FETTERS OF BRONZE
Treasure looked out the window. Rain drops ran down the window pane as fast as the tears ran down her face. Her black eye smarted painfully and a little drop of clotted blood hung on her broken lip.
But more than that was the pain in Treasure’s heart. Her emotions were troubled beyond measure. Her thoughts were troubled by her emotions and her anxious thoughts drew her heart farther from her God.
I want to tell you the story of a wounded spirit and a troubled heart. I want to let you see how much you need God.
So I’ll start from the beginning to tell you my story. I write in love to clear many confusions; I’ll write to show the light and clear many doubts. I’ll write about the mistakes Treasure made in regard to marriage.
There were eleven young women in the Church Treasure went to and in two years, six of them had gotten married. Treasure was among the five that remained and she was the eldest among them. So carnally speaking, she was to be the next in line for marriage.
Well, there were a good number of carnal folks in Treasure’s Church and they did their work in mounting pressure on her to get married.
Now Treasure was a normal Christian girl who loved the Lord. She read her Bible everyday and she prayed. But she was not so matured in the Lord. She said, “Well, if older Christians are pushing me to get married, they must be right. I must get married very soon!”
So, Treasure made up her mind, under much pressure from fellow Church members, to go into marriage.
* * *
Just when the pressure on Treasure was getting too much, along came Brother Nick. He was tall and handsome and always wore nice clothes. He was the only one in the Church, apart from the Pastor, who owned a car – and his was better than the Pastor’s.
Well, it goes without saying that he caught the attention of the four unmarried ladies – that is, exempting Treasure. But Brother Nick looked away from the four other virgins and cast his eyes on the fifth.
Word went through out the Church that the new rich brother had a kind of funny feeling for the eldest damsel in the Church. And before anyone could say, “Brother Nick!” the carnal brethren were around sister Treasure like insects around a light bulb; pushing her and teasing her with cunning words of human wisdom. Imploring her to start getting closer to the tall brother who had a car so he could marry her and save her from shame.
Well, Treasure was a good Christian alright, but she was not very much committed to Christ. She only read her Bible and practiced what she read. She was not trained in regard to seeking God’s perfect will from the Holy Spirit.
So when Brother Nick eventually asked for her hand in marriage, for the first time in her life, she wanted God’s perfect will. She knew she was free to marry any Christian brother of her choice, but Romans 12:2 informed her of the three levels of God’s will which are: the good (which is to marry any Christian brother); the acceptable (which is to marry any Christian brother, but with the right motive); the perfect will of God (which is to marry a Christian brother that the Lord Himself specially instructs you to marry).
Well, Treasure prayed, but she was not patient. She wanted an answer from God as fast as lightening. When God, Who does things His way, did not answer the way she wanted, she left His counsel and sought carnal means of ‘knowing God’s will’.
One ‘counsellor’ told her to make a ‘shopping list’ of what she wanted to see in the man she hoped to marry. Treasure made a list and found out she was only describing Brother Nick by the things she listed. He had everything she naturally wanted in a man.
Treasure was then convinced that he was the man for her. But something happened that ‘convinced’ her beyond all reasonable doubts that Brother Nick was her husband to be.
One day, Treasure spent the whole day day-dreaming of Brother Nick. She soaked her mind in thoughts about Brother Nick and when night came, she inevitably dreamt of Nick. Her thoughts made her dream of Nick. She had two dreams.
The first dream was this: she sat by a well, thirsty. Brother Nick came in a black suit and fetched water from the well for her. As she drank, her clothes changed to a white wedding gown and a ring appeared on her finger. Then all of a sudden, children started jumping out of the well and falling in their arms.
She woke up and said, “God, thank you for showing me my husband.” Then slept again and dreamt another dream.
This time, she was under a heavy rain. Then Brother Nick came and opened a large umbrella over her. As he did so, both of them appeared in front of a Church dressed in wedding clothes.
Well, her human mind had deceived her enough. She woke up by 6:23 am after the second dream and without thinking, sent this text to Brother Nick.
“God has showed me that you are my husband to be. He showed me that we will be blessed with many children. I agree to marry you. Love, your Treasure.”
Brother Nick was a mere religious folk who knew some things in the Bible. He was good and hardworking when he came to Treasure’s Church but in his heart, he was a child of the devil.
He lived in the flesh; for he always consulted his human thoughts and feelings before he acted. He was one of those the devil had taken captive to do his will – a spot in love feasts.
Oh, poor and unfortunate Treasure – had she known. After that night where Treasure was deceived by the dreams her human thoughts made up, they dated almost every day before they wedded. They would date in the restaurants and out in the park; they would date in respective houses and out in the fields; but none bothered to pray anymore.
One day, Nick Devil (for the devil was his father) told Treasure Deceived (for she was misled by her human thoughts) what he really wanted from her. He told her in a cunning way. He said he was afraid that they’d never have children. He said the only way he could be sure they’d have kids when they married was for her to get pregnant for him before their wedding.
Treasure was shocked and she angrily walked out on him. But when she stayed two weeks without a call from Nick and two weeks without chocolate and potato chips and flowers; when for two weeks her colleagues at work taunted her for refusing to sleep with Nick, she called him and told him she was willing to sin against God.
So they sinned together. (Well, for Nick, that was usual; but that sinful act cut Treasure off from her God and her virginity).
Things worked as planned and she got pregnant. But when she told Brother Nick Devil, he denied responsibility and said she’d been sleeping around.
Treasure begged him to marry her, just to save her from shame and he bluntly refused. But when she threatened to kill him and herself, he started making wedding plans.
* * *
Their bed was defiled and that made their marriage dishonourable. Their wedding invitation card read, “Holy Wedlock” but it was actually, “Unholy Wed-and-be-locked”.
Their marriage was built on iniquity, deception and infatuation and not on God. They had the best honeymoon anyone could wish for. But after the honeymoon, the day did not come. The honey left and the moon remained; filling their marriage with the darkness of the night.
Treasure had married the devil’s son, so she had the devil for a father in law. Having married, the unfortunate Treasure went to live with her new husband and his father – the devil.
Treasure found out that children don’t come jumping out of wells as she dreamed it to be. After four years of marriage, she had no children. The first pregnancy? Well, she had a forced miscarriage after Brother Nick almost beat the breath out of her – and that was just a week after their honeymoon!
Nick made Treasure’s life miserable. He deliberately made sure everything he said to her was harsh or rash where applicable. He gave her just enough money for food and nothing more. At a time, he started buying foodstuff himself so she wouldn’t try to save some money for herself.
He lost interest in her and made her sleep in the living room every day. He even considered making her sleep in the kitchen sometimes!
A time came when Nick lost his job because of a fraud he was involved in at the office. His boss, willing to save him from prison, made him pay two times what he stole and then fired him. Having paid twice the amount he stole, Nick had almost nothing left in his bank account.
It was during this time period that Treasure turned back to God. This is what happened to her:
She had concluded in her heart to divorce him (this was when he was still at the office). But when he got fired and lost his savings, she knew that divorcing him would be unprofitable for her. (She wanted to get away from the pain he caused her, but her greed wanted his money).
The pain soon overwhelmed her greed. So as a last resort, she went to seek counsel from a truly Godly woman. She recounted her wasted years with tears. Well, thank God the woman was truly Godly and through her, Treasure was born again, again.
Being born again (again), Treasure asked the woman if she could go ahead with the divorce. To which the woman responded, “No. You can’t divorce your life partner. God only permits divorce on the grounds of sexual unfaithfulness by your life partner.”
Treasure was wise; she knew how much she had turned away from God and how much she needed His help in her daily living. So after she got saved, she went to this Godly woman’s house as often as her home-stuck husband allowed her – even as often as her home responsibilities gave her chance. She went to be discipled in the way of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Godly woman taught Treasure many things. First, Treasure had to learn to daily commune with God through the Holy Spirit and by His Word. In practicing this, Treasure found out that she could seek counsel from God on every matter by presenting it to Him in her heart. Then He’ll give her a Scripture in her heart or a witness of peace or a sense of restraint. This way, she learnt how to apply God’s Word per time (as occasion deserved) – she started learning to walk in God’s perfect will.
When Nick would come home drunk (for in those days, he was given to drinking wine), and shower insults on his wife’s head; when she’ll get emotional and want to rain insults on him, the precious Holy Spirit would restrain her heart and say something like, “Daughter, Ephesians Chapter four verses twenty nine says: ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.’”
She may try to struggle with the Holy Spirit and then He would say something like, “Ephesians chapter four verses thirty says: ‘And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’”
Then she’ll repent and ask for mercy from God. Then the Lord would lead her to speak kindly to her husband (much to his amazement).
* * *
Treasure learnt from God’s Word that one of the qualities of a virtuous woman was that she works diligently to provide for her family. This is what she read in the Bible about the nature and character and of a virtuous woman – and she practiced it:
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
So, in a short time, Treasure diligently grew into a virtuous woman. But the more virtuous she became, the less responsible Nick Devil became.
At first, he would steal money from her to drink alcohol. But when he noticed her humility, he started taking advantage of her.
He’d ask for some money and got out to drink. Then he’ll come back half-drunk and stammer, “T..Treasure, I d..demand foor all the mo..ney you made to..to..today. All of it! You know youuur Bible says you mu..must be su..submissive. So bring allll the money, or I will t..tell your Pastor!”
So increased Treasure’s trials; but as her trials increased, God’s grace increased even more!!
Things went out of hands and legs when one night, Nick came home with a prostitute. They were both drunk.
As the two, daughter and son, of the devil entered the house, Treasure could hardly contain herself. Her emotions rose to boiling point but the Lord helped her not to vaporise. She stayed as calm as a roller-coaster that night – moving up and down violently and roughly but not going off track. That is, she could not perfectly control her emotions not to feel angry or disappointed, (so she kept moving up and down the house all night) but she did nothing that went against God’s Word.
The next day, she was at the house of her discipler, where she poured out her heart and soul and tears. Treasure said, “He is unfaithful to me sexually. Can I divorce him now?”
The woman, as plainly and calmly as ever, said, “Yes you can.”
Treasure sighed but the woman had not finished.
“Dear,” the woman continued, “which of these two do you think will bring more glory to God? One, you divorce your husband and continue your walk with God alone. Two, you bear the pain for a time and through your chaste and reverent life, win your husband over to Jesus according to First Peter Chapter three verse one and two?”
That was all Treasure needed to hear. She struggled for some time, but she eventually submitted to God and determined to suffer reproach in order for Christ to be glorified in her marriage.
* * *
There was a day when Nick had spent all the money in the house and needed some money to waste his life on alcoholic wine and strange women.
So he said to his wife, “I know my former boss; he likes women just like I do. I’ll secretly arrange for you both to meet. Then you’ll give him what he wants and he’ll give you lots of money to bring home for us!”
Treasure was shocked beyond measure at the insane idea of her husband. But with all respect and humility, she said, “My lord, I love you and I can go extra miles to suffer pain just to see you well and happy. But what you have asked for is a sin against God and I cannot do it.”
Her lord was wroth. “But doesn’t your Bible teach you to be totally submissive to your husband?” He barked.
“Yes my dear,” Treasure said, “I must submit to you as unto the Lord Jesus Christ. But I have a Higher authority over me and I can’t go against His authority to please you. I’ll obey you only as long as what you ask for is within the bounds of righteousness. I remain submissive to your authority my lord; but on this matter, I cannot obey you because it is sin against God.”
Now Nick did not beat her up; he decided to torture her emotionally (knowing that she was very emotional). That night, he borrowed money from another child of the devil and brought home two prostitutes. When he arrived, he announced to Treasure that the ladies would stay in the house from then on.
When the three went into Nick’s matrimonial room, treasure took her Bible and went into the kitchen. She was so troubled in her heart. At first, she prayed, but when her heart overwhelmed her, (in order not to sin), she locked the door and threw out the key from under the door. Then she knelt down, opened her Bible to Exodus 14:14 and began praying and continuously reading that verse. In a few minutes, the Bible was almost completely drenched in her tears and all she could do was cry out her heart to God.
Nick came later just to see how much his wife was suffering. He checked in the living room and found her not and as he walked down the corridor, he saw the keys to the kitchen on the floor and he heard low but very deep groaning coming from within the kitchen. He picked the keys and opened the door and found Treasure hunched over her Bible, groaning as though she was weeping for a lost child.
Nick was surprised. He did not understand. So he called, “Treasure?” She was startled because in her agony, she did not notice him open the door and come in.
Nick asked why she locked the door and threw out the key. After wiping away as much of her tears as she could, she told him that she did that to keep herself from sinning against God by doing anything that would dishonour him (Nick). She told him that she was deeply hurt and had she not locked herself away, her emotions may have driven her to come and say things that would displease God. (Such was the wisdom that God gave her in the time when her chief weakness was greatly tested).
When Nick heard this, he fell down to his knees, totally broken. He was convicted by the Lord because he saw how far his wife had gone just to please God and honour him – her irresponsible husband. He drew near to her and begged for her forgiveness. Then he asked her to help him get saved. As they prayed, Nick joined to drench the remaining part of the Bible with his tears. So was Nick saved.
When one of the evil ladies called Nick from the bedroom, he went and took the two home-destroyers by their arms and practically pulled them out of his house, locking the door behind them. When they cried for their belongings, he opened the window and threw their purses and shoes to them – never again would he open his door to parasites that destroy families.
Well, just like Job, their latter end was greater than their beginning. Jesus kicked out the devil and became the Lord of that home. The home was established in His love and power and the couple lived and worked together for this sole purpose – to glorify God together (for this is the essential purpose of marriage – Rev. 4:11; Gen. 2:24).
Treasure and Nick did very well, but they did not beat Job’s record of ten children; they had five. And all their children, being trained in godliness from conception and being covered with much fervent prayers from their parents, grew to be mighty men of prayer who ministered God’s Word in their speech and actions (Acts 6:4).
So, Treasure Meek and Nick Jesus came to glorify God in their generation through their marriage. And their marriage, just like that of Priscilla and Aquila, was a standard that many looked up to and was a ministry that raised many an Apollos. Amen.
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