New Telegraph|Back Page|12-01-18
There’s preponderance of religious bigotry in the arbitration of marital squabbles in our society. No doubt, God hates divorce but He passionately loves divorcees. This principle emanated from His everlasting love for the soul of mankind, which is why God hates sin but He sent Jesus to save the sinner. There’s no justification to die in marital violence in the name of keeping divine rule for marriage. Rather than face the reality and deal with the issues pointedly, they choose to wear religious veil to conceal their problems.
The Word says ‘if the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ The fundamental problems in relationships especially in marriage is hinged on the failure to play the game by the rule of the initiator. Marriage was instituted by God, and He has laid-down procedures on how to go about it the right way but if one runs afoul of His guidelines, in most cases, the home might be chaotic eventually.
A couple met and got married in a Pentecostal church in Lagos many years ago. This couple was approved for holy matrimony after complying with the church’s prescribed strict rules for courtship. As decent and morally upright their courtship appeared, they were ‘strangers’ to each other because they didn’t have enough familiarity to know themselves beyond the façade of ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ relationship.
Shortly after they got married trouble started in the home. To the chagrin of the man, his wife was found to be having an affair with their landlord. She started exhibiting ungodly traits of a hostile, unruly, care-free and cantankerous wife. The man was like, ‘could this be my wife?’ In the process of time, the man started rejecting her excesses after several quiet and peace talks failed. As soon as the man took the matter to their church leaders for counselling and intervention, she fully unmasked her devious and life threatening attitudes.
Twice she had attempted to kill her husband for daring to confront her with her many impious attitudes. First, she poisoned her husband’s food. The man narrowly survived through swift action of medical personnel in a hospital. Second, she used a hot pressing iron on the stomach of her husband while he was deep asleep.
While her frustrating attitudes were becoming unbearable, she, at some point, stopped attending church services, cursing, insulting and physically abusing her husband including attempts on his life. The husband then approached the church leaders of his intention for divorce; at least, to save his life but the church leaders rejected the idea. He was persuaded to keep praying and enduring until the miracle of true repentance will take place in his wife’s life; otherwise, he would have to leave the church if he insisted on separation from his wife. He eventually chose to quit the church to stay alive and he separated from his wife. The facts of the matter were established by the church leaders who admitted the ‘sister had erred from the faith.’
A benevolent woman whose husband was a Sunday school teacher in their church was constantly being abused by her seemingly quiet and humble husband. This lanky ‘brother’ would throw long range punches and uppercut fists at his wife at slightest point of argument. He would sometimes empty her pots of soup on her head during pugilistic encounters in the presence of their children who were wailing helplessly in sympathy with their mother.
One uneventful Sunday afternoon, a minor argument ensued over their children’s school fees due for payment the next Monday morning. As usual, as he decked his wife with barrage of punches and she, in deft move to escape an imminent death because her breath was failing, she gathered strength to push him off and he staggered. In fury, he lifted his wife threw her from the balcony upstirs down on the hard ground in the presence of their bewildered neighbours. Immediately she landed, she passed out. Fortunately, she woke up in a hospital about an hour later.
Piqued by the lethal actions of her husband, her friends, colleagues at work, neighbours in her estate, family members including her in-laws told her to give space and be separated from the man pending when sanity will be restored; and if he fails to change, she should sue for divorce to save her life. This soft-spoken woman initially was hesitant and later refused the option because her church will discipline her for quitting her marriage for whatever reasons.
These two cases are samples of several incidents happening daily in our society. Unfortunately, some of them die prematurely and silently consequent upon injury sustained during domestic violence. I notice that abused partners in relationships or marriages demonstrate that they fear the people more than they fear God. It is also a confirmation that they love to please the society than to please themselves just as obeying their religious rules is sacrosanct.
In my honest opinion, I believe that God is much more interested in your life than marriage. The Word says God’s thought towards you is that of ‘peace and not of evil…’ Therefore, whatever will disturb the peace of God in your life, harm or cut your life short in a family life is not of God. Naturally, your home should give you joy, peace, comfort and security and not the other way round.
The parental desire is to see their children happy, fruitful and stay fulfilled in marriage. I do know, too, that the church or religious organisations’ interest is to raise godly families through doctrinal principles and ordinances. Religious bodies mean well but human life is sacrosanct. Only the living do get married. Personal desire of every man or woman is to be married and peacefully stay married, but when unforeseen life-threatening circumstances make separation, at least, inevitable, please run for your life. Tear the religious veil and stay alive.
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