The Couple: Roland & Kristy Hairston
Location: Nashville, TN
Relationship Longevity: 8 years (and counting)
Best advice to couples: “When marriages fail there’s a lack of humility on one or both parts.”
Q: What advice would you give to newly married couples?
A: Roland: for the man not to be critical, the man and woman will get into the house together and they are married, and he has certain ways he does things and she has certain ways she does things. We (as men) can tend to be overly critical. Embrace your wife as she comes into the house. Let her establish some new routines.
Kristy: It’s important that a woman doesn’t go into her marriage with a lot of traditional thoughts on what a wife should look like. Also, discuss with your husband on what your family unit is going to look like.
Q: What things do you wish you would have known BEFORE marriage?
A: Roland: I wish I knew more about my responsibilities. I’ve come to a different evolution of what it means for a man to provide for the family. I think its on several levels: 1. Spiritually- by being intentionally aware of the spiritual climate of your house and in turn you are creating a spiritual environment in your family where other people can grow. 2. Emotional- being sensitive to your wife, your being alert, when men have a good thing going they just put it on auto-pilot, I tell young men don’t put it on auto-pilot be emotionally aware of what’s happening 3. Financially- establishes your family/household budget on what you can do without regard for what your wife can do. Let your wife income be gravy. You would save men and marriages a lot of heartache he and she can work together on financial plan they can manage on his income.
Kristy: I wish I knew more about not being caught up in comparisons of what another one is doing in her household. I do agree that there are something’s we should be learning from one another and some things you can take to make sure your household runs smoothly. But I think you have to just really listen to God on what that looks like instead of trying to be someone else you can take some of their messages but you want to allow God to shine who you are through your family
Q: What are some tips (2-3) you would give on preparing yourself individually for marriage?
A: Roland: 1. Try to figure out what marriage is and what it’s suppose to be from the Bible, The Bible says, “That man is to love the woman as Christ loves the church.” So to the extent that you are in love with Jesus Christ you are in a better position to give that love to a woman and a family. Marriage is not for people who don’t have a relationship with Christ because there is no way you can have the love, perseverance, longsuffering, and grace it takes to be married well without first receiving that love from God. 2. Work on the practical sides of marriage communication and finances, You know they say the three big things to keep your eyes on in marriage is, ”communication, money, and sex” So for sex and the single person how well are you managing your temptation, because if you can’t manage it while your single then what are you going to do in your marriage because you’ll still be tempted. They aren’t automatically taken away when married.
Kristy: 1. If you are still dating, remember he’s not your husband yet don’t be so sacrificial slow it down. Use courting process for what it’s supposed to be. 2. Make sure to have pre-marital counseling to get answers to those difficult questions you may have not addressed. Don’t want to go into the relationship with extra stress.
Q: How did you know he/she was the one?
A: Roland: He knew she was the one because she was holding on to his heels (jokingly stated). No seriously I was nervous about it. I was nervous about trusting another person with my whole self, emotional and spiritual. In a sense giving my life to another person being vulnerable I was really nervous about it. As I prayed about I felt the Lord was giving a green light to the relationship. And I asked God could I trust her and I felt like His response was yes because I sent her. I went on a one week fast from Kristy without telling her. After that felt more at peace about it.
Kristy: It was something I prayed about and when I met him I wanted to get to know him more, which developed through a long distance relationship. (Roland interrupts with she couldn’t resist me Delisha)
Q: How important is friendship to your relationship?
A: Roland: Friendship is the crux of our relationship our pet name for each other during our dating years was “Friend”
Kristy: It hits home to the people that think they fell in love with this person, but at the end of the day love is still a choice and the friendship thing is what really helps during the hard times. It is very important to have in a happy marriage is to be able to like the person.
Q: How do you guard your marriage from family and friends input? Early on in the marriage
A: Roland: Surround yourself with like-minded people. We have friends that are different than us but all committed to their marriage. They all say things encouraging. If you asked in year one of our marriage, I was living and working with my mom… early on in the marriage it is a issue but you have to establish that it’s you and her. This is your new family so your allegiance is not to your own family.
Kristy: It’s always a choice to make whom you are going to have around you to talk about certain things. Important to have other couples focused on their marriage around you.
Q: What is the #1 reason you believe your marriage has survived over _8yrs?
A: Roland: Simply God’s grace, throw divorce out as an option, Marriage advice I received from my uncle, “When marriages fail there’s a lack of humility on one or both parts.” Trust God can work on your spouse’s heart.
Kristy: Divorce is hard it seems like an option but it’s hard. When we hear stories about the individuals and children involved they are experiencing a harsh time. Divorce is never ever been an option.
Q: What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned from your spouse?
A: Roland: Kristy’s conversational way of talking to the Lord.
Kristy: Help see the multiple ways to do things and not everything is to have anxiety about not be on an emotional rollercoaster.
Roland & Kristy: Have mentors/friends that have been married longer to pour wisdom into your life on a consistent basis. Here are some suggested materials, Mark Driscoll “Real Marriage” teaching series and Dr. Robert Lewis (men fraternity).