Kandeyalhassan.com 12th June ,2020.
At some point shortly before I entered the seminary, I avoided having any physical contact with ladies. I thought I was so holy by doing that. My definition of a holy man then was hinged on the man’s ability not to have much to do with women, one who avoids physical contacts with women, even handshakes.
This was because,While growing up, there were pictures painted to us about women. Women were often portrayed as tempters, as people often used by the devil. They gave us the impression that women can destroy the destiny of any man and bring the person down no matter how strong he is.
I still remembered those days, preachers, catechism teachers and motivational preachers will tell us that for a man to be successful he needs to be careful with women, if possible keep them far away. Fortunately for them and unfortunately for us, there were lots of biblical passages they were able to pick to justify their teachings. For example:
According to them, in Genesis 3, Adam fell because of the woman. In 2 Samuel 11, the reason why David fell, despite the fact that he was able to kill the giant called Goliath and was regarded as having a special place in God’s heart, was simply because of a woman, a naked woman. Even Solomon in all his wisdom was made foolish by women. Samson in all his muscles and powers became nothing because of a “muscle-less powerless” woman called Delilah.
So while growing up, we had this neighbour popularly called Apama, a six ft tall and huge man that sold goat meat. His motto was “Fear woman”. He wrote it boldly beside his bike’s plate number. Whenever he walked the street, people hail him with those words: “Fear woman!” and he will raise his hand high in acknowledgement.
The words “fear woman” kept ringing in my head. As a kid, it made a lot of influence on me. I watched how in school, boys that don’t usually talk with girls were regarded as holy boys. Those that always chat with women were called “woman-wrapper” to show that they are far from holiness. Then I took this to the seminary as what holiness should be.
And so, in my first year in the seminary, every Sunday we usually have outsiders, male and females and especially females, who come to our chapel for mass and prayers. Immediately after mass, fiam. . . with the speed of light, Kelvin is already in his room. I was simply avoiding contact with any female. In fact, I do not want to see them.
To my shock, one Sunday after mass, myself and some of my classmates as usual have already dashed into our rooms. The director of formation then, Fr Moses Amune, came into our hostels to chase us out so we can go and interact with the people including women. Sincerely speaking, I was greatly scandalized.
“How can he ask us to go and chat with women?” I asked myself. “This is supposed to be a seminary, a holy place.” I added. I concluded that he wants to test us and then expel us. I reluctantly went and as I chatted, I did it with so much caution. After many years I came to understand and appreciate the wisdom of what he was trying to do to us:
Holiness is about being balanced and being disciplined. Holiness is more of self control.You cannot be a priest if all you see about women are tempters, sex objects, etc. And this is the point, being a virgin because you are running away from girls is not the same as being a virgin despite having many opportunities in secret and said no.
Why should we blame Uriah’s wife for David’s inability to control himself? Why bring a woman for stoning because she was caught in adultery but found nothing wrong with the fact that the man she did it with was not brought along side?
Why should we blame women’s dressing when they are raped by men? And just like in Pastor Adeboye’s tweet, why must we sack a lady in our offices because men can’t control themselves? Will it not be wiser to sack the men for not having self control?
Over the years, women have been objectified as though they are made for men’s use. It is also interesting to note how women have even accepted this objectification. You will get to understand this by just looking at some of the videos they make of themselves in their status and updates and even the dance trending for almost all of them in which they called tweaking.
As a woman, you are not an object to be used by the man. As a man, if you don’t have self control, don’t blame it on the woman even if she is naked before you. The bible said, if your right eye should cause you to sin, pluck it out. It did not say if anything should cause your eye to sin, pluck that thing out instead of your eye. In other words, the bible is simply saying: work on yourself.