Names: Keith and Briana
Ages: 32 and 30
Occupations: Keith -IT Analyst/Aspiring Filmmaker Bri – PhD Student
- What does “Doing It For The Kingdom” mean to you two?
To us, “doing it for the kingdom” means that our lives and being should reflect God’s light in us, as we are children of our Father and we represent His kingdom. This is not just by what we do, but who we are, how we speak, how we live, and how we love. We have submitted all of our hopes, actions, and desires unto God and His will. Anything we set our hands to do should be for the glory of His kingdom. It definitely takes constant reflection and a renewed mind to ensure that each day we’re really trying to do it for the kingdom.
2. How is living for God different when you are married versus when you were single?
This is one we talk about a lot! We could go on for a while but will try to keep it short. They are definitely very different seasons! Reflecting on our time as singles, we realize what an awesome gift it was (and often wish that we could have seen that gift for what it was and used it to its full potential). It’s powerful to be single. In the single season, it’s really just you and Him in your relationship. You have time to spend with Him and can spend it as you wish (whether that’s meditating on scriptures, soaking in some worship, prayer, etc.). You could even dedicate yourself to full-time ministry if you wanted to in the single season. Singleness can be a great time spent with the Lord.
That being said, being married has really helped us both with our spiritual maturity. In our own experience, we feel that marriage is a clear depiction of Christ and His love for the Church. As you go from being two individuals to one being and grow deeper in your love for one another, you really do look at the other person as part of you, and at yourself as part of the other person. It’s love that we haven’t experienced before and helps us to understand how Christ feels about His beloved. Christ told us that He loved us through His actions. In the same way, marriage puts you in a position where you need to live out what you say you believe daily. Your words, actions, and decisions don’t just affect you anymore. It’s not just you and God. It’s you, God, and your spouse. But, it is still important to try to find time with just you and God.
3. What routines do you two have as a couple that keep y’all grounded in your faith?
Individually, Keith will often meditate on scripture and journal about things that he’s been thinking about. He also sets aside time for prayer alone. While some people sing to themselves in the shower, Keith preaches to himself in the shower haha! Bri likes a lot of praise and worship and journaling, and though she doesn’t really set aside chunks of time for prayer, has constant conversations with God all day long (as she’s walking, in class, or whatever!).
When it comes to the two of us together, we try to pray together and meditate on scripture together. If there is something on our hearts or something that’s confusing to one of us, we will try to talk it out. We also just have conversations about things we’re struggling with or excited about spiritually.
Finally, it’s been so important for us to root ourselves in a community of believers. We try to see each other or have conversations throughout the week about faith and life. It’s full of other couples around our age, so it’s helpful and fun to walk our faith out with them.
4. What advice would you give to Christian singles who desire marriage?
First, as we said above, celebrate your singleness! Really appreciate this season of your life for what it is, and use it as a time to truly renew your mind and grow in your relationship with Christ. We say this as a first step because we know how tempting it is to desire a relationship or marriage so much that it can be all-consuming. It’s easy to look at other people’s relationships and wonder why you don’t have one, and each new engagement picture on Facebook could potentially make you feel both happy for the person and frustrated with your own situation. It’s possible to even make marriage an idol, even though it’s a gift from God. So again we say, be thankful for the single period!
Second, praise God for the desire to be married. In this world full of social media, it’s easy to equate marriage with the cutest engagement pics, likes, and weddings. However, the true beauty of marriage is that it glorifies God. It reflects God’s order. So, praise God that you desire something that He’s designed for us.
Finally, pray about it! And don’t just pray that God blesses what you want. Ask Him what He wants for you. Be truly led by the Holy Spirit. When God answers, don’t be afraid. Be bold and relax in His confirmation.
5. Bri: As a woman, what steps did you take with God to make sure saying “yes” to Keith was the right decision?
This sounds corny, but saying “yes” to Keith started out by saying “yes” to God. There is such a long back story to how we got together, but to make a long story short, we were friends who had recently walked away from painful breakups. The period of time between my last relationship and my marriage was one of the hardest of my life, and I was hanging on by a thread – that thread being God. In that period of time, Keith and I encouraged each other, and he especially encouraged me in growing in my walk with Christ. God started to reveal to me and confirm in my spirit that Keith was who He had for me – but Keith didn’t know that yet lol!
There was a good amount of time between God revealing that to me and Keith realizing it. In that time, I was just working on putting God first, listening to Him, and submitting my desires to Him. I fasted, prayed, and journaled about what I thought God was telling me. He told me not to pursue what He was showing me, but to just let it happen in His time (no desperation required lol). Sure enough, a few months later, Keith asked me if I would be interested in starting a relationship with him toward marriage. Six months after that, we were married. I was so confident in saying yes to Keith because it was confirmation of time spent with the Holy Spirit.
6. Keith: As a man, what was your journey towards marriage like?
Well… My journey was filled with a lot of rebellion, stubbornness, and insecurity. I had done well in portraying something that I wasn’t. Looking good on the outside while being a destructive mess on the inside. That’s why my relationship with women never ended well. Eventually, the truth would come out and I would end up confusing women and possibly making them worse off after they met me. I had to come to the end of myself. I realized I was in darkness. I couldn’t trust myself with anything. God had to change me from the INSIDE first. The more I grew in my identity and realized what Christ did for me I understood what marriage was about. I’m still learning…
7. What’s your experience like trusting God while married? Easier, challenging, about the same, etc.
We think marriage has led us to trust in God MORE, because we realize how much we’re not in control over. For example, one of our friends described having a child as having your heart live outside of your body. Being married (and becoming parents recently), we feel this is totally true. Our hearts are walking around outside of our own bodies, and all we can do is trust that God will lead us and keep our family. We also have to trust and be led by the Spirit in all things, because our individual decisions will impact our whole family.
8. What are some things the two of you do together to “Do It For The Kingdom?”
We pretty much do everything together. However, one thing we try to be intentional about is to exude love no matter where we go. Whether it’s on the job or at school, at the grocery store, or wherever, we try to constantly remind ourselves to reflect God’s light and love – even if it’s not the natural response for a particular situation. We also really feel like brothers and sisters coming together consistently for sharing and for prayer is important – there is a weekly prayer call that we didn’t start but help to facilitate. It’s a real blessing for us to be able to chat and pray with others!
9. What resources would you recommend to married couples that focus on building a Godly marriage?
A community of Godly married couples! Particularly older couples that you could sit under and be mentored by, in addition to couples in your same season that you can fellowship with. These have been the most helpful and powerful resources for us.