‘Women in abusive relationships should seek help’
Gladys Obishili is the president of Gladys Obishili Ministry International GOMI. The ministry has the mandate to teach couples and singles so they have heaven on earth experience in marriage. With 19 years’ experience in marriage, in this interview, the graduate of Business Administration from the University of Lagos speaks on the place of communication in marriage, and how having a good relationship with God boosts marital success.
Tell us about your Gladys Obishili Ministries international
GOMI is a Marriage Ministry. It is a divine calling. It’s what I was born to do. It was my divine ordained purpose. All I did was discover it. And I believe that it is still unfolding.
Prior to the birth of the ministry, I was running my own company; Royal Gee Multi dynamics Limited as the MD. But in the midst of it all, I had several divine encounters pointing me to what I was born to do, which is preaching and teaching on marriage. And I feel so fulfilled doing what I do now. The joy of seeing homes mended, singles realigned and many gloriously settled in their own homes, and others blessed with children, many also discovering their own life purpose everywhere we are privileged to minister in cannot be bought with money, all to the Glory of God.
Why are marriages failing?
Let us start by defining marriage and its origin. And permit me to state it clearly here that this is based on the Christian background. Marriage by the originator; God, is the union of a man and a woman. A man and woman of marriageable age, who decides to leave their Father and Mother and all other external interferences and mutually agree to be joined in Holy Matrimony as husband and wife both legally and in the presence of God, his human representatives, Cloud of witnesses and all.
Now as to the reason why marriages are failing? Marital failure is not part of God’s original intent for the marriage institution. But it is as a result of man’s (male and female) disobedience to God’s Principles as stated in the Holy Scripture.
Just as no one can maximize the full benefit of any gadget without reading and adhering to the author’s instructions as contained in the manual so also can no one maximize the blessedness of Marriage without diligently adhering to the Principles of God as regards it.
Who is responsible for failures in marriage? Is it the man or woman?
It is not for us to apportion blame on anyone. But one thing is clear, God has assigned different roles to the husband and wife. Which is: Husband, love your wife. And wife, submit to your husband. Failure to keep to these principles is the root cause of marital challenges. And what do we have today; selfishness and competition. Little wonder the beautiful gift God gave to man is now been associated with aches and pain, for we cannot be wiser than God who instituted marriage. But the good news is that there can be restored if we are willing and obedient.
We cannot single-handedly blame the husband or the wife, because a marriage that must work requires teamwork, or how can two walk together except they are in agreement? So, it is expected of both parties to play their part if they want to enjoy marital bliss. However, people’s level of maturity differs and are on a different path of growth and understanding. Therefore, whosoever understands the Principles of a successful Marriage first amongst couples will be held responsible. Wisdom is profitable to direct.
What should a woman do if she finds herself in an abusive relationship?
Abuse doesn’t just happen, the symptoms have always been there before the eventual wedding. Women are richly endowed with what we call the sixth sense, we are sensitive to signs in and around us except when we chose to ignore them.
When you as a young lady is being slapped by your fiancé at every slightest provocation or shouted at, during courtship and he then comes back with a gift to apologise, it is a sign that if ignored will continue even in marriage. It is wise to speak up or you may forever keep silence when you end up marrying him.
Studies have shown that there are 15 signs that one is in an abusive relationship. This shows that abusive relationship transcends beyond just physical violence. People most times put up a front as if all is well in their relationships, whereas in reality, all is really not well.
By way of balance, some women are also abusive to their husbands Please note that when it comes to marriage, gentleness and humility and all other fruit of the spirit are virtues women need in making their marriage work because even the quietest man can be provoked to do the unthinkable when ‘pushed to the wall’. So let’s please avoid anything that will put pressure on our relationship. My advice, therefore, is that if a woman finds herself in an abusive relationship, she should speak out, seek help and not die in silence.
What is your take on feminism in the context of marriage and is the woman inferior to the man?
This doctrine is centered on gender equality. It is clear that the woman is not inferior to the man in any way. We have had women who had tread in strange quarters and dared great things which some of their male counterparts couldn’t think of doing.
Let’s also remember that a woman is commanded by God to submit to her own husband and not every other man out there as some male folks expect.
And submission here is not an act of slavery nor of being subservient but of willingly surrendering power to another, which does not make one foolish but rather wise, matured and having the ability to put ones emotion under control.
But it is important we state it here that feminism cannot operate in marriage.
A wise man once said that anything that has two heads is a Monster. Two captains cannot run a ship successfully else the will ground it.
In God’s order, Christ is the head of the man while the man is the head of his wife. It is a divinely structured relationship, which is supposed to be orderly and not chaotic.
It is expected that the wife submits to the leadership of her husband even as the husband is expected to Love, cherish, Listen to and care for his woman.
Let’s also note that mutual submission is also necessary as couples allow each other to lead in their own areas of core competence and wisdom. This, if adhered to, will yield fruits in their union.
As a leader and relationship expert, what should be the role of women in politics?
Globally speaking, I do believe in women spearheading things in the society as if that is their divine assignment, because a woman is endowed by God with unusual insight and depths, provided their homes will not suffer for it. I am an advocate of work-life balance.
We have seen women like Deborah, Esther and the likes, who did exploits in the bible days. And there are also women in our times too who did well in leadership and some are currently doing. So if you as a woman has the mandate for your nation, please go for it, having done the due diligence. Women are basically good at playing advisory roles.
Should women aspire for the post of president and head of state, governorship, and what do you think are the hindrances for our Nigerian women so far?
I do know that Nigeria will produce female president someday. But it may not be now as the society is not yet prepared to receive them, but watch out, they are coming.
A lot of women are being prepared behind the scenes for these positions, some are presently serving at different seemingly unattractive positions but at the nick of time, they will emerge. And nothing will be able to stop them under God.