Can we meet you?
I am Reverend Mrs. Mary Oluwatunbi
I have the passion for the youth, their developments and to see that they excel more than their parents. I am also into family life, raising youth and talking to mothers, I have written a book on mothers, homemakers and nation builders. As a result of my relationships, I wrote a book on relating well with your in-laws especially mother-in-laws and daughter-in-law’s problems.
Lately, I wrote a book on mitigating challenges of middle-age. How do you cope when you face reality? Some are parents and they have parents to take care of. These are problems that come with a new life that so many are not prepared for. I thank God; it has really been a best-seller.
Can you tell us about your marriage?
To God be the glory. My marriage was 34 years in July; it has been wonderful. I know the way we were brought up in school, that fear of God, submissiveness to your husband when you see him as the god in the home. It has really been a wonderful journey together.
Can you tell us your husband’s name?
He is Reverend Samuel Oluwatunbi. He also is a Minister of God, we are professionals, an architect, a writer and we have a ministry. God has really helped us. We paid attention to our children and it has really paid off. God has really been merciful; it’s not that there were no storms but because we have God in our lives, we have been able to weather through the storms and we understand ourselves better now. We give all the glory to God for the journey thus far.
What were the things that helped you channel your children through the right path?
The Grace of God is number one; then, I believe it must be better in the next generation. Our own parents, my parents were in Christ Apostolic Church, they took us to church for prayers despite their poverty, and the five of us are graduates. So, what they pumped in us. These people are not educated; they just have a primary school certificate. If they could raise us up, what about us that are graduates and we know the Lord; that was the motivating factor.
All those pieces of training we received in school, I remember in the university we do hold ladies fellowship, they taught us about the home and that really helped us. Combining with the fact that we are church founders, we cannot just be preaching. They have to see it in your life; that has really helped us. It is the grace of God; it is not what anybody can boast about.
The foundation really matters. Good homes, good children are not by chance and by wishful thinking. God has His role to play and you also have your role to play. You must be an example; it’s not enough to say do this, do that; they must see it in your life. The God that helped us will still help our children.
Did you choose careers for your children?
When we look at their areas of interest and their capability, we encourage them but not to enforce it on them. Like the first one wanted to be an accountant but her capability was not up to that. When she wrote JAMB, she could not meet the cut-off so she had to do Physical Health Education which she finds more fulfilling now. The second one, because we know she was capable, she went for medicine and God helped her, the third one because she can talk a lot, we said well, it’s either you be a Pastor or a Lawyer and the only boy we have because when daddy was working, he takes him to site and he likes Technical drawing and he ended up reading Architecture.
How do you settle misunderstandings with your husband?
Those are realities o! There are some theories that people just talk about on the pulpit. Truly, there are some misunderstandings that can last for days but you now look at it that the sun must not go down on your anger. Remember you are a leader in the church; you must not be a teacher alone, you must be a doer. So, with the Spirit of God, Holy Spirit talking to us, that is just how we resolve our differences and I discovered that as we mature in age and in a closer walk with God, our frictions have really been minimized because everybody wants to make heaven and have decided to please God.
We have known our areas of likes and dislikes. Now that we are even grandparents, seeing another generation, I really want to thank God.
How do you enjoy leisure?
Ah, we still have time to go for ministerial assignments and programmes together because gradually the house is becoming empty now that there are times; it is just only the two of us.
Your advice to couples as divorce is very common nowadays?
It is lack of understanding and there is no tolerance. You cannot have your way every time even as a man. There are times you have to be the goat or you have to be the sheep. If every time you insist on having your own way, there is going to be a problem.
So, be true to yourself, when you see some things that you don’t like in the man and there are certain things you cannot change, ask for the grace of God and you learn how to cope. Just like one book we read in those days that says admire him, adapt to him, so, there are some things you have to learn to adapt to.
It is not everything you start carrying out; even the people you are going to meet have their own problems. Don’t expose your weak areas. Celebrate your good points. The children of these days, they want ready-made food. Nobody is ready to suffer but I know it must get better with our children.
Advice on parenting
It is a lifetime work o! Even when we now have grandchildren, you still have to take care of the grandchildren, the children themselves, how they will maintain happiness in their homes, though now more as a counselor, not enforcing, realizing that they are matured adults; that is where people have problems. You can only give your counsel and not enforce it.
Parenting has to be intentional, intentional parenting, intentional teaching Don’t assume the church will do it or the school will do it. No, you have your role to play like in Deuteronomy 6:5-7, it says when you lie down when you go out, you will teach your children; you have to teach them. Don’t assume they will know it. The church, the school will complement but the primary role is for the parents.
These days, with career, people wake up early and leave the house before 6 am. They come back when the children are sleeping. It has not really helped matters, especially in this Lagos. That is why grandparents will have to be doing the work of nanny now because we can’t leave these children with house helps. There is going to be a problem; we have to be available and we find out that even as a grandmother, parenting work continues but with the grace of God, with prayers, the God that helped us will help them.