There are a number of “little foxes” a couple needs to watch out for while preparing for the wedding. The wedding is the bridge between courtship and marriage, if you have chosen to have a ceremony. First let me point out that courtship is not a time when you find out whether the man or woman is God’s will or right for you; you enter into courtship, after making a decision that this is your man or woman. So, courtship is the time when you prepare for formalising or legalising your union. So when issues spring up, don’t take them as red flags to opt out but as little foxes that must be driven away or put to death so they do not destroy your fresh grapes. This message will be multi-part; feel free to post your comment and questions.
What the Bible says
Song of Songs 2:15: “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes” (KJV). “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” (NIV). Most Old Testament scholars agree that the vineyards in this verse represent Solomon and the Shulammite's love. When we make the decision to get married and start planning for the wedding, everything appears perfect; there is love in our hearts and heads and smell of love all around us. But the moment we leave the planning stage and enter the action stage, we begin to see little foxes in our love yard. In the verse, the Shulammite warns Solomon of their presence. Usually the woman sees or spies the little foxes earlier but her approach and his matters. While seemingly harmless, little foxes can sneak through fences, and are capable of digging holes and passages that loosen the soil around the vines, preventing them from developing a stable root system. We can equate that root system to our emotions or love which is at the very foundational stage just before marriage; like blooming grapes, it is very tender.
What are they?
Foxes are proverbial symbols of destroyers, the little foxes symbolise problems, challenges etc which may start out as being minor but can grow to become the monster we blame the death of our love for, if we don’t catch, drive or put it to death.
The two most common foxes for those in courtship are gossips and arguments.
The two most common foxes for those in courtship are gossips and arguments.
I met a lady who was really worried and wanted to cancel her wedding. Why? She reported that lately she started having heated arguments with her fiancé. I realised after a couple of questions that these arguments had to do with the wedding plan. One thing you must consider is that during the period of planning for wedding, there are so many pressures from here and there; presuures that put your emotion on the edge as you gear up to make this life changing decision. The pressures would make the woman and man vulnerable to attacks of different forms. Your ability to look up to God and maintain your balance will go a long way to aid your survival and give you a testimony as you face this reality test. If you have established, before entering the wedding planning stage, that this is your man or woman, never return to that decision stage. The decision has been made to marry so the problem, not the person, should be dealth with. Don't ever call off your wedding; reschedule, postpone, but except you realise that your judgement about this being your man or woman was blurred or wrong, NEVER call off the courtship or wedding.
The devil knows that you have to survive the wedding to become married so he begins to throw darts in your way in an effort to make you lose focus or become upset and walk out on your dream. Let me start by saying that you need to know what you want, differentiate it from what you need and realize that you cannot satisfy everyone.
Little foxes can be anything and everything! Usually they appear as little problems or minor irritations but can ruin a relationship. Because they appear small, many ignore them but these little foxes are deadly because they attack the root of the vines i.e. relationships. They may come in form of arguments, comments, hearsay or gossip etc. “Are you sure you'd be happy with him?“ “Do you know that she was seeing someone else when she accepted your marriage proposal?” As simple as this last sentence is, it can lead a jealous man to cancel the wedding plans even before verifying the truth. But what I usually tell those I counsel is, what if the information came in after the wedding? My take has always been that if you have the assurance that this is your woman or man, then any information and every information should be used to strengthen, not destroy, your foundation. So you find out just before the wedding that your mate has a terminal disease and you go, “Well, if she didn’t tell me before, it means she is not trustworthy and if she is not thrustworthy why should I marry her!” Are you worthy of trust? My Bible in Isaiah 64:6 say, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”. Didn’t you say she is God’s will for you? So how did her willingness to hide a truth from you change God’s will?
But what if the issue is his age? You have vowed never to marry a younger person and when you met him, you asked for his age and he said 40 years old. You thought that was okay since you are 39, “At least he is a year older!” You exclaimed to your friend who are joking about marrying someone who looks younger. Then two weeks to the wedding as you were putting documents together for the court wedding, you saw his original birth certificate, he is actually 39 and few months younger and you flare up. “Why shouldn’t I! He lied to me?” When he asked how many men you had dated, did you not lie and then justify it in your heart by saying, “What is the point in saying 5 when he can use that as a reason not to marry me?”. But you also told your Pastor during counselling that he is God’s will because you had a dream where his name was written on the wall by God’s finger. So if God’s finger wrote the name, how come his age is now an issue.
Another Scenario: Everyone knows your fiancé as a medical doctor and you pride yourself in everyone calling him doctor this and doctor that but you've been wondering why he works in a laboratory when he can very well work in a clinic. But shortly before your wedding you found out that he actually went to medical school but he dropped out. So you become enraged and threatened to call off the wedding. You were in dilemma because you knew for sure that friends will laugh at you. You had told yourself that this is God’s man for me, you told your friends that you just love his level of intelligence and comportment, you told your mother how so gentle he is and you told your father that he should just be happy that you found a man after his heart. So are you saying you were lying? Are you saying you fixed him into all those beautiful boxes because he has a humanly awarded title which unfortunately is false?
So what are you saying?
I am not saying that I have accepted everything I never envisaged but was faced with during the wedding or came to me in marriage, NO. What I am saying is that you should accept the man as is. You know when you go and buy a "tokunbo" (used) car and you are about to pay for it, they'll tell you that it is, "Sold as is", meaning no guaranty! This legal term which is used to disclaim any implied warranties is applicable, though never clearly stated, in marriage. If you have accepted the man or woman as God’s will, then instead of walking out because of an ailment, disease, debt, attitude or character, you have to position yourself to take it to God in prayer and trust that since He gave you the man or woman, He will give you victory over whatever issue may sprung up to affect my happiness with the man. And you have to realise that in addition to prayers, you would have to develp skills to enable you solve the issue. To learn or develop skills you may need to speak to counsellors; the DC Host, Cordinators and Counsellors are only a message or phone call away. You must realise that, you do not win by letting go, you win by hanging on, not only to God's will (the man or woman) but to the God who willed and the resources He has blessed you with.
Arguments are also little foxes and they will come up about anything and everything. Things like the type of wedding, clothes to wear, the reception venue, the person that should do the actual joining, where to be joined, the guest list, who to be on the programme, what to spend money on, who to pay for what etc can escalate into unresolvable arguments. In Part 2, I’ll give you some scenarios and then talk about how you can ensure that these little foxes, out to destroy your wedding plan and ensure you do not get married, are put to flight or better still to death.