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Joab gave up group-football for his Irene….

The good book asks us to welcome people for some have entertained angels. So when Joab through his friend Dorothy in 2012 accepted Irene to join them at table, he was letting in an angel that would turn his world upside up, if that exists. 

“Meeting with a friend, Dorothy, for coffee, a stunningly beautiful and elegant lady came and greeted us. Then Dorothy asked her to join us, introducing him to me as her friend,” Joab shares. Apart from the looks, Joab was amazed by how Irene was dressed, how she greeted them, talked as well as how she placed her order. In those few seconds, he concluded that her background and upbringing was impeccable. At that, a lot was running through his mind. “I had actually fallen for this lady within a short time. As such, I did not speak a lot that whole evening as I debated with my mind on how I was going to get to know much more about Irene.” Joab did not get her phone number on that day and his attempts to get it from Dorothy were met with resistance as she insisted he gets it from Irene himself. 

After a week, as Joab  met Dorothy at her father’s home, he got the opportunity to meet Irene again. “Apart from learning that Irene was Dorothy’s cousin, I was given an unlikely assignment of driving her to her hostel in Bugolobi. I did it with one heart and used the chance to ask for her phone number. Oh God!! When she gave me her contact I was very excited. It was a move in the right direction.”

From that moment on, Irene noticed there was extra care and effort on Joab’s side as he kept calling to check on her. “My birthday was just around the corner and he it a point to get me a beautiful cake. Some days after my birthday, he asked me out but I first gave it time so that I could understand the kind of a person I was dealing with.” In the meantime, he kept calling to check on Irene and they discussed a number of things. “I wanted to be sure about his views on different topics that I considered important.”

Becoming good friends, Joab’s next step was to tell Irene how he felt. “After some time, I told her how much I loved, treasured, and cherished her. I also told her I wanted her to be the mother of my children.” Joab describes his Irene as one that never rushes into stuff, and it played out as he waited for a response from Irene. “Finally, she told me that the answer was ready and inquired on whether I was ready to receive it. This was a moment of tension because that statement played on my mind. I drove from Arua to Kampala, an eight-hour journey, to get my answer.” By this time, Irene had realised that Joab was consistent, kind, gentle, bright, caring, focused and God-fearing. “Those were some of the things I was looking out for in a husband.” He had won her heart and not only was a date was possible but a good answer awaited Joab.

“I took her for dinner to one of the elite hotels in Kampala as I awaited the moment of truth was here. Guess what, it was a sweet BIG YES. It was such a sweet moment, a turning point in my life,” Joab says like it was yesterday.

With Joab working upcountry, their courtship was bound to be long-distance. Nonetheless, communication is surely the glue that kept the courtship plausible as they ensured to communicate regularly. “While upcountry, I missed my Irene greatly but travelled regularly to check on her in Kampala, more so because she was still at campus at that time.” He would always take her for lunch dates, evening coffee, and dinner, then on Sundays, they would go to church together and also visit friends. “One thing that drew me too close to Irene was her love for God. She was and is still a deep woman of God.”

As born-again Christians, the Aruhos agreed to observe purity till marriage. “We set out to be pure and honor God, we laid down the Do’s and Don’ts of our relationship from the very beginning and we were careful to follow them and always remind ourselves,” Irene shares. Joab adds that they achieved it by always avoiding situations that could compromise their sexual integrity such as being alone all by themselves. “But most importantly, prayer was our greatest weapon.”

After one and a half years of courting, the Aruhos had their introduction and giveaway on April 12, 2014 at Irene’s parents’ home in Ntoroko District while the wedding was on April 26, 2014 at All Saints Cathedral in Kampala. “The preparations were very smooth with friends and family showering us with a lot of financial, moral and spiritual support. At the end of the day, everything was a huge success. We also prayed and fasted for our functions to be successful and as usual, God who never fails did it,” they share.

It has always been said that courtship and marriage are as different as day from night, but Joab says his first year of marriage was a very exciting time for him. “Here is someone you love and are staying together, so it was a great feeling. During this year, we ventured into several activities such as jogging, dancing, watching movies, playing cards, washing and traveling as long as we were together. We still do those things to date,” Joab shares.

Irene attests that it was fun. “Although I had to move and stay with him in Arua where he worked, it was for the better as we were able to bond. Being a new place and not knowing anyone, we spent most of the time together whenever he was off duty. More to that, we were both young and full of life thus travelled together to see new places.”

While the fun was undeniable, there were some nuts to tighten. For example, Joab says adjusting to marriage life where you are now accountable to your partner took him time to get accustomed to. “You have to think about the effect of every decision on your partner. More to that, you have to first consult your partner on some issues. This was quite challenging at the start but I have made headway.”

On the other hand, Irene had to give up her job to go and stay with Joab in Arua where he worked. “It was a bit challenging, especially because I had to shift to a new place where I had no friend or relative. The culture there was also different and I didn’t know the local language yet there were situations where I had to interact with the locals, say when shopping for food at the market. I also missed my friends greatly but I made sure we kept in touch.”

Joab, an ardent football fan and specifically a staunch supporter of Arsenal Football club, also had to let go of watching late-night games. “I previously caught up with the boys in the night as we enjoyed the games. So giving it up was a hard call to make but I did. From that moment, I started watching football from the comfort of my home and Irene watches with me whenever she can.”

While they were still adjusting, two years down the road, Irene got a job in Kampala hence going back to a long-distance relationship. “However, I still travel over the weekend to check on her and the children. Sometimes, she also travels to where I work and we spend some time together. We also communicate more frequently when we are apart. ”

Irene also says the distance between them is a challenge. “The children and I always miss him whenever he is at work. Even when he comes to check on us on weekends, he stays for a day or two and travels back to work. There are also issues in the household that require a man and while I step in sometimes, it is strenuous.”

That said, the Aruhos communicate more often and when Joab returns he ensures he spends quality time with the family, sometimes taking the children out to play and they love it.

Advice

Joab shares that marriage is what you make it. “It requires a lot of commitment and patience. But above all dedicate your marriage to God, He is the chief author of marriage. More to that, a family that prays together, stays together.”

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Standing tall despite the cancer…..

Stronger than ever before.

Marriage is beautiful, but just like a rose, it has several thorns and how you deal with them determines if you will continue to enjoy its beauty or loathe it. For Martin and Judith Sserunkuuma, the major thorn was a cancer diagnosis. “We can only testify that it was only God on our side, the author and finisher of our faith as is stated in Heb.12:2, who saved our marriage. “

Two weeks before giving birth to their last daughter, in April 2010, Judith saw a few drops of blood coming from one of her nipples. “I inquired from my gynaecologist who referred me to a breast surgeon. I then inquired from a friend, an oncologist, who made a physical examination but found no alarm then. He prescribed an ointment which I used but in vain. By March 2012, my nipple had gotten worse so I sought re-examination which confirmed that I had a rare type of breast cancer that does not form a lump inside the breast called pageant-disease of the breast,” she shares about the genesis of a gloomy time in her life.

On getting the report and sharing it with family and friends, panic set in that they insisted she goes for an operation immediately. 

Doing life together

With no finances to see to it, they scheduled the operation for later which also gave Judith time to prepare herself emotionally. In May, Judith underwent surgery and later did chemotherapy which really drained her. For Martin, his faith in God was tested. “It was such a trying time for us. A baby and a sick mother were a lot to bear yet we had to walk each day together. It was an awful experience as a husband in all areas of my life, but God gave me the grace to go through it. Several thoughts crossed my mind, as I prayed that my wife pulls through. When she lost appetite, lost her hair while having the chemotherapy treatment and saw our daughter hold on to her mother, more so after medication, I prayed and believed more that it would be well.”

Judith had to stay away from her family for a week of treatment, and some mornings of special care to stabilize after getting her chemo shot.

The couple is indebted to God, not forgetting family and friends who made the trying time a little bearable. “While many spouses become caretakers, I am thankful for all the support we got which allowed me to keep our business running for the much-needed finances. During that time, I anchored on Ps 37:39 to find courage,” Martin reminisces.

If there was a shadow of doubt standing between the Sserunkuumas, this ailment broke it as they got even more determined to stand firm in faith and prayed more together. “We also learned that life should not be taken for granted. Each day is an opportunity to accomplish our God-given tasks and honour God while doing so.” In the interim, they trusted God for the healing while, taking medical advice and treatment. Judith was later, in 2014, after a year of periodically testing, declared cancer free. “He, however, advised we do checks as deemed fit.”

Meeting through Judith’s workmate doubling as Martin’s friend, the Sserunkuumas had no inkling that one day, they would be a couple. “One day, I did not find my friend and Judith came to let me know that she was not around since she had seen me a few times visiting.” Judith was warm and welcoming, something that endeared Martin to begin a conversation with her the next time he came around. “She was easy to talk to and when I learned she was a Christian; I was drawn for we really had something to share. I also realised that we had a few common friends when we met on their functions in addition to church events,” Martin smiles. 

Judith remembers it like yesterday, saying, around 1998/99, they became friends and she would pass by his office on Kampala Road on her way home. “He had prospecting a girlfriend at University while I was also in another relationship, so, it was amazing that he would sometimes sign out for the day and we walk together to the Old Taxi Park. Unfortunately, none of these worked out.”

Judith did not want to have many relationships that led to nothing hence asking God to get her into one leading to marriage. “While I was waiting on the Lord for my breakthrough, I enjoyed my singleness with my girlfriends.” In regards to Martin, Judith thought Baganda men demanded too much respect inasmuch as she was not sure which other tribe would be ideal. On the other hand, Martin enjoyed his newfound relationship so much that the transition to courtship was barely noticed. “The only point I remember was that I really wanted her to be part of my life and prayerfully, I presented my marriage intentions which have been an answered prayer for the last 20 years.”

Judith pegs Martin’s failure to notice to the fact that they enjoyed each other’s company. “We were at ease, talking about anything, and he has this kind of humour that can keep one laughing. With him, I did not have to pretend about anything. As such, there was no need to try and win the other over, we were genuine friends,” Judith smiled.

Nonetheless, her issue was meeting Martin’s mother for she did not know what to expect. “When he took me for the first time, he told her I was his bride-to-be. She asked about his other friends that had visited earlier (these I had already met and knew) and Martin insisted I was his bride-to-be. This gave me comfort.”

With that, courtship was on and they pledged to God to respect each other. “We knew what behaviours God required of us through His word, so we decided to live by it. We also prayed together about our future and commitment to each other. We also believed God for our lives to be a reflection of what He had joined together and finally he was faithful through it all.” During that time, they enjoyed evening walks and eating out. “We would take a taxi from the Old Taxi Park, alight then take the longest route to my home. We would also have time together in the Sheraton gardens and once, to Makerere garden. Openness made the whole transition easier,” Judith shares.

One for all time

Getting married on December 22, 2000, the preparations were smooth until a day to the wedding when the food service providers changed their commitment. “We are grateful to God who brings help at the point of need because our friends helped out at this critical moment and we managed to get alternative service providers.” Judith was also thankful to have her mother around. “Having been abroad for the last 20 years, it was beautiful to see her on my special day.” Martin laughs at the memory that it was only during studio time when he noticed that his bride did not have a bouquet. “I only noticed because that was when the flowers were brought.”

Looking at the first year of their marriage, Martin says it was enjoyable with all the adjustments to be made to fit in each other’s environment. “I was positive about everything that was happening because I knew it was all part of the learning process. I do not remember stressful days because I learned to live a day at a time, by the grace of God. I also knew this was my choice and I had to love the experience.” Agreeing to set the first year aside for just them, he says it has caused them to be always at peace in the company of each other regardless of where they are. “We share our projects and work together.”

On the other hand, Judith says she learned and purposed to let her husband live in a peaceful home. “Prov.21.9 was my motto. The Holy Spirit must have prompted me about it because while I had read it before, I was now required to live it out. For instance, in the beginning, I seemed to notice all my hubby’s shortfalls such as socks left at the entrance and many other small issues, that he once asked me if I had no shortfalls. While I told him that he had to let me know so I could work on them, I realised I could do better because if I was going to grow old with him, we needed to enjoy every day of it. At least that was our aim.” With that, while Judith would notify Martin about his mistake, but not dwell on it. “Sometimes, I would let it pass, especially if it wasn’t a matter of life and death, such as littering clothes. It is now easier to bear with each other and one another’s burdens.”

Finances are a major deal-breaker in marriage and Judith says she once invested in one network marketing business without agreeing with Martin. “I bought products but failed to sell them. In the end, I used them on guests and meetings for free because I had no support from him.” Choosing to learn from that, the couple has since chosen to be accountable to each other. “We both had personal accounts which we kept but availed our ATM cards if need to use the money on them arose, so we know each other’s password.” In matters of how money is used, the Sserunkuumas say they attend to the most crucial need such as school fees. “It doesn’t matter who earned it. It’s ours, so we split it accordingly. Tithing is also a major priority in the family.”

Another challenge over the years has been misunderstanding one another while communicating, resulting into conflict which usually lives one party unhappy for a while. “Nonetheless, learning to forgive has helped mend the broken pieces of the relationship.” They both choose to cool off before sharing their grievances to avoid actions they would regret which has made conflict resolution to yield a positive outcome. “Whenever I realise I am starting to raise my voice in a discussion, I keep quiet and say a prayer within me for God to calm me down, make me understand the situation from her point of view and then give me a way forward,” Martin shares.

For those intending to get married, they say that they need to determine to be married for life. “Your decision to stay married implies you work on your marriage so be intentional in everything you do and say and take it one day at a time. More to that, let the Word of God be your manual for your marriage because God is the author of this institution.”

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The man every lady respects…

Kevin Shitsukane

Real men never open their mouths to ask for respect, they command it naturally. The day you start asking for respect is the day you lose it. If you have it, you will not ask or demand for it! It comes to you effortlessly!

Every woman respect men who have these qualities:

YOU ARE WISE

Nothing makes a woman bow before a man than wisdom. When you open your mouth and timeless treasures flow out, she will stand stunned, dazed, wowed and glued. She wants to listen to you over and over again but when you open your mouth and nothing comes out but crap, senseless jokes, stupid words and banter, boy, she will duck, no, she will pick race. Are you a man of wisdom? Your wife will surely love listening to you over and over and over again…

YOU MAKE MONEY

Men who make cool money command ladies’ respect effortlessly, call them greedy, that’s your business! No woman wants to suffer in marriage! You must carry your two legs out of your house every morning and make good money if you want your wife to respect you. Any man who depends on his wife to eat needs serious deliverance! Forget about yahoo boys and pray for financial success bro! Not every millionaire stole pants for money rituals! Not all CEOs are yahoo boys! Not all business tycoons buried human heads under their businesses! God is a giver of TRUE wealth! The bible says, “The BLESSINGS of the Lord maketh RICH!” Rich men command respect easily, you may hate to hear it, but it is the truth. However, start small and grow big! That is the problem of today’s youths. No one wants to start small. Everyone wants to ride “Logo Benz” hence the money ritual! You better save yourself and generations unborn from untimely death by steering clear of blood money. Start small, work hard and grow big, that’s how to be great. Virtuous women respect hardworking men and will support them when necessary.

Can you quell the turbulence?

YOU HAVE SELF CONTROL

A man who stares at women’s breasts, buttocks, and lips is sick! No, admiring a woman is different. Men naturally admire attractive women but if you stare, you STARE like a big-eyed fish, you need a psychiatrist’s attention! Look once and look away, that’s okay, that’s decent. I know men look so telling you not to look is unrealistic. I am against staring and drooling! A man who controls his libido commands a woman’s respect any day, any time! If you must grab and grope every time you see a woman you are a piss off! Honourable men respect ladies! Men who command women’s respect have a clean, pure, bed sheet not wrinkled or stained with lust and premarital sex!

THEY ARE GENEROUS

Givers are automatic respect commanders! Giving is not about the volume but the condition of heart. Some men are so stingy they must ask for sex in return of Shs100 recharge card. What’s your problem? Are you so poverty-stricken you can’t release Shs500 without asking for sex? Is Shs10,000 your God? Is it the end of your life? Will you die if you help the daughter of Sarah with just Shs50,000? FIFTY THOUSAND SHILLINGS! I rebuke that stingy, backward, stagnant spirit out of your life in Jesus’ name! Givers are respect commanders! Learn to give to God, your family and your parents, blessings will flow into your life effortlessly.

THEY LOVE GOD

Your love for her is important

God chasers are automatic respect commanders! When I see a man who loves the Lord, who LOVES the Lord, oh my, oh my, that is so so sexy to me, muuuaaah!

THEY LOVE THEIR WIVES

It is an irresponsible man that will ill-treat his wife and expect her to respect him. It is the son of satan that will starve, abuse and even beat his wife and expect her to scream “Yes sir!” to his commands and jumps at his every beck and call! It is a bushman that will neglect his wife and expect her to honour him. Ho- what? You do not deserve honour sir. The Bible says, “Give honour to whom honour is due”. Honour is not due to a stingy, irresponsible drunkard and a womanizer! Respect is not commanded Huncle, it is earned!

Start earning it from today and you will feel better, love yourself more and achieve more results in your relationships, personal life, career and business!

#Marriage

Precursor to that divorce….

Marriage is a Sacrifice; a Relationship between two Forgivers. That is to say that the adage, “Error is to human’, is applicable to singles as much as it is for marrieds. Error happens more in marriage because you are two strangers making a bed together.

That said, NO Marriage breaks overnight. The break goes through several stages…

***Honeymoon stage...

This is a wondrous time with love very tangible in the air. It is impossible to imagine that a wedge can come between them. It is a beautiful time indeed.

***Normal life stage.

___When reality begins to check in.

___What you see when there’s no wig or make up on the face.

___This is when you know a friend in your partner.

___This when the pepper someone has been eating for years is finding its way out.

___Here your patience, endurance, Love is put to work; someone knows where and how you can stink and still enjoy the blessing of God that addeth no sorrow.

1 Peter 4:8 NKJV And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8 NLT Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

***Criticism Stage…

Handling weaknesses is still plausible, always making room for one another.

***Warfare stage…

You always do research on what next to use to better your partner, always making sure they are on top of their game. Oh yes, the zeal still burns for you to pray for them..

***Avoidance stage…

This is the day you lose what attracted you to one another, and you begin to kill your marriage.

This leads to emotional separation. No more connection

It once happened with another couple who quarrelled over salt in the food and ended up not talking to one another for two good months. Within these months, this man applied for a job and the day of interview was nigh. The man slept a little late preparing for the interview and wrote a letter to his wife saying, “Please wake me up at 5:30am so that I am not late for the interview”, then laid it next to her bedside. The woman saw it, read and replied at 5:30am saying, “It’s time to wake up, please don’t be late to go for the interview, Wake up!” She then carefully placed it at his bedside. The devil is a liar, the man enjoyed deep dream enclave only to wake up at 8:40am and the interview was at 7am. This is the day ‘intervention’ happened and they began talking again. “I told you to wake me up”, he blurted angrily. Then the wife retorted, “I woke you up by writing it in capital letters.” They ended up reconciling understanding that if they were in oneness, this opportunity would not have bypassed.

Therefore, always strive to make peace with all men.

God dwells where there is unity, joy and Praise.

True love drives away fear, shame and inferiority/superiority complex.

1 John 4:18 KJV There is no fear in Love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

***Separation stage…

When all manner of intervention fails, some couples move into separate bedrooms. Remember that does not happen in a blink of an eye but a gradual process whose roots must be addressed because the clock is ticking.

***Divorce.

It finally strikes midnight and many disastrous decisions are reached.

Will we turn the clock back, I am not so sure?

How about we work to stay in the normal stage?

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It is not a boy/girl thing

Marriage is an amazing institution, one that is not supervised by any one in particular yet the whole world is and assessing you. In essence, it is not for boys or girls, in essence, age is not the issue here as many want to make it seem because one can be 50 yet still think like a 10 year old. And this issue is why many marriages fail.

When you decide to get married, you must decide to graduate to maturity. It is a decision no one can or will ever make for you. As such, there are some things you ought to do for the sake of your marriage.

Choose to prioritise your marriage: When you make the choice to get married or marry, putting your marriage first is none negotiable. That means all other things come after, even your leadership role at church or anywhere else for that matter.

Learn to be selfless: Marriage is not for selfish or self centered people. If you still want to think about yourself only, never thinking about what your decisions will do to your partner, then it is better to stay single.

Be ready to communicate: Many writers, authors and speakers have shared about the importance of communication in marriage or any relationship for that matter. Its importance cannot be underestimated. You must learn how to speak when you are hurt yet also be ready to listen when your spouse is speaking. It is about creating an atmosphere where there is freedom to speak about everything and anything. Be civilised enough to hold a civilised conversation even when the situation is tense so that without bickering, you reach a conclusion.

Sleep at home: When married, you sleep at home rather than sleeping around. You cannot be sleeping at your parents’ home today and then at your friends’ place the next day for no apparent reason.

Marriage, is indeed, a thing of the mature. Therefore, choose to grow up and save your marriage for those already there. In case you are hoping to get in, take time to mature up.

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Is he ready?

He needs to be groomed into his role.

Marriage is the only institution where you get a certificate before finishing the course. In that thread, often times, he is not ready for her but she is for him. It is a tough scenario and owing to that, we are faced with a marriage pandemic. Usually, the girl child is prepared for marriage; taught how to cook, reminded that she’ll one day take care of her own children. She is trained on how to take care of her home, that the man has to be respected and the like. On the flip side, the only thing men are told, summarily, is that they are going into marriage to be king and will be served by their wife.

Unfortunately, being a husband is never about being a boss but a serious call to leadership. So here is this young lady who has been polished for the marriage institution; reading books, and attending seminars on marriage getting married to a young man with the belief that he will lead her. Sadly, leadership is not in his vein, he lacks a clear vision; if he even has a sketch at all, cannot protect her and marriage is no where in his priorities.

He will definitely, fail her and the sad bit is that this lady could start blaming herself for the failures in marriage. Can we prepare our boys for the journey ahead as well? It takes two to make a meaningful marriage.

#Marriage

A little about the blog..

It is still possible to get the marriage of your dreams

It is amazing to learn more about how I can uplift, please, and compliment my spouse. While it would be of no harm to keep it to myself, I thought it better to share what I have learned over the last 10 years with you. God has continues to be gracious to me and my husband that we can walk this journey that is filled with ups and downs and draw lessons.

Come and join me how to make our marriages flourish in an era where marriage is under attack. How do we have fun in our marriages yet still align with God’s will for us? How do we raise the next generation of Godly marriages? How do we become role models to our children? That and much more will feature on these paages.

Join me for the buffet whether you are married, engaged, single as well as those on the fence.