Dear Priscilla, the new birth in its purest biblical sense is the cutting away of the Adamic (sinful) nature from the heart of a man by an invisible circumcision carried out by the Lord Jesus Himself but which is nevertheless very real; and an immediate replacement with the Spirit and nature of Christ. Col 2:11. It’s so real that immediately – for those who have come to experience this circumcision genuinely – a new person is born completely.
His physical appearance may remain the same but on the inside all things have become new. A tough person like Paul immediately becomes broken and tender like a child. A demoniac like Mary Magdalene is magically transformed into one of the most ardent followers of the Lord. A drunkard like my biological father immediately loses interest in alcohol. The very day after his conversion, alcohol that used to be his best friend became irritating to him. How can that be if not that something died inside of him and a new specie of life was born completely?
The most important test of the new birth therefore my lady is Change of life. A complete transformation from darkness into light and from the life of sin unto that which trembles at God’s word.
Your first question to him after he expresses his intention for a relationship therefore ought to be,
“Brother, are you born again. In fact, what do you understand by being born again?” Listen to his answer carefully without deceiving yourself. That’s where you’ll start knowing whether he’s the one or you should wait for another.
“Well, I’m a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. I lead the prayer department there. And I’m a frequent participant in our weekly Evangelism.”
That’s not the answer my sister. That’s begging the question. Indeed, Someone can be involved in all of those and not be born again. The true unmistakable mark of being born again is a new life. A life that abhors sin. A life that deeply honours the word of God and trembles before it.
If a brother says,
“Before I met the Lord, I used to be a fornicator, liar, dishonest and hot tempered but today, all things have become new. That kind of life is bygone for me forever.” This sounds more like it.
As a wise sister, you ought to ask a follow up question:
“I’m sorry for being intrusive but sir, did you say fornication has become a bygone? Please when last did you fornicate? I just want to check something.”
If he says, “Oh that was four months ago when my girlfriend left me;” you should know that this brother still needs time to prove his “new life” before he’ll qualify for a relationship. Or else, in case it’s all a fluke and he backslides again, he’ll drag you down with him. Don’t even bother to consider the proposal further. Drop it at that point.
But if he says, “the last time I fornicated or had anything to do with sexual immorality (or the other issues he claims are bygone) was five years ago and that was before I gave my life to the Lord. Ever since I did, I have not looked back and the Lord has supplied my life with progressive grace ever since;” I would think five years uninterrupted is a reasonable time to prove that something new has indeed been born. This kind of brother can move to the next stage of your consideration, Priscilla.
If however he’s the type that says, “you see, I really cannot do without sex in a relationship, but since you say you don’t want it, I agree with you. It’s fine;” I’m sure you need no one to tell you this one is not born anything. You’re not supposed to give him any consideration. He is not a new creature. New creatures are never bold with disobeying God this way.
He only wants to abstain becuase you said you don’t want it. He personally doesn’t believe in holiness or purity. That’s the meaning. He doesn’t care that God says touching you before marriage is a no go area. With his full chest, he wants it nevertheless. He thus has no iota of respect for the Lord. Respect for God is not demonstrated in singing and dancing but in your posture to His instructions. And you think he’s good for marriage? If he has no respect for God to refrain from fornication, do you think he will suddenly develop respect for God’s word after your marriage to refrain from adultery? You’ve been deceived.
Some guys like this will even keep away from the “holy sister” that doesn’t want it, while they sleep around with other ladies throughout the Courtship. While this goes on, the holy sister is thinking the guy has changed because of her. Na lie! Things are going on.
Of course you should not expect him to change after marriage. When he already has you in his pocket? Life simply continues. You can never be enough for him no matter how you try. He’s addicted already to the idea of sleeping with different specie of women.
See, if he doesn’t have a personal conviction about holiness and purity; plus a walk to back up this conviction before you ever met, he is not the one that God has prepared for you. God doesn’t give bad gifts to His children.
Priscilla, I can read your mind. You seem to feel like men who meet the conditions are in short supply. Am I right? Truth is that’s the lie of the devil to make you settle for less. See, God will never lack correct men in any generation. He’ll always have His 7,000 prophets who have not bowed the knees to Baal. You only need to wait on Him till He by Himself compel that kind of man to come your way.
But let’s assume without conceding that there are just one hundred of this kind of brothers left, ensure you marry one of them and forget about who’ll not get one to marry. Focus on your own lane; your life and the vision of marriage you’ve received from God. Get your own marriage right and move on!
May you receive the help to get it right. May faith rise up in you to believe that if you have to let this one go because he doesn’t meet the conditions, God is able to send the correct man in His time and before long. May your marriage be numbered among one of the centers of revival in our generation in Jesus’ name.
Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye