Connect with us

Features

Fountain of Life with Taiwo Odukoya: Miles Apart

Published

 on

The marriage institution has never been under so much pressure. Apart from the internal factors militating against the success of marriages, external factors seem to be conspiring to wreak havoc. The implication is that a lot of marriages do not last beyond the first few years. This often leaves many with broken hearts and lives.

To the casual observer, our parents had it a lot easier. And this was partly because the prevailing culture at the time encouraged getting married and staying together. For many of them, it was truly for better or for worse. So, they were prepared from the outset to stick together, irrespective of the prevailing circumstances.

In our time, a lot of the values that enhanced the success of marriages seem to have been eroded. Those who are married and want their marriages to work appear to be swimming against the tide. What with the economic downturn and culture shock as it relates to marriage?

It therefore becomes important to confront headlong the issues that militate against marriage. If the truth were told, we would realise that marriage has its peculiar challenges. The way we handle those challenges will determine whether or not our marriage weathers the storms of life.

I sat once in a counselling session with a young lady whose marriage was almost hitting the rocks. The problem was that the husband who was abroad at the time of their wedding, and did not stay for too long thereafter, recently returned to Nigeria. Although they were already blessed with two children, she realised for the first time that she did not really know him. In fact, she felt they could not live together. In her words, “I just want him to go away and let us continue as usual.”

Based on my many years of counselling and hosting couples’ programmes, I want to share on this page some of the frequent questions I have been asked. I believe the answers will help you in your marriage. Sometimes, the question has to do with one party, but today’s  has to do with both parties:

Question:
Is it wise for couples to live apart due to their career demands and postings?

Answer:
The strength of relationship, we often say, is in fellowship. By this, we mean fellowship in all its ramifications. The couple who stays together, therefore, bond faster and more easily. There may be some friction in trying to smoothen the rough edges of their relationship but, by and large, staying together helps the relationship.

However, in today’s world, the need to meet financial obligations has led to many couples living thousands of miles apart. In search of greener pastures, some have travelled out of the country or the state where their families are based. Where the couple is in the same country, as in ours, arrangements are made to visit home often. The frequency, of course, will depend on the situation and affordability. But where one party is outside the country, you will agree with me that coming home regularly is a big challenge.

The truth is, people have emotional needs which their spouses are supposed to satisfy. Part of the challenge of staying apart for a long time is that people are tempted or forced to begin to look for ways to meet their emotional needs. If care is not taken, some disconnect totally from their spouses and start new relationships. I know of one or two people whose marriages ended because their spouses travelled abroad and, gradually, they disconnected from their spouse and ‘fell in love’ with other people.

According to Han Xueqing, director of the Clinical Psychology Department at Beijing Tongren Hospital, “In a society that is now morally wide open and full of pressure and temptations, constant separation will harm the chemistry between spouses. The old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder is not always true, and being away from each other may slowly kill the intimacy of marriage.”

So the issue here is caution. As much as it is essential for couples to meet financial obligations and career demands, other salient and more important issues arise such as companionship, emotional satisfaction, upbringing of the children etc. More and more homes are breaking up as a result of spouses’ separation.

Considering the economic exigency that necessitates such a separation, my advice is:

• As much as possible, do everything to ensure that the situation does not continue for too long.
• In some cases, it will help if you can get a transfer to join your spouse.
• While it lasts, visit each other regularly. Once or twice a month will be good (or at least once in three months). Where he/she cannot come always, schedule it in such a way that you will visit sometimes. To reduce the financial burden, tickets can be purchased well ahead of time.
• Make maximum use of modern technology to fellowship with each other on a regular basis. Hearing your spouse’s voice regularly on the telephone can go a long way. Apart from normal telephone calls, it is now possible to make video calls, Skype etc, and spend time in fellowship without necessarily paying so much. Even texting and chatting have proved to be effective tools in this regard.
• Above all, find a way to constantly pray together and ask God to see you through this period of your lives.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Taiwo Odukoya is the senior pastor of The Fountain of Life Church. He is an avid believer in the role of the Church in the social and economic life of the nation. He is the host of The Discovery for Men, The Discovery for Women, The Woman Leader, and Ruth and Boaz, quarterly meetings that reach out to thousands of men and women from all works of life and denominations. He lives in Lagos with his wife, Nomthi, and children. He can be reached at [email protected]

Taiwo Odukoya is the senior pastor of The Fountain of Life Church. He is an avid believer in the role of the Church in the social and economic life of the nation. He is the host of The Discovery for Men, The Discovery for Women, The Woman Leader, and Ruth and Boaz, quarterly meetings that reach out to thousands of men and women from all works of life and denominations. He lives in Lagos with his wife, Nomthi, and children. He can be reached at [email protected]

21 Comments

  1. niki

    April 16, 2014 at 10:11 am

    First time reading on his thoughts on marriage. Very impressed!

    1
  2. Aibee

    April 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Dear BN and Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, can we make this series a regular feature on this forum? We know Pastor Taiwo is quite busy but it willl be great if he can spare some time to write on keeping a marriage together. Even if its fortnightly. Thank you. God bless you.

    Meanwhile, whatever happened to Olamide Criag and his BN Doctor Series?

    1
    • idomagirl

      April 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      I agree. If he can write regularly it’d be great…

      1
    • Blessmyheart

      April 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      Seconded.

      1
  3. AdeA

    April 16, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for this….I am going to forward it to my partner.

    1
  4. Adaeze

    April 16, 2014 at 10:26 am

    So true! Thanks Pastor Taiwo.

    1
  5. Lady Mo!

    April 16, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Well said Pastor Taiwo! God continue to increase HIS vision and anointing on ur life. God bless The Fountain of Life Church. I miss church so much. Been out of Lagos for like 3months now. Havent been able to find a church that ministers to my soul and spirit like TFOLC here in Kaduna.

    1
    • Sharon

      April 16, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      try lighthouse church,Damaturu road,kaduna

      1
    • Lady Mo!

      April 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Aiit Sharon. I’ll check it out. Thanks.

      1
  6. x-factor

    April 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

    As usual, this man comes to table with his balanced views on issues
    Thank You Pastor Taiwo…..God bless you sir

    1
  7. Joyful

    April 16, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Thank you for the insightful piece sir!

    1
  8. naana

    April 16, 2014 at 11:27 am

    very educative.
    need to read and learn more from you.
    BN we need more from him.

    1
  9. iyke

    April 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Ladies, when it comes to marriage and even dating,if indeed you believe in it and wants it, DON’T FORGET THAT IT involves lots of costs and trade-offs. The choices may not always be ideal, as the pressure has been on women to be the ‘Super woman’ who is expected to do it all, succeed in work, run her home, raise the perfect children, and be attractive and sexy too. This causes a lot of stress for her no doubt but satisfaction can always be obtained with a bit of knowledge, negotiation, sharing, communication and creation of a positive balance on the best strategy to approach the relationship/marriage. And considering that we still live in a male dominated Nigeria, following WISELY with the man who will lead with your hopes, dreams and goals in mind should be something to consider.
    And for ladies who are yet to tie the knot, my only suggestion for NOW is that when choosing a potential partner, desire for the ‘complete package’, that is, the man to lust after, be attracted to, and feel comfortable and attached to him only …..Unfortunately, that is not possible because for most women out there, there is always a man she’s lusting after, another man she’s attracted to, and of course the husband/bf she’s attached to for security et al. While Lust and attraction are often more deep-seated, and uncontrolled, ATTACHEMENT of who to spend the rest of your life with, is a choice greatly influenced by social norms and cultural practices. This is a dilemma for ladies but it is a topic for another day anyways.
    So my beautiful sisters, it is always best to go with your heart, but to keep your mind’s eyes wide open. In essence, some integration between the head and the heart.
    Good luck and Good Morning.

    1
    • Joan85

      April 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      THANK YOU Iyke!!! 🙂 “And for ladies who are yet to tie the knot, my only suggestion for NOW is that when choosing a potential partner, desire for the ‘complete package’, that is, the man to lust after, be attracted to, and feel comfortable and attached to him only …”
      #Word

      1
  10. Joan85

    April 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you, Pastor Taiwo. Words of Wisdom indeed. BN, please make this a weekly series, if possible. People like me who are yet to jump the broom need to prepare 🙂

    1
  11. AradiO

    April 16, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Brilliant piece

    1
  12. PAUL

    April 16, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    i love this post

    1
  13. FRANCIS GRACE

    April 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Am so blessed with this, Pastor T has always been an inspiration. weneva i attend Fountain, am always spirit filled. nice piece Sir. u’re loved

    1
  14. khaleesi

    April 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Lovely post!
    The rate at which people get separated & divorced these days is quite alarming. Counselors, Preachers, Priests, Imams, Teachers etc have to make more efforts to bring back sanity into the Marriage Institution bcos alot of people take Marriage for granted. Some dont even understand what marriage is all about. It has been turned into a circus-like carnival. People put more effort into the wedding(ceremony) than the marriage(union/relationship).

    Great post! Hope to see more of this……

    1
  15. bee

    April 16, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    awww God bless Pastor Taiwo,how i miss TFOLC, Please sir, a branch of TFOLC should be founded in Canada. No church like this anywhere,i regularly tune in for services and all,but the time difference doesn’t really make it work. Long and short of my story i missssss TFOLC,God bless and keep his church.Amen….. BN Let’s make this a weekly thing… @Aibee,posting your comment to Lamide rightaway!

    1
  16. Lagos

    April 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    “As much as it is essential for couples to meet financial obligations and career demands, other salient and more important issues arise such as companionship, emotional satisfaction, upbringing of the children etc. More and more homes are breaking up as a result of spouses’ separation.”

    Thank God for people who still believe in the institution of marriage enough to want to help others make the best of it. BN, let’s make this a regular please!!!

    1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa


Star Features

css.php