MARRIAGE OR MIRAGE? – Pastor Bimbo Animashaun

Over the years, I’ve been privileged of God to speak some vital truths and uncover some salient facts on different layers of the marital experience, and I discovered that it’s customary for Christians to habitually and intrinsically shy away from the truth.

Sometimes we focus more on the accessories at the expense of the essentials, and at the end of the day, many children of God have inadvertently found themselves in difficult marital situations which have almost become a conundrum.

For instance, if the Pastor tells his members, “Beloved, today I want to preach on the topic, THE BELIEVER’S AUTHORITY IN CHRIST”, he’s likely to get a very good and enthusiastic response from his members, but if he says “Today we’ll look at the topic, SEX IN MARRIAGE”, he’s likely to see a couple of them squeeze their faces or put up a facade that gives the impression that the Pastor is carnal, yet many of them may be grappling with avoidable challenges in their marital adventure.

Personally I don’t play to the gallery in ministry. I speak the truth from my heart but with the motivation of love.

I believe in the maxim which says, “If a lie thrives for years, one day the truth will overtake it”.

As ministers we can’t afford to play games with the destinies of the people committed to our care.

The Bible tells us that we can do nothing against the truth but for the truth – 2Cor.13:8. You see, the truth is not emotional; the truth is eternal, and it has to be spoken in love – Eph. 4:15.

One day, in a vision, the Lord showed me these three words, “MARRIAGE OR MIRAGE”? I was waiting on Him to receive the theme of our SINGLE BRETHREN SUMMIT(SBS) for that quarter.

I saw those words written very boldly on a board, and I knew instantly that that was the theme of SBS for that quarter.

Although I taught along this line at that meeting, but ever since I’ve been waiting upon the Lord for the appropriate time to teach it on the social media platform, the Lord hasn’t given me the signal to go ahead until this morning.

This teaching will be in four parts; this is part one. It is very holistic and comprehensive in approach in the sense that for the unmarried, it helps them to guide their marital choices, and for the married, it helps them to fine-tune their marriages and discover areas of alignment and adjustment.

The pertinent question to ask is this friend, “Are you preparing for a MARRIAGE or a MIRAGE?”.

The irony here is that many people presumptuously think that they’re preparing for MARRIAGE but in actuality they’re preparing for MIRAGE because the indices and parameters for a principle-centred marriage preparation are not there.

Some are in courtship now and all that they do is to pretend or live in denial of some very obvious, clear-to-the-blind existential realities.

Well, I feel sorry for those folks; bless their darling hearts, but for one thing, ANY RELATIONSHIP THAT IS BUILT ON PRETENSE WILL BE TENSED UP.

Marriage is not meant for pretense or window-dressing; there’s meant to be openness and transparency.

I say this with great caution and reluctance; a couple of people who are battling with issues in their marriages today probably saw flashes or appearances of those issues in their courtship but glossed over them under the guise of love or under the guise of the popular maxim, “With time things will get better”.

But friend, time changes nothing; the Word does.The Word of God is the unchangeable Instrument changing the “seemingly unchangeables” of this world.

As a matter of fact, marriage changes nothing; it only amplifies what’s been there. If someone is dirty before she gets married, she will be dirtier in marriage, because by then children will be on ground and also the challenge of home-keeping will be there.

By the same token, if a man is stingy before he gets married, he will be stingier in marriage because by then, the space is expanded to cater for more people – wife, children, extended family, in-laws and what have you.

If a sister does not know how to turn “amala” now but only knows how to boil water to prepare coffee or only tries her hand on preparing noodles, you don’t expect that when you get married, the “anointing” to turn “amala” will jump on her.

It is not a crime that she doesn’t know how to turn “amala”. That could have been a result of over-pampered upbringing but then, she should go learn it, otherwise, my brother, when you get married, you’re not going to eat “amala” but “amalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh”.That is incontestible!

The Bible says:

PROVERBS 18:22
Whoso findeth A WIFE(notice it doesn’t say whoso findeth A SISTER) findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.

The challenge with many brothers is that they have found SISTERS who haven’t become WIFE MATERIALS by Biblical standard.

Similarly, many SISTERS are already up with BROTHERS who haven’t become HUSBAND MATERIALS (imagine a man contesting with his wife over a piece of meat). That kind of a man is a rookie of the highest order.

If a brother does not know how to take care of a woman before he gets married, he will always dress his wife down in marriage, bash her with injurious words and always use her as a means to an end in marriage.

To enjoy your man therefore, then you need to encourage him to be under a very strong and uncompromising pastoral authority that will teach him the ethos and ethics of marriage as far as Kingdom lifestyle is concerned.

We cannot feign ignorance of these issues. I’m a Pastor by God’s Grace and I’ve seen all kinds of nauseating and repugnant marriage-related issues within my eighteen years of doing ministry.

One thing I’ve discovered is that any area we refuse to shed light on for God’s precious people often becomes a platform for the enemy to take advantage of them. Like Dr. Lester Sumrall once said, “God cannot bless ignorance”.

MARRIAGE DEFINED

Now having said that, what is Marriage? It is a
union of two persons (male and female) in a conjugal bliss i.e. in a covenanted mutually-affectionate manner of being a husband and wife with the purpose of sharing their life together to the Glory of God.

Now that’s my personal definition and I believe it lines up with the Word. Please pay attention to the word “mutually-affectionate”.

People have asked me repeatedly that “Can God lead you to a brother or a sister that you don’t love or like?”.

Pertinent question, isn’t it? Well, based on the Bible, if you’re born-again, the love of God (i.e. Agape) is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit given to you – Rom. 5:5.

So you have the capacity to love everyone as children of God but not as a husband or wife.

However, if it’s God that leads you to someone, then inside that word is resident the capacity to love and like that person maritally.

If you’re sure it’s God leading you, then you have to respond by faith and quit walking by your feeling and you discover that love and likeness will be built in your heart gradually.

It’s almost the same way we all got born-again. We all didn’t love God neither did we like Him, but then we heard the Gospel, received it by faith and suddenly God’s love was birthed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and that love is being built gradually as we learn to fellowship more with the Lord in the Word and in prayer.

The same way, it is very possible for you to receive someone you don’t love or like at first (this is exceptional though), but as you walk by faith, you notice that love and likeness is growing gradually in your heart for that person.

The balance here is that all of these must happen before you go to the altar. NEVER GO TO THE ALTAR WITH SOMEONE YOU DON’T HAVE AFFECTION FOR.

Somebody might say, “But Pastor, I have CONVICTION”. But my beloved Brother or Sister, you must have AFFECTION too.

Hear this beloved, SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE IS AN INTERPLAY OF CONVICTION, AFFECTION AND ATTRACTION ON THE PART OF BOTH PARTIES.

Remember that God did not impose Eve on Adam but brought her unto him and Adam expressed his satisfaction – Gen. 2:22-24.

The AFFECTION that didn’t grow before marriage (even if it’s at the embryonic stage) is not likely to grow in marriage. That may end up to be a MIRAGE.

So take time for love and likeness to grow in you for the other person before marriage.

May I say at this juncture that I’m never part of the generation who teach that God doesn’t lead people in marriage because it’s very clear from Scriptures that DIVINE GUIDANCE is our heritage – Rom. 8:14 and it is God Who does the joining in marriage – Matt. 19:6.

I also don’t subscribe to the notion that two people can marry each other even if they don’t like each other from Adam because it’s also very clear from Scriptures that marriage is a union of two LOVERS, not HATERS.

Why marry someone that every time you see them, you will be sad?

Please don’t put yourself in bondage and don’t rob that person of a blissful marital experience; there’s somebody somewhere who will love and like the person and accept them the way they are.

MIRAGE DEFINED

It’s an effect caused by hot air in deserts or on roads, that makes you think you can see something, such as water, which is not there.

It is also defined as a hope or wish that you cannot make happen because it is not realistic i.e. illusion. Both definitions are from Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.

If you’ve ever been driving on a long trip or you were just on a long trip as a passenger, at times when you gaze into the distance, you see an effect or appearance on the road and you thought it was a cluster of water, but on getting closer to it you discovered that there was really nothing there. That’s what is called A MIRAGE.

I’ve driven to far distances and I had the same experience. At times on such trips I even tried to slow down a bit so as not to forcefully disperse a body of water, just to discover that there’s nothing there.

That’s how deceptive a mirage can be. Now how does that apply to marriage? You see, sometimes prospective couples have a very high expectation for their marriages.

They have an imaginary picture of a utopian marriage but close their eyes to current realities in the build-up to marriage, hoping for a miracle, but the more they get close to marriage, the more they discover that those imaginary pictures are SYNTHETIC, not AUTHENTIC – they’re only figments of imagination and products of over-zealous and over-bloated expectations and excitement.

When they however get to the theatre of operation, they suddenly discover that the future has been empty because no investment was made into it from the outset.

Therefore stop sweeping issues under the carpet. Stop glossing over issues that border on your future happiness.

Deal with issues in the light of God’s Word and together you and your future partner will prepare for a great and blossoming marriage.

Some people are fond of saying “Love is blind”.Well, no qualms. I believe that very soon, marriage will open those blind eyes.

Trust this is a blessing Sirs and Mas?

To Be Continued

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