IntroductionLiving in the 21st century all by itself is a challenge by defaults! There is a need for a redefinition of a lot of concepts and ideas(paradigms) to stand the time that we are in-not necessary outside the standards of Christ and the word of God but by identifying anomalies and invalids in the old paradigms and inductively describe the present realities, thus in a way of proving solutions: orchestrate a new paradigm.
Marking the TimesAt various times in the bible, there was a clear mention of different ages in human history:
- The ages past (Hebrew 6:5); the periods spanning the entire old testament, i.e.: from the creations of the universe to the dispensation of the law of Moses.
- The present age (Gal 1:4); the period between the two advents of Christ.
- While the future age (Eph 2:7, Heb 6:5) are periods of Christ second advent to the creation of the new earth and new heaven. The present age is the age we currently live in. It is also called the church age or the era of Grace.
Those Days and Our DaysThe relationship counselors in most cases had not always touched the unmet needs of the present day youths. Because, rather than define the problems of the youths and their cause (cause and effect), they are often found rather pointing the youths back to how things were done their days. Most of what was obtainable those days were either borrowed from the old testament practices or borrowed from the people’s traditional practices. But there has been an overhaul of the old testament especially lately, there was a lot of redefinition in the church. On the traditional practices too, globalization has brought a lot of rationalizing, integrations and copying to our cultural heritage. There are lots of changes between the realities of then and now, with lots of redefinition the youths have taken in, lots of information they have access to, lots of novel challenges they face, lots of influence they receive; all these and much more combine to make the present age a serious dynamic system which is not describable by any single tradition, doctrine or dogma but by the truth and the truth alone. Because only the truth continues to hold whatever the dispensation and where one feeds from. Think of today’s youths, think globalization and its pros and cons!
The Unmet Needs of The YouthsThe youths counselors who want to coach the present day youths successfully may need to first identify the needs/challenges of the youths, especially the African (Nigerian) youths. For instance, lack of job opportunities-this alone has a great deal of effect on some common life programming. There’s rather a reprogramming on relationship matters among the youths. The counselors need to highlight these problems and then define what really matters. This is where many relationships counselors miss it, and major reasons why the needs of the youths on the relationship are not being addressed. Consequently, the counselors say something else, the youths continue to do something else!
Every Dispensation has its PeculiarityThere is a need to dissect the present realities, the realities of those days do not hold presently, as can be deduced from the following changes in times and tides described in the headings below:
Courtship RedefinedThose days, the definition of courtship is when a man finds someone he loves, he informs his pastor who raises a committee that will monitor and mentor them to marriage. But today when a guy loves someone, he first gets closer to that person and grows in relationship with the person from acquaintance to friendship before coming to define/agree to have a futuristic relationship. It is at this point that the present day youths would inform the church with all things being equal, through the pastor who would invite them for counseling as the case may be, but not raising a committee to monitor them. This way, the bond and purpose created in them to be partners are stronger and people who have the similar likes are attracted together over common interests, this interest still prevails even after they are married and beyond the wedding, they would still have their marriage sweet. The system in this present age is not in anyways inferior-just like what they had those days worked for them, this is quite better and working!
Changes in ApproachThose days when men approach ladies, it’s serious and probably for marriage. They are taken seriously when they say ‘God told me you would be my wife’. But this day, when guys approach ladies, it’s hardly with a serious intentions and at most for the purpose of friendship and nothing more would be assumed by the lady until otherwise stated. Till then too, the man has no right to demand her exclusive attention. Noting these changes is important for many counselors that wish to address why ladies/guys keep multiple friends. The youths live in social networks, the realities are that the friends are only a part of the social networks. A good social network is garnished with people who give joy, love, and purpose to one another lives. These persons are randomly dispersed and it’s only by relating freely that one comes into the very person where one’s fulfillment is most taken.
Love RedefinedThose days when a man says ‘i love you’ to a lady, is with all seriousness (spiritually and emotionally) and the response from the lady is as same. Stories tell that those days lady often get shy and responds with their face down and their foot drawing circles on the ground. But not so this day, love had been much redefined. This day when a guy says I love you to a lady, the lady looks his face and replies with a ‘thank you’ to him. I love you is no longer an unusual compliment. Is now as common as saying good morning. And if the guy seems to be too serious about the’love you’, the sisters give even a more intriguing response like; … make it work!
Changes in Family IdeologiesPresently, people Marry with a sense of purpose, those days, ladies are usually absolutely submitted to what the man got to offer and other times have nothing to contribute aside from the home crafts. Today, people don’t just go into marriage but chooses their life partners with a lot in consideration: parenting partner, business partner, ministerial partner, traveling partner, leisure partner, career partner etc.
Changes in Marriage PerspectiveThose days marriage was a means to an end for the female folks. But recently, we begin to hear stuff like career women. As such, as with the programming for men, the ladies too operate with a sense of phases, season and apt timing for marriage. The rush into marriage syndrome is low proportionately to levels of literacy. The life programmings that worked then, by all means, do no longer apply today. Those days at most after graduating and serving in the NYSC one considers marriage (as they are often employed immediately). Not so this day, financial factors have become a big bane on time of marriage and the ladies are joining in trying to pave a track/path (acting like a lady but thinking like men) of life for themselves before thinking marriage.
Wrap UpThese and more are reasons why we can’t go back to those days! But do you think we should go back to the old days? Do share your view here. What are your observations in the old dispensations that you think have experienced a shift or calls for a shift in this current dispensation?