Dear Pastor's Wife, It takes both parties to make marriage work



Last week, I saw a flyer on Instagram, where a pastor's wife was calling for women to pray and fast for their husbands for 31 days (all through the month of March). I did not like the feeling the flyer generated in me.

I wanted to like the idea and the thought for calling for a prayer watch, but I did not, and I didn't like that I didn't like the idea... at all. Imagine if everyone is good, and you want to be good also, but you keep being bad, and you don't like the fact that you are bad. You know you should be good, but there's something about this 'good' that doesn't sit well with you... that's exactly how I felt.

I feel every woman should pray for her husband, because under normal circumstances, if it is well for your husband, it would be well for you too. They should also pray for their children. It is normal for most religious women to pray for their entire households, because there's something about a woman's heart that is always drawn towards her home, and its well-being. And for Christian women who are not very prayerful, but desire to be, or ones just struggling with their prayer lives, which is quite common, this special call for 'prayers for husbands' would most likely encourage them to catch the prayer train.

However, the question is... where are the men? Are they praying for their wives?
Are special programs being organised by churches where men are tasked to pray and fast for their wives and children for 31 days? There are far too many church programs out there placing these kinds of responsibilities of wives, but neglecting the husbands, and that is why marriages are not getting better. This has nothing to do with feminism, equality, or the likes. This has everything to do with leadership, spiritual headship of the home, and the commandments that were given to the men.

It is from examples like this post, that we see that the type of Christianity being practised in Nigeria is far different from Christianity elsewhere. You hardly see these kinds of things amongst other nationalities, even amongst the people that taught us about Christianity, and the reason is simple, and explained as follows...

I once listened to a life coach (Praise Fowowe) saying when a religion is introduced into a community, the religion takes the life of the culture of that community, and operates that way. So if our culture is highly imbalanced when it comes to gender, when Christianity or Islam is introduced, it will take that oppressive life form that already exists in that culture, if not practiced correctly. That is why an average Nigerian pastor is quick to condemn and humiliate a woman if she commits adultery, but quick to ask her to forgive her husband and go back home if he is the one who commits adultery, because he is a reflection of that society..

This is what we see playing out in this flyer. We live in a society where marital pressure is largely placed on the woman's shoulders, whether married or single. A single woman is blamed for a singleness, and is required to keep calling forth her husband. A married woman is blamed for the failure of her marriage, no matter what caused the marriage to fail. It is either she was too fat, too thin, too church-going, not prayerful enough, not sexy enough, couldn't cook well enough, not patient enough, too patient, too busy, too lazy, too career-oriented, too slow, too sharp-mouthed, etc. When the marriage fails, the society asks "what was the woman doing?" Hardly anyone points the blame at the man. Even when it's obvious it is the man's fault, the woman gets blamed for not being supportive enough.

It is no wonder programs like these are rampant in the church and full of attendance, while the men are continually being neglected. And as long as this imbalance continues, and equal sacrifices are not demanded from the men, marriages will not get better, because the guilty men will take no responsibility for their actions leading to the failure of marriages. We can't keep raising babies, and expect them to act like adults

So am I against women praying and denying themselves for their husbands for a whole 31 days? Of course not. Will I do it for my husband? Yes, I will if it is important and necessary. We are one, and if I can do it for myself, I definitely can do it for my husband. I also believe my husband would do it for me if necessary. What I am saying is I would like to see an equal amount of effort by the church to organise these sacrificial programs for men as they do for women, for equal amounts of pressure to be put on the men, and it is being put on the women, because whether we like it or not, no matter how strong we think we are as women, one party cannot make a successful marriage. That is not how it was designed, and it will never be!

P.S: I intentionally didn't put the flyer in this post because the program has already started, and I believe some people are already committed to, or benefiting from it. I don't want this post to distract them from whatever results they might already be getting from the prayers.

3 comments

  1. All these tables you are shaking.. there is God o

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  2. I've always felt men have been treated with great disservice in Nigerian brand of Christianity, there are way too many events, mentors, meetings for women in church and men are often on the back burner. NO wonder we have more praying women, more women cultivating relationship with God, more women in church. Its hard to find a mentor for young men who are Christians and understand the demands of navigating faith in the 21st century. The effect is men think a woman should be leading spiritually, I heard a guy tell me you look like someone who can really pray for me and my children and cover us spiritually, my response was Uncle, what will you be doing that you can't pray? mtchewwww. I get you, there is an imbalance. Atoke wrote a post about this once on bellanaija and one of the opinions raised was most men expect that women are more 'churchy' as their mothers while growing up have been the one attending prayer meetings, leading family devotions more than their fathers in most homes
    ps. I know the flyer you're talking about

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