By Ovundah Nyeche.
Adultery, needs no introduction, it is a word a lot of people in church will not want to be associated with openly. In my previous church, getting or having this name around you could risk you been flung into a not so special seat known as ‘back seat.’
These days however, it is now very popular and has several monikers like fling, affair, cheating, two timing, fooling around, playing around, playing the field, carryings on, hanky-panky amongst others.
Christian or not, opportunities for adultery subtly stare us on the face every day in the work place, at home, religious places, online, social media, recreational areas, occasions amongst others even though the holy writ tells us in clear terms ‘You must not commit adultery.’
Ever watched a mason try to break a wall with a hammer? I have, and many times when the wall is made of reinforced concrete, it is difficult to break. 5 blows and the wall still stands, 7 blows and it is still standing and at the 8th blow the portion of the wall been hammered falls out. For most believers, adultery is similar to this process; as they are very unlikely to enter head-on into adultery, as it is usually a gradual process, step by step, day by day- Slow fade.
However whether gradual or not, it is happening. In some countries pastors are resigning due to adultery, in others some are confessing openly to their congregations, in some others it has led to divorce, in some others it has turned to a habit and hence their messages has shifted to fit their lifestyles. If shepherds who are supposedly above board are involved in this, how much more the sheep or those they lead.
Carder in the book Torn Asunder: Recovering from Extramarital Affairs notes that adultery and divorce rates in the evangelical population are nearly the same as the general population in the United States.
A Christianity Today survey found that 23 % (69) of the 300 pastors who responded admitted to sexually inappropriate behaviour with someone other than their wives while in the ministry.
The Journal of Psychology and Christianity adds that as many as 65 % of men and 55 % of women will have an extramarital affair by the time they are 40.
The statistics are alarming, coming home, it does not make for good reading.
Our focus today will be to look at pitfalls that could lead to adultery and how to avoid and end them if we are already in this dangerous hole:
- Call things what they are: These days many consider the word adultery too judgemental and harsh, and sequel to that many euphemistic terms like playing around, playing the field, carryings on, hanky-panky amongst others have arisen. However calling a venomous snake a beautiful name and kissing it to emphasize the beautiful name does not eradicate the venom. Thousands of years ago, Joseph was in an awkward situation with the wife of an important official in Egypt. She liked him, flirted around him, initiated the move, and demanded sex from him. Rather than call it an affair or fling or justify it, since he was not the one pushing for it, he called it what it was, a ‘wicked thing and a great sin against God.’ Adultery is a great sin and a wicked thing, end of story.
- Friendly fire: What kind of friends do you hang around with? Years ago, when I was a medical student, I had a roommate who said a particular slang and even though I did not really spend so much time in the room, with my roommates, due to preparations for my exams, I soon picked up the slang. What happened? Influence happened, and influence still happens. If you wish to stay sexually pure and yes you should, you have to be very careful of the kind of friends you hang around with and those who speak into your ears. If the words of your friends, even on social media, shakes your conviction about keeping your marriage vow, them you may need to change your friends. It is only a matter of time for fingers dipped into an oily meal to get stained.
- Body no be firewood: Truly speaking, you are not a firewood and you have emotions. In fact what flows through your veins and arteries is blood laden with hormones and not olive or anointing oil. This means whether you are a man of God or god of man, you are a man and you have feeling and can be tempted. Hence you have to avoid spending time with those of the opposite sex alone, whether it is for counselling, prayers or even communion. Spending intimate moments with any person of the opposite sex in the guise of any ministerial assignment is looking for trouble. Billy Graham famously had a rule which prevented him or members of his team from spending time alone with those of the opposite sex, this also included even suggestions or hints of sexual immorality. While it is not bad to have friends of the opposite sex, it is extremely important that you never overestimate your strength and you must draw appropriate boundaries with those of the opposite sex not your spouse. Your secretary, choir mistress or that loyal lady not married to you, is not your spouse keep off!
- Tend your garden: Avoid discussing your marital problems with people of the opposite sex, especially if you know it is possible to have feeling for them. It is also not wise to constantly spend time on phone with people of the opposite sex and discuss intimate matters with them, you never discuss with your spouse. What will it profit you never to speak with your spouse, but speak endlessly with others? What will it profit you never to satisfy your spouse sexually, but mope outside? Many people are married, but invest their emotions on others not their spouse, it is also not wise wishing another person is your spouse because he or she treats you better. Truly speaking, the garden grows where it is tended and watered. Flaunt your spouse and be proud of her. Your marriage will work.
- Pay back: In our world ‘do me, I do you, God no go vex’ is something a lot of people revel in. But for the Christian, this is not our nature. It is not in your best interest for you to pay adultery back with adultery. Even if it may be a tenable excuse, but in the sight of God, it makes no sense and is a sin. An eye for an eye, soon makes everyone blind; forgive if your spouse has hurt you.
- Hide and seek: Don’t start what you cannot finish. To what end is hiding to make calls, deleting inappropriate text messages, sending nudes to others, having amorous glances with people not your spouse? To what end is having mental pictures of hanky-panky and fantasizing with people not your spouse? Truly speaking not everyone married the first person they dated; and not everyone had only one person they had feelings for. Once you are married, it is advisable to cut any love channel or cord that attaches you to your ex. It is also not advisable to be married and be in amorous terms with your ex or anyone of the opposite sex; and know all the fine details in their lives, focus on your marriage and build it. In some cases it may be wisdom to block your ex/s on social media or even change your social media handles. Take anything that reminds you of them out of side and then out of mind.
- Wrong ideologies: A lot of people enter marriage with warped ideologies. Some enter saying it is a man’s world and the man is allowed to cheat, and coat it by saying men are polygamous in nature… Christians oh. Some say there is no big deal in a woman cheating and spin it by saying if it is not a big deal for a man to cheat, why would it be for a woman to cheat. Well Heb 13:4 ‘Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery’ is still in the Bible; also God does not judge males and females with different standards when it has to do with sexual immorality.
- Transparency pays: What is there to say about this…transparency pays.
- Seek help: A problem identified is half solved, see eh, if you are weighed down by the weight of adultery. Confess your sins to God, he will forgive you, seek forgiveness from your spouse, it will surely not be easy and trust me, it may certainly come with dire consequences as your spouse is likely going to be heart broken and it could take time for trust to be regained. But, many times, it is better, it is heard from your mouth, than from another.
Also if your spouse opens up to you, it will help if you pray for them and forgive them. Also more than confessing, it is important you ask for the help of the Holy Spirit and go through counselling/ discipleship.
Help is available if you seek for it, talk to God about your marriage right now, our marriages are fire proof in Jesus name. If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, talk to him to come into your life, He will.
Is it a good idea for twins to be in the same classroom?
This may look like an unnecessary question, but as a parent of twins, even if they are not identical and are of different sexes, it is very vital.
My twin boy and girl are quite attached even if they have different personalities, in fact if you ask one of the twin his name, he will say his name is that of his twin sister.
Recently, we enrolled them into school and we got a shocker, my darlings were not to be in the same class. They were to have different teachers, minders and classmates.
You know we had never really thought of this academic separation and research into whether they should be in the same class or not, brought interesting points for and against.
So I shared this question on my Facebook timeline ‘Any idea why a school refuses to put twin children in the same class?’
And the thoughts shared were enlightening and I would share some of them here.
Chigoziri Enyi Wodu says ‘I am a twin and I liked having my brother in class with me. We were together all through until University.
I think twins should be left together, after all they came out together for a reason.
FYI: We never played any pranks on our teachers, we worked together and it was great having family (someone I knew always had my back) around.
I think upbringing matters a lot here, we are very independent minded, my brother never fails to tell me when I’m being unreasonable, I do the same too. We may not say it to the hearing of others but we look out for each other.’
Ajiri Edosio says ‘I think they do it so they can freely interact with other children and you know some twins are mischievous, they’ll just be using their teachers and classmates to play pranks. My twin nephews are in different classes’
Ishioma Egun says ‘It is just to avoid distraction among the children and help each child to be responsible for his or her actions. Also from my experience with the twins my Uncle had, they were never in the same class from nursery school to secondary. We saw each persons strength and weaknesses in various aspects of the school work.’
Adaoma Okehie-Onwukaeme says’ ‘The teacher might get confused; in short they will scatter the class. If they are naughty children, one may commit a crime or even both and the teacher may develop headache or even hypertension trying to find out who because as twins they may cover for themselves.’
Ogunjobi Omotolani Jemimah says ‘I taught identical twins two years ago. They were both in my class for a year. There’s no reason why they can’t be in the same class. One of the advantage is you help them build their weakness. It fosters consistent learning especially in their elementary years. Academically,socially and emotionally there is some research to indicate that children actually do better when kept together. The flip side of same class for identical twins is that it doesn’t encourage them to develop their individuality.’
Ikhurionan Idialu Bethsy says ‘To prevent unhealthy competition in case one is doing far better.’
Rehan Obagah Berepele says ‘There is always competition between them, fights and distractions. They don’t associate well with others when together. They need individual development. They do better separated.’
Peace Daniel Gobo says ‘My son recently joined a new school and I personally asked for him to be separated from his friend in the football academy. It is usually better for concentration and better social interaction so he can make new friends. So I’m thinking the same should apply for twins.’
Emenu Samuel Chijioke says ‘No reason is good enough.’
Love Fiwajomi says ‘It could be so they can express themselves individually and the teacher will not be confused as to who is who if they look alike so much.
The teacher who asked for them to be separated should be asked. He/She will state his/her reasons. If the reason(s) isn’t good enough, you ask that they should be left in the same class.
I personally experienced where the smart one writes test for he and his twin brother, JSS1 students. They look alike even to their handwriting.’
Diamond Tonye-Obene says ‘They will team up against their classmates.
They will bring home play to school and distract themselves. Please, they should stay apart’.
Aches Ibiene Don Pedro says ‘They should be separate, if one person refuses to write the other might not want to, they can team up and beat up a class mate, they will play too much, thus they might lack concentration. If they are not yet grown you might not know who is actually doing well, as they might be copying from each other.’
Olaka Ebienju says ‘They need to learn individually and express themselves independently. When they are older they can be in same class.’
What do you think? Do you agree?
Do your kids need a smartphone?
By Ovundah Nyeche
Raising kids is not a child’s play. At the back of most parents minds is what to use to distract them with, when parents wish to rest or be more productive at home.
For many parents smartphones, tablets or computers are the answer.
From rhymes, to videos, to games, to cartoons, to emmmmmmm social media… these devices got you covered.
But here is the issue, many kids are already hooked to phones before they even own one…add the pressure of buying your children a phone, the internet and then non vigilance… And there is a disaster brewing.
Many times I speak with kids, I ask them to raise their hands if they have phones and many do… I then add if they are on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Whatsapp, Twitter and other social media networks and hands still stay up and then when you ask their ages… You feel sorry for them and their parents…as many are not even old enough to be on the social media platforms they are already on.
I don’t know how to say this… But parents, myself inclusive, it is not in the constitution that you must give your kids phones because you can afford it. It is also not in the constitution that you must open social media accounts for them because they have reached the acceptable ages to get a social media account… Especially if you have not trained them to maturity and independence and you are sure you cannot follow them on social media and know who they follow and their online activities.
Some children even play smart by increasing their ages, so as to get an account and are smart enough to block their parents and all monitoring spirits as well.
And they follow Mhizsexy, MrRandy, Her Slay Highness, His Royal Highness, Mhiznude, Masternaked, CrackheadJoe on social media who will take them on a journey, a really long and perilous journey.
Some are already exposed to cyber bullying or learn how to cyber bully early on.
Some use pictures gotten from the internet as their profile pictures and use fake names as they immerse themselves in a world of senior jokes and learn rubbish as well.
Some play dangerous games on the internet, gamble on the internet and on their phones… Snap nude pictures which they display on exclusive groups and sites.
So before you give your child a phone. Be sure your eyes are on point, be sure you trust them and they trust you too to open up to them.
Be sure you have the strength, skill and wisdom to follow up, not forgetting there are apps which hide iniquitous stuff from the eyes of mortal men.
Emmmmmm that you can access your child’s phone does not mean you know what’s up or you can unearth the mystery inside.
Don’t contribute to your heartbreak and wonder why “village people” are against you… And yes, one child told me once of his prowess in overriding firewalls his parents set.
I said let me, let you know.
If you don’t take care of your children… Things will take care of them.
May the Lord give us wisdom, to be parents indeed in this fast paced generation.
#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries
How Expensive are Expensive Weddings?
By Edisemi Okpokiti
The cost for marriages is another reason for low marriages and also early broken marriages…it brings too much pressure to the equation.
Too much expectations, too much injuries in the process to accomplish, too much division already between new families who ought to be uniting, too much attention of the supposed spouse on an event than on the marriage.
Too much false hood expressed that has to be sustained, but with no basis for maintenance. Too much bad blood between supposed couples before they even start their home.
Many marriages ended on the night or morning after the wedding ceremony.
People regret night after their traditional wedding, and ask if it was worth all the tension, pressure and troubles or are visibly sad all through the wedding realising they have short changed themselves.
Love is stifled by fleshy lust of men and women for rights,privileges and inordinate desires to feel among. Many work for years to blow it one week 😭😭
Once the cost of the price to marry is reduced, the attention will be shifted to what my choice person thinks or feels and not what people think or feel; and that’s how relationships are built.
Preparation for marriage ought to be a good opportunity for people to know and get more acquainted with themselves but the pressure makes them distant from themselves, cursing, fighting and bitter at each other for their difference in priority and the family effect on them.
Father in-laws, mother in-laws , Siblings already become vouched enemies even before they know themselves.
It’s pathetic that poor families are the most expensive ones to marry from, it’s like these marriages is their visa out of poverty.
Elders have become children in their conduct and character just because of a young child’s money collected with the deceit of a priceless adventure.
Churches should adopt like the Orthodox churches now do for burials, giving specific date you must bury after death, thereby forcing hands to bury with what they have and not what they think they want.
Weddings in churches should be encouraged to be done even in midweeks and without receptions.
Young people also should stop talking of dream marriages. The women especially would shout “It is not in my turn, I’ll fall my hands”, but can’t you all see ,the men are not proposing because they are afraid and do not have what your entire village will demand? Ladies have to start discussing with their fathers and uncles and defend their husband to be.
Money spent on Marriages in this country, especially by the middle class and poor if invested could make those couples financially stable.
The steam most times is off before the team comes to field.
Many have lost even before the game starts.
Well for those who are really really well to do and I mean both not that the man is. Those whose families have more than enough to spare, then you are not stopped from your ecstasy.
If you are in relationship, and it’s not taking the next step this is a major cause. Seat with yourselves, seat with your parents and pastors and achieve your desire without destroying your desire. SELAH!
If you are a sibling or parent , please assist and clear all barriers and ensure your children and siblings don’t have this as a barrier preventing their marriage.
The age of unmarried is increasing daily to an average of 30…if this menace is not addressed …we will soon hit 35 yrs as average age of unmarried girls.
Let the wise hear, but the foolish rant…Life is a choice.
A counsel is not forced on anyone.
Edisemi Okpokiti is the Lead Faculty, The Pulpit and Lead Consultant of Rhabonni Consult Limited (A Human Capital Development Consultancy Firm). He is a trained Information Management Consultant and passionate preacher of the gospel.
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