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Avoiding Barracudas II

January 16, 2024

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The first time I came across an OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) patient, I was at a church in Ojota, Lagos state.

(OCD) means a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears known as obsessions. These obsessions lead you to do repetitive behaviors, also called compulsions. These obsessions and compulsions get in the way of daily activities and cause a lot of distress.

Ultimately, you feel driven to do compulsive acts to ease your stress. Even if you try to ignore or get rid of the bothersome thoughts or urges, they keep coming back.

This leads you to act based on ritual. This is the vicious cycle of OCD. OCD often centers around certain themes, such as being overly fearful of getting contaminated by germs. To ease contamination fears, you may wash your hands over and over again until they’re sore and chapped.)

I had gone to see a friend and this friend was going through the marriage counseling routine, the marriage counseling team was headed by an elderly man and woman in their sixties. This woman counselor who is supposed to be a shining example of a Christian wife to other young ladies, opened her mouth and said, “My husband knows he dare come into our bedroom without showering and scrubbing his legs with an iron sponge and heel file seven times in the bathroom. Men are naturally not as tidy as women and I cannot bear to see any form of dirt on the bed if I am to have sex with anyone. Everything about me has to be set in the right mood otherwise my legs will not open for any reason. Myself and my husband have been at it for 27 years and he understands this rule and follows it fastidiously, which is why he got another room close to mine so that when he does not measure up to my standard he goes over there to sleep.”

A pastor who was also a part of the marriage counseling team came out of the meeting and said, “Why do they make sick people counsel healthy people? That woman is obviously sick and they made her and her husband the head of the marriage counseling team of the church so that she will be planting sick ideas in the head of a young woman under her tutelage.”

I didn’t see it as sickness at the time I did not even know it had a name.

When the marriage counseling session was done, the couples under their tutelage left the room and the man and his wife started packing up their bags.

I walked into the room and asked if they could spare me a few minutes.

They knew me by reputation and said, “Brother Gbenga, is there a message from the Lord?”

I said to the elderly man, Sir, you didn’t tell mummy you have another wife in Ado-Ekiti with two children, did you?

The man looked at me and said, “I did, she knew right from inception that to cope with her excessive demands, I must have emotional support from elsewhere.

It is either that or we get a divorce. Our family doctor advised that she should not be left on her own so that she can remain functional, this is why being active in church and the role she is playing is very important for her mental health. I am supporting her but I didn’t keep anything secret from her for my peace of mind.”

I looked at the woman for a few minutes and I extended my hands toward her

She grabbed them, and without a word, she began to cry.

What she had was a sickness, the type that many have come to glamourize and celebrate nowadays all in the name of not shaming mental health victims but which ought to be cured or treated.

Her husband watched us with keen interest as we prayed together, he came to support us when the power of the Holy Spirit took his wife over and as she caved under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

She was there, slain in the Spirit for hours (I instructed that they should not touch her but to leave her until she came out of the trance by herself)

I did not see her again until we met at a wedding event in Ibadan several months later.

She had become a changed woman.

Her husband was all smiles as they approached my table and reintroduced themselves.

The woman looked younger, and happier and shook hands with people freely without pouring hand sanitizer or using wipes to clean her hand after every handshake which was her pattern before we prayed together.

Her husband said he didn’t know prayer could work.

They had tried therapy and other forms of treatment over the years but they were told it could only be managed but could not be treated or cured.

He said he was sleeping peacefully and for the first time, their children and grandchildren could come into the house and play without fear of grandma’s mood changing or becoming aggressive towards the children.

I met another young woman yesterday. She is twenty-seven years old. She called me to ask for prayers because her relationships don’t work out.

I asked her what the problem was.

She said she liked the house to be thoroughly cleaned at least five times a day and she does not have the energy to do it herself or the funds to employ someone to do it for her, so she makes her boyfriend do it and rewards him with sex afterward.

The guys however would leave her after a while, “It had become a vicious cycle, I am all alone, and nobody wants to be with me.” Even my family members avoid coming around me, please pray for me.” She lamented.

I asked her if she had been to the hospital to complain about her illness. She said, “I am not ill, I am just deliberate about how things are done, a friend of mine says I have OCD, I read up on it and I think it is true.”

I asked her if she thought anyone should be married to a woman who will make him clean the entire house and scrub it with Hypo five times a day all for love.

She said if the love is there, it ought not be a problem. “Men will do anything for sex and I am a beautiful woman so I don’t have a problem getting them to do that.”

I said “Listen to yourself, you didn’t say anything about a man or one man. You said “Men” and you said this because this has been your experience which you want to change but you want to change it with prayer. You want me to pray that one man will come into your life who will be scrubbing your house with hypo five times a day and you don’t think that man’s mother, pastor, or angel will not be unhappy that I am trying to use prayers to bring him into slavery?

You need to fix yourself first, get help, and become more accommodating of people instead of isolating yourself in the name of having OCD. I am not invalidating OCD as a thing; I am saying, get a hold of it and treat it before thinking of having a relationship or getting married.

Many of us don’t want to end up with a partner who will make our lives hell.

The same way I will expect someone with any illness or disease to take care of it and not become a burden to another person in the name of affection and love is the same way I expect someone suffering from OCD to take care of it before venturing into a relationship.

Glamourizing an illness instead of treating it is wrong and you should not say, “This is how I am; a man must take me like this or leave me be” and yet be crying that you are alone.

A take-it-or-leave-it mindset is not right for a marriage, especially when you are dealing with a mental health issue.

I heard a lady say several times to a man, “You saw me as I am before you came and approached me for a relationship.” She would say this in a bid to try and manipulate the guy into a “You bought a black market, now deal with whatever you found in it.”

She didn’t know that by speaking like this about herself, she was admitting to the fact that she was not worth being in a relationship with on her merits and good conduct, rather, it is an “accept whatever you meet after asking me out and deal with it mindset.”

If you have anger issues, don’t sweep it under the carpet, don’t make excuses for it, and don’t blame others for it. Acknowledge you have an issue and begin to rebuild your character by the word of your mouth. “I rebuke the hold of anger over my life, I am full of grace and love, I do not take offense easily or complain about everything without any good cause, I do not find fault and I do not pick offense at everything and everyone. I am gracious and full of joy; glory be to God.”

You can imagine going out on a date with someone who spent hours getting ready, the chauffeur arrived two minutes late, and she was already upset.

You got in the cab, and the driver didn’t have the Google Maps app on his phone and kept asking for directions, and she got more upset.

The man taking her out by now has become upset too because the chauffeur already ruined the mood with his incessant questions and his lady had gotten upset.

You get to the venue and she was upset with the seat that she chose by herself and then she was upset that the waiters did not attend to her on time and then upset that the food you ordered was sweeter than the one she ordered etc.

You went out on a date but you ended up having a terrible time instead of a memorable time with each other all because someone’s default is to complain about everything and see the negative in everyone.

Imagine going out on a date with a guy straight from work, you didn’t think you should pack a change of clothes and shoes to the office, knowing you are going out on a date. You wore the same attire, met with him, and got upset that he did not notice you were wearing heels and your ankle was paining you from walking around in the office all day. Then you tuned off because you were tired and not in the mood for much talk. Then he should have kept it short and moving if he was sensitive to your needs. Just say you don’t fancy the guy and went for the date just for the fun of it.

A dear friend of mine broke off her relationship with a man who in his eagerness to please her at a restaurant spoke rudely to the waiter. We all know what we can take and what we cannot in a relationship.

A funny case was also brought to my attention yesterday- a lady living in the United Kingdom who desired to get married met a brother who lives in Brazil who also wanted to get married in a Christian fellowship.

They both got talking four months ago and then decided to meet up in Dubai recently.

The sister accepted a return ticket and insisted on staying in the best hotel available.

When she got to Dubai, she called some of her old friends and other fellowship members to come around and say hello. Then her friends turned her room into their lodge and all of them were staying together.

Every time the man who paid for the trip showed up, she was busy with her friends.

The man broke off the talks after the trip and she kept saying she didn’t know what she had done wrong.

She said, “Was I supposed to tell my friends not to come and visit me or should I have chased them away when they refused to leave?

You spent a week in Dubai and you could not spare this man you were in the talking stage with two hours in one day?” The honorable thing to do afterward was to return his money to him in full (For the flight and your accommodation) if you were well-raised otherwise you are just a leech!

I am stating categorically here that marriage is not for everybody, the Bible says so explicitly and nobody should allow society or peer pressure or even a moment of weakness to redefine their lives.

If you know you are not the marrying kind, stop running from church to church praying for a husband or a wife.

If you know you cannot live with people and let them breathe around you, keep away from marriage.

Marriage is not a robot-building factory where you get to build your model of a toy, it is the union of two different people who are willing to make a life together.

It involves a lot of gives and takes and your way is not always the only way to get things done.

PS: Why is the soul the chief beneficiary of the gift of salvation? It is because this is where the mind is.

A man or woman who can rule over his or her mind is an asset to himself and the kingdom of God.

Many do not have reign over their own minds.

They are easily pulled here and there by their conditioning, having knee-jerk reactions to every stimulus.

Those are the ones who need to be deliberate about training their minds by following the leading of the Holy Spirit and living the true life of liberty in Christ.

 

-GSW-

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