The sad and very unfortunate death, in controversial circumstances, of the famous Nigerian gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu, has once again caused a stir on the controversial issue of domestic violence causing bodily harm or even death, in marriages, as well as the views and position of the generally conservative church fathers in Nigeria on marriage or marital vows often presented as church doctrine or God’s position on marriage.
True, the number of husbands who kill their wives and vice versa is infinitesimal compared to those who are not, but as we all know in the parlance of journalism, bad news makes headlines, travels faster and have better traction than good news.
A popular saying in journalism goes: When a dog bites a man, it is not news but when a man bites a dog; this is the news!
So couples living in peace and harmony don’t make the news, but the few that don’t are the ones in the limelight. In recent times, there have been many cases of high profile domestic violence, resulting in husbands killing their wives and a wife killing her husband.
Surprisingly and interestingly, this is no longer one-way traffic; Women’s liberation may have ensured that women, often portrayed as the weaker sex, no longer take domestic violence flat!
As the new fashion postulates, not only can women do everything men can do, but they now go further and do it even more horribly! In one particular video that I couldn’t even watch to the end, the wife and her accomplices tied the husband up and broke his scrotum; the excruciating torture rendered the man’s eventual death pale into insignificance. The horrific nature of murders, whether perpetrated by wife or husband, is another matter.
How love could turn into such staggering hate over time deserves investigation. Could it be that there was no real or real love in the relationship in the first place?
Many marriages are contracted on the basis of factors foreign to the genuine and real love between the couples; diabolical means are employed by a part desperate to get what it wants. When the other party’s eyes “clear” somewhere along the line, heckling!
Unmet expectations (including inflated and unrealistic expectations) play a big role in why marriages fall apart; changes or fluctuations in personalities; funding issues; interference from strangers (including friends, extended family members and even pastors); infidelity; and loss of self-esteem (times are tough!) by either couple are some of the other factors that could turn a loving husband or wife into murderers overnight or over time. time.
Osinachi died on Friday April 9, 2022 and her death was attributed to domestic violence, with husband Peter Nwachukwu being the prime suspect. As painful as the loss of Sister Osinachi must have been for her family, friends and admirers, the position of the law is that the husband (already arrested) should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
It’s trite, but it seems the public is unwilling to bestow such luxury on the Church, especially the church where the late sister worshiped and the man of God who was supposed to care for her. .
Torrents of questions have thus been asked about the quality of care received by the sister, especially in light of new revelations that her case was not hidden and that it was not a one-time incident.
What did her church and pastor—and her family and friends—do to save her? One narration is that she rejected all openings for her to go away!
Why would it be so? The reasons could be: She loved her husband despite the mistreatment he had inflicted on her. She didn’t want to cut and run and leave her children at the mercy of her husband. She was afraid of stigma—social and scriptural—if her marriage fell apart.
For a popular gospel singer, her fame and fortune could be negatively affected and she could even be excommunicated or ostracized by her church and her brothers and sisters in an extremely critical and inquisitive society and system without considering the merits of each case. – and this by reading and interpreting the scriptures upside down!
She could have been one of those born-again Christians who swallowed the hogwash from many preachers that divorced people won’t make heaven.
She might also have encouraged herself or been encouraged to stay in an allegedly abusive marriage to continue to intercede for her husband. But doesn’t the Bible say that a live dog is better than a dead lion (Ecclesiastes 9:4)?
And as a gospel singer, Sister Osinachi must be familiar with the song that says only the living can praise the Lord! Now that everyone blames the Church as much as the husband for Osinachi’s death, the question we have to ask ourselves is: would the Church be blamed if those involved were Muslims, people of another confession or unbelievers?
The truth is, a couple turning on each other is not a church affair; it goes through faith and does not exclude unbelievers, so to speak. That said, two areas of concern for many are the Church’s stance on divorce and the marital vow “for better or for worse…until death do us part.”
Does God Disapprove of Divorce? Yes, because Malachi 2:16 says, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, says he hates dismissal; for one covers violence with his garment, says the LORD of hosts. not treacherously”.
Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:1-6 underscored this when, answering the tempting question of the Pharisees, he said in verse 6b: “What God has joined together, let no one separate it.” Does God allow divorce in all circumstances?
Yes, he does! In the same biblical passage in reference, the Pharisees reminded Jesus that Moses had commanded their fathers “to give a writing of divorce and to put her away… (Deuteronomy: 1-4)” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Moses because of the hardness of your heart, you suffered to divorce your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
So that means the problem of husband killing his wife or vice versa is not new as the preacher said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that there is nothing new under the sun. Moses tried to solve the problem; he didn’t run away from it or pretend he didn’t exist.
Her solution may not have been perfect, but it probably provided a practical solution and Jesus did not condemn it; instead, Jesus pointed the people in the direction of God’s perfect will for them, which he says operated in the beginning until man’s heart was corrupted from his youth (Genesis 8 :21).
Some Bible scholars talk about the perfect will of God and the permissive will of God. Moreover, sin is sin and the eyes of God cannot see any of it – be it divorce, fornication, adultery, lying, theft, favoritism, oppression, etc.
Jesus gave his own condition for divorce in verse 9 when he said “commit adultery”
Thus, a man can divorce for fornication/adultery! Does God have respect of persons? Does he favor men only to disadvantage women? Or does it apply the same rule to both?
So, if a man can divorce because of fornication or adultery, a woman should be able to do the same! Some preachers frighten anyone contemplating divorce by saying, albeit wrongly if the above scripture is correctly interpreted, that such a divorcee must remain celibate until the ex-wife or ex -husband dies!
But that’s not what Jesus said! The person who must remain celibate if they divorce is the one who does so for reasons other than that stipulated by Jesus – fornication/adultery. The punishment for a divorced woman due to fornication is severe (remain celibate forever) perhaps to discourage bewilderment.
Did God impose a heavy punishment on wayward wives while letting their men off the hook? Not at all! But as Lucky Dube sang, you have to “read your bible and understand what it says!” If you allow another’s interpretation to enslave and mislead you, it’s your fault!
Another reason for divorce or separation was given by the Apostle Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 7:10-15 when he said, “But if the unbeliever go, let him go.” A brother or sister is not enslaved in such cases: but God has called us to peace.
So, if the brother or sister is not enslaved, why ask him not to remarry? Those whom God has set free, why do some preachers put them in iron chains? To be continued