February has come to an end and what better way to close out the “month of love” then with our final interview from the 2019 love series. For this interview we are excited to be featuring Christina and Christopher Butcher. At age 25(Christina) and 24 (Christopher) they are both prime examples of what it means to develop a strong friendship before marriage and date with purpose. Their journey has been one of much laughter and joy, filled with faith every step of the way. Our interview covered many topics about love and friendship and how they both knew each other was “the one”. Here is their story:
So, to begin, how long have you two been married?
Chris & Christina: A year and a half (laughs)
Wow, I can’t believe its already been a year and a half! So, how did you two meet? And you can tell me both sides of the story cause I know sometimes couples have different versions lol.
Christina: So, I’ll go first. We went to the same college and church at one point in Ohio. I was dating somebody else and he was dating somebody else at the time. After school I left to come back to my hometown in California. When I came back to Ohio to continue school he reached out (not to slide in my DMs or anything lol) but just to encourage me. During that time I was going through something really hard personally, so what he said was very on point and what I needed to hear. For me, being the guarded and untrusting person that I was (I didn’t trust anybody at the time) I was like ‘wow, this dude is reading my mail’. So I told him thank you and kept it moving . We eventually became friends but there were no hidden motives. After some time I started wondering like ‘who is this dude’ I want to get to know him better’. I’ll never forget this one time before Thanksgiving. We were doing community work together and talking about our families and then he started talking about football. Ever since then, we just clicked. It was then I realized that I connected with him on all levels and we became really good friends where I could trust him as a person, even with the walls I had up.
Anything you want to add to that Chris?
Chris: She pretty much got it all lol
Okay, so how long were you two dating before you proposed Chris?
Chris: Well, we were friends for about a year and a half , then we dated for a year before we got engaged. Leading up to that I kept feeling a tug on my heart like she’s the one. And I knew I wanted to marry her.
Christina: Tell her the ring story..
Chris: Oh yea, so at our year mark of dating I was in the mall going to get something, a Christmas gift I believe. And out of the blue I saw a twinkle and next thing I knew I’m at the jewelry counter lol. And I looked down and something told me thats the one for her. So that day I ended up buying her engagement ring. I didn’t know why but I figured when the time comes the Lord would help work everything out.
So did you even know her ring size?!
Chris: Nope, I didn’t know lol. I didn’t even tell my momma. I just knew that was the ring and when I saw it I went with it.
Wow..so can you both tell me how you knew each other was the one?
Chris: I just knew that was my best friend and I wanted to spend time with her forever.
Was it immediate for you?
Christina: It was immediate for me. well, I shouldn’t say that cause I was still guarded, but even though I didn’t vocalize it I knew.
Chris: Yea, I knew maybe halfway through us being friends.
Christina: Yea. for me he just hit every area that mattered. It wasn’t just a good connection, but spiritually that was important to me that someone I’m with would be more spiritually mature because in the past that person was always me. I appreciated that about him, that we were on the same page morally. And he had good character and integrity and I think thats one thing that really attracted me the most. He didn’t try to be someone else. He was always himself.
Chris: And the thing I loved about her the most was her independency. She had her head on her shoulders. She knew where she was going and what she wanted to do. I knew she would still be good without me and she loved God. So that did it for me. She had a fire in her to chase after God on her own and I didn’t have to do anything because I had my own drive and she had her own drive. And I just knew if God is at the center he would bring us together.
Amen, thats so good. So, how long were you two engaged and what was that process like planning for a wedding?
Christina: We were actually only engaged for 6 months and there was definitely a change in the relationship once that happened. I mean we had to start thinking and planning together for our future. And I think it was such a short engagement because we had a small wedding. We maybe had about 60 people. But things were just falling into place. After we got engaged we got super blessed. I think a week after the engagement we were blessed with $1,000 and a couple weeks later a family member gave us $3,000. That covered a lot of the expenses we already knew we needed.
Chris: And that goes back to 6 months prior to the engagement story when I bought the ring. I didn’t know when everything would happen or where. I just had faith that in time things would fall into place. I was definitely grateful for that. It was very humbling.
So what would you say your love journey has taught you thus far?
Christina: lol communication
Christopher: yes, communication is very vital! Like, if you’re gonna be going out, just let me know where you going.
Christina: Yes, you probably can relate to this because we’re both very independent. But at the beginning of the marriage I would just go places…
Christopher: And not even tell me!
Christina: yeah lol, I had to really work on that. Just for even safety reasons letting him know where I’m at and what time I planned to be home. It was definitely a process cause you know you’re just used to being independent and doing what you want. But after I got over that hurdle things got better. Aside from communication, I had to understand that when I explain something to him he won’t always receive it the way I intended for him to. And, as women, we can do like a million things at one time and still get it but thats not always the case for men.
Chris: Nope its one thing at a time. I need you to walk it out with me lol. Step by step.
Those are some good points. And I definitely can relate. Communication is key in any relationship.
Looking back, whats one piece of advice you both would give your “single” self?
Christina: Thats a good question. Hmm…well I feel like I lived my best life when I was single but thinking more broadly about the things I know we face as singles I’d say let yourself heal fully and not just for a season but completely. Because (I thank God so much for this) me and Chris both were able to heal for two years before we got into a relationship with one another. We both had come out of toxic relationships and during that two year span we had a time of true singleness. We weren’t messing around. We were really focusing on ourselves and I think thats so important. To heal fully and just do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Cause there were definitely times before meeting him that I didn’t and if you don’t pass those test they will only come back. But I also traveled a lot during my single years and did as much as I could with my best friend Tori. So I guess I would tell myself to do more of that cause I had a lot of fun lol.
Chris: In other words – don’t carry old baggage into your next relationship.
Yes!! Say it for the people in the back!!
How do you two maintain your individuality as a married couple and is that important?
Christina: This is something I had to learn how to balance since I’m a social butterfly. But when I got married I learned I had to think differently about time. Like, before I was married I could go out with my girls when I wanted but now that I’m married I choose my time wisely because most of my time is spent with my husband. Being married we have to communicate with each other our plans and thats how I decide if I want to go out – when we don’t have things already scheduled together. Its important though to make time for one another, because when you’re married just because you live together doesn’t mean your really making time for each other. You can be inside all day but you might be cleaning, working, and doing other things so in the zone its not even quality time with your person. So its important to set time aside quality time, even if its staying in to watch a movie.
So what do you two do for fun?
Christina: Well, before baby (since we have a little one now), we would just go out to the movies, take road trips, go hiking…
Chris:and to different events around the city
Christina: we also love food and dancing lol.
So y’all just be hanging huh! And how has having a baby impacted your lives?
Chris: Its definitely challenging because now your priority is someone else but its a blessing that we love.
Christina: Yeah and now we cherish the little things more and our dates might look like going to coffee shops together and shopping since he’s still an infant.
So you guys are in the early stages or parenthood right?
Christina: Yeah, we’re still very sleep deprived and all that fun stuff but its getting better because he’s finally on a schedule and only gets up once in night.
How would you two say faith has played a role in your relationship
Christina:For us its been everything. You know, I think Chris talked about this earlier but even when we were friends we were both going full force on our individual paths. While your on that path if you come across someone doing the same, ride that out together. And thats what happened with us. And Im thankful for us that we were able to have our faith established before we met so now we are even more on the same page.
Chris:Yeah, and as you grow there is always a new season of building blocks you will overcome. So every season is a new challenge and every season there will be different obstacles to overcome personally. But your faith cannot waiver. Your faith should keep growing. And you will have to stand on the word God gave you originally through every stage – friendship, dating, marriage, and having a family. In our relationship our faith has definitely helped us and will continue to be our foundation as we work towards our future.
Faith is everything and I like how you both recognize its something you have to have individually and as a couple.
Before we close out the interview, are there any books you are currently reading or books that inspired you both before getting married?
Christina: Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere has been powerful and is something I’m currently re-reading.
Chris and Christina: For couples or even if you’re single, we recommend The Purpose and Power of Love Marriage by Myles Monroe. It was given to us for our anniversary and is a powerful book.
End of Interview.
Written by Ja’La Wourman. IG, Twitter @jalajwourman.