LOUD WHISPERS: The Mothers’ Union Meeting

Mrs Nebadi: We thank God for the success of this month’s meeting. Before we close, is there any other business? Yes, Mrs Williams, you have the floor.

Mrs Williams: I am sure you would have all heard about the directive from Living Souls Church to their members, advising young couples to undergo genital testing before they get married. I wanted to know what our position on that is. Should we discuss it now or put it on the agenda for the next meeting?

(Majority of members): No, let us talk about it now.

Mrs Nebadi: Okay, so what about the directive? What does it mean and why are they asking couples to do it?

Mrs Jewere: They said there are a lot of problems these days with marriages because of one issue or the other related to undisclosed conditions prior to the union.

Mrs Benson: So how does checking their genitals help the situation and what is the business of the church with things like that?

Mrs Idonije: You know these children of nowadays. Sometimes you cannot tell a man from a woman. Men dress and look like women. Women look and act like men.  That boy ‘Bobrisky’ we don’t know if he is a man or woman. Perhaps the church has been seeing cases like that and want to prevent further damage to the society.

Mrs Dabota: How are they going to do the ‘Genital Testing’? Or did they mean ‘Genotype’, that would make more sense.

Mrs Jamingo: Even the Genotype testing should be an issue of choice not compulsion. This all sounds very archaic to me. This is 2018!

Mrs Nebadi: So what position are we going to take on the directive? Do you want us to propose the same thing for our church?

Mrs Benson: No oh! I don’t think any church has the right to ask their members to do such invasive things. They can counsel or advise, but anything beyond that is an infringement on fundamental human rights.

Mrs Jewere: Spoken like the Lawyer you are! But really, immorality amongst young people is too much these days.  Haha! No shame at all, no respect for themselves or others. That is why they are sniffing codeine and all kinds of things. Have you seen the list of concoctions that they sniff or inhale in order to get high? It includes the faeces of a lizard! I hear some even call themselves “science students”.

Mrs Dabota: Let us not confuse issues here. On the directive from the church, I agree with Mrs Benson, it is intrusive and I don’t think we should be promoting it. The drug abuse crisis is a symptom of a much broader issue to do with the helplessness and hopelessness of a generation who feel they have nothing to lose or gain.  It is not a morality issue, it is a response from young people who believe they have been denied opportunities to lead productive lives.

Mrs Williams: I agree that the directive sounds strange. However, what about the issues with marriages that the church has observed which has led to this decision. Surely, they have a point?

Mrs Benson: Yes, they have a point, but you can’t   complain that your soup is not sweet if you made a decision not to add salt.

Mrs Ijewere: I don’t understand what you mean?

Mrs Benson: Well, why will young people not have problems of they don’t know themselves fully before marriage, and I mean ‘know’ in the real sense of the word?

Mrs Williams: Oh, you mean they should be allowed to have sex before marriage? Haba! We cannot encourage that!

Mrs Dabota: Why not? Please let us stop this hypocrisy. How many of you were virgins when you got married?

Mrs Nebadi: You can’t ask that kind of question, we are all respectable women!

Mrs Benson: This is the problem. What does being real about sex, relationships and marriages have to do with being respectable. Respectable ko, respectable ni.  We are all mothers because we had sex. If our husbands were incapable of performing, how would we have become pregnant? So, I ask again, how many of you were virgins?

(The women giggle nervously, and some put up their hands)

Mrs Dabota: Only three of us were virgins out of twenty women! You naughty girls!

Mrs Lawal: Please do not call me naughty again. Sho mo age mi ni? (They all laugh)

Mrs Jamingo: How can I buy a car without testing it properly to see if it works? This is a car that I will use for say four or five years. And we are saying we should not check out something we will live with for the rest of our lives? No way!

Mrs Lamede: Since we are now being honest, I have a confession to make. My first daughter attends one of those churches. She was planning to get married and she kept telling anyone who wanted to listen that she was a virgin and was waiting for her wedding night. So, one day I asked her how her   fiancé was coping with this decision. She said he was okay with it. I told her that it was risky to marry someone she had not been intimate with. She was horrified and said that is not what I had taught her from when she was young. I told her that is what all mothers tell their daughters to keep them out of trouble. Marrying a man you have not slept with is too much of a risk. Any way she seduced the guy and he performed to expectations. They are very happily married with two children.

Mrs Nebadi: I get your point but we can’t go back on the church teachings. That is going too far. Let us not talk like unbelievers.

Mrs Betiku: The teachings of the church are one thing, society does need a moral compass.  The realities of life are another thing altogether. I am even surprised that some of us here were virgins when we got married. Remember the 1970s and 1980s when we were in University and people kept saying female graduates are useless and cannot have children because of too many abortions? Families started insisting that wives to be should get pregnant before marriage.  My husband and his family dithered till I was two months pregnant before they agreed a date for the wedding. This is why many of us almost delivered our firstborns at the alta

Mrs Jewere: And the reason the churches had to step in to stop it.

Mrs Lawal: This is why we need to be careful with issues such as this. I am tired of women being policed by everyone. Our bodies and our choices always belong to others. It is not right. We should be left alone to make our own decisions about who we sleep with, when and how. Some foolish Pastor was saying the other day that any couple who have sex in anything other than the missionary position will go to hell! Where is that coming from?

Mrs Begomi: We need to accept our limitations as a place of worship. It is okay to raise concerns and give advice, but  as  Christians we should have the humility to know when we are incapable of handling certain things. There is indeed a lot of sexual dysfunction these days, I see a lot of it in my medical practice. Lifestyles, the environment, diets and the stress of keeping so many balls in the air are all contributing factors. What is needed are qualified personnel to provide a range of interventions. In this instance even though Living Souls Church might mean well, they are overstepping into territory they have no training or qualifications to handle. I am not aware of any Psalms that can awaken a reluctant penis

Mrs Balingo: Shhhhhh! We are in the house of God!

Mrs Jewere: This is not a church service, we are all being honest with each other. There are so many of these issues we need to address with wisdom and tact instead of pretending to be holier than the Pope.

Mrs Tamuno: I think we should start having sessions with young women in the church to discuss these issues. We can also insist that our husbands have programmes with young men. However, the programmes need to be honest and open and not shrouded in the usual hypocrisy.

Mrs Dabota; Yes oh, the same men preaching abstinence are the same ones running after the young girls in church.

Mrs Nebadi: It is not only the young women who need programs on sex in marriage. What about us? In our marriage counselling sessions, a lot of husbands complain that their wives claim to be too tired for sex, hereby leading them into temptation.

Mrs Betiku: They should stop repeating that nonsense. How many times do we complain about them when they don’t perform? They too should stop eating and drinking too much and chasing after fresh fish all over the place. That is why they get home and can’t ‘catch a flight to Jerusalem’.

(Everyone laughs)

Mrs Nebadi: So, what are our conclusions?

Mrs Benson: From what I have heard, we have agreed the following:

 

  • We dissociate ourselves from the recent position of Living Souls Church. It is not the role of the church to mount sexual surveillance on members.
  • We welcome open, realistic and frank discussions about sex, choice and consent, before and during marriage.
  • We should encourage parents and mentors to play a supportive role devoid of dogma and judgement
  • Whilst we are mindful of the teachings of the church, we need to balance this with ensuring that our children have all the information they need before they make lifelong commitments. This must be done on their own terms without any form of duress.
  • Our marriage counselling sessions should include discussions on sexual compatibility and how important this is in marriage
  • I also heard that we should try and take more flights to Jerusalem and stop making excuses!

 

Mrs Begomi: Mrs Lawal, l wonder if the Pastor you spoke of knows that there are at least 365 ways to get to Jerusalem!

Mrs Nebadi: On that note, I declare the meeting closed!

 

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: The Mothers’ Union Meeting

  1. Dom Dom May 28, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I often wonder how ardent church goers and some deeply religious people never find it very ridiculous and hypocritical when some churches will go as far as decline to join couples just because the bride is pregnant, so many people have aborted just because they want to have a church wedding. The level of hypocrisy and brain washing that’s going on in churches these days are alarming, this article is just a wonderful eye opener. Churches need to do better.

    Reply
  2. Femi Diipo May 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    I often wonder the level of castigation and ridicule the virgin Mary would have gone through if she had been pregnant with Jesus in this age and time, in most churches she would have been dis-fellowshipped. Clearly she wasn’t married to Joseph yet but the society and church at the time accepted Jesus to be Joseph son. Churches have now chosen to know better than the Bible, in most churches you’re not even supposed to know if or how your partner snore when they sleep. Thank you ma’am for this wonderful exposition and the historical context supplied.

    Reply
  3. Olakunle Olajide May 29, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    The thoughts of many put in a piece. I just hope we get our priorities right as a church and preach the right virtues.

    Reply
  4. DSEED May 30, 2018 at 12:20 am

    My opinion is that the church should also know the basis when it come this, not to be too religious about the whole stuff and also stop beating around the bush.

    Reply
  5. Gloria Illoba May 30, 2018 at 3:09 am

    ”We should encourage parents and mentors to play a supportive role devoid of dogma and judgement” . Oh, how I love this statement. A friend of mine got pregnant and was refused marriage in her church, she even got suspended alongside her parents. She did the normal court wedding and gave birth to the child but unfortunately, the child died three months later. My people, you should have seen how they mocked her and told her God was punishing her for having sex before marriage. The church has a lot of pretence to let off, it has a lot of doctrines to revisit. If the couple are sure about getting married, they shouldn’t stopped for being open. Anyway, my friend has three healthy children now and her marriage is blessed.

    Reply
  6. veronica Imaseun May 30, 2018 at 3:12 am

    In as much as I love the writeup, I wouldn’t want us to forget the power and rules inscripted in the scriptures. It is not right for the bed to be defiled. Marriage is honourable in all, but the bed undefiled which means, it must not be tampered with before marriage. They are ways to know how effective a man is without getting on the bed with him. This is the policy the church preaches, what if they have sex and something disrupts the marriage and then, the body count begins? We should be sincere, shade of pretence but even as we do this, we shouldn’t forget that the word of God is important.

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  7. Victor Udoh May 30, 2018 at 3:15 am

    It has always been a double standard scene in Nigeria. We give the rules and then change it because of the circumstance at hand. If churches would really talk about sexual relationships, emotions that goes through a man and woman in love, then, they will be able to curb a lot things. Because she is not pregnant before the wedding doesn’t mean she has not had sex with her man. We should appreciate openness and try to lay off unnecessary doctrines.

    Reply
  8. Lilian Osagie May 30, 2018 at 3:21 am

    Choice and consent before and during marriage is very important. These are pertinent issues we need to teach the young ones. You have the right to choose and you also have to be responsible for your choices. Have your own narrative which is very important. This brought me to the popular blogger that got pregnant and every one is dissing on the internet because she is pregnant after saying she is celibate. It is a choice!!! Choose your narrative and I love the fact that she said, she fell in love and got pregnant. There are lots of seminars to be held for young people about having their narrative and choice to make.

    Reply
  9. Olushola Aderanti May 30, 2018 at 3:25 am

    There are so many issues affecting young people. When I see a lot of them I see ‘Confusion’ written all over them. That’s why some of them resign to drugs and all those harmful things. The church should be bothered about the menace. A lot them are youths in the church but they have no one to cater for them because they know they will judged, trodden upon. There are lots of pending and important issues to be discussed if only are genuine like these women.

    Reply
  10. Adeshina Oye May 30, 2018 at 3:26 am

    Once we are able to tackle the ‘Holier than thou’ mindset in our churches, then, we will have growth, speed and effective change. I hope the discussions of these women will be taken seriously.

    Reply
  11. omilola Adeleke. May 30, 2018 at 3:30 am

    Exactly what we were saying in church some days ago. This article made my day. We raised issues like this during our sunday school, Oh God! Come and see the way people were looking at those of us talking about these issues. In fact, I was called to see the pastor after the service but I refused to go and see him because I know the length and breadth of the discussion already. I am so going to share this and tag them online. This is what we are talking about. Openness and realistic measures against hypocrisy! God bless these women!

    Reply
  12. Eric Onuoha May 31, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Informative and funny I must say. I think people, especially intended couples should be given proper counseling. I also think knowing your status (genotype) is very important before deciding to marry a particular person. I also believe that any sexual position is okay with married people as long as they are okay with it

    Reply
  13. Bisi Alawode June 2, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    This table we are shaking, it has a lot of people on it ooo. But it is good to shake the table and liberate people.

    Reply

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