By Bose Adebayo
MR and Mrs James Okaffor, both traders and residents of Ojo, have been married for 10 years, but it was 10 years of marriage marred by crises. But reprieve came their way when they were recently invited to attend a couples event.
The event turned out to be a blessing for them as it provided the soothing balm that healedÂ their fractured marriage.
In recent times,Â cases ofÂ divorce or marriage break-up have been on the increase with the result that the marriage institution is said to beÂ under threat from sustained socio-economic pressures. Even many families which claim to be united are only suffering and smiling.
In Lagos State, for instance, the quest for fun and relaxationÂ among couples has gradually become old fashioned, while the now popular hustling and bustling by families for survival is taking a heavy toll on the survival of the marriage institution.
But it was a different story at the Adazin-Ani Town Hall of Agric Ojo, LagosÂ recently when the Catholic Men Organisation, CMO, ofÂ Saint Martin De Porres Catholic Church, Ojo, went the extra mile to package a couplesâ€™ nite where no fewer than 200 couples were treated to a wonderful reception.
In his address, Chairman Organising Committe, Comrade Chinedu Ukatu, said the programme was necessary to create a change of habit that hinders wellness and balance as well as a chance to be throughly entertained.
â€œTodayâ€™s event was packaged in a way that our resource persons can receive information about their ways of life and to know how to handle their marriage. Marriage is a sacred bond of unity; it is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes,â€ he said.
Continuing he said: â€œOften times, we realise that there is always a disconnect between husband and wife due to his or her constant absence from home.
Today we want to bring that connection back. It was for this reason that the CMO has packaged this event.
According to him, many people lose concentration at work simply because there is a problem at the home. â€œWe also realise that the nagging stress which many experience often do not come from their job but from home.
For the wife, there are usually issues of over-burdening house chores, limited opportunity to express herself and sometimes lack of respect from the spouse.
Often women cannot have the time to relax like this. We want to use this opportunity to create an equilibrium or to find the right balance,â€ he explained.
Ukatu said it is not a sin for couples to create time for fun or relaxation. â€œIt is important that the man and woman make out time to have fun, relax and share ideas.
Husband and wife must find time like this to relax, the couple will be on the right path to align their visions, determine what they want in life, agree on trade and recognise long term implication of the decisions agreed on as it will consequently affect how much honour the man would be willing to accord his wife later,â€ he noted.
Special guest, Brother Boniface Onyejekwe urged couples to live in peace. â€œYou must apply wisdom in your home. It is important that you know the size of his or her shoe, measurement and also take note of her birthdays,â€ he advised.
Also speaking, CMO President, Chief Paulinus Dike urged couples to develop strong ties in their various families.
â€œThe rate of divorce in Nigeria presently is alarming as a result of frustration and lack of understanding. If you are not organised or if you are stressed in the family, you cannot concentrate in the office or business(place). There is a lot of issues in the family; we want to get such families united .
ManyÂ of them can no longer enjoy one another because of the hustling and bustling in Lagos. They no longer relax. I want them to share ideas as husband and wife.
No matter the position one is occupying, he or she must come from a family. We want to use this occasion to send the signal to the outside world that a couple should stay together, live together and enjoy their ideas together.Â If the home is in order, there will be peace in the country,â€ he noted.
In a chat with Vanguard Metro, Mr. and Mrs. Collins Ezekwen said of the occasion: â€œThe event is an eye opener to us and we really enjoyed it. That love has been lost in most families but we are glad that the fire has been rekindled tonightâ€.
To another couple, Mr. and Mrs. Josephat Okeke, the event has gone a long way to restore sanity into their homes.
â€œWe have experienced joy like never before, we were able to rub mind together as a couple; the programme has succeeded in rekindling our love. Couples were able to kiss and hug themselves,â€ they chorused.
ADYAN urges mothers on girl-child training
Muslim mothers have been urged to train their girl-children in both Islamic and modern ways so that the society will appreciate them.
Dr. (Mrs) Fadilat Ajadi-Iyanda who gave this advice at the Ansar-Ud-Deen Youth Association of Nigeria (ADYAN), Lagos Branchâ€™s Annual Sisterâ€™s Seminar said that:â€œIslam should reflect in their dressing, attitude, behaviour andÂ approach in all respectâ€.
The seminar had the theme: â€˜Transformation from Sisterhood to Womanhood: Islamic, Legal and Medical Perspectivesâ€™.
She said mothers should educate their girl- child on the current changes in her growth, saying the â€œgirl-child of nowadays begins to observe changes in the body at the early age of nine years oldâ€.