He was brought up to see God as a very fickle being
If you do anything wrong, God leaves you
If you say anything wrong, you will be deserted
If you think anything wrong, God will distance himself from you
God's eyes cannot behold iniquity
Didn't God say "Be ye holy as I am Holy"
Didn't the scripture say "God does not answer the prayer of sinners" John 9:31
The pastors who taught them at the time encouraged them to check themselves
You check yourself by looking back at your words and actions
Did you say something wrong?
Did you do anything wrong?
If you did, ask for forgiveness as soon as possible before things got really bad
As a result of this teaching he was constantly self-conscious
He didnt want God to get offended by anything he did
He had been warned about the anger of God
With strong scriptural backing!
Adam and Eve ejected from the Garden of Eden
The great flood that destroyed the whole world sparring only Noah and his family
The fire and brimstone treatment of Sodom and Gomorrah
God was very strict and ever ready to flog his children into obedience
The children of Israel were typical examples
Everytime they err, God will raise another nation governed by pagans to afflict them
When they repent, God will deliver them by punishing the same nation he used to afflict them earlier
That jealous God who would tear you apart for any slight mistake!
His fear of God had nothing to do with God Himself
It was for self preservation
It seemed to him as if absolute power had made God power drunk!
And his pastor parents were God's NAZI army, the GESTAPO!
His Father's whip was the finger of God
His mother's cane was the wrath of God
It was yoke and a burden he hated with all his mind
But he had to bear it until a point when he could break the yoke off his own neck
As soon as he could escape from God and his enforcers
He did so with a venom
He didnt drift away from God like many people would claim
He intentionally, deliberately and consciously ran from God
He had gotten to the point where going to hell seemed a better choice than heaven
If God could make his life that miserable on earth
What would heaven be like?
The day he gained admission into the university
He waved God and his iron fist goodbye
He scorned everything religion
He studied, worked during the break and ensured he never went back home
His parents came to his school several times to check on him
He didn't pretend
He told them he was no longer interested in their God and their lifestyle
His father promptly disowned him
His mother tried her best to get him to rethink his stand
He simply did not want them in his life any more
He graduated from the University with a first class
Two years later, he opened his own law practise
In all, he had spent eight years in the University, law school and NYSC
He couldn't explain why but he found himself attracted to ladies who are religious
He didn't know why?
Perhaps it had something to do with his upbringing or his perception of his mother
He tried making friends with other people who were irreligious
He realized that as much he hated the Idea of God, he equally disliked the idea of ganging up against God
He really wanted to be an atheist but he couldnt
Atheism just didnt make any sense whatsoever to him
He hated living in delusion
He met his wife at a Barrister's Conference
They were having lunch and she sat right next to him
The air condition system suddenly got on the wrong side of him
He started coughing and sneezing persistently
It was a sinus attack
She shed the garb of a professional lawyer and quickly attended to him
He didn't know why
She got the Air conditioning system reduced, offered him an handkerchief and her eyes showed concern
He couldn't let it slide
They became friends and within a short time they became an item
She was everything a man would ever pray to have in a woman
Ironically, she was from a christian home too
Her parents were also pastors
Yet, she spoke so warmly about them
How they brought her up in an atmosphere of love and understanding
He couldnt reconcile it
Why his own parents were mean in the name of God and her own parents were good
He felt she was pretending or perhaps brainwashed
Until he met her parents
Reverend and Reverend Mrs!
They still pastor a church
They simply didn't know how to judge!
He set out to try their patience by smoking and drinking in their garden
His Father in law sat beside him and continued to discuss with him as if it was natural
The man didn't even act like "What if my church members arrive now, how would I explain this?"
When he told the man about his parents and how mean they were in the name of God
The man, his father-in-law to be wept with him
He couldn't tell why he kept opening up to the man
Was it the plainness or the trust he could see in the man's eyes?
By this time he had not spoken to his parents in almost twelve years
He hadn't even prayed at all in a long time
Within six months of meeting his parents-in-law to be
He had given his life to Christ
In his head, Christ and God are different entities
God was the one his parents knew and mirrored in their lives
Christ Jesus was the one his parent's in law mirrored in their own lives
He started reading the Bible again, but he stuck to the new testament
Eventually, after much encouragement from his fiancee and her parents, he took her to his parent's house
His parents were welcoming and nice
He knew they were waiting for him to do something wrong so that they can pounce on his with their religious venom
When his father asked him if he had started going to church and he said yes!
His father turned to his fiancee and nodded his approval
Then his Father asked him what he had learnt about God so far on his own journey!
Instead of responding he laughed
His Father had always had a slight limp because of of his legs is shorter than the other
He asked his father to place his legs on the stool and then he commanded the shorter leg to grow
"Right leg, I command you now in the name of Jesus to grow, grow now!"
His mother and fiancee gawked as the leg started responding
His father could barely hold back tears of joy
The pain in his back from childhood had disappeared and his legs became equal in size
Where and how did you learn that?
Everybody wanted to know
"While I was sleeping, Jesus showed me a vision and told me i must respond this way when you ask me if I know him"
I only followed instructions
"WOW! But you still smoke and drink! How could Jesus work wonders through you?"
"For the same reason God gave you children to raise despite the fact that you were mean and wicked"
he replied to his parent's shock!
(He really didn't want to say it that way but that was how it came out and he was relieved saying it out)
As soon as he said it, he expected his parents to react defensively
His mother said "We are sorry, we have reconsidered our actions over the years and we both agreed we went too far some times!
We were just too proud to admit it!
His father also nodded
Hours later as he and his fiancee were taking their leave
His father suggested that they all hold hands and and pray together
As soon as they held hands, the power of the Holy Spirit fell down mightily
His parents for the first time were baptized in the Holy Ghost
His Father, (Hitler) cried so much and so did his mother
He also cried as forgiveness washed over him and pain/bitterness dissolved
Hard hearts were melted forever
It was the most decisive moment of their relationship!
Six months later they had their wedding!
PS: That was the day he stopped smoking and drinking for good
He simply lost the urge
His parents didn't become open and warm in one day, but they became much better to the joy of his younger siblings
His marriage is now six years old and blessed with two children
An atmosphere of love will breed children full of love and wisdom
An atmosphere of fear will breed children full of resentment and bitterness
The word of God was not given to us to shackle and flog our children/wards with
The word of God was given to us to put in our children's spirit by our words of love and lifestyle of Christ
When we correct, let us do so in love
It doesn't mean we will spare the rod
Our Good shepherd in Psalm 23 used "The rod and staff" to comfort us
Not the rod and staff to break us!
If indeed we are children of love, let us spread the love of Christ both at home and abroad