A Marriage Bonded by Love and Faith
by Marc and Kiki Barnes
He is laid back, she is outgoing. He likes to relax at home, she likes to go out and have fun. He’s pretty quiet, she’s a conversationalist. He has two left feet, she can cut a rug. He is short, she is tall. You would think with all of these differences, they would make quite an odd couple. But they have one thing in common that makes them a match made in heaven. That commonality is an abiding love of God. How do we know? Well, this couple is us.
When we met in April 2005, we had no idea how our lives were about to change. We fell in love quickly and decided to get engaged. Then in July, Marc’s father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. And in August, the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina struck. While we were trying to get to know each other, we were also dealing with some very difficult pressures. We managed by reading the Bible together…every day. We asked God for guidance because we did not know what path we were being led to take. One thing became clear to both of us. God put us together and we just had to figure out the rest.
Our faith is the glue that keeps everything together. We never make a big decision without praying about it and when there are challenges, we deal with them straight on. But it hasn’t always been easy. There have been times when things could have gone the other way, both before we were married and after. When those times came, we discussed the issues, we looked for Bible verses that addressed what we were going through and we prayed. We were always able to figure it out. Now that we know each other well, those more difficult times don’t happen as often, but when they do, we turn to God.
We are very different people with different interests and sometimes even different expectations. We deal with those differences by communicating them. Marc is usually the one who forces the conversations. Kiki always (although sometimes reluctantly) opens up. We don’t yell. We just discuss. And we are honest about what we are feeling. We respect our differences. Sometimes we playfully tease each other about them. We never discuss a winner or loser in a disagreement and when it’s over, it’s over. We find the compromise and move forward.
We consider each other God’s gift to us. If you are considering marriage, consider if you are willing to compromise for your future spouse. Sometimes that means conceding. Are you willing to do that? Be completely honest, even when it’s hard. Is your fiancé/e God’s gift to you? And when you are married and difficulties occur, first turn to God. Then put in the hard work of communication, counseling and compromise. This, along with the strength of your faith and your love for each other will get you through. We are a living testament.
About the authors
Marc is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Dillard University. He enjoys running and weight lifting during his spare time. Kiki Baker Barnes, Ph. D. is the Athletic Director at Dillard University. In her leisure, she enjoys learning how to play the electric bass guitar. Marc and Kiki Barnes have a daughter and son. They will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary in November 2015.