Rev Chris Ike Nwachukwu and his sweetheart, Elizabeth Ekeoma Nwachukwu, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on April 6, 2022, to be precise.
Interestingly, it was a double celebration as Chris, the head of the home, marked his 70 birthday on earth as well as unveiled their book entitled: Our Love Story, the same day.
In this interview with SunNews ,the couple, who live in Umuahia, Abia State, shared a little of what their love story is all about. They not only revealed how it started but also of how far they have come in their marital journey.
Tell us about your marriage. How did it start?
Rev Chris: It all started in January 1982 when her friend who doubled as my sister, visited my office at Crusader House, Martins Street, Lagos. At the end of her stay, she told me she wanted to see her friend at Breadfruit Street.
I offered to accompany her. It took three months after our visit before I could have an opportunity to see her and propose to her. The day I eventually saw her, her reaction was that I should go and see her auntie.
Did anyone oppose the marriage?
Rev Chris: Nobody opposed the marriage from both sides. My parents were rather happy because they knew her family closely.
Mrs Elizabeth: No. My auntie knew his mother. Even her husband accepted him before he mentioned why he came on the visit.
How do you profess your love to your wife?
Rev Chris: My daily actions show her that I don’t joke about my love for her. No regrets at all. If there is anything like another world, I will choose to marry her again. I call her MINE which means ‘Nkem’ in Igbo.
Why did you accept his offer of marriage?
Mrs Elizabeth: I saw him as a reasonable and responsible person and we all came from the same local government area.
Tell us about your challenges in the early marriage of your marriage.
Rev Chris: One of the early challenges came when we had our fourth and last child who happened to be a female child. On the day of her naming, the officiating ministers came to name the baby. After the prayers, praise and worship sessions, the pastors asked me the baby’s name.
I answered ‘Ulrike’ Ekeoma Nwachukwu. Immediately, my wife said no. She said her daughter would not bear Ulrike. The pastors asked her ‘why’. She said I gave her daughter the name of my German girlfriend.
They asked me the meaning and I said ‘Peace.’ They now asked her whether she would like the name Peace instead of Ulrike. She said yes. And, that was how she was named Peace Ekeoma Nwachukwu.
What’s your own story on the challenges you faced in the early years of your marriage?
Mrs Elizabeth: We started studying each other as soon as I came into his house. It wasn’t easy to build a home. Taking care of the little ones coming wasn’t easy either. But by the grace of God, we were able to surmount the little challenges that came up.
Describe your husband for us
Mrs Elizabeth: He is a man of few words. But he loves God and humanity. The only problem is that he easily gets angry and shouts.
Describe your wife for us
Rev Chris: My wife is a God-fearing woman. She would always tell you: ‘I don’t want to attract the wrath or anger of God.’ She is very respectful and has never made trouble with anyone since we got married. She is a very reserved person. She doesn’t talk much and doesn’t know how to make friends.
She knows what she wants and goes for it. A very good cook, she is never lazy in doing house chores despite the fact that she has a tight job. She is committed and dedicated to whatsoever she believes in. She is a woman of great wisdom.
How do you resolve your differences?
Rev Chris: I go to God in prayers, and if it’s something I need physical assistance with, I would go to her auntie and her husband, Deacon and Deaconess Nwagbara, especially in the early years of our marriage.
Mrs Elizabeth: There has been no third party in our relationship. God has always been faithful in all situations. Sometimes he would stop talking to you. But before you say, Jack Robinson, he would be back, playing with you
How do you handle her when she’s angry?
Rev Chris: Ah, my wife hardly gets angry and I fear letting her get angry because if she does, you won’t be happy yourself. If I offended her and noticed that she was angry, I would quickly say that I was sorry and that would end it immediately. Once we notice or discover a difference between us we sit down and talk about it. Whoever caused it apologises and we move on
What has been your happiest moment in this marriage?
Mrs Elizabeth: I am always happy. But when I had my last child, a girl-child, was my best moment. I had to close shop to childbearing because my husband wanted us to have only two children but the first three were male.
How do you cope with your in-laws?
Rev Chris: Like I told you, I never had any problem with my in-laws. My father and mother in-laws were good people.
How were you able to cope with challenges while the kids were growing up?
Mrs Elizabeth: I have four godly children. Today, they are all graduates. But unfortunately my second son was murdered in Lagos on June 7, 2017. The two remaining males are fathers today.
I am looking forward to seeing my only daughter get married this year, 2022. Being a banker, it was not easy for me. But with God’s help, raising them wasn’t very difficult. My husband was very helpful too because we worked together.
Why do you think marriages crash these days?
Rev Chris: Marriages crash due to cracks in the make-ups of couples. Most times, men or women go for what they physically see and not enquire about their partners with the eyes of the Spirit. All these are so owing to lack of the knowledge of the Word of God.
Mrs Elizabeth: Most men or women love material things and that’s what they go for and not Godly marriage.
What’s your advice to men?
Rev Chris: Please, never go for a wife you know you don’t really love. Don’t marry because of material things but because you love and cherish a woman. Married men should keep the bliss of their marriage flourishing. Always tell your wife the truth.
Once your wife discovers you love her and you are honest in your dealings with her, she would automatically earn your trust and your marriage would have been made. Love, trust, etc can’t work without the God factor. The scripture says: ‘The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
What’s your advice to women?
Mrs Elizabeth: Married women should be contented with what they have. Never compare your marriage with others. Never compare your children with other children. Love God and train your children in God’s way.