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‘Family, not school, should train a child’


Portrait of smiling family

Pastor Bisi Adewale is the Founder, Family Booster Ministries International, a platform set up to ensure that the family life system receives the much- needed attention. The ministry, which tackles issues around children upbringing, marriages and relationships, has just concluded an international ministers’ family conference. The bestselling author, who runs the ministry and his wife, Yomi, have both written over 50 books on family life. Pastor Adewale spoke to IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA on the event, including issues around societal vices, divorce and how they affect their offspring.

What was the core message at the international ministers’ family conference?

The event was entitled, Solid Family, Solid Church and targeted pastors, bishops, marriage counsellors, and all categories of ministers of God and their spouses. It focused on educating ministers and ensure that the family system is upheld.

If a family is in crisis or collapses, there will be lots of vices in the society.

With the societal vices experienced today, are you saying many families are in crises?

A family’s failure is the nation’s failure. Every armed robber; street urchins; assassins; terrorists among others, all come from a family.

If all parents raise their children well in the world and they are well-brought up, then there won’t be any armed robbery or crime.

During Babatunde Fashola’s administration, the Lagos State government cleared the Oshodi Market and took into custody 200 area babies (children and teenagers, who slept under the bridge).

They were taken for rehabilitation at the social welfare department.

About 198 of the children came from broken families while two were there due to peer pressure and influence.

There’s no child that cannot commit crime. Even members of Boko Haram insurgency were all born innocent.

The place to raise a child is not in the school but at home.

The school can only make a child good in academics but the parents can make them perfect in character.

During the last Father’s Day, we found some women celebrating themselves as fathers, what is your take?

In reality, you cannot be a mother and father at the same time.

You can actually perform the role of both, but it can’t be perfect.

In every house, there must be fairness and firmness.

The mother brings fairness while the father brings firmness or vice versa.

There’s a possibility that people who come from divorced families have 60 per cent chance of having a broken home.

The use of hard drugs among young people in recent times is alarming, what do you think is responsible for this?

Training up a child involves teaching, tracing, taming and also checking on them. Drug problem is a very big issue now in Nigeria.

With the issue of Tramadol, Codeine among others, today you see a child drink something from the bottle and you don’t know exactly what he/she is consuming.

That is why we advise all parents to be on their toes. Unfortunately, parents are not always available.

If you take a closer look, the drug issue is more common in rich homes than the poor. Poor parents still try to make time for their kids, while the rich have little or no time to raise and nurture their kids.

Children from rich homes spend more time with their drivers, who take them to schools and the nannies, who take care of them when they get home because the parents are either at work or out of the country.

To stop this, we need to look back at our family values. We need to create time for the children.

A child can see his/her parents before leaving for school and also meet either of the parents when they get back from school.

In many cases, the housemaids are usually the ones who introduce the children to drugs because the parents are not there for them.

With the increase in broken homes, what, in your view, is the major cause?

First of all, it is foundation. People get married based on selfishness.

When they are married, building a home becomes a problem because they both wanted something else.

The husband was looking for a launderer, while the wife was looking for a cook. Another problem is lack of preparation for marriage.

People spend over N10 million on pre-wedding and wedding events but have no knowledge of marriage. Business/ career is another cause of broken homes.

Some couples are too busy to play their roles.

Marriage works by training and not by intuition as most people think. We discovered that divorces are higher in cities than in villages.

In the villages, we realised that you get people to talk to and after close of work, in 10 -20 minutes, you are home.

But in Lagos, you work in Lekki and live in Iyana Ipaja.

You close from work at 5:00 p.m. and get home at 11:00p.m., then, there is a problem.

We still have cases of domestic violence in homes, where spouses are molested. What is really responsible for this?

A violent man or woman does not look rough physically. They all have standard qualifications.

We can’t see it in their appearance because these traits are within.

Before marriage, these attitudes tend to be visible but are usually ignored.

A violent man or woman may not raise his/her hands on the partner during courtship.

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