Community Part I: Choosing Us


Community Part I: Choosing Us

June 17, 2019

    My husband and I got married a few months after I graduated from DTS. We dated while I was a student, and as soon as we started talking about marriage I wanted to make sure we were prepared before we got there. I really wanted to do this the best way we could. We did several classes in groups with other DTS students, such as Prepare Enrich and PREP class. After we got engaged, we did private premarital counseling sessions with a counselor. I attended the Marriage Adventure Conference at DTS, listened to a relationship podcast, and took the Human Sexuality class on my own. Yes, all of that. I wanted to be prepared. Not many people in my life told me what marriage was exactly, or sex or oneness. I was afraid of several things: 1) repeating the same mistakes I’ve seen throughout my life and 2) making mistakes because of my Type 1 personality.

    After settling into the euphoric state of loving each other, we realized that we are both normal human beings and by no means perfect. It feels like you get back to life and realize you have responsibilities and other relationships. Life gets busy, we have jobs, we get home tired so it is really easy to de-stress on our phones, watch TV, or do our own little things before talking to each other. Here is where we have to remind ourselves of our goal in marriage; it is worth the effort to be intentional with each other  to connect. We speak each other’s love language knowing that we receive love in different ways. When talking about marriage, Dr. Barnes talks about “choosing us” and that means we like car events (his), we like watching movies (his), we like talking about the minor details of anything (me) and we also like gardening (me). Setting times to do things that will bring us together and sticking to it has helped us, even if it is watching a movie, cooking together or going for a walk.

    Arguments sometimes happen over the simplest little things. We don’t always agree with each other, we are different. The good thing is that our goal is oneness and not sameness. Forgiveness is key, although it is not easy all the time, and I have had to learn different ways that I deescalate. I have to take a break and walk, or have time alone because I don’t want to hurt him. I don’t want to make decisions or say things I will regret when I’m not thinking straight. After I have calmed down -- and this might take few minutes, an hour, a nap, or some food-- I come back and we are ready to talk calmly. What personally helps me is to get into details, and ask as much as I can to be clear so there are no misunderstandings. We come from two different countries, social backgrounds, family dynamics and cultures. And he is learning to not get frustrated with my millions of questions. The process is messy and it is ok, we are learning together.

We are blessed by the variety of learning opportunities that DTS offers to the students and I am grateful to learn so much from classes, seminars, counseling sessions, and conferences on this topic. But knowledge alone is pride, and just like the gospel, if it is only stored as knowledge there is no benefit. We are called to live it out.


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