I hope your week has been great.
In this episode of Manna we will be looking at a powerful correction formula I have tagged Option Three.
Find out what it’s all about.
Deji Olatunde www.deji.shutterchance.com
I met Oyin about 9 months ago. Over this period we became quite close. We talk about any and everything – from work, to family, relationships, likes and dislikes, etc. Sometime ago she informed of her decision to buy a car to end the stress and harassment of Lagos Danfo buses but her budget was not large enough to get what she truly desired. We notice that the cars the dealers were willing to sell for that price were either of a low grade or not worth the price. This dragged on for a while. When she saw she was not making any headway she decided to increase the budget but we still were not getting fair deals so we agreed that a trip to Lome would be our best option.
After sometime we both got caught up with work and things slowed down for a couple of weeks. I called Oyin three weeks later only for her to inform me she had already paid for a car. When I probed to find out how she went about it, she told me her brother in-law handled everything. She said when she went to inspect the car she observed some faults with the car which she raised but her in-law told her it was no big deal and the issues raised where minor. With doubts in her heart she went ahead and paid for the car. That same day it was delivered to her house. She was excited and I was truly happy for her although I was a bit skeptical because of the initial reservations she had.
The vehicle registration was completed a week after its delivery. Oyin’s joy and excitement knew no bound when she hit the road in the car. Her days of jumping on and off Danfo buses in Lagos were over. Barely two days later, her joy began to fade when the “minor problems” began to surface again. The problems increased and began to hindering the smooth functioning of the car. Some red lights in the dashboard began to blink. She needed help! The natural thing for her to do was run back to her brother in-law who helped her purchase the car. He referred her to a quack mechanic who did not know what he was doing. The quack diagnosed the problem and prescribed that some parts be replaced. Everything totaled N40,000.00! Oyin coughed out the money hoping the investment would allow her enjoy her car.
The money was provided, the parts replaced but the problem remained. Apart from the major problem, other minor problems began to surface here and there causing her to spend a few more thousand nairas. By this time Oyin was discouraged. This affected the way she handled the car. She just could not be bothered by whatever happened to the car. A scratch here, a dent there – She just didn’t care. As far as she was concerned she had made a mistake which she would have to live with for a long while so the earlier the car packed up the better. She weighed her options – one was to sell off the car; the other was to keep fixing the problems as they arose hoping that someday the mechanic would stumble on the right solution. But the bugging questions were – If she sold off the car in its current state, would she be able to recover up to two-thirds of the amount used to purchase the car? And if she kept it, for how long would she have to be ripped off by mechanics? Since option one and two were not viable we created a third option which was to pray that somehow and sometime soon, her steps would be order to meet someone who would link her up with the solution to her cars problem. We opted for option three.
A few days later, Oyin was grinning from ear to ear when I saw her. I was wondering what the good news was when she told me that someone recommended his mechanic to her. She said after the mechanic carried out a few tests he discovered that a coil in the engine has burnt and needed to be replaced. It costs only two thousand naira. Immediately the coil was replaced the car began to function normally. The air conditioner began to work properly; the engine stopped overheating; the car stopped going off when the breaks were applied. It was a great relief to us. Now she could enjoy her car.
Looking back at Oyin’s experience with her car, I realized that this scenario plays out most times in marriage. A lady or a gentleman has been looking forward to marrying his/her dream partner. Instead of attracting Mr./Mrs. Right, it appears only wrong people keep coming their way. They keep getting offers which are either overpriced or of a low grade. Realizing that they attract who they are and not what they want, they increase their budget by working on themselves to attract the right kind of person. After all their hard work and Mr./Mrs. Right still seems not to be forth coming they begin to panic and seek counsel from wrong places. They turn to their “brother in-law” who is neither a mechanic nor a car dealer for counsel on the best car to buy. These unqualified counselors recommend partners based on their limited knowledge, sentiments and personal gains they stand to get. Their selection criteria could be as silly as “she greets me well”, “he has a good job”, “her mother is a very nice woman”, “he is rich”, and “her father is a wealthy man”. Now I am not saying that these considerations mentioned above are not good selection criteria but they should never be the single basis for selection. Other more important factors like intellectual, spiritual and emotional compatibility, physical attraction, etc must come into play when choosing a life partner. Even after carefully considering each criteria, make the decision yourself for you alone will live with its consequences.
Now, after the recommendation has been made and courtship begins, you begin to notice some fundamental issues which him/her. You raise them to your counselors and they dismiss them with a wave of the hand. They tell you they are minor issues saying you worry too much. They try to explain it away with excuses like “He is not like that”, “You are the one misunderstanding him”, “Nobody is perfect” or “Maybe he had a bad day at work”.
Well… despite all the red lights on the dashboard and the strong reservations in your heart. You go ahead and take the plunge. You print the invitation cards and send them out. You go to the altar and exchange vows. You make payment and you become husband and wife. Your counselor is happy; telling you that you made the right choice. You move in together and set up your home. You are relieved and happy. The long wait is over. You are now married! However, somewhere deep inside you the red light in the dash board of your heart keeps blinking but you ignore it. For now you are still blinded by the euphoria of the grand wedding ceremony and the romance that followed. You live in denial for a while until things begin to malfunction in the marriage.
He gets home very late and probably drunk you ask him why he is late; he gives you a good beating asking who you are to question his authority. You go out on a date with her on your wedding anniversary. She gets upset and speaks rudely to the waiter for no just reason. You try to calm her down. She begins to shout, creates a scene, empties her glass of milkshake on your face and walks out. You notice his phone rings and he cannot talk comfortably until he leaves the bedroom for the toilet, or he says “I am with my family” or at the end of a very vague, coded conversation he says “Same here” probably in response to “I love you” from the other end of the phone. At this point it begins to dawn on you the problems that the red light was trying to warn you about. But you have paid for and taken delivery of the car, which you have registered and started driving round town. By this time it is already late!!
Hmmm… At first you try to conceal the pain and pretend everything is fine until she comes and creates a scene in your office; putting your career at stake. Or you come home to find a used condom in the toilet of your matrimonial bedroom which he forgot to flush. You feel it is too much for you to bear. You just can’t take it any more. You decide to seek help. Of course like Oyin the first place to go will be to your counselors’. After all, he introduced you to him/her. They try talking with your spouse but it does not work, they now begin to recommend strange methods. They take you to the “Juju man”, the spiritualist, the prophet, the seer, the Alfa. These people extort money from you in the name of buying things for sacrifice to help you. You do all they tell you to do. Instead of things getting better they actually turn worse!!
Like the prodigal son you swallow your pride and go back to your friend (me in the case of Oyin) who was giving you sound counsel before you decided to seek other counselors. You discuss and weigh your options with him/her. Divorce; Fight back; or Commit it to God and live with the pain in hope and expectation that God will do what he alone can do – change your spouse’s character for the better.
At this point you remember that God hates divorce. You think of the social stigma that comes with it. You consider what your family members will say. You wonder how you would face your friends and colleagues. Having weighed everything, you consider choosing option three – to live with the pain as you trust God and obey his instructions which are not always pleasant at first but work for your good when you choose to obey them.
For you my friend currently in this position choosing option three would the best decision you can make to salvage your marriage. It is the only way to get the desired results. However, I will like you to note that it takes time, requires a lot of personal sacrifice and only function when you get rid of bitterness and unforgiveness.
Remember, God said as long as the earth exist seed time and harvest will never cease. You will need to sow the right seeds to get the desired harvest. When you have, bear in mind that there is always a waiting period. During this waiting period you will have to be patient and consistent; watering the seed in the place of prayer with thanksgiving and worship to God for what He will do; clearing every weed trying to hinder the seed from bringing forth fruit. These weeds may include ungodly counsel from “Counselors”, vengeful thoughts, unforgiveness and bitterness. Once you keep these instructions, the end result is guaranteed. However, I will like to restate that it is a demanding/ painful process not a leisure ride.
After you have done all that is required of you, wait in stillness and quietness before God. When the harvest comes, put out the sickle and bring in the harvest. Putting out the sickle in this case may be forgiving and accepting your spouse when he/she comes to you to beg for forgiveness. It is easy to lose everything you have worked hard for at this stage so… forgive and make progress.
For you my friends who are still in the early stages of the purchase please do not ignore the red lights. Make sure you scrutinize the “minor problems” and understand their root cause before you make that payment or say “I do”. If you don’t you may spend a life time regretting your decision. Don’t let any counselor convince you to settle for less. If the available is not the desirable, God can create the desirable on the condition that you fully trust him and you release anyone you hold anything against (Mark 11:24 -26).
In conclusion, let me say again that this is not a quick fix but a process which may take weeks, months or even years and is guaranteed to yield the desired results. For those who have resolved to try it, I pray for grace and strength for you to carry through on your commitment. I also pray that God will give you a harvest that will exceed anything you have ever thought of or imagined.