Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Heb 13:4)
Have you ever tried asking a single sister what kind of man she wants for a husband? A very common answer you get is, “A God fearing man.” By extension, but for fear of the responsibilities of the wife of a man of God, almost all ladies would love to marry a pastor. In some churches, it is even a major prerequisite that a believer be married before he is promoted to the office of a pastor. Due to preference of pastors as husband materials by majority of sisters, some churches went further to forbid a pastor from marrying from his parish. Did they foresee the life drama that took place in one popular church in Nigeria when the pastor lost his wife? Pastor James (not real name) was a very successful pastor living with HIV.
Christians are fond of confirming God’s approval of their marriage partners through dreams.
While still in his late thirties, he lost his wife to the disease unknown to the church members and most eligible single sisters scheming to become his next wife. He was very committed to a fellowship of people living with HIV/AIDS he help to set up when they first discovered that his wife was HIV positive and he by extension was also infected. How the wife contracted HIV was unknown but she contracted it whilst they were still in the world as they got married as unbelievers.
Pastor James was doing a very great work in loving, comforting and restoring hope to those living with HIV/AIDS, especially in his church. Church members who came to him for counseling after contracting the disease were integrated into the fellowship of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) where they can get the love, understanding and care the society today is denying them.
Christians are fond of confirming God’s approval of their marriage partners through dreams. Although, God speaks through dreams, firstly, we need to be mature in the things of the Lord as some dreams could arise from the activities of the mind during the day. If a sister preoccupies her mind fantasizing about marrying her pastor for instance, she will definitely see herself getting married to the pastor in the dream. This was the dilemma of Pastor James, as countless sisters who approached him for counseling ended up sharing with him how they saw themselves getting married to him in one dream or revelation. The man of God knew he had to do something very fast before the entire work of God in his hands goes up in flames.
He was already in a relationship with one of the sisters at the PLWHA fellowship and realized that the only way to put an end to the chaotic situation with dreaming sisters in his church was to declare his status publicly. It was a difficult decision but he would not allow Satan destroy the work of God in his church by keeping quiet. On a day dedicated to talk about HIV/AIDS, the pastor stood before the church and recounted the event that led to the wife’s death. He told them of how they did not know of the wife’s sickness on time; else, they would have managed it. He told them that he believed the death of the wife was for a purpose and encouraged members to go for voluntary HIV screening as prevention is less costly than cure. He informed the church that those infected could still live a normal life with adequate management, care and support from loved ones.
Finally, he announced his marriage engagement to a sister everybody knew in church, and members could swear that the sister lied about her contracting HIV just to marry the pastor. Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS does not show on the face! A popular HIV campaign slogan in Pidgin English is: “AIDS no dey show for face-o!!!”