Thursday, March 29, 2012

Should Family And Relatives Override A Husband’s Decision?

On November 26, 2010, a wife delivered a child: Kupakwashe Kachanga. Rather than bring them joy and respect from the community, the child became an albatross that fetched them obloguy. It happened that the child had all Chinese physiognomy as a result of the wife: Anywhere Ngezy (20 years) cheating on her husband: Bright Kachanga (24) with her Chinese boss: Lung Fanlihong.  The neighbors and family wanted Bright to lapidate the wife, but he instead forgave her and carried their anger. His simple arguments were that he had spent too much on the child to let the child suffer now in no mistake of his. The question is “should and does the family have any moral obligation to reject his forgiveness.” This problem raises serious societal issues, biblical polemics and psychological can of worms. Shouldn’t the husband’s decision be res judicata?
The couple has tried for three years to have a child of their own to no avail. So, when the child came, it was a relief to Bright. The neighbors thought they had stolen the baby because the man was very unconcerned. To the African, it is always a shameful thing when a goat is bleating at strangers while the guard dog sits unconcerned. They felt the husband should be more concerned. The sisters of the husband, the relatives and neighbors believe that the woman should be punished for cheating.
I have seen and heard in some instances where relatives marched into a house to put out a woman because they say she is sterile. Many African movies have cinematographically highlighted the issue, but it seems to gather no momentum. There are things people miss in this saga. The first is that perhaps the man saw the peccadillo of the wife as divine intervention to his impotence. It is probable that he could not impregnate his wife because for three years he had tried and failed, but the Chinese took just one round to make it happen. Thus, the problem was with Bright, so his opprobrium is dismissed.
The second thing is that people deal with trauma differently. For some people to heal faster, they must accept the outcome of the situation. Perhaps Bright knew that by accepting the child, he will heal and forgive the wife faster as the child will become like the Love Child who bridged the gap between two warring tribes.
The third factor to consider is the social implications. Marriage is for grownups and not for babies. Marriage is between the wife and the husband and not between the wife and husband and relatives. That is why when parents drop their wedding children on the altar where they are sacrificed, they must become sweet savor thenceforth. Henceforth, the children are on their own.  On that altar, they are scarificed by their old families for them to resurrect into a new family whereby the man and woman become one flesh. If he forgives his wife, then the society must follow suite because he is the only other covenanter.
Biblically, forgiving the wife is the righteous thing to do. Who would be alive if God was to hold our iniquities against us?  When Jesus forgave the woman caught in flagrant adultery, He tacitly taught that we could forgive adultery and those who offend us. Our present society seems excited to dish out schadenfreude rather than lebensfreude as they rejoice in the constant agony of others. While restitution could be made in certain sins to show remorse and repentance, it is impossible in the case of adultery. It is always very strange how human beings who are very sinful are always the first to reject the idea of forgiveness as was the case with the prodigal son. The son reminded the father not to forgive his brother (Lk 15:21). Another reason why we have two categories of sins: venial and mortal in the Bible (I Jn 5:16) is because some sins like adultery can be forgiven. Finally, Christ requires not only the husband, but the sisters, relatives and neighbors to forgive her seventy times seven times (Mt 18:22).  Doesn’t equity (Prov 1:3) require the man to forgive the wife for the summum bonum of the child?

Until then, when a spouse forgives his/her spouse, the family and relatives must accept it.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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