By Michael West
November 12, 2021
I knew before hand that last week’s topic would elicit reactions that would raise some profound underlying issues in the family life of the clergy. The reactions came from the Christian circle more because their issues are much more reported in the media than the others. There are reported cases of divorce involving Christians than the others. One of the reasons it is so is because of monogamous family lifestyle largely embraced and practiced by Christians. They have limited options on how to satisfy their sexual urges beyond the women they married.
Expectedly, torrents of reactions poured in from different sources but more from pastors. Some tried to explain why sex has its place in marriage but it shouldn’t dominate the space. “Is marriage all about sex? Jesus said ‘man shall not live by bread alone’, in this wise, a minister’s wife shall not live by sex alone in marriage. Everything has to be balanced. If a woman cannot adapt to the sex regime of her husband, then she should either pray for the grace to cope or she should quit. Not every woman is graced to marry a minister of the gospel.” That’s an SMS from an Apostolic pastor reacting to the issue.
Another, I guess, a Catholic priest because he identified himself as “Rev. Fr. Anonymous” stated that “the issue of sex is key in marriage. It enhances bonding apart from procreation purposes. Any man called of God should know that he’s expected to fulfil some conjugal obligations to his wife chief of which is sex! It is wrong to starve your wife of sex just because you want to be in the ‘spirit’ for 24 hours. Thanks for stating the truth in your article.”
A woman who claimed she broke up with her Pastor fiancé shortly before their wedding said her mother sat her down and schooled her about what it entailed to be a ‘Mummy Yard’ – meaning a mission house mother. “What scared me the most was the issue of sex. My mom explained that I should never complain if my husband is not readily available for me in bed. His mission work is usually considered the most important. I will lose every right any woman out there can lay claim to because I will be seen as a co-worker in the vineyard of God with my husband. I cannot challenge him or query his actions or inactions. As a minister of God, he’s God’s ambassador who I must adore and obey without reservation. Except for the need of procreation, sex, for committed servants of God, is tantamount to an indulgence.’ These are the things that scared me and I called off the proposed introduction barely three weeks to the date. Sir, I thank God I took that decision. I’m not regretting it at all because I was fortunate to marry my best friend and confidant. Our solid friendship made our marriage the icing on the cake. We relate seamlessly as true friends we have always been over the years. Many people married the status of their spouses while some married their money or spirituality. But by my own experience, whoever marries his/her friend is the one that is fortunate. As for my ex, the Pastor, he’s not doing badly, either, but just like my mom explained, the wife is there enduring. (She laughs).”
A Lagos pastor who preferred to be anonymous sent in a lengthy response and he told me that what he wrote was his own opinion and experience which he said might as well be applicable to many of his contemporaries in church business. Read him:
“Someone posted your article: ‘Sex Palaver: A Raging Storm in Clergy’s Homes’ on one of my church’s platforms. It makes an interesting reading. The issue was hotly debated by members but I didn’t contribute to the discussion because I wanted to know what they think about it. A couple of ministers’ spouses argued passionately in line of your thought, which goes to show the likelihood of their own secret challenges or experiences in their closets. I was able to see beyond the corridor of pulpit that clergymen are not exempted from such matters. As some pastors deny their spouses their bodies so also some wives make their husbands go through hell by denying them access to their bodies. I will give you some examples: a Pastor from another church who took me as a mentor usually complain about his wife’s attitude to him in the bedroom. According to him, his wife would not allow him make love to her in weeks. Sometimes he said he had to call his in-laws to intervene and prevail over the wife before he could enjoy his legitimate right as a husband. This has been his lot in the marriage for years. I’m trusting that your article will effect a positive change in the hearts of such stiff-necked wives.
“A close friend and a senior in ministry is at the verge of filing for divorce overseas just to ward off negative publicity at home in Nigeria. Things are not rosy with many ministers of God contrary to what many people think. First, we are men before we became men of God. We also feel like other men do. Our wives do sometimes become pains in our necks, leaving us with tempting options of misbehaving if not for the mercy of God.
“Sir, men of God are not superhuman naturally speaking but we are supernaturally fortified by His power, anointing and grace. We receive several arrows of temptation from women who may want us to fall into sexual sin. Some do fabricate lies just to blackmail us for failing to yield to their cravings. How about those who have household issues? That you’re a minister of God does not mean you don’t have battles to fight if not over yourself, then, over your children and spouse. How about attacks on our finances? We also go through a lot in our private lives. All these are aside the problems our church members will bring to us and we are mandated to attend to them leaving our own issues aside.
“In view of these, it is not right for any woman to add additional burden to a minister’s situation if indeed she loves God and her husband. Men of God who starve their wives with sex are actually sinning against God. Like you rightly noted, they must strike a balance between their homes and the ministry. In fact, every man’s ministry starts from his home. Family is the nucleus of the church and the larger society. That’s why God instituted family life as the cradle of humanity from the Garden of Eden.”
From the Mailbox
Re: ‘My Husband Torments Me’
Firstly, I’m sensitive to the statement “waiting woman” when it is actually a couple that is waiting. Why should it be called waiting woman as if the man is not part of the waiting? I think this statement or tag on the woman is what makes men think they are not part of the waiting process in a marriage. I think the society should start changing the tag on women.
No man is doing his wife a favour by staying with her when they’re going through testing periods especially when it concerns children (also no woman is helping her husband) that’s what they signed up for, especially when they both have been certified medically fit to have children but it’s not forthcoming. This is why people going into marriage should clearly define the purpose before entering into it. Imagine a man who wants children and doesn’t even know his state of virility; he would be feeling out of the process when it’s not coming in time. Once you marry someone, you’ve signed a covenant and the real meaning of covenant is deep and serious even the evil world, they don’t joke with covenant whether it favours you or not, how much more God. – Becky Olorunpomi, Lagos.
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