Our Not So Ordinary Courting Story
So as you all may know I am married to Khalid Snowden, that fine guy in the above picture with me! My rock, my best friend, my lover, my one and only, my everything! Ahh, I just love that man! We actually got married November 30, 2012, exactly 2 months ago, so happy two month anniversary to us!!Yay! I know there is going to be plenty of more time for us to grow together and spend the best time of our lives together. I am so excited to spend this journey in life with him and for us to grow old together. I will discuss in another post on how we met…
To begin I want to share a testimony of how God completely changed our lives. When we first got together we weren’t saved in the least. It was our senior year of High school and then we both decided to move in together with roommates that we knew for our first 2 years of college. Mind you we were raging sinful teens when we first started to date and didn’t do things God’s way at all. And let me just tell you this doing things your own way is NEVER a great option and it will always, always lead to destruction. It is NEVER OK to put your girlfriend or boyfriend before Christ. We submitted to the lust of the flesh and disregarded God’s law. And as the consequence of our sins this lead to many arguments and break ups to make ups. It was like there wasn’t a day that went by that we wouldn’t be going off on each other. And then when we did get saved at one point we were kind of up and down with that too, we were like those “sorta, kinda Christians.”
Finally there came a point to when the arguments ceased for a bit after a really big argument had escalated. We decided we should really start maturing if we really loved one another. We started loving God more than we loved each other and we wanted to begin taking our walk with God seriously. God convicted us that if we were going to profess to be Christians it was high time that we started acting as ones. God became number one in our lives and we really started to serve Him. We made the decision to stop dating and start courting. There is a difference between the two and I will also be making a post on that topic later as well.
When we started courting it took some getting used to at first, but God’s grace is truly sufficient. Through His grace we were able to break the power of the lust of the flesh. We were still room mating with friends at the time. It was a 3 bedroom apartment with four people. But being now committed to our relationship with Christ we started taking turns sleeping on the couch. We stopped kissing and even stopped holding hands. He wanted to wait until we were married to kiss because kisses are powerful and can lead to something more that you have no business doing until marriage. Read my article here concerning the The Power of a Kiss.
I saw a real change in my now husband. He inspired me and encouraged me to run after God with my full heart even more, as he still does to this very day. His love for God and his servitude for God truly amaze me.
And as a reward of being obedient to God and doing things His way we reaped the benefits. We learned how to talk things out if we disagreed with anything instead of arguing. We actually don’t argue anymore, and by argue I mean yelling at each other and disrespecting one another. We do have disagreements, but we talk them out with respect versus arguing. At first I thought this was impossible when my pastor would say to the church that her and her husband never argues. I thought “as if!” But after taking the psychical aspect out of the relationship we learned one another and we begin to know each other from spirit to spirit instead of flesh to flesh. We have to remember we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but we are spirits in a human body having a human experience. If you can’t get to know a person from their spirit and it always requires something psychical then your love for them is conditional. You love the feeling and not the person because their spirit, which is who they really are, should be enough to satisfy you to the point of no fornication.
|Us in our courting stage, notice the space between us, lol.|
We did make the huge mistake of moving into a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom because we couldn’t find any roommates that we could separately roommate with when our lease was finally up with our previous roommates. Our previous roommates decided to get their own places so that option was off the list. It was still a new city for us at the time, because we moved from our hometown to go to college. We didn’t want a stranger because we didn’t want to go through the nightmare of having a complete stranger who was an immature college kid. Granted, we regretted moving in together to the point that we became willing to move in with a perfect stranger even if they turned out to be psycho. We just wanted to please God and not allow what is good to be spoken evil of.
Even so we couldn’t change the matter. We couldn’t move back home with our parents since they lived so far away and we couldn’t break the lease. We decided we were going to continue to keep our boundaries. We still wanted to live for God because that was our first heart’s desire is to please Him. We made the mistake of moving in together, but we were still going to be accountable, and we weren’t going to be having sex outside of marriage and sinning against God. We did tell our pastor about it, because we didn’t want to hide something like that away from our leaders. Of course she didn’t encourage it, but God confirmed to her that we were setting boundaries and not fornicating, she saw the love we had for God and our actions did match up with our words.
So how were we able to live together without fornication? We SET boundaries and we KEPT them!
1. We always kept God First.
Before there is Khalid there is God, and before there is Shaniqua there is God. We love Him more than we love each other so in that way we respected and honored His ways before our own. His ways actually became a part of us because we loved Him so much.
2. We slept separately in separate beds.
You can’t expect to fight off temptation but invite it into your bed.
3. We did not walk around naked or in boxers.
My body was not officially his yet so in order for him to see the goodies, we had to be married first, flaunting off your stuff inevitably causes lust, point blank and we can’t cause others to stumble.
4. We didn’t kiss, hold hands or get intimate in any type of way.
We kept away all that would lead to temptation.
Of course there were people who talked about us and didn’t believe we were keeping ourselves pure, but I learned to tune them out. As long as we were staying abstinent and God and my Pastor knew that we were, then we were holding ourselves responsible. Let’s get this clear, I am in NO WAY CONDONING for couples to live together before marriage. That does not please God. This is just my testimony and one that I hope can help others from making the same mistake, or if you are in a similar situation without any type of way to get out of it, that you can still put God first and remain abstinent before marriage. Whether you have backslidden or slipped up, it’s never too late to start living for God, God can grab you out of any mess and turn it into a beautiful message, but we have to at some point stop the backsliding and the back and forth and remain faithful to Him because the word says in John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.
While living together we learned the power of God’s grace and how it can keep you. We didn’t allow for there to be any temptations. We didn’t allow for each other to kiss one another, or fondle one another. We were basically living as roommates. Of course I was excited for the day for us to marry, but I didn’t let my mind wander to that far in time. I wasn’t going to open the door for the enemy even one bit because my heart, mind, body and soul belonged to Jesus. If I claimed to love Him, I was going to obey Him like His Word says.
Courting removes all of the psychical and places it on what’s inside of the person; their thoughts, their ways, their future. And once Christ became a part of us I loved what was inside of my now husband even more. Words can’t even describe how much I love Him. I am so glad God came into our lives and turned everything new for His glory.
We kept off marriage for awhile because we were college kids dependent on financial aid, we weren’t sure if the aid was going to get reduced or cut off if we got married so we originally set a date for 2013. Then we started discussing it with one another again and decided why wait? It wasn’t because we were struggling, like I said the barriers we placed plus God’s grace helped us not to struggle with lusting after one another. We didn’t want to wait anymore because our source came from God, not financial aid. And also God was taking us higher in Him and in ministry. We didn’t advise such a thing for anyone to live with their boyfriends/girlfriends and we didn’t want our good to be spoken evil of. Not to mention we didn’t want to look like the world and do what the world does. Nowadays people think it’s OK to move in before marriage, but that’s not so. Besides we loved one another, was equally yoked and on the same page so marriage was just a natural thing for us to do.
God was so gracious to us while we lived together because He saw our dedication to serve Him. We weren’t going to let our mistake steer us off the path of righteousness. We were going to obey God and do as He said by honoring His word.
When we got married everything felt like new. Our marriage day was the best and most joyful day of my life, besides the day I invited Jesus into my heart. We didn’t put on a grand show for our wedding, that will come later, but everyday with him is already like a celebration. So here starts a new journey and as always God will be leading the way. And I know wherever God leads, my husband and I are headed in a good place to give Him the glory.
So honor God through everything you do and I can guarantee you that you’ll reap the great benefits He has for you if you obey Him. There is so much great things God has in store for my husband and I, and it all starts with obedience. Stay strong and be encouraged. You CAN do this!
Love and happiness,