On 29th July 2016, I was privileged to attend a National Youth All-Night church service dubbed “Jubilee Generation All-Night” under the auspices of Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams at Action Chapel International.
Nicholas Duncan Williams is the presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of Christian Action Faith Ministries (CAFM), headquartered in Accra, Ghana. He is the founder and father of the Charismatic Movement in Ghana and other parts of West Africa.
Known in many parts of the world as the Apostle of Strategic Prayer, Archbishop Duncan Williams is also the founder and President of Prayer Summit international (PSI). The Prayer Summits brings revivals to international cities through the power of corporate, intercessory and prophetic prayer.
After singing a series of praises and worship songs to magnify the Lord, Rev. Ampiah Coffie took us through the first session of prayer after which the Archbishop took over to impart some nuggets of wisdom into us. It was an insightful moment for me personally because I took away some wisdom keys from his sermon. It was a night I’d say out of the Archbishops’ belly flowed rivers of living water (John 7:38) and if water gives life, It won’t be mendacious of me to say ‘out of his belly flowed rivers of life’. He shared some of his life experiences and the lessons he’s learned from his 40years in Ministry with us. I must admit he ended up stirring our spirits up to become a “Jubilee Generation”.
Out of the plethora wisdom keys he gave us that night, the one that struck me the deepest and I think is something our generation is failing to recognize is the advice he gave concerning marriage.
He said “Make sure that when it comes to marriage, you don’t marry by looks, but you marry based on the fact that what your partner carries is in harmony and is in alignment with what you’re carrying. When it comes to marriage, you have to make sure that whoever you align yourself with or whoever you marry, their destiny and your destiny, potential gifting and preparations, upbringing background, and everything in future are similar to yours and it complements what you carry”.
“Whoever you tangle with and connect with you must have something that relates to what they carry, their future must be connected to your future. Even when you’re married, you must marry for the future and not marry for today and you must not marry for where you are but where you’re going” he continued.
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams revealed that there are some couples who got married based on their present position in life and not the future which ended up creating problems for them. He gave instances of some marriages where the woman progresses to greater pedestals and the man is unable to catch up with the progress of the wife. This breeds jealousy on the part of the husband and he ends up accusing the wife of infidelity.
This sermon traversed me down memory lane. When we were about to get promoted to Junior High School(JHS), our teachers incessantly advised us against relationships for the sole reason that it will distract us from our main reason for coming to school i.e. “to acquire knowledge and pass our final examinations (Basic Education Certificate Examination). Unfortunately, they forgot to tell us that one of the tenets of teenagehood or adulthood is “attraction to the opposite sex”. They forgot to tell us that the force of attraction to the opposite sex can be so strong that one has to have divine self-control to resist it. When we were promoted to Junior High School our lifestyle was what I call a “relationship galore”. People fell in love for all sorts of reasons.
We the boys fell in love with some girls based on their ravishing looks. I remember if you were a guy and you were either good at dancing or singing you’d have girls clamoring all over you. There were some girls who even went to the extent of fighting over a guy. Unfortunately, some of us didn’t get those privileges because we were categorized as “sharks” (very intelligent students) thus most girls perceived us as “anti-romantic”( which was true in a way) and found our intelligent nature intimidating. The stubborn boys were also the toast of many girls because they were seen as brave, confident and romantic unlike bookworms like us who were “cowards” when it came to expressing our feelings to a girl. One fascinating thing I observed about this love frenzy is what some “lovers” were willing to die for just in the name of love. I remember a girl writing “I love you” with her blood on a paper to her relationship partner because he wanted a breakup. Some girls even turned themselves into sex slaves just in the name of love or sustaining their relationships. Interestingly, after completing Junior High School all those relationships ended up in break-ups and some girls are still living with regrets and emotional scars inflicted on themselves in the name of “relationship”.
When I got to Senior High School (SHS), the situation was different and not only was it different but it was worse. It was what I term “love drunkenness”. Just as Beyonce would say people were “drunk in love”. People fell in love with some sort of characters that’d make you wonder whether they were in their right frame of mind or have been bewitched. Valentine’s Day was one day that made some boys go bankrupt because they spent their monies to buy expensive gifts for their girlfriends who don’t even reciprocate in the same measure. Just as the instances in JHS, most of these relationships ended up in breakups after school. Sadly, it’s the girls that put in a lot emotionally when it comes to these relationships and end up being hurt the most.
In as much as I try to fathom why people go to large extents to make sacrifices in the name of love for people who don’t even love them, my thoughts end up coming blank .
Some people say love is blind and I end up asking, does it also damage your common sense? Even the embodiment of love which is God when he sacrificed His only begotten son to come and die for our transgressions; this act of love alone gave us eternal life. And if we’re created in the image and likeness of God doesn’t it mean that whatever sacrifice we make in the name of love end up giving life?
Since when did relationship mean loving someone at the peril of yourself? I’m just sick and tired of young people allowing their misconception about love drive them into relationships that end up ruining their lives. A lot of youths have allowed their misconception of love destroy them to the extent that they’ve lost their humanity. They end up giving their hearts to the wrong people and after getting so called “broken hearts” they end up with the conclusion that “Love is wicked”. You’d see a beautiful girl walking around and when you engage her in a conversation you’d realize that her heart is like a suicide bag and it’s just about time before it explodes. They no longer believe in love anymore and the worst part is they get depressed and end up hating themselves forever.
I’m not a love expert neither am I a relationship expert but what I know for sure is love doesn’t give glaucoma thus making you blind, love doesn’t bewitch you thus making you neglect your common sense. Neither does love mean enslaving yourself for the parochial interest of someone. But one thing I know for sure is that the true meaning of love or the purpose of relationship is not what most of us are exhibiting in our generation. We love people for the wrong reasons. We love based on ephemeral ideals. One principle I’ve tried and tested and it gave me a remarkable outcome is “when I embrace the embodiment of love which is Christ that is when I get to understand what love truly is and the purpose of a relationship”. I’d forever hold steadfast to this advice “Whoever you tangle with and connect with you must have something that relates to what they carry, their future must be connected to your future. When it comes to marriage, you have to make sure that whoever you align yourself with or whoever you marry, their destiny and your destiny, potential gifting and preparations, upbringing background, and everything in future are similar to yours and it complements what you carry”- Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams.