Register here

Register using an email address

Terms & Conditions

Already have an account? Login here

Register using a social network


Login using your email address

Keep me logged in
Forgot your password?

Login using a social network


Read Letter

Religious Carelessness

My dear Jil, what I’m about to tell you will not be popular in certain quarters, but I owe you a duty to tell you the truth. And anyway you have to take personal responsibility for your marriage and not subject yourself to groupthink. You’re going to create a fault line in your marriage if you continue jumping from one church programme to another irrespective of your marriage. You’re neglecting your marital duties. The kind of fault line I’m talking about is usually thin, hardly visible to the naked eye, but it runs deep!

You spend every Saturday in church attending meetings and programmes of various hues; and you’re in church on Sunday till evening as well. Wednesdays are no different. Right after close of work you’re in church, till very late. You get home late at night. EVERY public holiday you’re in church too. Which begs the question, what time do you have for your marriage? And all this apart from the fact that your church calls for fasting regularly. Which means you can’t sleep with your husband during that period. Aren’t you being careless about your marriage therefore? Aren’t you ignoring the needs of your husband? Aren’t you assuming he’s fine, that he’s a super human? There’s so much neglect.

Your husband has three critical needs. He needs your companionship, he needs emotional bonding with you and he has physical needs. By that I mean touch and sex. He’s a man not a spirit. You’re hardly around and you’re not paying attention to his needs. By the time you get home after Wednesday service he’s fast asleep. And you’re just plain tired. That he’s not complaining does not and cannot take away those needs. You must understand the makeup of men.

When a man suffers from a deficiency of marital fulfilment he simply turns to another woman. What you fail to provide he seeks from other sources. That’s a man’s natural inclination, though it doesn’t abrogate the need for personal discipline.

When that happens it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s looking for extramarital congress; it’s just that those needs are so fundamental that he’ll go in search of them. Being real!

A church must have family friendly policies for church volunteers. Programmes must be considerate of marriage. Spending all your time in church is inclement to successful marriage. By this trend you’re establishing a pattern of uncare towards your husband’s needs. And there’s an unintended overcast of blackmail. If he insists you spend time with him during those periods it’s like he doesn’t love God.

You must apply balance to your ecclesiastical duties. That’s what God expects. He expects you to be wise. It cannot be God’s intendment for you to serve him and have a broken marriage. You’re putting your husband in difficult straits. A man can’t be married and yet be lonely. Men don’t do well with loneliness. They seek physical amelioration for loneliness. It’s a poor solution but that’s the way it is. You’re assuming your husband is okay being serially deprived of your companionship. That’s a serious assumption. Sometimes we get so caught up with other things we forget our marriage, forget our partner. That’s not wise. Marriage is a binary equation. There’s a reason it is so or we’ll be marrying ourselves.

Here’s what you don’t realise. If your marriage breaks you will suffer theological recrimination from the same people you’re trying to impress.  You’ll become a pariah in many respects. You won’t be able to hold certain positions in church. Not a few will condemn you irrespective of the facts. This is realism. Not all churches are this way of course, but there’s enough evidence of such inclination in certain local assemblies concerning divorce. You will discover not many are theologically kind to divorcees. You become re-classified irrespective of your contributions in the past. Many will gossip about you, say painful things about you. They will magnificently fail to connect the failure of your marriage to the fact you’ve been spending too much time in church, away from home. They won’t link it to your matrimonial delinquency.

And now you want to go on the mission field for your vacation. While you’re gone who’s going to take care of your husband? He has needs however chivalrous he chooses to be. You should be able to moderate your church participation. No one says you shouldn’t serve in church but you must remember you’re married. And a marriage is more important than many people realise. You treat it as a secondary subject and it soon shows you it is primary.

Your marriage is young. You ought to be spending time with your husband, you ought to be consolidating your union. Being united on paper is not the same as being united in reality. A certificate of marriage does not make a marriage. It takes the effort of both parties. You may not be aware many pastors take Mondays off. That’s their Sunday. Most spend that time with their family. They have balance. But you don’t have any day off for your marriage. You don’t have any day off to spend with your husband. Don’t you think that amounts to neglect? Your spouse can’t understand the crazy church programme schedule you’re running. He can’t understand why he’s secondary. When the kids come you’ll need to watch it even more. You can’t neglect your kids for inveterate attendance of church programmes. You’ll pay a nasty price.

You have to develop an “us” programme with your husband. You should create time for him. You have to find time for him. If things were the other way round I’ll tell him exactly the same. He has to create time for you. You can’t keep jumping out of bed to go to church early on even public holidays, come back late at night and claim you’re building a marriage. There’s no time for companionship. And yes, the marriage may survive for years but the quality of marriage matters. At the rate you’re going, you and your husband are going to end up strangers. You never had a chance to bond. And you’re creating a gap for another woman to bond with your husband and become his real friend. You’re never around. You’re always in church.

Your husband needs attention and affection. Forget all that machismo stuff. It’s just men-think. Availability matters to men. You must be available to your husband. Men often go for who is available. If you continue this way a lot of things will suffer in your marriage including sex, both in quality and quantity.

In marriage partners must seek to please each other. Even Apostle Paul said so and he wasn’t even married. But he had marriage sense. Why don’t you and your husband create room for quality time together? Why not just stay in bed with your husband on a saturday morning instead of rushing off to yet church programme?

Why not arrange a get away with your husband instead of planning how to register for yet another church programme? Those programmes never end. And why not seek his opinion on attendance of some of those programmes, even see the ones you can attend together.

Yes, you serve in church but don’t forget to go to movies with your husband. Don’t forget to go for ice cream with him, or go to a show together. Balance. You both work in the corporate sector. Your week is fully occupied as it is. You only have weekends and public holidays for quality time together. Don’t frit those away. God expects you to be wise and responsible concerning your marriage. You’re not going to be able to hold your pastor responsible if your marriage breaks. YOU ought to have exercised wisdom on incessant attendance of church programmes. And yes there are programmes in church for couples but you ought to plan private getaways and private events with your husband. Marriage is a private endeavour.

Your church can organise a valentine day programme and that is all well and good. The church is stepping into a gap. But you and your husband should be able to have dinner by yourselves without church administration. There are many things you can do together. Stay in bed and watch TV all Saturday. God won’t mind. You can go on a stroll together, plan a weekend getaway – hotels often have off peak deals. You can go and watch football with him, just to see what he enjoys about adults running after a pawpaw sized round object. Go to the stadium together even if you loathe football… Once won’t kill you. You can surprise him at work. Show up unannounced and take him out. You can do drinks together, double date with another couple and go out for the night. Go for karaoke. Go for dance. There are so many things you can do together. Do things together if you want to stay together. Live apart if you want to grow apart.

Give him the pleasure of seeing you at the end of the day. Don’t dash off to yet another church programme before he arrives. A man ought to look forward to seeing his wife. When you’re not there, who’s he going to unburden to at the end of the day? And who are you going to unburden to? Isn’t that what marriage is all about?

You have a stronger religious testimonial if you work assiduously on your marriage and make it work. But if you’re all over the place and you get careless with your marriage, living on assumptions, one day life will hit you smack in the face. Again I’m not saying don’t serve in church. You should. It’s a good thing. But you ought to have balance. Your marriage requires your presence.

There’s efficacy in prayers but prayers won’t satisfy the physical needs of your husband. There’s faith and there’s works.

Your mentor, LA

For related article, read RELIGIOUS IMBALANCE.

© Leke Alder |

There’s efficacy in prayers but prayers won’t satisfy the physical needs of your husband. Click To Tweet
Tags : Love, Marriage, Religion

Post Your Comments Here