Ministry and marriage: How men and women of God make it work

Pastor Isaac and Rayhab Macharia with their children. PHOTOs/courtesy

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For these ministers, the belief that the first ministry given to a man is his household has helped them stay grounded even while serving God and taking care of their families. They say that knowing how to create appropriate time for each is key.

Pastors Robert and Jessica Kayanja of Miracle Centre Cathedral in Rubaga, Kampala, have been married for 30 years. During their 25th marriage anniversary, the couple took time to share some of the secrets behind their successful union.

“We are still running the race, fighting the good fight, looking forward to completion.  Thank you for being the priest of my house and of the house of God,” Jessica told her husband.

This pointed to pastor Kayanja’s role as a leader with the ability to take on his God-given responsibilities in the church and his home. However, how do men and women of God find time to balance these responsibilities? We spoke to some ministers who give an insight into what it takes to have a successful marriage while also serving God. 

Pastor Isaac and Rayhab Macharia

“We met 14 years ago during a Bible and Theology course. We have been married for 11 years and are blessed with three children,” the couple share.

 The Macharias are pastors at Trinity Chapel, Kampala. According to Rayhab, during their many interactions while pursuing the above course, she discovered that Isaac was a God-fearing man. This, she says, was aligned with her childhood desire to serve God. She also loved the fact that he was handsome and had a good sense of humor.

In Rayhab, Isaac saw three virtues that made him fall in love with her. These were Christ, character and chemistry.  Rayhab was also a worship leader, something that stood out for him.

The pastors from Nairobi emphasise the need to create time for each other even with the demands that ministry comes with.

 “We make sure that whichever church activity we engage in, we do it as a team. This way, we get to spend as much time together as possible,” the couple say.

The couple also ensure that they go out on dates or take time off to travel away from the responsibilities of the church.

 “We are aware of how demanding ministry can be. So, we make time to travel for a few weeks. During this time, we are deliberate about creating time for coffee and Ethiopian food (which we both love) and activities that help us rekindle our love for each other,” they share.

When they are away, they are able to delegate young leaders to take up church duties, which enhances leadership skills within the ministry.

Isaac emphasises the need for couples to interact with other couples and together share their highs and lows and how to handle the challenges.

The pastors also encourage couples to understand each other’s likes, dislikes, interests and strengths as these will guide their decisions and give them better knowledge of how to handle difficult situations.

Apostle Rogers Malisi and Reverend pastor Lisette Malisi

Apostle Rogers Malisi and Reverend pastor Lisette Malisi

The ministers who found love during a gospel mission to Fort Portal City are now members of the Redemption Prayer Centre International located in Iganga District.

“During the mission in Fort Portal , we were put in the same group that was asked to go out and minister to the communities. This is how we got to know each other better and connected,” the couple say.

During this time, Rogers identified qualities in Lisette that made him want to be more than just her friend.

“She had a genuine love for God. Her simplicity and friendliness made me want to know more about her,” he recounts.

Lisette had also noticed how Rogers was always concerned about her well-being and the consistency in his words and actions.

“I was not used to having someone pay special attention to me. I was better at taking care of others. We had become friends and as we parted ways, he gave me his telephone number,” she narrates.

 “Family is our first ministry. We put God first and this enables us to move with the same God as we minister to others,” the couple says.

The ministers believe that time well planned is time well spent. For example, they say, when at home, they make time for their children and for each other and when it is time to serve God, then they ensure that family distractions are not allowed to creep in.

“Whenever we are apart for missions, we keep in touch. We call each other, have social media chats where we update each other on the day’s events. We also also make time to pray for each other and for our family,” says Rogers.

The couple adds that creating time for each other does not require money. Sometimes, just taking a walk while holding hands and chatting is good enough. Sitting under the shade of a tree as you talk is also acceptable and free.

Pastor Irene Amaani and Apostle Andrew Amaani

Pastor Irene Amaani and Apostle Andrew Amaani

Pastor Irene Amaani leads a women’s ministry that strengthens leadership among women in church. She is a lawyer by profession and has to juggle ministry, career and marriage.

 She met her husband Andrew at Makerere University Main Christian Union fellowship.

 “It was love at first sight. I was ready to find a wife. I intentionally searched for one in church and after a long prayerful search, I attended fellowship were I met Irene and on the first day, I remember telling her that she would be my wife,” he recounts.

Because he was focused on winning her heart, Andrew befriended all Irene’s friends because he knew that this way, he would be able to get access to her. He had fallen in love with her because she was modest, sincere, consistent and beautiful.

Although Irene found his approach irritating, his love for God was admirable.

“He proposed only six months into the relationship and because I was still attending law school, I almost said no. However, I was attracted to his Godly character and charming smile,” she says.

Despite the overwhelming nature of ministry, the couple make it work by dedicating one day a week to going out and enjoying a sumptuous dinner.

They believe that the first ministry given to a man is his household. And it is from such understanding that they create time for each other and their family.

To other couples, Andrew says: “Christ first loved the church. As husbands we are called to love our wives, protect and forgive, which enables the values of love, submission, honour, and tenderness in return.

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