Bisi Adewale is a renowned marriage counselor that has the God given ability to rebuild dilapidated homes and restore marriages. For almost 20 years, he has presided over the family booster ministry that focuses on marriages, singleness, women, men, parenting, and the training of pastors to become better counselors. He has hosted editions of the popular Lagos Couples’ conference, the largest couples’ gathering in Nigeria.
What is Giantability? It is coined from two words, Giant and Ability. The Almighty God has given us great capabilities and the capacity to do exploits. Every individual has a massive potential to do great works through Christ just as he has said in Philippians 4:13. Pastor Bisi Adewale is not in the marriage ministry because of passion, but for calling, and therefore his persona won’t easily fade in one’s memory.
In an exclusive chat with Livinghope Magazine, the delectable author of many books, family expert and marriage coach revealed salient issues in marriages, focusing on spousal abuse.
Speaking experientially, an issue peculiar to one might not be the case with others. Bad foundation, self-centeredness, wrong/lack of communication, discontentment are consequential issues out of many that people are not really talking about that cause troubles in many marriages.
In recent years, social media and the world have been awash with conversations revolving around this divisive topic, from accusations of revered celebrities to victims bravely narrating their experiences. These stories date back decades, revealing that spousal abuse is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria
On the forms of spousal abuse, Bisi Adewale listed them as emotional, physical, financial, making the physical aspect ubiquitous. He said “Nowadays we begin to see cyber abuse by spouses, where they send text messages, emails to abuse each other. A woman showed me the text message the husband was sending to her regularly, it was funny! Even people are abusing each other on Facebook now.”
Many are of the disposition that women are always the victims of these abuses because that’s what makes the headline. It is possible men are. However, the family expert says he has seen situations whereby wives beat their husbands and end up taking their lives. “Almost 90% of cases, it’s men that abuse because of the normal inbuilt strength of a man. We have situations whereby financially, emotionally and sexually, women are abusing their husbands. It is not just about beating and battering.”
Owing to the fact that marriage is a union of differences, it is quintessential to note that there would be apparent signs to ward off individuals before becoming victims of any of the forms. “I always tell the youths – if you are not deceiving yourself, nobody can deceive you. When you are going out with a guy that is always violent with other people, though very gentle and caring with you, you should know. The truth is when you get back home that is the same way he will behave to you”
“Another glaring one is; a guy that starts to abuse you, threaten you, beat you before you get married will always beat you in marriage. The way he talks to the opposite sex also matters,” the pastor opined.
People that become victims should rummage for professional help, not just from pastors, for most times they aren’t trained for it. “You are to look for professional help, we now have trained Christian counsellors who can be of help. They combine the pastoral knowledge with counselling knowledge. What I tell people in abusive marriage is don’t keep quiet, speak out. Some people will say because they don’t want to reveal the secret of their husband. If you don’t want to reveal the secret of your husband, when he kills you, the whole secret will be revealed.”
Seeking help in the right place as well is important. It is one thing to get help, it is another to rekindle the love that ought to abound between both parties. For Bisi Adewale, Marriage Clinic solves that. “We meet you for at least seven times together. The first stage is to quench the fire, second is to repair the mind then third stage is to get the flame back.” Couples are placed on ‘Intimate Talking Term’ (ITT), given books to read, retreats to attend, alongside therapy. “We encourage them to only go for divine help or help party. I call it help party instead of third party. Immediately you bring your family, friends and fans into your marriage, it may not last. These 3 F’s usually destroy marriage.”
Christians should be more wary when it comes to choosing their life partners and in preparing for marriage. There is more to it than meets the eye. They should be more conscious in order to avoid perpetuating the spousal abuse culture. Spousal abuse in any form is a serious matter that should neither be joked with nor treated lightly.
Interview by Ololade Olatimehin