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I once fell in love with a friend who I will call Anike. Yes she was my first Anike. We didn’t actually plan to fall in love. It was originally her friend that I was falling in love with. Even that her friend, we didn’t also plan to fall in love.?? It was while we were both mourning one of our close friends, a classmate, whom we lost to death that our soul began to bond together. Somewhere shortly along the line, we began to have issues and Anike was my special adviser cum lecturer on how I could really understand her friend. It happened that my relationship with her friend which was just about to take off officially eventually had a premature demise. ???

It wasn’t the plan of Anike or I to replace her friend in my heart. It took two years after before we started becoming so fond of each other. Before then all we noticed was that there was an unusual chemistry between us. Anytime we met at a program, we just bonded and next we resume for a photo shoot. She snaps me, I snap her, we take selfies and when we needed something fuller, we got a passerby to help us. All through we will be laughing uncontrollably in hysteric fun in each other’s harms. Everything was spontaneous, totally unplanned, totally unforced and then we bid each other farewell. We may not interact again for another one month until we meet accidentally somewhere again. One time it was in front of the university school gate. We talked briefly and then I invited her to where I was staying. I cooked a local meal for her. As we sat on that bed that afternoon and talked without any particular topic in focus, our souls gradually knitted. Fast forward, we became inseparable. Our friendship was near perfect. We would speak on phone for hours without knowing. I can’t remember a single time in our many years of close relationship that we had a quarrel. Anike and I were just Romeo and Juliet. Some even say we look alike and I think they are right. She looks a lot like my mum and I think I look like my mum. Her “oriki” (a name that is a praise poetry among Yoruba speaking people of West Africa) is Anike just like my mum’s. She’s April too just like me and just like my mum. Hers is two days before my mum’s. ???

But as good and beautiful as our relationship was, anytime I prayed about marrying Anike, there was no peace in my heart. It was as though there was a big stone rolled on my spirit on the matter. Months became years. There was a time I literally declared a prayer month on the matter and I petitioned God and pleaded with Him daily to release Anike His daughter to me but no answer. Up till now I don’t know why. Maybe God had prepared her for another great man and He didn’t want me interrupting. By the way our relationship though very intimate and for years was totally pure. We didn’t even share a kiss. We wanted to save even that until marriage. I’m saying this because I saw the way some of your heartbeats increased when you heard me saying, “we sat on the bed” ???

In any case, this was one instance in which love was not enough.

I spoke to a friend recently who had also fallen in love once with a charming young man. In her words:

“He understood me perfectly. If I blink my eyes he knew what I was saying. He knew what I would never condone. He understood that I had very big dreams and was ready to sacrifice his own convenience so that my dreams can come into fruition. He was very very caring, he could go the extra mile for me, like I could almost say he could do anything for me. I could say that and go to bed. I could go to court and say this on oath. He was selfless. He would spend every spare time with me and would make it worthwhile. It was always fun…”

As I listened to all she had to say I literally screamed. Their relationship was too good not to lead to marriage. But it didn’t. They later discovered they were both AS. Besides, the guy was from a christian denomination that had very unique spiritual beliefs which he shared. The lady on the other hand is from a spiritual family which can be described as Evangelical/some dose of Word of faith. Their doctrinal beliefs were dialectically opposed. Totally so.

This couple needed more than love to make their courtship a success. Love alone cannot make an informed AS to marry another informed AS for instance. But some people have married in similar circumstance; not because of love alone but due to a word of assurance from the Lord and we have seen God showing up for them in their marriages.

Another instance where I have seen love not being enough is where the vision or calling of a man is daunting, demanding, involving a lot of risk. You’ll be surprised to see your woman who has visibly been in love with you wishing that she could find another man whose life’s journey is going to be less controversial. You may say if she has agape love (the unconditional love of God) she won’t think that way but please don’t be theoretical. It is more tasking to be the wife of some people because of their dangerous and unconventional life assignment. The simple logic is that this woman or man will feel why should I put my life in danger when I could find someone else who is OK and I can love too but whose journey will be less demanding. The truth is, that she loves you is not so much a big deal after all. We all can love a wide range of people. If not, after you left your old boyfriend, you shouldn’t be able to fall in love with another person.

Think about Coretta Scott King the wife of Revd. Dr. Marthin Luther King Jr, the famous civil rights activist of 1960 America. Do you know what it cost that woman to be the wife of that great man? It meant for her challenging family life due to incessant arrest of her husband. She had to man the home all alone severally even while her husband was still alive. They lived also perpetually in fear. Their home was bombed several times by government linked agents. Their children were bullied in school and severally received assassination threats by forces who wanted to get to their father. You know what that means for a parent especially a woman?

It meant for her just 15 years of marriage and 38 years of widowhood after her husband was assassinated. It meant so much! She severally quarreled with him for forgetting her birthday and their wedding anniversary. The guy was sold out to the cause of his people. That’s the price of marrying a great man or a great woman. Many of you want to marry a great and influential woman and yet you cannot imagine your wife not cooking your meal everyday. You have to choose one.

But you guys must recognise that if Revd. King did not have a wife who bought into his vision or married someone who had a similar vision, he wouldn’t have found it easy to achieve all he achieved in his short lifetime. She would have frustrated focus out of his life through much nagging and wailing. In reality, the fact that Revd King is much more loved and influential in death than when he was alive was due to Mrs Coretta King. She took over the work from where he stopped. Protests that Revd. King had scheduled before his death were eventually led by his wife. She stepped into everything her husband was doing. She was with him all the while anyway though quietly. And it was her who campaigned and struggled for years for his birthday to be made a national holiday and thereby made it possible for the most hated man in America in 1968 to now become one of the most revered and loved men in the world. In my opinion, Revd King achieved more in death through the efforts of his wife than he did himself while alive. Just imagine for a second that he didn’t burn his vision into the heart of his wife while he was alive thinking he will live long.

Let me tell you friends, marrying someone who is one with you in your vision is too critical. If you marry a woman who is not sold out to your visions, if you die now that’s the end of all you’ve laboured for. Vice versa.

Even before you die, you are not likely to achieve much because in times of crisis which stems from the assignment you’re committed to you will have no bosom to find succour.

Author Ron Ramdin wrote “King faced many new and trying moments, his refuge was home and closeness to Coretta, whose calm and soothing voice whenever she sang, gave him renewed strength. She was the rock upon which his marriage and civil rights leadership, especially at this time of crisis, was founded.”

What a testimony!

So what made Coretta Scott King that sold out to her husband’s calling? Mrs. King once shared with T.D. Jakes, “I was called to be his wife. It was my destiny to stand beside him.”

Can I say without equivocation that to have a solid unity of purpose with your partner in the pursuit of your life's task and to have her support even in ventures that could lead to her own annihilation, she needs more than love, she needs to see a… Click To Tweet

You need to lay the foundation for this in courtship.

Well, love (philios {friendship bond}, eros {romantic love}, storge {empathy bond} and agape {unconditional love of God- which many of us still have in little quantity) all put together may be enough to marry a normal brother or sister who is just planning to serve the lord moderately and do his business and make good money; but if your lot be some daunting risky tasks for the Lord, you need to insist on the knitting of your heart with your partner concerning what you’re called to do.

Know however that most men in history whose names have reverberated across generations indelibly were men who took great risk.

My prayer again is that God will have mercy on all our courtships and release a vision that will bind our hearts inseparably.

Please make sure you like our facebook page fb.me/lovestraighttalks and share these words with your friends.

Thank you for your time.

Your Brother,
Peniela Akintujoye.

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