Marriage is a life time commitment and involves being with the same person for the rest of one’s life. However, in our modern day age, the institution of marriage has been greatly threatened with divorce and it’s so rampant that marriage vow is no longer sacred…
It could be said it has become more of a fashion accessory that couples feel they can discard at any point in time, if they don’t find it suitable anymore.
To any single lady or guy, it is simply a union of two different people with different backgrounds who have agreed to live together as husband and wife regardless of their shortcomings and imperfections. You can’t blame anyone for having such ideas about marriage because during courtship, it’s all loving, pleasant and romantic. Personally growing up, I had always envisaged the fairy tale kind of marriage. But now, being married for some few years now, I must say that there is more to a successful union than what I had in my teenage years. I realized that to a teenager or a novice, marriage is about love, while to an adult, it’s about commitment and tolerating each other’s flaws. While some married couples are able to handle and tolerate their partner’s flaws, some just simply walk out of the marriage regardless of what is at stake, which is a result of high divorce rate and separation, leaving so many innocent children to suffer the pains of a broken home.
It’s so obvious that death is far from the major factor that put an end to marriages these days. Couples are quick to walk out of their homes once it’s been threatened by infidelity, adultery, lies, mistrust and so much more. Though, I wouldn’t support any woman to stay in an abusive marriage because that could be very dangerous and life threatening. In this regard, ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with TV presenter Maame Adowa, whose program, My Home TV show is targeted at promoting commitment and marriage solidarity among young adults…
Why do you think the divorce rates keep increasing?
There is no particular reason or problem for divorce in any part of the world. I think people go into marriage with different perception and expectation. Now, if you marry for money, and later on, you find out that the man you got married to eventually knew that you wanted money and he played along, after getting married, you realize the real deal is different, then you jump out of the marriage because you feel the reason you got into the union is not what it is. Others marry because the person is beautiful, but what happens when the beauty goes away. I feel people should marry for the essence of what marriage was set up to be. God actually put man and woman together. We all say it is the first institution God created, and He respects marriage so much because when he put Adam and Eve together, He gave them their privacy and He said they should multiply, have babies and fill the earth. He knew there was going to be issues and challenges, but He also gave them wisdom to go about it. Now the first challenge marriage faced was the eating of the forbidden fruit. But for the new generation, the question is, do we understand why God put that institution together, no! So, basically marriages are breaking up because a lot of people go into it without knowing what they are getting themselves into. How well do you know who you are marrying? Are you going to be responsible for what comes out of it? Will you be able to stand your ground on whatever comes out of it? You said those vows before God and not to the people. The vow is only between you and God. Sometimes I wish people can go over their vows before saying them and probably do some changes to suit them. Because you should know what you are saying and not just reciting them. I mean, most people don’t even remember all that is said on that day, they only remember that part “for better or worse”, but there is more to just saying ‘for richer or poorer, till death do us part’. You didn’t say till insufficient money, fornication, infidelity or in-law problem do us part. You said “death”, so if you are true to your vow, that means you are going against your own word. People live a selfish life, if I can put it that way. They feel well, this is it, let me just jump out of it, the next person could be a better person for me.
But why do you think African men generally feel they can get away with polygamy, while their wives must remain faithful to the marriage?
Let’s face it, men are polygamous by nature. God created Adam and later created Eve. Now, let’s look at Abraham, he was faithful to his wife, but she introduced another woman to him and he didn’t say no, okay. After all, what is he losing, because it was about making babies for the family. I am not actually supporting men, but they being polygamous shouldn’t really be a yard stick for marriages to break up. I think women have been equipped with the strength to be able to accommodate a whole lot. Now before you get married, both individuals should sit down and find out what their husband really want in the marriage, find out if he will be marrying another woman in the future or is it just going to be you alone. All of these should be discussed before getting into marriage.
Do you believe in long courtship before marriage?
Personally, I don’t believe in long courtship before marriage. I believe when you meet a potential partner, first you pray and ask God why that person is in your life. You ask God the purpose of that person coming into your life, and where the relationship is going to lead you to. Honestly, if you pray with a sincere heart, God will definitely give you a green light, when the timing is right. There is no need for long courtship like five or ten years, except if you are both financially challenged. Then of course, your friendship can still grow and put all other things together before the marriage can materialize.
What do you think married women should do to stay relevant and not make their spouse go after another woman?
Immediately a woman starts comparing, immediately a woman start looking at her husband’s faults, immediately you start resenting and regretting, you lose yourself and sense of purpose in the marriage. After you say “I do,” the work starts. Marriage is not like you are married and that’s it. Relationship is nothing compared to marriage. It’s like a business, what you put in or invests in it determines what you are going to get. Forget about what your husband is doing, based on what you put in the marriage it’s going to turn your husband around even if he has lost focus or his attention more on business or other women. No matter how you put it, women are meant to raise the family. If not you can’t be a career woman and still be a wife, but your strength is determined when you are able to balance the two. Be a mother and be a wife, that is the beauty of it. But immediately you start bringing something to the table, he is also bringing something to the table then you lose who becomes the head. You know the saying; what a man can do, a woman can do better, gender equality, I never believed in that. I have an NGO, it’s all about empowering women, but I never believe in equality. There is nothing like a woman being equal to a man. God loves us equally. But He made man the head, so, woman should know that. You support your husband, and know that without you he can’t function. If you put yourself in that light, I am sure you will pride yourself as a wife and as a mother and have a successful marriage.
What informs your TV show, My HOME?
My Home… I was actually in school, I was not married or in a relationship. And when the idea came up, I just set it aside, but then God woke me up at dawn one morning and I just wrote everything down in my black book, and I realized I had written bible verse I had never read, and when I opened to go through them, I’m like; wow! It’s all about why Christian marriages are failing, and as result we will say that the church has failed when it comes to the concept of marriage. Why would Christians fail when it comes to the area of marriage? Marriage being the first institution of God should be something that the church should advocate. I remember childhood, and growing up. The essence of any marriage is to train the children that the family is supposed to stay together, and as you grow and then graduate, you become a full Christian and understand what marriage is all about and you tell yourself that a family is supposed to stay together. You know you are supposed to make it work, unless you get to the point when it dangerous for your health and you could lose your life. Then, you know the usual thing can be done. But I will still say the church as failed when it comes to marriage. They are to ensure marriage survives and make people know their commitment when it comes to marriage. The devil is just out there to attack marriages, so for my show, our motto is; ‘We say no to separation and no no to divorce’. We feel that before you throw in the towel, before you spend the night out of your bed or matrimonial home in a hotel somewhere thinking it’s just you. I mean maybe you should cry, sit back, and think about why God put both of you together as a couple and for what purpose. And I’m sure when you get yourself into that mood, you will know that spending a night at the hotel room is not the best option. Stay at home, face it and win your battle.
What are the unhealthy actions that could lead to the end of a marriage?
One thing I realized contributes immensely to dissolution of marriages is bad financial management. Even childbirth, not that she cannot give birth, but some of the career women actually set their own time on when they want to have their children because of their profession, forgetting the marriage is not all about her, but there is another person also involved. Then again, communication, people don’t talk about issues. They tend to accumulate stuff and it’s like I don’t want to talk about it, because if I do, I might offend my spouse. But you rather offend the person now than later, because if there is an issue, come out and talk about it. I had a friend who got married and they had issues. And I told them to get a chair and put in the room, and if anyone of you does something that the other person doesn’t like, go and sit on the chair. So when the other person comes, then he or she knows that there is fire on the mountain, and you just ask what the problem is and you talk about it right there. Don’t wait for tomorrow, because if tomorrow comes, something else could happen. And when you keep stuff in you, you tend to resent and when you start resenting, everything that come out of your mouth is bitterness. And the day you speak out, will be the marriage will never be the same again
So who are the speakers expected for the gathering of Home Makers conference coming up soon?
We have Majid Michel, Mrs. Catherine Benson, she is the CEO of Hidden Tree, and we have Mr. Kweku Edumater, he is the CEO of Zink Investment and a counselor and Prophet Nyameche…
….If I may ask, why Majid Michel?
Majid has been married for ten years, and what people see on the screen is way different from who he is. If you get a chance to sit with Majid for five minutes, if I were you I will ask relevant questions in the area of the word of God, marriage and life and you will be amazed what that cute guy will pour on your table. So it’s not all about what you see on the screen, shouting and doing some of the crazy stuff. Majid really has good in-depth analysis of some of life issues.
So what is your advice for the singles out there?
For the singles ladies out there, I mean, stop searching for what you can’t find. I’m at the point that I say to myself; God stopped choosing partners for us, but I will force him to choose a partner for me. Because after the case of Adam and Eve, and they started putting the blame on Him, He sat back and let people choose for themselves. But I feel that if you tell God to take over the driver’s seat, you will have everything going on well for you.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years with this huge marriage task that you have embarked upon?
In the next five years, by the grace of God, we should take My Home beyond the shores of Ghana. For instance, we are looking at the next conference being held in Nigeria. So we are trying to spread our tentacles and probably go into villages. Like I said, upbringing is very important. In the rural areas, the women are always stressed and they always put their frustration on their children, and the children grow up having low self-esteem. The girls will grow up and feel that if their husband beats them, they deserve it, which is wrong. And the next season we are looking at putting it on DSTV.
-ADEBUKOLA ADENEYE -EDAH