You cannot marry that man

‘You cannot marry that man.’

‘Mum, Why are you doing this to me?’

We were in the kitchen making lunch. Mum was chopping the onions angrily against the board. When Tope, my best friend entered the kitchen, I scooped the onions and began to prepare the tomato sauce.

” Tope, talk to your friend. Help her find her sense!’

She marched out of the kitchen fuming while I continued with the cooking. When I was done making the yam and tomato sauce, I hurried to my room to get set for the leaders conference due to hold that afternoon. Tope sat on the bed while I rummaged my wardrobe for a dress to wear.

“Funmi, I know this is your decision to make, but don’t you think you should listen to what people are saying? You know what the Bible says about godly counsel. ‘

I stared at my friend. What for goodness sake is she talking about? You too? I wanted to ask. Would my mentor also one day ask me to put aside what I perceived God was saying to me?

That night, I couldn’t sleep. Maybe Tope is right. I thought. Maybe I was not listening…I began to reflect on the words I had heard on several occasions.

Two years ago, after David proposed, Dad had been shocked that I had accepted his proposal. ‘ I will not give my consent. Never! How can you marry an unserious brother for God’s sake. He is just a youth worker. What are you going to do with that.’

Mum had woken me up one morning and led me to her room.

‘ You are my daughter and I want the best for you. Listen to me. Every woman should marry a man that aligns with her assignment. You are the head of the ushering department and the assistant coordinator of the singles fellowship. You must marry in line with the calling of God over your life. Don’t pick a man from the valley. It’s not right. Look at Bro Francis. He is just the perfect zealous brother for you. I think you should pray about him. Open your heart my dear. ‘

The head of the Women Fellowship paid me a visit. ‘Funmi, how can you look past Francis for David. Are you alright? What’s attracting you to this David sef. The other day I saw him strolling down the street, dressed in a T-shirt and Jean and those heavy black boot that can crush someone’s head. Then there was this big head set on his head and he bounced like all those wordly people. Don’t sell your future o.’

I remember how those words got to me. How I would cry at night and pray till I could find no words to say to God. But every time I had this deep peace that I was doing the right thing.

Right after I rejected Bro Francis’ proposal, I noticed the appearance he put up at the Leader’s Conference and the way he stood on the podium and in his pastoral voice preached sermons with high sounding words. I saw those glances that said, ‘You don’t know what you are missing.’ And I wondered why I wasn’t moved. I preferred the simple manner I and David shared scriptures. I reveled at the way he listened intently as I shared rhema from the word and our prayers didn’t have the ‘I-am-the-head-of-the-house-and-you-are-the-branch-‘ style.

I loved Dave. We understood each other. And I was fine with the fact that he worked tirelessly behind the scene to impact young kids. He may never have mounted the podium to preach to a large crowd like I have done on several occasions but I am proud with what he does with the kids on the street. I marvel at his tenacity, the hidden strength and reserved nature he possesses.

Everytime I became furious and angry at the way things dragged, He would smile calmly and say, ‘Relax, God is at work.’

Two days after the heated session with mum in the kitchen, the unexpected happened. Dad called my name while we were having dinner.

I looked up, my cheeks bulging with food.

‘Go ahead with the wedding plans. You have my blessings.

I looked at him, stunned. He smiled. I hugged my father. ‘Thank you.’

I didnt know whether to hug my mum because she kept sipping the malt drink in front of her, her eyes down. What could have led to Dad’s change of heart. Could Dad have noticed something while Dave worked with him on the church building project over the last few months? Or could it be that God remembered our prayers?

So you see, when after ten years of marrying Dave, my mother stood with me in my kitchen, chopping onions, and thanking God for the man I married, It became clear to me that, as beneficial and important as counsels from godly people may be, they must be weighed in the light of God’s revealed word. As far as marriage is concerned, in the final analysis, the decision remains yours, the consequences also remain yours.

By Brother Adeyemi Oladipupo

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