‘Victor, see ehn; I don’t even know how to say this.’
‘I feel I’m disturbing you too much with my problems.’
‘Not at all. You are not; you are my guy na.’ I quickly assured him.
It was the third time within a week that my friend would call me to report the behaviour of the sister he had been in relationship with for over three months.
They had known each other for six years but he only made his marriage intentions when he was ready.
When he started talking about the sister yet again, though I was his true friend, I was slightly getting tired of always being the mediator and peacekeeper between the two of them.
The time I should have used to concentrate on my own marital plans and spend on calls to ‘likely marriage candidates’, I have used it to speak with either of them, trying frantically to quench the fire of anger and offence.
But I didn’t complain.
As a friend, I kept quiet and told my guy to continue and tell me what happened.
‘Thank you, Victor. I really appreciate’
‘No problem bro’ I replied.
‘Okay. So, this is the issue…’ He began.
He had always wanted to be a Pastor. Everyone who knew him back in school could already feel the hands of God upon his life.
He could spend hours preaching and praying for others without getting tired.
He even deliberately studied Theology at Masters level just to get acquainted with church history and administration.
I saved his contact on my phone as ‘Pastor’ though he was a close friend.
Beyond doubt, he was on his way to becoming a man of God.
He was just two years older than me but I have never taken his prayers for granted.
Since the day i was privileged to attend a service he handled and I witnessed the move of God through him, I have placed him on a higher pedestal and accorded him much respect.
But being a Pastor does not stop anyone from looking for love, does it?
He also prayed for God’s leading in marriage and as a close pal of God, he received answer even before someone like me had started praying.
When he shared the testimony and told me the full story, I was so challenged that I declared a 3-day fasting on the issue of life partner.
And when he mentioned the sister’s name, I could only smile and praise the majesty and architecture of God.
Maybe I was carried away with physical looks back then, I don’t know.
The sister was beautiful and lovely to the eyes.
She accepted the marriage proposal within two weeks and they started their love story.
However, as early as the first week, my brother and sister both met a mountain of trouble on their road to marriage.
The sister went late for a Sunday service- thirty minutes late.
When our Pastor-friend asked her why she went late, she initially gave a reason that she didn’t wake up early.
But when he began to preach to her on the phone about the importance of going early, she flared up.
‘You are not my father! We are not married yet; you cannot control me.’ She said.
The call ended and both of them forgave each other before the end of that day and were back on good terms.
But the very next Sunday, when our brother asked her to tell her the time she arrived at church, my sister hesitated before answering.
‘Around 8:40am’, she said.
‘Ah! 40 minutes late? This is even worse than last week!’ Brother couldn’t believe it.
‘Why are you bringing up the issue of last week again? I thought you said it is all forgiven!’ Sister returned.
Both of them became defensive in their conversation and ended the call both offended.
It was only then my brother called to ask my advice.
I tried to make him understand and promised she would change.
I also encouraged him to tone down the manner of correction and I pointed out that indeed, they were not married yet and he should not expect her to be under his control.
My friend saw reasons with me and called to apologize.
But the lateness and correction never stopped.
And now, here we were, having the same talk about my guy’s future wife’s chronic lateness to church, my friend’s hard corrections and her resulting provocation.
Lost for words of advice or any suggestions for that matter, I promised my friend that I would speak with her since we were also on friendly terms.
When I spoke to her, she thank me first and then dived into a long speech.
It turned out she had also always wanted to speak with me but was hesitant.
‘Look, Bro Victor…’ She started.
‘If I tell you I am not fed up with the relationship, I will be a liar.’
‘Ah! Why?’ I wanted her to tell me more.
‘See ehn, I am not ready to marry a Pastor. I cannot bear the scrutiny and close-making. Is it everytime I will be going early to church?’
She waited for an answer and when I didn’t speak, she continued.
‘I didn’t even know it will be this hard, and I have not even married him yet.
‘Everytime, everytime, why did you go late to church. I am tired.
‘I am tired of his constant corrections too. He is almost pushing me into telling lies just because I want to cover up something I did which he often describes as ”behaviour unworthy of a Pastor’s wife”.’
‘I don’t… I can’t be the wife of a Pastor. I am not ready for it. I know myself.
‘Besides going to church late sef, there are other things I know church people will frown upon which I still do.
‘So maybe it is better you tell him to go back to God and ask for another wife. Because this one cannot be a Pastor wife o.’
‘Ah!’ I exclaimed again.
‘I can’t deceive you Bro. This is just the truth. I know myself. I cannot marry a Pastor.’
‘But didn’t you pray before accepting him?’ I asked.
‘I prayed and I thought I was convinced but looking back now, I don’t think he is the one for me.
‘He is the one God told clearly. Not me. Besides, I didn’t know it will be this hard. When did love turn to hard work and fear of questions?’
‘When?’ she repeated when I didn’t respond.
-PURPOSE is important too-
When many persons consider making the choice in marriage, they only consider the three popular factors, viz. God’s will, Love and Genotype.
They forget to involve the question of purpose in their choice-making.
But how can they, when only a few of us have discovered our purpose and know what we want to do with our lives.
Even if the importance of Purpose isn’t considered by anyone, it must be made a priority by anyone who wants to be a man of God and knows he is called to be a servant of God.
You can’t imagine going out for ministration or having a call of God to Macedonia while your wife kicks against it and is bent on staying back at home.
And if you are a young woman who has already felt you will be a useful instrument in God’s hand in any capacity, you have to know that not just any man is right for you.
When considering factors that help decision-making in marriage, many people forget to include ‘Purpose’ which in the Christian creed, is called the ‘Purpose Test’.
In this our age where an increasing number of persons have made plans for their futures and set goals to achieve, I think we have to become more aware of the importance of having a partner who is suited to fulfil those goals and purpose.
And while I am quite aware we cannot possibly know all there is to know about our futures, we can, at least, have a companion that is heading in the same direction.
A divided house cannot expect to stand.
And I think we have to realize that an actual leading from the Heavenly Father is not an unchangeable Judgement that can never be altered.
No sir, it is not.