In Amaka’s Diary on the subject of Saturday, April 29, 2017, of The Sun newspaper, she narrated how a husband broke a cupboard in their house, in which his wife had held personal and sacred things. There, he saw the pictures and letters she had kept of her ex-lovers and their telephone numbers. ‘Your partner may not voice her hurt of displeasure that you still securely keep your exes’ pictures and letters, but sometimes this can cripple a relationship beyond repairs. …Tear those pictures today and thank me later,’ Amaka advised.
Tearing such relics, as Amaka has counselled, may not achieve much. It is not the guarantee that the relationship is over. In fact, the place the spouse keeps information about former relationships does not really matter. It is the purpose for keeping them that is important. It is possible for a wife to be happy because she has not seen any place in their house or husband’s office, where he keeps such relics, yet, everything about his ex-lovers matters much to him. Hardly could anyone understand the strokes, like the Egyptian hieroglyphics, my illiterate mum was making on our walls, representing her debtors. Had she chosen to be adulterous and was making similar records for her lovers, nobody, except her, could interpret them.
I do not keep visible dairies about people or events and yet, I keep records. I give God the glory for the gift of a sound memory. I remember vividly when I was sucking and the attempts my mother made to stop me and how her effort yielded no dividend. I know the day I started primary school education and the names of almost all the pupils in my class. I remember the names and peculiar manners of all my teachers. I remember the one, who abused me sexually and how I told James, my friend, who laughed because the teacher had also raped him. I know a Minister of God, who will come for my help if he needed any information about himself, including change of jobs.
The implication therefore is that, if my spouse gauges my faithfulness to her on the fact that there is nowhere in our house or in my office I keep the photographs or letters of my lady friends before our marriage, she will goof copiously. In fact, is there any secure place for keeping records more than the heart? ‘My son,’ says the Lord, ‘give me your heart and your eyes will behold My ways’. It is in the heart, the Bible says that there are the issues of life and from where a person believes ‘unto salvation’.
What is important, I reiterate, is not where secret things are kept but for the purpose why they are kept. The child of God knows that God, his Father, knows everything about him. His spouse may not have access to what he does but he knows that God knows them. He lives his life to please God first, before pleasing any other person, including his spouse. ‘Whither shall I go from Thy presence,’ the Psalmist confessed in sobriety, ‘Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend into Heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there’. There is no hiding place for a child of God and there is no reason even to do so. It is not fear that one’s spouse may have access to his past records that prevents a child of God from keeping records about the ugly past.
It is living a double life that warrants all forms of secrecy well-known in the camp of unbelievers. I had girlfriends before April 16, 1972, I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus. I did not commit fornication before my wedding six years later. I have not committed adultery since my marriage and will not do so under any circumstance. I discuss with my spouse about some of my former girlfriends. I telephone one of them once in the year. My wife telephones and prays with one of them, when the need arises. Thank God that some of them are also born-again.
I remember when I was travelling somewhere for burial and it was obvious to me that my former lady friend would attend the funeral. I told my wife that I would likely meet her and we prayed for her. After the funeral-Church service we hugged each other, having not met for over 25 years. As her husband was coming to greet me, she tried to introduce me to him. ‘I know him,’ the husband told her, ‘I read his Column in The Sun newspaper’. When I returned to Lagos, I told my wife that I saw the lady and her spouse, who are also members of the family of God.
One may ask the purpose of relating with such people. The answer is simple. The previous relationship was based in sin. And the Bible says, ‘If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things have become new’. If the lady is now a child of God, like you, the relationship is different. You relate in the manner saints do: in fellowship and encouragement in running the Christian race. If the lady is not yet born-again, it will be an opportunity to share the Gospel with passion to her, provided that you are sure you will not sink with a drowning man you want to rescue. It affords you also the opportunity to pray and be praying for her. You may extend financial benevolence to her, if you can, but it should be given through your spouse.
I ministered one day to one of them and her husband in their house. The lady, in excitement, laughed and blessed my day by informing me that they have given their lives to the Lord Jesus. You can imagine my joy! I went ahead to counsel them on the biblical expectations for Christian couples.
The beauty of it all is the fact that you cannot go back to your vomit. Why the unbeliever hides what he does is the fact that he can still commit sexual immorality though he has ten wives or more. He can still do what he did in the past because he has never confessed sins of his previous lifestyle. One lady, Sister Bose, a Christian sister, was reviewing one of my manuscripts and when she came across some confessions I made on fornication before I met Jesus, she told me and my wife to expunge it. I refused. I told her that it would be immoral if I did that. ‘Why should people not see my other side before I was born-again?’ I asked her. I took that position because I have no plans to go back to my vomit.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]