With a degree in Accountancy and a Master’s in Financial Decision Analysis, Pastor (Mrs) Mojolaoluwa Tolulope Akin-Alamu, wife of Pastor Dexter Akin-Alamu, and co-pioneer of Empowerment House, is committed to seeing women excel in all aspects of their lives. She speaks with Rita Okonoboh on her experience in the ministry, how women can achieve their God-given potential, and what she wished the congregation understood about pastors’ wives. Excerpts:
Are you into full-time ministry?
That’s a tricky question because it’s relative. People define full-time ministry in different ways. As my husband says, no one sits in church 24 hours a day, which we could call full-time ministry. Primarily, we are into ministry. Every other thing is an add-on.
Did you know you’d be married to a pastor?
I did not. I had a picture of what my home would be like, but I didn’t set out to marry a pastor.
You co-pioneered Empowerment House in 2009, with your husband. What convinced you to support that vision at the time?
The Bible says the woman should submit to the man, as the man is the head of the home. As the wife, you should have your own personal walk with God, so you know about right timing. I met him as a pastor and I remember one of the questions I asked him before we got married was if he would found a church and he said yes. And I agreed. So, it wasn’t like it was a whole new thing. I knew that it was time because everything suggested that it was time.
You have a degree in Accountancy and another in Financial Decision Analysis. What’s the attraction to numbers?
Unlike now when youths have more opportunities to understand their purpose, honestly, back then, our parents chose for us. At the end of the day, as a child of God, everything that happens in your life is not out of sync with your purpose. I see Accountancy helping me in life till date because in life, we must learn to be Accountable – keeping a tab on your life and not just leaving everything to chance. Studying Financial Decision Analysis also helps one make good financial decisions. When I was working as an auditor, I enjoyed checking records. It was a part of accounting I enjoyed and it created variety and a balance.
You’re passionate about seeing women empowered in every area of their lives. Why is that, and what are some ways you have brought this to reality?
It’s getting better now, but you would still be amazed that a lot of women feel they are second-class citizens. They just don’t feel they are at par with men and this is the society we have found ourselves in. It’s just the husband that is head of his wife, not every other woman. We lived in the UK for more than 10 years and issues such as women are better than men is not prominent. Mindset is a very strong thing and it is passed on from generation to generation. Somehow, many girls grow up with the mindset that men are better than them, unless you consciously change that mindset and know that God made them male and female. And that has affected the self esteem of a lot of women and makes them take some very dangerous decisions and sometimes, make them susceptible to abuse. Particularly, a few years ago, we launched the Belle Initiative, which is a mission to let every woman know she is beautiful. When you accept you’re beautiful, you can hold your head high and walk in the fullness of all that God has ordained you to be. Some people go out of their way to expose their bodies to feel beautiful. You don’t need all that. You just need to know that God made you beautiful, regardless.
Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, recently expressed the hope that the state would produce a female governor soon. Do you think the Nigerian environment can engender such dreams as having, say, a female president in the near future?
I believe very strongly that it is possible. God wants to use women to do great things in these end times and that is why there’s a lot of attention towards women now. A lot of women are now rising up to empower other women because there is so much inside of us that God wants to use. Now we are knowing who we are, and that we are special and the truth is women are so gifted and powerful and sometimes, we don’t know, and that is why the enemy attacks us a lot because the enemy knows that if a woman comes to the realisation of how gifted she is, there is so much she can achieve; the sky is not even the limit.
How would you advise women on supporting their husbands in ministry?
I believe as a woman, whether within or outside the ministry, you should support your husband because you have accepted him as your head. The most important way you can support your husband is to pray for him. It’s your number one assignment as a wife. Men thrive on respect and submitting to him doesn’t mean that you’re lesser than him. There’s this analogy about the man being the head and the woman the neck. Nagging doesn’t work, but instead, makes things worse.
Sometimes we have valid points and because men work with logic, it may be a little difficult for the woman to express her feelings in a way that the man would understand. Rather than let the issue result in back-and-forth arguments that may lead to crisis, go to your prayer closet. It works. A woman must have a solid relationship with God else and it makes things easy. Pray for your husband every day. If you have the attitude of always praying for your husband, disagreements will be minimal. For single people, if you don’t believe in a man, if you cannot respect him, and if you don’t look up to him, don’t marry him, else it will be very frustrating because you won’t be able to submit to him.
What’s one thing you wish the congregation understood about being a pastor’s wife?
I wish they sometimes understood that pastor’s wives are also human. For me, for instance, I don’t like being boxed in, being told what to do, how to sit, what to wear, how to talk because I am a pastor’s wife. Pastor’s wives are humans too, have their own lives, and the congregation should try to understand that. We’re not spirits and we make mistakes sometimes and congregations should make allowances for that.
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