Fred, a software engineer, was introduced to Naomi a chemical engineer who wanted to be a pediatrician. Fred and Naomi became closes friends and after a few months they decided to go into a relationship. They built true friendship and they both deeply cared about each other. They supported each other’s dreams and their love for each other seemed to go beyond infatuations, emotions and feelings. They both scarified personally for the sake of the relationship and enjoyed each other’s company. One of such sacrifice was Naomi leaving medical school as a pediatrician to pursue a doctorate degree in chemical engineering because she felt that it would give her opportunity to build the kind of family she and Fred always dreamed off. Fred was humbled at Naomi’s personal sacrifice as the decision drew them closer together as they continued to enjoy each other’s company and their relationship.

About 6 months later, Fred felt it was time to propose to Naomi, settle down and get married. He was convinced that Naomi was the one as he looked forward to an exciting future with her. At this time, Fred and Naomi, barely had a relationship with God and rarely went to church. Their philosophy was to be good unto to people and each other, have a good conscience and enjoy life. Fred got an invitation to a Sunday morning church service and he asked Naomi to come along. Naomi declined the invitation but Fred still went to service. During the church service, Fred felt convicted in his heart and was overwhelmed by the presence of God. He decided to rededicate his life to God. He was so excited to share the good news with Naomi and called her on his way home. Naomi was excited and felt it was a great thing. Fred became more conscious of God’s presence and would often spend time in fellowship with God praying and studying the bible. Fred’s consistency in his Christian faith increased and his love for God and His word grew. While Naomi was excited at Fred’s new dedication to his Christian faith, she didn’t think much about being dedicated herself. She felt, she was fine with her life the way was.

Fred’s zeal and commitment to his Christian faith continued and after coming across this verse of scripture;

If you love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15

Fred made a decision to obey the word of God to the best of his ability. His decision was simple; align his life style to mirror what he receives from the bible. This decision was the turning point between Fred and Naomi’s relationship as it created a lot of tension between them.

Fred’s priorities and focus changed, Naomi felt she was in a relationship with a stranger and friction rose quickly between them. Their outlook on life changed. Fred felt he was at the best point in his life so far where life seemed to make meaning and sense. Naomi felt she believed in God as well however, she didn’t have to be that zealous and passionate like Fred. She felt his love for God was at the expense of their union. Naomi expressed to Fred that he needs to make their union a priority as Fred started spending more time in church programs. Fred expressed that he would rather go for a church function, encourage a struggling church member or try to convert new people to Christianity than go partying and drinking. Tension continued to rise until their relationship hit an all-time low when Fred expressed to Naomi that he didn’t want to engage in premarital sex anymore. He had come across this verse of scripture

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge ~ Hebrews 13:4

He decided not to fornicate anymore. Naomi felt it was their decision to make and not just his. This rocked their relationship to the very core as they often spent the night at each other’s apartment.

Their relationship continued primarily because of past commitments they had both made. They both missed each other’s affection and care hoping that someday they would get back to how their relationship used to be before Fred started going to Church. They continued to tolerate each other hoping for a miracle in their relationship.

7 months had passed and their relationship was still dry, cold and filled with tension. Fred felt he was going to try to change her and after about another 6 months he came to accept her. On one of his usual bible study he came across this verse of scripture

No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved Matthew 9:16-17

This scripture fueled Fred’s conviction that his relationship could not move forward based on what the foundation they had in the past. His conviction led him to believe that God was doing something new in his life and he didn’t want to limit it by not being open to what God was doing. He saw his experience with God as a new wineskin and didn’t want to limit that experience. Fred asked Naomi if she would have agreed to go into a relationship with the new Fred. Naomi answered saying, “I just want things to be how they were. I want the old Fred I fell in love with”. Fred on hearing this made up his mind to end his 4 year relationship with Naomi. Fred felt the only thing keeping their relationship was what they had in the past and not the excitement of the future. He realized, just like you can’t pour a new wine into an old wineskin, you can’t base the excitement of the future on what you had in the past. Fred and Naomi ended their relationship and moved on separately with their lives.

Just like the saying goes that you cannot drive a car forward by looking at its rear view mirror; often times, you see singles make future decisions based solely on past experiences. Particularly, making a decision to get married primarily based on the memories of the past and not the excitement of the future. Scriptures puts it this way

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

As always, understand that marriage is a journey not a destination that gets better over time if the governing principles are in place.

Love Always ~ T.E

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