Some years ago, a beloved family friend, who is also an older brother, was getting married. It was a colourful event. As we sat outside the reception venue, I was conversing with another older friend of mine. She has a good job and is also beautiful. She is a born-again child of God. I knew she was growing in the faith also. She shares really helpful resources with me as a young pastor. 

As we discussed that day, she let out her fears. She said, "I am not sure I look forward to getting married. I have seen a lot of bad examples". I honestly, at that point, could not relate to her fears. I have seen quite some good examples, my parents' marriage inclusive. 

Can we address that fear today? 

Fear reigns wherever ignorance is king. When you enter an examination hall unprepared, what is the state of your mind? Troubled, disoriented, and disturbed. What happens when the questions before you are the exact ones you practiced just before the examination? You are at rest. You address each matter with confidence. 

The first good example is that of Jesus Christ and the Church- pure love! We are instructed to learn from that. A man who does not understand this mystery is not ready for the marriage covenant. 

The pastor who counselled us asked me, "What will make you leave your wife?" I paused and reflected. Then I answered, "Sir, whatever will make Christ leave the church.” He smiled and said, "Let us face reality". I responded, "Sir, my reality is Christ.”

A man should love his wife like Christ loves the church. Simple! 

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Ephesians 5:25-28 MSG

Second, I saw a great example in my parents (now 43 years of marriage). I saw life examples of standing together in love and godly strength. It is so marked in my heart that it was strange to see marriages not working. 

When Mum had sight challenges, I saw Dad holding her hands, touching his own eyes with her two hands and saying, "From now, these are your eyes.” From 1998 till date, he has kept that word. You need to see them play as love birds. 

If you have seen so many bad examples, it will definitely affect your mind. What do you then do?

First, get a clear understanding from the Word of God about the marriage covenant. You are a believer, but you believe more in "packaged poison" than the word of God. You meditated so much on terrible stories from blogs, movies and the media that it has distorted the truth of the Word. Stop feeding on "nonsense". Get back to the real image. It is in the Word. 

Second, learn from godly and working examples. There are still examples of godly marriages. They may not be perfect, but there are lessons that have kept them till now- love, patience, sacrifices. Draw the juice to help your journey. 

Where are you getting the pictures you have in your mind? Do not give up until you find the picture of a godly marriage. Stop listening to testimonies of woe. 

Deal with that fear.

©️ *temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa.*

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