(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
The guest preacher pinpointed six pillars of marriage as Love, Trust, Respect, Understanding, Intimacy and Oneness. Quoting from 1 Corinthians 13, Bishop Akobe highlighted the characteristics of love, stressing that love is more than feelings. He said to LOVE is to Listen to one another, Observe the body language and tone of each other, Value one another and Embrace each other. He pointed out that husbands and wives ought to trust in each other’s fidelity and be able to be honest about their feelings and fears, without any form of pretense. On the issue of respect for one another, the Bishop noted that men and women show respect differently and also show of respect varies in different cultures. He therefore admonished husbands and wives to do that which is acceptable in their culture(s), without enslaving the other.
The Bishop of Kabba diocese said that marriage is for enjoyment not slavery; adding that couples should discover the person, and the needs of the person they are married to, because no two people are the same. He said couples should be tender in their words to each other and learn to speak with the love language that their partner understands. He explained that intimacy and romance is not all about sex, but also about couples being affectionate and compassionate to each other. Sharing personal experiences about his own marriage, Bishop Akobe advised the couple to communicate with positive language, meet the material needs of each other, remember the dates of special events such as birthdays and anniversaries, and have regular vacations to renew themselves and their love.
The Rt. Rev. Stephen Akobe concluded his message with a charge to Mr. and Mrs. Olowo to complement, and not compete with each other. He emphasized that it is the mind of Christ that a husband and wife should be one; urging the new couple to share every information with each other and support each other. He said it is wrong for a husband to push the responsibility of the home to his wife, adding that many men like to use women like they use things. Lastly, he admonished the couple to chart out their own future and build their home and legacy, so that their children can enjoy the support they are enjoying today because of their parents. Nevertheless, he urged them to teach their children to depend on God and not man.