It is not abnormal for newlyweds to start their married life broke, Pastor Mensa Otabil has said.
Admonishing parents against forcing their children to marry into rich and prestigious families at all cost during his teaching on generational leadership on Sunday 12 June 2016 at the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) in Accra, Pastor Otabil said there was nothing wrong with young newlyweds being poor. “Those of you who are pushing your children [to] marry money, they are young, every couple normally starts broke. It is normal for them to be broke,” he said, adding: “But if they start well and they do well, they have forty years ahead of them to change their broke situation. So, teach it (respect). Don’t teach your children money and titles and names and pedigree and: ‘That family is prestigious, go and marry from a prestigious family.’ Do you know what is in that family?” Dr Otabil asked, saying: “You don’t know what he is carrying and you force your own child into that.”
According to him, rather than parents teaching their children to set their eyes on riches and prestige, they should condition them to have respect for people.
“You must teach your children respect for people, not respect for money and respect for degrees and respect for beauty; teach them human respect, because if you take respect out of marriage, that’s it,” Dr Otabil said.
The general overseer and founder of ICGC also said: “Marriage does not survive on names. Those of you who want your children to go and marry names, they will get the name and lose it.”
In his view, marriages are failing because men are failing “big time”.
“Families rise and fall from the men. I know you’ll say: ‘Well pastor, you don’t know my wife; you don’t know the girl I’ve chosen [to be my wife]’. Who chose her? Were you forced?” he added.
“The man sets the tone and some of you young people are children. You have grown in age but you haven’t grown in responsibility. You haven’t grown to shoulder the [awesome] responsibilities of life. You think life is a joke. You think life is going on a date, having fun, dressing and wearing shorts below your waist and going and saying: ‘Hi, Hey, What’s up? Hi men!’ Life is not ‘Hi men, Hi men’. If you have children, are you going to say: ‘Hi men’ to your children? When life gets tough, the man must push through. If the marriage is in trouble, the man must hold it together. It’s the man. And the reason marriages are failing is not because of women, it’s because men are failing big time – [there are] too many men, who haven’t accepted their responsibilities. And I’m not saying women are perfect, but when Adam and Eve got into trouble, [and] God came, did he say: ‘Eve where are you?’ That’s not what God said. [He said]: ‘Who ate the fruit?’…Eve. ‘Who gave it to Adam?’ Eve. Whom did God take that responsibility from? Adam. … [God asked]: ‘Adam, where are you?’ [Adam answered]: ‘It’s my wife oo’, and that’s the problem we are having [today]. We need generational leaders.”