ONUMBA.COM – When Rev. Comfort Kalu was planning the third anniversary celebration of the Fountain of Living Water Ministries International, she decided to gear the occasion in part towards an issue that’s hugely dear to her heart: ‘marriage.’
So she invited an expert all the way from the State of Washington, author Dr. Asopuru Okemgbo, to come and speak on the subject.
And Okemgbo didn’t disappoint.
Navigating through some of the biggest pitfalls of marriage, he identified a menu of factors he blame for weakening the pillars of an institution that has come under assault from a barrage of salvos.
It has even come to a cusp where folks don’t even bother to get married anymore. They bypass it altogether, preferring instead to shack-up.
What’s worse, society, even as it dangles morality as its foundational virtues, doesn’t even frown at that anymore because it has grown into an acceptable vogue.
Apparently, the sense is, why say “I do” when many of the intrinsic bounties of marriage are also available to those who might as well be saying ‘I don’t.’ Single folks in relationships can do everything that married couples do: live together, have sex, bear children and raise a family, all while reserving the right to walk away from it all without any costly legal brouhaha which is often part of a typical divorce saga.
Obviously, going that route makes the issue of divorce a mute point.
But for those who still say “I do”, divorce has become quite rampant, to say the very least.
Now, folks scoot to divorce court faster than you can say, “I want out.” Reportedly, about 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce.
In his lecture, Okemgbo urged his audience to strive to save their marriages. Basing his remarks nearly entirely on his new book, “Pop the Question, Get Yes, Get Married,” he decried the high divorce rate, telling his listeners that it doesn’t always have to be the route out, because “there’s God’s miraculous intervention” to the rescue.
He made a distinction between “marriage” and “mirage” and explained that “mirage” is an illusion of marriage laden with problems.
“God turns “our mirage into marriage” he said.
God performs that role, because according to Okemgbo, “there’s no school for marriage.” He said that engineers and doctors go to school to hone their skills to practice their vocation, but “you don’t go to school to qualify to become a ‘husband’ or a ‘wife.’ That’s why marriages fracture and fail, he said.
He spoke about “agape” and said that it is the only type of love that can sustain marriage. It’s the kind of love that’s not based on “physical appearance, wealth, social status, fame, kind gestures and emotional feelings,” he said.
Money is always a big issue, he noted. “Declare your assets,” “share information,” and “be open” to each other.
Communication is the key, he said. But it works best when conveyed in “sweetened words.”
“Sex” is important too, but he noted that it must be devoid of “selfish gratification” or deployed for a glib mix of retribution, maliciousness and ‘gotcha’ purposes.