Family Life – May 2012

The courtship period is a time to make discoveries about the person you hope to marry. It is crucial during this period that you ascertain whether you are compatible with the person spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and socially.

Ade’s story

Ade gave his life to Christ as a teenager in secondary school. He was regular at all fellowship meetings in school and imbibed the teachings of their Chaplain, which bordered on values such as integrity and abstinence from sex before marriage. A naturally bright young man, Ade never cheated in exams and neither was he really interested in ladies. He remained a virgin throughout his secondary school days.

When he gained admission into the university, Ade found that it was a different story entirely where ladies were concerned. He found himself attracted to ladies and being a young man with a good mix of intelligence, decent looks, courtesy and a sense of humour, ladies were drawn to him. He had more than his fair share of female friends and temptations began to arise.

In one instance, he met a lady, during a semester break, with whom he became friendly. The friendlier they became, the more attractive he found her and it soon became obvious to him that the attraction was mutual.

However, he became uncomfortable with his feelings for the lady as he knew he was not ready for a relationship so he began to avoid her; thankfully the break was soon over and they returned to their different campuses. Two months later, he received a letter from the lady telling him of her intention to pay him a visit on campus on a particular weekend. From the letter, Ade noted that it was too late to reply her letter and dissuade her from coming so he decided to do the wisest thing in order to avoid a compromising situation even though he might appear ridiculous; Ade ran away from campus that weekend.

This occurrence led Ade to set some rules for himself just so that he might keep himself from sexual sin. Ade decided to avoid any and all situations that might stimulate him sexually; he also surrounded himself with male friends with whom he shared similar values so that they could help him reinforce his decision to stay chaste.

Furthermore, he restricted the number of ladies with whom he became friends and avoided getting close to anyone of them in order to avoid complications or assumption on their side. It was not easy at first to keep to these “rules” but with determination and a lot of prayers, Ade succeeded at keeping to them.

In his third year in the university, Ade met Joke. They became friends and he found that he really liked her. She shared similar beliefs and value with him and was well-mannered as well. Ade took her out on dates several times and the more he got to know Joke, the more he liked her and, to his delight, when he asked her to go steady with him a few months after they first met her response was positive. They began dating and as expected, they became emotionally and physically attracted to each other. The stronger their relationship grew, the stronger the attraction between them grew.

One evening, Joke went to visit Ade in his room at the staff quarters. As she came in and they hugged each other; Ade started reacting to Joke’s closeness and he had to quickly let go of her. Sitting her down, Ade explained how he was feeling to Joke. This led to a discussion on the mutual attraction they felt for each other and they both agreed that there was a need for them to establish some grounds rules and boundaries if they were not to have sex during the course of their courtship. Subsequently, they decided that Joke would not visit Ade in his room again. Instead, they would only meet in Joke’s room in the hostel or anywhere else on campus where they would not be alone by themselves. With God’s help, they stood by their decision until they graduated from the university.

Two years after their graduation, Ade and Joke got married to each other as virgins. At that time, Joke was working in a bank while Ade was also working with an estate management firm. Three years later, Ade resigned from his job in order to start his own estate business; he registered his company and soon, small jobs came along his way. About a year after, he wanted an office in Ikeja but he did not have enough cash to pay for the kind of office he actually wanted. He tried his best to raise some cash but after some months, he began to think of letting go of that particular office space.

One evening, as they sat down after dinner to discuss how each other’s day had been, Joke asked Ade how his plans to get money for a new office space was going and shaking his heads, Ade said that it seemed that he would have to postpone the plan for a few more months. Then, Joke asked Ade to excuse her few minutes whilst she got something she wanted to show him from the bedroom. A few minutes later, Joke came out with an envelope and smiling she handed it to him. When Ade opened the envelope, he found a cheque, made out to him, for an amount that would conveniently pay the rent, for his desired office space and still leave him with enough to buy some office equipment.

Ade was surprised and when he asked Joke to explain what was happening, she told him that it was her salary up-front for that year from the office. She was giving it to Ade so that he could rent the office space and pursue his dream. She told him that she believed in and trusted him completely and was willing to invest in his dreams. That evening, Ade was humbled by his wife’s gesture of love. With her help, he was able to take his business to a higher level and today, Ade’s company is one of the best in his industry.

This above illustration is just one of the many examples of ways in which Joke and Ade invest in each other and in their marriage. Ade and Joke celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary a few months ago. As they sat to dinner at a restaurant in Victoria Island, they reminisced over the last ten years and came to the conclusion that it had all been worth it and they look forward to the next ten years.

Conclusion

It is no longer unusual to find young couples that have been married for less than five years already contemplating divorce or separation. I have also found that most marriages are unhappy and couples are just enduring their marriages. Yet the Bible tells us that God looked at Adam and said that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18) and that everything that God does is good (Psalm 119:68). Marriage was God’s idea and it is therefore good. If this is so, why are there bad marriages?

The answer is not far-fetched; people do not go about marriage the right way, and the right way is God’s way. The foundation of every marriage is formed during the courtship period and when people do not do the right things during courtship, it will be hard for them to have good marriages.

The courtship period is a time to make discoveries about the person you hope to marry. It is crucial during this period that you ascertain whether you are compatible with the person spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and socially.

The basic reason why Ade and Joke have a successful marriage is because they courted right. They found out that they were both committed Christians (spiritual compatibility), they had the same values and beliefs (social compatibility), neither of them had issues with low self esteem, rejection, bitterness etc (emotional compatibility) and intellectually, they were also compatible.

It is only natural that when two people are courting, they feel sexually attracted to each other. However, a person who respects you and does not want to take advantage of your emotions will exhibit self-control and not have sex with you.

When Ade chose to talk to Joke about the sexual attraction he felt for her rather than try to have sex with her, he showed that he respected her, her Christian values and that he was a man who truly loved and feared God.

A person who does not take advantage of you in courtship will definitely not take advantage of you in marriage; he or she will treat you with respect and honour in marriage. Sex before marriage is an act of selfishness and shows a covetous nature. A person who cannot control his or her desires before marriage will definitely also show a lack of self-control in marriage and indulge in acts like infidelity, alcoholism, physical and verbal abuse etc.

Enjoy your home

 Folake Johnson

Please send  your comments to familylife@rccgchapelofmercy.org or sms to +234 (0) 8033033046

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