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Today we have Kassie Prather giving us some great advice! I have known Kassie since middle school and she blogs over at Dwelling Place. We attended church together and then went to the same college. I am so sad that she lives so far away now, but I know it is because she is doing her calling for the Lord! But any time I talk to her she has a wonderful attitude. I just love her to death! To give you a little insight to her personality this is her current Facebook profile picture:
I asked Kassie eight different questions for this interview. She had so much good stuff to say! So I decided to split it up into two posts so that we could soak it in a little better. Today, you will get to see the first half of this greatness and then on Wednesday I will share the second half! Hope you enjoy!!
How long you have been married, and how did you meet?
Riley and I have been married for 5 and a half years. We joke that we met through Hurricane Katrina. His dad took my high school youth group to do disaster relief work in New Orleans (I know- romantic, right?). During one of the devotions, he mentioned his son, who was going into ministry. A girlfriend nudged me and said he sounded cute. A few months after we got back from the trip, my friend told me she had found (read: stalked) this guy for me. She gave me his Facebook info, and so I shot him a message and said, “Your dad took us on a mission trip. Tell him thanks and hi.” (I found out later that his dad didn’t recognize my name until Riley said, “She says you called her Giggles.” Greeeaaaaat….) His dad said, “Oh, she’s a good girl!” Riley was also friends with my youth pastor who apparently said the same thing, minus the Giggles part. He became interested enough to start pursuing me through Facebook and phone conversations. A couple of months later, he came to visit me at college, and we had our first date. (He teases that what sold him was hearing me say I just wanted McDonald’s because I was a poor college kid who was low maintenance.) Two years later, he popped the question IN THE MIDDLE OF CHURCH. I guess that’s a perk of being a preacher boy.
As a newlywed, what is/was your biggest frustration or challenge?
So we really struggled- like REALLY struggled- with communication. I think people just assumed that since we were headed off into the sunset via the ministry train, we had everything figured out. That was totally not the case. Neither one of us really had a great parental example of conflict resolution, so 8 months into our marriage, we were sitting in a counselor’s office getting tools on how to fight fair and how to love one another through communication. I learned not to shut down in the middle of conflict, and Riley learned how to make me feel safe enough to come out of my shell and play. We’re still learning these things. But if communication is screwed up (or not happening), there’s no way to be a healthy picture of Christ and the church.
What advice would you give to a newlywed couple?
My first response was to say a lot of little things addressing different symptoms- don’t do this, make sure you say that. But really, if you want to get down to the heart of it all, let Jesus define your marriage. Allow Him to shape your hearts as spouses and to create your roles and to help you love one another lavishly. He created marriage to be a beautiful, life-filled magnet that draws people to Himself. If we live this relationship out in our own strength, it will resemble a blackened, wilting thing that should have been a robust blossom. We will be burned out, angry, bitter, and hopeless. That’s the opposite of what Christ had in mind. Let Jesus fill you up consistently and overflow all over your spouse in grace, hope, joy, and life.
What is the best advice you received?
Our counselor told us that we had misunderstood the point of communication. Its purpose is not to be heard, but to understand the other person. When that clicked, our tone of conversation changed. The yelling and interrupting gave way to asking questions and creating a safe environment. That advice can bleed over into every area of your marriage with a very biblical question—are you putting your spouse over yourself? This affects the budget, the calendar, the bedroom, the kids. I love how God can give us a principle that seems simple (not easy, but simple) but that impacts so much of our lives.
I told you she has some good stuff to share!! So on Wednesday check back to read the rest of Kassie’s advice that she has learned through her marriage thus far!
What is something Kassie shared that resonated with you?
Until Next Time – Truly Love,