in Focus

Marriage in Focus: Justin+Taylor

Justin and Taylor have been married for almost 10 years and have three fun and adventurous boys which you can see above. Below is my interview with Taylor about their own relationship. I hope you walk away encouraged. Enjoy!

Q. How many years have you been married? When is your anniversary?

A. We’ve been married 9.5 years. Our 10th anniversary is this summer, on August 16.

Q. How did the two of you meet?

A. We met at a party, in the kitchen. Justin was 2 years out of college, I had just graduated. Justin’s mom led him to begin praying for me, his future wife, when he was four years old. My parents divorced when I was a baby. Growing up, I saw firsthand how destructive and painful divorce is for all people that it involves — the couple, their children, their extended family. I knew I never wanted to get divorced, and I also knew the only way to 100% ensure I didn’t get divorced would be to not get married. Therefore, I planned to play it safe and be a career woman.

I feared marriage. But, after 6 months of dating and 3 months of engagement, I was ready to face my fear, walk down the aisle, and become Justin’s wife. It was the scariest, most thrilling thing I have done in my life. It required all of my faith. Walking down the aisle was me showing God that I believed he cares for me better than I care for myself, that he protects me better than I protect myself, that he provides for me better than I provide for myself.

Q. What is one thing you wish you would have known before you got married?

A. Marriage is a crazy, beautiful thing. At it’s most basic level, marriage is two selfish people committing to love one another and stick together. This is truly wild and crazy.

We romanticize marriage in our culture, but it’s important to enter marriage with eyes wide open. Marriage is an ongoing cycle of loving and forgiving, loving and forgiving, loving and forgiving. On and on and on. And forgiveness and loving are not natural and easy.

It’s also crucial to understand that marriage was God’s idea. He created marriage, and marriage is supposed to mirror God’s love and commitment to us, his people. All humans have an innate desire to be fully known (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and fully loved (with full awareness of the bad and the ugly). Only God can fulfill this longing to be fully known and perfectly loved. And marriage is intended to be the human relationship where we are most fully known and loved.

The marriage promise is a hard one to fulfill! It takes time, energy, and work. Justin and I attribute the health of our marriage to Jesus and his power working in our lives. Jesus is the foundation of our marriage and the power source of our marriage. We want our love for one another to echo Jesus’ love for us. We are pretty bad at this. Which is why forgiving is so important! But, after nearly ten years of marriage, we have gotten better at the art of loving and forgiving.

Q. What’s been a favorite date of yours whether while you were dating or now that you’re married with children?

A. A favorite date was a one-month-long date — we drove from California to Alaska and back for our one year anniversary and slept in the back of our truck every night. The most vivid memories are the times when I was scared (mostly due to bear encounters). Good thing my husband is strong and tough.

If you’d like to see more pictures from their session and hear about Justin’s book Date Your Wife, you can do so here.

Also, I tried something different this time and left the interview in the Q&A format rather than summarizing it and telling a story like my first Marriage In Focus interview. Which format do you enjoy more? I’m still trying to figure this all out.