Over the years I have had the privilege of teaching and discipling several young men, along with the friends they occasionally bring along. Our class time is used studying the Scripture, talking about questions their Muslim friends have asked or cultural issues. Each of these young men are single – except Assane, who got married a few months ago.
So often when I have single students they talk about how they suffer. How their life is so difficult because they don’t have anyone to gather firewood, haul their water, wash their clothes, and cook as those are the tasks of a wife. Women here work very hard. Their lives are hard and I always talk with my students about treating their wives better by helping them with their tasks (hauling water, gathering firewood, washing clothes and cooking). I explain that when their wives feel they are respected and being helped they will be happier and their marriage will be happier. The response is always, “But our neighbors will make fun of us and ask us why we are wearing a dress….”
Several weeks ago, at the end of a class with Assane he looked at me and said, “Brother, I have a problem. I need your prayers.” He explained how his neighbor was coming to his house at night when he, Assane, would leave for his job as a night guard. The neighbor was trying to get Assane’s wife sleep with him. Assane’s wife told him about it and Assane went to the guy and “talked” to him.
He asked me if he was wrong to confront the guy. I said, “No, but did you use scripture? Did you talk to him about God?” He responded, “No.” I suggested he talk to him again explaining how he and his wife were following Christ and living differently than is common here.
Several weeks went by and I asked how the situation was. He said, “My neighbor came by and talked with me. He apologized and said he didn’t really believe I was married to my wife. He thought we were brother and sister.” Assane explained the confusion arose because the neighbor would see Assane cooking, helping to wash clothes and haul water. Obviously they could not be married because no husband does the wife’s work.
Assane’s next question was, “Brother, do you think I am wrong for helping my wife out?” I said, “NO!!!! Keep helping her. She is happy because you help out and that means your marriage will be happier.” I also explained that I cook and a help with laundry etc….
I am glad the problem is resolved and the confusion cleared up. I pray Assane and his wife will have a good marriage built on Christ. I pray he will treat her well and help her to bless her. I pray he can be a witness to his neighbor.