There comes a point at which the faith of two individuals becomes the combined faith of a couple. What has been two singular approaches to God becomes a partnership that then places God at the helm. This is what gives that partnership its importance, its spiritual aspect. The walk of two people together with God sanctifies the big and small things we might otherwise overlook or take for granted. It gives the day-to-day life an eternal significance.
Eddie and I used to talk a lot about faith and religion. Of course, we were talking a lot about everything. Fortunately, by the time we started dating, I had already been focusing on what I needed to do for myself. That meant for once that I wasn’t completely attaching to the man in my life. I allowed myself to get to know him instead of being in love with him from the moment he said hello. And the fact that I was taking my spiritual life seriously made for a better me, and it helped a lot when it was time for us to get on the same page spiritually.
I was still working with Denise as my spiritual advisor, and I would have her talk to Eddie. He was having trouble sleeping, and I guess there were things that just really bothered him, things that he wasn’t talking about, that he was just dealing with. Of course, I had no idea. So, Denise would talk to him, and she would pray with him, which got him more into it and reinforced his spiritual side. He really started to get into the word. He would read the Bible a lot, and we would discuss it sometimes. We would have our own Bible-study sessions together. It was just really good. I felt like I was a positive influence on him and his life, and I think it brought us closer. For the first time in my life I actually felt like someone was attaching to me and needed me. Finally!
It was an unorthodox way of growing together spiritually because a lot of times we were doing it long distance. We’d be on the phone talking and I’d mention Jesus and that would start up a conversation that would last for hours. But it worked. We would go to church together, which is something I had never done with any of my boyfriends, ever! I had never discussed religion or the Bible with them. For Eddie not to shy away from the person I was spiritually felt really different for me. Our relationship was rooted in spirituality, and it felt wonderful. It attached me to him in a way that wasn’t unhealthy, which it had always been before. It gave me a way to attach that wasn’t needy or childlike.
Being in a relationship with a spiritual center helps give you a moral sense. It lets you know right from wrong. It helps you sort out the things
4 • Super Sale you should and should not be doing. – Taj
When we knew we were heading toward marriage and a family, we started counseling through the church. We really wanted ours to be a strong foundation, and we felt that if we could get God at the center of our relationship, we could get through everything, good and bad.
Our first sessions, with the Reverend Barry
Tolles, gave us a chance to open up and talk about our backgrounds, our hopes and fears, and our feelings about each other. They helped us learn to pray for each other when we were apart and to keep each other encouraged, to have each other’s back no matter what. Those sessions really brought us close together and helped us grow on a spiritual level.
Going to church while we were dating was important for us. It helped keep us in the word. Altogether, our faith gave us a bigger vision than we might have had otherwise. It taught us not to take the good times for granted, and it taught us that when things go bad, it’s not the end. It’s not the time to quit. Bad times are just part of the process. Having faith means you’re willing to work through them, to look for common ground, to give and take, knowing there’s a solution somewhere up ahead.
Just like faith helped keep me going when I was struggling as an athlete, faith helped Taj and me keep going as a couple. It’s been really important for us since the beginning. – Eddie
Married for Real
AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 2 Eddie & Tamara George
Speak honestly and openly about issues all couples face and draw on their personal stories to guide you to a more successful marriage. (Abingdon) HC 9781426722486 $19.95 SALE $17.97