President of Family Care Mandate Ministry IntÃ¢â‚¬â„¢l Lagos, Rev Ebenezer Diyaolu, spoke with Adeoye Olorunseun on the perils of premarital sex and merits of virginity as well as sundry issues. Excerpts:
We live in an era where pre-marital sex seems to be fashionable, would you say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a result of the upbringing, western culture or is it that there is no God factor anymore?
There are so many factors when it comes to the issue of pre-marital sex. It depends on individuals. For some, it is due to lack of proper upbringing. Some have good parents and proper upbringing but peer pressure prevailed. The influence of the social media, western culture and all of that also count.
There are so many factors on why single are into it. Some will even blame it on poverty while some are just looking for self identity and validation. Things like the number of guys youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve slept with determine how big and hot they are. Such ladies do not have strong self esteem of their own. But one thing about sexual immorality is once will never be enough. You will always want more.
Is it right to say larger percentage of those that fall prey of pre-marital sex are from broken homes?
Yes, though we have those from stable homes still doing that. We know of people whose parents live together but still fornicate. But we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t deny the fact that many of the singles involved are from broken homes. Nobody is giving them fatherly affection. Imagine a girl growing up with a single mom without a father figure in her lives. By the time such gets into school and see a guy who shows her love and care from the masculine perspective, such a girl could easily become a prey. That is why I always tell parents that when they separate or divorce, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s never just about them. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more about their children. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about generation yet unborn. The effect of that separation/divorce on your child, on your childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s children, nobody can predict how far it can go on. So at times, when people are from broken homes, they have broken perspectives about life. They have broken character, broken identity and before you know it, anything goes. Even if itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a boy that is living with a single mom or a single dad and sees a sugar-mummy or someone who offers him sex in exchange of money and all of that, such a boy can be lured into pre-marital sex. It takes extraordinary grace of God, discipline and determination from someone to say no, I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go into that.
You said when parent separates it affects their children and generation yet to come. Is that a psychological thing?
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s psychology because when you are separated, a child from broken homes who have never seen a fatherly care and the mum kept telling her how wicked the dad is, how he abandoned her and leaving the care and responsibility of the children on her shoulder and all of that. Psychologically, the girl will grow up with the mind that guys are wicked, men are bad. If sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not careful, she can have the mind of looking for someone to impregnate her, have a child and live as a single mother because she doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want troubles from men and before you know it the effect goes on like that and about four or more generations can go into that single parenthood because they have been taught men are not good. If such patterns flow in a family, it takes a courageous Christian to say no, I can make a difference. The person can be able to trace where the parents and grandparents got it wrong and build a solid marriage. Bad marriage is not hereditary. Neither is good marriage. It is a matter of personal decision. Even if you had a bad pattern, you can stop and do the proper check up and before you know it a white pap can come out of a black pot.
You said children are more challenged when families break apart. Should parents have stayed together irrespective of what they are passing through for the childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sake?
As a pastor, as a marriage counselor, as a marriage minister, based on the word of God, I will never advocate for divorce and I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say I love what God hates. I will be an automatic enemy of God but we know that there are extreme cases where there is domestic violence. In cases where there are situations that threaten lives, we might actually not suggest divorce but separation. If your wife has been cooking for you, washing your clothes, you beat and maltreat her, by the time there is a little separation and you are the one doing those chores for yourself, you will miss her. That situation can speak to you that you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t value the woman before. Now you know her worth. I will not advise a woman to stay in an abusive relationship where sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been beaten, molested, humiliated just because just because she wants to stay with her children. If you stay in such marriage, you will eventually die and your children will still have to go through some challenges. So, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better to leave for a while until the situation is calm and then let there be a reunion and you can continue the marriage. Once it is life- threatening, let there be a gap. You can always come back again. But you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to pack your load just because your husband said he will slap you. That is why I tell people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be quick to suggest divorce to couples. It should be the last option after you have tried everything from reconciliation, to counseling, perseverance and separation. If none of that is working you can now say okay, what else. Many people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to endure in marriage anymore. Nobody wants to persevere, nobody wants to forgive, nobody wants to endure, and everybody is claiming feminism. People are just bastardising marriage. Even separation should be the second to the last option. If after youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done everything and there is no solution, if you are going to suggest divorce, you must make sure every option has been exhausted.
Is it possible not to see an element of physical/emotional abuses in oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s spouse while courting?
Most times the traces are there while they are in courtship but most ladies and guys of today say love is blind. Even when they are seeing it, they ignore it. When I was in courtship, I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t imagine telling my queen that I will slap you because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If a guy threatens you in a relationship or anytime you visit him, you see the way he beats his brother or sister mercilessly, something should be telling you that you might likely be the next punching bag.
But that could be discipline
Okay. A guy that you are in courtship with and anytime you go out heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fighting conductors because of five naira change, he will remove his suit and give you to hold for him, something should tell you that guy will do same to you.
It could be that he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like cheating
If you want to cheat him in marriage too, he will abuse you. I remember a guy told me that he was dating a lady and she was mistakenly stepped on in the bus. The guy said the lady fought like a tout. You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need anybody to tell you that the traces are there. He might not do it to you but if he can do it to outsiders who he can easily forgive and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fighting them because of five naira change because he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to be cheated, by the time you get married, something should be able tell that lady that the guy will be aggressive. The day he will ask for sex in marriage and you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to give him, he will think that you are cheating him just like the guy he fought because of five naira balance. Most times people see the traces in courtship but ignore it. But there are some that are not wicked in courtship, maybe something just happened along the way and they start showing abusive characters. These eyes we are carrying about are not the one needed for marriage. If you want to have a solid marriage, you will pray like David. There are inner eyes you need because the bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked, who can know it? There are traces in your guy that you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see. Some guys are so smart they can pretend. Only when they get married will they show the traces but most times, it is inside of them. The other thing is that at times, something can trigger it. Like now in courtship you are good to me and there are no abusive traits in the partner. We got married and you deny me sex and it is constant. To every action there is always a reaction. You will teach me how to become wicked to you. By the time I feel you are depriving me of something I will look for ways to attack you. When people leave what they are doing in courtship that made them to be good to their partners and they start behaving abnormal, the tendency is that their partners will want to repay them in the same coin. If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want your partner to become bad, maintain your goodness. But I will also say even if your partner declines in what heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing as a good thing that attracted you, that is not an excuse for you to become violent. It is not an excuse for you to become immoral. You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t allow evil to win you. The bible says to overcome evil with good. Two wrongs can never make a right.
Can pre-marital sex blind one from seeing the actual trait or character of oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s intending partner?
Pre-marital sex beclouds your sense of judgment. Once there is sex, two people are already joined in the spiritual realm as far as God is concerned. There is something we call soul tie and it happens during sex. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know whether you are married or not. As far as two of you have entered into each other, there is soul tie. So even when people want to walk out of abusive relationship, they just feel something is pulling them back. They know the guy is not good but they just canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t leave him especially if the guy is the one that deflowered the lady. The lady feels used, abused, humiliated and trapped even when the guy is not treating her right. She feels I will manage and I always tell them if you manage such thing it will damage you. Once you start having sex, you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be able to judge the character of the person very well. Where you should talk, you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t talk because your soul has been knitted together. Another thing aside pre-marital sex is heavy investment. If you have invested huge amount of money whereby you have joint businesses and ventures or landed properties, thinking you will soon get married, you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be able to leave again. It takes grace and determination to be able to walk away from such.
But what if the lady is advance in age and she finally gets a man who has all the qualities she want while he only asks for sex?
That is human wisdom and it is perfect. But as far as you want to follow the bible, the word of God, even if it is five minutes to your wedding and you had sex, as far as God is concerned, they are still fornicators. The bible says adulterers and whoremongers, God will judge. If a lady is already advanced in age and she sees a guy she wants to marry and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pressurizing her for sex, wisdom demands that you should not have a long courtship and make sure you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a long distance relationship. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t compromise your standard because every pre-marital sex is under pretense. Somebody like me got married as a virgin. I married my queen as a virgin and we never had sex.
But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rare to see guys married as virgins
Very rare but we still have some. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m grooming about 70 guys who are virgins. They are young guys in secondary school.
That you can actually vouch for?
Yes, I have a group of them and ladies too.
But a guy who is a virgin is seen by his friends as odd or impotent
That is why they say, show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. One of the things that helped me stay away from sexual immorality then was the kind of friends I was keeping. We had the same world view. We believe the bed must be undefiled. If I was walking with the wrong set of people I would have compromised. If you want to stay sexually pure, move with people with the same orientation. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let anyone make you feel as if you have incurable disease because you are a virgin. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not old version; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s version.
Would you say those who married as virgins have successful homes than those who were not?
No. Although when you marry as virgins, there are so many advantages and the marriage is blessed. You must obey God but marriage has to do more with integrity than virginity. The bible did not say through virginity a house is built. Proverbs 24: 3-4 gave three major materials that you need in building a solid marriage. It says through wisdom a house is built, by understanding it shall be established and by knowledge the chambers will be full of precious riches. If you carry ordinary virginity to your husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house, no brain, no intellectual and no financial capacity or cooking ability, no man wants to cherish your virginity. He will throw you away with it. There are people who before they met God have had sex and have repented, they have built their lives and work on themselves. Such people will have godly marriages than a lady that just carried virginity inside her and nothing upstairs. SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not socially inclined, academically sound and morally upright. If she thinks virginity alone will help, she is mistaken. But if you marry as a virgin, there are things that will not give you headaches in marriage. Like if I have slept with four, five ladies before I got married, there is every tendency to compare and contrast them with my wife. It is easier for people who didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t marry as virgins to fall into adultery. If people can abstain from sexual immorality, it will be to their own joy. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not as if God does not want you to have sex, He just want you to have it at the right time and at the right environment.