Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Waiting and Loving It!!! Feat Tobi and Ben Ugbene

Hiya! I wouldn't say much in the way of introduction to today's feature because I don't want to distract from the great wisdom, lessons and joy of this couple's story! First of all, I absolutely LOVE their relationship and everytime I have the opportunity to hear their love-journey, I always leave with something new, with a smile on my face and with a renewed faith in God's ability to bring me the very best (and for you too!)!

I think it's the longest feature so far but very much worth the read! There are so many aspects of learning and I pray that God will 'speak' to you concerning the different areas that apply to you... (and I said I won't say a lot oh!! lol)..

Anyways, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a little of Tobi and Ben's world!! xx

1. Hiya! Welcome to Waiting and Loving It with 1PlusTheOne, please tell us a little about yourselves

My name is Benjamin Chijioke Ugbene. Firstly I am a son of the Most High God, I am the husband to the most amazing woman (Tobi) that God has placed in this universe, I am the fourth of five children, and a Web Applications Developer.

We’ve been married for 11 months and 4days :-) – (Well you asked)

Okay, let me also add that we met in 2001, started dating in 2006, got engaged in 2010, and eventually got married in 2013 – phew!! We made it :-)

Hiya!! My name is Oluwatosin Oluwatobiloba Ugbene, born on the 17th of May, first of 4 kids. I got married to my first love on the 20th of April 2013.

I love to love, and enjoy searching for true friendships. Creativity is my middle name and to that effect run my cake business with a few dabbles into anything beautiful and crafty.

2. Thank you very much for that detailed introduction..So, Tobi and Ben, how did you meet?
Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!! CONFESSION…..well, this was in May 2001 a few days after I turned 18. I was studying for my A levels and had just gone back to University, when a family friend of mine (Bukky Sanni) asked me to accompany her to see a friend of hers. On getting to her friend's room, I was introduced to four guys, one of whom was Ben, a tall guy preparing golden morn, who also happened to be the same skinny tall guy from fellowship my roomates and I talked about…….. Well the first thing he said to me was; "Do you dress like your mum?" I guess he will explain why he asked that, but I was thinking to myself why will he ask me such, it did not help that I was wearing a gown my mum gave me, {LOL}, thinking back now, I was way ahead of fashion cause it was a 'colour-blocked' gown (haha). Anyways, I kept chewing my gum and saying in my head I really don’t know you , so, oh well.

As leaders of the fellowship, Ben and his friends would visit members who didn't attend fellowship - this meant that not going would attract a house visit from at least one of the 'crew members' Lol ( I remember standing in the middle of the road one day to check if the crew was approaching, as I had a late lecture that day and had missed fellowship)... I should have known that something was up in the heart of this 18year old girl, as I went to bed that night with a thought of… "Why did he not visit today, or didn’t he notice my absence...?"

Well Tobi came over to my hostel with a friend of hers to visit my roommate – the Bible Study Secretary of the fellowship we attended. I saw her and just got a vibe that she was responsible, so I asked her if she dressed like her mother – I know very rude right? To be honest, she was very conservative in her dressing, which is something that was not frequently seen – or maybe I just saw what God wanted me to see :-).

3. Lol at dressing like her mother.. Ben! What a chat-up line (Guys please don't try this at home! lol).. So tell us, what initially attracted you to your spouse?

Well – being the Follow-up Secretary of the same fellowship – I had to visit the brethren :-) every now and then, to check up on them. With time Tobi and I got closer, and I discovered she had a very cheerful disposition, and a heart of pure GOLD.

Now at this time though I was not interested in going into a relationship – honest, I wasn’t – so I missed a lot of signs. One thing I will say is that I told everyone I mentored then that we might get close, but that they should not be carried away by their emotions, because I was not interested. The thing is that I later realised I never told Tobi this.

I believe that it was on her 20th birthday that her dear friend Ranti told me that Tobi liked me. This took me by surprise. I proceeded to pray about what she had told me that night. I wrestled with God that night – because I had no intention of marrying a chubby lady :-) – however, God no gree make I sleep until I agree. By morning it was settled, God said He wanted her for me, but that it was not yet time. So the next time we met, I told her that I am not ruling out the possibility, but that I wasn’t ready for a relationship – my reason for that is a sermon on its own.

His love for God was deep. He was the first guy I met that loved God in a way I could relate with, and was still very human like me. We talked a lot and I found it less tasking to open up to him on any topic without feeling unworthy.

It’s funny how my next point is something he did not realise. I was in a drama group and anytime I went to his room to sell him a ticket, he would have already bought his and would assure me he would be there. He would also wait behind sometimes after the drama night to walk me back to my room, and would tell me how well I performed.

His sensitivity towards me.

4. That's so beautiful.. How did you know that this was IT and you wanted to spend the rest of your life with each other?

Right from when I was young I prayed to marry my first love. Well, Ben was my first love but not my first boyfriend. The first time I noticed I was more than liking him was in Sept 2001 during one of the many University strikes in Nigeria. I was home and wanted to call my younger brother, and the name 'Ben' came out of my mouth, I covered my mouth to muffle any other word that my heart wanted to blurt out and looked round to ensure no one heard me. It was a forbidden subject for a girl of 18 to have a boyfriend in my house! (big trouble!), and for me it felt like a betrayal of friendship to Ben (How dare I think this way of a very good friend). It took 2years for him to see me in a different way, even though we did nothing about it then.

The actual day I realised he was the one I wanted to spend my life with was when a mutual friend of ours asked me out (to go into a relationship with him) and I said to him, go and ask Ben first (this is a story for another day). I needed the permission of the present occupant of my heart (Ben) to allow someone else take it. 6 months after Ben was there to help piece a heart - I thought was broken - together, but I soon realised I never gave the heart away, it was always for Ben.

Wow! That one na another long story… Okay, let me summarise it. Where do I start?

Like I said previously, I was not ready for a relationship yet – I did not want to get into one till I was in my final year – but with time, I started having feelings for an old friend of mine from Secondary School – forgetting what God had said about Tobi.

I knew who God wanted me to marry, but disregarded his timing. As a result of this – well let’s say things didn’t pan out well – this too is a story for another day.

Couple of months later, a dear friend asked me about all the ladies I was interested in, and I told her why I liked them. She then went on to ask about Tobi, but I told her that I loved Tobi, but because of the things that went down, I was not going down that road. She then went on to point out that I had said why I ‘liked’ all the other ladies, but that Tobi is the only one that I said I ‘love’. This caused the scales to fall from my eyes, and I realised that regardless of how things had played out, my love for Tobi was still burning.

5. Thank God! *Let it burn on! lol.. What made you make the decision to wait?

A. As you can see from my story above, I love God, so first I will say that it was the fear of God.
B.  Also, because I recalled a story in the bible in which after a man had satisfied his lustful appetite, the strong sense of attraction he had for the lady became a strong sense of disgust (Amnon and Tamar - 2Samuel 13:1-17)  
C.  Finally, I love and respect Tobi too much to have risked losing her to a few minutes of pleasure.


6. What practical measures did you take to ensure that you stuck by your decision?

This was not easy at all!! Before I say anything, I will like to say, “AVOID A LONG COURTSHIP IF YOU CAN OOO”.
There were a few close calls, so we decided that anytime I visited, I would stay at a hotel, sleep on the couch, or stay at a friend’s.

We prayed about it, and did all we could to hasten our wedding date.

Thank God for amazing friends that have become sisters, we made ourselves accountable to each other. At a point Ben would sleep on the couch when he visited, even though I felt bad as it was uncomfortable, but we had to put these barriers in place.

The tricky part was the 7 months wait between our Court marriage and the Church wedding. We had made a decision to recognise the Church wedding as THE WEDDING, thank God for strength when the other was weak, I remember a point that night in September I was ready to let go, my husband remained strong for the both of us, and we made it through the night! (I remember his soft but decisive voice, "Baby, I know we both want this, but you will feel bad in the morning so let’s sleep").

7. Thank God indeed.. What one advice would you give to your single self in preparation for marriage now that you’ve crossed that line?

- Stay close to God.
- Be real to each other, so that no one is surprised and starts accusing the other of changing after getting married.
- Read up all you can about proper Christian marriages, attend seminars, and – if possible – find a couple to mentor you.
- Finally, ‘Do not awaken love before its time’. That fire is not easily satiated.

- The joy, peace and happiness we feel now that we are married is so worth the wait.
- It’s a whole deeper experience in marriage than the few minutes of sneaky pleasures it would have been before the marriage, so let’s not fall for the lie of the devil that makes it feel like it’s now or never.

8. Please describe the best part of being married for you...

- When my husband gives me that forehead kiss – it make me feel how much he loves me.
- Sliding to the middle of the bed and having my husband wrap his arms around me.
- Having a worship partner – we spend time worshipping our Father together as this brings us closer.

- Coming home to someone that loves you.
- Waking up beside this same person.
- Married people things of course – making love to my wife :-)


Don't you just want to thank God for God-ly relationships and marriages! He makes it so beautiful and so perfect. He can makes yours that way too!

I have learnt so much to hand it all over to God and trust His best for me. I am inspired to know that God does great things in relationships and His desire is never to see us suffer in or hate the institution of marriage. His timing is always the best - no matter how long He takes, as long as it's in His hands, you are safe..

The wait is worth it! The wait is worth it!! The wait is worth it!!!

May God give us the grace to wait patiently on Him in Jesus name, and may He continue to bless marriages and homes around the world.

Do you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask!

Also, you can read all the Waiting and Loving It Features HERE .. xxxx


  1. This is Beautiful, Pure Love undefiled....To Tobi: Blessed are you among women, your marriage will forever be sweet.
    To Ben: Blessed are you among men, Your a king and a model.
    Thanks Shany for starting this blog, i'm inspired to wait and will WAIT!!!
    The Beautiful Eagle's Blog

  2. Now this is what I am talking about and boy is Tobi blessed. A man looks you in the eye and tells you let's wait; why wouldn't you give your all to love him back. Now I'm jealous

  3. @Ugo... I say a huge AMEN to your prayers.. And it is refreshing to know that you have made a decision to wait - May God give you the grace to hun xx
    @Tommie, Lol.. *sniffing* along with you!
    @Rai.. They are both very blessed indeed! Thank God for His grace, and for great men keeping the faith ey? And may He continue to bless the women immensely!! xx

  4. Waoh! I bless God for your lives for keeping it so real. Christianity is beautiful if only christians can be real to one another. That temptation will not come during courtship is a lie. However our heavenly Father says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." God bless you Tobi and Ben. God bless you too Ayo(stica)

  5. This is so beautiful! I love that they were so real about everything; having their "specs", knowing their minds and been tempted. Ben being strong enough to resist and wait till the appointed time? That's self control right there...God bless your union forever and ever!

  6. Wonderful couple u are blessed!
    Indeed our God is ever faithful he will surround your home with godly children. Amen -Bridget

  7. Abi (stica)! lol.. True, true.. Temptations will come, no doubt but it is possible to overcome by God's grace
    YG, AMEN.. Self control is actually one of the fruit of the spirit... It is possible by the help of the Holy Spirit
    @My darling Briyettooo! Amen and Amen! Thanks a lot for stopping by and leaving a comment too xxx

  8. Wow, this is awesome, so encouraging.. Mesoma

  9. @Mesoma, It is dear.. Thank God for real stories such as this xx

  10. aww, too beautiful for words to express.. a man that will actually preserve your chastity and uphold your decision to stay pure even when he knows you wanna damn it all and let it go? ah. priceless
    God bless you for bringing out these real stories Ayo..
    God raise more godly men like this for who love God and are not just church goers, help us to be sensitive in the spirit to recognise them when you send them our way, amen..and make them our husbands too, amen. lol

  11. aww, too beautiful for words to express.. a man that will actually preserve your chastity and uphold your decision to stay pure even when he knows you wanna damn it all and let it go? ah. priceless
    God bless you for bringing out these real stories Ayo..
    God raise more godly men like this for who love God and are not just church goers, help us to be sensitive in the spirit to recognise them when you send them our way, amen..and make them our husbands too, whether they want to run away like Mr Ben or not, let them realise that they are for us.. amen. lol

  12. Eya, lovely couple, may the Lord continue to bless your union in Jesus name, love to Tobi and thanks Ayo_ one-and-only-Manchy-connection :)

  13. I love the diversity that each couple brings to this blog. I couldn't help but chuckle at the "color-blocked" gown though, lol.

  14. This was like reading an M & B with a Naija Uni setting. Lol! I like how they didn't overspiritualize the struggle to wait until marriage before "knowing" each other. Practical steps. And the love was always there.

    Keep em coming Ayo!

  15. @Frances, a huge AMEN to your prayers lol.. Thank you very much.. You can't over-stress the importance of having a God-ly partner. It's very very important!
    @Ashley, Thank you my beautiful Manchy-connect *wink wink*..I say Amen to your prayers, thank you very much xx
    @Maggielola, I know! That's one of the beauties of the series.. Each couple is so beautifully unique xx
    @RB, You can say that again, this is Heavenly M&B lol... Thank God for good examples we can refer to! xx

  16. Seriously enjoying reading through this series, pretty good initiative.

    There's always one or two gems to be picked from each story, even for married couples.

    God bless this beautiful couple...and Ayo for letting us into their lives.

  17. Each time I sit to read these posts I get excited then sad because I have always wanted one of such tales to my own marriage... I believe God's time is the best. You will put mine up here when He makes it beautiful in its time. SHALOM!!!

  18. @Abiola, thank you so much.. I say amen to your prayers!
    @Nhyira, my dear don't worry, like you said God's time is the best and I know that He will give you your own unique story too.. And when it happens, it would be a pleasure to feature you by God's grace!! xx

  19. I'm so happy ur doing this series!!! It gives me hope!

  20. Thank God darling! There's certainly beautiful and bright hope!

  21. Too inspiring...there's no regret in waiting on God and waiting for His perfect so waiting and loving it!

  22. Amen sister! Thanks a lot.. May God give you His best in Jesus name xx

  23. The honesty of their story is so wonderfully courageous! To openly share that they initially struggled to accept God's plan, had lustful desires at some point, and still committed to honoring God by not having sex before their White wedding is inspirational. Thank you for sharing Ben and Tobi's story!

  24. Oh Lord! Every time I hear their story, it is new again! I love this couple. God bless you for sharing you beautiful story....ok going off to keep praying :)

  25. Hi Ada! lovely to have you on the blog!! You're right, it's a very lovely story indeed. Thank God for making beautiful beautiful love-stories :-)
    @Isioma, hahaha - Prayer is the key! Thank God for evidence that it is REAL! lol xx

  26. hello :)

    I just stumbled on this blog..and i'm hooked! Praise God!

    Good work 1+ the One

    *Now going back to read other posts :) *

  27. @She, Awww, thank you so much.. I;m grateful! I hope the posts bless you.. thanks and WELCOME!!! :-) xx

  28. Thanks Adun! (nice name too :-) xx

  29. i stumbled on this blog as well and reading through a few stories i realized there are still men who are willing to wait.. that being said, i've had a few rough edges in the past but i took it upon myself to pray that God help me to hold on till that day when i say I do. He has never failed me in the past, neither would he fail me now. i'm bookmarking this blog. nice work +one... i guess i'm right. :)

  30. Hi dear Anonymous, thank you so much for stoping by and for your comment!
    Amen! God will never fail you, just keep holding on to His word and He will certainly come through for you. The real thing is REAL! :-) May God give you only His best xx


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