The name of Nigerian pastor Enoch Adeboye is among the top global trends on Twitter, used more than 34,000 times in the last 24 hours.
It follows an Instagram post in which the pastor paid tribute to his wife of more than 50 years, Foluke, on her birthday in terms that many people regarded as sexist, writing:
“It does not matter what is on her itinerary, if I say I would like you to go with me to so and so place… she would cancel whatever she was to do and come along with me.
“The husband is the head of the wife. No matter how educated or successful you are, your husband is your head and you must regard him as such at all times.”
Here’s the clip in full:
View this post on Instagram
Today is my wife’s birthday and there are lessons that women, especially so many young brides can learn from her. She is a powerful woman, I know that. She has many people who take instructions from her, but as powerful as she is, and even though she has seen me in my weakest moments, I have no doubt that I am her head. It does not matter what is on her itinerary if I say I would like you to go with me to so and so place the best she can do is try to convince me otherwise. If I insist, she would cancel whatever she was to do and come along with me. The Bible in Ephesians 5:23 says: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church…” The husband is the head of the wife. No matter how educated or successful you are, your husband is your head and you must regard him as such at all times. It is a terrible thing for a husband to feel his wife is his head. Many men are misbehaving in their marriages simply because they want to establish that they are the head of their wives. Also, my wife is my number one fan. She wrote in the book Mathematics of Marriage – which we coauthored, that as my helpmate she knows she cannot help me without my instructions, so when they come, her response is Yes sir. Busy as she is, she still cooks my meals and serves me herself. Many young ladies these days leave everything to the house help. My wife still trims my nails for me. There was a time when I was a teacher and was staying far from town. She had to cut my hair during that period. She is the only partner of the Adeboye Corporation; she doesn’t delegate her primary duties to anyone else. Just like the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31:1-31, I safely rest on my wife. Anything I uphold, she upholds too. Can your husband rely on you?. Make up for your husband’s weaknesses, celebrate his successes, be his number one cheerleader. I wish my lovely wife a Happy Birthday.
Plenty of people have criticised the pastor, including calling his words “ugly”, and saying he shouldn’t be using the occasion of his wife’s birthday to focus on the “power” he feels over her:
Pastor Adeboye should have just said “happy birthday flesh of my flesh” and keep it moving.
Now we know he can’t do basic things like feed himself and trim his nails.
— Moe (@Mochievous) July 14, 2020
Others have praised the couple for a marriage that has lasted five decades. Some felt there was nothing wrong with a woman submitting because, as one person put it, there “can’t be two captains in a ship”.
Pastor Adeboye's marriage is one of the few marriages that I personally look up to. Even after 50yrs, their love is still strong. But someone that's hasn't even spent 10yrs in marriage is talking bad on how Pastor Adeboye runs his marriage. I pity our generation pic.twitter.com/gB2E8I8xkL
— Peace Damilola David (@PeaceDavidDee) July 14, 2020
Ladies if you aren't ready to be submissive to your husbands when you get married then remain single . There can't be two captains in a ship. Some marriages of 21st Century don't last because some women hv refused to submit. There's nothing wrong with Pastor Adeboye 's post ok🤗
— Amaka (@amakadiva09) July 14, 2020