A few minutes after the Minister of God, in the Church, has joined a man and a woman to become husband and wife, the couple may not remember the tenets of the vows they made. The reason is that their minds were not really there. To some people, the joining in the Church is mere formality. At that time, other things may occupy their mind and foremost on their scale of preference is their wedding reception. What will be its fate seems to outweigh any other thing. This explains why most prominent men, invited for the wedding, will be at the reception but not in the Church service.
When the Minister is joining them, the couple-to-be may be thinking whether the ‘honourable’ chairman of their reception party, the Chairman of a thieving blue-chip company, a very busy man, notorious for coming late for anything, has arrived. They will be thinking whether the reception hall has been arranged and the band on the stage. They are very much worried about the guests. As the Church hall is virtually empty, they wonder whether it will be the same case with their reception. They forget that only a few people attend the Church service and among the few are those, who will arrive almost at the time of taking photographs so that the photographer will capture their presence! As the joining is going on, they are busy pleading ‘Holy Ghost fire’ to deal with the spirit of empty hall, which was Jide and Chioma’s lot, during their reception recently.
Thank God that their absent-mindedness may not affect their response to the Minister’s questions, even on faithfulness, ‘So long as both of you shall live?’ Well, any man can respond to the questions because they are stereotyped, whether the person goes to Church or not. But the question on faithfulness to a spouse is very important.
No spouse follows the partner so as to know what happens during the day. No spouse travels all the time with the partner to ensure that no one kisses or sleeps with him or her. Some spouses have planted their close relations living with them, such as house-helps, drivers, security guards, and even their children, to monitor what Daddy or Mummy does when the partner is not around. In some cases, their reports have helped a lot in arresting and taming the amorous spouse or in breaking the home. Little children have reported ignorantly and innocently, the infidelity of their Daddy or Mummy, only to pay for the price, when the home breaks up.
If a spouse listens diligently during their wedding and sees that he or she cannot comply, the noble way is to bow out, refusing to sign the dotted line. The pain of the press reporting in the dailies, the cowardice of a spouse-to-be chickening out, is less, compared with the pain and agony of divorce. Most Churches, through their Marriage Committee, provide counselling sessions for their members many months before joining them. If the spouses-to-be are children of God, some of the things they are taught are well-known to them. If someone is not faithful to the spouse, he or she cannot be to God, Who he or she does not see. If someone is not faithful to the spouse, the person cannot be to any person or thing placed in his or her hand. Some spouses bask themselves on the euphoria that everybody is doing that. This is not true. I am not doing that and I will not. My spouse has not done that before, even as an unbeliever and she will not do it.
Uncle Solomon married 700 wives and had 300 concubines. David, his Dad, fought all the wars he would have fought but instead of spending his life honouring and worshipping God in appreciation, he spent it in frivolity. Women, women, women… That was all he knew. Thank God that he did not die in this condition. Thank God that he realised his sin. He repented of it, and in detailing the sinful path he had followed, he declared in Eccl. 12:13 – ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: ‘Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man’. Infidelity did not pay him and it will not pay any other person.
The newspapers are awash all the days of unfaithful spouses. For some men, every other woman is beautiful, well-dressed, intelligent, humble, et cetera, except their wives. This is also the position of some women. These are people, who have pleasure in relating to other people’s spouses, except theirs. They can discuss intimate things with them but not with theirs. This is dangerous, and very dangerous! If care is not taken, it may lead to immoral relationships. A lady was bold to tell me that she knew that if a lady kisses me, I would tell my wife. That was a true testimony and it remains true of me.
Can I forget April 16, 1972, I gave my life to Jesus? Can I forget that day I went and lay on the floor of my room in the Campus, weeping profusely? It was all about a lady! She expressed much disgust that my fellow-male students requested in my presence, to take her for the dance scheduled that weekend in the Campus. ‘For you,’ she said, ‘it is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Bible, Bible, Bible…’ After weeping, appreciating the fact that I was missing the affection of one of the most beautiful and brilliant ladies, I made up my mind to go all the hog with the Lord Jesus. ‘I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. The cross [of Jesus] before me, the world behind me, no turning back, no turning back,’ we sing always. If I could take such a stand, a few months after my salvation, how could I go back to my vomit, even as a husband, a father and a grandpa?
How will someone live, without God’s guidance, without Him, answering his prayers? How can God answer the prayer of someone, who lives in sin? Faithfulness in marriage is not a favour to one’s spouse but the person himself. It is worrisome that someone makes a vow before God, man and even the devil, and he breaks it. May we never forget that it is an unconditional vow that stands until death parts the couple.
What causes unfaithfulness is largely indiscipline and lack of commitment to God. Ask them, why they do what they do and they attribute it to the stubbornness and selfishness of their spouses. Refusal to meet the needs of a spouse or obduracy may lead to quarrelling but not to unfaithfulness.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]