Did You Marry the Wrong Guy? by Leilani Haywood
By Leilani Haywood
Five years after our wedding, I
wondered, "Who is this person, and what has he done with my real
Lord, I'm sorry! I married the
wrong man. Please forgive me," I cried out in agonizing prayer after my
husband, Jerome, had belittled me when I poured out my heart to him about the
things I was learning.
God was moving powerfully in my
life by opening up the Word of God to me and revealing fresh truths, but my
husband barely read the Bible. When he managed to carve out some time to read
it, he fell asleep. After five years of marriage, it seemed apparent that I had
made a dreadful mistake.
Yet I was so certain in the
beginning that God had ordained our relationship. Jerome and I met in 1985 on a
mission trip to Boston. He was sent from his church in Missouri and I from mine
After I moved to Florida in 1987,
we met again through a mutual friend. I had no idea that seven years later I
would be walking down the aisle with him! We ran into each other periodically
at church conferences in the following years, but it wasn't until 1992 that the
fireworks went off.
I was working for a Christian
publishing company at the time and had been sent to a pastors conference on the
company's behalf when I spotted him. I recognized Jerome as he was walking out
of the auditorium.
Excited to see someone I knew, I
ran up to him and hugged him. "Jerome, how are you doing?" I asked.
You're the Woman in the Dream
There was a flicker of
recognition. Then he stepped back. "Hi, do I know you?" he replied.
The friend who was with him kept muttering under his breath, "You're the
woman in the dream."
I hit Jerome on the shoulder and
said, "Florida, Romeo Bagunu." His eyes lit up. "Leilani! Of
course I remember you."
Wide-eyed, his friend exclaimed
loudly, "You're the woman in the dream!"
"Excuse me?" I said.
Jerome stepped in front of his
friend. "Don't listen to him," he told me.
Confused, I turned to Jerome and
asked, "What's he talking about?" A few days later I found out that
Jerome had had a dream about a woman with long black hair who was going to be
his wife. His friend was amazed that he was meeting the woman in the dream the
very next day.
The last day of the conference we
declared our love for each other. We knew that God had brought us together.
Jerome had not been on a date in 13 years because he believed that if he sought
the kingdom first, the Lord would bring him a wife.
Three weeks later he proposed to
me in a beautiful rose garden in Missouri. Three months later I packed up
everything I could fit into my little compact car and drove to a town in a
state I had never visited.
I had Married the Wrong Person
We married on the first day of
spring with snow on the ground. But now, five years and two children later, it
was clear I had married the wrong person.
What was I to do? I was aware
that God hates divorce, and Jerome hadn't done anything to merit separation. He
worked hard and helped take care of our children, clean the house, cook and do
laundry. He had all the qualities most married women wish their husbands
But we were extremely different.
Jerome didn't like going to the beach or traveling. I loved to travel. His
favorite restaurant was a diner. I preferred ethnic or gourmet restaurants. His
favorite store was Wal-Mart, and mine was Pier One.
It seemed we had a vast chasm
between us. Why hadn't I noticed these differences during our engagement?
Now I repented and prayed for God
to move. I stayed up late at night praying for wisdom and insight.
I had a Hidden Agenda
After a month of crying into the
carpet every night, a flash of insight hit me: I had a hidden agenda when I got
married! Since I had been involved in ministry, writing and publishing, I assumed
my future husband would be called to full-time ministry as well.
Jerome previously had served in
full-time ministry but at this time was working in a sales position. Though he
was very involved in the church as a lay leader, I was disappointed. I had
thought I was marrying a future church-planter or pastor. Many years later, I
realized he had no intention of going into full-time ministry.
That night the Lord revealed the
agenda in my heart that was a stumbling block to our becoming one. He assured
me that I had married the right person. I just needed to get rid of the agenda
and become the right person for him.
The Lord made it clear that my
attitude toward Jerome would either facilitate the move of God in our marriage
or shut it out. I decided to give up my hidden agenda and concentrate on being
the right mate for him. As I shifted my focus from Jerome's becoming what I
thought God had called him to be to my becoming who God wanted me to be, my
husband and I have become best friends.
Get Rid of the Agenda
He's blossoming into a man of
conviction and courage, and I'm learning how to honor, love and serve him as
unto the Lord. Last week he preached to a neighbor of ours about the kingdom of
God. I applauded him inwardly as he took a stand for righteousness.
You may be thinking, as I did,
that you've married the wrong person. But if your spouse has the character
traits of a man of God and is simply not doing what you think he should be
doing, you could have a hidden agenda.
Get rid of the agenda so you can
enjoy your husband. Focus on becoming who God created you to be for him. One
day you'll discover you both married the right person!
By Dan Wilson