THE MARRIAGE COVENANT

Originally posted on SINGLES AND MARRIED

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It is almost a year since my daughter Fadeke died and though it is very painful recounting the details of her death to the public, I need to do this in the hope that other young ladies will learn from her story.

My husband and I are in our early fifties and besides Fadeke, the eldest, we have three other children. Over the years, we did our best to impart sound morals and values into our children though we did not become committed Christians until about five years ago. All our children are single and live at home with us.

About eighteen months ago, Fadeke began having headaches; we did not make much of this and she took analgesics whenever the headaches came but when the headaches became persistent, she went to her office clinic to see the doctor. She was treated for malaria and typhoid and for a while she seemed okay but the headaches soon returned with a vengeance. Her condition became so serious that she had to take her annual leave because we felt that she just needed to rest. She spent most of leave sleeping and occasionally watching TV and by the time she resumed back at work, she had fully recovered.

Everything went smoothly for about two months then Fadeke started complaining about the headaches again and it was now accompanied by dizziness. This time around, my husband insisted on a full medical check-up for her but when she did this, the doctors still could not determine what was wrong with her. We even had her tested for HIV but the results came back negative; we were perplexed and did not know what to do. Fadeke was in pain and getting weaker by the day; at that point, my husband and I went to tell our church leadership about it, we were in dire need of physical, emotional and spiritual support. When our pastor heard all that was going on, he advised us to join him in a three days prayer and fasting session to seek the face of the Lord. We were more than willing so for the following three days, our family asked God to show us the cause of Fadeke’s ailment and give us a way out of the situation.

When I went to bed on the night of the last day of the praying and fasting, I had a dream. In the dream, I saw the Lord and He told me that Fadeke’s condition was a result of an action she took. He said that she had “gone against covenant” by dating a married man; the man’s wife was a committed Christian and He was fighting her battles for her. I was alarmed and woke up in a panic; immediately, I woke my husband up, told him of my dream and we began to pray for God’s mercy. The next morning, we told our pastor about my dream and he said that the way out was to find out the identity of the woman and get her to forgive Fadeke but when we confronted Fadeke, she denied being in a relationship with a married man. It was as if Fadeke’s denial triggered something because her condition grew worse and she had to be admitted but the doctors could not really help, as they could not pinpoint what was wrong with her.

A few days later, I called one of Fadeke’s closest friends, Gladys, and told her about my dream and asked her if she knew the person Fadeke was dating; Gladys told me that Fadeke was indeed dating one of her married colleagues in the office. I was alarmed at this because I felt that my husband and I had brought her up to know better than that but evidently, I was wrong.

On further prompting, Gladys told me that Fadeke had been dating the man for a little over three months when his wife somehow got to know about their affair.

Fadeke had told her that the woman had gotten her phone number from her husband’s phone and pleaded with her to leave her husband alone but Fadeke had responded by telling the woman to stop disturbing and to sort the issue out with her husband (I was stunned when I heard this). When her pleas met deaf ears, the woman had told Fadeke that she gave her seven days to stop the affair or else she would have herself to blame then she dropped the phone. The next day, Fadeke had told her lover about the conversation with his wife and he had apparently gone home afterwards and warned his wife off Fadeke; that was the last Fadeke and Gladys heard of the woman. Fadeke’s health problem had started barely a month after that incident. I was horrified that my daughter could behave in such a manner but all I was concerned about was the way forward. Without further ado, I decided to seek out the man Fadeke was dating in her office with the hope that I could get to meet his wife through him.

At first, Gladys told me that the man, Jude, did not want to meet with me but I persisted and after I threatened to go to his office he reluctantly agreed to meet my husband and I. Jude was a good-looking young man in his mid-thirties and upon enquiry, he told us that he had been married for just five years; his wife, Nneka, was a banker and they have one child.

Jude was obviously uneasy about meeting with us and we tried our best to set his mind at ease; we had gone past the point of condemnation, we just wanted our daughter healed. My husband told him about my dream and then we told him that we would like to meet his wife so we could ask her to forgive Fadeke. Jude told us that she had recently traveled out of the country on a two weeks vacation but he promised to call her and give her my number so we could talk; there was nothing left for my husband and I to do than wait for her call.

One morning about a week later, Jude and his wife came to see my husband and I. Immediately after the introductions Nneka went down on her knees and recounted her side of the incident. Apparently, after Fadeke’s refusal to end her affair with Jude and his quarrel with Nneka over her phone call to Fadeke, their relationship deteriorated. They fought constantly and Nneka said that she felt like a fool when after her “seven days ultimatum” to Fadeke, it was obvious that Jude and her were still dating; he still came home late from work and continued answering some late night and weekend calls in a low voice. She said that she was very disturbed by this then one day while praying, God told her to stop fighting Jude and that she should leave the battle to Him. She had obeyed God by changing her attitude towards Jude and the whole situation.

Nneka said that she had been shocked when on her return to the country, Jude told her about our visit and Fadeke’s condition. Nneka told us that she did not know that God would vindicate her in this manner and that she had forgiven Fadeke. I wish I could say that my daughter recovered after this but Fadeke was unrepentant about her actions. Fadeke was in the hospital for about two months before she went into a coma and never regained consciousness.

Comments
Covenant is not a strange concept to African cultures. It is fairly common to find families and communities to enter into covenant with other families, communities or even local gods. When this happens, both parties to the covenant understand that they have become one; it is understood that whatever happens to one party automatically happens to the other and they also have common friends and enemies. Covenants are serious matters and any disloyalty to the terms of a covenant means death.

Marriage is a covenant (not contract) relationship between a man and a woman. This is why the Bible says that when a man and a woman get married, they become one flesh. In a marriage, a couple stands as one united entity and all friends and foes are common to them; it goes against covenant for one person to have a friend that is unacceptable to his/her spouse, it is taboo! If you are married, you must not continue with any relationship that makes your spouse uncomfortable much less enter into an adulterous relationship.

Christianity is a covenant relationship between God and man. Whatever affects a Christian affects God; this is why God said in Genesis 12 “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse” and “whoever touches you, touches the apple of His eyes” (Zech 2:8). God is a covenant keeping God; if you belong to Him your battles become His. This is why I tell wives with unfaithful husbands not to fight their husbands get on your knees and pray. As long as you are God’s side, no woman is woman enough to take your husband!

The Bible also says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God (Hebrews 10: 31). If man chases you, you can run to God but when God chases you, whom can you run to? It is for this reason that I tell wives that when they come against the hold of strange women over their husbands and petition God in prayer, they should pray for the salvation of those mistresses. Maybe if Nneka had prayed for Fadeke’s salvation, she might not have remained hard-hearted and she might have been able to receive God’s mercy. Maybe.

Parents, it is also important that we constantly keep a prayer cover over our children. Recognise that you are only their caregivers and dedicate them back to God; He alone is able to preserve them. You cannot watch over them 24 hours a day and neither will they always tell you the things that they get into but nobody and nothing escapes the eyes of God. Pray for your children, no matter their age. Teach them to love and fear the Lord, help them to develop a loving and deep relationship with their Heavenly Father and you will not have cause for regret.

Are you dating a married man? Your life is in danger particularly when his wife is a Christian. “Don’t you realise how patient He is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that He has been waiting all this time without punishing you to give time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2: 3). Please repent and retrace your steps. Patiently wait on Him till you find your bone and flesh.

We desire to hear from you. You can share youe own experiences hear, post your questions and comments about this true life story here below.

IF THIS ARTICLE TOUCHED YOUR HEART, YOU MIGHT WANT TO TALK TO ANY OF YOUR PBO FOUNDATION COUNSELLORS BY CONTACTING The Fountain of Life Church on 01-4968646-7 or 08035800201. E-mail: thesinglesfellowshiptfolc@gmail.comfountain@tfolc.org You may also visit our website atwww.tfolc.org

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