“Pastor, Leave My Wife Alone”
by: Deji Yesufu
A young man has let out a cry for help on a social media platform. He says he is convinced that his wife is emotionally entangled with a pastor. While he has no evidence of the revered gentleman sleeping with his wife, he has often times read the WhatsApp chats between the wife and the said Pastor with a lot of unease. He explained that while their sex life is nose-diving, he sees his wife sharing intimate details about her life and her marriage with this pastor. The so called man of God also shares some of the challenges he is having in his own marriage with the woman too. When he confronted his wife, she said that it was nothing. Yet, she pleaded with him not to report the matter to her mother or any member of her family. Matters got to a head when, on another chat with the wife, the pastor advised the woman to always clear away all the chats they have had between themselves. At this point, Mr. Husband realized that something unholy was going on between the two.
Once upon a time, the Christian pastor was the anchor of a family unit. He was the number one go-to person when issues arose in the family. The pastor was the first aid individual you call when there was an accident in the home. A colleague told me that once when armed robbers invaded their neighborhood, it was his pastor he called. Later he began to wonder what exactly could the revered gentleman do in a situation like that – except to pray, of course. But the situation revealed how dependent congregants can be on a good pastor. The pastor knew a little about everything so that when a member was in an unpleasant situation, the pastor could aid them with counsel for correct decision making. The pastor was the family counselor; it was the pastor that saw through marital crisis and ensured that homes stayed together. The pastor was the individual an unruly child was reported to and in some instances, families actually brought their difficult children to live in the Pastor’s home – with the confidence that that child will turn out right. The pastor’s voice reigned supreme in society. Clergy men were often afraid to even voice their positions in elections, lest they lead the public to vote individuals that will not serve society well. Unfortunately, today, pastoral office has gone to the dogs. Pastors now befriend people’s wives; Pastors are sleeping with wives of congregants. How did we get here?
My thesis at seminary was titled “A Brief History of Christianity and an Examination of 150 Years of Theological Development in South West Nigeria: 1842-1992”. The conclusion of my discuss in that paper is this: the Christianity that the missionaries brought to Nigeria is not what we are practicing today. There have been gradual changes through the year. These changes have been influenced by a number of factors. One of such was the violence of the thirty months civil war that we witnessed as a country between 1967 and 1970. Wars always change the social-political landscape of a nation; which almost always affects their religious life also. Nigeria emerged from the war with a people having a survival mentality and then some people began to sell a “hope-gospel” to them.
The leading harbinger of this message was the man called Archbishop Benson Idahosa. The man packed stadium full of men and women, and promised them, in Jesus name, that God existed to meet their needs alone. God can heal you of your disease; God can prosper you; God can make your marriage blissful; “with God nothing shall be impossible,” he will scream into the microphone. This is how a generation of Christians were sold what has come to be known as the gospel of prosperity. This message, while promising heaven on earth, was actually a false gospel. The problem with false gospels is that the first thing that it affects is practical godliness in the Christian Church. A message that promises you money, cannot at the same time promise you righteousness – because God and mammon are opposed to one another.
When a local church is devoid of practical Christianity and there is no holiness among God’s people, the first thing that comes into the congregation is sin in its worst form. A Christian conscience knows that the man of God is called to flee sexual immorality. The Bible says that we should not covet another man’s property – talk less his wife. God says that those who sleep with other people’s wives, he will judge them personally. Alas, a generation of pastors have entered into the church who do not know their boundaries. They are unholy men; they use their position of power to subdue the men under them and when they succeed at this, they take their wives and ravage them. For these people, the worst of God’s judgement abides on them. Let me suggest a few things to do regarding dealing with randy pastors of these sort.
First, a Christian man must have discernment. Beware of the churches you take your family into. Beware of the associations your wife is building in a so called church. By no means should a wife be going to a church, while the man does not go to the same church; or with the man not going to Church at all. You open your wife to demonic activities. A Christian man must take authority in his home. Today more and more men are loosing authority in their homes because stupid churches have taught women to think that because they earn more money in the home, they should not listen to their husbands. Money, not the word of God, becomes the determinants of who has a say in the house. The man who does not earn as much as his wife, must still endeavor to lead his home in wisdom and godliness. It is possible to do this while at the same time retaining your authority as a husband. This way the man can make things expressly clear in the house and certain things will never be entertained therein – much less a randy pastor chatting with the wife on the phone.
Second, we do not need religion to tell us that certain boundaries should never be crossed as far as human relationships are concerned. Any sensible human being should know that in matters relating to a husband and a wife, like sexes relate with each other. The pastor relates with the man; the man teaches his wife the way of godliness at home. What is my business chatting with another man’s wife? Except for matters of exigencies, I have no reason even having another man’s wife number on my phone. If no one else know these, Christian pastors should know that these private chats – WhatsApp, Facebook messengers, etc – have become the waterloo of many a spiritual men in our time. Tens of women will bombard the minister in private chats, seeking for counsel. It is the holy man of God that knows how far he must allow a discussion to go. And a discussion you cannot open up with your wife or anyone else on, should never be entertained.
Finally, I again appeal to Christian ministers to abide in the word of God. There are copious scriptures that warn the Christian man against indulging in lifestyle that will prove inimical to his life and ministry. If you stay in the word, preaching the word, you will have hundreds of passages reminding you to walk the path of godliness. But when preaching becomes the place to share dreams and testimonies, and you neglect the word of God, you will soon open yourself up to Satan.
The pastor has no business with another man’s wife. If you must counsel a woman, ensure you do so in the presence of a junior minister or along with your wife. All of these endless requests for prayers from our women folks should stop. The woman should be made to understand that a prayer of agreement between herself and her husband is more powerful than any prayer that the holiest man can render her. Christian woman, respect your husband; honor the one God has put over you and you will reap the fruit of your commitment to that marriage.
As for the young man who has resorted to the court of public opinion for a pastor to leave his wife alone, I feel great pity for you dear sir. A lot of things have gone wrong in your marriage and the randy pastor has simply come in to take advantage of you both. Before things go out of hand, before your wife ends up sleeping with this pastor, you will have to engage in a long and short term plan. On the short term, you will need to have your wife’s family know about this situation. It appears your wife fears her mother; therefore she still has an authority figure to call her to order. You may also have to get in touch with Mr. Pastor and make it clear to him that his game is up. That you have histories of his chat with your wife and if it continues, you will have to have them published online.
On the long term, you will need to take charge of the spiritual climate in your home. Lead your wife and children in the path of godliness. It is possible that there are some nitty gritty of your marriage that you are leaving untended to, which your wife is finding another man to satisfy. Get her to explain these to you and do what you have to do to save your marriage. Then bring the whole matter to God in prayer and ask him to turn the mind of your wife back to your home. Then find a Christian church, not some of these noise making social centers, and be committed there. May God save your marriage.
May God keep us from hirelings that masquerade as Christian pastors.