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A New Kind of ‘Sexy’

It was Sunday evening. 21:35 GMT, maybe.

OkikiOluwa was in my arms trying to struggle with me over who should be using the laptop while OdodoOluwa was behind us, sitting on the carpet in the living room and watching his favourite ‘dinosaur song’ on TV—with uninterruptible attention, I should add.

Anu was in the kitchen doing the dishes after quite some cooking.

The weather has been unusually windy and rainy for the past couple of days. It gets so windy at times that the wind speaks in tongues with its whistles and all. Hence, I didn’t know what to think of the sound that seemed to be coming from the kitchen area. Was it even coming from the kitchen area, or the noisy wind is playing games with my mind?

The sound didn’t stop, and the more I leaned in to make sense of it, the more it felt like a conversation was going on in the kitchen. I know my wife; she doesn’t talk to herself, normally—occasionally, perhaps—and to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any other person with her in the kitchen.

To assuage my curiosity, OkikiOluwa and I decided to check on his mum in the kitchen and solve the mystery once and for all. We could tell she was a bit shocked when we stealthily bumped into the kitchen uninvited and unannounced. She was slightly startled but she kept her cool.

“Eku ise o” (Well done), I greeted her.

“Thanks”, she responded.

“Are you okay? I thought I was hearing a conversation or something. Were you talking to yourself?”

“No”, she replied without looking away from the dishes she was doing. Then after a slight pause, she added “I was praying.”

“Ah! I see. Makes sense.”

Okiki and I hurried away so we don’t interrupt her flow for too long. But the Holy Spirit says to compliment her for what she was doing—doing the dishes AND praying simultaneously. I thought of the most honest compliment I could give her at that instance; I eventually found it so I went back to tell her:

“That’s sexy, you know?”

“Pardon?” She said with a raised voice as I was already on my way back to the living room to continue what I was trying to do on the laptop.

“I said praying, conversation style, while being ‘alone’ in the kitchen, is VERY SEXY.” I shouted back.

“Oh, Really? Thanks!”

And she went back to her conversation, this time, with reckless abandon.

I meant the compliment. At that instance when she admitted to what she had been doing in the kitchen alongside doing the dishes, I really felt romantically attracted to her afresh. There was a that’s-my-babe-in-whom-my-soul-delights feeling that enveloped me at that instance. I felt proud of her anew. I felt satisfied that I’m married to her. I felt honoured to have such a lady—who is so in tune with Jesus that they could have a verbal conversation while she’s doing the dishes—as my wife.

And the Holy Spirit gave me a perfect compliment for that moment. ‘SEXY.’ It’s a new kind of sexy.

Dear young lady, perhaps you thought being sexy is being able to sway your waist in rhythmic fashion as you walk the streets? Or being able to carve your eyebrow till it looks like Barbie’s, Rihanna’s or Beyonce’s? Or painting your face and lips in fifty shades of red? Or sounding like a transposed key on the piano? Or wearing that low dress that shows us your cleavage, your shape, and some skin from the slit that reaches up to your waist?

Well, that may get the attention of some shallow young men. It may be a head-turner for some sensual guys out there. But what profits a lady who dots her i’s and crosses her t’s in the school of being ‘sexy’ only to win the attention of a shallow, sensual heartbreaker?

Well, there is a new kind of ‘sexy’—the original kind of sexy. Given the fact that sex was originally God’s idea, and being sexy—being sexually attractive—was also God’s making (which was expressed for the first time when Adam laid his eyes on Eve and screamed “Wow! Man!” from whence came ‘woman’ . . . LOL), then it only makes sense to think that being sexy is supposed to be linked to being in God’s presence.

Being sexy is more than being sensual, seductive, sultry, slinky or shapely; it transcends being voluptuous, luscious, flirtatious, or bootylicious. More than being beddable, being sexy is being a God worshipper to the core. Being sexy is being able to be able to go on your knees or lie flat on your face, melted into the embrace of your Abba Father. Being sexy is being able to prioritise talking to God over talking to folks. Being sexy is being able to stay behind the scene while you beautify the location where you and your folks gather to worship this one true God. Being sexy is being able to be immersed in a load of tasks on your to-do-list and still stay connected to your dad.

If you miss this kind of sexy, any other kind, I suspect, will catch you a heartbreaker at best. The Yorubas will say

“Ìyàwó tí a gbé lójú ijó, onílù ni yó bàá lọ” 

— in other words, the wife you met at a dance will eventually elope with the musician at the party. Of course, the proverb connotes a deeper message, viz: “People cannot shed their innate habits”, however, the comparative deduction of the analogy is striking. How you ‘find’ your spouse says a lot about what your marriage will look like.

As a lady, if you allow your devotion to God—your worshipfulness kind of sexy—to shape the other ‘physical’ kind of sexy generic to all females, you will be a modern version of the kind of woman King Lemuel describes in Proverbs 31 (as taught by his mum).

“There are some—indeed many—women who do well in every way, but of all of them only you are truly excellent.” Charm can be deceptive and physical beauty will not last, but a woman who reveres the Eternal should be praised above all others.” (Proverbs 31:29-30 The Voice)

You want to be the heartthrob of a man that fears God? This, right here, is the password. Explorative King Solomon gave an insight about his choice of his Beloved out of the many options he had:

“I could have chosen any from among the vast multitude of royal ones who follow me. But ONE is my beloved dove—unrivaled in beauty, without equal, beyond compare, the perfect one, the favorite one. Others see your beauty and sing of your joy. Brides and queens chant your praise: “How blessed is she!”” (Song of Songs 6:8-9 The Passion Translation)

Dear young woman, I guess here is the sum of what I’m saying: Bury your heart so deeply into God’s that it will take a man ardent in his pursuit of God to find it.

And dear young man, BE THAT MAN! Be the kind of man that grows past sizing up ladies by the physical indices of shapes, shades, and shakes.

Again, the Yorubas will say

“Ọmoge ńrelé ọkọ pèlú-u májèlé, alárẹnàa rè-é mú apó dání, ọkọ ìyàwó di èbìtì síle; ká wá wo irú ọmọ tí wọn ó bìí.” 

In other words, “A young woman leaves for her groom’s home carrying poisons; her intermediary carries a quiver, and the husband awaits them with a snare; let us see what sort of children they will produce.” The point is clear: Some things are predictable simply by considering the surrounding facts. As a young man or young woman, one can predict what your marital life will look like simply by looking at how you go about ‘finding’ your ‘one’.

As a young man, if you busy yourself with a passionate pursuit of God’s purpose for your life, you cannot but find the one intended for you as you keep digging the treasure mine in God to which you have been called.

You don’t find this kind of wife by SEARCHING for THEM (after all, you are clueless as to where to begin your search); you find such by SEARCHING for GOD and His plans for you! If you will focus solely on pursuing God’s assignment for your life and keep digging deeper into that, you will find the ‘helpmeet’ that God intends for you, undoubtedly—and that may be a wife, or for those called into celibacy, some other kind of ‘help’ that will foster the fulfilment of God’s call upon your life.

As I type this, the Holy Spirit drew my attention to today’s date at the bottom right corner of the laptop. 10/02/2020. I’m immediately reminded of what the date stands for in my life’s journey. 10th February 2012 was the day my wife agreed to my marriage proposal. It was the day a WhatsApp message of three words (“I am ready.”) would change the trajectory of my life for good. It was the day Valentine came four days early for me. It was the day my life’s purpose was reborn. It was the day that hope came alive about fulfilling God’s purpose in life.

And as I remember all these, I also remember that I didn’t go out there searching for a wife when I found her. I was just busy serving God and digging deeper into pursuing His plans for my life. I wake up each day now without regrets in this area of my life. Sure, we have our moments and quibbles, but they never diminish the certainty that we have both found in one another, a match-making adventure only God can pull off. I sometimes wish above all things that God can reproduce the bliss we enjoy maritally with every young unmarried man and woman in our sphere of influence. But the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart that it’s up to each individual. The best we can do is to be generous with this principle that is working for us.

And that is what I have done in this post.

May the Holy Spirit breathe upon the words and saturate them with His grace—grace for marital bliss.

Amen.

I hope this helps someone today.

PS: #iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
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Are you unmarried?

Author’s note: I wrote this at a point in my courtship with my fiancée when it dawned on me that nothing short of my death (and her death) will make our marriage work. Want to know what I mean? Read on…

“A man in love is incomplete until he’s married. Then he’s finished.” Zsa Zsa Gabor

A couple of verses from a Pauline epistle gave rise to these thoughts. Let’s revisit the passage.

1 Corinthians 7:25-28 MSG
25 The Master did not give explicit direction regarding virgins, but as one much experienced in the mercy of the Master and loyal to him all the way, you can trust my counsel. 26 Because of the current pressures on us from all sides, I think it would probably be best to stay just as you are. 27 Are you married? Stay married. Are you unmarried? Don’t get married. 28 But there’s certainly no sin in getting married, whether you’re a virgin or not. All I am saying is that when you marry, you take on additional stress in an already stressful time, and I want to spare you if possible.

Very typical of Paul. Sharing thoughts in lumps—sometimes in lumps that are too difficult to swallow. Here, it’s understandable. It was a time of distress (7:26) when society was going through change (7:31). There was not much time left for serving the Lord (7:29). For all we know, it is possible that there were political and economic pressures in Corinth at the time. So in view of the difficulties, Paul submitted that it would be better for a person to be unmarried.

However, the lenses through which Paul viewed marriage here reveals more than some first century circumstantiality to some age-long all-time deep truth about marriage! And that is the quarry where we’ll be mining . . .

Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispers to her mother, ‘Why is the bride dressed in white?’ Mother decides to keep things simple and replies, ‘Because white is a happy colour and today is the happiest day of her life.’ The girl thinks for a second, then says, ‘So why is the groom wearing black?’ (You figure that out!)

And while you are figuring that out on one hand, and looking forward to walking down the aisle in white gown with Mr. Right on the other hand, may I inform you in-between both thought threads before you get too deep into the journey that: MARRIAGE IS DEATH!

Song of Songs 8:6 GWT
“. . . Love is as overpowering as death. Devotion is as unyielding as the grave. Love’s flames are flames of fire, flames that come from the LORD.”

Marriage is death—death to self. Death to “I”. Unfortunately, our culture has turned individualism into a virtue—a culture that screams that we “deserve” to be fulfilled and have a “right” to personal satisfaction and true-to-me happiness. That model just doesn’t work with the model of marriage! The cruel irony is that fulfillment, satisfaction and happiness are ultimately found in sacrifice, serving and giving—even to the point of giving one’s “life”! Are you ready for this?

“Are you married? Stay married. Are you unmarried? Don’t get married. ”
(1 Corinthians 7:27 MSG).

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This death-thing is counter-cultural.  It’s a paradox to logic.  In the book of Ephesians, Paul calls it a “mystery”—something that we wouldn’t have figured out with our human logic.  This is a model that was given by God.

Andrew Peterson poetically captures the difficulty of this journey. I recently stumbled across his song “Dancing in the Minefields”—a lovely wedding anniversary song! (I look forward to penning my version of that to Eleos in about twenty years’ time).

The second verse of the song refers to John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” In stating this, Jesus is referring to what He was about to do for His people. Jesus calls us His friend (John 15:14) and He laid His life down for us so that we may live eternally with Him. And remember, our marriages are a reflection of Christ and His church (see Ephesians 5). I once heard that the love of God, and His sacrifice in Jesus Christ for us, is a frame for us to place our wedding picture in. (Cute, right?)

Through a beautiful word-picture, Peterson makes a poignant point of what happens at a wedding, and it is something that most people fail to recognize when they enter into marriage. A very large part of marriage is giving up your own life for your spouse.  I do not mean this in terms of your literal life, although many of us readily admit we’d die for our spouse, but when we marry we must recognize that our life is forever changed and that some of our old habits, friends, interests, and activities might, and sometimes should, end. Are you ready for this?

“Are you married? Stay married. Are you unmarried? Don’t get married. ”
(1 Corinthians 7:27 MSG).

Too many young couples marry with the illusion that they are adding their “soul mate” to their existing life, and then they get frustrated when their spouse necessarily demands more of their time, interest, resources, and affection than anticipated. We seem to think that our spouses are just going to adopt our lifestyles as their own, which is a faulty assumption. Well, that was my assumption, and few months into the prelude to the melody of my marital life, I can see how wrong I was!

Christ makes it clear that we are to “submit to one another” (Ephesians 5:21). Husbands are to love their wives “as Christ loved the church.” (Ephesians 5:25) How did Christ love the church? He served her! Wives are to submit to their husbands (not in a demeaning way, as if they are their husband’s maid or slave—but equal partner with different roles). Each person in a marriage should be willing to give up their independent life to become one with their spouse, in all areas of life.

A good marriage is hard work. A great marriage is the hardest of all because it requires the equally selfless devotion of both parties. Are you ready for this?

“Are you married? Stay married. Are you unmarried? Don’t get married. ”
(1 Corinthians 7:27 MSG).

Refreshingly, there is an anchor—God’s Grace!

Grace changes us. Slowly. Emphasis on slowly. We learn to look at our spouse through the lenses of grace.  We begin to see our spouse (and by extension to the community of believers) not as sinners trying to become saints by more right behaviour but rather as saints who still sometimes err. (Many times, in the case of people like me). It is an important distinction. We are all saints who are righteous because of Christ alone. We still err. We need grace. All of us. So when I err (as I often do), grace compels Eleos to run towards me and not to run away. Grace does not allow her to condemn and judge me. I need grace to be restored as she will need that same grace soon. Likely very soon.

Grace is always the answer.

Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth about hardships and the message he received from the Lord. I like his choice of words—His choice of words:

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12, NLT)

Jesus told the story of a Father who runs to embrace His child who has made terrible mistakes. He doesn’t wait for him to crawl back and grovel. At the first turn of repentance He sprints to him and throws a party. That is grace.

The same grace that appeared to you does appear to your spouse

  • Are you willing to give up habits (good or bad) if they seem to be detrimental to the health of your marriage?
  • Are you willing to end relationships that do not honour your marriage?
  • Are you willing to pool your financial resources into one account?
  • Are you willing to participate in leisure activities that are not of interest to you—but that your spouse enjoys—so that you can have quality time together?

If you aren’t, well, there is an alternative . . .

1 Cor 7:33-34
33 Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, 34 leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God.

So? Maybe you should consider staying single!

Until you are willing to give up your life and lay it down for the sake of your spouse, your marriage will not be what you desire it to be.

Marriage is when a man and woman become as one; the trouble starts when they try to decide ‘WHICH ONE’. I know without a doubt that marriage, and life in general, will eventually be harder than we dreamed that it could be. But I have no fear at all that, with Christ at the center of our relationship, Eleos and I can accomplish anything. Face anything. Walk through anything. Together. Clinging to Jesus. Always. (We know which “One”!).

I can’t wait to start that journey!

 

FIne Girl, Beware!!!

“FINE GIRL”, BEWARE…

YOU ARE LOOKING GOOD… BUT BEWARE!!!… BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

She’s just 13. Brought up in a Christian family. Her Dad is the Senior Pastor of Oaks Tabernacle. She’s a part of the Teens’ Choir. She loves singing. She loves writing. She loves smiling. She loves nature. She’s just a good girl. Oh! Her name? She’s Sara.

But Peter. Peter is 17. He attends the same school with Sara. Peter is in the Senior High; Sara is in the Junior High. And one more thing – they attend the same church. Peter’s Dad is also a Pastor—the Assistant Pastor of Oaks Tabernacle. Peter is handsome – any girl will know that without much assessment. And you need to see Peter on sax. The last time he sustained his breath on sax for like 3 minutes, Sara had to fix her gaze steadfastly on the youngster. She was overwhelmed by this great talent which Peter has. She respects Peter for this.

But I need not be silent about how that Peter silently respected Sara. Peter was a silent admirer – admiring from a distant. A kind of an aficionado. I could remember a day like that – I was coming from the children’s chapel and I was moving towards the mission house. But while I passed by the church, I saw a young man tip-toeing to the side entrance of the tabernacle. I heard a sonorous voice rehearsing a solo. It was Sara’s. And guess who was tip-toeing to the side entrance to stealthily watch the lady indoors rehearse? You guessed right. It was Peter. I did like I saw no one and walked past briskly.

I respect them both, too. And I know they could be a nice combination for a Mum and Dad role in a drama. And perhaps, a good combination for the life investment called marriage.

All these happened last year.

But permit me to tell you that the story is now a different story. Sara, now 15, is heavy with child. She’s presently not in school – she’s at home. She doesn’t sit with the choristers again – she sits among the women in the back pews. She doesn’t take solos again – she sings “a dirge” on daily basis. She doesn’t smile again – she weeps. Not only because she’s pregnant but because she disappointed her parents. She misrepresented the church. She failed so many people. How did it all happen – within 15 months!? Hear Sara retell her story in her own words:

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“I’d just finished taking a special number in our last youth convention. It was a solo and Wao! – It was lovely. I personally felt this awesome feeling while taking the solo. By the time I brought the solo to a close, the whole church was already on their feet. Some lay on the floor weeping and praying. Some others lifted up their hands to God, pleading for mercies. It was a wonderful ministration. And guess who spiced it all up with Davidic skills on the sax? You guessed right again. It was Peter.

After the meeting, Peter came to me where I was sitting awaiting my Mum who had been busy attending to some of the “Good Women” of the church. Then he talked “that was not a bad performance – you know?” “Thanks” I simply responded with a broad smile. Then he smiled back, too. He proceeded and asked “And have you ever perceived that God has got great plans for you in this music ministry?” Then I paused for a moment and then responded “What do you mean?” At that point, he took his seat on the pew opposite mine such that he was facing me, sitting with his legs crossed. I was wearing a “dinner gown” but it wasn’t that long so I had to adjust my sitting posture so that Peter is not seeing “anything” that he’s not meant to see. Then he talked further. “You see, Sara, I’d always had this great dream of playing sax around the world to bless the name of God and to minister healing to the people. And as you stood on that stage today to take the solo, I got this conviction that you will be just the kind of ministry partner I’d always prayed for. I don’t know if you really understand what I’m trying to pass across”. Then I cut in “I think I got your point quite well. But as you know, I’m still in school. I don’t even know what Dad and Mum will say about such stuff. I mean there is still a long way to go if that were to be a reality.” Having said that, he bent forward as though trying to stand up, and then he said “I understand perfectly. You don’t just worry. I just feel like letting you know what is on my mind. We’ll still see and talk more.” Then just as he stood up to take his leave, he brought his mouth close to my ears and whispered a simple statement – “You are looking good”. I smiled and said thanks. But deep within me, I was much happier. It was as if I’d never heard that statement all my life.

When we got back home, guess what was the first thing I did – I rushed to my sister’s room to have a look at myself again. And I smiled at my image in the mirror. Just then, my eldest sister came in. She smiled at me and asked – “What are you looking at?” Guess what was my response? I asked her a question – “Am I not looking good?” She laughed as she made a statement I should learn from. She said “And are you just discovering that for the first time?”

Ever since that Sunday, I’d had this strange desire to always want to be around Peter.

To cut the story short, one evening, I told my mum that I was going to play with Elizabeth – Peter’s sis-ter. And I left. When I got to their place, unfortunately, Eliz wasn’t at home – but fortunately, Peter was. Unfortunately, Peter was the only one at home – but fortunately, he still welcomed me and made me feel at home. I was wearing a short skirt and a fitted top. He was wearing a v-neck and a three-quarter jeans. He was actually doing some rehearsals on the keyboard when I came in. so he went into the kitchen while I lay on the rug to play the keyboard. He stealthily walked in and kept on looking at my “rear” when I suddenly looked back and he gave me a big appreciated smile and cut in “Have you been learning the keyboard before?” “Why did you ask?” I asked back trying to get myself composed again. “Those chords you are playing are too complex for someone just handling the keyboard for the first time” he explained further. “Then you guessed right” I replied and with that brought the conversation to a close.

He handed me a tumbler and filled it with some apple juice. As I took the first sip, he went on and said “Has any one ever told you that you are beautiful?…as in…your eyes…your nose…your lips…your gol-den black hair…everything is just superb”. At that point I must confess, my head began to swell and he never stopped as he kept on down pouring some romantic rhymes and he kept on coming closer. I was too ecstatic to catch those words in my memory but it was as if those words were working wonders on my body – in and out!

Then suddenly, his lips located mine and…he kissed me. That was exactly where I lost my guard. And before I knew it he had me. I never believed I could be deflowered so cheaply. And after the whole thing, we became Adam and Eve. Our eyes were then kinda opened…but it was too late. He gave me some contraceptive pills which I used… but it was too late. He gave me a douche…but it was too late. I wept…but it was too late. I dressed up and looked innocent again…but it was too late. I went back home to pick up my books and continued my preparation for my “A-Levels”…but it was too late…”

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Let’s cut Sara short before she begins to weep over this screen.

Did you learn the lesson?

I’d come to realize that most of the times that “we” ladies sell out ourselves so cheaply, it’s just because one guy came and tell us things we ought to know – but which we tend to have forgotten.

“You are looking good”…and so what? You should have always known that (See Psa 139:14).

“You are beautiful”… and so? Should that be new to you? (See Psa 139:14).

“You are the one that makes my world go around”…says who? What makes you think he hasn’t said the same thing to ten ladies last week?

Let not those words unnecessarily disrupt your internal physiology and metabolism.

You need wisdom.

I’ll leave you with this verse – Prov 7:4,5 from four different Bible translations.

Let wisdom be your sister and make common sense your closest friend.

They will protect you from the flattering words of a strange man – (Contemporary English Version. Words in italics mine)

Treat wisdom as your sister, and insight as your closest friend.

They will keep you away from other men, from men with seductive words. – (Good News Bible. Words in italics mine)

Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat Insight as your companion.

They’ll be with you to fend off the Tempter– that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seducer. – (The Message)

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister.” Give the name “my relative” to understanding in order to guard yourself from an adulterer, from a loose man with his smooth talk. (God’s Word Version)

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Then, here is the concluding part of the Sara’s story: I FINALLY WOKE UP FROM MY DREAM. Then I discovered there was actually no Sara. No Peter. No Oaks Tabernacle. No sax. No solos. No re-hearsals. No juice. No kisses. No sex. No….. It was all a dream.

But who knows? The Sara might just be you. And the Peter might just be that guy with a baritone voice that called you on extra-cool last night.

Just beware. Indeed, you are looking good. But beware. Before it’s too late.

OLA, Joseph Kolawole.

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I wrote this on December 1, 2008 while doing my I.T. at a medical laboratory and a 14-yr old damsel came in for “Pregnancy Test”…and alas! She tested positive!

Teenagers out there, beware.