By Francis Ewherido
And it happened that Abram (later Abraham) had to temporarily relocate to Egypt with his wife, Sarai (later Sarah), due to famine in Canaan. Just before they got to Egypt, Abram became worried that the Egyptians could kill him if they knew Sarai was his wife because she was beautiful. And it was not uncommon in Egypt at that time for a man, who desired another man’s beautiful wife, to do a hostile takeover (kill the husband and take the wife).
So Abram lied to the Egyptians that Sarai was not his wife, but his sister (and it was partly true because Sarai was actually his half-sister). But at that time, they were together as husband and wife and this spousal relationship was what counted. As expected, Pharaoh found Sarai very beautiful and she became part of Pharaoh’s harem. But God got angry and visited Pharaoh and his household with plagues. Pharaoh had to let go of Sarai like a hot iron (Gen. 12:10-20).
Sometimes, man does not learn from history, so the mistake of Abram caught up with a young man in Lagos recently. According to the news story, he introduced his girlfriend to his friend as his sister. The friend was living (squatting) with him. Later the girlfriend also came to live with him. In the morning, our man would leave his girlfriend and his friend together at home and go to work. This continued for a while until one day when he got back from work and met an empty house.
Since then, he had been discreetly looking for them until he traced them to Ajah. When he saw them, the girlfriend was already pregnant for his friend. What brought the matter to public knowledge was his insistence that the girl must come to live with him and the ensuing altercation he had with his estranged friend. I have thought about this matter since I read about it. One, like Abram, why did he have to lie that his girlfriend is his sister. In the case of Abram, God intervened, but in his own case, God did not and could not have intervened because God has no place for co-habitation. I have previously shared my thoughts on co-habitation in this column:
Cohabitation is putting the cart before the horse. When a man and a woman meet and decide to have a relationship that can lead to marriage, they date. Dating is a period when you get to know a potential spouse better to enable you make up your mind whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with him/her. Marriage is a turning point, either for good or for bad, in many people’s lives. Therefore, the decision to get married to someone is not something you trifle with. You need prayers, you need fasting; you need to be very close to God to get the divine guidance of the author of marriage. Co-habitation inhibits your prayer life and Godly living.
When both parties are satisfied that they are meant for each other, the man formally proposes to the woman. Thereafter, he makes arrangements to meet with the girl’s family to make his intention known. And the process culminating in marriage continues from there. After marriage, they can now begin to live together. Women, if any man wants to live with you, let him first of all go to your family and perform the necessary marriage rites. That is class. Do not sell yourself cheap. Also, give your father that honour and your mother, the joy. You disrespect your parents and family by engaging in cohabitation.
As I said earlier, our man was insisting that the girl should come with him. Come with him while carrying another man’s baby? What is the basis for that insistence? In Africa, the only basis to lay claim to a woman is if you have done introduction (limited claim), traditional marriage, civil marriage or church marriage. You do not lay claim to a girl if you have not done any of these. So, the insistence of our man is baseless.
The next issue is the shocking naivety of our man. Even if he lied to his friend, deep down, he knew that the girl was his girlfriend, not sister. Why leave her and his friend alone day in, day out, week in, week out and over time before they eloped. I have said it a few times. Man and woman are magnet and iron. Bring them too close and they cling together. So when you leave your girlfriend and friend all alone at home, what can go wrong may go wrong and it certainly went wrong.
Some men have no dick control. An Urhobo proverb says that “Odie kokekoke osho vwo rharen yovworu’evu r’ohoro. Evo or’ephe. Oriwovwo karophiyo n’omana je nabogba je ro” (not every erection is meant for sex. Some erections are meant to remind you to go and empty your bladder, while others remind you that you are still virile). For some men, every erection seems to be meant for sex. That is partly why rape and incest are rampant
But I cannot say that the friend in the eye of the storm is weak. Very few men, other than angels, would spend so much private time with a woman, not related to them, and not cave in. Perhaps, when the feelings started running high, like Joseph did with Potiphar’s wife, he should have fled Gen. 39:12). But apparently, he did not. I congratulate him for keeping the pregnancy. Some people in his shoes would have aborted the pregnancy to deceive the friend and maintain the good relationship, while straining their relationship with God.
Divine relationship takes precedence over earthly relationships, but our human failings sometimes make us to do the contrary. I also commend him for his refusal to let go of the girl. She is carrying his baby, so she goes nowhere. If after delivery, the girl is still interested in going back to his former boyfriend, she should drop the baby for the father and go. But knowing women, the girl will not leave her baby, not immediately.
But he (squatter) betrayed his friend. Someone trusted you and let you into his home when you were stranded. And the only way to repay him for his magnanimity was to impregnate his girlfriend. Whether the girl is his sister or girlfriend, he should have refrained. He cannot use the excuse that he thought she was his friend’s sister as a basis to justify this betrayal. It is just not right. Sister, daughter, wife or girlfriend, stay away from women associated with your host.
Finally, for our man, I will advise him to move on and get himself another girl (wife). He should just learn the valuable lessons that come with this painful experience. But if he insists on having his girlfriend back, he should wait until she has had the baby. But will the feeling of coming back together be mutual?