Reverend (Mrs.) Lizzy Johnson Suleiman is wife of the Senior Pastor, Omega Fire Ministries (OFM) worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleman. She speaks with Adetutu Audu about the enduring values of womanhood, marriage and ways out of challenges

Tell us how you met your husband and your calling?

Life in every capacity is a journey and what one would be in life is a function of what one is doing now. And what one is doing now is a function of what one is. Now talking about myself before I met my husband has been a good useful youthful life, where God is number one and my all-in-all in everything.

It was a time when the focus was fully on the fundamental basis of Christianity. This also brought the likeness of the man with similar passion for God. All these above were preparations for the call into ministry as it is has been destined by God.

How do you balance work and family?

Work and family are related means of family livelihood depends on the work outcome but at the same time, they are not the same. As the preacher said in Ecclesiastes chapter three and verse one, I quote “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.

The simple way of illustrating this is, do not rub Peter to pay Paul. Time meant for work should be judiciously and religiously used for work, the same thing applicable for family time. This is the wisdom needed for time balancing between work and family.

What are the attributes you think should be seen in a woman of God?

Every woman of God is a minister of the gospel. And as a minister of the gospel, there are basic and salient attributes required to lead well. When these are not there, the work is bound to hit rock.

Every woman of God is a leader who leads children at home, and if her husband is the head pastor of the congregation, she joins him to leads the entire congregation that is departmentalised into various gender groups or activities. This assignment becomes very complex if the woman leads alone in this condition.

Submissiveness at home is the first attribute a woman of God must possess in order to lead or do well. This leads to having love for everyone she is leading because when there is love other evils will not come up in a leader. Love covers multitudes of sin.

Even as a woman close to God, are there things that get you worried in your everyday life?

Nothing and absolutely nothing! Scripture says in Philipians 4:6 -7 (NIV) that “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Every issue is handed over to the Lord on daily basis and there is peaceful life.

You are blessed with an enduring marriage; what lessons are there in marriage that you feel can add value to dreams of single females?

Having an enduring marriage is the joint responsibility of both the husband and the wife. Both of them need to see that they have the right idea and the right understanding to make things work.

To the dreaming sisters who believe in adding value to their lives, they will have to submit their mission to their husbands’ mission to become submission and then be able to drive the marriage vehicle well.

To the dreaming sisters who want to enjoy their marriage, they must not be indolent or else they may suffer in marriage. For example, imagine a sister who doesn’t know how to cook or takes care of home, how can she succeed? Or a sister who depends on husband for everything, it will be a problem to a good marriage.

Apart from God and your husband, Apostle Suleman, who and what else inspire you?

All my aspirations and ambitions are in what God has destined for me and in the assignments given to my husband. We are alive to pursue the assignments faithfully, spiritually and logically. We believe God for a safe landing at the end.

My mother in the Lord, Pastor Foluke Adeboye, the wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God is a major inspiration to me; she is mother-in-Israel indeed. Her humility and disciplined life is encouraging to us. Her love for the younger generation is worthy of emulation. By the grace of God, she is a mother we can look up to.

How do you spend your spare time?

In everything we do, it is God first thereafter the family before any other thing.  The simple way out is this, do not rub Peter to pay Paul. There is the wisdom needed for time balancing between work and family and this is one of the aims of strategic management, it is all about using time properly in its entirety.  Life planning is a simple key to achieving plenty things at the same time.

You are blessed with a good voice when you sing; who writes your songs and apart from using the songs to spread the gospel, do you consider the commercial aspect too?

As a singer, you should be able to write songs whenever the inspiration comes. Writing of Christian songs is a hard task when the Holy Spirit is not involved or when a person is lazy. In nutshell, I write my songs myself.

As regards consideration of commercial aspects; to me that is secondary part of song writing as the primary assignment is to be a blessing to humanity. When God gives a man gifts or talents as the case may be money should not be ultimate, they should be able to translate into having physical evidence.

Being a church leader’s wife, does it affect your private life in any way?

Being a church leader’s wife is a privilege .But it doesn’t have anything to do with affecting my private life negatively rather positively. All things are scheduled and organised properly with the hope of productivity.

When things are done as planned, there won’t be lopsided or disorganized status of life. Basically, meeting people from different works of life is a way of personal development and education.

When you hear of divorce happening in high places, especially in clerics’ homes what strikes you as the possible reasons and why do you think it shouldn’t happen in the Church?

There are several reasons that lead to divorce both in the world and in the cleric homes, though divorce itself is not the will of God or the last results to marital crisis. Honestly speaking, every marital crisis can be resolved if the proper steps are taken.

Some of the factors that bring divorce are: incompatibility in marriage; imagine a male pastor married to a female politician or a female model, how would the pastor cope? Then, bad friends or evil counselors, family third party, impatience on the part of the couples, foundational curses and demonic attacks, insincerity and more. As for the reason why it should not happen in the church; it is very simple. Like I said in the beginning, God hates divorce.

What would be your parting shot for women and younger ones regarding family values?

Family values are core values of life irrespective of the tribe, race, ethnic or clan. These must be held in high esteem at all times as a responsible man or woman must have a responsible home. When parents are not responsible, and there will be breakdown in family, the breakdown of families is the breakdown of the society.

Also, when there is a breakdown in society, there must be a breakdown in the nation. The breakdown of every nation is the breakdown in the nation’s religion, economy, politics and order.

My advice to the young ones, women or would be mothers is to be responsible at home and in every place of assignments so that we can be a living example for younger generations.

How would you advice young girls who would like to become pastors’ wives?

Well, being a pastor or a Pastor’s wife is a calling that only God can initiate. If or when they are called for that, it’s a laudable assignment. For me as a mother, it is good if they are pastors because working with God and for God is the best profession on earth as God has made us to witness that.

from The Nation Nigeria