Isaac Kibuthu, 62, and his wife Rosemary Kibuthu, 56, have been married for 35 years. The couple displays great respect for each and describe their marriage as one that shares openness, trust and love. They share with FAITH MATHENGE-MURIGU wisdom gained through their marriage experience.
Isaac Kibuthu is the Assistant Bishop at Christ Is The Answer Ministries (CITAM) in Nairobi, while his wife Rosemary Kibuthu is the registrar in charge of foreign students and a psychology and communications lecturer at Daystar University.
Isaac was born and brought up in Kapenguria in Rift Valley province. He attended Kapenguria High School for his O-levels before enrolling at Dagoreti High School for his A-levels and later Makerere University for a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture between 1972 and 1975. Immediately after graduation, he got a job with the Ministry of Agriculture in Nairobi.
Rosemary on the other hand was born in Nyeri but her parents relocated to Laikipia County when she was still young. The last born in a family of five, she gave her life to Christ at the age of nine years. She attended Thompson Falls High School in Nyahururu and later joined Egerton University to study agriculture and home economics. Throughout high school and university, she was a Christian union leader who served in various capacities.
Love at first sight…
Isaac: In my third year at Makerere University, my department organised a field study trip to Njoro Research Institute and Kabarak Farm. We were accommodated at Egerton University and one evening I attended a Christian fellowship meeting organised by the Christian union. Rosemary was leading a session in the meeting and I was instantly attracted to her.
We met later in the dining hall and I could not help falling in love with her. I approached her and introduced myself. Before our trip came to an end, I took her address and a telephone number I could reach her on. I sent her a letter when I went back to Kampala and expressed my desire to be her friend. It took several weeks to get a reply but I was thrilled when she responded. This marked the beginning of our communication and nurturing of our friendship.
Isaac: I got a job with the Ministry of Agriculture in February 1975 soon after graduation. I worked in Nairobi at first and was later posted to Nakuru. I regularly visited Rosemary at Egerton until I was moved to Kitale. Our friendship matured into a love relationship and I didn’t waste time before proposing to her. I was elated when she agreed to marry me after her graduation. She graduated in April 1977 and we got married on August 13, 1977 at Nyahururu Full Gospel Church.
Rosemary: I was at first sceptical about marriage when Isaac asked me to marry him but after a lot of soul searching and prayers, as well as consulting my friends and colleagues, I was convinced he was the right man for me. My parents were not very happy that I was getting married at 23 and so soon after graduation. They had hoped I would work for some years before thinking of marriage. But after a lot of discussions, they gave me their blessings.
Serving together in ministry…
Isaac: While working in Kitale I served with the Kenya Student Christian Fellowship where I am still a member. My work involved travelling to colleges and secondary schools to spread the gospel and it was great seeing so many young people give their lives to Jesus Christ.
I took early retirement from the government in 1990 and did a bit of consultancy work before joining full time church ministry. We relocated to Nairobi in 1998 and started attending Nairobi Pentecostal Church (NPC) Valley Road. I had by this time completed a Masters degree in agricultural management and my wife and I were happy when the senior pastor at NPC requested us to plant a church at Parklands. I later studied for another Masters programme in theology and missions and have been serving as a full time pastor with CITAM since.
The marriage journey…
Isaac: We got married without any pre-marital counselling and we had to learn everything on our own. We were quite naive as we had not been involved in other relationships before but through God’s grace we have come this far.
Rosemary: Our wedding was not a big affair as it is with some of today’s big weddings where couples spend so much time in the planning and forget the marriage thereafter. We prepared ourselves for marriage by freely discussing all issues we expected to impact on our relationship such as children, finances, in-laws, as well as our shared dreams. We ensured we laid a good foundation from which we could build our marriage.
Isaac: Marriage is a journey that requires a couple to walk hand in hand. I could never have wished for a better wife than Rosemary. She is the kind of woman described in Proverbs 31. We love and appreciate each other and also support each other in our joint and individual endeavours. We have supported each other to advance our education and in many other things. I am currently pursuing my PhD programme, while Rosemary has already completed a bachelor of education degree at Daystar University and two Masters degrees in communication and psychology.
Rosemary: Marriage is not always a smooth journey, but with love and determination there should never be a challenge too big for couples not to be able to handle. We accept we are human and prone to make mistakes and we are always ready to forgive each other. We are patient with each other and forgive severally. We consider communication the key in dealing with any issues we face.
Rosemary: Although we have separate accounts, we manage our finances jointly and make all financial decisions together. Because of this unity we have achieved a lot in terms of financial stability.
Isaac: We live within our means and never compare our marriage with any other. Ours is real and what you see is what you get. Our advice to couples is to remain true to each other and real, and even when their expectations are not fully met to make the best out of what they have. They should also trust and encourage each other.
Isaac: As human beings we are all vulnerable to temptations but we should have the will to remain faithful to our partners and honour them. Faithfulness is a requirement for a victorious Christian walk and couples must endeavour at all times to remain faithful to each other. Through God’s grace, my wife and I have held onto our marriage vows and we intend to do so to the very end.
Rosemary: When couples are open with each other and share their feelings, they remain close and this helps them avoid temptations that can lead to infidelity. My husband is my best friend and I confide in him. We have no secrets between us and we try not to leave any issues unresolved.
Isaac: Marriage is a gift from God and each partner should consider the other a precious gift. Couples should support each other to grow and achieve their dreams and should never be in competition with each other.
Matters of sex…
Rosemary: Couples must appreciate each other’s sexual needs and try to connect emotionally with each other. Again, communication is key to a good sex life, as couples must freely express their feelings and wants. It is my advice to women never to use sex as a weapon to hit back at their husbands when they feel wronged.
Isaac: We got married without any sex experience but we have learnt to love and please each other. We have found that sex gets better when you deeply love and care for each other. It is my advice to young people not to engage with multiple sex partners as this dilutes the very essence of marriage. When you have had multiple sexual partners, you are likely to compare your marriage partner with them and this clouds your judgment of what is, or is not, good sex. Purity before marriage helps to build a strong relationship.
Isaac: It is the duty of parents to pray for their children. Rosemary and I have continuously prayed for our children and we thank God for the way they have turned out. We make every effort to be the best role models for them. The bible encourages us to train our children in the ways of the Lord when they are young because when they are old, they will not depart from it. We share a great relationship with our children.
Rosemary: It is worth noting that being good parents does not automatically translate to having good children. It is important for parents to practise effective parenting and always seek God’s help in all that they do. You do your best as a parent and leave the rest to God.
We have four children. Our first born, Grace Wambui, is married to Ogollah and they live in Nairobi. The second is Edwin Kibuthu who is married to Janet Mwendwa and they both work and live in Nairobi. Our third born, Brian Mwatha, works with KPMG and is currently in Birmingham, USA. Our last born is Chris Waithaka who is married to Elizabeth Nduta and they work and live in Nairobi. We have two adorable grandchildren. We are a close-knit family that loves to spend time together.
Advice to those planning to get married…
Rosemary: People should analyse carefully why they want to get married because wrong motives may lead to a very unhappy marriage. If you get married to run away from problems at home, get a status, or because somebody is rich or beautiful, you could end up having a frustrating marriage. You should seek God’s guidance before committing to marriage.
Isaac: Marriage is God’s plan and should be a lifetime commitment. Only commit to marriage when you are sure that is what you want to do and have found the right partner. It is also important to get premarital counselling to equip you with tools to handle the marriage responsibility. Avoid sex before marriage and respect and honour your body.
Published on January 2013