Although in many religious set-ups women don’t hold leadership positions, there are a lot of roles women play in the church that are time consuming.
These may not be decision-making roles, but they are equally crucial as they are value-adding to everyday operations of the religious organisations.
It has has been a trend in many churches of late for women to engage in activities, necessitating them to spend a lot of time at their places of worship or elsewhere doing religious work.
Could it be that most women view the church as a place of solace from depression and heartbreak they maybe facing? Evidently, women are prioritising church at the expense of their spouses and children.
Mercy Makhambera, a gender activist, feels it is wrong for women to abandon their families in the name of religion and working for the good of the church. She emphasised that women have roles to play in families which God views as equally important.
“Christian women who also have spouses and children ought to learn how to balance church and work activities. God looks at families as important as he views the church and expects women to bind their families. How does a woman unify her family when she hardly has time for her children and spouse?
“Husbands need to be entertained and cared for while children need guidance, both morally and spiritually. In families where mothers are rarely home attending vigils and other prayer-related activities, the confusion is visible and things go haywire,” said Makhambera.
She urged religious leaders to give women time for their families, arguing it is not fair for women to dedicate their whole time to church activities sidelining their duties at home.
“Some church leaders make unrealistic demands as regards the presence of women at church. There are church leaders and their wives- whose bread and butter comes from their churches- who expect other women to be present at their places of worship at all times. This is seriously unfair. Give women a break and let them engage in income-generating activities as well as attend to their families.
“High divorce rates we are experiencing in the country are partly due to women giving their all to church activities, thereby, neglecting their families. Some of these church activities are breaking families,” she said.
Apostle Madalitso Mbewe of Calvary Family Church thinks church activities should involve both men and women to enable them to be together in their spiritual journey.
“The reason God made Eve was because Adam was lonely and needed company. Churches that have activities that require women participation more than men are going against this background because the purpose of marriage is fellowship. Churches must, therefore, include both men and women in their activities. That way the church will go forward and family bonds will be strengthened,” Mbewe said.
He further wondered why churches should have activities every single day, never giving their faithfuls time for themselves.
“Churches can decide to have activities once or twice a week, apart from their day of prayers. Having activities every single day is diluting the values of families which are equally important.
“A strong foundation for the church is a united family so, churches should strengthen unity in families by encouraging them to have quality time together. Until that happens, churches must forget having strong members.”n