No woman should remain in abusive relationship
Reverend Funke Felix-Adejumo, a preacher and marriage counsellor, in this interview with GERALDINE AKUTU spoke about her annual winning edge conference that would hold at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, from January 12 to13.
There is so much talk about feminism in Nigeria. What’s your take on it?
Feminism is about seeking equal rights and benefits for the man and woman. Equal rights and benefits in work places and in the society. This will go a long way to support women’s development. Feminism is not all about ‘man hating.’ Men are critical part of life. That is how God has made it.
A lot of women feel short-changed in marriage. They believe marriage slows them down. What is your take on this?
I don’t agree with this claim because marriage is a plus to the parties involved. Marriage is a blessing, especially when you marry your friend. Every woman should invest in herself, it breeds respect in marriage. Many marriage teachers concentrate on women changing and leaving the man behind. But we should teach our boy-child to sacrifices just like the girl-child. It is in the light of this that we are working to make the men to be part of the conference. I host the ‘Boy Conference’ annually to teach teenage boys and youths on this. My husband holds an annual men’s forum ‘Men on the Run’ to teach men life lessons that would equip them for life’s journey, including marriage. I’m aware that many church leaders are doing things at various levels. We must all just be consistent at it, so, we can achieve the outcomes we desire.
Women converge every year for the Winning Edge Conference. What are you aiming to achieve with the conference?
I want to use the conference to change women’s mentality, self- esteem and perception of life. A woman is not inferior in any way to the man. The African woman in particular is faced with so many challenges, geographical, cultural, financial, historical, religious, social, personal ethnic, among others. Over the years, the woman was only ‘seen’ and not heard.’ Things are changing, but not at the expected pace. Every woman deserves honour. No woman deserves to be abused or maltreated no matter the situation. No woman should stay in an abusive relationship. The covenant of life is superior to the covenant of marriage. You need to stay alive to be marriageable. As a woman you must believe in yourself. Like yourself, love yourself and invest in yourself. The totality of a 21st century woman’s financial life should not depend on her husband. No matter how little, a woman should add value to her family life. Financial dependency is one major reason many women stay in abusive relationships; it is not the best way to live.
Are there any lessons that would make this edition of the conference different from others?
The Bible makes it clear that God’s intention about us and everything that carries His signature must get better and better. It is the Lord’s doing that each year more and more women are drawn to attend the conference. We strive by the grace of God to offer more than spiritual impartation. For example, we open a shop where widows go to get clothes, shoes and food; at no cost. Last year, MTN provided generators and solar lamps for the conference. Every year, we try to meet more needs, and God has been faithful.
Apart from our returning speakers: Bishop Felix ‘Remi Adejumo (Nigeria), Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo (England), Mrs Jumoke Adenowo (Nigeria), Pastor Tumise Ewedemi (United Kingdom), Pastor Rose Shaboka (Tanzania) and evergreen music ministers like Ebenezer Obey, Nathaniel Bassey and Tope Alabi, the conference will feature new speakers sharing their personal journeys of faith and testimonies and also inspiring ladies to aspire to greater height and expand their circle of influence. We shall be hosting Pastor Poju Oyemade, Dr. Cindy Trimm, Pastor Bola Godman-Akinlabi, Mrs Nkechi Harry-Ngonadi, Pastor Laurie Idahosa and music ministers, Tim Godfrey, Midnight Crew, among others.
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