down
    Try small juju tie am down make e no look another woman…To what end na?

    We obsess, weep , scheme and manipulate from the age of 25…so society accepts us and addresses us as “respectably and responsibly” married.

    I sincerely look forward to the day male folk in their droves hustle to tie a babe down and do juju for same reasons! This Madness don tire me and its worse when Churches encourage this thinking. Singleness no be curse ooooooooo!

    • iyke

      May 23, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Come to think of it, it seems that it is only in Nigeria that this marriage pressure is sooooo much….It is alarming at the rate of glorification of marriage and, especially, the cultural obsession with weddings in Nigeria.
      Even the single men like me are not left out. Most of my male friends can’t wait for a chance to throw the ‘When are you getting married’ card at me. These days, they are even subconsciously doing or acting big boys with pot bellies for me just because they are married lol. They see me as a tragic loser in the game of love…lol. I am being told by society, churches and endless articles that I will never be truly happy and deeply fulfilled if I am not married…Wow. For real? O di kwa egwu oooo! lol
      Seriously folks, is singlehood a crime? I really want an objective and intellectual opinion on this.
      Don’t get me wrong …..I have absolutely nothing against marriage or being married. I’d like to be married as am warming to the idea of marriage and raising a family but truth is that I never saw marriage as a gateway to adulthood. For me, I see it as the dessert – desirable, but no longer the main course. I am at the moment living my most authentic and meaningful life and honestly find my status preferable to being in an unsatisfactory relationship.
      If you guys should observe, a lot of people are spending most of their lives on their own these days and this is reshaping singlehood into a satisfying destination rather than an anxiety-ridden way station. Our ladies are increasingly in a financial, emotional and professional position to weigh carefully all the trappings that come with marriage. And because they are more conscious of the tradeoffs, …. (still doing more of the housework and childcare et al,) they are increasingly unwilling to put up with something that violates their sense of fairness.
      So, if you are married and happy, fair enough, enjoy it. If you are single and hope to marry, explore it, for I sincerely believe that with the right partner, it’s an amazing institution. But if you are single and loving it, live your full potential as you already have all you need to lead an independent life.
      There should be no shame in having sex out of marriage. You can have sex without kids and kids without sex.
      #nomoreshamingsinglehood

  13. Apples

    May 23, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Wow!!!! I’m never gonna be sad again!!!!

    Having a bf is not the answer to my happiness! Thank you my Pastor!

  14. Chikamso

    May 23, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Whether single or married, only JESUS CHRIST can satisfy the longing in the soul for higher purpose and meaning. ««*Personal experience* #Preach Preacher!!! #So blessed!!!

  15. Daybreak

    May 23, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Thank you, Pastor! I don taya for all those goan marry folks!

  16. chydee

    May 23, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Preach!!!

  17. Mz Socially Awkward...

    May 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Pastor Tony is very close to a point that I’ve been thinking of for a long while as I believe a lot of Nigerian churches are failing the huge responsibility they owe to single people in their congregation. Especially those ones who are just starting out their lives as adults

    Here’s the thing – in the real world, there are so many different avenues for developing yourself as a human being and all sorts of resources exist to actively expand a person’s potential and help them build better skills. Whereas, in many churches, a single person seems to be called to develop himself or herself in becoming more marriageable and other parts to that single person’s life are completely ignored. I don’t say this with any disdain to prayers for marriages as these have their rightful place but there needs to be more rounded mentoring from Pastors and leaders in the body of Christ otherwise, certain singles will keep pulling away to find stimulation for the rest of their needs from other sources.

    Encourage single adults to see the church as a place where they can find inspiration for the other goals they’re chasing to enhance their lives. Keep them embedded in the body of Christ by showing them that leaders want to invest more than just prayers for marriages into their lives and there should be more seminars, programs and events hosted, which are targeted at other areas of development. We need a wholesome approach that keeps that demographic of the congregation fully included in the church.

  18. Becca

    May 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

    PREACH!!

  19. GistYinka

    May 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Always on point as usual..

  20. Niyoola

    May 23, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Some will disagree on Jesus being single.

    -_-

  21. Yve

    May 23, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Bloody single thing is a stigma now… This was much needed. See your single life as a chance to learn discipline, patience and spread your wings as much as you can so when you eventually get a partner, you are a plus… not a minus.

  22. shield

    May 23, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    In any case, whether single or married, only Christ can satisfy the longing in the soul for higher purpose and meaning.
    This is the summary of the whole matter! Kpon wkem!

  23. Adunni

    May 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    “In any case, whether single or married, only Christ can satisfy the longing in the soul for higher purpose and meaning.” This is everything!

  24. Mama

    May 23, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I have always loved pastor Tony Rapu from the first time I attended This Present House especially since they served small chops to first timers (yes, I’m a foodie like that …lol).

    On a more serious note, he has spoken the truth here! I have kind of stopped advising friends along this line because sometimes it seem like you want to kill their joy. Many are just entering into a mechanical arrangements with no iota of romance and chemistry sake of say “I must marry”! Where I come from, you will see young university students in 100 and 200 level just salivating and hustling to marry. That is all they aspire to. I don’t know why they choose to mortgage the rest of their life with rash and hurried decisions. Marriage is beautiful but should be entered into with insight, caution and a lot of wisdom. She she who has ears should listen oh.

    • idomagirl

      May 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      “Mechanical Arrangements” Gbam! Perfect description.

  25. tamunotonye

    May 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  26. Gem

    May 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    This is so good, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders

  27. Kae

    May 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Spot on,I just graduated n family members have started giving me side eye like when is he coming,pls allow me take a breather and plan the journey ahead

  28. Moi

    May 23, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Yes preach it sir. And thank you ms socially awkward for that comment. Churches need to do more for single women and single mothers.

    I used to attend a rccg church here in Canada and on women’s day, we single ones are not allowed to get up and dance to the altar because we are not married. We couldn’t attend any women’s day event. Single women were not considered WOMEN

    I now attend a white church…where I am considered a woman. Single or not.

    Who has time???

    • idomagirl

      May 23, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Wow. Our people can be so ridiculous…

    • Person

      May 23, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Ehn? Kai. Women have been suffering since time-immemorial. Glad you stopped attending, Lord knows I would have done the same. *hugs*

    • It's Not Church Policy or Practice.

      May 29, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      @Moi, that’s weird. If that’s true, then it must be the individual pastor/leadership in that parish because it is not RCCG policy or practice. Even on Mother’s day, ALL women are given the special mugs, rose, free lunch pack, whatever is the special gift being given to mothers that day because whether single or married, whether having given birth to children yet or not, as long as you are a woman, you are a mother, even if only future/potential, so how much more on Women’s day. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. God will continue to help us and build His Church. If you read your Bible, you will see that even in Bible times, the Early Church and Early Church leaders had and dealt with exactly the same issues we deal with in the Church today; among the congregation, among/between the leadership; even people preaching and enforcing practice of things not authorised by church eldership such that the senior apostles had to write letters to those churches to correct all those false doctrines and practices e.g if you are Gentile/non-Jew you had to become circumcised before you could truly be a Christian. Even at the HQ Parish of RCCG in Nigeria, and at the Redemption Camp services, what you have described is not at all the practice. I’m single and in over two decades I’ve never experienced it in my own parish or in various RCCG parishes attended over the years. Happy Women’s and Mother’s Day all the rest of your life in Jesus’ Name, Amen. With Love …

  29. TomatoJos

    May 23, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    “Kpatewo” is what language? The word is PATEWO. There’s nothing like “KP” in the Yoruba language. I keep seeing things like “kpele”, “kpatakpata” and some other stuff like that and frankly its annoying.
    Yoruba language should not be Igbonised just as Igbo language should not be Yorubanised.

    Oh, before I forget, for anyone who’s about to get their knickers in a twist…no need. I’m a full blooded Igbo woman who happens to speak fluent Yoruba.

    • kpatewo

      May 23, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Lol ndo iwegi adila oku…. back to the matter at hand…

  30. idomagirl

    May 23, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    GBAM!!!!!!! Preach it Pastor!!!!!!!
    Nigerians have turned marriage into a god…between money & marriage I don’t know which ones we’ve come to idolize more.

  31. Natu

    May 23, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    If only African women had the same zeal in developing their careers there will be more of you on forbes magazine. This is one of the reasons why I took a break from this site. There are a lot of she that hath not!!!

  32. Koko

    May 23, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t even have the words to say how I feel about this piece. Thank you.

  33. call me Dr Jizzle!

    May 23, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Gbam! Gbammer!! Gbammest!!!!!! This is a breath of fresh air!!!! Thank you sir

  34. Strit Kredibility

    May 23, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Pastor is just trying to wash and dryclean single girls. All the whole single ladies and guys are out in their numbers supporting the motion. It is only a Pope or Monk in a monastery that will write this for me to nod my head, because nobody single pass them. Dem know how single be for body. Pastor don marry dey advice singles to gba kamu and collect endurance. Ojoro ni jor. Pastor stop washing us o

    • Fola

      May 31, 2016 at 9:01 am

      It’s not washing and setting. He is not saying that marriage isn’t good but rather enjoy your single life rather than obsessing over marriage

  35. Fashionista

    May 23, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Very insightful and powerful message.

  36. Feka

    May 24, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Be blessed, be blessed twice Pastor. It’s such a relief to hear that. From an Ivorian christan single of 37.

  37. Fola

    May 31, 2016 at 8:55 am

    We singles need to stop being fixated on our status. It’s okay to be single!!!
    Have fun and don’t stop developing yourself,life is for the living abeg

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