Last week our media was dominated by the marital woes of one famous Kampala pastor. This is a guy who is famous for pickinh fights with other pastors, and one time burnt a Bible because he was unhappy with the fact that it referred to the ‘Holy Ghost’ instead of the ‘Holy spirit’.
(He preaches primarily in Luganda , you see, and the word ghosts loosely translates into evil spirits.) The public was shocked to see his wife giving a press conference on their broken down marriage, shortly after reporting to police that the pastor’s flock was also threatening her life.
The pastor has not lived with this wife for quite some time now- infact, he reportedly moved out with all his stuff and announced to the kidd that he was no longer their mother’s husband, but he would always be their father. He has sincr claimed that his wife was trying to steal church land. His wife, on the other hand, says the accusations are his retaliation for her refusal to sign divorce papers.
The whole situation has divided their church followers and for me it points to:
Some key lessons about the public face of your marriage:
First of all, when you are in a position of leadership, whether church or other, the state of your marriage becomes a measure of your ability to lead. Whether we like it or not, people are drawn to leadership that can keep its marital life together. We once had famously single presidential candidatr and that was all people would talk about. Barack without Michelle would never have won. Even where people know you are jusy keeping up appearances, they prefer that you always act as though alk is well with your spouse. And that is because the state of your marriage because a source of hope to your followers. When you shake their faith that marriage can be donr well, you mess with their foundation.
Secondly, as a religious leader, the state of your marriage is a represantation of the sincerity of your beliefs. If the God you are trying to push onto other peoole cannot change your spouse, then what is the point? It is like selling medicine while dying from disease you claim to claim to cure.
If you are a ‘mehn-a-Gad’ and you cannot find joy in the woman whom you said God told you to marry, you have to ask yourself what you truly believe. Did God changr his mind? Did he stammer? Did he caugh and accidentaly say a wrong name? Nope.
What it boils down to is that you use God for your selfish ends but you do not really believe in his power. Human nature is fickle, and if we lust after something bad enough we will even rationalise murder just to get to it.
Thirdly, marriage is a covenant, not a contract. There is plenty of evidence that God wants us to live as long-term covenant people, not short-term contract people. It is alleged that this pastor has been shaking up withvone of his employees, secretly preparing to marry her.
Secrecy can seem so romantic, can’t it? But is it really romantic to put someone you love at the centre if a storm? You get stuck in the phase where you convince yoursekves that God is love and he understands that you are in love with eachother and he just wants you to be happy. Really, mehn-a-gad? He called you to be happy at whatever cost? Show me the evidence.
And I am not laying the blame on the pastor; they have been married about 27 yeara. Anyone can slide from renting a single room in joyvto owning a mansion with no love. It doesn’t happen in one day. It is the result of a gradual departure from one another. Being pastor of the church grew more important than being a husband and a father.
Being a mother to the children became mre of a priority than being a wife to a man. Meetings, homework, fundraisers, overnight prayers, upcountry missiob trips, women fellowships -all the things you thought God was calling you to do first. Those are the things which drove you alart becaude you were not purposeful about staying connected.
You’re supposed to use the time in the one-room rental to build a foundation, cultivate a habit of nurturing each other and appreciate each other so much that even in the mansion, you still want to share a single bed. It’s easy to point fingers at the pastor and his wife because their situation has exploded, but you examinr your 5 year marriage and tell me if you are not on the same path.