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Marriage and Family

Freedom comes with concomitant responsibility

As parents gathered in the chapel of St. Gregory’s College, Ikoyi, Lagos, for the Holy Mass to commence the graduation ceremonies of their children last Saturday, one feeling was mutual: joy. Beyond that, there were divergent feelings.

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The game changer

Next Tuesday is World Population Day, a day which seeks to raise awareness on global population issues. In Nigeria, our exploding population, which currently stands at 191.8 million, is a real issue. At the individual level, I have made it a sing song to my marriage course participants that after the first three children, they should think and think again before they add number four, because the fourth child is a game changer.

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Small sh*t dey spoil ya*sh

The hardworking and amiable Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, is in the eye of the storm for marital and family issues, rather than political reasons. Mr. Ambode is alleged to have ordered the Governing Council of the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Ikeja, to sack the presiding Chaplain, Venerable Femi Taiwo for “disrespecting” his wife, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, during the anointing service on Sunday, May 14, 2017. The Venerable failed to give Mrs. Ambode and her entourage preferential treatment. He made her to queue and wait for her turn like other mortals. The report said Mrs. Ambode patiently waited for her turn and stormed out after the anointing!

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What about your mental muscles?

I get amused while passing through some neighbourhoods. I see bare-bodied young men walking in the streets, parading their well-chiseled bodies. I always say to myself, I hope these guys are also building their mental muscles. I do not know what goes on in their minds that make them walk the streets in daylight half naked, but I hope they are not fixated on the illusory assumption of the kind of man women want. In our teenage years, we were misled into the same illusion: Tall, handsome, muscle-bound with six ridges (albs), etc. As I grew older, especially when I became an undergraduate, I got confused because I saw “ugly” lecturers and professors, some of whom were barely five feet, married to tall, stunning beauties.

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“No perfect family”

There is no perfect family. We do not have perfect parents, we do not marry perfect people nor have perfect children. We have issues with one another. We disappoint one another. So there is no healthy marriage or healthy family without the exercise of forgiveness. Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and spiritual survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes an arena of conflict and a stronghold of hurt. Without forgiveness, the family becomes ill. Forgiveness is the asepsis of the soul, the cleansing of the mind and the liberation of the heart. Hurt is poison that intoxicates and kills. Keeping heartache in the heart is a self-destructive gesture. It is autophagy. Those who do not forgive are physically, emotionally and spiritually ill – Pope Francis I

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Taming blackmailers

As a cub reporter with The Punch Newspapers in 1987, I interviewed the first indigenous female professor of a university. I asked her how she felt about the feat. She said she felt “fulfilled and vindicated.” Apparently, she felt the professorship should have come much earlier. I was uncomfortable with the word, “vindicated,” but I quoted her anyway. Later when I saw her, she complained that “vindicated” came too early in the story. In fact, she would have preferred it left out all together. Then I gave her an advice: “Ma, if you are talking to a journalist, assume you are talking to the whole world. Anything you would not say to the whole world, don’t tell a journalist.” “Is that so?” She retorted. “Yes ma,” I responded. I left her feeling giddy that a small boy like me had given a professor a lecture.

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