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Designing our marriage our way

Ernest Wamboye is an author, thespian and blogger who is unapologetic about his values and what he believes in. His wife Waturi Wakairu Wamboye shares with their love life as well as their secret to a happy marriage

Describe Wamboye in few words

He is an extrovert, full of life and zeal, charismatic, ambitious, principled and self-driven. Who would not be attracted to a man like that?

How did you two meet?

We met at Alliance Francaise in 2008. We were studying French as we waited for our Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results to be released.

What did you like about him?

Ernest was proud about his Christian faith and his values. He had a chain with a slogan, True Love Waits, TuChill, the message aimed at promoting chastity and abstinence and sex education among the youth.

I shared the same values and was blown away to see a man wear his openly. He was unashamed of his values and his faith and I loved that! A man of character is a gem to hold onto! Also, I loved his eyes and smile, they were playful, warm and passionate.

How did he propose to you?

He proposed to me at a youth camp organised by our church, CITAM Valley Road. The camp was at Kanamai Jumuia resort, Mombasa.

It was my dream to be proposed to at the beach and away from the crowd since I am a private person! It was surreal—I definitely said yes! We got married on September 1 2012.

What were your culture shocks in marriage?

The couple shares some love. Photo/Courtesy

Gender roles and societal expectations in marriage. My husband does not mind cleaning up after I cook, which was new to me because for me, women did all the cleaning up.

We respected our individual cultures, addressed the norms that created conflict and friction and created our own Wamboye culture that was directed by God’s Word on love and harmony in a family.

If a value from our homes did not reflect that, we would not have it as priority but respected it in wisdom when we would interact with our families.

How do you handle differences that you two have?

We reflect on how we feel, especially when angered. We use the biblical principle of Ephesians 4:26 that we should not let the sun go down when angry. So, we do not sleep angry at each other.

We talk through our hurts and pain and forgive. We forgive and move on. We close that chapter and we create a safe space to be vulnerable and extend grace because Christ who is love does that for us everyday as His beloved.

What role do you play in his ministry? How do you support him?

I accompany Ernest to most events, whether having a talk or preaching in churches, schools and organisations. I speak when invited and we also hold a quarterly free event on relationship matters at our church CITAM Valley Road dubbed Boy Meets Girl.

It has been running since May 2015. I also support him in prayer and encouragement—most critical support comes from quiet whispers on your knees and praise for a job well done!

Tell us of his latest project.

The latest book is called- Marry Well. It is a guide for couples on dating and courting principles to help them prepare for marriage built to last.

What is the tough about being married to a man who is ‘out there’?

Of course, he gets to meet women who sometimes are interested in him. However, having clear emotional and physical boundaries has given our relationship the intimacy of exclusivity that it requires to thrive.

We have honest conversations on our individual gifts and also when we realise boundaries are being crossed and motives are not right, we address it and confront it in love. We also speak to our mentor couples who help us navigate through these issues—they can get messy if not addressed!

Finally, having a daily quiet time with God and the word focuses me back to what matters and what I am called to do and not to fit into or compete with.

What advice would you give married women?

Be your husband’s greatest cheerleader or someone else will! Further, don’t only cheer, get involved in what he does so that he sees your interest and full support. Faith is a powerful tool­—use it. Pray for wisdom, for unmerited favour and for unity even as he takes on his purpose.

As a friend, make sure that you keep a safe space to also call out when boundaries are being crossed—you need to protect your marriage and women have insight to see this. Finally, have an older woman to walk with who can encourage and guide you as you support your husband.

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