A lot of definitions have been given to the word. I was totally surprised by the various meanings given to the word when I inquired on the internet for a definition. Who would have known that such a simple act could have several definitions! Try it yourself. Google the word ‘adultery’ and see what the results would be. Interesting!
Why have I chosen this topic, of all the laudable and interesting topics on which to write? You should ask me. I choose to speak about adultery because in today’s world, it is a forgotten topic. Nobody talks about it. In the Nigerian society, I daresay there is nothing like adultery. Nobody commits adultery. People just enjoy themselves, whether male or female. Are you enjoying yourself? Are you enjoying life? Do you eat, sleep and play with reckless abandon? Do you have sex with anybody and everybody who is available and willing and attractive enough to meet your tastes?
It is a no holds barred society that we have here. Anything goes. We used to accuse the ‘oyinbos’ of being promiscuous; they have no values, they kiss in public etc.
In today’s Nigeria, especially in Lagos and other major cities, nude bars abound, strip clubs, high class prostitution dens. Nobody bats an eyelid. Nobody talks about them.
I read an article once in the newspapers, written by a like-minded man, asking parents the question – do you know what your daughter living in Abuja is up to? The man went on to reveal the activities of our politicians and rich contractors who throw money around in Abuja and how they ‘capture’ the greed of young, female Youth Corpers who were posted to spend their service year in Abuja. A 25 year old fresh graduate in Abuja, would do anything to grab the attention of one of these men, and before you know it, she has a flashy car and owns her own house in Abuja, all within the spate of one year!
Who are these men? Who are their wives? Do they have daughters? Do they have friends or family members? Is anybody aware of their activities? Do they do this in secret?
This issue of adultery is also present in the church. Not only in the church, but alas, even within the clergy!!! Don’t get the wrong impression, I am a sinner. I am no better than the worst adulterer. It is only by God’s grace that I stand. Without His grace and forgiveness, I am nothing. Within me, I have weaknesses that God considers as sin. For these, I continually ask for His grace and forgiveness. I have been saved by grace, nothing else.
It is not my intention to criticize the clergy, believe me, I know they carry enough burdens already. The mention of adultery among clergy is just to show how endemic the adultery problem is.
But maybe I am focusing on one thing instead of looking at the entirety of our family values and long-forgotten cultural values. Time was, in Nigeria, when you couldn’t publicly display your wealth if it was stolen. Among the Yorubas, especially, people would humiliate you and let you know they didn’t want any part of your stolen money. We had values then. A good name was protected and considered worth more than riches. If you bought a new car, your family had a right to ask where you got the money from. Everyone was everyone’s keeper. Until things changed, and we lost our values. The poverty came unexpectedly and wiped off the middle class. You were either poor or rich. The middle class became poor and the poor became poorer. We queued for rice, milk, sugar, basic essentials. People suffered and swore to find a way out of the pit of poverty. Values flew out the door. People became greedy enough to steal not only for themselves, but for generations yet unborn. The madness for money thrived and finally eroded all our values.
Maybe I am trying to make excuses for the present situation. After all, we are human. Humans tend to sin naturally. It is only the grace of God that delivers us from sin. Adultery is one of the sins prevalent in the country. But it doesn’t walk alone. It is hand in hand with the prevalent corruption, abuse of power, nepotism and all such that have beclouded the country for so long, it’s like polluted air. You can’t take a fresh breath anywhere. It’s all smoky outside and in.
‘O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25a
I believe it is time we started paying attention to what we lost in our society. To find our way forward, we will need to look back and retrace our steps, to find where we missed it and see what can be done to get back on track. Otherwise, we will give in to the darkness that is swallowing the whole world. Like someone says. It is the maturation of evil. In that place, the church then needs to shine as light, so that people can see the way to go. This is the time to arise and shine.
May the Lord have mercy on us!