No Time For Divorce
“What if they are divorced but have not remarried?” Bishop Akron said. This marriage thing is no play thing with God, he thought eager to hear his mentor’s response. Divorcing his wife had been a recurring thought lately.
“Oh, the Bible does have something to say about remaining single after a divorce. It’s found in First Corinthians chapter six where Paul addresses issues concerning marriage. He tells them to remain unmarried or get back together. ‘But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.’ And this goes for the husband as well.”
“What if only one spouse is saved?”
“In that same chapter, Paul says if they wish to remain married then let them stay married.”
“The Bible addresses every aspect of marriage, doesn’t it?” Bishop Akron said. “There’s just no way around it, is there?”
“That is what I like about the Bible; it is thorough.”
“You can say that again. Now, I know God does allow some things. I have heard preachers talk about being in God’s permissive will and being in God’s perfect will,” Bishop Akron said.
“Yes. But I believe all marriages can work if the husband assumes his leadership role and loves his wife as God tells him to and if the wife is submissive to and honors her husband as God tells her to,” Prophet Malcolm said.
“God is very serious about marriage,” Bishop Akron said more to himself.
“Yes, He is and He should be as it is a picture of Christ and His bride—the church. Just as a husband is upset when his wife is disobedient to him, God gets upset when His bride the church is disobedient to His divine commands. The church as a whole has been disobedient in this area and many others, and hence, the coronavirus plague. God is showing us He is upset and He wants us to feel His wrath” Prophet Malcolm said.
“Well, Prophet Malcolm, I do thank you for an enlightening evening. I have a lot to meditate upon this week,” Bishop Akron said.
“Call me any time. As always, it’s a pleasure talking with you and expounding on the Word of God, and always remember, Bishop, we have no time for evil.”
Bishop Akron reclined in his easy chair thinking about the conversation he and his mentor had just had. Some of Prophet Malcolm’s words, even though clearly from the Bible, left him feeling uncomfortable inside. As he turned things over in his mind his wife, Andrea, walked in all dressed up. They had been married for sixteen years, and although the marriage had been a shaky one, at least they were still together.
“Where are you off to now? We just got out of church,” he said to her.
“I must have forgotten to tell you. I’m going over to Sister Julian’s house. She has a Mary Kay party going on. It’s going to be a big one. I need to replenish my make-up kit.”
“I told you not to spring these surprises on me at the last minute. What if I had something planned for the family?”
“I just told you I must have forgotten,” Andrea said slinging her purse strap over her shoulder while walking towards the door.
“What about social distancing?”
“What about it?”
“Don’t act stupid. So as not to risk catching this virus and spreading it around, I told the church we would limit all meetings to just Sunday and Wednesday services at the church with limited attendance at that nothing extra,” Bishop Akron said. “So what the heck are you doing going to a Mary Kay party?”
“Like we’re going to follow these restrictions to a T,” Andrea said, smoothing down her dress. She took a glance at herself in the mirror on the wall by the front door. “It’s only going to be about ten women, so no need to worry.”
“Where’s your mask?” Why don’t you have it on?” Bishop Akron demanded.
“Mask and lipstick don’t go together,” Andrea said, smacking her lips in the mirror.
“Supposed to be the pastor’s wife, yet disobeying on every front,” Bishop Akron muttered.
“I have no time to figure out what you just said. But you can at least wish me a good time – loud enough for me to hear,” Andrea said as she opened the door. “See ya later.”
“All right, have fun,” he said dryly.
A few minutes after Andrea had left the house his phone rang. “Now, why did I think it was you, precious,” Bishop Akron said after answering his phone.
“Are you coming over?” the caller, Cecelia, asked.
Cecelia was a long-standing member of All Star United Church and was a close friend of the Bishop—probably too close a friend. “Well, my dear wife left me all by my lonesome self again with a last minute notice, so I’ll be over there shortly.”
Once at Cecelia’s place, the usual question came up again. “So when are you going to leave her for me? I must be doing something good for you to keep coming over,” she said cuddling up to him on the couch.
“You just be there for me. Keep quiet and you can have me any time you please. I’ve made plenty of time for you. Haven’t I?”
“That’s not enough. I want to be your wife and have you all the time, or . . . ”
“Cecelia, we’ve been through this before,” Bishop Akron said, loosening his tie. “I am not leaving my wife and children. I can’t. How will that make the church ministry look? Plus, I don’t want your pretty little face on the front of some newspaper as the woman who stole the Bishop from his wife, and I definitely don’t want it put on blast on one of those online newspapers that are read all around the world. In this day and time, if a preacher gets his name in the local newspaper, it is picked up through online wires and can be spread around the world overnight. Things have changed, my dear. I know of a local preacher who recently killed himself because he got caught in an affair. The next day, his picture appeared in newspapers around the globe because of the speed of the internet. The church has a reputation in this town and I don’t want it to lose its reputation. You’re better off just being there for me when I need you.”
“Well, I hear you, but I’m tired of waiting behind the curtains. I want the curtains to rise so I can perform.”
“Isn’t performing for me enough?” Bishop Akron teased.
“Well, yes…I guess waiting behind the curtain will have to do for now.” Cecelia was good at hiding her true emotions. Underneath she was seething and plotting for the removal of Mrs. Andrea Akron, with plans to step in once she was forced to exit the stage. Her plans were to hire a hit-man (her cousin, a deacon) to take care of the wife. Just a thought. Just a thought. And a thought that had been coming to her too often.
Bishop Akron set off for home after a few hours of pleasure having pushed to the back of his mind all that Prophet Malcolm had shared with him in their telephone conversation earlier that evening. It was costing him big money to keep Cecelia quiet, but in his mind it was worth it. As he was cruising down the road, his mind went back to the words Prophet Malcolm had shared with him earlier. The Prophet’s last words resounded in his ears: “We have no time for evil.” At least I’m not living in adultery, he thought in an attempt to pacify the guilt that was beginning to creep up on him.
His cell phone rang as he pulled into his driveway. It was Andrea. “I’m on my way back, but I decided to stop at the mall to pick up that new pair of shoes I wanted to go with my new outfit for the upcoming women’s conference. I may do a little shopping while I am there.”
“Another pair of shoes!” Bishop Akron said. “You have enough shoes to open up a shoe store yourself.”
“Well, don’t I get any credit for at least letting you know where I was headed rather than spring another surprise on you?” Andrea said.
“Go on ahead. I guess you’re going to tell me next you’re going to pick up some jewelry to go along with it. A jewelry store is another store you could open up,” Bishop Akron said knowing there was no use in arguing with his wife.
After hanging up the phone, Andrea pulled into the parking lot of the Steak & Ale restaurant to meet Burt Benson an old college classmate who she had recently reconnected with on Facebook.