Imisi Owolabi | Transforming lives through speaking


I was 10 years old when my father told me “sex before marriage is a sin”. I had zero understanding of what this meant because although I knew my parents got married and gave birth to me, that was pretty much all I knew. These words kept ringing in my heart such that when I got into secondary school, I was scared that any interaction with the opposite sex might lead me to committing the ‘sin’ that my father had told me about. No explanation was given as to the above statement but every picture of a man and woman that came to my mind made me scared.

Seeing my friends talk to boys in my class and in my school made me wonder if my interpretation of what my father told me was right. Thinking about my relationship with my brothers also made me doubt that I had given that statement the right interpretation. I was inquisitive and so I decided to ask more questions. However, I decided that I would throw these questions at the same person who had said those words to me. I truly did not understand why my father had said those words to me or why those words stayed with me because if the truth be told, my father had told me many other things.

Failure to ask for clarification from the one who has given you an instruction could take you out of that instruction and maybe lead to destruction but I had no idea of this at the time. I had wisely decided to ask my father for further clarifications on the statement he made but I had failed to. Six (6) years later, I still had these words in one corner of my heart and I threw it open to a new friend. He said to me “there is nothing like that in the bible. Or can you show me where that is?” I grew up in a Christian home and was made to understand the importance of a relationship with God and although I had ‘quiet times’, I really did not have a relationship with God. I also did not have an idea of where in the bible these words were said (maybe not the exact words, something close would have been sufficient). I knew my father would not tell me about something that wasn’t in the bible but I had no proof. I was ashamed that I couldn’t back the words of my father with scriptures so I decided to accept what my friend said as the truth. I came to the conclusion that the words told to me by my father were not in the Bible and so there was no need to keep holding on to them.

One day, few weeks after my friend had made me believe that the words of my father were not scriptural, I decided to attend a conference organised by a fellowship. Lo and behold, at this conference, we were asked to open our Bibles to Hebrews 13:4 and after much explanation, I understood what my father meant and held on to it. This time around, nothing was going to take these words from me.

Apart from the fact that I would advice singles to keep the marriage bed undefiled (i.e. not engage in pre-martial sex or quit engaging in pre-martial sex), I would also advice that we ALL hold on to God’s word. When God speaks to us, He means everything He says and if we have any doubts or questions about the instructions He has given to us, we are expected to ask Him. I was lucky that I did not totally disregard what my father said, but if not for God and for the conference I attended, I might have disregarded it eventually because I failed to get clarification from the one that instructed me. Even if we would listen to men after God has spoken to us, they must confirm what God has said and we must be sure that they are children of God and not people that would take us away from God’s promise.