She is a professor at the Department of Finance of the University of Lagos, a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God and a passionate follower of Jesus. She has been married for over 40 years. All these credentials make Professor Esther Adegbite eligible to write the book: Beyond I Do.
It is a rare collection of a personal experience of marriage and what married people should watch out for days after saying, “I do”
The book is divided into eight exciting chapters with a foreword by Pastor Olatunji Adefuye.
The forward gives a tip of what to expect in the book. Adefuye notes that Prof. Adegbite, “has proved herself to be a teacher, a pastor, a wife, and a mother indeed by drawing from her wealth of experience to put together an engaging advisory note to married couples, both old and young, and parents on how to build and keep successful and godly homes.”
Indeed, there is no way one will not draw useful lessons from the amazing lifestyle and forbearance of the author as enumerated in the book.
Chapter one gives an insight into the background of the author and the fact that she came to know Jesus after she was already married.
That makes her story a compelling and useful one for those who were not Christians before they tied the nuptial knot.
It becomes more complex when either of the partners refuses to shift ground as enumerated in the book. The author narrates how she became zealous for God, but her husband on the other hand finds it difficult to go along with her in her new found faith.
She notes, “I married a man who belonged to the same religious group with me. We had a good time in our marriage while in that religious group until I met Christ and the story changed. The fact that you married a man of the same faith with you does not mean the relationship will go on like that.”
She goes on in the chapter to recount her experience in the marriage warning that life beyond “I do” may not tally with one’s expectations.
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According to her, “You may not get what you bargained for. In that situation, you have to confront the shortcomings in your spouse when such shows up”
In chapter 2, the author writes on, “how to avoid Satan’s traps” Here she notes that many homes are having challenges because according to her, “many women miss the critical role God gave them in marriage.
“In Prov 14v1 we are made to understand that every wise woman builds her own house. It is interesting that the builder of the home is the woman, not the man”
Chapter 3 of the book dwells on God’s expectations concerning the home. Here the author highlights some expectations from both parties in a marriage.
She emphasises that both parties should make up their minds to make their marriage work stressing however that the woman has more responsibility in achieving peace in the home, while the man should take his place as the priest in the home raising godly seeds.
The chapter gives more insight into practical things that could be done to achieve marital bliss.
The woman God uses is the emphasis of chapter 4 of the book. Here the author narrates practical examples of women that God used in the Bible days. She identifies traits that make the Bible women usable.
The author goes a step further in chapter 5 to emphasise the critical role of women in the home and indeed in the nation under the topic: “Women as nation builders and as ambassadors for Christ.”
Here she emphasises the need for women to preach Christ and live the life of Christ. She notes, “There must be a synergy between the life and teachings of the ambassador. If there is a disconnect between their lives and teachings, such ambassadors are called hypocrites.”
The author goes on in chapter 6 to write on, “take heed to yourself” Here she carries out an exegesis on what it means to take heed, why we must take heed, and the consequences of taking heed. She also gives examples of women who engage in self-examination in the Bible
Chapter 7 of the book is a call to action, titled, Arise oh daughter of Zion. Here she uses female Bible characters to draw inspiration for women who are laid back. She notes in the chapter that a woman that really wants to rise and shine must be prayerful, humble, obedient, and possess a sense of integrity.
In the concluding chapter 8 titled, “women building on a God’s foundation” the author counsels every woman to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
She writes, “God has made the home the foundation for the church and society and the woman is expected to build on that foundation.
“Proverbs 31v10-31 captures who a virtuous woman is and how she can build on God’s foundation to keep together her family such that when challenges come that godly foundation is able to absorb those challenges.”
In all, the book, which runs through 109 pages is a practical guide for couples and would-be couples. It is an original dissertation on marriage in the sense that the author captures her own personal experience.
The strength of the book lies in the personal story of Prof Adegbite which strengthens her submission in the book and the attendant counsel for the women folks.
It may seem the author is more concerned about women and how they can make their homework, but it’s a book for the menfolk too. It will give the men, a deeper understanding of the perspective of the woman in a relationship.