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Rev. (Mrs) Olayinka Odubela is the Marketing Director, Greengold Ventures, Odo Ona Elewe, Ibadan, Oyo State, a lecturer with the LIFE Theological Seminary and a Reverend Minister with the Foursquare Gospel Church, Eleyele, Ibadan. With 29 years of marriage experience, she sheds light on the key to having a happy home in spite of changing values, in this piece with BLESSING EKUM.
HOW would you compare your growing up years to that of this generation?
I was born in Blackburn, England to Late Chief M. F. Abajingin and Rt. Major A. A. Abajingin and though my mum was a military woman, she was generous, kind and full of honesty, though she was also strict. In terms of housework, she always expected the best from us. I am the first child of a family of 17, but there was peaceful co-existence among my siblings. However, if I have to compare my youth and what we have now, I would say there is a huge difference. These days, young people have more challenges than I did when I was a child. The exposition and competition they have to deal with is much. I think children of today need more prayers and guidance than ever.
How was life, growing up in a polygamous home?
My father was caring and sacrificial and it was by God's counsel and agape love that I was able to relate with my siblings and also influence them. However, I believe polygamy should not be encouraged.
As a food technologist, what is your opinion about Nigerians’ feeding habits?
Most Nigerians don't eat right. We shouldn't just eat what is available but ensure that it is balanced. All the classes of food should be eaten in the right proportions: protein, carbohydrate, fats and vitamins. Also, there are certain foods that should be avoided by people in certain age categories. From age 40 and above, certain foods should not be a part of the diet. Generally, red meat, processed flour products, caffeine products, animal milk products and white sugar should be taken in very minute quantities or not at all. Fruits and vegetables are better feeding options. Eating healthily should be a part of us.
With your background as a food technologist, how did you find yourself in ministry?
Actually, I wanted to read medicine but my father influenced my choice for food technology. He had been to Cairo and had seen a guava industry and felt I would do well in that line. So, I went in for food technology. But then, I got born again in 1975 while I was studying for my A Levels in Ilorin and that was where I received the call into the prayer and intercessory ministry. I am also into the welfare ministry and I feel fulfilled when needs are met physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially and otherwise. There are many people around us that have these needs. The essence of ministry work is meeting needs because no matter how high I go and what I achieve, it is about meeting needs. My husband is a food scientist and he handles the technical aspect of our company while I handle the administration and public relations aspects of the company. Working together and being in the same sector has been fulfilling. Though I still practice what I read, I am more fulfilled with my spiritual calling.
It is believed in some quarters that the children of ministers are usually badly-behaved. what is your take?
But being a minister, especially for those in the deliverance line, can be challenging because it is about spiritual warfare. Sometimes, when the parents cannot be got, the attack is fired against the children. However, once the children are brought up to fear God, it can be overcome. I thank God that my children are God-fearing. That is not to say that they didn't have their moments like every other child has. My daughter is married and is enjoying her marriage.
How long have you been married?
I have been married since December 10, 1983.
How did you meet your husband?
The first time I heard God speak audibly to me was when he told me who my husband was going to be. I wasn't thinking about marriage at the time. I schooled at the South Humberside University, United Kingdom, while my husband was at the Nottingham University, also in the UK. I was at the fellowship when he told me and at that same time, he also told my husband. He is also a minister and we work together in the ministry.
What, in your experience, is the key to a happy marriage?
I would say the secret to a happy marriage is both parties having the fear of God and agreeing to go the marriage the way of God. It is very important that the wife learns to submit to her husband and also the husband should learn to love his wife. All the talk about women's rights should not make a woman think that she should not submit to her husband. No matter how much she earns, it shouldn't get to her head. That way, the marriage can be a happy one. I am also of the opinion that once a woman is in God's will, she would reap the dividend of joy and peace. Once the woman is frustrated, she would want to transfer her aggression to the world. But once a woman is happy, she won't be fighting for rights.
Are you closer to your spouse than your children?
I am closer to my spouse than I am to my children. My husband is my best friend.
What do you do for leisure?
I like to read books and some of my favourite authors are Kenneth Hagin, Bishop Oyedepo, Pastor Olukoya and Yong Hi Cho. I also listen to gospel music and sermons.
What book has influenced you?
Kenneth Hagin's book, Healing, is one book that influenced my life.
Are there people who have had profound influence on your life?
Yes. Chief and Chief Mrs Adeagbo greatly influenced my perception about marriage. They were the only family I could see that their marriage was settled at the time. Another person I greatly admire is the wife of the former General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Revd. Mrs. Mercy Badejo.
My favourite colour is turquoise.
I like skirt suits and I like matching my shoe and bag colour.
I was born on March 11, 1955.