Plus how she met Pst David Oyedepo (Jnr) and their journey in Nine years of Marriage
…Lessons for young women, Wives and Pastors’ wives
For someone who considers herself not too shabby with words, I’m not too sure how to introduce this interview. Mrs. Kemi Oyedepo has mirrored humility to me in a way that makes me short of words…literally. You already know the surname, so you can understand my shock when shortly before we got married a few years ago, the hubby to be (now the hubby) told me that she had contacted him on Facebook and would like to speak to me. I was like: Are you for real? She was not even in the country! But she sent her number and we talked. I asked questions and she was all too willing to answer.
Flash forward a few years later and I heard she was living in Nigeria. I was glad, but knowing how busy her schedule is, I was sceptical about asking her about an interview for the blog. When I finally did, she was pretty excited about it, and kept apologizing when she couldn’t meet the initial timeline we agreed upon.
She was like: “Pst. Laju, I’m so sorry, will work on it now.”
In my mind, I was like: “I no reach o, see respect.”
Kemi Oyedepo is beyond the surname. And although she is married to Pst. David Oyedepo (Jnr), the Resident Pastor of Winners Chapel Int’l, Canaanland Ota, and into one of the most respected families of our time, she is so much more than that. There is a depth, a wisdom and a heart that can only come from above. I could go on and on, but I think you should see for yourself.
I’m sure you’d be as blessed as I was!
Ma, can you tell us about yourself?
I’m Kemi Oyedepo. Born July 19th, 1984, in Harare Zimbabwe. 2nd of four children, 1st of three girls. My father is a retired diplomat so we’ve had the privilege of living in different countries around the world. I finally settled down in the United States to attend High School with my siblings and I lived there until I got married in 2008 and moved to the U.K where my husband was pastoring. I graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degree both from the University of Oklahoma.
Can you tell us about how you met your husband?
We met in Tulsa, Oklahoma, through a mutual friend in 2002. When I met him, it was very brief and we hardly spoke to each other for two years. It was in 2004, he approached me for a relationship. And the rest is history!
What should single ladies look out for in a husband?
Marriage is a spiritual journey so whatever you desire in a husband should very importantly be spiritual. You can’t go wrong with a man who has deep (I mean deep) love for God. If that’s the case, he’ll do everything it takes to please God, his feelings notwithstanding. Because making marriage work is something that pleases God, he would do everything in his power to make your relationship work. So yes he MUST be born again but it’s not just in his saying it. You MUST see proof of it and you’ll see that proof in how he loves and reverences God and His Word. Among other things, a man with a vision is not optional. You need someone who has targets he is trying to hit. What does he believe he came to the earth to do? And then ask yourself how you can fit into that vision. A mature man is also an absolute necessity. This is not about age but how he handles issues. Please pay close attention to how he responds to circumstances especially when things don’t really go his way. There are other qualities such as diligence, honesty, humility, etc. All those are also important!
How long have you been married and what makes marriage work?
I’ve been married for 9 years. I can say that daily dying to self is what has made my own marriage work. Understanding that while marriage is for our fulfilment, it is more importantly, about showcasing the glory of God.
We have learnt to love beyond human capacity. In fact, when people ask how we are able to just get along and be so loving, I always say it’s the love of Christ that binds us together and I mean it. That love is what helps us make room for acceptance, forgiveness, selflessness, respect, and honour without reservation.
Marriage is a spiritual journey so whatever you desire in a husband should very importantly be spiritual.
What has it been like being a pastor’s wife?
It’s been a great journey. I’ve learnt how to manage so many different personalities and age groups that I probably wouldn’t have engaged with otherwise. I’ve learnt how to be all things to all men; whether a mother, a sister, a mentor, even a daughter. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself. In fact, being in this role has tested my patience and everything in between but I thank God for abundant grace. If you don’t have a solid relationship with God, things could easily affect you but like Apostle Paul, I continue to walk in love and exercise myself to be void of offence, bitterness and anything that is essentially like a weight, and focus on preaching the gospel in whatever I do.
What important lessons can young pastor’s wives learn from you?
a. I consider being a Pastor’s wife a privilege that I thank God for but I think one mistake many of us make is that we allow that to be our only identity. For me, it’s definitely something I can’t hide or ignore but it’s never been my focus. As a PW, be the best helpmeet you can be in your husband’s ministry or assignment but locate your assignment; something you have a passion for that adds value to others.
b. Focus more on being a Christian and allowing the nature of Christ to find expression in you than living up to everybody’s expectations of what a PW is or should be. If the nature of Christ is in you, it’ll find expression in every compartment of your life including as a PW.
c. Be ready to sacrifice; your husband doesn’t have a normal job. People will expect him to be there for them no matter the cost you have to bear. Speak to him if you feel neglected and ask God to give him an understanding heart. Whatever you do, don’t take your frustrations out on him.
As a Pastor’s Wife, be the best helpmeet you can be in your husband’s ministry or assignment but locate your assignment;
d. One of my favourite books is by Kenneth Hagin’s wife, Oretha Hagin – The Price is not greater than God’s grace. I can’t tell you the number of times I have read that book. It’ll be of great help to you.
e. My mother in law told me before I got married to see all this as a seed I’m sowing and she knew what she was talking about. My husband also told me to be ready to share him with the rest of the world. He also knew what he was talking about. Whatever you do, use your being a PW to grow and change positively. Let God use you how He deems fit and be determined to learn from it while enjoying the process.
As a mother of two beautiful children, what lessons do you think are the most important for mothers?
a. As a mother, I have learnt to be God dependent. Motherhood is not a joke and if we want to raise outstanding children, we must be ready to give it what it takes. Have a plan. I had a plan before I had children. I learnt from others. There were things I saw and said “oh I’ll never do that” or “yes, that’s going in my personal parenting diary”. This was all before children came. I was literally getting ready for motherhood and to the letter all I said I would do, I do now.
b. I often say train your children like their lives depend on it because it does. Not only do their lives depend on it, your peace of mind also depends on it.
c. I pump the scriptures into my kids. I create different quotes specifically for them and make them memorise and say it every single day. When they behave contrary to how I’d like, I ask them what the family scripture is. I ask them about various things I’ve taught them. Then I make them tell me if their actions or words were in line with what they’ve been taught. The Bible says the scripture is what makes wise (2 Timothy 3:15) and I continue to see that in them.
d. Overall, I discipline and train them with the goal to develop godly character traits in them. I continue to tell myself that what i am teaching them now is what they will express in every area of their lives from career, to school, and even in marriage. As much as I don’t want to fail in my assignment in life, I don’t want to fail on the family front either so everything I do with them is deliberate.
I am still learning but I’m confident that I’m on the right track.
Only Jesus can give you lasting joy, peace, anything! Keep your focus on Him. He would not fail you!
Ma, you’re in great shape after two kids. What do you do to keep yourself in shape and why is it important?
Lol. I work out a lot. I don’t ignore the place of physical fitness even in the life of a believer and for me it ranks highly. I take it very seriously. My mental, spiritual and physical health all have to be in top shape if I want to live a fulfilling life on the earth and fulfil my assignment with ease.
I also get my kids and husband (as much as possible) involved and they all enjoy it. As the woman of the house, you have to remember that you have so much influence so you must use it positively to bring out the best (spirit, soul and body) in all your family members.
What is your favourite piece of advice to young women?
Don’t get caught up with the things of the world. Anything anybody tries to offer you may bring you happiness and make you feel loved but trust me, it is for a moment. Only Jesus can give you lasting joy, peace, anything! Keep your focus on Him. He would not fail you!
Any final words?
Whatever happens, ensure your manner of life is worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).