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Is husband hunting holding you back?

DESIRE: Obsession about finding Mr Right could hinder

A FEW years ago, Dr Kate Coleman asked a friend travelling to Ghana to take some items for her mother.

To her horror, when the friend turned up, Coleman’s mother gave the friend a new mandate: to find her daughter a good husband.

“I stood in mute astonishment with my mouth open,’ writes Coleman in her popular guide for women leaders, called The 7 Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership.

“It is not that I am averse to husbands or, in this case, averse to the idea of having my own. What I found alarming was that my mother had entrusted a courier, someone I had asked to deliver a gift while passing through my homeland to seek out a ‘suitable’ man to ‘complete’ my life.”

PRESSURE

Reverend Coleman, a prominent Christian with more than 25 years leadership experience, says many women battle their friends and relatives over the same issue, constantly facing pressure to conform to someone else’s vision of who they should be.

“Often we are not aware that we are absorbing the expectations of others,” said Coleman, chair of the Evangelical Alliance Council and head of consultancy firm, Next Leadership.

“That’s the case for any leader male and female - but for women in particular the messages we are getting from society in particular and from people around us are very, very strong and we are actually used to absorbing those more than men.”

This ‘imposed vision’, she says, plays out in several ways, with many women unintentionally damaging their chances to excel by obsessing over – or having their relatives pressure them on – expectations such as finding a husband.


WEDDING: God calls some people to be married and others to be single

“One of the things I find even now sometimes when I am working with women is that there is such a preoccupation with, if they are single, being single, or being unmarried or if they are married, with being childless or even if they have a child, with having only one child,” said Coleman, the first black female president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

“They can forget that this is not the only thing that God requires of us.”

INVESTED

She added: “Sometimes there can be such a preoccupation with it [being single] that life disappears and even the gifts that God has invested in us become secondary or unimportant.”
Coleman wants to see more women take on leadership roles.

“I personally think that’s a crime. We can’t waste those [talents] and we can’t waste them waiting for somebody to come into our lives and then believe that that person is somehow going to make us into the people that we could be,” she said.

Coleman believes women “are supposed to become the people we could potentially be anyway.”


CONTENT: This woman shows how to enjoy being single

The church leader, who also runs workshops for leaders across the UK, says this obsession could distract many women from reaching their full potential.

“I believe that some of us are called to get married and some of us are not,” says the author, who is also a leadership coach and mentor.

“We all start life single and if we become obsessed with that then that can be a huge diversion. Some of us will get an opportunity to exchange the gift of singleness for the gift of marriage. Some of us will keep the gift of singleness but they are both gifts.”

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