IDEAL CHRISTIAN HOME WITH APOSTLE & PASTOR MRS. IDAWOR
Apostle Friday Idawor and his lovely wife, Pastor Mrs. Grace Idawor will clock 38 years in marriage this year December 2020. The amiable hosts of Grace & Mercy Assembly, Ikorodu, Lagos, share the secrets of their successful marriage in a joint interview with Christian Benefits on Ideal Christian Home. Below are the excerpts.
Please how long have your been married?
Daddy: We have been married for about 38 years next December 11, 2020.
Share with us how your paths crossed?
Daddy: Our path crossed at All Christian fellowship (now Good News Fellowship) at Okene in present Kogi state
Ma, can you recall how he expressed his interest in you?
We were already serious minded believers when our paths crossed. He didn’t beat around the bush when he told me he wants to marry me. And we prayed about it.
What was your immediate response when he expressed his interest in you?
I told him we should commit it into the hands of God and pray about it. .
What were some of the hurdles he had to cross before he won your heart?
He didn’t have to cross any hurdle since we were already serious believers. We prayed about it. And after our conviction I gave him my consent without any delay.
What were the roles that your parents played in your marriage intention?
Daddy: My parents then were unbelievers. They and all my siblings were stack idol worshippers. When I got born again I carried them along. My father called a family meeting and told me; go ahead and preach your Jesus. Little did I know that with that statement he had commissioned me into ministry. He added that whatever I get from my new faith I should bring home. So, when the issue of my marriage intention to Grace came up I went home and told my parents about it. My father said no to our marriage intention. I reminded him that he said whatever I get from my new faith I should bring home. And here is Grace who I had got from my new faith. My father said that is true and he gave his consent to our intention. After my parents had given their consent Grace took me to her parents at Lokoja and told them about our marriage intention. Her parents received us warmly and gave us parental blessings. However, one particular relative who played a significant role in our decision to marry was her now late aunty she was living with then. The aunty had told her I was going to marry her long before she received the revelation.
Ma, share with us how you received the revelation of your marriage to him.
I received the revelation during our fellowship visit to his village in Edo state. One afternoon while we were in his house I stood by the window gazing at the village. Suddenly I heard a voice whispered to me what if your husband comes from this village. Immediately I rebuked that voice. I thought it was the devil that whispered that to me because I couldn’t imagine myself marrying from that remote village. But when some subsequent events unfolded I realized it was God that spoke to me.
How long was your courtship and what were your courtship activities?
Mummy: Our courtship was just six months. Our courtship activity was majorly studying the word of God together, particularly the 1&2 Peter on marriage. We planned how our home would be. We prayed and fasted together and committed our ways to God. We also used that period to prepare ourselves for ministry.
What were some of the decisions that you jointly took before your wedding?
Daddy: The first decision we jointly took before our wedding was that we are going to serve God together until we die. She came from a very devoted Christian background while I came from idolatry and polygamous background. So, we resolved we are not going into polygamy. We resolved we would love each other, walk in God’s love and not to raise many children. We resolved to do the best we can in training our children. And that is what we have done and we are still doing.
Did she possess the qualities of your dream wife when you both met?
Yes! One of those qualities is her quiet disposition even till now. Her gentle and humble disposition and strong spiritual virtue met my expectations when we met.
Did he possess the qualities of your dream husband when you both met?
Mummy: Yes! I desired someone who is higher than me spiritually. And this is good because the Bible says women should submit to their husbands. If your husband is not higher than you spiritually how will you be able to submit to him?
How will you describe your spouse as a husband, father & pastor?
He’s everything to me as my father because I didn’t enjoy enough fatherly care. I didn’t know my father enough because he died very young when I was 15 years old. Since we married my husband has been playing that role of a father to me. In the early years of our marriage people said he spoilt me with the way he pampered me maybe because what I lacked at childhood he lavished them on me. I see him as a loving husband and as a caring father. As a pastor I see him as a great mentor.
How do you submit to your husband as the scripture demands?
I submit to my husband by been obedient to him, been respectful to him and by honouring him. The three key ingredients of a woman’s submission to her husband is her obedience, respect and honour unto her husband at all times.
How do you show love to your wife as the scripture demands?
God has put the structures of marriage in place. We see those structures and we can relate with them. God is the head but he puts the man as the head to represent him in a family. God gave specific assignments in all families. Love is one of them. Love is very sweet if you understand its concept. When you understand it, it makes love easy to show. That is what is working for us in our marriage and home for over 37 years now. As Christ loves the church so he demands us to love our wife.
How do you handle your differences without involving any third party?
Daddy: What does the third person knows that God doesn’t know? The scriptures say there is nothing anybody can do against the truth but for the truth. Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. So, we are encouraging families, especially those in crisis to return to the Bible to resolve their differences.
Have you had any cause to feel like quitting your marriage in these 37 years?
Mummy: Of course there is no marriage without some disagreements. We have had our own fair share of disagreements in this over 37 years of our marriage but it has never occurred at anytime to any of us to quit our marriage. Yes, there are misunderstanding that we will shout on each other but quitting our marriage has never come to our minds. And it wouldn’t come in Jesus name. Daddy: By the time we got married we had already known Christ. And it was Christ who bought us together. We are addressing couples who are at the verge of quitting their marriage to ask themselves, where is the love they professed for each other at the beginning?
Have they exhausted that love? What has happened to the word of God that says love covers a multitude of sins? Those who are bent on quitting their marriage due to some marital issues have hardened hearts. Those who have made some mistakes or who are presently having issues in the marriages should ask God for grace to function. Whatever is too difficult for grace, mercy will level it down for grace to function. The love of God can never be quenched. One of the songs of Solomon says love is strong. No amount of water can quench the flame of love. I pray for all marriages in crisis today that the involved partners should return to their first love.
How do you relate your with in-laws, friends, and associates without jeopardizing the bond of your marriage?
Mummy: Our home comes first in everything. We have a good relationship with our in laws. My mother-in-law and I related very well before she passed on. I took my parents-in-law as my own parents and they also took me as their own daughter. If you are a true believer you will know how to relate with people peaceably. The Bible teaches us how to relate with our mother-in-law, father-in-law etc. There are scriptures that will direct you and give you the wisdom to relate well with everyone. Since we got married we have never had any crisis with in-laws or in-laws coming in between us. It is God’s grace. Daddy: Her mother is the only parent we have left. She is 91 years old. My parents are late while her father too is late.
Please share with us your parenting approach/method
Mummy: We raise our children in the way of the Lord. We present Christ to them. The Bible says train up a child in the way he should go, and when he grows up he will not depart from it. We discipline them when they go wrong. We don’t pamper them but show them love and care. Daddy: The only manual for proper parenting approach is the Bible. Parents must depend on the scriptures for proper parenting.
How much does your husband assist you in domestic chores?
When we were raising the children he helped a lot. For instance after the delivery of our children my husband was responsible for massaging my body. We didn’t do any Omuoko. My Husband did Omuoko for me. He assisted me in the kitchen. Till now that we are now grand parents of four my husband is still very helpful to me.
Finally, how do you handle your finances without frictions?
Daddy: I believe husbands should open a bank account for their wife and regularly deposit money into that account for the needs of their wife. It shouldn’t be every time your wife will be coming to you to get money to meet her needs, especially when you are not around. Every married man should make their wife financially independent. They should provide for their entire family. Apostle Paul said if a man cannot provide especially for his household he has denied the faith. Husbands must particularly empower their wife. I’m particularly concerned in this regards for pastors who say they are into full-time ministry. Aside ministry such pastors must empower themselves by doing some sort of business to be able to feed their family. They must empower their wife too in business. Full-time ministry is killing many supposed Christian home today. Therefore let us pastors empower ourselves financially to be able to handle and sustain our family finances without frictions.