The General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Venerable (Dr.) Paul Dajur has argued that divorce is not the biblical answer to the menace of domestic violence in marriage.
He made this known in his Palm Sunday sermon at Basilica of Grace, Gudu, Abuja in reaction to the death of popular gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu.
Recall that on Friday, April 8, 2022, news broke that Osinachi, known by many for her hit song ‘Ekwueme’, which resonates in the hearts of many as a soul-stirring song, had passed away.
The nation was thrown into mourning for she was loved by many, but reports quickly emerged from friends of the singer that Osinachi died due to maltreatment at the hands of her husband, sparking anger and debate that divorce should be allowed in Christian marriage, even when earlier reports claimed that she died of throat cancer.
Speaking in the sermon titled: “Who is this?”, Dr. Dajur described the death of Osinachi as saddening, but stressed that God hates divorce, adding that God likewise hates domestic violence and that what should be the bone of contention is how to stop domestic violence.
Charging married people to remove everything that is toxic from their lives, the Anglican cleric stressed the need to take pre-marriage counselling and in-marriage counselling very seriously.
Stressing that the world is getting worse more than ever before and that challenges are now more than before, requiring more understanding from spouses, Dajur also charged married people and those intending to marry to remove lies from their lives.
“The issue of divorce and domestic violence are two related issues that God does not permit. God does not sanction, does not approve of such. God says in His Word that he hates divorce. God also does not approve and does not support domestic violence of any kind.
“Recently, social media is agog with pictures and comments supporting divorce in the place of domestic violence. But the argument is simple. If God hates divorce, and God hates domestic violence, why are we now disobeying God in approving divorce and obeying God in stopping domestic violence?
“So, the issue really is not divorce, not whether to approve it or not, but to deal with the root of the matter. What brings domestic violence? That is what should be the focus, not about disobeying God in approving divorce. When we approve divorce we are disobeying God, and disobeying His Word. So, disobeying God will not help us.
“What can we do to stop domestic violence? We can stop domestic violence by ensuring that before marriage, those to be married are properly counselled and those people must be people who believe in God and believe the Holy Scriptures.
“Because in the Bible, domestic violence, whatever names they are given, are not approved by God. So, if we have established that they are Christians and that they believe in God, then, they can now be married.
“And, when they get married, counselling should not stop. There should be in-marriage counselling or marriage counselling. Those who are married, whatever their number of years in marriage should continue to receive counselling.
“And then people should look at the value of human life. The wife you married, the husband you married, is in the image and likeness of God, and not a punching bag. So, there is no reason why you should fight your husband or fight your wife.
“But, husbands are to love their wives; and wives are to submit to their husbands. Because that is what the Bible says. It says we should submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. The husband should love his wife as Christ loves the Church and died for the Church.
“The wife must submit to her husband just in the same Sarah submitted herself to Abraham her husband and called him lord, my master.
“So, if we do all these, it will help us. I do not think that the issue is disobeying God by saying okay, “let there be divorce”. The issue is, let us correct what brings about domestic violence. Certainly, divorce is not what brings about domestic violence; so it cannot be the solution to domestic violence,” Dajur said.
By Ediri Oyibo