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Becoming a romantic husband or wife

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Bishop Charles Ighele


Last Sunday, I wrote about how I grew up in an atmosphere where I cannot remember seeing my father and mother hug each other any day not to talk of kissing. As far as I know, they had a relatively peaceful marriage, apart from four to six occasions of real explosion. And this was during around the first quarter of their marriage.

My mother was the envy of some women, as they felt that she was enjoying a lot. It was much later I knew that my mother needed something else from my father, which my father could not provide. She had a big LOVE TANK, which she needed my father to fill with words and actions, but which my father, possibly due to his own traditional non-romantic upbringing, could not provide.

Like I said last week, it was when my mother died at 60 that I became aware that my father loved her so much, because about three months later, the same year after the death of my mother, my father also died. He could not take it. He was 68.

After I gave in and allowed the Spirit of Jesus to be the new Governor of my life, I deliberately decided that I would express love in words and action to the lady I took to the altar to be my wife. And then, I met Carol in 1985 and wedded her the following year. During our courtship, I deliberately went to bookshops to buy love cards that expressed my love for her. Aside the words printed on the cards, I also tried to add my own words of love with my ugly handwriting.

That was how I began my journey of becoming a romantic man. Before we got married, we had made up our minds that we shall call each other “darling”. The pet name “darling” was in vogue then. Now, it is “baby”, “babe” and so on. I was very determined to call her darling right from when the officiating minister of our wedding would say, “I hereby pronounce you husband and wife. Whom God therefore has joined together let not man put asunder.”

Boy, come and see me. I could not call her “darling” for five days. Carol, being from a more romantic home, did not find it difficult to do so. But when I wanted to call her “darling”, the wall of culture, the wall of tradition, would close my mouth.

But on the sixth day, while in our hotel room, during our honeymoon at a Christian holiday resort in Miango in Plateau State, I summoned courage and decided that the wall of tradition and culture that had turned out to be a wall of Jericho in my journey towards having an exciting and lovely marital life must fall down. That beautiful morning, I called Carol, “darling”, and I congratulated myself for being able to come out of a non-romantic lifestyle. Since then, there has been no turning back.

People say I am a very romantic man. But what they do not know is the deliberate effort I put in and kept putting in to express love to my wife, just as Jesus Christ, through many deliberate means, expressed and keeps expressing His love to His bride (i.e. the church).

After many years of marriage with four grandchildren, I still kiss my wife’s hands and lips. I still take her out and look for new ways to show her love. All I have been trying to say through this write up is that a traditional husband or wife can become romantic, if he or she wants to. Love you.


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Charles Ighele
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