Leaping through the annals of life history, you will discover that when a young man found a lady to marry his only challenge was being sure she was God’s will (God’s will is God’s word, principles, instructions, definition to life, choice). The same can be said of the lady’s only challenge too. But in today’s ‘Now upon a time’ the rhythm is different. Human and cultural reasoning has so clouded Christians to an extent that the primary questions young people ask or hear from their parents and/or elderly people ask are “where is s/he from?” or “where is s/he working?” or “what is his/her parents’ financial status?” or “how are you sure s/he can conceive/impregnate a child/woman” and the list goes on and on. Little wonder that some unserious and Christless Church youths seek shortcuts by having sex or worst still, getting pregnant to ‘blackmail’ parents into endorsing their marriage.

The act of blackmailing parents or impregnating a lady or having sex before marriage is a sin (irrespective of the reasons). God’s word in verse 4 of Hebrew chapter 4 reveals, “Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex” (The Message). Thus, sex before marriage and sex with anyone other than your wife/husband remains dishonoring to God- our Father and the Holy Spirit who dwells in you.
Sometimes (if not most times), the change in these rhythms of questioning is witnessed among parents who are seasoned and renowned disciples of Christ.

 Pst. O. J. Dickson

Parents who have trailblazed Christian values in their homes, Church, and society are becoming champions of traditional and cultural criteria for marriage at the expense of seeking to know God’s will and God’s will alone. I have heard on multiple occasions how young men are frustrated and infuriated by potential in-laws when they seek their daughters’ hands in marriage. ‘Now upon a time’ is the determining factor for accepting young people’s marriage proposals. They tend to tilt more towards anything other than God’s will. Maybe this reality accounts for why the rate of divorce, separation, and avoidable conflict is on the increase.

Once upon a time, seeking God’s will was the thrust of the question, but ‘Now upon a time’ some may say, it seems needless to ask such an ‘old fashion question.’ Let me render some advice to the wise. Although walking in the will of God does not immune your marriage or life from the storms of life, you rest assured of God’s presence in that storm. Should you be ignorant of what the presence of God can do in your life, please do a personal study on this subject. If you do, you will not want to do anything outside His will. I call you to recalibrate your criteria for marital choice – to put God’s will/opinion back as the primal determinant against cultural and societal evaluations.

The realities of ‘Now upon a time’ invites you to the saying in a movie title, ‘Fighting temptations.’ In that movie, when the abominable happened in the Church, one of the characters called Paulina exclaimed, this act is an “abomination that causes desolation.” It is abominable to ignore the will of God for your marriage (or any facet of your life). The reason is that the resultant consequence of ignoring the犀利士 will of God ends in desolation. Thus, the clarion call is made to all persons involved in “the marriage process” – the intending couples, their parents, formal/informal counselors, and every stakeholder (let’s call them “mouth-choking” actors and actresses) to seek God’s will. In the words of my friend, Anaja Odekina, “mouth-choking” actors and actresses are the invited and uninvited council of concerned Uncles, Aunties, Cousins, Neighbours, etc. You may have one of such in your family.

Our chief discipler, Jesus, modeled a way of life when in verse 38 of John chapter 6, he declared, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” Also, in verse 42 of the book of Luke chapter 22, Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (NIV) These passages of scripture tell you of Jesus’ reliance on the will of God. In the renewed Spirit of ‘Now upon a time,’ let’s emulate Jesus, and in the quest for God’s will being the determinant for marital choice, the marriage should stay anchored on God’s will for the continuance/sustenance of the marriage.

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