Marrying by “revelation”
This afternoon, many people were saddened as the news of the death of the Queen’s husband filled the air. Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh had been married to the Queen for over 70 years. All over the world as the news spread, comments have poured in, celebrating him and his commitment to the Queen. Being married to the same person for 73 years is no easy feat.
There is no denying that having a good marriage takes a lot of hard work, the only issue is sometimes we do not want to put in the necessary effort and it is amazing how this our laziness can sometimes be even evident prior to marriage.
Prior to marriage, people forge friendships, date and go through the process of eliminating and choosing. Rather than taking the time to know people, we sometimes want the magical wand that looks into the future and tell us who our spouses are. Of course in some Christian circles, it is regarded as a sign of spiritual maturity .
I still remember those days before the era of the teachings of Pastor Bimbo Odukoya of blessed memory where it just seemed that the teaching prevalent on marriage was on finding the will of God. This will of God was something that was received usually by the brother and most times, no other thing was taken into consideration apart from receiving and finding the “will”.
The more spectacular and unusual the revelation, the more spirituality was accorded to the recipient with the greater likelihood of a positive answer. The brothers seemed to always receive the revelation and the sisters had to wait for the “will” to be revealed.
But I am not sure how many people really waited or actually helped the to be received by going the extra mile and helping the brothers with bowls of soups &food (popularly called the “Cooler ministry”). I am actually convinced that the epidemic hit my university the most!, Did it happen in your university also?.
While some of these relationships started well based on the “will”, many ended in a nose dive as so many other factors were not taken into cognizance. I must admit that those days the near impossibility and stigma of divorce may have played a role in the survival of the marriages that went on to be contracted.
From what I remember, people found the “will” and married or moved on to another “will” by revelation so I was very surprised when I heard two stories from two different Pastor friends.
The first was of a brother “A” who received a sister ” P” while they were in Bible College about 30 years ago, he approached her and did not get a favourable answer. He however was so convinced that she was the one perfect will and never married anyone else. This sister “P” went on to marry and has had all her children in a loving home. By the time brother “A” met this Pastor friend of mine, it was almost twenty-five years and his Alumni was planning a twenty-five-year Class Reunion.
During the place of counselling, this brother “A” still expressed his desire of the possibility of the availability of sister “P” believing that if anything had happened to her marriage, then he could get ahead and propose to the perfect will of God. However, my Pastor friend tried to reason with him and they reached a compromise that if he meets sister “P” in the Reunion and she is still happily married and yet unavailable, he would have to move on. Did I hear you say fast.
Well he reluctantly agreed to this and went to the Reunion and your guess is as good as mine ,the sister is still happily married, He kept his word and has now married another sister “A”(A being alternative) however with the condition that whenever the former sister “P” who is the original will becomes available, then the marriage to sister “A” will be automatically over so he could go ahead and marry the perfect will.( I am not sure how brotherly this thought is as it seems to me sister “P” is secretly being wished a divorce or widowhood).And yes the other sister “A” agreed to the condition and they are both married now. Selah!
I thought that was bad enough until another Pastor friend quite recently told the story of yet another brother “B” who also received a sister “C” several years ago. This sister “C” of course did not play allegiance to his revelation and has moved on and married someone else. However brother “B” is still waiting and when brethen tried to talk to him about the folly of a never ending wait, his reply was “the strength of Israel cannot lie”.
The issue is he may be sincere, but oblivious to the fact that even for a perceived will to happen, it would need the cooperation of the two people involved . Also even after the revelation, these two people will still have to put in the hard work to make the marriage work .
Unfortunately, we still do have several people like brother A and brother B. I am not sure whether to put it down to being sincerely wrong or could it just be put down to pride, ignorance from incomplete /one sided teachings or maybe downright stubbornness; not wanting to retrace their steps or have to admit they did not hear right.
And I am not denying that people do not receive revelations but beyond receiving revelations, we need to apply wisdom. What if your revelation is wrong and the person is already married? Even if they are available, you still need to forge a friendship before declaring your manifesto.
I heard a popular preacher recently say telling a sister God told me to marry you is “spiritual bullying”. That was another angle altogether but seriously, how dependent should we be on revelations and the choice if a life partner ?
We would love to hear what you think and what part revelations played in your relationships, yes the gains and the pains.