Hello fam, welcome to another edition of tête-à-tête with PriscaTee. I hope your week ended in praise?
With me in the studio on such a beautiful day as this is a highly esteemed man of substance. His name is Segun Isijola.
Segun ISIJOLA is, first of all, a lover of God, and he is committed to pushing himself to do things God’s way. He holds a BSc in Building from the University of Lagos, and an MSc in Management Information Systems from Coventry University UK. Currently, he is an IT professional, working with the IT arm of a Pan-African Bank.
He has been happily married to his wonderful wife for almost 10 years, and they are blessed with a handsome son. Segun Isijola loves motivating young men and women to become their very best in every facet of their life and is passionate about getting it right in relationships.
PriscaTee: You’re welcome to our studio, Mr. Segun. We’re pleased to have you as our guest.
Mr. Segun: It is my pleasure.
PriscaTee: You did your BSc in Building, and then your MSc in Management Information Systems. That’s quite the jump from one field to a totally different one, sir. Why such a change?
Mr. Segun: Eight years of my life were spent studying Building both at the Polytechnic and University levels. I had always hated working in or with a bank, so any job related to banking was not an option. But I had a dream that I used to profess daily while hustling through academic rigours: “After I finish my first degree, I won’t do any job that will pay me less than N100,000”. I confessed this daily, though friends and colleagues mocked my dream.
Then came NYSC, and 21 days in camp that changed my life completely. They were 21 days of waking up very early in the morning and battling it out with God in the darkness of the parade ground. “Dear Lord, where do I go from here – financially, maritally, spiritually, and otherwise?”, I asked daily as I communed unforgettably with the Father. At the time, I didn’t even have a “girlfriend”. There was no family or sponsor to influence employment for me. The statement, “In Christ alone, my hope is found” made more sense to me then.
NYSC sent me to a bank as my place of primary assignment, and I virtually begged to be rejected, but their HR refused. In protest, I refused to resume at my place of primary assignment for almost 3 months. It wasn’t until I met a woman in the bank who sat me down and pleaded with me to just ‘manage’ the bank until I would be done with service that I finally decided to resume. God sure has a way of doing things, because almost 12 years after this incident, I am still with the bank.
Why the change of course? By providence, I found myself working in the IT arm of the bank and I started growing in relevance in the organization. Knowing that I had no background in IT, I had to pursue a Masters degree in a field that would improve me and justify my position in the organization.
PriscaTee: Hmm… persistence displayed in full course. What a lesson in going hard and trusting strongly for what you want. Thank you for sharing with us, sir.
And how has it been in the IT field? If you were to start all over, would you choose IT over Building?
Mr. Segun: Yes, IT would be my choice over and over again. Though stressful, I enjoy the fact that it allows one to engage the brain often, and opens avenues for fruitful interactions with like minds.
PriscaTee: Amazing… We are looking forward to global projects from you, sir. Back to our discussion for today… Should your denomination cause a hindrance to being married to someone from a different denomination? Sir, from your profile, we see you are a married man. How did you find your spouse?
Mr. Segun: We should put this in context. Denominations shouldn’t be a hindrance to marriage, as far as they are not far apart in their ‘interpretation’ of the Bible, and in their beliefs. Like I said earlier, love dragged me to God. This was partly because when I felt led to somebody outside my denomination, I resisted it within. I went to God in prayers, giving Him reasons why she couldn’t be the one.
I took our differences to God, and dug deeper into His word. Then I understood, and accepted. It is pertinent to add here that my Bible study was not to justify my choice, but to validate God’s choice and leading. I knew that God cannot lead His own outside His Word.
In a case where the difference in doctrinal beliefs are against what is written in God’s word, say denominations that believe in eternal security (once saved forever saved), divorce and remarriage, standard on worldliness, etc, then getting entangled in this kind of union is clearly a case of unequal yoke.
Right from my polytechnic days, 12 years before I eventually got married, we have been taught and encouraged to start praying for God’s will in marriage. Knowing that there is time for everything, I prayed earnestly by d side while I pursued my dreams. But by service year, I knew the time was ripe. But I wasn’t in my wildest imagination to be someone I meet in camp.
I met my wife during our service year; we were both in the same platoon. She was just one of the many ladies I knew in camp, NOTHING MORE at the time.
As fate would have it, I met her again during our CDA. Then one day, after one of our many engagements at the NYSC secretariat, we got to discuss for the first time while waiting to sign our cards. After our discussion, I got a bus at the bus stop before her. The moment the ‘molue’ moved and I turned to look at her, I had this firm witness almost like a voice saying, ‘ that is your wife’.
Come and see Bro Segun, casting and binding inside the bus. “Lord, I can never marry that lady; She is not my type”. See me binding every evil thought and bringing them under subjection. See me resisting the ‘devil’ so he could flee from me.
To cut a long story short, after months of fasting and praying, binding and loosing, the conviction shockingly grew stronger.
Today, I look back and am shocked at the foolishness of fighting the conviction then. It would have been a great mistake to have missed out on a divine gift like my wife.
PriscaTee: Haha haha… Thank you, sir, for being open. But why were you casting and binding? Was she not your spec, or did she have some attributes which weren’t what you grew up to desire in a lady?
Mr. Segun: She wasn’t my spec. She was from a tribe I had sworn not to marry from. She didn’t make a First Class or at least 2:1 that I expected from my wife-to-be. She wore earrings (I was born and bred in Deeper Life). She was fair in complexion (believe me, I used to be scared of fair-complexioned ladies). She was not from my church. In short, she didn’t tick any of my boxes.
PriscaTee: Wowuu… So one could say she was your complete opposite! I’m sure my readers are enjoying this. I really appreciate your sincerity, sir. It’s been said time and time again that compatibility is key in a relationship. Having considering all the issues you had with her, you obviously didn’t change your mind. Why was that? Weren’t they enough indications of your incompatibility?
Mr. Segun: Compatibility is important in marriage; very important. Of all the reasons I had for rejecting her, none was really an issue of compatibility. As I drew closer, resigning to God’s leading – while praying from a part of my head for my approach to fail – I got to know better.
She loved, knew and served God more than I expected. This was a VERY important trait I wanted. She didn’t have the traits I expected from people from her tribe. She had integrity (tested her many times on this), was hardworking and shockingly very intelligent. Can you imagine a lady beating me consistently in GMAT practice tests? That was how humbled I became after getting near. When I found out that we believed in the same thing as far as my core values (emphasis on CORE) were concerned, I decided to follow God’s leading at last.
PriscaTee: Wow! Amazing. Core values are most important. Thank you for that, sir. After getting a conviction from God, did you at any time try to change her outlook from what you knew her to be?
Mr. Segun: Yes, we reached a compromise on things. One, I detest makeup. It puts me off. We agreed on the Bible principle of modesty, and she threw away her heavy make-up. Powder is fine, and lip gloss is okay. Nothing beyond. This was the major compromise we made. Apart from this, we had other compromises we reached as far as they didn’t negate the word of God.
PriscaTee: Wonderful and quite interesting. That means it was important to reach a consensus before saying *I do*.
Mr. Segun: Yes ooo, very important.
PriscaTee: What kind of reactions did you receive from friends, parents, and leaders in the church when you married aunty? Did it affect you in any way?
Mr. Segun: Disapproval. Resentment. Especially from people of my denomination. “Why didn’t you pick a sister from among us?” “Bro, I suspect that your decision is influenced by lust.” “This woman will take you to hell; she doesn’t believe in what we believe.”
In all, I was not shaken. I took my time to explain to the people that matter: my parents(dad was a pastor in my denomination), my elder sister and her husband who happen to be my mentors. I patiently took them step by step through the processes that influenced my conviction. It took time to convince them through the help of the Holy Spirit. But once they were convinced, I was okay.
PriscaTee: Wow! Thank you so much, sir. From all you’ve said about your wife, I can attest to the fact that she’s a great woman. What advice would you give to an uncle/aunty that is being led to a person of another denomination? Should the person ignore the leading because of what his/her church people would say or what should he/she go ahead?
Mr. Segun: Has the person prayed fervently on this, without an idol in the heart? Is this person really born again, believes in ALL that is written in the Bible, and loves God? Can the person say, without any iota of doubt, that this leading is not influenced by the flesh, but by the inner (not influenced) witness of the Spirit of God? Is there inner peace when he/she thinks of the other? Are you confident enough to confess that even if tomorrow something unexpected happens, you can still look back and say, without mincing words, that this is God’s leading? Are the issues being raised by those in opposition to the leading unfounded, pertaining to mere sentiments, and not rooted in the Word of God?
If the answer to all the questions above is yes, then the person can prayerfully go ahead with the leading. In case one’s parents oppose the leading, you can take time out to pray for them so they can understand your point of conviction.
The most important thing to note is that you are the one who will live with this person for better or for worse.
PriscaTee: Hmmmmn! Instructive, I must say. Sir, what advice can you give to those who are forcing a change on their partners?
Mr. Segun: If God is truly leading you, He will make a way. Even when you are sure of God’s leading, you still have to pray. The most likely scenario is God showing or leading you in a certain way, not others. So you need to convince others (the ones that matter- parents and church leaders) about how and why you are convinced that God is leading you.
PriscaTee: Hmmmmm! Insightful! Sir, before my last question, would you say that finding the right partner isn’t determined by the church, but by our convictions? And what are some of the pros and cons?
Mr. Segun: Sure, finding a partner is determined by the leading from God that stems from the quality of your relationship with Him. But it is also important to get parties like parents, pastors, and people we respect, to buy into our conviction. This requires tact and patience, plus prayers. Parents’ consent is invaluable to kick-start the process.
PriscaTee: Thank you, sir. What advice do you have for couples who are from different church backgrounds and one of them seems to be adamant about his/her church?
Mr. Segun: I must be very frank. Denomination can be a major issue in the future, especially when there are marked differences in the mode of worship. The best option will be to go with somebody from the same denomination. But if the Lord leads otherwise, I am sure He won’t lead to an extremely different one, like leading a Pentecostal to person from a ‘white garment’ church. The ways of God can be seemingly strange at times, however. Even then, though, they are never against His word.
PriscaTee: Thank you so much, sir. How can you describe your marriage in the last decade?
Mr. Segun: Fulfilling. Splendid. Sweet.
PriscaTee: And may it be continually so. We appreciate you, sir. Thank you so much for your time. What an inspiring and educative time it’s been!
Mr. Segun: You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure.
Dear fam, I hope you’re as blessed as I am by this enriching duologue with our esteemed guest. Watch out for the next episode!
Do leave your comments below, please. I’d love to hear from you! Till i come your way next time, do remain in God.
PS: In case you missed the first episode, you can find it here.