“As young spinster, I was so scared to the extent that the second lady said we should start praying and I was like pray about what?”
Rev. Folake Achudume, wife of Lawrence Achudume, founder of Victory Life Bible Church and Faith Heritage Group of Schools, Abeokuta, Ogun State, marked her 50th birthday recently. She speaks on the rising cases of divorce among other sundries issues.
Why did you marry from another tribe?
Motives matter in every relationship. Most couples marry out of pressure from parents or because of aging, so they just want to marry anybody. By the time their differences show up, they’re ill-equipped to address them because the foundation is faulty.
After a long walk with God and commitment in His vineyard, I resolved that I wouldn’t marry a man that’s not passionate about God regardless of whether or not he’s a pastor. I see my husband as somebody that can support me to make heaven, because he loves God passionately. Aside that, he has vision which is paramount in life.
How did you cope in terms of cultural differences?
That was one of the major reasons my father initially resisted our courtship as he wondered “if they wanted to sell you in their language how would you know?” I convinced him that God loves me and I don’t doubt His love. I don’t speak my husband’s language and he doesn’t speak my mine. Our language barrier made me uncomfortable initially.
During our courtship, a senior friend counseled us that we needed to pray, because 75 percent of our married friends were facing challenges because of their mothers-in-law. She said we should pray that our mothers-in-law die before we’re married. As young spinster, I was so scared to the extent that the second lady said we should start praying and I was like pray about what? I didn’t heed her advice. I’d rather pray that our mothers-in-law would accept us. That was the mentality I brought into my marriage. I prayed to God that “what I cannot do to my mother help me not to do it to my mother-in-law, what I can give my mother help me to be able to give my mother-in-law”, because I knew if I can handle that aspect of marriage I’ve handle the major challenges.
I always advise spinsters to be averse to the “they want to take my husband away from me” mindset.
What’s your disposition to supremacy in the home?
I recognize the fact that my husband is head of the house, I have nothing to fight over. As a Christian, the Bible says he is the head of the home while I am his helpmate, then we have to perform our roles. People normally say a woman should submit herself, yes, it is in the Bible, but I always say submission is not subjugation. The bible that says submit also says husbands love your wives. If you can’t love me I will not submit to you. If a man loves his wife, he won’t need to beg for submission, because the woman will submit with joy. She will allow you to lead and the fact that you are leading doesn’t mean she is inferior to you. The key is value each other, there should be flexibility and rigid boundary to roles.
Should a lady marry a jobless man?
There’s nothing bad about it, what’s important is that the man must have vision. He must have a dream and be committed and live it through his mannerism, speech, association and also love God, because money will definitely come.
Why is divorce so rampant in Nigeria?
It’s so unfortunate and even so in the church. I always advise spinsters and bachelors that before they embark on anything marriage they need to reconcile their expectations because marriage is serious business. It requires much effort and compromise to work. November, 2018 will make it 26 years that I have been married and in the beginning of our journey, my husband and I agreed that our marriage will work. We resolved that no matter what, we’ll make it work even though every couple has its trying period because of gender and temperament.
Despite the plethora of churches, why is Nigeria among the poorest countries? Prayer cannot alleviate poverty; it’s knowledge that does. We pray, yes, but we need education and information to make the mind of people work. Until your mind is changed, no change can come and this takes education and training among other things. Government must be passionate and take education and training to the grassroots but when you believe that government should do everything for you, that is sickness. For riches to be yours, you must task the heart but you cannot do that without using your mind and if your mind is sick then it is impossible.
What’s your disposition to women in politics?
We have a voice to be heard, we have an impact to make for the betterment of society. Failure to recognize the role of women is depriving us our potential which is essential to the development of this country. We are not competing with men, the real women are not arrogant. Some women seem to be arrogant, because they feel resisted, they feel “this is a man’s world”. So, they want to fight, they want men to know that they have got it. Within them it’s just a quest for fulfillment, success and to make impact.
How did you celebrate your 50th?
Aside from the church service and reception organised in my honour, I celebrated with beggars, lepers’ colony, widows, remand homes, orphanages among other activities. I thank God and people for the celebration.