While I was waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to propose to my wife those years, something interesting happened. Another brother in the fellowship ‘received’ her, so he came to confide in me and ask for my counsel. I simply told him; “if you have been led to sister Kemi, please go ahead, she is a wonderful sister and will make a good home with you”.

The brother went ahead to propose but received a “No”. When he later discovered that I had earlier received sister Kemi but still told him to go ahead before me, he was humbled. How was I able to manage that ‘dilemma’ while still maintaining my conviction and most importantly, my integrity? I learnt that whatever God gives you He will keep for you.

Friend, don’t attempt to finish in the flesh what you began in the Spirit (Galatians 3:3). You see, I knew I was led to sister Kemi, but this brother’s supposed leading was something I needed to handle well, else, the story would be quite different from what it is today. First, I gave him the freedom to go and propose so I won’t be a cunning pastor or leader who’s using his influence to ‘corner’ sisters to his advantage. Till today, that brother still holds me in high esteem. He is also happily married with children and our both families are quite close.

Secondly, it was an opportunity for me to test the validity of my leading and conviction. Listen, your conviction would be tested by time and circumstances. In fact, the test of time is the ultimate test. When time and circumstances are testing your conviction, allow them do their job (James 1:4). Don’t rush things. Don’t interrupt thinking you are smart. When you have an authentic gold, you would not be afraid to bring it near the fire of testing.

Thirdly, it was a major lesson for me to know that what God gives, He protects. If I have to protect sister Kemi then may be I’m not trusting God enough, the giver of all things. Look at how God kept Sarah in the wrong custody of Abimelech and you would appreciate the place of God keeping what He gives (Genesis 20:1-7). Brother, there is no point using gimmicks and manipulations to keep a sister, allow God to do His job. There are lots of needless infighting (over sisters) in some Christian circles today. This should not be.

Finally, I know it might appear risky in the eyes of men to have allowed the brother to go ahead. What if sister Kemi said “Yes”, and they went ahead to get married? Well, I would move on with my life. I would assume I’m wrong, and try to get it right next time. I would also remind myself that I might not be wrong after all. May be sister Kemi and/or the brother was wrong. God will give me another sister; He has a few of them I can marry. I have no power over anyone’s will. I only need to be sure I’m following God. I hope you learnt the lesson. I will talk more about this in subsequent posts on “Family Leadership.” Remain blessed!

© ‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria