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MARRIAGE WORKSHOP II

TOPIC: PURE COURTSHIP

Background Text: Genesis 24:1-67

Memory verse:“Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexual immoral.” (Heb. 13:4).

 

Introduction

      This is a build-up on the teaching on “God’s purpose for marriage.” Clearly, marriage was created for service. Except we understand that this is God’s ultimate reason for marriage

, we will enter into it with a defective knowledge, and of course, abuse is inevitable. In that same study, we saw the diverse ways by which God reveals his will to us and what to do before saying “Yes” or “No” to a brother. In this study, we shall look at what courtship is, conduct and activities during courtship and how to grow a pure courtship.

What is Courtship?

      Courtship begins at the period when a sister and a brother have mutually confirmed the leading of God in their hearts as future marriage partners to each other. Except a sister gives you a “Yes” for an answer, she is not yet in courtship with you. Beware “Bro”! Put in another way, courtship is a period of conscious preparation of the two lives for marriage. (Lk. 14:28, Pro. 16:1).

Practical Discussion: Contrary to this, what do “lovers” do during courtship in our days? Do you think such behavious can achieve God’s purpose for marriage? What are the likely results of such conducts? How then should a Christian brother and sister conduct themselves during courtship?

Godly Activities during Courtship

Since courtship is the period to lay a proper foundation for the home, then the following are some activities that would help in realizing this goal.

  1. Fast and pray together.
  2. Study the Word of God together.
  3. Listen to Christian messages together.
  4. Read Christian literatures and discuss them.
  5. Be involved in soul winning.
  6. Discuss.
  7. Visit Christian friends, senior friends or your spiritual father together. Mention others.

Warning!

      These activities are better carried out with the counsel of your spiritual father or a senior friend. Usually, they will advice you to use an open place each time you meet, or go along with a friend, your brother or sister, or meet in the house of your spiritual father. Avoid meeting under close-door. You are but an earthen vessel! Don’t forget this.

Contents of relationship during courtship

      It is expected that during courtship, there should be sincere, honest and open discussion between the two friends in the ship. What should be the content of their discussions?

  1. Share your past life; failure and successes. (Pro. 28:13). Why do people hide their past? In your own view, will this attitude help the marriage in future?
  2. The brother should share the vision of the work God committed to him by God. Discuss future career and where to live. (Gen. 2:15-20).
  3. Discuss your background, age, family composition, health challenge if any, etc. (Ecc. 4:9-12, Rth.1:16-17).
  4. Discuss issues relating to child bearing and how to raise them. When and how should this discussion be? (Ps. 127:3, Gen. 1:28).
  5. Discuss your income, source, how to handle finance and other resources. (Mat. 19:5-6).
  6. At what point should you discuss how to satisfy your emotional needs? (Pro. 5:15-20).
  7. Discuss necessary preparations concerning the marriage ceremony in view of the need to glorify the Lord. (Mat. 18:19-20). What should be the focus of the wedding ceremony and how will it be achieved?

How to maintain a pure courtship

      What ought to be our conduct and attitude during courtship with regards to the following:

  1. Regularity and duration of times of visits.
  2. Time of visits and place.
  3. Do we need the company of other brethren when we are together?
  4. How to appear, sit, talk during visit.
  5. Set boundaries. This could include ‘no evening or late-night visits’, ‘don’t visit when you don’t have a defined purpose’, ‘no holding of hands’, ‘on no occasion must we sleep together on one bed’, etc.
  6. Don’t hide it from brethren. Else, sin is lucking at your door.

General Issues

  1. When should we involve our parents, pastor(s) and/or spiritual fathers and what role will they play? Rom. 13:7, ITim. 5:17, Gen. 24:50-51, 59-61.
  2. How long should a courtship last? Heb. 10:35-39.
  3. On what ground should an engagement be broken and a courtship discontinued? Mat. 18:8-9; 16:26.
  4. Sex before marriage is sinful. If for any reason your partner asks you for sex before your marriage, don’t keep mute. Run to your pastor or spiritual father (Heb. 13:4).
  5. Should there be exchange of gifts during courtship?

     

Conclusion

      Christian courtship is a foundation for building a joyful home that can fulfill God’s purpose. It is not the time to be joined bodily. Every activity at this period must be guided by biblical principles, the Holy Spirit and your spiritual father. When courtship is handled correctly, it would lead to a Christian marriage.

 


 

 

ACADEMIC SUCCESS SEMINAR II

TOPIC: THE CANKERWORM CALLED EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE

Background Text: Joshua 7:1-26

Memory verse:“The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.” (Pro. 11.1).

 

Introduction

      Among several evils that had eaten deep into the fabrics of our society is exam malpractice. It is fast destroying the good foundation that “our heroes past” labored selflessly to build. Unfortunately, the Church is not spared from this terrible menace. This act is now widely accepted. It has become the cheapest (but ungodly) way-out for academic success for a teeming population that is crazy after paper qualifications. The effects and dangers it poses to our society and the Church are grave and dreadful. Its aftermath is better not imagined.

      In this workshop, we shall practically examine the matter of examination malpractice via the Word of God.

Definition and origin

      What is exam malpractice? It is any unlawful activity practiced by a person or persons for personal advantage before, during or after and examination. That is, any action or inaction done against the rules and regulations guiding an examination. Officially, the first case was reported in 1977 when the live questions of WAEC were massively leaked out.

Shades of Exam Malpractice

  1. Dubbing:- Either from a textbook, note, board, project,…
  2. Expo:- Having access to exam questions before exam day.
  3. ‘ECOWAS’, ‘ECOMOG’ and ‘OAU’:- This is an articulate arrangement among friends who evolved a suitable system of passing messages in coded language in the exam hall. In IBBU Lapai, students call it “COLLABO.”
  4. Micro-chips:- Pieces of papers on which students write condensed portions of their notes book and smuggle it into the hall.
  5. Super-print:- A generic form for all forms of writing on clothes, handkerchiefs, uniforms and body.
  6. Impersonification:- Hiring an individual to write an exam, assignment or text for another candidate.
  7. Forgery:- Collaborating with or without an examiner/exam body to issue grade(s) or certificate you do not merit or for which you did not sit for the exam.
  8. Communicating during test or exam without the permission of the invigilator.
  9. “Good-Samaritan Syndrome”:- Leaving or uncovering your answer scripts for another candidate to copy.
  10. Assaulting and intimidating of exam officials.
  11. Bribery:- Deliberate and calculated gifts to a lecturer, an examiner or exam officer to influence the outcome of your results.
  12. Others:- Bullets, missiles, giraffe, swapping of examination materials or seat, contributing money as a class for a lecturer to indirectly influence your result.

Note:- On a general note, it is not against examination ethics for an examiner or examination body, to upgrade or review the score/results of ALL candidates who sat for an examination. Usually, this is done across-board.

 

What saith the Scriptures about Exam Malpractice? Luke 16:15

  1. It is a false weight:- “Differing weights and differing measure – the LORD detest them both.” (Pro. 20:10). Exam malpractice gives you a weight or measure you do not merit. It gives a false picture of your academic performance.
  2. It is a shameful deed:- Any action that cannot be brought to light is vile (shameful). Such are always done under cover. How many people can boldly stand before God, his angel and the Church to testify how they obtained all their results/certificate so far? (Rev. 21:7-8).
  3. It makes you to break your oath:- Students take oath, either consciously or unconsciously, not to take part in exam malpractice. The implication of taken an oath is great and must not be taken lightly. God will not hold guiltless anyone who breaks an oath unadvisedly. Did you keep your oath/pledge not to cheat during WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, IBBUL exams? (Num. 30:2, Mat. 5:33-37).
  4. It makes you a thief, a liar/false witness:- Claiming the right of ownership on something you did not acquire legally makes you a thief and a liar. (Exd. 20:15). Each time you present your certificates for screening, it is like saying: “these are my credentials, I wrote the exams by myself, they are the results of my labour.” But is this testimony true? (Rev. 21:7-8).
  5. It uncovers you to attack and you cannot stand for God in battle:- We read of Achan, who stole an accursed thing and hid it inside his tent. As a result of this, Israel (as a nation) was defeated in a battle against Ai (a very small city). About 36 men were killed in that battle. They could not stand for God to defeat the enemy rather they were prone to attack from the enemy. Friend, each time you are in possession of an accursed thing, you cannot stand as a soldier for the Lord and your life is exposed to attack. (Jos. 7:1-26, Zec. 3:1-4).  

 

Effects of Exam Malpractice

  1. Turn-out of half-baked, unqualified graduates/professionals.
  2. It is threat to standard.
  3. Delays the process and release of examination results.
  4. It makes innocent students to suffer.
  5. Those involved could be expelled or suspended from school.
  6. It denies qualified candidates opportunity for admission.
  7. It discourages good candidates from studying hard.
  8. It makes you a hypocrite.
  9. It produces a religious but powerless Church.
  10. It denies qualified applicants of job opportunities/employment.
  11. It encourages corruption in other aspect of public affairs/government.

God’s Verdict

      From the following scriptures, what is God’s verdict on this sinful act? Hab. 2:6, ICor. 6:9-10.

Remedy to Exam Malpractice

  1. Repent.
  2. Seek counsel from senior believers.
  3. Be committed to your study so that you will not be tempted.
  4. Do not join the multitude to do evil.
  5. Don’t plan to depend on your friend during test/exam.
  6. Write your assignment, test, exam, term paper, project and examination by yourself (no matter the circumstance).
  7. Above all, be heavenly conscious rather than being certificate conscious.

Challenge/Conclusion

      Are you already caught in the web of exam malpractice? Do you long to see God at the end of the age? Are you planning to be a useful vessel in God’s hand in the years to come? Do you want to leave a legacy of an impeccable academic excellence behind for the generation yet unborn? Do you want to possess a ‘rod’ with which you can deliver the lost and challenge the present corruption in the society? Then exam malpractice is not an option.

      What shall it profit a man if he shall gain wonderful certificates/results and lose his own soul? Exam malpractice is deadly, stay clear!  

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