Marriage Is A Union of Two Friends and Forgivers – Rita Emiaso
Evangelist (Dr.) Rita Emiaso is the Mother-in-Israel and National Women Leader of Gospel Church of Christ Intl, with the headquarters in Lagos. A woman of passionate heart of prayer and motherhood. Strong pillar of support to her husband and everyone around her. In this brief chat with Providence News, she opened up on her marriage and the principle that has kept her marriage of 38 years intact and strong. Excerpt;
How did your relationship start?
Our relationship started at the camp during our youth service on a pure and holy friendship note, not as boy friend and boy friend. We were just always wanting to see each other, be together, share, chat, pray and study together. Wanting the best for each other as friends without any strings attached or imagination to it then.We do things together; close together, come back together, eat together, pray together and go to the fellowship together. Just like twins, there was nothing we didn’t do together with pure friendship, except committing furnication or doing anything immoral. Even our service colleagues, especially in the fellowship knew us to always be together, they knew Rita and Eric are close, always together and inseparable.
How do you sustain your Christian integrity?
During the period of our friendship, despite our closeness and moving together, we didn’t know each other intimately, furnicate or do anything that negated our faith and fellowship with God until we got married.
Our relationship was purely based on friendship and no dirty mind. Just living for Christ and in the spirit of fellowship. We are able to maintain our integrity because we have no ulterior motive or wrong feeling for one another then.
How did he propose to you?
We were in the same profession and in the same school as teachers. God sees that in us that we were already blended and have built a bond that is hard to break. My husband later had it in mind that this is the girl he wants to get married to and I always ask him, as a handsome young man, what made you think so? How do you see me getting married to you and what did you see in me among the crowd of girls around? And, he will always tell me, “when the time comes, we will cross the bridge” (Laughter). So, when he made his intention known, I did not resist or reject it.
When did you get married?
We eventually got married in 1983 and were blessed with 3 children, two passed on and remains one with four grandchildren.
How would you describe marriage?
Marriage is a union that should be enjoyed by the husband and wife as friends. Myself and my husband were tight and close friends, and we are still close. When you are friends with each other. There are things you would be doing together to bring oneness into your relationship and marriage. That is what God saw in us and it has really helped our marriage.
How was your journey into the ministry?
God started calling me in 1983, but I delayed answering the call till 1997 when I made up my mind to answer the call. It was in 1997 while alone sitting in our living room, the Lord spoke to me and said, do you think I am calling only you? I am also calling your husband. But, he didn’t know the Lord had spoken to me that he is also called into full time, because he doesn’t know if he will be going into full time ministry. Along the line, things started working out and falling into places.
We both left our secular job together to become full time ministers, same month and same year.
How do you handle marital challenges and what kept your marriage going?
We are humans and bound to have misunderstandings with challenges, ups and downs, the low and high moments. But, God has always been there for us, with our friendship and fellowship spirit, we are able to handle situations and overcome challenges through the help of the Holy Spirit.
What are the principles that helped to sustain your marriage?
The principle has always been God’s word, the Holy Spirit and understanding of one another. We are humans and have our flaws, but depend on God and not move at each other’s weakness. That has helped us to keep our home, build our family and do exploits by the grace of God.
Knowing each other’s weaknesses and looking down on your weaknesses to concentrate on building on your strong points. Also, humility. Following the Bible instruction, I submit to my husband and he loves me. If couples can follow the Bible principles of submitting to one another, respect for one another and value one another, the marriage will be heaven on earth.
What are the things that work against a happy marriage?
When you begin to fix marital issues with your own sense, there will always be a clash and likely crash of the marriage. You don’t bring your own sense or human understanding into your marriage, it would not work, because you are not the one who instituted it, allow God who instituted marriage to take control and direct the affairs through the Holy Spirit as your 3rd partner.
What is your advice to younger people?
My advice to young people planning, just wedded or already married is; to go into marriage is to depend on God to get your life partner and friend as a husband and a wife. There is always a missing rib to be fixed to complete one another, but when you allow God to lead you and bring you together, you will fit in completely to complement one another, not to compete with one another. By this way you can fulfill each other’s role as husband and wife. You will see God coming in to bless you and your marriage tremendously.
Briefly describe your husband
My husband is first my pastor and leader. My best friend, gist partner, playmate, companion and confidant. He is a responsible man, husband, leader and father (spiritual and biological). He is a lover of God. He encourages people and always wants the best for people around him.