23 January 2018

I neglected my children

An excessive intake of alcohol made Fihliwe neglect her two children and miss out on a prospective marriage.

The father of Fihliwe's second child wanted to marry her, but could not keep up with her excessive intake of alcohol.

"My older child who was 12 years old at that time was taken by my mother, while my one-year old son lived with his father because I neglected them and went out to drink almost every day.

Not living with my children was a great relief for me because I had the freedom to party the way I wanted. After all, I didn't know any better. My boyfriend, who wanted to marry me, left me because I was an uncontrollable drunkard." she said.

Fihliwe started dating married men after the father of her son left her.

"I was disappointed and started dating married men to comfort myself. I didn't care about their families, as long as I had someone buying me alcohol whenever I went out. I hardly visited my children and I never missed them," she said.

In December 2006, Fihliwe met a stranger in the street, read the t-shirt she was wearing and starting following this woman to the FNB stadium.

"She was going for the New Year's Eve church event and I had been on my way to a tavern.  When she invited me to join her, I just followed. At the event I learned it was important for me to have the presence of God as my guide and support. I continued attending services at a local Universal Church because I was wanted to have the presence of God in me. I later learned that God can only live in a clean place and I knew that I needed to lead a clean life, free from alcohol. I learned how to how to conduct myself as a mother and a woman. After attending the services for a month, I was able to give up alcohol. I started visiting my children and spending time with them. I later realised that it was wrong for me not to raise my children while I am able to do so, and I took them back.

I stopped dating married men because I understood that I was destroying families and disrespecting myself.

 I invested time in building a strong relationship with God. I now love my children and I don’t allow anything to come between us. I learned to depend on God's strength and provision as a single mother. We lack nothing. The presence of God helps me to model a godly life for my children," she said.

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