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Wives Should Submit to Their Husband, …gender equality is devilish – Rev. (Mrs.) Esther Madubufo

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Wives Should Submit to Their Husband, …gender equality is devilish – Rev. (Mrs.) Esther Madubufo 

Rev. (Mrs.) Esther Ekwy Madubufo, the senior pastor of Fruitful Men & Women Ministry International, Ejigbo, Lagos is a product of three prestigious higher institutions in Nigeria. First as a graduate of Political Science from UNIZIK, and a product of UNILAG, MSC in Political Science, then capped it with an MBA in Human Resources from LASU. A seasoned and prolific writer, Bible teacher, conference speaker, certified counselor, mentor, philanthropist, and public commentator. A member of many local and international organizations, including the International Ministers’ Forum (IMF) Nigeria, where she’s the National Director of Public Relations. A consummate and voracious reader, she is the author/publisher of the best-selling Daily Devotional for Fruitfulness, Our Daily Fruit. She recently celebrated her 50th birthday and spoke with Providence News on her life, ministry, and marriage. Excerpt:

How do you feel celebrating 50? 

Words cannot express my feelings. I’m so excited and happy. I didn’t know, I’ve done many things to people until I heard them talking about it. It was overwhelming and encouraging to do more for humanity and the kingdom. I thank God people came to celebrate God with me.

I AM the one GOD has SHOWN MERCY:  Rev. (Mrs.) Esther Ekwy Madubufo the senior pastor, Fruitful Men & Women Ministry International, Ejigbo, during her Golden Jubilee celebration in Lagos.

How would you reflect on your life now? 

If you are to write your biography, you may be writing some things that were not correct, but from the testimonies I heard, I am grateful to God and proud to be a mother, a pastor, and a friend indeed. It shows my life has been fashioned to be selfless, loving, and sacrificing, and that it has been of God alone. Many testify of how God used me for what their lives are now. I know God has been using me to change lives, but I didn’t know to what extent and how far He has been transforming those lives. It has been a life for Christ all the way, and all these things have been by His mercy because I’m the one He has shown mercy. When talking about being qualified, I’m not qualified, but God has qualified me and I am glad to celebrate God’s qualification.

The turnout of guests was massive and amazing, despite the rains, with the presence of friends, family, dignitaries representing Christian bodies, and prominent people, including the Honourable Member, House of Representatives, representing the Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency, from Abuja came to honor a small me but with a big God. I didn’t know God had used me this far, but to Him alone be all the glory.

Smiling, stylish and suave, Mama Fruitful General glowing on her birthday.

I thank God for what He did, He’s just telling me, that you’re on the right track, continue to do more for Christ and His kingdom. 

While growing up, did you envisage or plan to be a pastor? 

No, but then, I discovered that growing up, I became interested in everything and anything about God’s service. I was born and brought up in a Christian home, my father was a staunch Anglican in the village, he would wake up early at 5 a.m. for morning prayers, and we must go to the vicarage. If you are sleepy by that time, they will wake you up with a cane. At the very tender age of 13, I was already a leader of my church Girls Brigade, and there was a time, at that age, when I went to represent my church and participate in leadership training for Girls Brigade Leaders and I found myself among women as old as my mother and grandmother who also came for the same training as leaders of their respective church. They were amazed and asked if they didn’t have people in our church. I was just looking at them and didn’t know what to say.

Mama Fruitful General with her supportive childhood friend, father figure & husband, Rev. Edison Oguejiofor Madubufo

Also, In my secondary school days, they made me the chapel prefect, and as a chapel prefect, I learned to start preaching at that age. Because, every Thursday, when we do moral instruction in school, I must preach, talk to fellow students, and pray.

When I gained admission into the university, I was a member of NIFES, member of the African Student Association, and member of AFAC. During my university days, the only thing that interested me was God and about God. So, I can’t primarily say that I planned or knew that I would be a pastor, it wasn’t even in my thoughts to be a pastor. But circumstances and situations with my background molded me, and today, here I am. 

When I went for my youth service in Darmatru, Yobe State, I served in the European State. Because of the burning desire in me to serve God, and impart life, I went to a Redeemed Christian church but found that it was what we are having in Lagos. But, I desired a new experience, and encounter, so, I left, and later went to Christ’s Embassy, Winners, they were all the same, as we have in Lagos. Then, I went to an Orthodox church, ECWA, and came back. All the same, I was not fulfilled in my heart.

Mama Fruitful General, displaying one of her gift from the Igbo Women Ministers Forum

On Sundays, every Corp member will go to various churches for service. I’ll be the only one in the house, saying, I don’t want to spend this one year without imparting life. One Sunday, I came out and started searching for a different place of worship, but I had a language barrier. I don’t know how to speak Hausa, and most people I asked questions will tell me, madam baturenchi, meaning, they don’t understand English. Once you said, hello, how are you? They said, madam Baturenchi. I was confused, I didn’t know how to express myself and they didn’t understand English. 

One Sunday, I went with one of my friends, a Corp member, I invited him to come and visit me, and I said, let’s check this village and see if we can see a local church. He was staying in Kano and understood a little bit of Hausa. We now started checking, and eventually located one church, African Missions International. By the time we got there, they were dismissed, but we met the pastor, and I was happy to see somebody who could speak English. I asked if there was a church there. He said, yes, and asked, what are you looking for? We don’t hold our services in English, it’s only in Hausa, I said, no problem and asked him the time of the service.

Words cannot express my feelings, I’m so excited and happy.

The next Sunday, I went there with my friend, brother, Emma, when they saw us, we were like white people that came, they were surprised and happy. They didn’t have seats, they were sitting on the bare floor and came to church barefooted.

We’re just looking at them, but I was happy and said this is the kind of place I’m looking for. Because I don’t want to just do the normal and go back to Lagos after one year.

The pastor, Rev. Stephen Atiyeye was excited to welcome us, (we are still communicating, anytime he’s in Lagos, he visits me). We started worshiping with them, and because of us, they got a translator to translate the message in English for us. To the glory of God, before I left there, I invited my husband (then, we were courting and dating) to come on a visit, because I knew he had a heart for the gospel. When he came, we went to the church together, and he saw where we were. He built seats for them and roofed their children’s apartment that had no roof, and before we left, we organized for those women and empowered them.

Mama Fruitful General receiving more gift from friends & associates on her birthday.

We got resource persons and started teaching them how to make soap and other things. We taught them about Christ’s love, and how He was handsome and dressed well. We told them that, the clothes they’re saving, they should go and bring out and wear to church every Sunday, and they started dressing well to church on Sundays, they came to church looking good. 

The day we were passing out, they were crying and didn’t want us to go, it was an emotional moment for me. They organized a send-off for us, the women were crying, coming to embrace us and hug me. They brought little, little things they had, they brought dadawa, masala, whatever they could afford. Even though we couldn’t go with most of what they gave us, we collected them. I was happy, and I was fulfilled.

We passed out in 2004, and I came back to Lagos, on 1st January 2005, I got married to the love of my life and best friend. Since then, it has been a journey of testimony to God.

Mama Fruitful General with one of her biological fruit & seed

Does it mean your background prepared you for ministerial service? 

I can’t thank my parents enough for the background, Christian ethics, and values they instilled in me to prepare me for who I am and what I am doing today. 

As a Christian, how would you compare the upbringing of children today to what it was? 

There are generational differences, and a wide gap, even in Christendom. Bringing up Christian children today is not the same these days, today’s children whose parents are so busy, and left in the hands of maids, and house help is a herculean task. Parents run out in the morning in search of money to take care of their children, unfortunately, they end up losing those children to the the wrong hands. 

It wasn’t like that when we were growing up, there is a gap in bringing up children these days, compared to what was applicable in the past. Because of the 21st-century rat race, everyone wants to make money and lose the important thing, the seed of heritage, God has given to us.

Gracious & virtuous woman took the floor with her amazing man

It almost affected me with my children, but I have to go back to my upbringing and say, this is not how my parents brought me up. I have to correct some things for my children and tell them what they must do. 

Apart from showing them the way of God and the attributes of Christ, we must be closer to them and build cordial relationships with our children. Taking them to church and buying clothes or sending them to the best school is not enough. We have to be a listening parent, come to their level, and be their friend to understand them. 

How do you see the present state of Christianity? 

Don’t be surprised, we are in the end time, a lot of things are happening, and many are still coming. This is what the Lord said in Matthew chapter 24. He said that we are going to see all these things happen. Nation will rise against nation, men will be lovers of themselves, and that is what we are seeing in Christendom today. But that does not mean we do not have people who are kingdom-minded and heavenly-focused.

Celebration mood with a friend & guest

We still have men and women of God, who preach the undiluted word of God, we have people who are still sacrificing, doing things right, and following God, and doing the will of God. But, it seems those who are on the wrong side of the gospel are more pronounced. 

When you look at Christendom, it’s as if we no longer have a genuine gospel message. But because we have the original, that is why we have the fake. When people come to tell me a pastor does this, or that, my response is, it is the sign of the end time.

As some pastors are misbehaving, many others are doing greatly well with the gospel. You don’t say because of some pastor’s wrong, every other pastor is like that, it is wrong to conclude that way. During the time of Jesus’ ministry, there was a man called Baal Jesus, who was also doing fake miracles. It didn’t start today, as it was in the beginning, so it is now and will always be. There are evil pastors, a lot of them.

Blowing away 50 years to breathe in another glorious years of fresh & new beginning.

That some pastors are misbehaving does not give the impression that Christianity is wrong. There are a lot of things Christianity has done for mankind, including education, civilization, development, and lifestyles. If the early missionaries had not brought Christianity, we would have remained in the dark without formal education.

You can’t say because a child messed up in the pampas, you would throw the child away with the pampas. They don’t throw the baby away with the dirty water, you take the baby out and throw the dirty water away. 

How would you describe your husband? 

I don’t even know (laughter). But, my husband means the world to me. According to the Bible, there’s no second coming back to the world, if there’s another second coming back, I will look for him, and he will be my husband again. 

He’s such an amazing man, very supportive, calm, gentle, intelligent, wise, prayerful, friendly, and fatherly. He plays the role of a father to me, he’s my priest, my teacher, my hero, and my friend.

The Madubufo family celebrating their matriarch.

We started our relationship in secondary school. But, we were in the same class in primary school, and the same class in secondary school. The only thing I remembered was, in primary school there’s a long bench that they normally use for primary school, if you removed me from his seat I would cry and cry. My dad, who was the headmaster then, would come out from his office to find out from my class teacher why I was crying, and my teacher would say, I just removed her from where Edison was sitting, that’s all, and she started crying, disturbing the class. My dad would say, put her back (smiles), in secondary school, my locker was like his own.

My hero & my friend: if there’s another second coming back, I will look for him, and he will be my husband again.

During our childhood days, we did things together, that’s why till today, we understand each other so well.

When we finished secondary school, he told me, he was not going to university. That if he goes to university, he will not be able to get money to come and marry me. He left for Lagos for Igbo servant school to serve a master, so he could get money to be able to marry me. He served and came back. 

He sacrificed his education just for me then, but he later went back to school after we got married, and now he’s a graduate. He read history and international relations at Lagos State University, (LASU). That’s why I can’t finish describing him. He’s such a caring man, a loving husband, and a doting father. He’s humble to a fault with a heart of gold and a sacrificial spirit.  

What can be the major cause of broken homes, divorce, and separation in our society, even among Christians?

The main problem is that we have many women who don’t want to be submissive to their husbands. Also, the spirit and the presence of God are lacking in many homes and marriages. Because, where there’s the presence of God, there’s fullness of joy. When the spirit of God is not in control of a home or family, the spirit of satan will take control.

The incessant broken homes, divorce, and separation in our society can be reduced and limited if husband and wife will allow the spirit of God to be rooted first in their lives and then rule in their homes and marriages. With the spirit of God in control, there will be peace, mutual respect, understanding, genuine love, and submission for one another.

I was the one who received this call, and before I ran with it, I discussed it with my husband and sought his approval. He said, if that’s what God is telling you to do, go ahead and do it, he supported me and is still supporting me. I can’t do anything without him. If he had said no to this birthday party, despite the preparation, I would have stopped it without any disobedience. I can’t do anything without my husband.

Edison & Esther Madubufo

You will discover that, because of this gender equality and all these devilish ideas that are springing up to equate women with men, many women have for this reason become so rude to their husbands, that they have no more respect for their husbands. The Bible says men are the head. Even when your husband is not behaving well, go back to his manufacturer, to God, to work on him and tell Him to help you reset the brain of His creation. If my husband comes now and tells me to take this thing away, even if I prefer that thing to be that way I will take it away first and keep it.

I know how to get him, by the time we enter the bedroom, that is when I will politely tell him, that thing you asked me to take away from that place, it’s going to be better there. He will ask, is it better there? I will say, yes. Then, he will say go and bring it back.

But some women, instead of using wisdom and politeness talk to their husband, they will talk to him rudely and stubbornly. That’s why, there’s a crisis in many homes and marriages, due to impatience and lack of respect, mostly from the wife.

Rev. (Mrs.) Esther Ekwy Madubufo (a.k.a, Mama Fruitful General) -use wisdom and politeness talk to your husband.

Also, due to the present economic situation in the country, the majority of women have become the breadwinners of their families, and funnily enough that put them in a vantage point they capitalized on to make it look like, after all, I’m the one paying the bills, to demean their husband, which is bad. You are his helpmeet and you’re just playing a part expected of you at that moment, you are not the breadwinner, he remains the breadwinner. Truth is, that is not a good reason or excuse for a wife to disrespect her husband, as long as he’s still your husband and head, he deserves every respect. I worked for some years before going into full-time ministry, and then when I collected my salary, I dropped it at his feet, and he would say take it and remove your tithe. After that, he will ask me what other things I need, I will tell him, and he will approve them and the amount. At times he tells me to keep the balance if I don’t have other needs to buy. After all, I work for the money, and I could have chosen to do what I like without his consent, and that still stopped him from not giving me money or taking up his responsibility at home, it’s all about respect for my husband, the Bible says, “A wise woman builds her home, but the foolish one destroys her home”. To some others, this is a difficult thing to do, but to me, I’m okay, and good to go, because I know I married an intelligent man.

What’s your advice to women generally in Nigeria? 

My advice to Nigerian women generally is that they should submit to their husbands, give them absolute respect, and allow them to play their leadership roles without trying to usurp or struggle with them. 

Eve took the position of Adam and that is where humanity is today. Assuming she told the serpent, okay no problem, I’ve heard you, when my husband comes I will tell him, you are saying this fruit is good to the eyes. They would not have eaten the fruit, Adam would have used his discretion and position to discourage it. Eve left her position and took the position of Adam to decide what she was not supposed to do, and that is where we are today. 

Nigerian women are taking the position of men, and once they keep doing that, there will always be problems in the house, and this will affect society. There can’t be two captains in a ship, because God has made them the head, and no one can question God’s authority on that or change it. Any attempt to do that will cause a crisis and chaos. No matter how stupid the man is, he married you, and you accepted to marry him, the submission and respect must be there. There is a way you’ll talk to him, he will listen and change.

Beautiful ladies and friends were on ground to support Mama Fruitful General birthday.

Wives should submit to their husbands with respect, and make him their king to rule over them, lead, and guide them. Listen to him, talk to him, and reasonably relate with him. It is not democracy, God’s word is theocracy, and God’s system is theocracy, not democracy. Unfortunately, most women now want it to be democratic, and once you want it to be democratic you will have a problem with God’s theocracy.

We are seven girls with one boy. There was a time my husband had an issue with my only brother who is now in the US with his family. They did business together and it went wrong, and my husband warned me not to talk to my brother, or go to his house. For one whole year, even if I see my brother, I don’t greet him, and don’t go to his house. My mother and my other siblings were screaming and complaining about it (laughter), but I told them, you will not marry me if he sends me away. If I come back to the house, at the highest, I will spend one month with you, and you will start complaining.

I obeyed and followed my husband, the only thing I did was to go into the secret and pray, asking God to touch his heart. After a year, my husband called me and said you are indeed a wife. He carried me in his car, and straight away we went to my brother’s place, he even apologized to my brother. If I had taken a wrong step, it would have destroyed my marriage, because men have an ego, once they say, don’t do this, and you go to do it, it’s a problem. 

I observed you studied political science, but you are not into politics.

I studied political science, and I wanted to go into politics because I love politics. In school, I was involved in student union activities. But my husband is already involved at the grassroots level, and here I am holding forth at the altar (laughter) that’s why a Member of the House of Representative Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency honoured me with his presence. My husband was among his campaign team and he supported him to win the election. 

Do you encourage Christians to get involved in politics?

Very important, if Christians don’t participate and get involved in politics things will never change in Nigeria. Because it is only when Christians participate and are involved that they can be able to take part in the policy and decision-making. That is when they will be able to contribute their quota to the system of governance and say no to some things. But, when they are not participating and getting involved, they will make decisions and policies that will affect everybody and will not be able to oppose. So, I encourage and support Christians to participate and be involved in politics.