I met my husband in 2001 in college, although when I met him, I had no clue he would be my husband, none of that love at first sight stuff :-). He was just this cute dude I would see on campus who also had a very nice behind! Yes, there was lust and it didn’t help that he had muscles in all the right places and gorgeous eyes! So, each time I saw him, it was a treat for my eyes! LOL! Well it just so happens, that I ended up having a class with Mr. Fine and he was even in my group for our class group project. I never knew his name until the class and for the first 3 classes he was MIA! When he decided to show up for class that’s when I was able to put a name with the muscles and cute behind of Mr. Fine. I paid no attention to him at first because he looked so young, but he wouldn’t have it that way, he made sure that I knew who he was! LOL! The semester moves along and he and I got closer and he turned out to not only be cute but very smart, intelligent and determined. He had his whole life mapped out (or so he thought)! I thought that was awesome coming from someone so young, then I find he’s only 2 yrs younger than me but he looked so young!! Anyway, moving further through time, we got closer and began dating and he started having issues with his roommate who eventually bailed on him and left him with the full responsibility of the apartment. Things got rough and he had to move out and had no where to go so he moved in with me. Yeah……. Ok, here’s where things start going crazy….
Now, before I met future hubbs, God had been calling me to come back to him but I didn’t want to “give up” my “freedom”. So I was occasionally going to church. So, one day when I was volunteering at church, I learned that living together with someone of the opposite sex before marriage was wrong, that this was called “shacking up”. Whoa, wait a minute you mean, everyone I grew up around that’s been “shacking up” is wrong and that’s not the way that God meant for things to be???? But I have this really cute boyfriend who had “no where else to go” who now lives with me! Oh no, what do we do?? So, boyfriend and I were able to forge a friendship with this married couple in the church who basically broke things down for us. So we had a choice to make: boyfriend moves out or we get married! Say huh? Marriage was not on the agenda, we were trying to graduate from college first and we never really even talked about marriage before. So we sat on this information and sat, and sat and sat until The Great Shake Down happened.
Now, when you surrender your life to Christ, He loves you too much to let you wallow in your sin and if you don’t do anything about it, He will and that’s just what He did. The Great Shakedown begins…. First, boyfriend wrecked his car, he was fine, car wasn’t and being a broke college student that meant no new car for a while. In the midst of this, I was going through pure hell in the job I had so I decided to quit just knowing I would get another in no time, but 911 happened and the job didn’t come as fast as I thought it would. After my job ordeal, my car broke down and we couldn’t afford to get it fixed nor could I afford to keep up the payments so, my car was repossessed. Boyfriend lost his job but found another but it wasn’t enough to carry us and the apartment so we were evicted. Thankfully, I had a friend that I could move in with, so I put my stuff in storage and moved in with her and boyfriend went to room with some guy he knew from college. Well, the arrangement with boyfriend lasted all of a week or 2 and then he moved in with me and my friend. Sad to say, we still didn’t get the hints that were being thrown at us. So we continued going to church and God continued making his statement. He HUMBLED us!! We were in an area that wasn’t the most pleasant, we had no cars so it was public transportation for us, I had to work at a restaurant which was the absolute last thing I wanted to do and it didn’t pay a lot of money and we were in the very last semesters before graduation so it was very hard. In the midst of this, we would slip and have sex. Even though we knew the truth now, it was still hard to fight the temptation because we still lived together and slept in the same bed. Yes, we were asking for it! After a while, boyfriend and I were hurt, defeated and tired. Everything was so difficult! Just getting to school and work was a feat! So, we broke down and prayed, God, if it’s your will for us to be together and get married, then show us what to do, make a way for us. We had no money, so God had to help us with this.
After we prayed, we stepped out in faith and went to see my friend who worked at a jewelry store, we told him our situation and to our surprise he was able to get us an awesome deal and use his discount!!!! Boyfriend and I looked at each other and thought ok, hmmmm this went very well. So after we picked out our rings, we went on to finish school, boyfriend finished before me and somehow went to get the rings without me. So, a little while before I graduated, November 8, 2003 he proposed!!! He was no longer boyfriend, but now fiance’!!! I was so shocked and to this day, I still don’t remember what he said when he proposed! LOL!! After this, I graduated from college and we went about the business of getting married. My plan was to have just a little party dress, nothing extravagant because we couldn’t afford extravagant. God had other plans!! My friend and I and fiance’ went to this little dress shop and Ms. Charlotte greeted us and we told her we were getting married and I just needed a little party dress nothing extravagant because we had no money. Ms. Charlotte, says no, no, you’re getting a wedding dress!! Fiance’ and I looked at each other and just followed. Well to sum it all up, I got a beautiful wedding dress, veil, and all adjustments for a total of $383.00!!! Again, God made a way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we met with our pastor, once (um, another story for another day, sheesh!!) and he proceeds to tell us that since we were living together and were not married, we needed to get married ASAP oh, and stop having sex! So we set the date for February 6, 2004. It all worked out because we were able to get our taxes done early! LOL! We gave the pastor a $100 “love offering”, had close friends there which totaled 15 ppl at our wedding (no family there at all). My friend and the lady from Kroger made my bouquet, my friend was able to get us a ridiculous discount on a Jacuzzi suite for our honeymoon. I walked myself down the aisle and fiance’ best friend was the ring bearer and my bestie was my maid of honor and on February 6, 2004, we became Mr. & Mrs. Richard W. Taylor II!!!
We are still married, 9 years later!! The road hasn’t been easy but we know that God is definitely in the midst of our marriage and that’s another lesson for another day 🙂
Now, why do I tell you all this? Some people argue that living together before you get married is not a sin and it’s not in the BIble and it’s not, but God is a God of order and there’s a reason for not living together before marriage. When you do this, you set yourself up for failure, pain, destruction. It’s only by the grace of God that I didn’t get pregnant while were playing house and that we were both able to graduate from college but it did cause problems in our marriage (more on this later) not only this but, we still had to deal with the repercussions of us having sex with each other before we were married. Sex is spiritual so you best believe that there will be some spiritual warfare going on!!! My other point is that, you can’t say that you’re a child of God and still blatantly sin and decide you’re going to do things your way. With God, it doesn’t work this way, either you belong to Him or you don’t and if you do, He’s going to make sure that you do things the way that He says to keep you from hurting yourself and bringing everything but glory to His name. Lastly, is that if you decide to commit your way to Him, He will definitely show up and show you favor and make things happen for you that you wouldn’t believe!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, if you’re shacking up right now, I encourage you to make some decisions now so that you won’t have to endure The Great Shakedown! If you’re not ready for marriage, pray for God to make other living arrangements and go where He sends you and if you are ready, then GET PREMARITAL COUNSELING and take heed to all you’re being taught. DO NOT set a wedding date until after counseling because you never know what will come up and out during counseling. Trust me I’ve seen the horror of a marriage happening even though they were told that they were not ready!!! They are paying dearly for it!! Take your time and do things in order the way God intended! Marriage is not something to rush into and trying to practice it before you say “I do” is just asking for trouble! Take your time, take your time, take your time!! Pray, pray, pray! Have accountability partners, stay pure and trust God!
Be blessed & encouraged,