Chris and Chanel are a fun a couple, dedicated to seeing their dreams come true. Chris is a chemical engineer, and Chanel is a tenacious entrepreneur balancing home life with her fast-paced career. The Martins met in college at Georgia Tech, got married a few years later, and now have a beautiful baby girl. Here in The Wisdom Corner, they open up about conflict resolution in their marriage, how they handled people who said they were too young to get married, and how they practically incorporate spirituality into their relationship.
How have you managed conflict resolution in your marriage?
Simply by being straightforward with one another. We always go back to Matthew 18:15. Although it comes from the standpoint of brothers having a conflict, we believe it applies to any two people who have an issue between them.
Too many of us are afraid to be straightforward and therefore do passive aggressive things (i.e. being petty), instead of tackling issues head on.
Once the issue has been addressed, the real solution is in the change in thinking and behavior to prevent that issue from existing ever again.
How do you incorporate God into your relationship?
We incorporate God into our relationship first and foremost by being believers. We pray with each other every morning. We attend church and actively participate in ministry. We review our lives and the things we do that don't agree with being Christians, and then do our best to make appropriate changes together. We also just simply talk to each other about where are in our walk.
You got married at a fairly young age. Why did you decide to get married, and how did you respond to people who said you were too young to get married in your 20s?
Both us had been through a lot by that point in time, and we both had the attitude that we didn't want be with anyone else. We couldn't fathom having to meet a new person, learn about them, then possibly go through turmoil with them. Even before that though...
...we simply felt good about being with each other. We loved each other and neither of us had any doubt in our minds about it.
Chris's side of the family showed resistance. We talked about it inclusively, and we all laugh about it now.
Chanel, what were some signs that told you Chris was "The One"? Chris, how did you know Chanel was "The One"?
[Chris]: I knew Chanel was “The One” early on. I simply had not been with anyone like her. She had a lot of qualities that I liked, besides being pretty. She is a highly optimistic person, fun to be around and she majored in chemical engineering, like myself. Also, Chanel is a Christian and is highly supportive of me. There are many other factors that contributed and they all came together in such a way that let me know she was it.
[Chanel]: I knew Chris was “The One” because I had just got out of a bad "situationship" and was fed up with wasting my time on men who God never intended me to be with. Two weeks before I met Chris, I made this 50 item checklist of all the things my next "boo" had to have. Then, I went into my closet and prayed for God to send me a man who met my criteria. Two weeks later, I meet Chris at Georgia Tech. We started studying together for one of our chemical engineering classes. God started to show me the qualities that I asked for in Chris. For example, I was really specific. I told God that I wanted a man that liked soy milk (lol). One day, Chris started talking about how much he liked soy milk. Right then and there I knew that Chris was special!
You have a beautiful daughter, Cydney <3 How did you know it was the right time to expand your family?
We accepted the universal fact of life that there is never a right time to have a child. The consensus was if we get pregnant, we are just gonna roll with it. Whatever happens, happens and we just do whatever we need to do. We got pregnant a few months after Chanel left AT&T to pursue entrepreneurship with Techturized, Inc. Most would probably say that that is a terrible time to get pregnant, right in the middle of starting a company from the ground up! So far however, we haven't skipped a beat. God is good!
Until next time...