SUCCESS IN RELATIONSHIPJust recently, I was talking with a friend about relationships and I did not know when I said ‘many of our parents who never had or had just little of any teaching on marriage and relationships have made a success of their homes but this generation which has been exposed to most if not all the detailed teachings of marriage and relationships are woefully failing.’ This is because most of the young people of our days have allowed the devil to beguile them into thinking that there are no complexities in marriage and relationships and in the spirit of this mind set, they treat the teachings they are exposed to with levity or jokiness. I have attended many relationship seminars where I discovered that most young people think they have come to attend a comedy show. They think that the true life stories and scenarios shared by the preacher or the panelists are mere jokes and when it is time for instruction in such programs, they turn themselves off and conclude that the senior friends who have left all in spite of their tight schedules, just to be with them are going too far in telling them what to do and what not to do in relationship. They thus make up their mind to ignore the instruction but to go ahead only to be entertained. Beloved, I need to remind you that our life expectancy in Chapel of Freedom Int’l is still 120 years and above and this has a lot to bear on the choices you make, especially in relationship. You must know that you will spend the greater part of your life in relationship / marriage and as such you must be careful so that the few years you have spent as a single do not turn out to be better of the rest and the greater one you’ll spend as a married person. Relationships are so important that it could lead to your promotion or demotion in life. A good husband or wife may encourage you to go back to school or dive into a good business but a bad one can even become the recurrent nightmare of your life. Most other mistakes you make may in marriage and relationship be corrected but to make a mistake in who you say ‘Yes’ to or the one from whom you receive a ‘Yes’ is to make the worst mistake of all. If you remember Abraham well, it was his wrong relationship with Hagar that is still speaking violence today. What shall we say of Samson who was lured into his downfall by Delilah and David too, whose unholy relationship with Bathsheba forced him into lies and murder. Of course, it was Dinah’s association with Shechem that deflowered and disgraced her. We must be careful to walk in the will of God as far as relationship is concerned. If you must make a success of relationship, 1. You have to pray. Prayer turns your attention to God instead of your own intelligence. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding”. Prayer makes you humble and it tunes your spirit man to hear God instead of yourself and other men. 2. Learn to hear God. As a young person, you need to learn to hear God for yourself. I am tired of having many a young person trying to justify their wrong decisions on what this and that person said. They are looking for someone who will give them the go-ahead to do what is on their mind. Learn to hear God. You need to open your mind so God can really speak to you. Do not stereotype God and His voice. Most persons want God to say what they have in mind; no wonder they end up hearing the devil to their own hurt. Don’t make a mistake of following your mind. Even when you are a Christian, you need to be sure that your mind per time, per time is also the mind of Christ. Good things or feelings are not necessarily God-feelings. You need to have your eyes of understanding open, to be able to discern between the right and wrong relationship. You need to be sure that you are led by God. 3. Be open to counsel. Young people need mentors. They need good Christian mentors before whom they can be totally open. When you have a godly mentor, they will tell you all there is to know and following their counsels will always give you an edge in life. Proverbs 5:22 says, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established”. The absence of counsel will keep you too blind to see and react to warning signs. Do not keep your relationship secret from fathers and mothers. You have more to lose than gain by that. Your parents are already married and are not interested in fighting your joy. To confide in and be guided by your mentor is for your utmost benefit. If you go too far before you let them know and it turns out you made a mistake, it may be emotionally disastrous for you to stop and worse still, to continue. 4. Be made up in your mind to do it God’s way. Do not give yourself away so cheaply. Don’t pack into a man’s house just because he smiled at you. Don’t just begin to spend hard earned money on the girl you like just because she showed you something that looks like a green light. If you have found a wife in her, and are sure you have prayed and God has given you direction, let your pastor or parents or mentor know and let them give their counsel. Be patient to follow the process through to marry her honorably. Don’t let any man threaten you, sister. If he says you are the one, let him be responsible enough and man enough to work it out. If you let him have his way too soon, you will become like a third hand car which is badly in need of panel beating and engine overhaul. I pray that you will not miss a successful relationship in Jesus name, amen.