Lovespiration from JB+ Erin
1. What is something you wish you knew before you started dating or got married?
JB - I wish I knew the value of marriage because I feared marriage for a long time. Coming from my parents who have a mentality of “when you get married you’re stuck” or "to be married is to be suffocated. Marriage is something forced upon you, and you’re stuck." Also, there's a pressure from everyone else that you need to be financially stable before marriage. Which is great wisdom but steered me away from getting married. I’ve always been financially challenged, so I’ve always steered away. Marriage is more than that wedding day and I wish I knew the value of marriage. But, what’s great is that she knew the value of it.
Erin - I spent my high school years intentionally not dating and seeing what worked and what didn’t. I had to experience the realities of what I did know. But the only thing I wish I knew was how to speak Tagalog because his whole family speaks Tagalog.
2. How do you resolve conflicts in your relationship?
E - I’m learning how I grew up is sewed into our relationship. I’m so quick to turn away and he’s so good to stay in and work things out. But it’s hard for me to stay in and work things out.
JB - Big thing is that I have fear for the Lord, and the first step is to turn to God. If there’s something I didn’t like that she did, turn to God. If something I didn’t understand, turn to God. I’m not always perfect but I catch myself at certain times. Slow to speak but slow to anger. The third step is to confront and reconcile. Some people need to take a little more time. Don’t push the person away. It’s very important you don’t push the person away. Stick it out and stay doesn’t mean you don’t be kind. Even if you’re mad, be slow to speak and slow to anger. That’s going to dictate how stable you are to reconcile. Just don’t push the other person away. If you really sense you’re going to be rude, take a step back. When I’m really upset, I might hurt you with my words. It’s so important to vocalize it because they’ll always find out. Don’t leave it for them to interpret because that will leave more room for hurt not reconciliation; how you serve that self-control and not being easily provoked.
E - It’s a lot messier on my end because I usually just follow his lead. My dad is a school counselor and I grew up hearing you’re in control of your emotions. So you can’t blame someone or put words in someone else’s mouth like “You made me mad or you said this” but you can fight well, communicate well, being clear, and setting emotions aside. Because after you resolve conflict it’s supposed to bring you together strongly. Slow to anger quick to forgive.
3. What do you admire about each other?
JB - What amazed me is that our first talk she turned me down. Initially, when we met, I was dating someone and it was rocky and it took a while for me to let someone else into my life. But we always kind of knew. I love that she was prudent and reserved. She was taking care of herself. She valued herself and knew herself and wanted to take care of herself, not for selfish reasons. To see how she talks about marriage and Jesus’s love, those are my favorite things about her. On top of that is food and surprising me with things that people don’t normally do. Her writing letters to me is one of the most romantic things. It fuels me to do it better and to do it more. I’m not a type of guy that receives compliments and puffs up but it’s more of an honor, it encourages me so much. She is very abundant in giving me that.
E - My top favorite things would be his fear of the Lord. It guides everything he does in life. his love for other people, excellent taste in music, minimalist lifestyle, has a rockstar voice, desire to learn spiritually or academic. him as a person, he’s my favorite person.
4. What’s something your partner does that makes you feel loved?
JB - She doesn’t pray out loud but when she tries I really appreciate it. And physical touch is the strongest love language so holding my hand or is enthusiastic with me. I feel loved when someone can share that excitement and fun. Being there and being intentional. Quality time in that sense.
E - To sum it up he takes care of me. That includes putting my needs before his own; Opening doors for me, helping me out if I have a lot to do or if I’m stressed. He’s usually the one with more to say and I normally have less words, but when he listens to me or just sits in the silence with me. I know that's something he learned, so that means a lot to me. He prioritizes me and doesn’t let me get pushed to the back of his schedule. He makes time for me even when he’s busy. He leads me by not giving me what I want at the moment and leads me to God, and leads me to not follow his own knowledge and wisdom.
5. What advice do you have for someone who is afraid to date or get married?
E - It’s a totally different relationship and redeemed totally different. I wish I knew the value of marriage and staying with someone and taking care of them. I'm not saying when you live together, but when you live a sacred life. But in the sense I wasn’t and applying it in a relationship was hard. But what helped was being prudent and understanding what was for marriage.
JB - Don’t be afraid of marriage if you’re dating and don’t be afraid to stay with someone. How do you treat your brothers and sisters? The way I treat Erin, I should treat my friends. She is my girlfriend, but the way I serve her should be the way I serve others. How you see dating as a gift, but from the beginning, I've seen her as a gift. One reason people are scared to be in a relationship is hurt. We think that when we date it’s not counted as a part of the cost that we’re going to be hurt. Being hurt is a part of it. Be able to love someone that's not perfect.
6. What are your favorite characteristics about each other?
E - His relentless pursuit of resolve after conflict because it’s amazing how devoted he is that we clear the air and there’s good communication. He’ll fight for resolution tooth & nail. I’ll try to talk about it tomorrow, and he won’t sleep until we talk about it, because i’m sometimes being stubborn and can’t find the words. And he’s just so devoted to end on a good note. I don’t see that much these days. The main deterioration is bad conflict and if one person doesn’t know how to resolve is it all down hill.
JB - She has integrity and is Godly. It’s a given when you know that person is devoted to Christ. It’s like looking right beside you is as equally on fire. You know she is living her life surrendered and following Christ. There so much security in that sense. In the prayer and corrects me with a tenderness because I know you want to learn so I want to correct you. Even just with grammar, I humbly take that correction. It starts there when I humble myself. It’s the little things. It’s encouraging to see me as a teachable person.
7. What’s something your partner does that makes you proud?
JB - Even now, when she shares her thoughts I appreciate that she has such wisdom. Even before we dated she always had something deep to say. She always had these deep thoughts that can root to the inner person. I appreciate it that she can share when people ask her what she thinks. She’s normally not the person who will tell you what she thinks but when you ask, it’s lit and fire.
E - Admiring him when he walks in obedience to walk out God’s call in his life. I like when he is able to talk in the scriptures or Jesus. It’s cool to see him impact our community of young men that he hangs around. So many times he’s had the chance to tell someone off or shoot someone down, but he shows a maturity in his meakness and chooses not to for the sake of their reputation, respect, or esteem. He even pulls them aside and will pray for them. It’s cool to see him go against the flow of our culture and do it for god and for men.
8. What is the best relationship advice you’ve ever received?
JB - This is for the over-thinking couples. Define the relationship, don’t try to swim in the sand and actually go to the ocean and swim in the ocean. Don’t try to play it safe. Dating is a gift and should be taken cared of and shouldn’t be taken advantage and I think that applies to marriage. It’s a gift we should steward and take care of not take advantage of.
E - My parents said for me to just date. When you’re dating, don’t put the weight and the pressure on the sites on marriage. You’re still singles nothing changes in the eyes of God but the mutual understanding that you like each other. That you’re going to make it work no matter what or blind to the issues. Be grateful and learn what God is teaching you. If it doesn’t work out you still have the friendship. Easier said than done. Not putting the weight of marriage like we have to get married at the end of it. But being realistic and have the desire and intention to be married. We’re not trying to lead it with our own desires.