Marriage activists advocate pre-marrital counseling in Nigeria

Adesina, Salami, facilitators at the event
Adesina, Salami, facilitators at the event

Nigerians have been asked to study the marriage institutions before venturing into it. This advice was given at a family event, titled Couples Time Out.

Convener of the forum, Rev. Femi Adesina at the event, noticed that a lot of marriages today have problems because couples don’t take time to study the institution before saying ‘I do.’

Adesina who is the senior pastor of Power and Prosperity Ministry, is also the Chairman of the Family Foundation, which platform staged the event for married couples in Lagos recently.

He however confirmed that confidentiality is key in the profession of marriage counseling. “Confidentiality is one of the ethics of our profession but when you use cases without names, you are safe. For example, you would see that what I used throughout our seminars is George and Mercy, so people who have been coming would see that that is the standard. Actually there is a George and a Mercy on our board, and they are here right now, they know their names are the standard and nobody can be offended,” he explained.

Adesina also observed that marriages collapse these days because people often refuse to follow biblical blueprints for marriage institution. “In today’s marriages, people don’t want to follow biblical standards. The biblical pattern is wife submit to your husband, husband love your wife.” He however advocated for a pre marital counseling as a national policy. “We have been advocating for premarital counseling in Nigeria, it should as a matter of fact be approved as a policy, we need professional counseling for this, and it should be encouraged because there is growing awareness now.”

On curbing high rate of adultery in the country, Adesina, who deliberately studied Guidance and Counseling at master’s level at the University of Ibadan, said, “Adultery can be curbed by learning the principles of marriage. The problem is this: many people go into the university to study engineering before becoming engineers, they study medicine to become doctors etc., but people think they have nothing to learn about marriage before getting into it.”

He however enlightened that, “There is a special course at the University of Ibadan as I speak to you, called Marriage and Dynamics of Family Life. It is a special course in counseling, so they have started it in a secular school.”

Another facilitator at the event, Mrs. O. O. Salami provided insights into the institution of marriage. In her presentation, the lawyer, and Director at the Office of the Public Defender, said she developed a passion for marriage early in her marital life.

Stressing the need to make marriage legal, she advised that apart from wedding in the Church, the court marriage is important. “It is not as if one is superior to the other, but when you look at legal marriage, you can decide to go to Church, it is equally legal. There are procedures, you must have gone to the registry and you obtain your marriage certificate. If you do your marriage in Church alone, it is still not a legal marriage, you still have to go to the registry to obtain your certificate if you want your marriage to be a legal one,” she said.

On the implication of faulty marriages, she said the society always bears the brunt. “The major implication on the society is the children. 50 percent of children of broken marriages always end up as miscreants. They become people that have problems with the law. They commit one crime or the other. I always tell people, area boys don’t jump from the sky, they are actually from broken homes” she said.

Salami, who confessed that eight out of every ten complaints brought to her office are marriage based, also said that Nigerians often have problems with their gadgets because they don’t mind to go through the manuals. “A lot of times we Nigerians buy new gadgets, but we don’t bother to read the manuals. The manual for marriage is the Bible, so when you chose to do it on your own way, you have not read the manual, when you buy a new gadget and you don’t read the manual, you will have challenges and it is same thing with marriage,” she concluded.

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