What I want to share today will be very useful to both the single and the married. Same is true for all we’ve been sharing since the beginning of the year. They aren’t just for single people. And their applicability don’t stop the moment a couple gets married. I’m warning you in advance. The synchrony of life mandate, of vision, of doctrinal believes which have dominated our talk since January are all issues in the synchrony of spirits between couples. The foundation for this synchrony is what must be solidly laid during courtship. Many years after marriage, this process must continue to be pursued. Though it takes just a few hours to be married, it takes several years of conscious efforts at wooing and synchronising for every aspect of the lives of a couple to be truly married inseparably.
The principles we will share today are also not limited to securing doctrinal agreements alone but also securing other kinds of agreements.
Couples always have to do so many things together. Maybe everything together. Their lives are merged. And so at every point there is always a need to agree on one thing or the other. If they don’t agree there is trouble. Their lives and destinies can become stagnated. Even their prayers will not get ready answers. 1 Pet 3:7 LB. That’s why today’s talk is very critical.
By the way this talk is a continuation of “He’s Catholic, I am Protestant” which we started three weeks ago and then all of them put together are a continuation of the series “Making Courtship Count” which we started in January. Please do well to get the earlier talks or else you will have incomplete knowledge which is often very disastrous.
The first principle I want you to note firmly in your pursuit of doctrinal agreement with your partner is what I call the principle of “insider acceptability.” Most people are more welcoming of contrary or seemingly critical opinions about a thing or believe or an organisation if it’s coming from someone who is seen as an insider than an outsider. Think about our different families. There are those gossips we have with our siblings about what we consider the failings of our parents’ lives which have affected our family life. You never get offended when you’re discussing these failures with your siblings. But if an outsider raises the same issues about your parent, you will immediately become defensive. You may hate him totally. What audacity?!
If you want to create an atmosphere where you and your partner can come together to freely discuss about your churches, the different doctrines and practices and your reservations about them without the discussions leading to serious fights and hatred for each other, you need to first make yourself so to speak an insider.
Without being invited, announce to him you’re attending his church’s Sunday services for the next four weeks to begin with. While you’re there, ensure you follow everything joyfully. Don’t go there and frown your face (Laughing out loud). After service, share with him all you enjoyed in the service. There will certainly be something you enjoyed. Talk around that.
Ask her to share with you the messages or books of that Man of God whom you know as the major doctrinal influence on her life. Go and devour the messages and books. As you’re reading, be sharing with each other what you find so fascinating and instructive from the materials. Note that at this stage, only share the positive things. It’s not after attending their church for the first time that you bring out all the criticisms. It’s when you’ve interacted sufficiently with his/her environment to be regarded at least to a reasonable extent as an insider. You are more able to influence your partner from within if he is sure you have a deep understanding of his persuasion and the reasons behind such. Read the last sentence again.
You see there is always an “under” to every “standing” someone is taking on an issue. Until you get into the “under, you’ll not be able to appreciate the person’s “standing” and so every attempt to make the person see your own point will be resisted because he feels you don’t understand. He feels if only you’ve read the books I’ve read, you will understand. If only you can hear the messages I have heard, you will understand.
Sometimes after you get into the “under”, you see how wrong your own standing is. At other times you’re able to more clearly identify the very point of divergence in your believes and be able to focus on just those areas. Many times, the differences are not as wide as they appear from afar. It is when you labour on getting access to the “under” that you sometimes exclaim, “we believe the same things, just from different perspectives.”
Until you move close, your judgments are often inaccurate. Severally uninformed. Many times, perceptions are far from reality.
Back in the University, a very close sister I served with when I was a fellowship President once exclaimed in surprise that a ministry I closely associate with teaches new creation realities. I shared an insight from God’s word and told her where I got it from. I perhaps do not know so many ministries that teach new creation realities more than this ministry. This sister had only formed this opinion because the Man of God that leads the ministry is fond of wearing free flowing native attires. They are hardly fitted. That’s the way he likes them. She probably thought to be truly a new creation preacher, you have to always dress like my friend Pastor Israel Osemwegie of Kingdom Breeders International ministry Calabar who closely models Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. This my friend has all colours of suits. Green suit, purple suit, orange suit (Lol). All fitted. And his hair is always shining and dripping.
All I’m saying is perception is often far removed from reality.
You both need to ensure that your times together are devoted to book studies and reviews, listening to the same set of messages together and discussing what’s you’ve learnt together. Please don’t be foolish. Of course there is a place for going to movies and dinners and sharing sweet nothings as you both lick lollipop on your street. Be sure those play less roles in guaranteeing a solid marriage that will stand the test of everything. Fusing your spirits together is the most important aspect of your joining. Fixating on other things without first achieving this is like building a body without a skeleton. Can it stand?
Those of you in long distant relationships need to get CUG lines that allow you a long talking time at a cheap rate. I’m on one. We only pay #1,200 in a month and we can talk unlimitedly for 30 days. You need good talking time where there is no rush for you to adequately build into each other’s spirits. Myself and Iyebiye sometimes do 3 hours bible study on phone. When there’s a disagreement, we are able to properly trash it. Sometimes we are on it for 4 hours. No rush. We even do “word reviews”. But the beauty is we will end the talk perfectly reconciled. With sweet words, deep romantic connections and plenty kisses blown through the phone’s mouthpiece. Lol Please guys, get a CUG line. It will help your relationship a great deal.
I think we have to stop here. We can no longer go into the other principle of securing agreements which I thought we could also deal with today. That will be next week. That one is very serious and I believe more critical than this first one. We need enough space to deal with it.
So what have we learnt today? It’s time for me to hear from you.
#resettingtheodds #makingyourmarriageacenterofrevival #lovestraighttalks