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When your religious leader has to pray before you choose your partner

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At 28 years, Joan, a top-notch chef with one of the renowned hotels in town had received six marriage proposals in her lifetime and had experienced four broken relationships in between. But when Abdul came on board with keen interest for her hand in marriage, she felt she was of age and wouldn’t want to have another record of broken relationship added, she decided to go extra mile by taking Abdul’s name to her spiritual leader to help her pray and confirm if their relationship would be good to go. The man prayed, and according to him, he assured her to go ahead because the relationship was God-ordained. Four months into their courtship, Jide showed up! Jide happened to be a guy Joan had always had crush on right from their teenage years till their university days and the feeling was still there. She was confused and at the same time never wanted to lose him because it looked like her dream was coming to reality. She took Jide’s name to her religious leader as well who prayed and reported to her that they could also marry but the marriage would not be as blissful as it would have been with Abdul. Another key thing she was told was, with Abdul, she wouldn’t struggle to have kids but with Jide, the first seven years of their marriage would be with no pregnancy let alone having a child.

Though, she didn’t like what she heard but out of frustration, she was forced to settle for Abdul, the one with better prospect. Things went on fine in the marriage except that she had to struggle with miscarriages for the first five years of the marriage which contradicted what her spiritual leader saw. When she eventually had the last pregnancy that didn’t result into miscarriage, she decided to travel out of the country where she had her baby but the sad news was that her husband, Abdul was involved in a plane crash three days after she put to bed while travelling to Dublin to see his baby and wife!

Marriage is a relationship between two matured adults that involves certain measures being put in place before it could work out. One of the things we need to understand before tying the knot is to realise marriage is a personal issue that must be carefully entered into without making others our yardstick because one size doesn’t fit all. This brings me to the issue of those who would rather prefer to take names of their prospective husbands and wives to pastors and imams for confirmation of intimacy through prayers. Let me state categorically here that no spiritual leader has the capacity to confirm your marital intimacy with any one neither does anyone of them has got the monopoly of access to God than you…if it’s your marriage, it’s got to be you!

While trying to make choice of a life partner, it is not out of place to cross-check with people and have some back ground information audited. But how do you explain those that are obsessed with having their pastors and imams pray over name(s) especially where multiple proposals are involved before they can take a decision? How do you explain when people feel they can’t take a decision on who to marry without having to wait on their spiritual leaders for a go ahead? Invariably, when their leaders say it is good, then it is good to them and when such states otherwise, they go with it. This doesn’t sound like a matured mind who knows what he or she is doing.

Don’t forget, your spiritual leader is also human like you. The same kind of grace on him is equally accessible to you. He has got blood running through his veins, he feels hunger and gets sexually excited the same way you do, so that doesn’t make him infallible; he can make mistakes and mislead you. At times, some people ignorantly marry their leaders’ choices because some of the prayers offered by the spiritual leaders and the outcome already get mixed-up and contaminated with the leaders’ personal preferences, beliefs and sentiments which can’t really stand the text of time. What you have at the end of the day is another man’s choice and not yours. Another practical example is this; it takes a leader who is much disciplined with integrity to pray without bias and come out with the truth about a lady who plans to marry a guy that is not in his good books….it’s really tough. This is one of the potential risks people should bear in mind while considering this method.

There are quite a number of yardsticks that qualify people for getting married. One of this is maturity from both sides and maturity speaks also in your ability to take responsibility for your decisions. But what you are telling us when you have to rely on the judgment of another person because you see him or her high up there as someone who only has genuine access to God is you don’t even trust your own judgment and can’t take responsibility for your decisions. When you shy away from taking responsibility for your actions, it’s nothing short of a lazy attitude. You need to stand upright and face the task. It doesn’t sound nice when you break your relationship because your pastor prayed and he wasn’t convinced neither does it make sense to marry someone because your chief imam prayed and said God ordained your marriage from heaven. That’s childish!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not ruling out the importance of prayers; either you are a Muslim or Christian, in whatever you want to do especially in the choice of a marriage partner.But prayer is just an aspect and unfortunately many people use it as an escape route because they are lazy and lily-livered. People who go this route also show us their one-sidedness of understanding. Outcome of prayer is not the only factor we have to consider before we move on or step back. We are expected to consider other important

aspects like compatibility of values, health status, family, personal preferences, chemistry, trust, love etc. All these come together as ingredients to make the soup tasty but not just asking someone to pray for confirmation for you and after he does, you hit the ground running. There is every possibility that you may stumble on the way. The best thing that can happen to anyone in this aspect is first understand yourself to know what exactly you want and go for it rather than dumping your future at the mercy of someone who probably could be struggling in his or her marriage too.

The right to do and undo lies with you because it’s your life. People can seek counsel from those thatt are more knowledgeable, It’s also not out of order to ask people including your spiritual leaders to join you in prayers for direction and wisdom, but when you allow your spiritual leader to pray and reveal if you should marry your prospect or not, then it’s high level of irresponsibility if you ask me. Some even tell you when to propose and when not to propose which makes it look like a secondary school love banter. It means you are technically giving the authority of your relationship to such person which makes you vulnerable to his or her control. When the chips are down, you are likely to get tossed here and there by prophecies from them and at the end of the day, we find out that such relationship has got very little or none of your contributions which in itself is saddening.

The point here is that, let everybody grow into maturity and learn to take responsibility for his or her actions. If you have to rely on someone’s high-rated prayers before you can take a decision on who to marry, then you are simply not fit for yet. I advise anyone in this category to take a back seat and re-evaluate his or her personal life before going ahead.

 

Written by Toyin Idowu

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