Uh-huh honey! First of all, can we get an Amen for this engagement picture? It is just, everything. Secondly, Kentrell and Ivory's responses below are some of the best in Wisdom Corner history. They candidly open up about their decision to marry "young," their recent vow of celibacy, and how their relationship has completely changed since being engaged. I hope you love this post as much as we do! Enjoy...
What influenced your decision to get engaged? Why not just remain boyfriend and girlfriend?
[Kentrell]: When we got engaged, it was our 4 year anniversary. We had already planned our lives together and knew where we wanted to go in the future. To get there, we both knew marriage was the next step.
We believed that marriage was special when we got engaged, but it wasn't until after the engagement that we truly understood the importance of marriage and how it is a representation of Christ and the Church.
At a certain point you exhaust the need to be boyfriend and girlfriend and crave something different in order to grow further together. I feel we reached that point and were then ready for marriage.
[Ivory]: I honestly knew Kentrell was my husband before I ever even told him I liked him, and before I even knew much about him. It doesn't make sense, but one day I just saw him and an overwhelming feeling hit me. It wasn't my first time seeing him, but I imagine it's how people feel when they say "love at first sight." It was more than a physical attraction and soon after that day we began dating and have been inseparable since. With that being said, my intention from the beginning was always to marry him. It didn't take long before I expressed that to him and he expressed it back. I think the only reason it took us so long to actually get engaged is school. We've been together since the end of my freshman year in undergrad and as soon as I graduated, I started my Masters program. Right after I finished my Masters, he proposed.
Are you waiting to have sex before marriage? If so, please tell us about that journey/experience. If you did not wait, do you wish that you did?
[Kentrell]: We did not wait to have sex, but we became celibate in May 2015 - a little over 6 months into our engagement. I really wish we hadn't been sexually involved previously, but I am glad we made the decision to stop. It was difficult, but we stopped for the glory of God and were able to focus on and build other aspects of the relationship.
[Ivory]: The answer is a complicated “yes.”
Kentrell & I have had sex before, but there came a point in the relationship where we realized we could not so blatantly pursue sin and also enter into a marriage covenant with God at the center.
We got saved and truly gave our lives over to Jesus Christ and decided we would no longer have sex until our wedding night (come on April 23rd! Lol). Since this decision coincided with us also getting saved, the journey has been emotional and rough. It has been a season of growth, pruning, and transformation. However, it has been beautiful and I will always be thankful we made the decision to take a step back and start over. It has brought us closer and breathed new life into the relationship in ways we could have never imagined.
Have you ever experienced people telling you you're too young to be engaged? How do you deal with the naysayers?
[Kentrell]: Frequently we'll have people ask why we're getting married so young or they'll say “You're too young to get married and you'll have time to do it later.”
People try to convince you to have a FOMO (fear of missing out), but when you don't care for the things you'll be "missing out" on and when you know you've found the person you want to be with, everything else is irrelevant.
So the other voices are just that, they go in one ear and out the other.
[Ivory]: There have been very few people that have personally told me I'm too young to be engaged. I think this is because anybody that truly knows me, knows that I've always wanted to get married and start a family while I was young. The naysayers usually list superficial reasons to not get married like establishing their careers first. Kentrell & I have never been in the mindset and habit of putting our relationship second to things like our careers so we make this clear to the naysayers that we are very intentionally getting married young and that our relationship with each other comes second only to our relationship with God.
What do you love most about being engaged so far?
[Kentrell]: The thing I love most about being engaged is feeling (and knowing) you've found the one you're going to spend the rest of your life with. You don't have to search and wonder any more. Everything that you do from that point on is concrete. You don't have to say "well if I get married at this age then I want to do this by this age". You can literally just plan your life around someone and know that those plans aren't in vain.
[Ivory]: I love the journey and how much we've grown. During our engagement, we've rooted ourselves in Christ and let go of a lot of our old habits for the better. Our foundation is completely different than when we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Our communication and interactions are more mature and it's really nice to be in a relationship that has purpose. I also love that our long distance relationship finally ended a few months ago - right in time for the wedding! We're getting to spend more time together than we could over the past 3 years. A lot of things have happened during our engagement - including us both starting new jobs - and it’s exciting to have someone to share all of those big moments with.
We really appreciate how transparent Kentrell and Ivory were in this interview and hope you are blessed by it!
Until next time...