What do a dating couple, a married couple, and a single person have in common?
They all love LOVE!
Okay, I hope that sounded as good to you as it sounded in my head 2 minutes ago, because even the hardest ‘hard’ guys cannot deny that they’re interested in love, especially the romantic kind.
That’s why we reached out to a married couple, a dating couple and a single lady in Sycamore Church to discover how their love lives have been influenced by the Love, Dating and Marriage (LDM) series.
It was sooooo beautiful watching couples taking their vows again that I felt like getting married the next day, but my mind mocked the idea with just two words, ‘dey play’.
The series was loaded with treasures and gems from start to finish. Tables were broken…no, shattered, mindsets were realigned and relationships were refined.
Okay, back to the story, let’s meet the couples and singles we chatted up.
Married Couple – Tijesunimi and Adeyinka Oresanya
Tijesunimi Oresanya (fondly called Uncle TJ) works in the financial services industry and is married to Dr Adeyinka Oresanya, a data professional. They met at Obafemi Awolowo University, “Africa’s most beautiful campus” (duh, because isn’t that UnIbadan?). They became best friends and, eventually, life partners.
Dating Couple – Seun Adeegbe and Dotun Kassim
Seun and Dotun met in church. They were in the same life group and team in church, which made them acquaintances.
(Life group members, we hope you’re taking notes?)
Single – Eme Agbor
Eme Agbor is a student, social media manager and YouTuber.
I must say that each LDM series in Sycamore Church always outshines the previous one. So it was only fitting to begin this very interesting conversation by touching base on our guests’ expectations for this year’s series.
Host: What were your expectations regarding the Love, Dating and Marriage topics before the series started?
Mr. Oresanya: “LDM has always been a series to look forward to, so I was expecting to learn things that would further empower me to be the husband God wants me to be to the wife he gifted me.”
Eme Agbor: “Well, for one, I expected tables to be broken. (They always are haha.) However, for expectations, I expected to grow along the lines of getting healthy definitions (and redefinitions) within the love, dating and marriage space.”
Dr. Oresanya: “I always look forward to the LDM series every year. It’s a great opportunity to refine and refresh my perspective and acquire new ways to improve my marriage.”
Seun Adeegbe: “I expected the series to shed light on certain areas of love and dating, including what a godly relationship should look like, and how best to love one’s partner.”
It’s really nice to note how the Oresanyas both harbored selfless expectations that ran along the lines of becoming better partners to their significant other. If, like us, you can’t relate at this moment, then join us in saying, “God, when?”
Having set the tone with expectations for LDM, we decided to uncover the standout points that stuck with our guests from February’s teachings. Brace yourself; this segment is packed with a truckload of wisdom.
Host: What were the key takeaways or standout points from the teachings that you held personally?
Dotun Kassim: “The 1st Corinthians 13 breakdown of love in practice was a big takeaway for me. I really liked the part about love being kind even when you don’t feel like it.”
Eme Agbor: “I think a standout point would be from “I’m in love with Delilah”, where PTM said be careful when you always have a way of having your way. Accountability is super important, not just for you, but also for the person you’re getting with; who influences them? Delilah was influenced by the wrong people, which flowed into her relationship with Samson. Understanding that was so profound.
Another loud point for me was from “How to stay Holy when you’re horny”, where PTM said, ‘some of you are wearing a purity ring on an impure heart’. I was like, whoosh! It definitely drove the point home that God is interested in our purity wholistically.”
Mr. Oresanya: “A lot! A great marriage is not two people isolated from the world. They are two people committed to each other but with a world around them. A strong love story is built around strong love structures.
You can’t do a God-thing any other way than a God-way to have the desired results. We should put who Jesus is in the lead of our lives. The devil is against God’s order. He also specialises in corrupting God’s ‘innovations’. ”
Dr. Oresanya: “If you are going to excel in marriage, the love of both partners must be large, larger than passion or whatever you feel in the moment. There is a God standard for marriage, we must possess values that uphold that standard and maintain traditions that protect those values.”
Seun Adeegbe: “Resource is not the most important factor when considering marriage. The God-factor is what’s most important. God knows and owns everything. So it’s very important to know His reason for instituting marriage. Once you know His reason, you’ll know that God is very much open to financing it.
Also, feelings and desires are valid, but they don’t have to take the lead in our lives.”
Like we said, a truckload of wisdom! Did you get all that?
It’s time to take an intermission and bring you some insider scoop from the lives of one of our guests.
Ice Breaker – Relationship pressure
Last month’s valentine’s celebration was evidence enough that people in relationships like to do the most. So in the spirit of inclusion, we asked our single-not-in-a-relationship guest if she ever felt intimidated by ‘relationship people’ and their neck-pressing.
Eme: “As someone who loves love, sometimes I do.”
Host: What about those cases where you’re at an event, and the MC says if you’re married or engaged, please hold hands; otherwise, please hold your Bible?
Eme: “Ahh, this one doesn’t get me o 😂” (#EyesOnJesus)
We were glad to hear that. Because the truth of the matter is that whether married, engaged, dating, or single, we should all be holding our Bible.
Whether married, engaged, dating, or single, we should all be holding (reading) our Bible.
Let’s continue with the story and find out how the Love, Dating and Marriage series transformed the way our guests view love and relationships.
Spoiler Alert: The Oresanyas continued to deliver touching ‘Aw, God when’-type moments with their responses.
Host: How did the LDM series influence the way you view love? Tell us anything that struck a chord with your situation and left a mark.
Mr. Oresanya: “Kindness is intentional. I must intentionally choose to be kind and considerate in words and deeds towards the beauty God gave me.”
Dr. Oresanya: “Understanding that values like honour and kindness – even in the face of conflict – are profitable. The topics also helped me realize that my marriage is bigger than me and my spouse. It is bigger than both of us combined. It is the Lord’s mandate to be used for His Glory, so we must do all we can to fulfil the mandate of God.”
Eme Agbor: “Pastor hammered on this thing of being in a Jesus pursuit, which left a mark on me. I can draw a line all through these past weeks and say, ‘be in a Jesus pursuit’ was said in one way or another. And that’s the most important principle for me. Whether you’re in a relationship that involves putting Jesus at the Centre or you’re single and navigating uncertainty.
Sometimes it can be so easy to be concerned about the ‘don’ts’ or the ‘what ifs’, and it can really get frustrating. But being in a Jesus pursuit ties up a lot of things. For me, that translated to letting Jesus lead in my expressions of love despite what I’ve experienced. Ultimately, that is the most security I can ever have.”
Because of space and the fact that there is just so much wisdom to absorb and ruminate on, we had to divide this story into 2 parts.
In part 2 of this story, we’ll go all the way into dating and marriage myths and misconceptions as well as highlights from the Sycamore Church singles suya night.
By the way, did you get suya? Let’s continue in part 2 of the story!
Victor Anih, Supreme Ndubisi, Lolade Folorunsho, Iyanuoluwa Kizo, Cletus Onyebuolise
These volunteers serve with the Content Team at Sycamore Church
(Blogposts are creative expressions generously provided for Sycamore Church. The ideas and thoughts do not necessarily represent the position of Sycamore Church)