When Risted Mabeti, 46, of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda in Mangochi found his sweetheart decades ago, he followed all the steps a Christian is supposed to follow before the two live under one roof.
Yes! He did not want to take a short-cut into marriage. The youthful Mabeti man was a devoted Christian who could not compromise things. He grew up in a Christian family.
His parents were dedicated members of Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) for Mangochi Church. Therefore, like his father, the young Mabeti followed all the procedures for his marriage to be blessed in church.
As such, he led his bride to the altar after a thorough preparation as evidenced by tumultuous ululations from both two sides during their wedding.
Even, the grey-haired pastor who blessed their marriage enjoyed the most.
In a nutshell, it was a marvellous ceremony which reminded the pastor of good old days, when couples strictly followed right channels into a Christian marriage.
After the wedding, the couple started living as husband and wife and they lived happily.
Fast forward, the couple was blessed with children and started experiencing marital problems.
“Satan is clever. From nowhere, we found ourselves picking quarrels with my wife. This begged more questions than answers because previously we were like role models,” said Mabeti.
He said things worsened by each passing day and many times they engaged their marriage counsellors, but to no avail.
“It was until last month when me and my wife attended a marriage seminar from which we have come out a renewed couple,” said Mabeti with a smile.
“The lessons have been wonderful. We have been equipped with knowledge and skills on how to fight marital problems,” he said.
According to Mangochi CCAP church moderator, Reverend Lazarus Kadango, the marriage seminar is arranged to empower couples on marriage issues.
He said it encompasses a number of topics couples experience in their daily endeavours in a marriage such as sex, economic challenges, conflicts in families and HIV and Aids, among others. In short, they are lessons that solve marital problems.
“We introduced the seminar because we received a lot of cases of marital problems from couples. Since we introduced it in January 2014, levels of marital problems coming to church have drastically dropped,” said Kadango.
Daniel Chifisi and his wife, Gertrude, facilitators of the marriage seminar, said the lessons are good as they give couples tools to prevent divorce or separation while enhancing love, intimacy and passion for one another.
The Mabetis and the Chifisis encourage couples who have not attended the lessons or whose marriages are on the rocks to register and attend the next session.
“They will not regret the experience,” said Mabeti.