Once Bitten, Twice Shy: Why I'll Never Step Foot in a Nigerian Church Again!

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Once Bitten, Twice Shy: Why I'll Never Step Foot in a Nigerian Church Again!

This is a tale of a Nigerian man who was dumbfounded by an unexpected perspective. 

Enjoy.

My story is funny but also not very funny. I am a Christian, do you hear me? I believe in Christ, I may not be the konk type but hey, I try and so does my wife.


Ok, so my wife and I were going to this church, which I will not name but is quite popular. We were even workers in that church. You know. By being workers, we weren’t thinking of being pastors or deacons or anything as grand as that. No, we just wanted to serve God the way we could.


As a young couple, then, we had issues. You know. We were just like five years into our marriage and we were fighting a lot. So much so that many times, we would not speak to one another for days but come Sundays, we would go early to church, being church workers. We would smile and act as if we were doing okay.


After a while, I decided to report the matter to my pastor, hoping he would help me and my wife resolve our issues.



The pastor tried to talk to us. He called me separately and spoke to me, and called my wife individually and spoke to her but our issues were unresolved because you see, I suspect he wasn’t telling her a few home truths. But I will get back to that later.


Anyway, wahala continued in our house and we were still pretending in church.


This issue continued for a long time to the point we were considering going our separate ways for good. However, as good Christian workers, we were at a loss as to how to go forward.


I loved my wife and wanted to make things better. So one Sunday, we had prepared to go to church as usual when I pulled my wife back. our daughter was still young, then, so we put her in front of the tv on Cartoon Network


I said to my wife, “Babe, who are we fooling? Only ourselves because God is not mocked. He knows we don’t talk to one another, we don’t laugh together, we even sleep in separate rooms, so why keep going to church and pretending?”


She was just looking at me.


I said, my darling wife, “Let’s talk, let’s argue our issues and if after we argue and cry and shout and fight we still decide to go our separate ways, then so be it.”


That day, I just sent a text to our pastor that myself and my wife would be absent from church, we needed to sort ourselves out.


We didn’t go to church the following Sunday as well…we were still sorting ourselves, talking, fighting, arguing… but we agreed not to separate.


When we showed up on the third Sunday at church, happy that at least we were not pretending before our church family. Our Pastor treated us like we were traitors.


During the workers’ meeting, the pastor used us for the sermon. He talked about people neglecting the assembly of one another…that is us, for skipping church. He said, didn’t we know that there was no marriage in heaven and that even the Bible said not to forsake the assembly of one another.


He said as punishment, my wife and I would be assigned to wash the toilets for the next three months.


Hear me, o! I have no problem washing the church toilet…if I choose to. It must never be as punishment! I am not a child. I am a grown man, husband and father, it was humiliating being asked to wash the toilet because I didn’t come to church.


My wife wanted us to do it, she said,  “Let’s be humble..”.I said, “No! I will not do this. I will go to another church.”


A few years later, of course, I stopped attending that church. Yes, I agree there is no marriage in heaven, I might as well enjoy the one I have on earth.


Besides, I did not attend church that period because I was attending a party or doing anything counter to …I mean, you understand? My absence was because Sundays were the only days I could get my wife to talk, she didn’t have work as an excuse or some Saturdays even as an excuse, so for two or three Sundays that I had to save my marriage, yes, I skipped church, worker or no worker!


Anyway, few years later, I moved with my family to the UK and my wife began to ask if we should join a Nigerian church…you know, like the one in Nigeria.


I said, “Babe, please let go to a nearby church,” which is an Anglican church, run by Oyibo people. My wife was like, let’s go to where we know our people are, we understand their way of worship…I said, “Oh, other non-Nigerian churches worship satan? Please, let’s go to that Anglican church.”


Long story short, we began to go there, no pressure to join anything like membership or give tithes…I have no grudge against tithe, o. Where I am going is this. I travelled to Italy for work for two months. When I returned, my wife and I and our children showed up in church…of course, you know my family had been attending church while I was away.


After the service, the pastor and a few of the congregation that had come to know us asked why we were in church seeing that I had been away for so long.


“You must have a lot to catch up on…” the Pastor said to me, “What are you doing in church today?”

I stared at him like, you mean you don’t expect us in church?

The next person came up, and said the same thing, “Guy, you are back…you must have a lot to catch up on with your wife…you should go home, quickly…” and yet another, a Nigerian lady we had come to be friends with…”Broda mi, what are you doing in church today? You should stay at home with my sister, o. Oya, send the children away and spend time with my sister o…”


My wife and I were just looking like lukman. I mean, here are people who knew I had been away for months and they understood what distance can often do to marriages.


Meanwhile, when I tried to close that distance by being with my wife in Naija, I was punished for it.


See, true there is no marriage in heaven but I will enjoy my wife here…and damn and church that opposes it!

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