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The BluePrint. (None) 2013-????, February 28, 2014, Image 9

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blueprint on what to do and what not to do. This draws our hearts together as we are achieving our goal of a happy, successful, and passionate family. Also, I’m deeply in love with Paige. She is more than I could ever dream for as a wife to be and as a wife.” 2) Upon getting engaged, how did you know you were ready (i.e. emotionally, mentally, financially, etc.) to actually get married while still pursuing an undergraduate education? a. Paige: “Honestly, we took it by faith. Now I’m not advocating for people to rush into marriage by ANY MEANS; all I can tell is my own story. We believed God wanted us to get married on January 1st as crazy as it may sound, so against all logic and even our own fears, we did it and its been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Once we decided we were going to pursue with the wedding, we prepared as much as possible for our marriage: We went through a vigorous pre marital counseling course, got advice from experienced married couples and our pastors, solidified housing arrangements, made sure our finances were in order, and went through the paperwork and red tape that marriage preparation requires. And we prayed!” b. Curtis: “Honestly, I knew I wasn’t completely ready to get married. The reason Paige and I got married was because we both felt like Jesus wanted us to get married at a particular time and a particular date. But though I felt that I wasn’t ready, I was willing to do whatever, go through whatever, or face whatever comes my way because I deeply love both Jesus and Paige.” 3) Have you each obtained new responsibilities post-wedding day? If so, what are they and how have you grown individually, as well as a married couple? a. Paige: “We definitely have taken on new responsibilities, he’s now a husband and I’m now a wife. Our greatest responsibility to one another is simple and evolving: loving each other. My main responsibility is loving Curtis and submitting to him, as well as figuring out what each of those things really consist of. Submitting to him without pride or fear that he’ll take advantage of me and for him to love me completely unconditionally. It’s hard, but the beautiful thing is that marriage completely stretches you and grows you in every area, especially if you’re open to growth and change like we are. I’m learning every day just like Curtis is learning himself. We don’t have rigid expectations for one another which makes it easier.” b. Curtis: “Yes, I have attained new responsibilities. As the husband, my responsibilities are leading a household, ensuring my family is financially stable, loving my wife with everything that is in me, nurturing my wife’s relationship with Jesus Christ, keeping the romance of our relationship aflame, and attending to all of my wife’s needs. Personally, I have grown more as a man in regards to my mannerisms, speech, and demeanor. I have grown spiritually with my relationship with God. As a married couple, we have gotten even more intimate as we are discovering more things about each other.” 4) As women, we’re generally raised to aspire to become someone’s wife. With that being said, a lot of women get caught up on acquiring the ring instead of the marriage. Are there any comments that you have for Spelman women who are trying to rush the process for the wrong reasons? a. Paige: “Yes! I can’t emphasize it enough: marriage is nothing to rush into! No matter if you have a cynical view of marriage and don’t believe in its authenticity, or have romanticized it beyond reality, you cannot rush into it. Marriage is serious and it takes work. It takes patience, selflessness, maturity, humility, and the ability to forgive— all of which aren’t manifested in us overnight. God had to do a serious work in me to prepare me for marriage, and now that I’m married I’m still learning and growing all the time. I can’t encourage my Spelman sisters enough: find yourself—who you really are—and not who the world tells you to be. I hope my story encourages each others, but if a woman feels that nasty, creeping feeling of inadequacy or comparison lurking over her, she MUST remember that we all have our own unique journeys to walk that God paved out for us. Don’t seek validation in anything or anyone besides God. He’s the only constant in life.” The BluePrint Feb/March 2014 ■