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Reverend Oladimeji (Ladi) Thompson is the founder/Senior Pastor of Living Waters Unlimited Church, and the international Coordinator of Macedonian Initiative, a non-government, non-denominational organization established to provide succour to Christians persecuted because of their belief in Jesus Christ. Lately, the security consultant has assumed the office of a Special Adviser to the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, on Anti-terrorism and Security Matters. Multi-dimensional in focus and detailed in content, Ladi recently diverted his attention for the first time in 20 years to the issue of marriage and love. He has never spoken on this topic before. He said he was observing. This interview is a product of his observations and research. You wont believe this: Ladi comes out with some witty but unconventional facts which will shock every Christian who desire to live a life of peace in this single life-time God has given every man. Come with me as we probe his mind.
Listening to this message on marriage, one is tempted to say you sound very unconventional. Some new things we hear from you concerning marriage. What do you intend to achieve?
The intention is to let us examine the foundations of mankind and marriage. When I say marriage is not what you think, it’s because for more than twenty years, I have not spoken on marriage as a subject. When I got married and listened to messages, I observed that there was a wide gap between what I saw in the Scriptures and what was available in theory. So I decided to keep quiet and study for a short while, 20 years.
To whom would you say this message is best for?
When we talk about marriage not being what you think, we want to pay attention particularly to about 13 set of people: people who are divorced, those that are about to divorce, the widows planning to remarry, widows planning not to marry, widowers planning to remarry and those that do not want to remarry.
Also we are looking at those who are single and sad, single and happy, those that are living together but are not married, those who are married and happy, those that are married and extremely unhappy, those who are separated, those considering separation and those who are about to separate.
A lot of pains are encountered by so many people in marriage. Is marriage a must?
There is nowhere in the Bible that God compels anybody to marry. The best you will get is from 1 Corinthians 7 verse 36 says “but if a man thinks he is treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitable give in to his passion, let him marry as her as he wishes it is not a sin. But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. So he who marries his fiancée does well and he who doesn’t marry does even better”. A lot of time, we don’t realize that these things are in scriptures because God wants all of us to have a good idea of what marriage really is before God. When you strip marriage of the philosophies, addictives and misrepresentations that the modern life has given to it, we need to find out exactly what is this marriage. And if we look at the foundations of marriage, we need to understand that a lot the misunderstandings is going on in the name of counseling in the church. These do not prepare people for marriage before God.
Let us get to the basics. What is marriage all about?
Let us look at the creation of mankind and look at the bases of marriage. Genesis 2 vs 18.. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a help meet for him. Immediately, God formed every beast of the field, God started to talk about a suitable helper for man. He started by presenting beast from the earth, all kinds of animals, Elephants, Dogs, etc. But Adam was not pleased with all of the animals. Adam did not consider any of the Animals as a wife. The animals did not qualify to be a helper. Then at a point in time God made Adam to have a deep sleep and took out one rib from him and molded a woman. God brought her to the man just the way he presented all the animals. It was Adam that began to wax poetic to the woman and named her ‘woman’ because she was taken out of man. He agreed to marriage. “Therefore shall a man leave his father (father means source … that is God) and mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh. And they were naked and they were not ashamed.”
What are the anomalies you have located in the basics of marriage?
So much lies and falsehood are floating around today about marriage that it is a marvel that any marriage in the modern church is surviving. A man called James Drednin said that “a well packaged lies have been sold to many generations across the world, the truth will seem preposterous and the speaker will look like a raving lunatic. When a lie is repeated again and again, it begin to take up the shape of a truth and the people that have received these lies will be prepared to swear by their lives and this will make darkness to descend on the community. When this darkness has stayed for a long time, any one that attempts to introduce light will be considered a Public Enemy Number One.
This was the reason why God sent John to the world before Jesus Christ and it is the same thing that is about to happen now about marriage. The mystery is not what you have been told about marriage. The mystery is how one plus one is equal to one. God does not permit fractions in marriage. For a marriage to be real before God, it has to be one plus one equals to one. And only God can do that when He gets involves. Bible says we are complete in Him. When you are not complete in Christ, you have no business in getting married. Any man or woman that is not complete in Christ will be a deserter to the marriage because what marriage is before God is totally different from what people think it is.
For instance in the Old Testament, using the priest as example, the Bible says in Leviticus 21 vs 7 that a priest must not take a prostitute as a wife or take a profane person. He must not marry a divorcee also. The word fraction comes from the Latin word. Fractos. Broken. And the Lord will not join two broken vessels together. If you are broken, you come to Christ to be completed. When you are complete, then you can move towards marriage.
Marriage is a divine contraption from heaven. Before the earth was ever created, heaven understood the mystery of marriage. God imported it into the earth for the following purpose: To facilitate and fulfill the will of God for mankind. To expand the fatherhood of God in all nations of the Earth. The reason why God coined marriage had nothing to do with multiplication or sex, or just to have dominion. There was something deeper. He gave us marriage to have a spiritual cover for all the names in the book of life. It was given to guarantee power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour glory and blessings to those who choose to engage it.
Where do the challenges in marriage come from?
From the moment Satan saw what marriage was to accomplish on Earth, he attacked it with servility. By the time he was through with the attack, the man was ejected from his accommodation. A marriage that started with bliss and comfort became a marriage that was problematic. Don’t think Satan stopped there: he has since then being working on marriage and he has now brought it to a point where there are many marriage definitions on Earth.
But to get the truth, we have to go to the scriptures in the book of Mathew. The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him and saying unto Him, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” Give us a reason why we can divorce a woman. The religious leaders came and Jesus answered and said to them …
Have you not read every time that Jesus talks about marriage he keeps pointing to us that knowledge is the key to marriage? If you want to get married, go after knowledge… Have you not read in Mathew 22 vs 29 where they were asking Jesus about a woman that married seven brothers that what will happen on resurrection whose wife will she be. Jesus answered them again that they lack knowledge; you don’t know the scriptures. You don’t study. The key to marriage is knowledge. You don’t study the scriptures. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. What God was saying is that any marriage that must succeed must be founded on two things: It must be founded on knowledge and the power of God to make 1+1=1. Where that is missing, it is yet to become a marriage before God.
If you want to learn what a real marriage is and how it can work and how it can guarantee you prosperity, progress and eternity in glory, God said go back to the beginning. He created male and female and that male should marry female and not male marrying male or female marring female. And that is why it’s difficult for most people to understand Ephesians chapter 5 vs 22. God says wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, and the Husbands are happy but look very well, it says as unto the Lord. Without God it is impossible.
Do you know how to submit as unto the Lord? We normally skip that part. And it goes on to say ‘For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
What we see these days is that the duties in the home are shared to such an extent that some men divide the duties between husband and wife.
Stubborn women and men who go to courts to argue need to understand that the mantle of leadership that the Bible talks about here is not that of oppression. What God is saying is that the man is the foundation unit of the marriage. The leadership of the husband on a marriage that is of God is not based on oppression. It’s not based on commanding, but it’s based on building a foundation, because the real picture of the husband in the spirit is a foundation. As a building transfers all the weight from the roof down to the foundation. A man that is not ready to take responsibilities of other people should not think of getting married before God, because the marriage the God recognizes is a marriage with specific union
One, it is the foundation that carries the home not the home that carries the foundation.
Two, the foundation is never a burden a foundation is the burden bearer.
Three, this means that those that are looking for soft landing are not fit to be husbands.
Four, if you are looking for a man that will help you, you are not ready for marriage.
And five, the hidden strength of the house is in the foundation of the house. So the hidden strength of a union is in the husband. Not in the wife.
In all of these, what is the place of the woman?
Woman and the wife were made to be multipliers and incubators. If a man gives his wife a seed, she will hold it for a season and she will bring forth a child. If you whisper a word to her, she may hold it for a while and give you ten paragraph in reply.
In Isaiah 55 vs 8, God said my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways. My ways of establishing marriage is not your way of establishing marriage. We see that man is the foundation of Gods purpose in marriage. God wanted man to dominate when he created man in the garden but it was not that man should dominate man or any woman and women are not meant to dominate men either. You will observe that till tomorrow, men don’t like taking orders because every man has a sentence of dominion inside him, so is every woman but the roles are defined by God.
Man is a genderless spirit, that is its either a man or in another mould that has a womb call a woman and you will see that for a marriage to work, the man and the other man with a womb must come together to produce something which is what God really wants in a marriage. God is only after Godly seeds before your pleasure, before sex. God is interested in the fact that the moment your children are born, even before they become born again their names are already ticked in the book of life. You now know why he hates divorce.
What do you think is the underlying principles for the creation of earth, the garden and the man and the womb man?
I have come to know that the garden was not just a location but also a spiritual location. It was a place where God put His presence on as His headquarters on the Earth. That is why that till tomorrow, scientists still keep looking for the location of Eden but they will never find it. That means that God puts in so much in the garden of Eden where He can fellowship with man regularly and train him. The Bible tells us that God took man and placed him a place of harmony and peace, in a place where the presence of God was. It was after God had done that that He said man, you are not here for a holiday. You are here to work. Then God gave him the real meaning of the power of choice, the ability to choose. Why?
God now told him that there are two trees in the center of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of evil and the tree of life.
Before any man gets married, he must have the presence of God. He needs to be born again. If he is not born again, he does not need to get married. As far as God is concerned, he is of no value, because man received the presence of God first, a peaceful presence, serenity. How many men do you know that like to be harassed, how many men do you know that enjoys an atmosphere of strife? How many men can handle consistent tension? When man was created, he was created in a place of peace, in a place of harmony and he was given a job.
Women don’t understand it. But you find out that work is more important to men than their wives. The only reason why God gave man a wife was to help the man with his work. That is why when a man loses his job, it is as if he loses the whole world. Wives don’t know this. They complain that the man likes his job more than her, but the truth is that he has to. He was wired like that. If you fight it, you are fighting a losing battle except a man that is not going anywhere, who is not suppose to be married any way. So there are some things that a man must have first before he can even think of marriage: He must have the presence of God and he must have work to do.
In your message, you try to differentiate between work and job. Can you explain this?
Everyman was made because there was a problem to be solved, and not only him, but with his helpmate his wife. That was why he made them two. Ephesians 2 vs 10 says we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works that God have before ordained that we should work in it.
Jobs are provided by the world system. That is why many men hated their jobs while work is what you do to discover your destiny, to discover why you are fearfully and wonderfully made. That is why a man who has no vision, or discovered anything that God wants the unit that he heads to accomplish before he leaves the earth has no business in getting married.
Some people are so spiritual that they just go for the work and abandon their wives. That is why the Bible tells us that we are in this world but we are not of this world. You may start with a job, but as you go on, you discover your work. And when you discover your work, you find out that it comes naturally to you. You wont struggle to do it. It will come to you naturally. But the truth is that all your Job will not count in eternity. So when a man discovers his work, his wife becomes very relevant because that was why wife was created.
Man was the one that God instructed. He was the foundation for the union. He was the one that God told you must exercise the power of choice. God was always talking to Adam and not Eve. So a man is suppose to lead the family to church. A man is the one that is suppose to correct his wife on how to pray. A man is the one that is suppose to encourage his wife because she is the help mate that God have created for him to accomplish his purpose before he exits the earth. It’s of no use you have 12 cars, the world is praising you but the work you never touched.
A man and wife never touched the work of God but they did jobs all their lives. When God said she will be a suitable help mate, it means she is either as strong as the man or even stronger. That is why you don’t marry a fraction or an incomplete partner. You must be whole on your own. A woman that is not dependant on any man that can trust God for anything that she wants is the one that is ready for marriage. And the man too has to discover that he is also complete.
So in the plan of God, if you bring these two people together without turning them into one, you will create confusion. That is the only reason why one of them must be the head and the other one, deputy. That is why you don’t want to marry a strong woman if you have not discovered yourself in God.
When a man is complaining that his wife is just a nuisance, he has not pointed her in any direction. A man who has no vision should stop complaining that his wife is been troublesome. The philosophies of the world have come to a place today where they will rather snatch away the vision from the man and box the system. That is why you will find out that a woman will come into a union and bring in her own vision, that becomes a di-vision.
In the principle of source and resource, you will notice that God created the Earth first before he pulls tree out of it. Trees must stay in contact with earth for them to continue to grow and function in what God wanted them to do. God created the sky, then the Stars came to the sky. So the moment a star disconnect itself for the sky, it stops to exist. It becomes a fallen star. He put water into place before the fishes and if the fish stays outside water, it dies. When a man separates himself from his source, which is God, he dies. So if you marry a man that is not in Christ, you have married a dead man. He is not alive in God.
What is the place of love in marriage? We never read of love in Genesis?
Love is the silliest reason to get married. Marriage from God is covenant based. A covenant is an agreement. How many people would rent a house and sign a contract without reading it? You know that marriage is contract based because you made a vow. A spiritual vow is contractual. Marriage is a spiritual contract. Since you don’t have to feel good to pay your bill or kids school fees, why would you want to base your marriage on just some feelings that you call love? If you get married and chemical still rules you, you are a canal person, but a man that God wants to be in marriage must be a man that is not controlled by his flesh but by His spirit. That is why no matter how beautiful his secretary is, he is not tempted because he has put his flesh under control.
We get all sorts of silly counsel about marriage and you never know that it’s all fake. When you go into the marriage and it starts having problems, you go to Church for solution. The Church gives you a mask; they tell you to look happy, after all your case is not the worst on earth.
What they don’t know is that if indeed your one plus is equal to one, and the marriage has problems, God will intervene and save the marriage. Things can’t go wrong. We already know that the central focus of coming together is to raise godly seeds and that is why He said in Malachi “I hate divorce”. He warned men to make sure we don’t make our wives miserable.
And wives too must be emotionally stable. Your emotional stability is not based on your man. It’s based on God. Love is not the reason for the union. The reason is because in eternity there will be crowns. God will reward those that were able to raise godly seed and led them to Christ, to further establish the kingdom of God.
What should we watch out for in marriage concerning the plans of God?
God is not so impressed when you raise children that have manners, or are ethicists or have British accents. All those do not matter to God. You will be ashamed of children that you taught how to use fork and knife who cannot touch the word of God.
A matured man in marriage will not only know his roles in marriage but will also know the strength of his wife and help her to get it right and not feel intimidated. A woman that is preparing herself before she got married to assist you do the work that doesn’t belong to you but belongs to God, if such a woman comes your way, you will not want her because you will feel intimidated. You will prefer a meat seller who will not intimidate you. You won’t fulfill your destiny. The stronger a woman is, the bigger the vision you have. And once the home is not directed towards Gods vision, the strength that God gave to you becomes a nuisance.
There is nothing more harmonious than a successful marriage. You will marvel at the rate at which God will bless a successful marriage. When God gave Adam instruction on how to dominate, expand and push the frontier of Gods vision, Eve was not there. As the foundational unit, he was supposed to talk to Eve, show her the way, and instruct her.
Don’t be a fool when you are married to tell God that you made a mistake. Bible says when you have vowed a vow, make sure you keep a vow that you have made before God. The Bible says it is better for you not to make a vow than to make a vow and not fulfill. The Bible says you are a fool. A fool signed a contract and when the contract was to be implemented, he says but I borrowed only N150, 000, how come the money is now N250, 000 with interest rate, but I was not aware of that. They will tell him it was written in the contract. Would you like to see it? And they bring the contract and he reads it that inertest rate is 25% every week. He shouted but I didn’t read it. Fool. But you signed it. God says He likes a man that will keep to his vow even when it hurts just because he makes a vow. That puts those that have made a mistake before in a better place of understanding not to repeat the same mistake again. God wants godly children from your union, so guide your heart. Remain loyal to the wife of your youth. I hate divorce says the Lord. To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty. So guide your heart. Don’t be unfaithful to your wife.
You linked the procreation of godly seeds to a message by Pa Akindayomi, the founder of Redeemed Christian Church of God. What is that angle again?
Pa Akindayomi, the founder of Redeemed Christian Church of God preached a message on God’s promises that never fails. He said God rested on the seventh day from all His works. When He created Adam and Eve, He has put all of us inside of them and they were to work out the potential and bring all of us out of them. The plan did not work out because they were chased out of God presence and men became so evil that God had to send the flood and all mankind was destroyed, leaving only eight people. That time, God should have created more people. But he did not. Pa Akindayomi took note that God did not panic about making more people but from those eight, we have multiplied to seven billion today.
God wants many children but most of you want family planning. The greatest thing you can do for God is help Him to get a child. Unfortunately, for God to get a child, it is the natural that was created first before the spiritual. So there is already a catchment area of a limited number of canal people and people who will make eternity in Christ into the new heaven and the new earth are a sub set. So the number is already limited. So who ever is able to speak to a soul and convert him to Christ, God owes you everything because of His love for you. You have given God a child that will be with Him in eternity. That’s why He said you did not choose me, I chose you. I wrote your name in the book of life and I asked you to go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain. If your fruit doesn’t remain and eternity comes, that person will not be with Christ in Eternity. But if your fruit can remain, He said ask me anything and I will give you.
And that is why in a family that both parties are complete in Christ and both produce godly children, what they pour into the children, God is already nodding saying go for it, why? Because the greatest thing that you can do for God is to have children that will know God and respect God and still be with you in eternity. It’s after all thing that you can start to talk about fellowship and other things because if the foundation be removed, nothing that the righteous can do.
What you are saying is not popular. How easily do you think this message would be accepted?
God has not changed. I am saying that the reason why God will favour Abraham and give him anything was that Abraham understood the Lord. I am going to have children and these children I must teach your ways that is why the names of people that lived in a particular area are always changing. To please God from one generation to another, you need one plus one to be equal to one because if the mother is pushing the child toward Christ and the father is pushing him towards playing polo, he wants him to take over his businesses, your wealth will not live beyond you. In fact, your business will go before you. But the people who have a covenant of wealth with God eat the wealth of the land.
Jesus Christ said it was not so from the beginning, so when we go back to the beginning, we get the blue print not only for marriage but for life. I said Adam lost a kingdom, he never lost a religion when he lost the garden. Religion is the single greatest cause of war in the history of mankind. Religion is man’s attempt to locate God but when Jesus Christ came, the first thing He said was repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.
Right now in Africa, religion is very dangerous. It’s a wicked tool of oppression, a lot of darkness in the land. That is why marriage is hell and people are smiling underneath because they had neglected the original marriage. I am not going to be talking about how to date your spouse, because when a man spends time in God’s presence, when they get together, the glory of God over their lives helps them.
I remember my parents. Before she died, she and my father in the evenings will just sit side by side and just say a word and in another 30 minutes they will just be quite. For them, to be together was more than enough. In the modern day, we have twisted everything. We pander to the flesh. Carnality. We come up with all sorts of silly instructions to make matters worse and that is why most children in the next generation will not be believers if we don’t change the way African church is been run.
We are watching parents and the religious mask that the parents are putting on is not deceiving the children. But it was not so from the beginning. I put it to you that religion is a tranquilizer and that is why most people in the church are poor. They are not motivated. They never do the work that God has given to do because church gives then jobs. That is why Nigeria is where it is today. It is the duty of the minister to assist you to transit from your job to the work that God wrote in your life. And interestingly, you will prosper much more in your work than in your job. God has not changed the way He started with Adam. Until things are been done on Earth the way it is done in Heaven, God is not moving one inch.
So I plead with you. The kingdom of God is now available, go after the kingdom of God. Stop struggling to make heaven. Look for the truth. You are no longer a stranger now. You are no longer a foreigner. The Bible says you are fellow citizens with the saint and a member of God’s household. The kingdom of God assures you. Religion insures you. There is a big difference between the marriage that religion promotes and the marriage that the kingdom promotes.