LOVING ROSEMARY  (SHORT STORY)

Peter was finding it hard to believe that the scene before him was actually happening. He had been invited to the bishop’s office for a meeting by 2 p.m. He came prepared and praying in tongues,* thinking it was a meeting of the board of ministers of which he was the secretary. Seen as the favourite “son” of the bishop, he liked to be in the spirit* at all times as he might be called upon to share a word of exhortation (short sermon) or contribute to the important discussions at such meetings and to enable him discharge his pastoral responsibilities 24/7.

However, the meeting turned out to be a private affair between himself, the bishop and his fiancée (Rosemary), apparently summoned on her insistence. Shortly after the bishop welcomed them and gave them room to speak, she announced that she was calling off their engagement! He could not believe her temerity, to speak so boldly in front of the bishop! Millennials! No wonder he often felt like he belonged to an older generation. A girl that was barely twenty was looking the man of God in the eye without blinking, and talking what she didn’t know. He wanted to hush her but the bishop was listening intently, so he had to do the same.

She repeated her announcement as if for emphasis and went on to give her reasons for what was, in his view, a rash and ill-conceived decision. She declared that Pastor Peter was not mentally prepared for marriage, to which he exclaimed, “Lord, have mercy!” She complained that in their two years of courtship, she had not felt any tenderness or love from him.

She reminded the bishop that she was a pastor’s daughter and had never had a boyfriend in her life. She had been hoping that marriage would give her the chance to experience a man’s love in its fullness but there was no indication that Pastor Peter was inclined to love any woman. He was all about prayer, preaching, casting out demons and the like. She concluded that rather than envy other women or compromise her marital vows in search of happiness outside her home, she was nipping the disaster in the bud by ending the “charade”.

Peter felt he could understand the bishop’s desire to hear the misguided girl out. It was the patience of a father in dealing with even the most recalcitrant child. Surely, he had heard enough and would send her to some deaconesses or pastors’ wives to straighten her out. But the bishop wasn’t just playing according to his “son’s” script that day. He called for tea and made chit-chat with them as they sipped the beverage. Then he asked Rosemary to elaborate what she meant by not feeling tenderness or love from Peter.

As if on cue, the bishop’s wife came in. The bishop stood up to hug her. He complimented her on her new hairdo and she giggled like a child. Then he excused himself from the meeting and they huddled at the far end of the room. Rosemary was watching them wistfully. Peter followed her gaze for some seconds before “realizing” he was “wasting valuable time”. This was his chance to put an end to this “nonsense” and prevent this silly girl from further wasting the man of God’s time. Their marriage was widely confirmed to be the will of God, so no “demonic brain wave attack” on his fiancée would scuttle it.

He reached out and placed his right hand on her head and began to pray in the spirit.* She pushed his hand away.

“Instead of you taking notes from real men,” she said, pointing in the direction of the bishop who was holding his wife’s hands at the time, “you’re busy hiding under the cover of prayer.”

“When have we ever had a conversation like that? When have you ever visited me – at work, at our house or my church?” she asked.

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“I am next to the bishop, you know? We are running a big ministry here. Besides, what stops you from visiting me? You clearly have more time on your hands.”

“I tried that, remember?” she replied with a snort.

“Help me out here,” he said, after thinking for a while, his expression vacant.

“Since you’ve shown no interest in knowing my birthday, I thought we might, at least, spend time together on yours. Last year, you were preaching at a crusade abroad, but this year, I cooked something special and came to your office. Even though I’d begged you to make time for us ….”

“If I recall correctly, you abandoned me in the office that day ….”

“After two hours! I’d scarcely sat down when you said, ‘Let us pray’. I thought you would just thank God briefly but you prayed up a storm and when it became clear I wasn’t going to have quality time with you, I decided to go. And you were so lost in the spirit, you didn’t even notice when I left.”

“Point of correction: there can be no better quality time than time spent with God. You of all people should know that!”

“The Bible says that a married man is concerned with how to make his wife happy but since you want to be like Apostle Paul, I’m releasing you to do as you wish.”

“I don’t have Paul’s calling. You’ll be my wife, so help me, God, Mother-in-Israel!”

“If you call me that again, I will scream so loud ….”

“Please don’t, my dear,” the bishop cut in with a smile. They had been engrossed in their discussion and hadn’t heard him approaching. His wife had apparently left.

After taking his seat, he began, “Before the break, you were about to tell me why you feel your fiancé doesn’t love you,” looking at Rosemary. “I suggest that you tell it all to Peter.”

“Not here,” he added, as she made to speak.

“And you, Peter, take the rest of the day off. I hear there’s a new eatery in town, one of those fancy places. Get a booth, so you can talk without disturbance.”

He added, “I will pay.” This in response to the alarm on Peter’s face.

“Go with your diary so you can take notes.”

“We don’t want him saying he forgot your demands, ever!” He directed this to Rosemary with a sparkle in his eyes. Rosemary frowned, wondering, “Is he making fun of me?” But the bishop’s next words made her heart leap with joy.

“I have a project for you, Peter. It is called Loving Rosemary. When was the last time you took a leave?”

Peter was trebly alarmed this time. Was the bishop suddenly getting senile, he asked himself. These are the last days! The devil is working overtime and so must the soldiers of the cross! What then is this talk of leave all about?

“I approve an accumulated leave of three months for you. I will reassign your duties. Get to know your future wife. Find out her likes and dislikes. Learn how you can please her, in line with biblical standards, of course. You can volunteer at the charity where she works so you can spend much time together. And worship at her church on Sundays if you wish. Believe me, this is for your own good. If you walk into a bad marriage, your ministry* will probably sink. Your personal relationship with God will likely suffer also. You’ll certainly be carrying more baggage than necessary, not an advantage for someone who wants to go far in life.

“I’m sure you haven’t seen your family in years. Take Rosemary to visit them. Acquaint yourself with your future in-laws too. If the Lord tarries,* when you resume work, we’ll hold another meeting like this one and, I believe God, it shall be smiles all round so we can schedule your wedding.”
-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016
+++++++
*Praying in tongues or praying with (or in) the spirit refers to praying in languages that one has not learnt as led by the Holy Spirit. This is the opposite of praying with one’s understanding.

*Being in the spirit means being connected to God. It can also refer to being spiritually sensitive.

A Christian’s ministry is the work he or she does for God.

*”If the Lord tarries” is Christians’ way of saying “If Jesus does not yet return”.

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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152 thoughts on “LOVING ROSEMARY (SHORT STORY)

  1. waoh dis beauitful,smetym we claim to b busy nd forget d precious gift of luv God has given us.tnks to d bishop who understand d place of family in minstry buildin.i luvs dis story.more grace ma

    • I’m afraid this is the end, Chacha. I believe going from how the story was concluded, they got married and lived happily ever after. #purring #feelingsatisfied

  2. The bishop is not only a man of God in the work, but has shown attitude like that of a grand father. I don’t need to think whether I like this story, but I love it…keep it up ma

    • Thank you, Hyginus, and thank God for overseers who are accessible and balanced enough to handle issues like this. His wise counsel made all the difference.

    • Good question. Our walk with God is not all about ministry. Being involved in the lives of people close to us also matters so that we don’t shine outside and have continual crisis at home.

  3. nothing is valuable than getting acquainted with ur life partner in accordance to the will of God

  4. Funny. This is really funny, yet quite didactic. This is one of the reasons some Christian homes have lost their vibes. Spirituality is everything, but even apostle Paul tells us that balance is needed in affairs of life. I am sharing this to my spiritual male friends…lol. Thanks Aunty Edith.

  5. i had a smile on my face till the end of the story. its actually scary to see people taking spiritually a little too far. i guess jesus told us to pray “let your kingdom come”. we can love GOD and people around us; especially our immediate family.
    beautiful storyline. i respect your writing ma.

    • The relationship between the bishop and his wife proved that what Rosemary was asking for was not unreasonable.

  6. This story is not only breathtaking but timely and insightful. It addresses the problem which several firebranded men and women of God who display a holier-than-thou face. One cannot profess love without giving attention. Jesus Christ on earth was a very balanced person: He was both spiritual and social. Matter-of-factly, He performed His first miracle in a wedding ceremony.

    Spirituality can never replace love or attention. Not until many Christians come to terms with this fact would they experience that long sought-after joy in their marriage. Thumbs up, Aunty!

  7. According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages in human knowledge. These five love languages refer to the five different ways human beings receive love. By receiving love, I mean feeling loved. It is possible for someone to do everything in his care to please a lady, but ends up doing the opposite. This is simply because he is not singing the song she understands. These five languages are words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, physical touch, acts of service. No matter how a man tries to please a lady, if he doesn’t speak her love language, he’d just be castling in the air.
    This was one of the problems Pst Peter had with his fiancee which so many others are still experiencing. Nice piece ma.

  8. Unarguably a great piece of fiction. The write-up is greatly expository and has a great message for the soul.

    To say the truth, it is often said that men, though strong, would give you (as a lady) the world, but when it comes to what matters most (love), like babies they fail to show knowledge on such a delicate matter.

    The story brings to light that such statement seems more factual than fallacious.

    Again is the fact that religion has eaten deep into the lives of many Africans that they fail to understand some common trends in life which should be followed without attaching religion to them.

    In his bid to be religious, Peter neglected the fact that love is nurtured. Like a plant, it is sowed, watered,groomed, and watched to grow and yield fruit.

    This almost lost him the greatest jewel he has ever found:Rosemary.

    I love the role of the bishop as a father figure…

    Absolutely great story Ma.
    Nice.

  9. hurray bishop for good decisions, and to you the writer of this story. its a nice one so still thank u ma

  10. HUH! SPIRITUALITY EH! THIS IS REALLY AN EPIC. Loving with an outright and sincere mind but never/not showing it, is an epidermic issue found in the church as portrayed here. It is really expedient that we give to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God (Matthew 22:21). Being the ‘holier than thou’ type is satiate in most of our contemporary churches as we all await the SECOND COMING. Hmm! Even Heaven will query any man/woman in this category. My prayer is that this story heals minds such as mine (Although not in this kind of situation/category shaa)… kiki

  11. Food for thought honestly. I believe love should reign supreme in any relationship or marriage, after all, the scriptures made us understand that “LOVE” is the greatest gift and should be applicable in every sphere of our doings.

  12. there is no sprituality in love….there is no need speaking in tongues when u r suppose to say i luv you…this is a very good reminder to spiritual brothers who iron their trousers in spirit, eat in de spirit, do everything in spirit forgetting dat we r still in de world…thanks to the bishop who is not just a powerful man of God but a loving husband…his position is to reminder ur dat their suppose to be a balance in de spiritual n normal life

  13. its good to settle issues before going into marriage in order to avoid problems later….welldone ma…

  14. Some people who claim to be pastors and ministers work to the detriment of their marriages.Our marriages and families should not be neglected in the name of service.It should be our number one priority. Nice write up.

  15. a woman deserves a man who has time at least to be with her, even if he is in the ministry. marriage is a ministry too. well done,ma.

  16. jst to know, all issues should be resolved before goin into marriage in other to avoid problems later…. tnks alot ma.

  17. this is really a nice one ma, some men of God need to learn that over spirituality is not the only quality needed to make a happy home. women are like babies that needs petting and pampering. i love what rosemary did, because even me i cant imagine myself with such a man. life would be misrable.

  18. Am impressed that even pastors do things that normal people do with their fiancee’ like taking them and showing them love, it is not all about prayers and church. nice story

  19. nice write-up,good for singles . No matter how engrossed you might be in the work of God always find out time for your loved ones . More grease to your elbow Ms ohaja.

  20. I believe that the two intending couple will really get alone with each other………..all tanks to the bishop lols am so carried away with this amazing story God bless u maa.

  21. In loving rosemary, one need to show her all the love she wants even in busy times at least give her some attention and not making an island of desert that will make matters worst. The third party really performed a great role as a christian chief judge.

  22. the Bishop did the right thing. Worshiping God does not prevent one from acknowledging or taking care of your partner. Nice one

  23. we should not serve to the detriment of our marriages.Our first service should begin with our families then to the outside world.

  24. Thank God for true servant of the lord in the church like the bishop who was there to guide young people in relationship and other aspects. pastor peter is just like those who failed to understand that all things are to be done to fulfill righteouness. our lord commanded us to love and understanding, communication and time spent together in relationship is very important. rosemary is great for expressing her feelings before it could be too late..

  25. Lol in fact I can’t stop laughing at Peter ooh, well I wish there will always be people like the Bishop to give good counsel lots of people with such misconception about service to God

  26. The annoying thing is people don’t know that their actions no matter how little it seems can affect some body’s life forever.. It’s how u treat a person that determines who u are… An educating piece, well done Ma

  27. I really love this,not because you are living your life for God and working for him other areas of your life will then suffer.You need to strike a balance between walking with God and your relationship because once one area is suffering it will be difficult for the other to grow and flourish as supposed.The Bishop settled Peter and Rosemary as supposed and i know before the three months will elapse they will be enjoying their relationship.

  28. OMG, I soooooo love this Bishop. He’s such a man of God, not all men of God will choose to solve the issue in that manner and to me, I believe that should be the most effective way to solving the problem

  29. Praying always is not a bad thing but there is time for everything. Peter should have giving more time to rosemary inorder to strengthen their relationship. What the Bishop did for them was great, the way he helped them by giving them ideas on how no strengthen their relationship.

  30. It is good to love God and long to be close to Him but neglecting our loved ones in that bid? That should be frowned on.
    Even ministers should have time for their own personal relationships. The Bishop was smart in his advice to the couple, quality time matters in every relationship.

  31. Hummmmm. Ma once again u have given us a lot to think about. I love how the bishop handled the issue. He showed strength and maturity. As much as we should strive to always do God’s will , I believe that we shouldn’t become too carried away. Rosemary deserves a man who would love God and also love her. So am happy that she found the courage to address the issue before it was too late.thank u ma for a wonderful story , I enjoyed every bit of it.

  32. You can not say you love God without loving tgr people around you. Lots of lessons to learn from this story.

  33. That you pray in tongues or pray in the spirit or that you are a spiritual person does not mean you should not pay attention to emotional needs of others, i think that’s where you should focus more on. and the bishop been reasonable and conscious handled the issue wonderfully.

  34. showing a little emotion does not prevent one from being in spirit although you must know your limitations
    wonderful post ma

  35. This story is funny though I’m happy that Rosemary spoke. Most people don’t talk when their partners don’t give them the quality attention they need. The Bishop actually handled the situation well by giving peter the project to love Rosemary.

  36. Most Born again feel showing love to your spouse is a sin, you won’t believe some married couples pray before meeting each other intimately. Its not actually funny most men are so engrossed and obsessed with religion that they forget that their spouse have needs to be satisfied

  37. For everything we do in life,we should put God first and love people around us.for the greatest of all is Love and that should not be neglected.

  38. The altar that should beautify marriage has over the years made Marriage not attractive. Pastor Peter’s case is not unique, it happens in our society. We overlook those little things that matter. What then is marriage without Love?

  39. Wow! Incredible, I think Peter should listen to the Bishop. Take some time out with Rosemary, you know women want all the love and affection anything short of this is terrible.

  40. Sometimes we get so engrossed in things that we forget the powerful gift if God; love. Peter was so engrossed in the ministry of his church that he forgot to love his fiancée. One cannot walk with and for God when one doesn’t love because God himself is love and love is God. It is good that the Bishop helped out. We all need
    guiding hands some times

  41. This is a beautiful piece I must say. Thank God for the wisdom of the Bishop and also the ability of Rosemary opening up maturely about the matter and allowing a chance for amendment. Our love for God should reflect in our love and care towards our loved ones and neighbours. Thank you ma for this inspiring write-up.

  42. Wow I just love this story. People have to know that there’s time for everything. In as much as we have we so many responsibilities in the church, didn’t mean that we should stop having a wonderful moments with our lovling ones. remember, God is “love”. So we should try as much as possible to create time for our relationship. God bless you ma.

  43. I like this story. The last thing a man should do is neglect his wife Every woman loves attention. You are man of God does not mean you should forget your wife, there’s time for everything. When it’s time to love her love her. And the time to love her is always Good one ma. God bless you

  44. Wow. I love this story. Sometimes, the brothers in church claim to be more ‘jimjim’ and forget to look closely to things around them. Some neglect their wives at home in the name of ‘waiting on God’, forgetting that bad relationship with others can amount to bad ministry(just as the bishop said: bad marriage(relationship) can make your ministry to sink).

  45. This is hilarious. Even his papa who is a Bishop understands what marriage is all about but it just seems as if Peter has no clue. I salute Rosemary’s courage she didn’t make the mistake of folding her arms, she knew what she wanted and she went for it.
    I wish he gets an A in his project.

  46. Basically about balancing relationships. Be in love and still be spiritually active. Thank God for the Bishop’s intervention.

  47. Hmmmmm, I love this story so so much. It is not all about being spiritual, common sense is also needed. I am not saying being spiritual is bad but be a balanced believer. Let every area of your life show that you are in Christ. Don’t be lopsided in your Christianity

  48. This is wonderful…This is one of the reason some ladies don’t want to be in any soth of intimate relationship with men of God cause they tend to forget their responsibilities to them,thinking of only church activities and to think that some marriages have actually crumbled because of this… We should all learn that love needs attention no matter how busy you think you are.

  49. all these overly religious men who do not know how to put a balance between the things of God and their marriages. even the bishop knew that spending all the time on church, leaving little or none for your spouse is totally wrong. it is very good to be very involved in the things of God but one should be very mindful to know when it is becoming a threat to other aspects of life. nice piece ma.

    • It is good to involve yourself with God. Of course, without God we are nothing. But that should not make us forget our responsibility in marriage. Attention and care is needed in marriage and when this is not properly showed it begans to crumble. This is what Peter failed to understand. Thank God Bishop intervened wisely in this matter. I wish peter with this time given to him will use it wisely and right his wrong.

  50. This interesting story reminds me of this saying “It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished” by Fulton J. Sheen

  51. interesting! lack of attention has led to so many broken homes and relationship. What will their marriage turn out to be if Rosemary had kept quiet about the whole situation

  52. My Christ! The bishop just showed that age is also great experience. Peter is just a religious fanatic and should thank his God for the kind of father he has. I won’t blame Rosemary, everyone deserves tender loving care from their spouse. God bless you Ma for this story.

  53. Wisdom is profitable to direct, indeed. It took wisdom for the bishop to resolve that matter. At first, I thought he would allow them to end their engagement, but no, he busted my bubbles. Haha!
    No doubt, there are still people that have soaked themselves in spirituality to the extent they begin to lack balance, their family, friends, etc, suffering neglection as a result.
    I enjoyed the humor in that line were peter laid his right hand on her head. Haha!

  54. Quite Intriguing! spirituality should not affect the intimate relationship between your loved one because every lady needs love and care and if is lacking then it will not move Perfectly fine for him because he needs the woman support no matter the reason he would want to put forward pertaining to his tight prayer schedule and if is not checked Properly he might end up fraustrated.

  55. It is a good thing to have a praying habit not to the detriment of others mostly when it comes to family. Everything needs to be balanced and not to make your family feel left out.

  56. Women loves attention and when you don’t give us enough attention, you’ll get detention.

    Brother Peter thinks it’s all about spirituality. What was he thinking sef? That he’d get to know more about his wife just by kabashing? Lol.

    More so, I don’t like bringing in a third party in my relationship but in this case, I liked what Ijeoma did. If she hadn’t opened up, Peter won’t have an inkling that he should strike a balance.
    (He should learn from his father in the Lord abeg)

    The Bishop played his part perfectly well.

  57. Woww. Thank God for the Bishop. His wise counsel made a whole lot of difference. I love the story….Thank u ma

  58. Lol. They got what they needed,guidance from a man of God.he addressed their issue with so much wisdom.

  59. I can only imagine the feeling Rosemary feels. Its tiring and frustrating when he can’t get his head out of his bible. He sees the situation according to the verses that deem him fit. Reporting him will definitely solve the problem. The scene when he holds her head to pray for her will be funny.

  60. Everything worth doing is worth doing well.
    Overdose of anything is dangerous.
    If not for the Bishop that’s how he would have lost his dear Rosemary to over religiousness.
    No one can be Holier than God.?

  61. The bishop did well. Peter has probably never dated either, so he didn’t know how to go about things. A good relationship with God keeps a marriage, but it also has to go with a good relationship with your partner.

  62. The Bishop is sure a wise Man
    I like the way the Bishop handled the matter
    Is a good thing that Peter and Rosemary will spend sometime together and the next time they will have another meeting like the Bishop said everything will be fine

  63. What was pst Peter thinking? That God will come and love his fiancee for him or reveal to him her likes and dislikes. Women love attention and praise and when you don’t give it to them, my brother OYO is your case. Just like the saying “men are enticed by what they see but women on the other hand are enticed by what they hear” so my brother if you want to win her over treat her well, give her attention and compliment her you are good to go.

  64. There is time for everything and it is important to maintain balance. Everything should be done in moderation.

  65. Marriage calls for understanding and maturity from both parties, it just like what you said ma in one of your posts “PROVEN GUIDELINES FOR GODLY DATING BY MIRACLE NWOKEDI” .
    My bro. Peter didn’t understand what sis. Rosemary was passing because of his gross commitment in God’s services. My people you will agree with that bro Peter’s attitude is a replica of our newly coverts. You know that feeling na… Neverther, let understand that there is time for everything e.g time to show affection, care and concern to that next person around it can be our wife, sister or even our enemy. Christianity is practical.
    One agian I must say the Bishop is a matured Christian so mucj loved how he restored understanding among the yet to wed….

  66. Okay, I’m seriously laughing right now. The guy actually laid hands on her to pray for her. Seriously? Hmm, in this life, there are some things that God cannot for us. We have to do them ourselves. I’ve learnt that making a relationship work is hard work actually and needs effort from both parties.

  67. One thing is certain, God is not an author of confusion… Bro should have given attention to o sis Mary… Let not be too righteous to the point of causing others pain ….

  68. Sometimes I wonder why some persons overdo things… for crying out loud, we should not hide under the pretence of service and deprive our loved ones of the attention they deserve….

  69. Such a wise decision from the bishop. Being a man of God does not mean not showing love, care and attention to our fiances/fiancees.
    Our relationship with God will crumble if we don’t show love and attention to our partners because it will lead to misunderstandings between the couple.

  70. Kai, lots a lessons to learn from this. Ministry should first begin from the home and not from the pulpit. Acts 1:8 when Jesus promised the holy spirit , he said the disciples were going to be witnesses to him first where? In Jerusalem before going to the ends of the world. Upcoming ministers note this.

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