By Laju Iren
You know the hit song, God na helele. If you’ve been in church long enough, you’ve sang it several times just before Oga Jesus and if your church had a thing for Hausa Songs, Ranka ye de Yesu. What you might not know is that they were all written by the same person. Pastor Mrs. Dele Bamgboye. I remember when I first met Mummy Bamgboye. She was my roommate’s mum in my final year at the University. Her husband and namesake, Daddy Dele Bamgboye was a popular, well respected pastor in the worldwide ministry that birthed our varsity. Recently, they founded and now pastor Highflyers Christian Centre in Port Harcourt. There was a down-to-earthiness that immediately drew me to her. Here was a singer-song writer, pastor, counselor and pastor’s wife who did not have to be so nice to her daughter’s friend. Shortly after that, we had a programme as a ministry and she was all too happy to minister, flying in all the way from Abuja at no cost to us. I could go on and on about how she is an exemplary definition of balance and excellence, but I think you should see for yourself in this interview as she speaks on relationships, family and much more.
Q: Ma, can you tell us about how you met your husband, Daddy Dele Bamgboye
A: We were both in the same fellowship on campus at University of Ilorin. He was a leader in the fellowship so I knew him from afar. I didn’t even have eyes for him like that (Laughs) in fact I didn’t have eyes for anyone I was just focused on my walk with God and myself. When he approached me, I had other suitors and to be honest, he was the least qualified by physical standards but I had a deep seated conviction in my heart even though I struggled with a lot of doubt. I had doubts firstly because his sister was my friend and I didn’t want it to look like she did match-making for us. Also, I had had enough of suitors proposing marriage but no sooner did he make his intentions known to me that I had a deep conviction in my spirit about him. I went to pray and seek God’s face about till I was convinced and sure it was from God and the rest as they say is history (Laughs)
Q: What should single ladies look out for in a husband?
A: Where you should start from is yourself. You have to be the kind of person you are looking for. You can’t live a life that is inconsistent with who you are looking for and expect to get them. Who you are determines who you choose and how you choose.
Look for qualities that last and endure and will stand the test of time. Look for character. Looks may change, circumstances may change but character will help you through the changing seasons and cycles of life. A man of character will be there for you, he will help you grow and he’ll bring out the best in you. Look for qualities like honesty, humility, faithfulness, hard work, fidelity etc. They should be put on the front burner. The man is supposed to be the head so you want to pay attention to a man who has the potential to be the man you can look up to. He has to be someone that commands your respect. He has to be someone who knows where he is going. He sure can’t have it all together at once because vision is progressive but he has to be someone who has a sense of mission. He has to have a good idea of what you’re coming to his life to help him with. Look out for someone who is interested in your own development as a person and is confident enough to bring you along on this journey for the two of you to have a purposeful relationship that will bring glory to God. Look out for a man that knows your worth and has a heart for you indeed. Conversely you make sure that you have all these qualities in your life as well.
Look for qualities that last and will stand the test of time. Look for character. Looks may change, circumstances may change but character will help you through the changing seasons and cycles of life
Q: What has it been like being a pastor’s wife for over two decades?
A: My husband became a full time pastor 22 years ago even though he was ordained a pastor earlier. Being married to a pastor, God’s man, is an incomparable privilege. It is a privilege to be the one God entrusts his servant to, to be his wife and supporter. To be married to a person that takes on the role of spiritual mentor to others is a great privilege. It will take a whole book to truly describe what it has been like so far because every occasion comes with its own unique challenges and peculiarities.
One major challenge though has been the thought of losing my husband to the work. My husband is a workaholic even when there’s no work, he’ll look for work. (laughs). One time I had to tell him “See I’ve offered you as a living sacrifice to God. I’ve packaged you and dropped you in the offering basket to God”( laughs)
But above all else, it is very gratifying to know that your husband is pursuing God wholeheartedly; He’s so interested in adding value to lives and it’s such a blessing regardless of the challenges along the way. I’m happy that God helped me earlier to grow with my husband and rise up to the occasion. It’s been my privilege to be the one who ministers to the minister, being his friend behind the scenes.
I made up my mind to help him be the best he can be and to the best of my ability, I’ve been nothing but a blessing. By God’s grace I’ve been nothing but an addition to his life.
The peculiar challenge of being a pastor’s wife is that you have to share your husband with everyone else. He’s every body’s man but I have to accept that with all joy because it’s all to the glory of God.
Q: What important lessons can young pastors’ wives learn from you?
A: I do not claim to be an authority on this and I don’t know everything but I think I know enough to share a few things with you.
Firstly, know that this man you’re married to is God’s man so you have to give him that respect because you’ll answer to God for the role you played in his life. Your focus should be on helping him. The quality of his life in the home reflects on his activities outside so you have to pay attention to being the best you can be to him.
Don’t even try to compete with your husband because the role you’re playing in his life is just as important as the role he’s playing in the lives of others and my understanding is that whatever eternal rewards accrue to him by virtue of ministering to others, some of it will come to my account because I’ve allowed God to use me to help me.
For me, I’m okay with staying in the background; the role of ministering to the minister is enough in itself. Trying to steal his shine won’t work. If you are supposed to be in the spotlight, you’ll have to pay your own dues in some other levels to get there.
Hold your husband up in prayer. You’re the best person that can pray for him. Commit his ways to God and for God’s grace to abound to him on a daily basis.
The bulk of people who come around our husbands are genuine. See people with an open mind and don’t be the one that scare people away from him. Be self confident but still be careful and watchful and this is done most effectively on your knees in prayer so that you’ll have enough fire and sensitivity to be alert to danger not by suspicion but by discernment. If once in a while you come up and tell your husband to be watchful based on your discernment form God’s presence. Let him do his work but watch in the realm of the spirit and don’t be careless.
Find your own niche. If you’re passionate about children’s ministry, go ahead and do it for God. Find what you’re passionate about, be it decoration, singing, outreaches; go ahead and do it in your capacity for God like every other church member. You don’t have to be the leader of the group you are in because you are the pastor’s wife. Just be yourself and make sure that God is your focus.
Pay attention to your husband’s wellbeing. Make sure he looks good and he eats. I f you have a secular job, work around your schedule and rely on God’s grace which is sufficient for you.
Know that this man you’re married to is God’s man so you have to give him that respect because you’ll answer to God for the role you played in his life. Your focus should be on helping him.
Have a good understanding of what God has called your husband to do, understand it for yourself so that you can pray through and offer support as much as you can and relate with the members so that they’ll always look up to you as mother. Accommodate everyone but there should also be boundaries so they’ll also look up to you as a spiritual mother that you are. Don’t take people for granted and don’t use people. Just stay in the place God has put you and exercise your powers quietly.
In official matters, depending on the kind of system that you run have a good understanding of what’s requested of you and stick to it. As the pastors’ wife, don’t assume a role that has not been given to you in an official capacity.
People will give you the respect that you earn. Don’t ride on the fact that your husband is the Pastor to earn respect because that kind of respect won’t last. Earn your own respect because of what you do in your own right.…continue reading here…