article, social commentator, Epa Stevens, writes about Godman Akinlabi, a
pastor and relationship coach on a mission to stem the rising incidence of failed
marriages in the society.
What is the meaning of marriage? Why do we marry? What are
the benefits? What are the features of a good marriage? These and other
pertinent questions about marriage are becoming increasingly complex to answer
in a rapidly changing world where the dynamics of culture and values are always
With divorce rates on the rise around the world and the
roles of men and women changing fast in the modern society, it is easy to
predict a bleak future for the institution of marriage. It is also easy to
believe marriage is no more relevant. Despite the discouraging statistics,
relationship coach and author, Godman Akinlabi, is one of the people who have
given Africans the reasons to believe in this sacred institution.
“Having invested seventeen years in the marriage institution
and nearly twenty ministering and counselling, I have discovered the beauty in
two people coming together in unity to do life and to take-on the world, and
also the negative consequences of marital disharmony,” Akinlabi, who is also
the Lead Pastor of frontline Christian Ministry, The Elevation Church (TEC),
said in a recent news report.
Recent statistics indicate that more people around the world
are giving up on marriage as an institution. One of the most available data on
marriage dissolution indicates that rate of divorce around the world has
doubled in the past 4 decades, peaking at 5.5 in 1000 people by 2008. Today in
the United States, 39 percent of all marriages are ending in divorce. In
Nigeria, the statistics are less alarming but not good either. While divorce
rate remains low, due to the strong influence of a conservative culture, but
has continued to climb. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),
just 0.2% of Nigerian men and 0.3% of Nigerian women had legally dissolved
their marriage in 2016. However, by 2018, separation rates in Nigeria had recorded
a 14 percent increase.
As the Nigerian society comes increasingly under western
influence and women become more empowered, the rate of divorce has soared in
the country, especially in urban areas. In February 2020, a tweet by a lawyer indicated
that there had been 4000 divorce applications in Abuja already that year.
Also, Marriages are becoming less common, and cohabitation
has replaced marriage in many cases. Some media reports even indicate that the
state of marriages in the world has changed more rapidly in the past 100 years
than in the preceding 3,000 years. Despite
enduring for thousands of years of human existence, one of the oldest
institutions in the world is now under severe threat.
Akinlabi is aware of this threat and feels concerned to
contribute to battling it. Not only is the love guru advocating for healthy and
happy marriages, but he is also teaching people how to build and sustain them.
To this effect, Akinlabi is launching an online preparatory and enhancement
course aimed at building and sustaining healthy matrimonies. Tagged, “Amare” (a
Latin adverb meaning “to love”), the courses start in April 2021 with two
crucial modules; a Marriage Preparatory Course for singles looking to start
their journeys, and a Marriage Enhancement Course for married couples looking
to reinvigorate their relationships. These online courses are designed to
answer participants’ yearnings and to strengthen relationship bonds.
Akinlabi’s credentials and experience in public speaking,
marriage counselling, and relationship advisory has positioned him uniquely as
the right anchor to administer these courses. This follows the success of his online
TV and weekly Twitter series, The BetterHalf Show, focused on sharing practical
tips about building successful romantic relationships. As a renowned
relationship coach with deep knowledge and insights on relationships, he is known
to convey critical information in a uniquely simple and relatable style.
Akinlabi has authored several globally acclaimed relationship books such as
Solid: Building the Marriage of Your Dream, Gauging Readiness for Marriage and
to the relationship coach, Amare has been designed as a safe space for
vulnerability to remove the impurities and impediments to a blissful union.
has practical modules for enhanced communications to deal with pertinent
questions around personal fears and trust-issues, financial management, family
planning, extended family relations, building stronger foundations, tolerance
and planning your collective future amongst others. The insights couples gain
will help them create a template suitable for them to build and maintain a
long-lasting and fulfilling marriage,” he added.
many reasons to heed to Akinlabi’s calls to save the marriage institution as a
core component of the society. According to the Child Encyclopedia, Children of
divorced parents are more likely to experience poverty, educational failure,
early and risky sexual activity, non-marital childbirth, earlier marriage,
cohabitation, marital discord and divorce.
The Amare online course modules are expected to address
pertinent issues in relationships and marriages. such
issues may include loss of interest, change in preferences, overwhelming career
pressure cum-goal pursuit, financial challenges or simply the selfish pursuit
of personal happiness.
By highlighting the consequences of
failed marriages on the society, it has been established that good marriages
are vital to the wellbeing of the society. By addressing these issues and
inspiring us to stay committed to building and sustaining healthy marriages,
Akinlabi is making his contributions to building a better society.