Our churches in Africa urgently need the Discovery Series course entitled “Biblical Principles of Marriage.” This story will help explain one of the reasons why.
“Teacher, can we still beat our wives when they misbehave?” Imagine being asked such a question—and by a Christian! How would you answer? Years ago, a group of men from a rural East African village sat with a missionary, and their spokesman asked him that question. The missionary smiled. He knew why they had asked. These men had decided to follow Jesus and wanted to become mature Christians, but they still had much to learn about being godly husbands and fathers. They wanted permission to hit their wives like unbelievers in their community often did. In some African villages, men are permitted to beat their wives if they “misbehave.” It is not uncommon to see a man swatting his wife with a stick.
The men listened for the missionary’s reply. He opened his Bible and read Colossians 3:19 (NIV): “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” The missionary taught further on the subject with the group of men. Later, they reported back to him that once they stopped hitting their wives, their family lives improved greatly and their homes were more peaceful. They were surprised!
This story illustrates one small part of the greater issues facing African families. Many of the cultural norms still apply because believers—even pastors—have an inadequate understanding of God’s plan for a strong, Christian family.
There is not an issue of mature believers beating their wives in our African churches. But the church MUST be prepared to address certain cultural norms with new believers when those norms violate biblical principles and kingdom ethics. Many women and children don’t receive the love and affection they need from their fathers and husbands. Likewise, many men don’t receive the heartfelt respect and support they need from their wives.
We are asking for your help to translate and produce “Biblical Principles of Marriage” into Swahili for pastors in East Africa, where this story took place. This course was written by Philip and Dinah Kitoto (pictured above) who are executive leaders in the Kenya Assemblies of God and understand the challenges facing the African church. If we can provide at least 3,000 AG pastors in East Africa with copies of the “Biblical Principles of Marriage” Discovery Series course in Swahili, we believe it will radically shake family and marriage dynamics in their churches and communities. Pastors and spouses can gain new and biblically sound insights into God’s principles for marriage and parenting, and be able to teach those principles to their congregations. Imagine the spiritual impact if thousands of marriages in the churches of Africa were to be strengthened! What a great witness to others of God’s power to change lives and families.
It costs approximately $15,000 to translate and produce the “Biblical Principles of Marriage” course in Swahili. That’s a cost of $5 per copy to provide it for 3,000 pastors. Perhaps you or your church can give a very generous gift to partially or even fully cover this need?
When that group of men asked the missionary if it was okay to beat their wives, he knew the biblical references to show them. But “Biblical Principles of Marriage” would have been an incredibly helpful tool to have left with them to broaden their understanding on the subject.
This Swahili project is only one part of the Journey of Discovery, our ongoing campaign to translate the 38-course Discovery Series into 11 major languages in Africa plus English. Today, you have a chance to help provide this tool for 3,000 pastors in East Africa at just $5 per copy.Give now