Many of us, while courting, are so excited about our wedding day that we forget a wedding is different from marriage. The work and fuss that goes into the preparation would make one think that the day will go on forever.
Likewise, when Pascal married Samali on October 5, 2019, the two had a few eye-openers awaiting them. “After two years of courtship, we were looking forward to marriage life which has offered us several lessons. One of these was how different courtship is from marriage. While in courtship you do not see each other daily but in marriage, you learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Samali laughs. She says in the beginning, she missed home and family a lot. “The thought of staying with someone except family was challenging but I thank my husband for being understanding and supportive until I overcame it.”
Pascal also attests to the fact that living together is far different from when a couple is dating. “We grew up with totally different experiences and are of different temperaments. I am an extrovert and result-oriented, making quick decisions while Samali is an introvert, very organised and sometimes can be a perfectionist, taking her time and thinking through things.”
Differences in opinions and character are why people are drawn to each other but can also be a thorn in the side causing some to say the first year of marriage is hard. To avoid pent-up feelings that would strain their marriage for life, the Mugishas decided to use their first year of marriage to build their bond of love and learn from each other. “We have been on a journey of growth as well as learning to honour and tolerate each other in love.”
More to the challenges was independence which is good in and of itself but depending on how it is exercised could be a marriage breaker. In the Mugishas’ case, each made decisions on their own, in the start. “It was something that I needed to not only shelve but also bin because we were now one and my decisions affected her hence the need to consult her. However, very often, I forgot to consult her which would get us into disagreements,” Pascal shared. Samali, on the other hand, had a way she wanted things done, which sometimes rubbed on her husband the wrong way. “Once married, I had to learn to first consult my husband and talk through things.”
With the differences, the first thing the Mugishas resolved was that they were in this marriage for eternity. “We then purposed to attend marriage conferences and hear from different couples on how they dealt with different issues. This helped us to appreciate marriage and gave us the wisdom on how to go about thorny issues we were facing. We also decided to celebrate and appreciate each other for every progress we made, no matter how small it was, on issues we were trying to improve on,” Pascal shares.
Samali adds that they have come to acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses. “That has helped us appreciate what each can do and also help each other where we fall short. This support has helped us make the best out of our marriage.”
However, these fruits did not come out of wishful thinking as the couple made room for open communication and chose to submit to each other in love. “We decided to have heart-to-heart conversations often and set aside time to discuss issues as they arise, always agreeing even to disagree,” Samali shared.
Pascal adds that he has learned two things in this journey of marriage. “A happy wife makes a happy home and where there is unity, God always commands the blessing. Wives are naturally blessed with the sixth sense and can discern what we, husbands, might have missed out, generally complimenting us. That taught me to not only love and respect her but also honour and listen to her because most of the time, she is right.”
Meeting in 2016 at the Miracle Bible College where both were students, the odds did not seem to point to marriage. Samali was going through a lot of heartache from grieving the loss of her dad to recovering from a failed relationship. It is a little wonder that despite being in the same class for more than a month none had noticed the other. But one evening, as Pascal was passing on communication in class, their eyes met and the journey begun with friendship. “I gave her a shoulder to lean on. Being vulnerable at the time, I made a deliberate effort to be there for her. It was only at the close of 2016 that I asked her out,” Pascal blushes.
Prior to joining Bible College, Samali was planning to go to China for further studies. “I was excited and looking forward to a fresh start perhaps because I was trying to get over a terrible heartbreak and the loss of my dad. So leaving for China to study was my way to leave it all behind.” However, the trip never was because as she was working on getting a visa, she had a strong unction from within hence a change of heart to enrol for a two year diploma course at the Miracle Centre and the rest was history! “That was the best decision at that time for me.”
Saying, yes, to the date, Samali and Pascal started courting. “Being Christians, we made a deliberate effort to honour God by abstaining from sex during courtship. We prayed together on many occasions, attended many conferences on marriage, and supported each other morally, spiritually and financially in various ways. We also went on several dates and attended some family events together,” Pascal says.
Samali adds that they also had an accountability couple who walked the journey with them. “They prayed for us and counselled us which made it easy to stick with what we wanted in a relationship and how we were going to achieve it.”
Advice to young people who fear to get into marriage
Marriage is a beautiful thing and when we put our hearts into making it work, all will be well. “Young people should trust in God because marriage was his idea from the beginning. What you invest in your marriage is what you will harvest out of it, so I encourage you to pray together, read books on marriage, attend marriage conferences with your partner. Learn to love, cherish, honour, respect and appreciate them. Understand that whatever challenges come, they too shall pass and please don’t leave your marriage to chance, be deliberate and work on it, you will rip big from it,” Pascal shares.
Samali says that it is important to take time to learn, grow, understand and appreciate each other, and to know your worth but most importantly to pray. “God is the author of marriage so He will surely guide you because marriage is between a husband, wife and God. More to that, endeavour not to take each other for granted, build trust, commitment and always be honest with each other, and leave the rest to God.”