How families can survive meltdown


‘How families can survive meltdown’

-Bisi Adewale

How families can survive meltdown

Leading Christian marriage counsellor, Pastor Bisi Adewale, spoke with Sunday Oguntola on the challenges facing families based on the economic meltdown and how they can navigate the storms.How families can survive meltdown

How families can survive meltdown


How is the economic crunch affecting families?

This is not the best of times for families at all. Many parents cannot meet obligations like school fees. Many wives are leaving their matrimonial homes. I know a particular pastor whose wife just left with their five children.

According to her, the man cannot meet her needs. A sister also left her husband of less than one year, insisting he is not manly enough.

How families can survive meltdown

This crunch is really hitting families. It is making women not to respect their husbands like before. It is giving more rooms for infidelity. Some women who are unstable are falling into the hands of those with the means. So, it is a hard time really and families are pressed hard.

What else have you observed in your counseling sessions?

We have observed that many couples fight more these days. You know financial pressure is a huge challenge that only a few women can cope with. Many men are becoming more violent and irritable because they cannot meet needs.

How families can survive meltdown

A woman told me that anytime she opens milk, her husband is always saying, ‘don’t take too much’; ‘why are you eating three meals’. It is becoming a serious issue for many families. Expenses are increasing while incomes are shrinking. Someone told me he has just taken a 40 percent pay cut. He is likely to vent his anger on the wife if care is not taken.

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This economic downturn is putting pressure on families. We have more counseling sessions on money issues and we often end up in stalemates because most wives refuse to budge. A lot of men are becoming insecure and violent. Wife battery is increasing though we cannot exonerate the culprits. So, it is a whole lot of chain reactions that we are witnessing.

So, what should families be doing at a time like this?

I need to say that we have been wasteful as a nation with families. Government has its blames but an individual family overspends than its incomes. Last week, I was in a town and I saw parties everywhere. All private and public school premises were hired. Everywhere was jam packed with people.

I saw billboards announcing burial activities of their parents. I don’t know how we got there. Instead of husband and wife to fight, they need to sit down and reconsider their budgeting plans. We buy more on impulse in Africa and this must stop. Families need to learn the four Ms of Money….

… Which are?

The first M is making money. People need to learn how to make more money. There is something called moonlight income. Most people close by 4 or 5pm and gossip away till nightfall. This is the time to consider what else to do to make money after close of work.

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People must think of what else to do. Cuba has not been able to import since 1968 and so they looked inwards. You see them still driving old model vehicles. A lot of them learnt how to repair their vehicles. This is the time to cut costs and increase incomes for families. Instead of lambasting government on social media, we need to think of how to make money.

How families can survive meltdown

The second M is maturity. We lack financial maturity in this part of the world. We buy shoes for N75, 000 and pay for nine months. Yet, the salary is just N50, 000. By the time you pay up, the shoe is already worn out. We hold remembrance services that are needless.

Maybe God created this scenario so that we can learn. We buy to impress and show up. Nobody is impressed by whatever you buy; only your pocket is suppressed. We must read books on money and attend seminar on finances to gain intelligence.

The third M is managing it. Money management in marriage is needful. One of the greatest keys to managing money is saving. An average worker is broke before the next pay day. We must develop saving culture out of financial intelligence.

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As a Christian, you pay God first, then yourself. You leave a order for a percentage to save, no matter what.  The last M is maximizing money. Money is our blood and sweat. If you waste it, you waste your blood and sweat. There must be projects your saving is committed to. If there is no project, there is no progress.  Families must sit down and get this sorted out.

What are other practical steps to consider?

I will say wives must be patient with their husbands while men too should strive harder. Families must cry to God for ideas and intervention. Instead of fighting, let us pray together. Those who sleep around should stop because it is wasteful. If you have a friend working with you in the same neighbourhood, go for car sharing.

Let someone drives today and another person for the next week. Fuel consumption goes down and costs of maintenance too. We should learn to drop celebrity consciousness. Those who have jeeps should consider smaller vehicles for less cost. Save more and put it on a project such as real estate.

Every kobo you receive now is supposed to protect you in your old age. We are running money and marriage master class for 30 days. I just wrote Money Management in Marriage and Maximising Money in Marriage to address these issues.

Courtesy:The Nation Newspaper