Gone are the days when prospective couples were boxed into a corner or prophetically conscripted into a conjugal relationship without a recourse to personal introspection to determine their level of readiness and preparedness for the marital experience.
Now, knowledge has increased; there is a greater awareness of the processes, intricacies and technicalities of the married life, and this is, of course, based on the infallibility of God’s Word. So, anyone who falls victim of marital brouhaha now has nobody to blame.
In the past, the central focus (if not the only focus) when it comes to preparation for marriage was CONVICTION. And if you were to ask for my take on that, I would give a nod but temper it with two other accessories which are AFFECTION and ATTRACTION.
It was the great man of God by the name of Dr. Lester Sumrall who was one of the forerunners that brought this perspective to the front burner.
Prior to this watershed in marital enlightenment, Christians pushed the issues of AFFECTION and ATTRACTION to the foreground, the resultant effect being the escalation of crisis on the marriage landscape in the Body of Christ.
Avoidable challenges were grappled with and many couples were frustrated. But like a neon sign in the sky, light began to pop up in the horizon and the Body of Christ became more enlightened and better informed.
Beloved, we cannot relegate AFFECTION and ATTRACTION in the quest to finding a marriage partner.
CONVICTION is key, and that has been my philosophy over the years, but I equally believe that GENUINE CONVICTION WILL PRODUCE AFFECTION AND ATTRACTION, and if the person involved is really sincere in his or her heart, this should happen within the SHORTEST possible time in case these two ingredients appeared not to be there from the outset.
Telling a Brother or a Sister to marry someone they don’t have “AFFECTION” or “ATTRACTION” or what people call “FEELINGS” for is wicked (please take note of my word “wicked”; it’s used intentionally).
Such miscalculation will snowball into frustration and fiasco, and in the long run, the victim may find himself or herself in a gargantuan gaga, and at the end of the day, Chinue Achebe’s theoretical postulate, “Things fall apart, and the centre could not hold” will hold sway.
To my mind, it would appear to me that the workings of God predominantly percolate our three realms of existence, viz, SPIRIT, SOUL and BODY – 1Thess.5:23, Heb.4:12, and this pattern, I believe, equally extends to preparation for the married life.
That’s why the tripod of marriage, CONVICTION, AFFECTION and ATTRACTION can still be situated within the ambit and confines of the tripartite functionality of man – SPIRIT, SOUL and BODY.
Here is the breakdown:
(1) CONVICTION – deals with the SPIRIT.
(2) AFFECTION – deals with the SOUL.
(3) ATTRACTION – deals with the BODY.
Please take note that EVERYTHING begins with the SPIRIT – that is the primary substance of our lives. In terms of marriage relationship, if it begins with the SOUL or BODY while sidelining the SPIRIT, it is called INFATUATION.
That is why in terms of relationship, GOD DOESN’T LEAD YOU BY SEXUAL URGE; HE LEADS YOU BY HIS SPIRIT – Rm. 8:14. You don’t say when you saw the sister, you suddenly had a strong erection and the Spirit of God said, “Behold, that is your wife”. No, that is presumptuously delusional!
You see, GOD’S LEADINGS WILL ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT WITH GOD’S NATURE. So, that’s not the starting point. The starting point is the SPIRIT.
However, while in relationship, sometimes you will feel sexually aroused but you can’t “FIRE” until you get married.
Here is now the bitter pill; if you’ve been in relationship with someone for three years and there has not been any time when you had “A SOUL-TO-SOUL AFFECTION” or “A BODY-TO-BODY ATTRACTION”(please get me right; I didn’t mean BODY CONTACT), there are more QUESTIONS than ANSWERS.
You’ve got to marry someone that you both LOVE and LIKE – someone that you’ll be happy with for the rest of your life, bearing in mind that it starts with CONVICTION because there are things people go through that will “CHALLENGE” their CONVICTION in the course of marriage, and I will be a Pastor without conscience to feign ignorance of such.
CONVICTION says there’s a strong witness in your heart that this is the person. AFFECTION says you carry the person in your thoughts regularly. ATTRACTION says you can share your sexual life with the person. No force! No coercion!! No manipulation!!! No intimidation!!!
When God brought Eve to Adam, the latter had both CONVICTION, AFFECTION and ATTRACTION, and I believe that it was also MUTUAL!
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and BROUGHT HER UNTO THE MAN.
And Adam said, THIS IS NOW BONE OF MY BONES, AND FLESH OF MY FLESH: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, AND SHALL CLEAVE UNTO HIS WIFE: and they shall be one flesh.
AND THEY WERE BOTH NAKED, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
We can see the tripod of marriage here – CONVICTION, AFFECTION and ATTRACTION.
Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and the flesh of my flesh”. That was CONVICTION.
Verse 24 also tells us that THE MAN is to leave his father and mother AND CLEAVE UNTO HIS WIFE. That was AFFECTION – because CLEAVING is a very strong word with deeper intent in the context of marriage.
And then the last verse tells us that THEY WERE BOTH NAKED… AND WERE NOT ASHAMED. That was ATTRACTION! They were PHYSICALLY ATTRACTED to one another.
Note: I didn’t say that those who are in courtship should be BOTH NAKED; it’s only for those in marriage.The principle we’re dealing with here is PHYSICAL ATTRACTION.
Please read also Genesis 24:63-67 and you will see the same principles espoused as regards Isaac and Rebecca. Therefore let no one put you in bondage Sir or Ma, because MARRIAGE IS A BOND; NOT A BONDAGE.
The tripod of marriage – CONVICTION, AFFECTION and ATTRACTION must be in place before you sign the dotted lines.
Internalizing these with sincerity of heart and purpose and in the power and energy of the Spirit, there’s a guaranteed life of joy, love, peace and happiness in your marriage.
May your marriage blossom like a rose to the praise and Glory of His Name in Jesus’ Precious Name!
I call you blessed!!!
Peace In Jesus’ Name!!!