I'm very excited to reveal a new series I'm calling "Better Together." In an effort to provide more resources to my newlywed couples, I've asked my favorite married folk to offer us peek into their relationships -- how they love and what they've learned.
Adam and Christine were our first "couple" friends here in Columbus and have remained two of the dearest companions we've ever known. Ben and I have been blessed over and over again by the way they love each other and everyone around them; the four of us have laughed and cried together, watched terrible t.v. while eating late night Dairy Queen and visited each other in the hospital when we each became new parents. My advice to any newly married couple is to find yourself an Adam + Christine, stat.
Where did you meet? A+C: Gilbert's Party Barn, 2000.
Anniversary : August 6th, 2006
Favorite Meal to Eat Together : Sweet Corn Cake Salad from El Arepazo, in Columbus, Ohio.
What is your favorite thing about being married to Christine? A : My favorite thing about being married to Christine is getting to witness every day-- in the way Christine treats everyone she encounters-- what it means to love people well. Not only does Christine have an infectious joy that communicates itself to others (myself included-- not always an easy task), but she has the most generous spirit of anyone I know. She's patient, supportive, and strong in way that is humble, not flashy. My son and I are blessed to have her; she encourages us to be our best selves by modeling what radical love looks like.
What is one of Adam's best qualities? C : Adam's tender heart and love for life really comes through in his sense of humor. His affection for his family is demonstrated in his desire to make us smile, see us laugh, and bring out great joy in us. His ability to make me laugh instantly transforms me into the 16 year old girl that fell in love with him. (And our son has declared Adam the silliest one in the family.) The laughter Adam brings to our home is a blessing to our family's life: relieving tension in stressful seasons, bringing much needed distraction during a two-year-old's tantrum, allowing me to look at a situation in a new or humorous light, and constantly reminding me of his desire to love and nurture his family.
What's been the biggest surprise about marriage? A+C : We were surprised by how much fun we have together creating our own family traditions and enjoying the "rituals" of married life. We love having those moments in our weeks or years that we can look forward to as being especially rich for our relationship. (Taco Tuesdays = da bomb.)
When did you know that life really would be better together? A+C : In some sense we always knew this. But every new challenge we encounter-- new job, first baby, buying a house-- reminds us again how much we have come to depend on one another both practically and emotionally. Some weird thing happens in our marriage wherein we are always balancing each other out: in a wholly unplanned way, when one of us is down, the other person is there to encourage.
You have two weeks and money is no issue, where do you go and what do you do? A+C : Europe. We have a file folder full of European itineraries, maps, etc. We'd aim to strike a balance "seeing the sights" and simply experiencing daily life abroad. We love trying new foods, so our days would probably be structured around eating. We would likely end up debating mopeds at some point, because Christine loves living life to its fullest, while Adam thinks you're going to get yourself killed. Then we would probably ride our mopeds.
Your family of three will soon be four -- what are some things you do to ensure you have just Adam+Christine time? A+C : We are very fortunate that our kids have grandparents who are always willing to give us a date night. On a more regular basis, we try to ensure that we use the time after our son has gone to bed to decompress together, finish conversations that had been interrupted (i.e., every conversation), and enjoy one another's company.
Any resources you've found helpful for building a strong marriage? A+ C : We've found that our single greatest resource is having a strong community of friends and couples who desire the best for our marriage.
The first year of marriage can be especially tricky -- what advice would you offer newlywed couples? A+C : The first year can be a roller-coaster. Our first year of marriage brought home to us just how stubborn, slow-to-change, and basically selfish we were each capable of being. We've learned that marriage requires us to be quick to forgive each other-- and ourselves. If you're willing to sacrifice some of your own individual desires for what's best for your partnership, the first year can be a time of great personal and relational growth.
My life is sweeter because of you two. Thank you for sharing your lives and your love with me. xo