THF SUNDAY SERVICE
13TH FEBRUARY, 2022
TOPIC: FAMILY, LOVE AND RELATIONSHIP
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 8
PREACHER: Rev. Ebenezer Olawuyi
There are a lot of questions and issues that have been raised as regards if Valentine is a Christian holiday or a Christian celebration? We don’t want to take that up as an issue now, but one thing we know is that every opportunity we have, we should useit for His Glory because the devil never creates anything and it is God who created everything. So, we do not bother about such issues whether Valentine is a Christian holiday or not. I am not here to celebrate or preach about Valentine, I want to tell you about Love. Love did not start with Valentine, Love started with God, for the bible says, God is Love.
One man called Winston Churchill, who led Great Britain for many years, was asked by journalists, “If you were not who you are, who would you love to be”. After thinking for some minutes, he said,“I would love to be Lady Clementine’s second husband,”that is, if he was not who he was, he would still want to be his wife’s second husband, because he loves her so much and wouldn’t want to leave her. A war General when asked what he would like to be his epitaph after his death said, let it be written on his tomb thathe loved his family, his love is true and they love him too. This is uncommon for people in such high profile and people were left wondering. Billy Graham was asked what the secret of his love for 54 years of marriage is and he said, “Ruth and I are happily incompatible” (his wife is Ruth). They are incompatible but they were happy,for 54 years.
Winston Churchill was asked again what he regarded as hisgreatest achievement in lifeand he said, “My best achievement was the ability to convince my wife to marry me”. That was his best achievement, not his military exploits. Is this not contrary to what we see in our days today?That is why we have so many challenges among the young people today, because those who we esteem as leaders do not follow this. The leaders believe that when they get to a higher position in life, they need to change their spouses. In a developed world, when a man is accused of infidelity, that man resigns from his office because they take such offence something that should not even be mentioned. Such man goes publicly and apologizes to his wife, however, sometimes in the African culture, the wife would still be the one to apologise, because it is believed the man cannot be wrong.
Love is deeper than feelings, it is a commitment.Feelings will fade and wear out, but love will remain and grow stronger. The fact is that, living with the same person for many years can become boring. No matter how much you love rice, if you eat it everyday and every time, after some time, you will get bored. The children of Israel after eating Manna for a long time complained. Such can expose you to temptations, craving for something that is new, something exciting and something that is not explored. Infidelity, or an affair, whether indulged in or imagined is more exciting than marriage, why? Because it is something unexplored; something that you have not tried. It is usually more exciting, like the apple God told Adam not to eat which Satan eventually convinced Eve to eat.There is always a desire for man to check for something new, unknown and unexplored and that is usually the beginning of the trouble of mankind. That is why affairs should not be considered alone; it brings out that desire in you that it is something exciting, unexplored but it brings much more pain after it.
No person can compete with an affair because there is always a desire for something new and unexplored. Struggling to compete with an affair will only ruin you, there are better ways to handle affairs. Playing with an affair is like sitting upon a gunpowder. Most times, when it happens, especially among brethren, it comes as a result of trying to help a person, e.g. the husband or the wife has not been there for her/him and so, you want to come in to help and counsel. From there, it gets to a point, you get so close and it becomes tempting. Don’t entertain temptations. Beware of good friendship and relationship that has become a snare.Don’t dance at the edge of infidelity.
Love is a commitment, it is not a feeling. You can learn that example from Ruth. Ruth did not base her relationship on feeling but on commitment. You also heard the word of Billy Graham, who has been married for 54 years and said, “Ruth and I are happily incompatible”. Marriage is a relationship between two forgivers, it does not bring together people who think alike, but people who think together. Don’t struggle to clone your husband or wife to think like you. The differences in the two of you bring about the strength of that relationship. Unforgiveness in marriage can wear out the love in marriage. Unforgiveness causes bitterness, hurt and you know what happens especially when it is not processed… it always seeks for revenge.A good marriage is a union of two forgivers. Conflict cannot be avoided in marriage, what happens in a healthy marriage is that there is always forgiveness.
Love is not in words, love is in Action as seen in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is sacrifice, honouring your spouse, respecting your spouse, admiring your spouse, appreciating your spouse. Man is an emotional being even though he is spiritual. No matter how spiritual he is, that person is still an emotional being and you must recognize that. That is why you need to find out, reach out and touch the other spouse because every person has a way by which you can reach them, and that is what is called “Love Language”. Thereis something you can use to reach out and open the flow of emotion in that person. Many spouses do say that love dies, however, love does not die, it can only become neglected. Many spouses and marriages are being threatened, because someone has neglected his or her responsibilities. God does not say we should cast our responsibilities on him, he only says we should cast our cares on him.
There are three kinds of spouses:
- The man or woman you thought you marry.
- The man or woman you actually marry.
- The man or woman your marriage made the man or woman to be.There are people who are open before, but after some time, they become closed up because the person they thought they married is not who they wanted.
According to the Christian belief, whosoever you marry, whether the person you thought you marry or actually married, the Word of God does not support divorce. It is now, “I have married him, what do I do?” It is no longer “I want to separate”. Researchshows that there are more breakups for people after remarrying than people who stays with their first marriage. “Who tells you the person you are going to marry is better than the former one?”Relationship is not like a keyboard that you just press, it is time and time is one of the things that marriage feast on.
BASIC THINGS ABOUT MARRIAGE
I will use the letters of the word “Marriage” as an acronym to describe the concept. Marriage is:
M- Model of Christ: When purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable. You need to know why God established marriage (Eph. 5:22 – 23, 1 Cor. 11:3). Christ must be the head and saviour of every relationship. That is why young people must know from the beginning that one thing to find is if the person you want to marry recognises the Lordship of Jesus in his or her life. God established marriage to be a model of Christ, to be like the relationship of the church with Christ – “Therefore, just asthe church is subject to Christ, so also, the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” God established marriage to be a model of Christ.
A – Autonomous:Marriage is not supposed to be an extension of your parent’s home. We talk about external interference in the home as one of the causes of marriage problem, no!It is because the marriage itself has problems that it opens the door for others to come in. If the marriage itself does not have problem, the door will not be open for others to come in. Marriage should therefore be autonomous, there are so many immature men in the body of Christ who are still Daddy’s and Mummy’s baby. Don’t marry daddy’s baby or mummy’s baby, if not you will have problem. I know a man who was even a grandparent, his wife told him that she wants a shop in front of their house and the man had to travel back home to consult his aged mother about it. Your home is not a subsidiary of your father or mother’s home. It is an entity on its own. Some wives are mummy’s baby also, the moment anything happens, they rush to tell their mummy. In Gen. 2:24, the scripture says, the two of them shall become one flesh. A man must leave – leave emotionally and physically. If you allow external interference, there will be a problem.
R2 – Respectable:Heb. 13:4 – 5 – Marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled. God talked about marital matter in the law and commands that the issue of sex outside marriage is an abomination to the Lord. In the olden days, they do a test to know if a lady is a virgin and if she was found not to be, she would be stoned in front of her parent, because they believe it is an abomination to the land of Israel. Sex before marriage and outside marriage is a serious abomination to the Lord. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – 7, the Bible says don’t be like the gentiles. Every man has to keep his body in sanctification and honour. Abstain from sexual lusts. I don’t like the word “dating”, because it is a period of testing and when you try out different things to know if you are both compatible. The bible asks us to separate ourselves from the world. We should not behave like the gentiles. 1 Thess. 3:6 – nobody should even take advantage of one another. Young brothers, don’t take advantage of that lady. One of the reasons to go into marriage is to avoid fornication but if you do not conquer fornication before marriage, you cannot overcome it with marriage. You must deal with it now, you must cry to God while you are young now that such problem must be dealt with. The only name that can stop it is the name of Jesus. Marriage can calm it down for some time, but it cannot save you from that lust. The same issue you do not deal with now will deal with you later. Gen. 39:9 – Whenyou commit sexual sin, you commit sin against God and wickedness against God. Sometimes ago, a pastor was preaching to a widow and he told her that God knows she is an emotional person and that she hasfeelings, so she should just stick with one person that will be servicing her, just one and God will understand. This is wrong! Death ends the covenant of marriage, but sex will only be allowed within marriage. In the book of Deuteronomy, God warns the children of Israel against this. The widow is free to marry, but sex must be within marriage, not after marriage. Starting an affair is always very sweet, but the devil causes a man to pay more than he or she has bargained for.
I – INDISSOLUBLE:Marriage cannot be dissolved. Marriage is a lifelong covenant between a matured man and a matured woman which is governed by the word of God and not by the Nigerian’s legal system. By the legal system, when you don’t want your wife again, you can go to the court for divorce, but the Scripture says, “A man shall leave his father and mother,” whatsoever God has joined together, let no man put asunder.The pastor has no right to dissolve marriage. Even if you are separated, as long as the man or woman is alive, there is a spiritual connection between the two of you, that is why the scripture says he who marries she who is divorced has committed adultery. Even if you have the certificate of divorce, it is still spiritually wrong to commit divorce or have sex outside marriage because the scripture says, “Whoever marries a divorced person has committed adultery”. God is still seeing the two of you together as long as the person is alive (Rom. 7:2; Luke 16:16-18). So, marriage is indissoluble.
A – AGREEMENT OF TWO:Marriage is two people coming to agree. Do not let anybody force you to marry. There is power in unity. A man and a woman comes together to form a formidable thing. Nobody forces you, it is an agreement of two people.
G – GOD MADE:Marriage is God-made and not a man-made institution. God himself made it. It was not Adam who saw that he needed a wife, Adam was alone and God provided for him a partner, a helper. The idea was from God and not from man. Every marriage needs a third party. The third party is God, not man. In it, all things consists and by him all things exists. When God is a part of your marriage, your marriage will stand. When God is between the two of you, then your marriage will be strong. You must know that God made marriage and therefore, not build your marriage around the world’s system.
E – EQUAL YOKED:Marriage is between believers, not unbelievers. A believer is not just somebody who attends church, he is someone who has recognised God as his Lord and Saviour. We see men and women today who only profess Jesus with their mouthbut Jesus is not Lord to them. If Jesus is Lord in your life and you are angry, the moment you hear the word of God, you are calmed. It must be a relationship with a believer, not just someone who comes to church (Joshua 23:12 – 14). For whatever reason, parents, don’t give your daughter to an unbeliever. Young people, don’t marry an unbeliever.
This is for the young people, and is relevant to everyone.
- Before you get marriage, you need to discern the will of God: There is a written will: Don’t marry an unbeliever (2 Cor. 6:14). You must know that God wants to lead you into his will and must recognize that. Gen. 24:12 – Godled Eleazar to find a wife for Isaac. God also leads by spectacular methods like dreams and prophecy, however, the first is by the Spirit of God. When I was praying for a life partner, I was a student then and almost graduating. Even though I had a desire to marry a medical doctor, deep inside of me, I wanted the will of God. I prayed about it and sought for it, but when the time was right, we were together in the same unit, serving God, but my eyes were all over, not even on her. We had finished our meeting in the unit (Children Evangelical Ministry) and were already leaving Church when it seems to me that something just fell off my eyes when I looked at her. The interesting thing is that we were in the same unit for more than 2 years, but this day, I suddenly saw and I just knew inside of me that this is my wife. We greeted then and it started as friendship. We were not friends, but from that day, we began to be friends. I had to also seek God to know if it wasn’t infatuation. God still leads. There is a will of God for you and you must find him or her. Everybody you enjoy talking withdoesn’t necessarily mean it is God’s will for you.
- Get busy for the Lord: When God brought wife for Adam, he was busy tilling the ground. Some people are looking for wife or husbandsbut are not busy for the Lord. Some people’s prayer points is for God to give them their husband or wife, but they are doing nothing. Get busy for the Lord. When Eleazar found Rebecca, he found her busy at a well, coming to look for water for the herd. Go to the church – the well of water, and get yourself active in serving the Lord. I remember a sister sometimes ago, she was a member at the beginning of the Ministry in 2006. She was in the Usher, busy serving the Lord and was of age. One day, a brother who was working in an oil company came from Warri to see his father in Ilorin. He decided to look for a church to worship in and came to THF. This sister, the usher welcomed the brother and there was nothing more than that. Unknowingly, the brother had been praying for a life partner. He told me later that he saw the sister and immediately knew she was his wife. Two years later, they got married. They are with children and doing pretty fine now.
- Don’t be anxious or fret:Ps. 27 – Fretnot, trust the Lord. It was when Adam slept that God provided a wife for him. Until you sleep, your spouse will not show up. Sleep here means to rest; calm yourself down. Don’t fret if others are getting married. God can give you speed, so don’t fret or get unnecessarily anxious. I remember a sister many years agowho was always anxious. She went to serve in Ogun State and after a while, she met a man but the man was only deceiving her. I told her to calm down… be careful of a man or woman who cannot subject himself to authority. The Family Life Committee invited the man, but he refused to come. At a point, she told me she was afraid. I told her to calm down, but she said it was her mother that was pressurizing her. I told her then that her mother will not be the one to live with her in her marriage. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last two months. The man would always beat the woman. The man refused to work and was collecting the wife’s salary, wasting it on yoghurt and suya. One of the ways to avoid this is not to be anxious, do not live under pressure. It is better to be late than to be the late.
- Trust God for His Plans:He is your father and won’t give you anything that is bad (Matthew 7:7). God is better than your mortal father. So, don’t make haste. Isa. 28:15 – hethat believes will not make haste.
- Remove all Idols:An idol is something you have said that you want. Ps. 37:4 – when you do the will of God, you will fit into God’s purpose. When you set an idol, someone in your mind to marry already – tall and slim, from a particular place, a doctor, a lawyer, etc…it is good to have your desire, but act like Jesus “not my will, but your will”. Ezek. 14: 3 – 4, God may give you the idol you have in your heart, but His will is the best. If you desire to marry an Igbo man and He gives you a Yoruba man, accept it for His will is the best.
- Check your Indicator:If the relationship is wrong, there is always a red light you will see if you are with God. Sometimes in the journey, even when you want to propose or after proposing, if you see a red light, don’t be oblivious of it. Beware of red light! They say love is blind, but open your eyes. One thing is that if you are loved by God, He will give you an indication. At the beginning, a lady that doesn’t want to see your mother or siblings, watch out! A lady that doesn’t want to go to church, Watch Out! Check your indicator. Feeling is the voice of the flesh, don’t be moved by feelings, move by what God is saying.
- Seek Counsel:There is safety in the multitude of counsel. Don’t trivialize godly counsels. Always open your ears, don’t feel like you know all. That is why we have Family Life Committee in this church. A lady or a man who is always saying it is between the two of you and doesn’t want counsel, watch out! Now, if the counsel is contrary to the Scripture, don’t listen to that counsel. A young lady had been going on with a man for some time but the man has been postponing marriage.The lady told her pastor and the pastor said she should get pregnant for the man because the man will have no option but marriage in that case. The lady became pregnanttruly but after the pregnancy, the man disappeared; she couldn’t even see the man again.
God does not bring two compatible people together, he brings two incompatible people together. The incompatibility is the strength and beauty of marriage, only find out what you need to do. If you are a young person, believe God. The kind of person you will attract also depends on who you are. If you want to attract a godly man, be godly also. God wants you to have peace and never to regret.
- Father, thank you for your love for me. Help me never to misuse your love.