Here’s an amazing way to commence the year. We’ve been dwelling on developing ourselves but this time, it’s all about our relationships. Whether you’re married or single, this interview is a must read. How I connected with my interviewee is fascinating and I can guarantee you won’t remain the same by the time you are done reading (don’t forget to share).
Take it or leave it, the choice of a life partner has a lot to do with fulfilling mandate. Just before you make that mistake, it’s best you go through this. I present to you a man who has dedicated his life to God’s service, ensuring young minds don’t miss it. I celebrate him and all he does.
Enjoy our discussion and stay blessed.
Happy New Year once again!
I follow your posts on your Facebook page and I can boldly say I’m a huge fan of your work. You are a man of great influence; tell us about yourself and what you do.
My name is Jed Adah Onuminya, formerly known as Thomas Ikoja Onuminya until I did a change of name sometime in 2018. I am a pastor, a singer, a writer, a relationship counsellor, a graphic designer just to mention a few.
I studied Civil Engineering in Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (now JS Tarka University) and proceeded to obtain a diploma in Theology from Kenneth Hagin’s Rhema Bible Training Centre, Kaduna Campus, after my NYSC.
I have a mandate from God to reach out to young singles and prepare them for life in general and especially for marriage. So far, I have been trying to do that under the platform of Dear Singles Hub.
Things don’t commence just like that, I’m certain there was a leading. What is the inspiration behind “Dear Singles”?
One of the greatest tragedies on earth is to see great potentials and destinies become frustrated on the account of wrong choices of life partners.
I am strongly inspired to reach out to young singles by the soaring rate of divorces, boys with guns and drugs, girls with “unsolicited” babies and no education.
If we are able to reach them now, we will be able to secure their future and that of generations to come.
Tell us about your E-book, Vision 2020.
Vision 2020 was originally not intended to be an E-book. I delivered a lecture on our Makurdi Singles Hub (MSH) WhatsApp platform and we thought it wise to put the thoughts together as a booklet to share with friends and family during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The purpose of the book is helping people approach this new year differently, so, they can get the best out of it.It contains less than 20 pages and yet it’s very powerful. I have received a lot of messages and calls from people expressing much it has blessed and inspired them.
Are you married?
Yes! I am married to the love of my life, Mrs Victoria Jed-Adah. I call her my support system. She is my biggest fan and partner.
People invest so much time in taking special counseling classes before they get married, regardless, the rate of divorce is on the high side. What do you think is the cause?
This is a very relevant question. I will give you two reasons why the “special counselling sessions” are not quite effective.
Firstly, what most people call pre-marriage counselling (especially in church) is just an avenue to investigate whether the Brother and the Sister have been sleeping with each other. They don’t really take time to prepare them for marriage. For pre-marital counselling to be effective, it has to be practical; intending couples should know what to expect from marriage: the good, the bad and even the ugly. When people enter into marriage with unrealistic expectations, they will most likely run out of it as soon as the going gets tough.
Secondly, most young people feel that pre-marital counselling is a complete waste of time. Most of them have a “love-is-all-we-need” mentality. They look for ways to avoid pre-marital counselling because they think they know it all. They don’t make any personal efforts to prepare themselves for the marriage institution by reading books about marriage, attending workshops and seminars on marriage, or seeking mentorship from older couples who have “been there and done that”.
Another reason why the rate of divorce is increasing in spite of the numerous pre-marital counselling sessions is that the devil is particularly out to fight marriages. He knows the devastating effect divorce has on individuals and on the society as a whole. I thank God for my parents; they stayed together happily till my mum’s demise about 5 years ago so I didn’t feel the impact of a broken home first-hand. However, I’ve met and counselled a lot of young people who have been terribly affected be their parent’s decision to discontinue their union.
Apart from relationship coaching and writing, what else do you do?
I’m also a singer/song writer. In fact, everyone that knew me earlier thought music will make me “blow”. Well I’m still looking forward to that. I released an album in 2017 titled “Sound Check”. I look forward to releasing another soon.
I am an excellent music minister and instrumentalist, I play the keyboard and acoustic guitar.
I’m also an excellent graphic designer; I design book covers, invitations, corporate branding, etc.Public speaking is another thing I do and I am also very good at it.
You are referred to as “Mr Dear me”. Can you tell us the history of this title?
I got that title from my posts on Facebook. It is my unique way of addressing people indirectly by addressing myself, especially when I don’t want to come out strong.
Example: Dear me, don’t be that jollof rice that still needs stew. Whatever you are, be a good one.
It’s just a way of dishing bitter truths properly garnished with humour. That’s how I earned that title. Most times I meet people on the street and they’re like “hello Mr Dear Me”.
Considering the way people flaunt their relationships online, do you think social media has a huge role to play in breaking marriages?
Yes! I think social media plays a major role in breaking marriages. Social media has made it very easy and convenient for people to cheat on their spouses. I’m a married man that don’t hide my marital status on social media (some actually do) yet a good number of ladies (and guys) come to my inbox to make very suggestive chats.
Although flaunting one’s relationship online can play a role in breaking marriages, hiding one’s relationship online does more harm to marriages. I am speaking from experience. I have very little traffic on my inbox because I make it very crystal clear that I am satisfactorily married to my beautiful wife.
The key to preventing your social media presence from messing up your marriage is TRANSPARENCY. My wife has access to all my social media handles and I have access to hers as well. We both know what’s up. It has helped us in handling unsolicited toasters. Transparency builds trust in marriage.
At what age can youths begin to think of getting into a relationship?
MATURITY is the age I recommend. It’s not usually a function of one’s date of birth. I’ve seen both 40-year-old-boys and 18-years-old-men – it is a function of rising up to responsibility.
A relationship is a huge responsibility. You have to be physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially… ready before you consider entering a relationship. I always tell people that “love without money is like a joke that is not funny“. You need finance to sponsor romance”.
What is your definition of a perfect marriage?
A “perfect marriage” is a marriage in which two imperfect people are committed to understanding each other’s imperfections, making necessary adjustments for the sake of the union.
In other words, no marriage is perfect because the parties involved are imperfect in themselves. A lot of person I’ve counselled have delayed getting married because they have not found their “perfect match”.
The truth of the matter is, there is nothing like a perfect match. A marriage is as perfect as the two parties involved decide it to be – by learning to love their spouse unconditionally, putting up with their imperfections and making necessary changes for the sake of their union.
I always advice young singles to stop looking for a perfect partner but to look out for one whose imperfections they will be able to put up with even if he/she refuses to change. A perfect marriage is one in which no party involved is trying to change the other, loving them just the way they are.
What do you do in your spare time?
I see movies. I’m a hug fan of cartoons and animations.
What does My Inner Awesomeness mean to you?
To me, Inner Awesomeness means that unique flavor everyone has on their inside, which when discovered and properly expressed, will help them make their marks on the sands of time.
How do you balance your spiritual and social life?
I believe that I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world. For the effect of the salt to be felt in the soup, it has to make contact with the soup and get dissolved in it.
As much as Christians are not to lose their identity in the world, they still need to reach out to the lost and the broken.
I see myself as an ambassador for Christ on social media and everywhere I find myself. I can’t count the number of persons I have reached with the message of God’s kingdom due to my activity on social media.The key to maintaining a balance is knowing who you are, whose you are and what your mission is.
What do you think individuals should be on the lookout for in their partners before walking down the aisle?
The list is very long. I dedicated a whole chapter in my book “Think Again: A Common Sense Approach to Love and Relationship” to treat this issue. However, let me just mention a few of those qualities here. Look out for his/her relationship with God. For me, it’s the first and most important quality to look out for in a prospective partner.
The most important relationship in ones life is his/her relationship with GOD followed by his/her relationship with themselves. Someone who does not understand and has not accepted the love of God cannot truly love you.Other things to look out for includes, Loyalty, commitment, sense of humour, his or her family background, how they treat other people, etc.
What’s your favorite meal? Can you cook it?
My favorite meal is pounded yam and Beniseed soup. Yes… I can cook it, for your information, I’m a very good cook.
Any advice for those in toxic relationships?
My advice to those who are yet to be married but have found themselves in a toxic relationships is very simple: Run for your life! Don’t remain in any relationship that is draining you. You are not a tree, move.
My advice to people who are married but their marriage is toxic is: pray, seek spiritual and professional help.
Thanks for your time Sir.
You’re most welcome. Thank you for hosting me on this platform. I’m greatly honoured.
Dear reader, trust you enjoyed the interview. Kindly copy the link to share with your friends.