Business Matters by Denise Roberts

MARRIAGE IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS

Denise Roberts speaks to Robert and Enomfon Ntefon, who have made it their business to encourage and support marriages

Divorce figures of over 40% tell us that, when couples get married, it is not always ‘’til death do us part’, but Robert and Enomfon Ntefon are in business to change that.

They launched Winning Relationships in 2012 with two central messages. One is that whatever wrong ideas and concepts about love and marriage you learned from Hollywood and such other sources, get them out of your head. The other focuses on the heart.

“Divorce is caused by hardness of heart,” they explain. “We look at what is generating and propagating these issues, then it is easier to bring couples together.”

Robert and Enomfon had been counselling couples in Nigeria for over 20 years before arriving in the UK and seeing how dire the situation was here.

“We saw that divorce was as high as 38% among Christians; cohabitation and marriage delay; children adversely affected by divorce, and the ongoing propaganda from celebrities showing young people what ‘love’ is. We saw a need for marriage education for young people; there are lots of ‘Yeses’ that are based on hormones, because he ‘looks like Will Smith’.”

Both are qualified relationship coaches, marriage mentors and pastors. They have been married for 24 years, and have four daughters and a son. Their Love and Marriage School runs six programmes, covering pre, during and post marriage. “We look at expectations and values,” said Enomfon. “We go in-depth and, when people see the realities, they either decide it’s not for them or they get ready for the long haul. It’s better you get that perspective earlier than later. The government spends £44 billion on family breakdown, and that is a huge chunk of taxpayers’ money.”

Robert says his call to the business didn’t come like a loud voice from heaven. It was more like a gentle but persistent knock at the door. As a single young man – well before he met his wife – he would attend women’s programmes and conventions, determined to learn all he could about marriage. He had strong beliefs about what makes a successful marriage: “Things I believe that are now confirmed,” he says, “as I’ve personally witnessed how a marriage can succeed.”

They have enjoyed much success with people travelling to their London-based school from as far as Manchester, Newcastle and elsewhere. A high point was when “…pastoring a congregation of barely 70, we had up to 10 couples wedded under us. This was significant when bigger churches were struggling to get others to commit.”

And, of course, there are challenges, largely because “Many people don’t see the problem until it has already happened. They think, ‘Why do I need marriage education? I just love him and he loves me’, but forget that this is unpredictable terrain.

“Another is Christians – not all, but some – think it should be free. You have to explain that you have to make a profit to reinvest to reach more lives. They miss the importance of investing into their lives.”

The vision for the business is to work closely with pastors and leaders to reach more couples, and for schools and universities to reach young people. They are also developing a programme to train new mentors, and pursuing avenues for accreditation.

Both Robert and Enomfon have an inspirational approach to Kingdom business, believing in continual personal development and a life of integrity that speaks for itself. “One encounter should make people want to encounter you again,” said Robert.

For more information about the Love and Marriage School, visit www.loveandmarriageschool.com

FIVE WAYS TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS BLOG FRESH

Blog

Blogging is a great way to market your business. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and attract new clients, but how do you continually find fresh sources of inspiration on what to write? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Use daily newspapers and magazines as a source for current issues; they are littered with stories.
  2. Try specialist or trade publications in relevant fields, like business, science or health, for the latest research.
  3. Check out the Media or press sections of reputable organisations, like the FSB or CBI, to find out what agenda-setters are up to.
  4. Use forward planning calendars to plan posts around relevant national, European and international dates.
  5. Re-purpose your content. Rewrite past blogs with a new slant, or by summarising your ‘most read posts’ over the past year.

EVENT: NEED FUNDS TO START A BUSINESS?

 As part of their ‘Start & Evolve’ series of business events, South Bank University is organising a free event for people looking for finance to help start and develop a new business. Business funding can be difficult to find, especially when you don’t know where to start looking, so this event aims to provide you with a solid understanding of how to finance your new business. It includes an overview of different types of funding, plus helpful tips on how to secure the money you need to launch.

Refreshments are provided, and there will be an opportunity to network. The event is free to attend, and takes place on Wednesday 18th March from 5.00pm to 6.30pm at its central London campus. For more information, visit https://alumni.lsbu.ac.uk/enterprisesupport

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