For the month of February I have decided to feature a couple who are all about embracing A NEW ME: Transparently, Abundantly in Christ.
They will fight FOR you and WITH you which was why it was so easy to feature them in the month of February which of course has been designated as the "month of love." However, they are advocates of sharing this love with one another and others unconditionally and every day.
I wanted them to share from their experiences to help encourage you in your marriage or perhaps you're engaged or single? Then no worries! I'm confident you will be able to gain some nuggets while you're "in preparation" or "in the wait" as well.
I would like to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Al and Deborah Davis. They are my family, a beautiful couple I met at my home church in Houston, TX. Their values on marriage, family, and life in general are strong and solid. They are uncompromising in their faith, yet nonjudgmental.
They are the epitome of "meeting you where you are." They are super fun to be around! A true brother and sister who are always supportive, complimentary, and not to mention super stylish! I call them "SHARP TO THE BONE" (while doing my dance) and we bust out laughing every single time! LOL
They have also been a witness to my different life's seasons. I cannot tell you how much their support and truth has helped me along my journey. They stand for strong marriages by communicating the importance of putting God first, but not without transparency. They will not only tell you the truth, but will reflect TRUTH in their own lifestyle and marriage.
Lets get ready to take a closer peek (and some notes) into the lives of The Davis'. ENJOY!
Dr. E: Please tell everyone who Deborah and Al (what do you do for a living) are and how long have you guys been together?
Deb: 16 ½ yrs married 14yrs
Al: I’m a former oil and gas industry civil engineer and I currently practice law as a licensed patent attorney. I’m known to my clients as “the ideas lawyer” for “transforming their creative ideas into valuable assets” (smile/wink). I have practiced copyright, trademark, and patent law over 20 years; beginning with large law firms and later building my own firm A. F. DAVIS LAW® established in 2003. With offices located in Beverly Hills and Houston, we at A. F. DAVIS LAW serve clients throughout the U.S.
Dr. E: How did you guys meet?
Deb: Through a mutual friend/sis who was my roommate at the time.
Dr. E: Deb, what were some things you required in a man before you met Al?
Deb: Respect, well groomed (shoe game was critical lol), spiritual foundation and financially stable.
Dr. E: Al, same question before you met Deb?
Al: I didn’t really have a laundry list of things I looked for. I didn’t have a “type” per se either. I guess the cliché “beautiful inside and out” sums it up.
Dr. E: When was that moment you knew you guys were meant for each other?
Deb: For me it was when I saw a clear level of consistency. Also he has always been very kind hearted and that was a huge drawing point.
Al: Deb and I just clicked. Early on she piqued my interest. We went through a bit of a sabbatical during our dating phase. I really missed her when we were apart.
Dr. E: How long did you guys date before marrying? Did you guys ever encounter some dating struggles, if yes what were they? (i.e. past unresolved issues, etc.)
Deb: OK this question is pretty loaded. We dated 2 1/2yrs and parted 6mos. Al was not resolved with knowing whether I was the one he wanted to marry. I had been married previously twice. This was his only marriage and he was wrestling with that a bit. We struggled a little bit with traditional verse non. My background is very different than Al who comes from a religious home and I did not. With that said we had to meet in the middle and discover the differences in each other and break the myths.
Al: Dating struggles? Yes. Every couple has them. I think one of the greatest myths is that “if it’s right, it’ll just flow.” Not. As my parents used to say, “if it’s worth having, it’s worth working for.” There will always be work to do. One of our struggles was developing strategies to resolve conflict. Also, when we began to get serious, I had to pray about whether marrying a woman who had been previously married was within God’s will for me. I had to square that with certain scriptures.
Dr. E: How has the process been "becoming one" for 14 years?
Deb: The process doesn’t stop it’s everyday you put in the conscious work .You learn everyday more and more about who you really are when you engage someone daily. First is not taking things to heart and being able to ask yourself “how am I contributing to this covenant so it serves God’s purpose best."
Al: You know, I don’t really think of it in those terms very often. At a very practical level, we as spouses are best friends, teammates and lovers. We have to treat each other that way. Love is action. The challenge comes when selfishness takes over and we stop behaving in love. Deb and I had a great mentor couple of sorts from my home church in Chicago. They were old enough to be our grandparents and had been married almost as long as we’ve been alive. (They’ve now gone on to Glory; God bless their souls.) One of their nuggets of wisdom to us was their saying “only one fool at a time.” What they meant by this is that, in the real world, sometimes people act like they’ve lost their mind. (Not cussing and fighting...that’s out of bounds and shouldn’t be allowed into a marriage. But, in other ways.) When one spouse is acting crazy, the other spouse needs to be strong enough to take it to the Lord in prayer, rather than fighting carnally. Prayer, not verbal warfare, is the key. Notwithstanding, it’s easier said than done.
Dr. E: What does it mean to have "Christ be the center of marriage" and why is it so important?
Deb: Without Him you have no covenant. His presence forces you to always check yourself on a consistent basis. Once you make a commitment to Him you must trust that if you do what is required He will make it for good and He has done that for me.
Al: I like the metaphor of the triangle. If we consider the apex where God is and the base points where we are, as we draw closer to God, we draw closer to each other (traveling upward along the legs of the triangle). Also, the sides and base of a triangle are connected. So, too, should we as a married couple be inextricably connect to God and to each other. I truly believe success in marriage – wherein each spouse thrives individually and collectively – requires the kind of consistent prayer that the metaphor suggests. Just as the Word says, pray without ceasing generally, we must pray for our spouse and our marriage…without ceasing, specifically.
Dr. E: Being married for this period of time, what have you guys learned the most about yourself and each other?
Deb: We continue to allow each other to be the people we came into this relationship being. Because of that we give each other the freedom and space.
Al: I’ve learned that strength in marriage comes from prayer and supplication. When emotions would have me say “Hold up… I ain’t no *#$% punk,” DAD would prefer that I speak with HIM. Additionally, I’ve learned my wife’s “love languages” and how to read her body language/emotions. She is my precious diamond…containing many facets.
Dr. E: I'm going to switch gears here: Now you guys are so much fun to be around! I love your personality and I mean you both are just "SHARP TO THE BONE" when it comes to fashion! LOL :) How would you define your style?
Deb: Funky , cool and laid-back.
Al: That’s funny. I can see you doing the “Sharp to the Bone” dance as you’re asking this question. (Inside joke.) First, thank you for saying that. That’s very kind. We both enjoy fashion and we each have our own unique style. Both my parents were stylish. My mother still is at 79 years old! I guess Deb’s description works well for both of us.
Dr. E: What do you guys like to do for fun?
Deb: Eat, travel and spend time with close friends.
Al: Yes. What Deb said. I’d add enjoying live music and dancing too. But, to tell you the truth, we can have just as much fun together at home alone watching a movie as we do out at a concert or some other event. (The JOY of the Lord is our strength! ;-)
Dr. E: What type of advice would you give to single men and women seeking a spouse?
Deb: Preparation for marriage begins with you. Research yourself and find the missing pieces…i.e past relationships, childhood mishaps….search/seeks those areas of struggle and lack discipline and work through those before connecting in marriage. Pre-marital counseling is key before becoming engaged I believe.
Al: Throw away any long list you’ve created of things you believe you need to have in your spouse. Ask God to prepare you for the one He has prepared for you. And…don’t think you’ll change anyone. If you can’t see yourself living the rest of your life with the person you’re dating, just the way they are, that’s not your spouse.
Dr. E: What type of advice would you give to married couples who are looking to strengthen their marriage?
Deb: First ask yourself “who are you married for?” If you say that it’s God at the forefront of your marriage then understand the requirements that comes with. Study to show yourself approved. Utilize materials (tapes, books..etc) that’s out there to help married couples. Prayer works wonders as well. We have accountability couples that make sure we keep each other on track.
Al: 1) Early on, establish good habits and stick to them. For example, Deb and I agreed in the first year of our marriage that when we arrive at home we get off the phone, stop what we’re doing and greet each other with a hug and kiss; 2) Decide what’s out of bounds when it comes to disagreements and resolving conflict; 3) While sarcasm is fine (laughter is good), it shouldn’t be the main mode of communication in a marriage. Speak lovingly to each other.
Dr. E: Is there anything else you love birds would like to share with us? :)
Deb: I think imma keep him around a lil longer…..LMBO
Al: Please understand that there isn’t a married couple on the face of this earth that doesn’t have challenges. Even if you get to the place where you don’t “feel in love” any longer…trust God. Love is action, not simply emotion. Treat each other with love and the emotions will return. (Psychologists have studied this phenomenon.) I love this woman the Lord gave me. Furthermore, I believe He grows me, in part, by how I’m required - by Him- to treat her.
Dr. E: Please tell everyone how you can be contacted should they need your services, make purchases, or find out more information about your brand.
Al: I can be reached at the firm at either 310.860.7704 (LA) or 281.239.6127. (Houston). My Web site URL is www.davis-iplaw.com. Also my Instagram is @theideaslawyer. Your readers may also find me on LinkedIn. -All DAD'S blessings!
Dr. E: THANK YOU Al and Deb for sharing your journey with us! I'm certainly going to be implementing these words of wisdom into my own marriage (and make sure the Hubster reads them too!:) What you guys have is so special and invaluable to the kingdom of God! Ladies and gentlemen please support this amazing couple and be on the lookout for them because I know they will be doing great things for the glory of God!
Al: This has been fun. Thank you for the invitation Dr. E!
Get ready to embrace “A NEW ME: Transparently, Abundantly.”
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