Pastor Alaba Adenekan of Destiny House Lagos speaks withÃ‚Â Adeoye OlorunseunÃ‚Â on how Christians should choose their life partners and sundry issue. Excerpts:
What is the best way for Christians to choose life partners?
The first thing that you need to do in choosing a life partner is to know God. Then know yourself before you begin to know someone else who is going to be your life partner.
The choice of a life partner determines a lot of things, it could determine whether you would fulfil your purpose or not and sometimes it could determine whether you will make heaven or not.
A life partner can determine that?
Yes when your life partner is giving you headaches every day and the bible is against you beating your wife or the wife disobeying and insulting the husband, it preaches submission but if the man is someone you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t submit to and by the time you are not submitting you are disobeying the word of God and you will go to hell.
If you get married and you are not fulfilled or happy, you might be looking for somebody that will comfort you. From there extra marital affair begins and when it happens you know you are on your way to hell already.
The fact that you are a Christian does not mean you will automatically marry the right person. There are so many born again that has made a lot of mistakes. That is why people need to seek the right knowledge and reason being that the first thing you need to do as a Christian is to know God and not your pastor who are humans and liable to make mistakes.
When they are not sincere they could make mistakes. The fact that a man is god- fearing and honest doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean he fits you. Some people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t choose right. They choose because he or she is a Christian.
Know God, define yourself and the third is to know what you need. Then know who you need as a husband or a wife.Ã‚Â And when knowing yourself, you need to understand the theory of temperament.
Does temperament fits into who to marry?
Yes it goes a long way. There are four kinds of temperaments. That means there are four kinds of people in the world.Ã‚Â We have the choleric- set of people that get angry easily. Then, there is the sanguine. They are talkative, they can talk from morning till night.
The phlegmatic not easily motivated and they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t easily get angry and there is the melancholic. They easily feel sad and have mood swings. So if a choleric marries a choleric, there will be chaos because if a man is angry, she wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to back down because she is equally angry.
You are shouting and she is shouting too. Then you will punch each other even though they are both pastors. That is why you see people beating each other. It is because they are not compatible. Choleric getting married to choleric is a misfit except if they trained themselves.
Choleric and sanguine getting married is a problem to an extent because choleric likes quietness. They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like it when people talk too much and anyhow and sanguine wants to talk. Problems will arise there too but when people are already married, they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to divorce.
They only need to go for counselling. So you should be able to know the kind of temperament that fits you. If you are not easily motivated, you should marry someone easily motivated. Then you need to also look at your weaknesses and strengths so that you can work on them. Know yourself religiously because as a Christian you shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t marry anyone that is not a child of God.
How do you know who a child of God is?
They must have given their lives to Christ and they must be living according to the word of God.
And if they are pretenders?
Some may not be pretending; it is only that their weakness has not manifested
How long does it take a weakness to show?
It could take 15 years
Then how would you know if the person is right if it could take that long for weakness to manifest in some people?
You need to know how the person behaves within the family circles. How he behaves to his/her parents and one of the criteria of marrying the right person is character. It will make you know if you can live with the person or not and be happy. At least before you get married, you must have lived an average of 20/25 years with your family and you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pretend with them. They are the best people that can tell you about him/her because the same way a guy behaves towards his sisters is how he would behave towards his wife.
Does that mean he canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t treat his wife better than the sisters?
Naturally speaking, it canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen. It could happen on a date or in a courtship but when you are married, sleeping and waking up together every day, the same way he talks to his sister that is the same way he would talk to you because you are his younger sister. And if you are the type that usually locks your brotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shirt while fighting, she will behave same way to the husband when she gets married and the question you need to ask yourself is, if the person doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t change would I be happy living with him/her? If you sincerely offer an answer to that question, you will marry right.
Is not risky to want to marry someone based on his/her willingness to change?
It is and that is why you need to think it through and want to live with it if he or she doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t change for the rest of your life. If your answer is yes, that is the best thing. If the answer is no, there is a comma and the best thing would be to leave that relationship and if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to leave the second best thing is to start working on that person to change.
Is there a difference between what you need and want?
Yes, you could want a man that lives in VGC who has two cars with flashy lifestyle and it may not be what you need. What you need might be someone with cool character that loves to go to church. It is not a matter of what I want; it is a matter of what I need. Some people need someone going to be strict on them and you might want someone that will be saying yes to everything you do.
You must know what you need. What is going to help you fulfil your purpose in life and that is why one of the things to discover before you get married is purpose.
How do you know who compliments you?
By knowing about religion, if there is no religion compatibility there could be a problem. You must marry a child of God like you; someone that obeys God and not just someone that goes to church. It is not that he is going to be perfect but when someone breaks the law, you will see some repentance.
You talk about temperament, you look at salvation, then you look at the relationship history of your intending spouse. When you know it, it will help you. You wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fight unnecessary battles. There are people that before they gave their life to Christ have committed some atrocity, so sometimes people need to make amend or restitution. So you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get married and start fighting battles not yours. There are people that have fought spiritual battles and are dead not because of themselves but because of the person they get married to. So in courtship, you need to start asking questions and when the person doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to talk you run.
But what happened to leaving the past in the past where it belongs?
Sometimes there are things in the past that we need to go and undo, re-do and there are things in the past we need to go and bring to the present and there are things that have been stolen from the past that need to be return so we need to go back to the past most of the time.
Where is a good place to get a good life partner/someone that compliments you?
You can get a good life partner anywhere, shrine or even in the strippersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ club but I am not saying that you should go there. What makes a good person is the character; it is not whether they go to church or born again. What makes a person good for you is the character compatibility. There are good people everywhere.
A lady once told me that she went with her fiancÃƒÂ©e to his family place. Immediately they entered, all the siblings excused themselves one after the other. Throughout their stay, none of them came in. You will know that he is a lion.
The lady said later the guy told her that when they get married she wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t talk to the neighbours and she eventually left him.
But there are people that look at the time, efforts, emotions and resources money invested in a relationship and find it difficult for them to leave.
Look at the time you have spent and all, compare it with the time you will live with the person. That is, how long you have to spend with that partner. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s say 40-70 years and you have invested 5-10 years in the relationship. Do you want to compare how long you have put with how long you are going live with the partner? Use that to determine it.