THE LAITY’S PERCEPTION OF CLERGY FAMILY
A PAPER PRESENTED AT CLERGY JOINT FELLOWSHIP FOR YEAR 2018 ON 24TH JANUARY, 2018 AT ARCHBISHOP VINING MEMORIAL CHURCH CATHEDRAL
Giving glory to the Lord
He reigns 2ce
He reigns, He reigns, and He reigns,
Giving glory to the Lord,
I give glory to God for the priviledge, He has given me to be here and I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me because he counted be faithful putting me into the ministry. I also appreciate my Bishop, Rt. Revd. Dr. J. Akin Atere, my teacher and friend, my mentor, who got hold of me since 1995 and has never let go of me. Together we shall make heaven in Jesus name.
I want to thank the whole house of Clergy for giving me room to work alongside with them. I pray that your labour in His vineyard shall not be in vain.
The Laity’s perception of the Clergy Family is very subject but I want o assure you that my being here today is an answer to the cry of children of God for some needed change.
Mostly we see a Clergy Family in dysfunction. Something that is abnormal, varying from established standard. A system that is diminished in quality, value or excellence.
A dysfunction is to make worse, less or weaker.
However I must stress that this dysfunction is not peculiar to the clergy Family. As the scripture says in 1 Peter 5:8-9. “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour resist him steadfast in faith knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world”
The difference is only that you are a city built upon the hill that cannot be hidden. Everything you do is subject to scrutiny even your whole family.
Component of a family
The family is made up of three components
- The Father (Clergy)
- The Mother
- The Children
We need to weigh our present levels against God expectations and see how people perceive us.
The Father (Clergy)
1 Timothy 3 vs 4-5 “One who rules his own house well having his children in submission with all reverence for if a man does not know how to rule his own house how will he take care of the church of God.”
How do you rule your own house?
Is it by tyranny or a loving husband who nourishes and cherish his wife?
According to us women, these are the major things that are causing dysfunction.
- Lack of transparency in financial matters
- Lack of understanding
- Absenteeism in child upbringing
- Lack of trust
- Lack of caring
- Autocracy in decision making
- Lack of appreciation
- Lack of satisfaction in the bedroom
- Lack of respect
- Lack of communication
- Lack of love
- Lack of encouragement
Are your children in submission?
The first book of Samuel is full of failed Families of Clergy.
1 Samuel 3:3 “for I have told him that I will judge his house forever. For the iniquity which he knows because his sons made themselves vile and he did not restrain them.”
What was Eli’s response? “It is the Lord; let Him do what seems good to him.”
The second reference is in Chapter 8 verses 1-3
“Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba but his sons did not walk in his ways they turn aside after the dishonest gain, took bribes and perverted justice.”
Most priest children are unruly because they lack Vitamin N. There are some unacceptable behaviour in children that we must guide against right from their infancy.
They must learn to respect God and Man.
They must be given adequate dose of Vitamin N.
Learn to say No to their demands when becoming excessive.
Eph. 6:4 “And you fathers do not provoke your children to wrath but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Any desired character trait that you have not deposited i your child by age 7 is lost forever. Discipline never kills a child.
Children learn more from what they see us do and say.
The Mother “Iya Yard”
“The older women likewise that they may be reverent in behaviour, not slanderer; not given to too much wine, teachers of good things, that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, home makers, good, obedient to their own husbands that the word of God may not be blasphemed”
What make this Titus 2 to be relevant are the character traits reverent, not slanderers, teacher of good things. Do we see all these in their lives. Instead all we perceive is a lot of arrogance and fashion competition.
“Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love is own life as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her Husband.” Eph.5:33
Rather what we perceive is unhealthy competition ever in the home.
IN Acts 18 we were introduced to a couple Aquila and his wife Priscilla who had a joint ministry. By the time you get to Romans 16 verse 3. “Greet Priscilla and Aquila”. It is not common to put Mrs. before Rev. But this shows the Aquila must have given his wife room to grow to such an extent that the wife was acknowledged before him yet they remained a team. Your wife is your help meet, your partner in ministry get a good leverage out of that partnership.
Proverb 31 from verse 10 is not only about the vitreous women; the first thing said is that the heart of her husband trusts her so that he will have no lack of gain. If you also look at verse 28 “He children rise up and call her blessed, her husband also and he praises her.”
Lord, give us a Christian Home.
Evang. Dupe Olayoku JP.
Coordinator, Board of Evangelism
Diocese of Awori