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Bishop Charles Ighele (2nd from right), his wife, Reverend Carol (right); Mr. and Mrs. Agbate, bride’s parents (1st and 2nd left) pose with the couple
By Odinaka Uruakpa
The families of Bishop Charles and Reverend Carol Ighele and Mr. Enoch and Mrs. Bridget Agbate, on Saturday,, November 20, 2021, enveloped in great joy and happiness as their children, Clementina and Oghale, were joined in holy matrimony amid pomp and celebration.
The glamorous outing, which took place at Marcellina’s Place, Ikeja, Lagos was graced by family, friends and well-wishers of the couple, all geared up in beautiful and colourful attires that enhanced the already enthralling atmosphere of the event location.
Expressing his delight on the occasion, Bishop Ighele, the Presiding Bishop of Holy Spirit , Mission (aka Happy Family Centre), Akowonjo, Lagos and father to the groom extolled the couple for making their union a rare and unique one, as they kept themselves chaste until the moment of their marriage.
Said he; “You see I have had these children, and this boy, 29 years old, and such a nice boy, is a virgin that has never had a girlfriend. And then, this girl, also 28 years old, the wife now, a virgin, never had a boyfriend, so it’s a wedding of two virgins which is rare, quite unique. And this girl; she became a member of our ministry at the age of two, 26 years ago. So, she grew up in the Children’s Church till now. Then, my son was born inside this very ministry. So, am happy that people can be brought up in the fear of God, and then they still maintain their chastity, their virginity.
“Am not saying that those who lost their virginity are bad, but that there is what is known as secondary virginity, that is if you have been messing around before, and you stop and say from now on till I get married I wil remain chaste. I call that secondary virginity. So, I use this to encourage people and let them know that yes, you can stay and then keep your body.
“I asked my son one day, ‘Are you tempted?’ he said, ‘Yes, I have been tempted, but I have the power to resist the temptation and the girl also the same thing. So, am happy.
Observed Ighele on the cost of his son keeping his virginity till he got married: “Yes. He’s not the only one among my children. That’s who they are; the one that wedded last year August in the US at 25 was a virgin. That’s who they are. I make them my friends.
“There is a girl right now who we adopted as our child; she’s never had sex before. She’s now in final year in the university, but when she was in secondary school, she met my wife and said, ‘Mummy, I have feelings towards one boy.’ It’s not easy for a child to meet the mother and say she has feelings, it’s not easy. We created an atmosphere of friendship with the children that they are able to tell us the temptations they are passing through, and not to warn them. Instead the warning that I gave to my daughters was this, ‘If you mess up sexually, I will never like it, don’t try it, I will never like it, but in case you don’t hear what am telling you and misbehave and then you get pregnant, I will take care of that child.’ So, that was how I was just warning and warning. So, they saw the love more than the stick. These are among the things which we use, and then, when they are tempted, they say, ‘No, I can’t disappoint my dad’”.
While advising parents who would like their children to have pure unions like that of his son and daughter-in-law’s the Bishop said parents should look at the kind of values they want to pass to the children, even to the last generation.
Said he: “Every day of my life, twice a day, very rare, but at least once a day, I pray for my bloodline forever, that is people that will come through me to the last generation. I pray for them every day of my life, even though they are not yet born. So, I had to redefine my values; what do I stand for? What do I want to gain? What should I pass on? The buildings we put up, they won’t see them again in the next hundred years if the Lord tarries. So, what is it? You pass on something along the bloodline”.
He advised parents to think about the future and not just the present, as well as redefine the values of honesty, truth, God-fearing, and then itemize these values and see how they pass them on to their children.
Noted he: “With these they are now able to pass all these to their children. But you have to lift it before you can pass it on”.
On couples seeking godly and lasting marriage, he said: “Am from a polygamous home; I never saw love between my dad and my mum, I never saw them hug or kiss any day, but I made up my mind and said mine is going to be different. I am going to love my wife as the Bible says I should. So, as a Christian, the Bible is what I try to keep to, and that is what make members of our church to have some respect for me because they know that I will not bend the rules even if it affects my child.”
He advised couples to first of all be friends to each other. Said he: “My wife and I can be on holidays for two weeks alone, in the same room nobody else there, and we are enjoying ourselves. We can be friends. Am 66, she’s 64, and we kiss, we hug. We are romantic. But I was not like that, I never saw it happen. So I said am going to make it happen, and how? By practicing it, doing it deliberately when we got married. deliberately loving because if you do something good deliberately, there is nothing bad with it. Deliberately, I forced myself to say I love you. I forced myself to do all those things, and then it became part of me, and then I live it and my children say today that I am romantic.”
The Bishop disclosed that he officiated the wedding ceremony of all his children because they wanted him to be the minister that would join them and their spouses in marriage.
Said he: “My children want to marry early, and then they all want me to join them, that’s why I conducted today’s wedding. They know me from home, and they say only me can join them. Though we disagree, but they know how I manage the crisis in between with their mum. They know I love her, and I know they love me. They know that I believe in love growing. Every living thing grows. So, right now as it is, my love for my wife is forever growing; if it is stagnant, then something is wrong with me. A living thing should not be stagnant, it should keep growing. So, I deliberately make it grow by doing things; taking her out. At this age, once a week or at worst twice a week I take her out to eat outside. We eat out, chill out once a day in a week. We hold, we kiss, we hug and say we love each other, then we put fire in our love”.
The Bishop condemned what he referred to as functional marriage where the man and woman play traditional functions and nothing more to add colour to the marriage.
He gave insight to the implication of successful marriage to nation building.
Offered he: “I and my wife hosted the first marriage and family TV progamme in this country in 1995 in Benin, people in South-South, they watched it, Governors watched it, they came to our home for one thing or the other over this, so I am speaking as a marriage and family counselor; I am speaking from that very angle. You won’t see the bad boys and bad girls in families where people are well brought up, but once the home is in disorder, the nation is in total disorder.
“There are seven institutions that define culture, how people behave. Number one is the family; that is where a child is born into. Two the spiritual, the child is either going to Church or going to the Mosque, so you see a culture being formed. Number three, you see education. When the family is shaky, education is not okay in the country, then you see the aspect of spirituality, you see people not taking it seriously, doing anyhow, people getting alert prayers, you know. Do this, drop N1000 God will give you 1million, this is a sign of a country going into decay. So you see the spiritual seriously being tampered with in Nigeria. We now go to entertainment which also defines culture. When those in the entertainment industry are those that have no values for women, then the children imitate them”.
Then the media, the media shapes how people behave in their country. The media is so powerful like the Novelist and Playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote in 1839, in his famous historical play Cardinal Richelieu, he said it that the pen is mightier than the sword. So the media is so powerful, that is why you see politicians wanting to have media houses, because the media want people to think how the owner wants them to think, so they build the culture. You also see politics and government, so those in government; they determine so many things, so they contribute to how people behave. Then again business and commerce, those in that area, that is why people like Dangote, Femi Otedola, can define how people behave. So these are the seven main areas that shape culture.
The prelate noted that the family is seriously faulty,, saying that parents will give money to teachers for their children to pass school certificate exam. He added that this has adverse effect on the family.
Said he: “From next year, I am going to take it serious to mount a campaign regarding family, a campaign the whole nation will hear of, as a solution to family problems”.
Also in attendance on the occasion were a host of clerics, including Archbishop John Osa-Oni, National Vice President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, South-West and Presiding Archbishop, Vineyard Christian Ministries; Bishop Robertson Akwazi, Presiding Bishop, City Gate International Church, among others who came from far and near to be part of the celebration of love.