Sexual purity is quickly becoming a thing of the past in this generation. With sayings such as virginity is lack of opportunity, young people lately feel embarrassed to mention they are not sexually active. Being Christians and ministers of the gospel, the stakes were even higher for Elon and Ruth Katweheyo to keep themselves pure until marriage.
Not only did they feel it was the right thing to do, they also had many people they were accountable to. This was no easy task but the couple pulled it off for more than two years.
“Whenever we met we would really want to make the most of the time but at the beginning of the relationship, we had set boundaries not to have sex, kiss, or even caress. We had to honour our word. Sometimes I would be weak and she would be strong for us both and sometimes she would be and I would have to be strong for us both,” says Elon.
Somethings are non-negotiable depending on the interests and priorities of people and for this couple, sexual purity was at the top of the list.
“We avoided being in secluded places alone and did a lot of group activities during the whole time we were dating. This actually helped us a lot, apart from helping us hold fast to our vow of no sex before marriage, it gave us a better understanding of each other because among friends it is very difficult not to be yourself,” Ruth says.
Elon met Ruth Kobusinge at Kyambogo University in 2010 when he was in year two and she had just joined.
“But I would say the first time I noticed her was at a mission to Buku in Wakiso District. As the head of this mission, I noticed this lady journaling every detail of the mission, where we had stopped, what we had eaten there, how many we were. I was very impressed and I asked our secretary to work with her just in case she missed out on anything in the documentation of the mission,” says Elon.
When they returned to the university, he strengthened their friendship.
During this time, Ruth says she admired him as a leader, and a very principled man. His passion for ministry was admirable and his love for excellence fascinated her. “He was such an upright person that even thinking about him as a man one could love made you feel immoral. You would literary bind every immorality spirits and tell yourself to repent. It was inconceivable,” Ruth relates.
But the friendship flourished although Ruth was in a relationship. One time, long after they had left university, Ruth called Elon inquiring about an events planning company they had planned to open while at university but never kicked off. The call was a turning point in their relationship as they started spending more time together.
Later, they realised they were both single at the same time. “I immediately asked her what she thought about us as a couple and this question led us to another date where we talked openly about our previous relationships. On Dec 1, 2013 we started our relationship,” Elon reveals.
King Elon, as Ruth calls him, always wanted and was praying for a partner he would serve with and Queen Ruth, as Elon calls her, was just the girl.
The Katweheyos had successful functions; the Kuhingira on July 2 and then the wedding on July 9, 2016. They started their counselling sessions a year and a half before the wedding and being ministers and very friendly people, they had a lot of support from their friends and family. Also, their families met and interacted right from the start of the relationship which made it much easier for them to cooperate and coordinate well during the functions.
It was a long distance relationship which caused a strain in many ways for the love birds. Shortly after they had agreed to be together, Elon travelled to Swaziland for a year and even when he returned, Ruth had a job in Mbarara while he remained in Kampala.
“I sat in that Global bus to Kampala many times to meet up with Elon. It was expensive and tiresome but worth it,” Ruth says.
Running their relationship with integrity made the long distance challenge less of a problem because issues of possible cheating from either sides were not really a concern.
“When he was away sometimes I would receive a call from a friend or a relative and they would take me out on his behalf. It made me feel so secure. I knew he could never be out there doing anything with anyone with all these people he was accountable to,” says Ruth.
About two months after the wedding in September the Katweheyos conceived and it was such a joy. In January after they had returned from a successful mission where they had led a delegation of more than 40 Ugandans to Zambia, Ruth had a miscarriage. “We had many questions for God. I wondered whether this was the best way to pay us back for the work we had done. It was painful but friends and family were there for us. Mostly we had each other,” Ruth recalls.
Elon describes this as one of the most challenging times in their relationship yet. “We had made sure Ruth travelled by air due to her condition while the rest of us used the bus. I had to put my personal grief aside and be there for my wife. Although we had both lost the baby, the grief was deeper for her,” he recounts.
The couple has managed to make that experience work for their good because now they are able to stand with people going through similar grief and loss.
Adjusting to each other given the different backgrounds was a challenge they are still handling with grace together. “I remember shortly after our honeymoon, we went shopping and my husband was buying stuff in bulk. I thought we were going to pack and share with people who supported us during the wedding. Only to be told it was for the house. Where I grew up, we grow most of the food and buy what we need just for the day. It took me a long while to adjust to making a shopping list of stuff that would take us for a month as a family,” Ruth says.
The couple is blessed with two handsome boys, Engabo Y’oKwikiriza Himbisa making three years and Eitungo Rukiri Hereza one year. The couple also managed to buy land and build a house in their first year of marriage.
They are now marital counsellors and have counselled more than four couples that have made it to their weddings.
The Katweheyos are happy and proud to serve and work together both at home and their workplace. Having both discovered their purpose in life, they are working together complimenting each other through the fulfillment of their purpose in life.