Step back, Dad!
Segun and I have been friends since secondary school. In fact, we were in the same class in our senior years and walked to school together since we were next door neighbours. In the church, we were both in the choir and often led the youth choir rendition, much to the delight of our parents. My dad, who was the pastor of our church, would use Segun as an example to my brothers who had refused to believe in God. In the next house, Segun’s parents always prayed their little girl would grow up to know Jesus and use her talent for God just like I did.
When we left for the University, Segun and I never stopped communicating and our friendship grew stronger, despite we were thousands of kilometers away from each other. Segun became the pastor of his campus fellowship in his final year and I was the choir leader in mine. We both served God fervently all through our days in the University and God rewarded our faithfulness by granting us good jobs immediately after graduation.
Now, fast forward five years. It is time to settle down and Segun and I feel God is leading us to get married to each other, but there is a problem. Segun had visited my family and had requested my hand in marriage and my father, with a frown on his face, had muttered ‘Give us some time to think about it’. I wondered why my christian father would be against me getting married to the boy he had always admired. Now, at the dinner table, I ask him ‘ Daddy, why did you tell Segun to give us some time? You know I love him and he is a Christian. You can vouch for him. So why?’
He responds without looking up from his plate. ‘He is Yoruba and I don’t want my daughter to be married to that tribe.’
I nearly choke on my food. ‘But dad, you preach that God created everyone in His image. Jesus died for all tribes. He was not discriminatory. Why should you be?’
He continues eating. ‘That is my final say. No more buts’.
I try to control her anger ‘Dad, I am no more a baby. I can make my own decisions. I think it is high time you stepped back.’
‘I will, after you have married from the tribe God has chosen for you.’ He stands up and leaves me gawking as he walks away.
Back to reality. I am torn between two worlds. I love Segun too much to let go and yet I cannot marry him because my father says so. If I disobey, who will give me away? If I elope, I will displease God. Should I obey my father, I will live an unhappy life. This is my dilemma. My name is Chinwe and I need your help.