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Till Death Do Us Part

The Testimony Continues

John Simoyi

Till Death Do Us Part

Copyright 2014 by John Simoyi
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means without written permission of the author.
Three years before the death of my wife on the 6th
of May 2014 I had made it my custom to wake up at
2:00 am every day to pray for her and my kids. Every
evening before we went to bed we would sing one
or two songs as a family and pray. I would take one
or two days every week or two weeks to fast for my
family. I did not do this because there was anything
wrong, but just to thank God for my family and to
commit them to Him for protection.
I thanked God for my wife and I told Him I was
happy that I had such an amazing woman in my life.
My family told me that my prayers were very long. I
wanted to make sure I prayed for them all, however,
and asked God to protect them from evil.
When my wife passed away after a very short illness,
I wondered why God would do this to me. I could
not face Him. I felt betrayed. I wondered what I had
done so wrong that He could not forgive me. I
wanted to understand Him but I could not. I could
not find a reason to believe in Him again.
I felt the need to re-examine the doctors reports to
see if they had done enough. Once when I was at
the hospital, I took the medical report to another
doctor for him to explain what was going on and to
ask if the doctors were doing enough. I felt the need
to get them to explain things over and over again. I
wanted to blame someone and get satisfaction and
Dismissing those thoughts, I started to blame myself,
thinking that she could have survived if I had done
things differently. I wanted to turn back the hands
of time. Despite this, I found no answers to my
I thank those who helped me in prayer and in
fellowship. I am sure as you read this testimony you
will be inspired to make the right changes while the
sun still shines on your marriage.
Till Death Do Us Part
I saw Silindiwe at a church conference and she was
everything I ever wanted. I imagined my life with
her and was pleased. I knew her, for I had met her
once before, but she had grown to become an
amazing woman.
We were married one year after that encounter at
the conference. I followed every protocol expected
of me by our tradition and church. I understood the
importance of establishing a solid foundation. My
mentor had taught me that every marriage has roots
that go back to how it was established. I knew it was
going to make my marriage acceptable. I had no
doubt in my mind that I was marrying the women of
my dreams and had done it the right way and at the
right time.
Most young men ignore and take lightly the
importance of following tradition and Christian
principles before entering marriage. Courtship is
basically between lovers, but marriage is highly
influenced by other factors such as tradition, society
and church. To ignore these factors can be very
damaging to any marriage. When our families,
society and church are not involved, our marriage
can be harmed. The sweetness of courtship between
lovers usually overshadows the importance of these
social principles for marriage.
We had almost a year and half of courtship. What
an amazing period it was. Love was expressed in
earnest and without reservations. I could watch over
and help with cooking. I could carry a bucket of
water to the bathroom for her. The words, "I love
you", were on my lips all the time and I would say it
over and over again. I could talk about anything. I
was funny and make friends with "Sleendy," as I
called her.
She became a friend and I could not do without her.
The sound of her voice had power to make me rise
up and check on her like a mother does a child. I was
thrilled by her presence and I could tell her, "I love
you," even in her sleep. This is what took us into
marriage after a year. It was a dream come true.
It is common during courtship to ignore some very
important issues because of the sweetness of the
period. We were so sure we had discussed and
agreed on everything. Surprisingly, soon after
marriage, everything started to change. The social
principles I respected at the beginning of my
marriage started to control my response toward my
wife. My tradition demanded authority as a father
and my church demanded that I be respected as
husband. A lot of things changed. There seemed to
be no connection between the events of our
courtship period with what I was experiencing in
My tradition did not allow me to carry water to the
bathroom for my wife; neither did it allow me to
help with cooking. I felt that making Sleendy my
friend or telling her, "I love you" all the time was
going to compromise my authority and was a sign of
weakness as a husband. When the title husband was
said during courtship it was thrilling, but when I
became one, that title changed everything.
My way of expressing love for Sleendy changed to be
that of making sure she had everything material she
needed. I had to make sure she had good food on
the table, things to wear whenever she wanted and
that she could change her hair style anytime.
Everyone around me was watching anxiously to see
how I was going to manage my new life.
Submitting to my authority and showing respect
became the way to express love and falling short of
it was a failure from my Sleendy. For me, my love
was expressed through the ability to provide. . Love
to me had not been taught in any other language
than authority and provision. The church taught
that a wife must be submissive and my tradition
taught that the husband was to be the authority
and to provide for his wife. The society I had grown
up in strongly influenced my new life. What I had
seen while growing up had built my software and
programmed what was expected of me.
To maintain authority and respect I talked less and
did away with being funny or too friendly. If I had to
talk to Sleendy it had to be something very
important or something that appealed to me. She
had to praise me or make me feel all-knowing or
else the conversion was not going to be interesting.
She struggled to create a conversation with me. I
was in control of when to talk. Everything was to
reflect what I thought represented my authority and
The church and my tradition defined how I was to
get my wife to submit to my authority and how she
was to respect me. There was no link between love
and authority or respect. In fact it was as if a man
who loved his wife would not be respected by his
wife. As I managed my family that way, church and
society respected me. I was proud of being able to
give the impression of having a spectacular
I sound so terrible, but during the time in question
we were a happy couple. Those who lived with us
will testify to this. How then does it sound so
terrible? The answer is found in the way I was
compromising beyond any imaginable levels of
stress to make my marriage work. Most families are
going through the same predicament. Many families,
however, are not compatible. If we ask ourselves
what we are doing for each other we will realize that
one person is sacrificing more than the other to
make the marriage work.
I loved my wife more than anything else but my love
was buried inside me. Expressing it seemed like a
sign of weakness. I didn't realize that my wife was
suffocating. She could not reconcile the type of man
I had turned out to be with the man she knew
during courtship. The things I provided her were not
the reason she had fallen in love with me.
The life she had experienced during courtship was
the reason she had agreed to marry me. It was love
that had convinced her to marry me. I was doing
everything opposite and for the wrong reasons. I
wanted her to look presentable not out of love but
to prove to society what I was capable of doing. I
wanted her to look beautiful not so much for me
but out of competition. Authority and respect were
now defining how I treated her and not my love for
Most young men just like me are trapped under the
same myth. This is the way tradition and faulty
church principles define marriage. There is a drastic
change of events from courtship to marriage. Most
couples wonder, soon after marriage, if they married
the right person. Some end up divorced after six
months or a year. Both men and women have
adopted this as a way of married life.
A prisoner at the start of the jail term will not be
comfortable to eat and use the same room as a
toilet. After some time the room and everything in it
becomes the most preferred home. During the first
years of marriage most women will realized that the
love they experienced during courtship is long gone.
They will do everything possible to return it but are
suppressed until they get used to the new set of
It is culturally unacceptable for a pastor or an elder
of the church to be seen by their flock caring a
bucket of water to the bathroom for their wives. A
sign of a weak pastor is the one who is seen resting
on his wifes lap or talking about anything besides
the Word of God. A man, who is not allowed into
decision making, or consulted for his opinion, is one
who is seen to be making friends with his wife.
Such was our life for a number of years. We got used
to our way of life and everything seemed normal.
Though my wife knew very well that this was not
what she had expected, she had no choice. She
could not have complained to anyone, for everyone
believed she had the marriage everyone wanted to
have. We got used to each other as people who
were staying together just like a dog gets used to
cat. It meant nothing to go out without telling her
where I was going. I could go the whole day without
checking on her until we met in the evening. That
was the way everyone was doing it, even the most
respected families. We had nothing to connect us,
and our friendship was fading away. I was
programmed to stop talking whenever I felt it was
jeopardizing my authority and respect
Making love to her was like a programmed event. If
it did not happen at the set time it was unwelcome
at any other time. Talking about sex or any funny
moves during sex was a serious offense. We were
not compatible after sex. I would prefer her to sleep
looking the other way. Holding her would keep me
awake the whole night. If she rested her arm on me,
I would feel like I was carrying a log. I would hold her
hand as if it was love and slowly move her hand off
me and fall asleep soon after. If she slept on my lap
or rested on me my blood would stop flowing.
She also got used to that kind of life and it defined
our daily routine. If she complained to any member
of our church or any of our relatives she would have
received the same answer: "Thats how it is, but
thank God you have a family and everything you
want. There are some who have been looking for a
place to call their own but do not have it." What a
Man was given the privilege to manage families, but
its very unfortunate that the wrong recipe is being
passed on from generation to generation. The
church is accepting this recipe because the
custodians of church principles are the same
custodian of tradition.
Satan is so much aware of the kind of environment
love can create and instead he is creating an
environment where love is kept dormant. The love I
expressed during courtship was still in me but was
buried by faulty doctrine and cultural principles. My
love had no chance of sprouting again if nothing
more than the usual was done. While our love is
buried as man, that of women is suffocated, if it is
resuscitated it surely will sprout again while that of
man must be replanted.
It is so worrying how love during courtship can seem
to be nonexistent soon after marriage. It is very
difficult to connect it with the demands that come
soon after marriage. It seems that whatever
happened during courtship was a dream. It seems
like everything was fake when in fact what we
experience in courtship is true love because there
was a lot of effort to please each other. Partners will
sacrifice for one another. This sacrifice is what
defines love, but it is often lost as soon as couples
get married. The built in software to do with how we
were brought up by society and our environment
takes charge.
While I was busy trying to prove to my wife who I
was and that I was able to manage my family, I
became buried in my work. I became addicted to my
work to a point where love seemed to come second.
All I wanted was for her to understand that I was
working for her. My work started to dictate how I
responded to my wife. It told me that I had no time
to say goodbye or to waste time kissing her. I knew
saying goodbye or kissing my wife goodbye was a
way of showing her that I loved her but my work
could not allow me this privilege just like my
tradition could not allow me to express it.
1 Corinthians 7:3 But a married man concerns
himself with worldly matters, because he wants to
please his wife
It is so easy to work not because we love our wives
but because we want to please them. It is
impossible to please our wives with provisions
without love. Only prostitutes are pleased with
provision without love. I never thought of Sleendy
during the day. My mind was occupied with work. I
would make it look like my work had something to
do with her, but the truth is it was more about my
own satisfaction. I came home in most cases
stressed or upset and presented my frustration to
her instead of my love. Instead of her being happy
that I was at home, she would shrink back.
Love became buried and forgotten. Things that
were to be done out of love were then done as a
duty to my satisfaction and not very much to hers.
As I reflect back I wonder how I was able to love
God. I wonder how I could suddenly develop the
love for God in a Sunday church service. It is so
surprising how we can separate love for God and
love for our spouses. We can separate the two to a
point where those who drive can go home in the
same car without sharing a word after a church
service. Those couples who walk will walk home in a
queue. Some will not even say goodbye to each
other after a service, but will just vanish. All this is
done in full view of young man and women who will
surely behave the same. I had seen respected church
elders and even pastors doing this and it looked
Sleendy agreed to shelve her needs and
concentrated on making sure she harnessed the
prevailing situation without complain. Such was
Sleendy, built by very unique software that will do
anything to create an environment conducive for
love to exist. She never gave up but appealed to my
inmost heart. She kept trying to establish a dialogue
beyond what I expected to discuss. She kept making
funny moves in and outside the bedroom. She kept
pulling my arm and kindly taught me to hold her
after sex. She was trying to replant the love she had
seen in me before we got married. She knew it was
locked somewhere inside me. Sure in every other
way I was the same person, but something was
causing me not to show what I felt for her.
After two years, I had the privilege of changing my
job and moved to a much quieter environment. I
worked with a South African white family that had
secured a forestry harvesting contract in Zimbabwe. I
was privileged to be among the managerial staff and
was close to his family. I had an opportunity to be
both a workmate and a friend. He developed a lot of
trust for me. I sometimes drove him home and pick
him up for work. We also had the privilege of
sharing meals as families and spent time together
during weekends.
This man was very busy. He was needed day and
night. He also had to make difficult decisions in a
short space of time. I worked close to him and
witnessed his most difficult times. He would shout
at the top of his voice and we would hide like chicks
hiding from an eagle. Those who knew him would
agree that he had every reason to go home at night
He also had every reason to be away from home and
worry about his business. We had no doubt in our
minds that he was a monster at home. How could he
behave in such a manner at work and be nice at
home --impossible!
He changed my life, however. I saw a man who was
driven by love to provide for his family. A man whos
love was a reason to wake up every day to go to
work. A man whos love shaped tradition and
society and not vice versa. I was shocked and
surprised how he became a family man when he got
home. I am sure it took a lot of sacrifice on his side.
He still had the energy to say good-bye to his wife
and even kiss her though he knew the difficult tasks
ahead of him. One time wages and salaries were
delayed and workers were waiting for us at the
office and he still had the time to kiss his wife
After work he would hold his wife in his arms as
soon as he got home. How was this possible! I had
never seen him with a Bible or going to church.
Where did he learn to behave this way? He never
missed a meal and his family would wait for him if
he was late. He had time for his family during
weekends and made sure he made it up to them if
he didn't. Though he was busy, I could hear him talk
to his wife from work, checking how she was doing. I
thought he was crazy!
We had the privilege to be invited for diner and
would spend time together during weekends. He
and his wife behaved the same way Sleendy and I
used to behave during our courtship.
I realized also that he would discuss what happened
at work with his wife. He didn't discuss everything,
but he would talk about the critical events. His wife
was not a forester, but she would comment and
encourage him. He would take his time to explain
things that she did not understand. He would
summarize the next day's plans. Where he got the
energy to do that, I dont know. They lived a life I
had lived with Sleendy during our courtship but we
had long forgotten.
Sleendy took the opportunity and politely started to
introduce me to a life that would forever make me
remember her. I thank God that I had an
opportunity to find freedom and be able to live a
life full of love. When I think of her, I wonder where
she got the ability to change me and make me
realize what I was missing. Sleendy had a big heart,
she appealed to me with so much respect. She
started calling me during the day, asking me how I
was doing. She would wait for me at the door on my
way from work and would walk me to the car when I
was going to work. At first she concentrated on
small things that did not involve much of my
participation. When she realized that I was
responding she started kissing me goodbye without
requesting me to kiss her back. She will say, "I love
you" and in turn I would respond. I began to see so
many things she was doing for me I never thought
were important before. I realized she cared for me in
an amazing way. I was shocked to find out how
much she was doing to show she cared for me.
I thank God today for giving me the opportunity to
share my life with such a great woman. Love is not
love until it is given away. It will never be blossom
and produce fruits until it is given the chance to do
I noted that I was blocking her from expressing her
love towards me. My authority was making her
avoid things made me look like a child. She wanted
so much to hold my shirt as I wore it, but I never
gave her the chance as I was always late and
thought it was for babies. She would sort my clothes
to wear but I always advised her not to. She wanted
to check on me as I bathed and even to stay with me
in the bathroom but I would always tell her to leave
or to do something else.
When I began to respond to her love, I would wake
up and my water would be ready. She would be
waiting for me to take my bath. Everything would be
ready including what to wear that day. She would
ask me if I had anything I preferred and at times
would suggest something for me. She became
involved in my everyday life and I started to find it
impossible not to involve her.
As I open up, she started working on our sex life.
She started discussing with me what she wanted and
what made her happy. I had never given her the
room to discuss such issues. The church made me
believe that talking about sex was wrong. We
started to read and research about sex. It was so
amazing how life became so easy and exiting again.
As I gave her the chance, she started behaving like a
women. She began to dress sexy and loved to be a
woman again. I knew she was beautiful when I
married her, but I had long forgotten. She had
maintained her beauty, but I never noticed until my
eyes were opened. I was amazed at the women I had
in my house and had lived with for three years
without realizing it.
I realized that all she wanted was for me to love her.
All she needed was to be loved to be a perfect wife
and mother, but I was denying her the opportunity.
I had missed a lot for three years and regretted
wasting my time trying to assert my authority in the
wrong way. Our bedroom life became exiting as I
became more flexible. Surprisingly after some time,
we found it impossible to sleep without holding
each other. It would seem like something was
missing or we were no longer in love. I could hold
her throughout the night without changing a side.
As we continue to sacrifice for each other we lived
for each other.
We grew to be the best of friends and I was so
happy to be able to express my love to her once
again. When work was stressful I wanted to go home
and share with her as she was ready to give me
comfort and to tell me I was good at what I was
doing. I found so much courage in her to face the
next day. The most amazing thing was that, as I
began to express my love towards her, she became
more and more submissive to me. She worried
about what I ate and if I was happy or if I had
anything in my mind that was troubling me. She had
access to my innermost heart. She would hold me
with so much passion and I became responsible for
her happiness. I began to realize that I was so crucial
to her happiness and confidence. When I began to
support, encourage and be involved in her life she
became so happy and it increased her confidence.
After two years we moved to small town
Chimanimani. Our church has a very big following in
this town and it was one of the most influential
churches. We were received with a lot of respect as
we were known. When I married, I was working as a
hospital administrator at a mission hospital for the
same church and I was known by many. I had served
as a deacon and a treasurer before I moved to work
as a forestry production manager. When we moved
to Chimanimani, we were back to a place where so
much of life revolved around church and society. We
were well prepared to face the new environment.
We were ready to change it and not the other way
As we moved to Chimanimani, I was now working
from home. I dont want to imagine what would
have happen if I had not learned to express my love.
I have no doubt that it would have made it very
difficult for my wife as I was now at home 70% of the
time. My work was stressful as I was still establishing
it. It had so many challenges that I sometimes did
not know how we were to survive the next day. I
was so humbled by how we related during that
time. She was my rock of support not just because
she was a good person but because it was done out
of love. Even in our stress we could talk, joke and
laugh. We became so close when we experienced
these challenges. She became part of what I was
doing and she knew where we were going and we
became a team. She could represent me in any
discuss with anyone even during my absence. She
knew where I was, what I was doing and would
check on me from time to time.
We immediately identified ourselves with our new
church and were well accepted. We refused to have
tradition run our love for us anymore. We travelled
together and sat together whenever we had the
chance. We went to the market square to buy
vegetables together. We did almost everything
together. We were inseparable. We grew to rely on
each other on everything. We would do our
separate duties and responsibilities but with so
much respect for each other. We were best of
friends. We could spend the whole day together but
still had something to talk about and to laugh
It was amazing how we changed the face of
Chimanimani and even our church members. What
we thought would compromise our respect was
actually working for good. We became an example
of a perfect couple and were admired by many. This
time it was not about how my wife was able to bow
before me in public or by the way I was able to
provide for her, but it was by the way we were able
to express love to each other. The way the
community and even our church members
responded to our way of life was that of wanting to
see how long it was going to last. A wave of shock
went throughout the whole area and everyone
waited for our failure to maintain what we were
I was not surprised at this reaction as I also had
done the same when I came in contact with such life
style. Today I realize that it was a sign that
something is lacking. Society is hungry for love while
tradition needs an upgrade. The marriage software
and love must be upgraded. The church must draw a
battle ground to restore love in families to come up
with a better society.
Church leaders must begin to demonstrate love and
live accordingly so as to change society. Without
families there is no society. It is impossible to love
God and our neighbors if we do not practice love in
our families.
As we continue to relate and to demonstrate love,
individuals wanted to know how possible it was for
them to change their marriage as well. Women
would ask my wife what she gave me to make me
behave so loving. This was and is a sign of a
desperate society wanting to find answers to lost
love. We had older couples congratulating us and
wanting us to encourage their married children.
I remember during one of our pastors visits, he told
us that he had learned a lot from us by just the way
we related. He asked us to help him improve his
marriage as well. Deep down my heart, I knew
Sleendy had gone through a lot of sacrifice, some
beyond the writings of this book to make our
marriage look so perfect. I write this with tears
wishing she could have lived longer to enjoy mea
man she transformed through so much pain.
We had many young couples wanting to know how
we managed to be so close. We knew what they
were going through and we would help as much as
we could. I remember being asked by a certain
young man how I was able to drive around with my
wife all the time without trouble. He told me that
they thought it was a show off. They felt it was soon
going to end but they realized it was never going to
end and thats why they decided to ask. We saw a
change taking place even in our church. We were
amazed at how hungry people were for love. Love
had actually disappeared in the married lives of
many and there was very little help.
After three years in Chimanimani we moved to
Mutare where we experienced the same
transformation of families. We transformed many
marriages without staging a conference. It was the
same way the white family had changed us. If we
had taught people without living it, it had not had
such an effect. It only had such an effect because it
was a living testimony.
We later moved to South Africa where we also
changed everyone who came into contact with us.
For us it was now a lifestyle. We could not survive
without each other anymore. We had connected our
souls together and we could feel the heartbeat of
each other from a distance. Love was something that
was always controlling our emotions and how we
related to each other. Every misunderstanding was
cautioned by love and never lasted longer than
I never wanted Silindiwe to do any hard labor and to
see her struggling with anything. I would help her or
find someone to help her. I would protect her from
anything that seemed to affect her comfort. It was
so hard to see her struggling with pain while I could
not help. I wanted to take it away from her but
could not. I felt so helpless. I stood by her from the
first day she got sick to the last day she went to be
with the Lord.
As I write this book, it is five month since Silindiwe
died. She passed away on the 6th of March 2014.
She left me with two loving daughtersWhitney and
Tiffany. I write this short book in memory of her.
May her soul rest in peace.
It is my hope that as you read this book, you also
will be transformed and want to change your
marriage into one that is able to express love.
Remember love is not love until it is given away. We
have only one chance to express it and that is when
we are still alive.

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