God loves divorcees too
She sat across my desk in a pool of tears. It had taken her a lot of shame and pain to approach me and inform me that she had packed her bags and left her husband less than one year after they wedded. As she went to bed each night of those dark days, she occasionally wished she would not wake up the following morning. Dying was better than living with the shame of having failed at marriage. Beyond the shame, she never ever envisaged she would share her life and body with more than one man. As she recounted the ordeal that led to her flight, I could not but remember my wife and I had warned her against marrying the young man at a point in their courtship due to his financial inadequacies. However, his dedication to church, humility and unquestionable affection for her made his poverty inconsequential. Her pious soul was ready to shoulder the financial burden of their future peaceful and Christian home, she thought. Unknown to her, the problem was deeper and rooted not just in lack but in gambling that had grown into a terrible addiction that was accompanied by petty thievery and deceit. What will be my response to this spiritual daughter? I had no choice but to support her decision. However, succumbing to pressure from some other men of God, she returned to the line of fire, only to take flight again after a few weeks. “I went back due to pressure from some pastors but had to leave again because he had not changed,” she admitted shortly after.
A couple of years later, she took him in for a few weeks, only to discover nothing had changed still. This spiritual daughter had to make up her mind to move on from the marriage against her initial hopes and dreams. Living with a man like that means being at the peril of financial ruins.
In another instance, a man of God I knew closely had married an ill-mannered and hot-tempered daughter of Zion. Having waited for long before getting married, he had decided to settle down with a much younger lady. He saw signs of her hot temper but presumed she would outgrow it. After their joyous wedding, she would not want to work and support him nor care for her family except herself. Struggling between his job and domestic care, the acrimonies between husband and wife were the order of the day. Peace eluded the man of God and the whole neighbourhood where they lived knew Pastor and his wife were always at daggers drawn. Every effort to exercise patience and long suffering was scuttled by constant bickering, fault-finding and strife. The marriage held no value and was nothing but a curse. He knew God hates divorce, but his mental and physical health were taking a hit and he was either going to allow them to deteriorate or flee to stay alive. The man of God had no choice but to admit he had made a wrong choice, was a failure at marriage and move on with his life after his best efforts to make it work had fallen apart.
I remember another young lady who has been reporting her husband to me. He had formed the habit of indulging in extra-marital affairs from the onset of their matrimony. She discovered six months into their union that her young husband was cheating on her as he began to infect her with diseases. To make matters worse, he demonstrated no remorse. My attempt to intervene was rebuffed. Matters came to a head when she discovered on a rare occasion of finding his laptop opened to his Facebook account that he had impregnated another girl while the wife at home was yet to get pregnant. To make matters worse, on being confronted, he confessed to a plan to become a polygamist. The father of the intended second wife, however, would only release his daughter on the condition that the wife at home would agree to the husband’s decision. A supposed to be Christian husband began to beg his young wife to support him in his quest for a second one.
• Adeyemi is the Senior Pastor, Global Harvest Church, Lagos