I remember this incident as clearly as dawn.
It was a cool evening that day on the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University. A week before this, I had asked her to let us meet, as a final effort to resolve whatever was causing the over one month of ‘silent treatment’ from her.
“So, what’s up?” I said as we settled on one of the corridors of the African Studies Building on the far northwest side of the campus. You see, adulthood, and by extension, relationships are filled with many difficult and awkward conversations, many that you’ll rather not have, but can’t bear to ignore. And this was one of them.
“What scriptures did God give you when you came to me?”, she asked, like a ready barrister of law. In this case of “love versus ImisiOluwa”, she was the prosecutor and I was on the stand. The question came as a shock – in all the many breakups from her, this one came with a different sauce and I wasn’t prepared.
“Àwọn OAU sisters tún gbé tuntun de o. On top say we wan love na him question be like this?” I looked down, shook my head, and smiled to hide my shock at the ridiculousness.
At that moment, I thought of several scriptures that could fit in. I’ve been in church for a while and I could easily find one to buttress a point. And I had several. But I knew the question wasn’t to test the validity of my love but to find an excuse for a breakup, and no matter what scriptures I come up with it, it was never going to be enough – she was going to find something else to say.
“No, God did not give me any scriptures”, I said. And with that, I sealed my fate. How did a relationship of about three years suddenly require a scriptural verse to prove its validity? Clearly
“So now, where does this lead us?”, I asked.
“I want to end this relationship”, she said.
“Okay then. I understand. Let us pray.”.
“Lord, thank you for being an amazing God to us. You have been good to us. Thank you for the opportunity to have shared these moments of our lives together. And even now that our decisions lead us apart, help us to continually know and grow with you, even in our individual lives.”
And with that, we said “Amen”, I smiled, and asked her to take care of herself, as I walked her outside the building.
In recent years, and in the past few weeks of listening to my Pastor preach on the marriage relationship, as I see many Christian marriages break down into abusive ones, this particular incidence has always come to mind.
I strongly believe that for believers, even when we get to the end of ourselves, when, by our decisions, interests, and preferences, our relationships break down, there still exists a ‘last card’, a final resolve, that we can play. There’s still a “Love” that we have somewhere in our arsenal. And at that, we are never without Love.
In spite of our differences, we can still look at our partners, and see them as someone who is precious in the sight of God; one who he counts worthy to indwell; someone in whom God lives in, and in full measure.
That even when our status as husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, etc. degenerates into consequential indifference, we can still always fall back to our status as joint-heirs in Christ Jesus, a fact that is true in spite of our feelings, and extend love, kindness, forgiveness, and respect on that basis. That we can truly, serve one another as unto the Lord.
It is why I believe that our understanding of the Gospel, shapes our view of God, predetermines what we expect of ourselves, and what we extend to others, and therefore, is an important part of our marital journey.
It is why I believe that abuse, and the associated unwillingness to seek help from such tendencies, cannot be something we are comfortable with, or that we cheaply excuse with the misinterpretation of “God hates Divorce”. And he does, actually.
In the journey of the man-woman who becomes one, our preferences and interests will sometimes clash, but we must always esteem one another, count it an actual privilege to share intimacy with one who is made perfect in righteousness, and are ever ready to serve.
Our reactions in unfavorable situations cannot be void of the most important truths that we uphold: that every one of us is precious, valued, and honored.
I am the ImisiOluwa; I really hope that our faith can make a huge difference in our relationships.
Love you Plenty.
This post is a retelling of What an Evening!
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