I was reading a devotional a few hours ago and I stumbled on this quote that just hit me because of the truth it contained. I paused, reflected on it and I thought I should share it with you. This is the quote:
“Don’t let what you never experienced taint your understanding of what could be.”
This quote jumped at me because I could relate with it. It almost happened to me. There is a way that being raised in a broken home taints your view of marriage. “Why would anyone ever put themselves through this torture”, that is what I usually say to myself. For me marriage was torture and I held this belief well into my teenage years. And I was justified in a way. All I ever saw my mum do was cry, shout and become hysterical. My dad was cold and mean. I’m not saying there were no happy moment; there were. A few laughs here and there but they were always shortlived. I wondered why such a thing like marriage existed since, in my opinion, it caused more harm than good.
Thank God for the awesome people He brought my way after I gave my life to Him. They helped me to reshape my beliefs about marriage. People like Pastor Toyo, my spiritual mother in uni, showed me that marriage was truly a beautiful thing. She used to tell me that I cannot just the entire institution of marriage by what I had seen from my parents. Another person also told me that I cannot let my parent’s marriage determine what my marriage would end up like. They didn’t have to be the model.
It took a while but I understood. I had never experienced marriage yet I already had a tainted and limited view of it thanks to two people who were never married. The more I studied the word of God and was around good mentors, the more I realised that marriage was not torture. I began to open up to the idea of getting married because as you can imagine, I never wanted to get married.
There are many things that taint our understanding of the future. It could be your social status, you’re exposure or background. You might think something is impossible right now because it has been impossible for your family members to do in the past. You might think that you can never travel outside of Nigeria because the people you know who have travelled out somehow always end up in prison. Look back at that quote and tell yourself, “I will never let what I have never experienced to taint my understanding of what could be.”
Stop making decisions based on other people’s experiences. I know it’s good to learn from the experience of others but when those experiences limit your progress then there is a problem. Don’t hate wealth because all the rich people you know are stingy. I think it’s much better to live in wealth than in poverty.
You deprive yourself of a lot of things when you let past experiences taint the future. Move on, let go and embrace the bright future that is ahead of you. And let me add, for whatever step you want to take, let God’s word be the benchmark that you’ll use. His words are perfect and they are written for your good. Whenever you are in doubt, just go to the word and let it renew your mind.