Dr. Sola Jordan Adeoye is a certified Professional Counsellor/Coach & Lead Pastor of The Lighthouse Church in New York. He is a popular marriage counselor who is doing well on Facebook. Dr. Adeoye is a Therapist, who has been helping a lot of people work out their marriages. He was recently hosted on the popular City People Instagram Live Chat where he had a swell time with the Publisher, Dr SEYE KEHINDE who quizzed him on various relationship and marriage matters. DAMILARE SALAMI brings you the excerpts of the chart.
How has it been talking to millions of people every day, what’s the experience being like?
It’s been tremendous, challenging and really draining. When you talk Relationship, it’s not easy because husband and wives will always have misunderstandings and quarrels and you are always in the middle listening to all of this stuff every day of your life. When I said being in the middle, I’m talking about you having four or five sessions every day, listening to yells and you are there trying to make A see what B is trying to say to him because both parties already have a wall in-between and you are there, it’s your job to find a truce for them. So it’s not easy but the only joy you have there is seeing homes being restored, divorce being put to shame, killing is being reduced, it’s a kind of joy when you see that, so you really want to do that again.
How did you start the whole thing, how did the idea come to you?
That was a long time ago any way before I left Nigeria. When I was in Nigeria, I was pastoring a church called Lesekese. When I was there, I was wondering what Pastoring really was, whether it was all about lies or speaking the truth. But I didn’t see that, I saw games. When a visitor is coming to us, we have to change our postures, we have to appear differently and all and I was like this is not real life for me. So when I got to America, I decided to take pastor off my name and for about 8 years, I didn’t go to church, I was only working. And in America, nobody knew me as a pastor; they only call me Sola. And that was when God took me to the surgery room to work on my brain and that was what transformed me and helped me see that the life that we live is actually deeper than the way we live it in Africa. That was how the TNI ministry was founded. I started doing a bit of comedy and from there, I started attending to relationship matters. That would be in 2001.
Tell us a bit about your growing up years. Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Ibadan to the family of Chief, Deacon S.A. Adeoye, my mother before she passed became a Reverend with the Baptist church, she founded about 6 branches by the grace of God. I attended the government college, Ibadan, from there I went to the Oyo State College of Art and Science Ile-Ife and from there, I studied building technology at The Polytechnic, Ibadan then I spent one year at the University of Ibadan after which I got a job at the Gen Yakubu Gowon centre in Abuja because when I was at the Poly, I won the Duke of Edinburgh’s award so I served with them for a while before finally moving to Ibadan. When I got to Ibadan, I got a job with Artmark Nigeria Ltd as the production manager and when the owner died, I floated my own company and eventually, I landed in America.
So apart from the session that you hold and the programme, what else do you do?
Well, I’m a Preacher, I am a Coach, and that’s all I do. I don’t sell cars, I got no business or whatever, all I do is I preach. I get invited all over the world, I do my counselling sessions, I’m a coach, I teach about Sex, good relationships and all of that.
If you are asked to talk about most of the crisis that relationships and marriages are being faced with today, what will you reduce those problems to?
Lack of good definition about what relationship really is, that actually is the major one. You see, there is a statement in Nigeria that “okololoriaya” meaning (a husband is the head of the wife); that statement has ruined a lot of lives. God did not make you a boss over your wife, God did not make you the CEO of that woman, God didn’t make you a king over her. When God was saying the man is the leader of the home, it means that you are a partner with that woman but also that you are a servant leader in that home. That was why he said husbands love your wife as Christ love the church. Jesus Christ did not boss the church, he didn’t push the church around, he didn’t condemn the church; he loved the church even though the church was in sin. So what Christ was expecting us to do is to love our wives the same way. In the 1820s, I believe that women are more or less the properties of the men but in 2020, a woman is a partner in the home. They go to work the same way you go to work, they took the same examination you took and went to the same university as you. They did the same interview to get the same job you are doing.
Today, women are medical doctors. They are professors today. They are accountants. They are governors of states and presidents of countries. So what do we want to treat then as second class citizens? That’s where the problem is.
Number two, issue about Money. So many Nigerian men are insecure. It is difficult for them to handle a successful woman. For them to actually be in the same home with a medical doctor, making $350 thousand a year, compared to them that are making probably about 90 thousand, they don’t want that. Some men couldn’t see themselves as partners with a woman that even if the woman is making more money than them, it is still the family money. They are supposed to run a joint account but they couldn’t because women are skyrocketing right now. You will see that in America, women get jobs that are bigger than men. What we are supposed to do is that we knock our egos down and embrace the women as part of us. She is you, you are not supposed to lead another person, you are supposed to lead yourself. God did not put the leadership of a man in another man’s hands, we only lead by influence. So the issue with a husband and wife is that God created a man, took the woman out of the man and told the man to lead himself. Number three is the issue of Sex. Most of the time, most men only boast.
They go in and in two seconds, they come and off they sleep. While they have cum, the woman is still warming up so they are not able to satisfy their wives. I just finished a conference where I realized that many Nigerian women don’t even know what Orgasm is. I came to Nigeria, I didn’t even stay in Lagos, I went to Ibadan to go and had a Sexuality and Spirituality conference. people were there when I asked women who have experienced Orgasm before and they couldn’t raise their hands. People are well exposed nowadays and you can’t lie to women anymore. We tie them down with Religion and Scriptures. We ask them to submit to their husbands, and they have been submitting all the while but right now, they are questioning who they really need to submit to. Their eyes are opened right now, they know what sex is all about because they mingle with other people and other races and they tell them how they enjoy sex with different sexual positions but an African woman is not enjoying sex. Nigerian women don’t understand what oral sex is because a Nigerian man would rather do it with an American, a Caribbean or an Asian woman so at the end of the day, divorce is coming through. So number one, men don’t really understand the definition of marriage. Number two, the issue of sex and money are very important. Sometimes, men bite more than they can chew and when we get to America just as I am now, we believe that we have come to the end of the world.
Nigerian men living in America will go and buy cars and houses that they cannot pay for because they want to oppress Nigerians living in Nigeria and they are neither oppressed nor impressed. That’s why you see them working double and force their wives to work double so that they can keep up with the lifestyle. Instead of them to live within their means and income and forget about trying to impress anybody in Africa. So many men send money to their girlfriends and family in Nigeria while their family are suffering here in America.
Imagine Nigerian men who build mansions worth N48 million in Nigeria only to spend about two weeks there in four years and they sleep every day in a basement in America for four years. Is that normal, is that the way to reason? And majority of them will say we are going home to build Africa and in one year, after squandering their monies and probably escaping kidnappers and armed robbers, they come back here to the home and family they have abandoned and then there is going to be big time issues. And then the final thing I want to say is that a Nigerian man or an African believes that he is a polygamist by nature. What a nonsense; I don’t know where they are getting that from. You should be able to derive satisfaction from your wife’s breast, you should be able to stay with one woman, you should be faithful, committed to one woman. Why did you marry the woman if you know you cannot be committed to her? Many of them are bringing curses into their homes by sleeping around. They have a girlfriend in Abuja, they have another one in Lagos and New York City; every time they go somewhere, there is a girlfriend waiting and what they are doing is that they are breaking a marriage covenant. Each time you have sex with a woman, there is a covenant you are establishing, you have disconnected from the covenant of your wife and are now connected to that of a stranger. At that point in heaven, they see the two of you as married because the place of marriage is not on the altar but in sexual relationship. So these have been the major issues destroying a lot of homes all over the place and we have been looking for a way to solve them if men, African men can leave their ego and go under the tutelage of someone for mentorship. Let them be trained and be taught what relationship really is. Let me tell you this, an unbeliever does not have what it takes to be called a husband. A husband is not just because you have a penis, a big voice or muscles, all those male you a man but to qualify for the office of a husband, you need some certain qualities. The bible says any man that is unable to provide for his home is worse than an unbeliever. What does it mean to provide for your home? It is about providing money, shelter, food and emotional stability, sexually and providing yourself. You must not be scarce or missing in the life of your wife and children. So if African men can check all these things out, I believe the word will be a better place sir.
Listening to you, it sounds as if it is a lot of hard work to make marriages and relationships work and with all the challenges around us, how will many people be able to cope with this because even here in Nigeria, there is so much pressure from job loss to economic hardship and a host of other things. So how do we make things work in a place like this not to talk of America?
You see, the issue with we African men is that we don’t understand the blessings associated with marriage. If you know where your prosperity lies, you will take care of the place. There will always be challenges in marriage because marriage is the coming together of two independent people to live as one. By independence I mean people who will have no reason to put pressure on each other for money. Number two, marriage is not designed to make you happy… if you’re saying he’s not making you happy, I hear that all the time. The man is not designed to make you happy, if you are not a happy person naturally, don’t get married. You have to be a happy person naturally. What marriage will do is that it will enhance the happiness you already have in you. So if you are not a happy person naturally, don’t get married. You don’t have to put the pressure of your happiness on the man because doing that is what causes a lot of problems in many homes. The arithmetic of marriage is one plus one equals one. It is a big time blessing. One will chase a thousand and two will chase ten thousand, it means that if the two of you put your resources together, you are going to beat depression, recession and poverty. Mercedes and mansions are not that costly if we can pull resources together. If we can connect together, respect one-another and humble ourselves enough to put resources together, people will see them as shinning and prospering. You see, problems will always be around us. For example, here in America, the biggest problem we are facing is Bills. In Nigeria, it is a different ball game but anywhere we are, it is our mindset that will make us win or rule. Let men understand that I need to carry my wife along, let them understand that they are not the boss but a team lead, let them understand that their wives are not second class citizens, prisoners, but a part of their body. So whenever we knock our egos down, you will find out that women are also eager to follow suite. Somebody asked me that what are the responsibilities of a wife in a relationship and I said the wife does not have any responsibility. The responsibility of the wife is to support the husband. It is the responsibility of the husband to make money but that of the wife is also to male money to support the husband. The responsibility of the husband is to build a home but that of the wife is to help him build a home also. There will always be problems but the issue is if we can introduce a marriage school in Nigeria, relationship schools where boys can be trained and taught not by their fathers; they are not supposed to look at the way their fathers lived their lives, they are supposed to be taught an ideal situation of who a husband should be. You will find out that when we change their minds, people will behave correctly. Every one of us knows the right thing but we just don’t want to do it but if we actually trained properly, we will actually bring out the best in our people.
How come our fathers in those days get it right and we in this generation are finding it difficult to get it right?
They didn’t get it right sir. So many of our mothers died in abusive relationships but because they had no voice, they couldn’t say it. When they go to report to their mothers, they keep telling them that they have to suffer in their marriages too. So that’s what they use in tying them down. They suffered throughout their lives, many of them died in abuse but we didn’t get to know because nobody could say anything about that. They had no voice at all, nobody could talk about it so they smile while suffering. Many of them endured it all the way to the end of it; some of our fathers had so many concubines all around and our mothers found out but there’s nothing they could do about it. Because people kept saying they are the men and they can do anything but the women have to just sit down and accept their fate. It got so bad that men will get somebody pregnant and his family members will bring the concubine home and order the legal wife to accept her and the pregnancy and the woman has no choice than to accept it because she’s got no right at all and they died inside all of that. So they didn’t get it right at all sir.
Do you know the number of fathers that couldn’t send their children to school because they had many wives and children? And then they will send a child to school from each wife and push the remaining responsibilities to that child, it was a really terrible situation then and we are still struggling to get marriage right sir. But one thing I see is that our new generation husbands coming after us are very knowledgeable because right now they understand that their wives are educated, professionals, and they have jobs and making money. And because those ones have something to put on the table, they will always have a stake in the home. I always advice women not to bring only their vagina and breasts to the table because if they do, their husbands will always treat them as doormats. When you bring your education, professionalism and financial support to the marriage, you will find out that the man will have no other option than to respect you. Men always respect women that can challenge them, I always encourage young men to marry the kind of women that can engage them intellectually and make them study more. But when you just marry a girl that only knows how to pray and can’t do other things, you are going to end up in destruction. Because that kind of a person will always depend on God to do everything for her. She will not believe in hard work. And hard work coupled with prayers is what brings miracles. Don’t marry somebody because they can only pray, don’t marry somebody because they are beautiful and sexy because the definition of sexy is ‘good only for sex’. When you go out to search for a wife, search for a beautiful and godly woman that can continue to sharpen you until the end of your life. In conclusion, we are still trying to get it right but I see the in-coming generation trying to amend some certain things. Many of those young boys cook and babysit, they do all manner of things that we are not trained to do.
Let’s round off by asking you how those reading this can connect with you. Do you run a daily or weekly programme and how can the audience connect to your ministry?
Well we thank God, the Lord has been using us on many social media platforms. There was a time I used to run two, three programmes daily but right now, the body is gradually getting old. I’ve been doing this on social media for over fifteen years, I am actually one of those people that came up first with this kind of programme on social media and I started recording from my car. But for now, I do one show per day because the counselling session tales a lot of my time. So if anybody is willing to follow us, you can do that on FACEBOOK: Shola Jordan Adeoye or on Instagram which I just started few months ago with short 3-minute videos. And I want to say this finally before I go, you have to be careful the kind of church you go, go to a church where the pastor understands the word of God and its implementation. You don’t want to go to a church where you will be tied down to do only vigils. See, it is not vigils that will give visa to anybody, it is because you are qualified. People always think they got visas because they went to the mountain to pray, how about the unbelievers that don’t have prophets and they are prosperous too? Life is supposed to be balanced. We are spiritual beings and we are human beings also. You have to put the two together, as you pray, you put effort but don’t ever in this world make it look as if everything is happening because you pray, balance your life and don’t let anybody tie you down in church. You can invest in the time you spend doing seven days vigil to train yourself online and become a better person. At the end of the year, you would have had about four to five certifications to get a better job. People that only go to vigils become nobody but those who educate themselves are the ones on top today. Dangote and Otedola don’t go to vigils but they are the ones rocking Nigeria right now. You want to be like them? It’s a different ball game in life entirely. Go to church, serve your God but don’t let anybody deprive you of the time to invest in yourself. Don’t pray for the Holy Spirit to come and do exam for you. Study and then the Holy Spirit will remind you what you have read and then you pass your exams in the name of Jesus. Thank you, everybody, for having me. Thank you very much sir for having me, God bless you.