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Read Letter

Watch Out For Wolves Masquerading As Sheep

My dear Jil,
I do see the confusion you have. But the fundamental question is: Does the fact that someone is a good church volunteer (or worker) mean the person will become a good marriage partner? The simple answer is that religious volunteerism is not an affidavit of marital qualification. Neither is religious volunteerism a certificate of matrimonial proficiency. You cannot assume that both roles – husband and church worker – are interchangeable.

A church is a melting pot of society. Despite our belief in the goodness of the average church attendee, we must not confuse personal righteousness with the gift of righteousness. Christians are gifted with righteousness because personal righteousness won’t cut it with God. But marriage operates on personal attributes – ideosyncracies, personality, values and character. 
Our Lord Jesus has enormous absorbent capacity. “Come unto me ALL you that labour with heavy burdens” he said. That makes the average church a federal republic of ex labourers. The doors are open to struggling load carriers. The church is open to EVERYONE – the sick, the lame, the troubled, the weary, the directionless, the vain, the proud, the moralistic, the undisciplined, the loving, the hating, the searching, the depressed, the abused thieves, witches, alcoholics, prostitutes, recovering alcoholics, addicts, cultists, convicts, the broken, the mending, the disturbed, ritualists, pimps, “good” people… Jesus says come! Those that are well have no need of physician He said. 
Jesus died for the world because humanity is sick. He’s the Great Healer. The secondary consequence of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden is psychological damage. Shortly after this incident we had the first murder recorded in human history – Cain slew Abel. That was indeed a fratricide – brother killing brother. It was hitherto unimaginable. It is because of this psychological damage that Paul encourages us to “renew” our minds with the word of God. Some have gone far in this regard. Some are far behind. He may be an usher and be far behind. And spiritual age is not proportionable to biological age. A grandfather can be a baby Christian. And so the church is a reformational institution for humanity. 
That is the conceptual framework. There are two natures struggling in the average Christian: the “new man” and the “old man”. It’s a titanic struggle. The one is Dr. Jekyll, the other Mr. Hyde. (Remember the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?) It’s the lot of the Christian to suppress his Mr. Hyde to enable God’s nature in him dominate his existence. The Jekyll and Hyde configuration is why he can speak in tongues and still do crazy stuff. 
Tongues is a gift. It is no proof of maturity or godliness. Neither is it a measure of holiness. Tongues is not earned. Paul called this Mr. Hyde the “flesh”. It’s a technical term for debased and perverted reasoning. Since reasoning informs action, the level of mind renewal of the Christian influences his character and behaviour. That someone is a good church worker or volunteer does not automatically mean he’ll make a good husband. Qualification for both roles are not the same. You can’t be presumptive. That is not saying there are no commonalities of virtues across both strata of engagement. There are attributes like dedication, faithfulness and diligence. Some carry such attributes into matrimony, some don’t. 
The truth is, the man who buys into the recommendations of Jesus should ordinarily make a very good husband. And the exposition of love in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13) should make any marriage solid. Subscription to THE WORD OF GOD (not religiosity) should create a joyful marriage feast. Who best to turn to for marriage counsel than the Creator of marriage Himself? The reality however is that we don’t always heed God. 
And some people have schizoid tendencies. They exhibit contradictory attributes. In church they are holy holy but outside the context of church they are another thing entirely. Their Mr. Hyde dominates their existence. Paul calls such “carnal” Christians. They’re given to crude bodily pleasures. 
And there are those who masquerade under the habiliment of piety. They’re pretenders. Remember the Parable of the tares? (Matthew 13:24-30) Satan has his own plantings. Some people are like those sleeper cells of the espionage world. They are counterintelligence assets. They lie dormant until the signal comes from their father Satan. These are sons of Belial: wolves masquerading as sheep, cloaked in the fur of devoutness. You can’t take people at face value just because of the context of church. The church is a melting pot. You must be as wise as serpent but harmless as a dove. Use your wit.
Of course there are many good people in church; and there are many wonderful unions forged in church. But the composition of the 12 disciples of Jesus presents the probability of a variation of one in every twelve. Judas is a statistical variant – an aberrant, paradoxical, anomalous intercalation. Watch out for anomalies. Don’t assume everyone who goes to church is good and godly. Remember the church is for all comers. As a percentile Judas is about eight out of a hundred. In every hundred therefore there’s a probability of eight Judases. May God help you conjugate with someone from the other 92%. 
The fundamentals remain nonetheless: you must seek matrimonial love, peace, harmony and happiness. Spirituality does not obliterate the need for love. Marriage is not a joyless, loveless, dutiful spiritual obligation. And God is not against personal preferences. God recognises personalities. Peter is not John.
Your personal preferences are okay. Only layer them on sound fundamentals. I will of course advice you pray and ask God for guidance. God sees everyone’s heart and knows tomorrow. If you do get warning signs don’t ignore. I wish you the best as always.
Your mentor, LA.
©Leke Alder 2013

Tags : Religious, Husband, Personalities

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