Dame Edith Okowa, wife of Delta governor and founder of 05 Initiative, has stressed the need for couples to allow God’s blessing to manifest in their marriages by continually renewing bond of love for each other.
She stated this at the 2020 edition of Couples’ Forum, an annual fellowship, organized by 05 Initiative, with “God’s Original Plan for Marriage” as theme.
The fellowship designed to strengthen relationships among couples, held on Friday in Asaba, was broadcast live on Delta Broadcasting Service television and radio as well as social media platforms.
The governor’s wife explained that the home building programme was to commemorate World Day of the family, and stressed the need for couples to communicate often in their marriages.
She urged married persons to always study the Bible to understand God’s original plan for instituting marriage.
According to Dame Okowa, the keys to a successful marriage include communication, love and trust among couples; when you cannot communicate with one another then there is no marriage.
She stated that one of the benefits of prevailing lockdown in some states in the country occasioned by COVID-19 was the opportunity provided for families to bond.
The governor’s wife added that without a couple leaving their parents and clinging to one another, problems of interference would continue to be witnessed in most marriages.
She remarked that these days, couples spent much energy and resources to prepare for wedding but never prepared for the marriage itself, and called for more counseling to would-be couples.
“We have been doing this every year, but this year’s programme is unique because of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the Bible says, in every situation give thanks; this year’s edition is not holding in our usual venue where we usually have about 500 people listening.
“We are doing it here on live TV, radio and social media platforms because of the social-distancing protocol, but we are glad because this year, we are having more people listening to us than ever and we give God thanks for that.
“One of the things we learnt today is that for you to have a successful marriage, you must leave your parents to cling to your partner because without leaving there cannot be any cleaving and once there is no bonding, the marriage cannot stand the test of time.
“Another learning point from today’s discussion is that both couples must learn to love, respect and appreciate one another for there to be a successful marriage.
“Men should not deal treacherously with the wives of their youth because if they do so their prayers will be hindered,” she stated.
One of the discussants, Pastor David Popoola of Living Faith Church, Asaba, said that partners in a marriage must learn to apologise when they were wrong and also appreciate one another at all times.
“The word ‘I am sorry’ and an appreciation of ‘thank you’ can do a lot of good in every home. You must learn to appreciate your partner and stop looking for faults and errors, study the word of God and pray together with the children,” he stated.
Provincial Pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Asaba, Pastor Olutomi Sodeinde, stressed the need for couples to return to God to fulfill the original plan for them in marriage.
“Having moved away from God’s plan, all we need to do is to move back to God’s plan. Divorce and adultery are not part of God’s original plan for marriage.
“So, if we must go back to God’s plan, it means we must leave so that we can cleave, once you don’t leave, you cannot cleave.
“Many people are married today but they are still lonely. We need to reverse this because it is almost becoming a common thing today and it was not so in the beginning.
“We should repent and go back to our God because when we return to Him, He will return to us” he said.
In her contribution, Dr (Mrs) Augusta Ogbene, Coordinator of Christian Women Intercessors for All Nations (CWIFAN), said that marriage was God’s plan to make man enjoy life in terms of procreation, companionship.
She, however, said “unfortunately, man has deviated by doing things outside God’s plan and purpose for marriage.
“If there is no trust between couples then there is no marriage. Couples should build trust among themselves because a relationship cannot continue without trust and honesty.
“We must learn to forgive one another, particularly we, the women, because no human being is worth going to hell for.
“You are playing with high blood pressure for as long as you have unforgiveness and bitterness in your heart. You must also learn to respect and appreciate one another because no family can survive without respect for one another.
“Married people today have all manner of issues because they have decided to do things their own way instead of doing things in Gods original plan for marriage.
“You can imagine a woman getting married to her dog in the UK. These things are an affront to the purpose of God for marriage and so there is no way it cannot be visited with the punishment it deserves,’’ she said.