Apostle Daniel Onyeogaziri Daniels of the Ark of Grace Ministries, formerly of Salvation Gospel Church, Tarkwa, Western Region, Ghana, before getting married to his wife 25 years ago, had three marriage proposals turned down for no fault of his. All the same, he was not deterred but persevered in prayer until God gave him Beatrice, a woman after his heart. In this interview with OKEY SAMPSON, the couple gave an insight into how they met and married and why the union has been working over the years.
How did you meet your wife?
Husband: I met my wife in 1994 when I was transferred to St. Ann’s School, near Aba, Abia State. When I arrived, my principal introduced her to me and told her that I am a Pastor. He said to me, “Pastor, this is one of the people you would minister to.” So, I began to interact with her and discovered that she was a Scripture Union (SU) member when she was a student at Ovim Girls, that was where she had her secondary education. As I began to interact with her on why she was no longer a member of that group, I discovered that she had spiritual problem. I preached to her, she accepted the word of God. I called my friends and they conducted deliverance on her.
Before we met, I had met some disappointments in marriage. There were ladies I wanted to marry, but they said they won’t marry me because I’m from Ngwa, that Ngwa people are cannibals. This happened even in Deeper Life Bible Church where a particular lady from Arondizuogu, Imo State, later declined to go on with our marriage agreement after she had initially agreed to marry me. This happened when we went for marriage introduction. The younger brother who was living at MCC, Road, Aba (he still lives there) swore that his sister would not marry an Ngwa person because, as he claimed, “they are cannibals.” After more than three disappointments, I decided to marry from Ngwa. So my wife is from Ngwa.
Did your wife reject your proposal to marry her?
Husband: No, she didn’t, because she herself had also met disappointments.
Were there rejections from your families?
Husband: No, in fact, before I asked her hand in marriage, my step-mother had already wished that she had somebody who would marry her, so, my family accepted her.
Wife: There was no objection.
Was there any condition(s) or demand placed on you by your husband before he married you?
Wife: There was no condition placed on me before both of us got married. As far as I know, giving a woman condition before marriage is not good; marriage should be built on love.
What attracted her to you?
Husband: One is her openness, she was so frank to me. She told me all her stories, about her past life. She did not hide anything about her from me.
Was there any courtship before marriage?
Husband: I can say yes, but it was not all that much because I came to St. Ann’s School in January, by April of that same year, I had proposed to her and by July, I paid her bride price. I saw her in January, proposed to her in March, she gave me reply in April. By July 31, I paid her bride price and by October 8, that same 1994, we wedded.
How would you compare courtship between Christians and what we have these days?
Husband: The Christian courtship is actually meant for the people to know and tell themselves the truth; know each other’s likes and dislikes. But the people of these days do not want that kind of a thing and eventually it’s leading to a lot of trouble because the lady doesn’t know who the husband is and the young man does not know the lady. But all the same, it doesn’t matter how long you stay in a relationship, a woman might hide her worse part, even for 15 years until she bring it out after wedding.
God spoke to you before you got married and you obeyed, do you think men nowadays allow God to speak to them before they get married?
Husband: The trouble is that many churches no longer believe that God still gives wives today, they say because Adam accused God that he sinned because of the women He gave him, they now say it is no longer giving. They also wrongly quote the Bible, ‘He that findeth’, you now find and present to God. But the problem in that is that if you don’t know the woman, anything can happen in such a marriage. We should always pray and allow God to show us the way in marriage, because, some ladies before they became born again, committed fornication and became pregnant and in the process of committing abortion, the womb was removed and that is the hardest thing any lady can confess to any man. Is it easy for any woman to tell you she has no womb? So, that is why we feel people should pray and allow God to lead them. But the truth of God’s leading is that, if God has not been leading you in any matter before, He will not lead you in marriage because you don’t know His voice. The Bible says my people hear my voice and they follow me; if God has been leading you in other things, He will also lead you in marriage.
Do you consider religious and cultural factors in marriage?
Husband: What happens is, any culture that contradicts the Bible is idolatry. All true cultures are based on the Bible because God created all people and in everybody, there is a spirit of God.
When God’s will seems not to be in tandem with your culture or family stance, what’s the way forward?
Husband: When this happens, you must obey God; if you disobey God because of culture, when you begin to suffer in that marriage, family or culture will not help you. But when your family began to persecute you because you abandoned their culture, God will rescue you.
Wife: When God’s will seems not to be in tandem with our culture or family stance, the way forward is looking unto Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. God is the head of the church, we should obey Him in everything; we are not traditionalists neither do we obey man as Christians. We should obey God, not man, we should always find out what is the mind of God in everything from the Bible. Whatever that is contradicting God’s words should not be adhered to as far as Christianity is concerned.
When your husband approached you, he was not as financial comfortable as he is now, yet you married him, why?
Wife: Like I said before, marriage is built on love, not on riches. Riches may fail, man can become poor either by losing his job or by whatever other reason and then you find out that this can lead to extramarital relationships, broken homes, or it can lead to lack of submissiveness on the side of the woman. I married my husband because of love, believing that when we work together, we will build our home because God does not fail anybody that trusts in Him.
Have you had quarrels, how do you resolve them and who apologizes first when that happens?
Husband: If we don’t have quarrels, then that means it is either one of us is deaf and dumb or both of us are deaf and dumb. There can be misunderstanding, but my principle is that whatever you can do and feel happy, do it. Even when I’m not guilty, I’m the one to apologize. One Pastor who told me he could not do that is today not living with his wife.
Wife: In my family, when there is misunderstanding, the way we resolve it is to apologize to the person that is being offended without allowing the matter to fester. We can buy gifts or make nice dishes and call ourselves names; we are fond of eating together and that ends the matter. We’ve not got issues that involved a third party.