Fred was known by many as an anointed music minister. His voice was rich and soothing; his accent just right and his appearance always sharp. His pretty baby face also won him lots of female admirers. Although he was married to Diane who served as a Bible study leader, it didn’t deter the women from making their lustful intentions known to Fred whenever they got the chance.
This made Diane very uneasy and she tried on many occasions to draw her husband’s attention to it. She accused him of being too friendly bordering on the lines of flirting with the young single ladies in the church and that was why they unabashedly made passes at him. He countered her saying she was acting out of jealousy and that it was no fault of his that his ministry attracted many people to him. In the end, it was all to the glory of God: people were drawing closer to God through him. He was quick to add that perhaps if she could smile more often in church, people would draw near to her as well. After all, they were commissioned to be ambassadors of Christ not repellents.
She warned him to be careful of those ladies as they would set traps for him and send his ministry downhill. No weapon fashioned against him shall prosper, he replied. The drive to church was almost always quiet, each party fuming. Such fights always sent Fred into a road rage which sometimes made Diane cringe. She’d never forget the day he showed a driver the finger after overtaking him when the driver had joined the road in front of him without his consent. Diane was appalled and embarrassed in equal measure.
At church however, Fred was like an angel. His smile never failed to charm the socks off anyone at all. Even the sanctimonious women leaders who were rarely satisfied with anyone’s efforts couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Minister Fred.
“You are looking good as always, Brother Fred,” Rosie, one of the church ushers complimented.
“Thank you, dear. All thanks to my wonderful wife here. I wouldn’t be here without her,” he said sweetly, wrapping his arm around Diane’s waist. Behind her smile was a million thoughts screaming how hypocritical and deceptive he was.
Church service started and Diane began to pray for God to forgive her of her unclean thoughts and prepare her heart to fellowship with Him. Some ladies strode in with their clicking high heels which distracted Diane for a moment. She peeked first at the heels, slowly journeyed her gaze upwards before turning her head forward and resuming her prayer. She suddenly realized she was blank. What was she praying about? She had to start the prayer chain all over again. Fire burn all distractors!
Fred raised a song in worship and immediately, hands went up in the auditorium. Whiles most eyes were closed deep in worship, some others were wide open, admiring the man owning the voice. His skin was as silky smooth as his voice and he made worship feel like an intimate experience. When his knees hit the carpeted floor, Angela who used to be a monthly visitor now more of a regular attendant, felt her heart melt. What a humble soul.
When Diane saw her husband kneel down in worship, she scoffed and caught herself before anyone near her took notice. Here he was, acting all pious when he was so pesky at home. He threw his belongings anywhere at all, didn’t like to help out at home among other unappealing attributes. The only thing that mattered to him was food and sex. The mask people wear in the name of Christianity…tsk tsk tsk.
“Father, we come before you once again asking for your mercy to find us. Your Word says our righteousness is like filthy rags before you…Lord, we are far from perfect. Only You can make us clean so please cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Let our worship be acceptable in Your sight today. Let it be a fragrant aroma in Your sight. Come and dwell in our worship and praise this morning and let’s leave here refreshed and on fire for You in Jesus name I pray, amen,” Fred prayed.
The congregation clapped as the worship singers left the podium and settled in their seats. Longing eyes followed Fred as he walked to the back of the church and out the door. Angela whispered to her friend next to her that she was going to the bathroom and quickly got up. Diane watched her from the corner of her eye and shook her head. Pathetic.
As the service went on, Diane kept checking to see if the lady was back in her seat. She wasn’t. What could they be possibly be talking about during service? She thought he was some golden boy, right? If only she could stay with him for one week! That admiration would fly right out of the window.
When the head pastor took the microphone and began to speak, Diane decided to forget about Fred and focus on the message to be delivered which was on godly family life. As the pastor painted a scenario using his home, Diane glanced at his wife. Her face wore no expression. Perhaps she was even absent-minded. Diane sighed. She knew that look very well as she had become a pro at it herself. They must be in similar boats.
Fred was a good man and so was her pastor. But in the end, they were both men; exhibiting traces of their Adamic nature from time to time. That didn’t take away the anointing they had as ministers of God; but sometimes it was hard to separate the men from their offices. Whiles members saw them as near-perfect; only God knew the thoughts that ran through their minds as their husbands ministered on the podium. There were several moments she was proud to be Minister Fred’s wife; other times, she had considered handing him over to whoever wanted him without looking back.
She turned when she smelled a familiar cologne. Fred had just sat down. He smiled at her and added a wink. She smiled back and turned her head to look at the pastor.
It was her cross to carry; her other half to live with. With all his flaws and attractions, he was hers before God and man. That was all that mattered.
© Josephine Amoako 2019