Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
The subjects of this week’s Love Life, Musa* (61) and Abike* (52), are pastors who’ve been married for 24 years. They discuss being drawn to each other because of their service to the church and how he proposed before they even started dating.
How did you two meet?
Abike: We met in church. I joined in 1993, and he joined two years later.
Musa: She was a choir mistress at the time. I joined as a Sunday school teacher and interpreter for the church founder. We were both evangelists and were often paired for evangelical missions.
She was still a student when I joined, but I was done with school. Her school was in a different state, so we only saw each other when she came back for long holidays.
What made you decide to start dating?
Musa: When I realised I was drawn to her, I decided to ask our pastor and his wife to join us in prayer. We didn’t start dating until I got the go-ahead from our pastor.
We’ve been taught that when you pray for a life partner, God gives you a reading or shows you the person. You don’t meet the person directly. There’s a Yoruba adage that says, “What an elder sees while seated, the young ones cannot see even if they climbed a two-storey building”.
After the prayer, the pastor and his wife told me I could propose to her. When I did, she asked for some time to pray about it.
Abike: Although I was done with school, I was worried about our financial situation because the money we were earning wasn’t a lot. But when I prayed about it, God led me to Psalm 37:19, and I got my confirmation.
Musa: A couple of weeks later, I asked her if she’s made a decision, she told me yes.
So you proposed marriage from the jump?
Musa: Yes. After I proposed, we dated for over a year before we got married in 1999. We were both very advanced in age. She was 29, and I was 37, so there was no need to waste time. Plus, we’re both committed to the work of God. I knew I couldn’t pursue anything with someone who isn’t as dedicated to God’s work as I am.
Our spiritual life was the major factor that really drew us together. The combined love for things of the kingdom was too strong to ignore.
Abike: He handled the things of God with a certain passion that really made me interested in him.
Musa: Our spiritual parents had a hand in our relationship from the very beginning. Even our brothers and sisters in the church didn’t object to the union. Our biological parents were also in support of us coming together as husband and wife. I honestly believe we are divine partners. That she is the will of the Lord in my life.
Abike: I think so too because there’s a certain peace that comes with him. Not to say we never had issues, but when we did, we prayed on any and every mountain.
What kind of issues?
Musa: First, the money we were earning at our respective jobs wasn’t a lot, but we thank God for small provisions like bonuses and salary increases.
Abike: Another of such issues is that I’m not a very easy person to control. You can’t just tell me to sit there and obey without trying to convince me. Sometimes, he’d make a decision without discussing it with me and expect me to just go ahead with it. That’s not how I work. Now, he knows better than to just impose decisions on me. He’s also more gentle than me. When he’s annoyed, he may not say anything, but me? You’ll see it all over my face.
As time went on, we began to understand each other better. Now, if there are any issues, we settle them before we go to bed. If we can’t, we talk about it during our morning devotion.
And you’ve been doing this for 24 years?
Musa: Yes, we have, and it’s all been by the grace of God. God is the answer to every loving and peaceful home. Except the Lord builds the house, the labourers work in vain. The secret to being able to last this long in marital bliss is God.
Abike: There’s also the love we have for one another. It allows us to be patient and persevere.
On a scale of 1-10, how will you rate your love life?
Musa: An 8 because I believe we’ve just started. As long as we live it, it’ll continue to grow more and increase on a daily basis till eternity.
Abike: I agree. Every day, it keeps getting better by His grace.