First Love Pt. 3

The First Love series takes a look at how different individuals in The Voice community keep Christ the first love of their lives. Meet: Kaimana and Gio Gonzalez, who are married.

Placing Jesus at the center of our relationship means these 2 things:

1. His plans > our plans
We recognized God had a plan for each of us as individuals that getting married wasn’t going to accomplish. Giving our desires to God really helped us to stay aware and smart while we were dating. When each of us individually prayed for our relationship, we asked that – above all else – His will would be done. But we elaborate on that below!

2. Boundaries shows that you respect yourself, your significant other and God
Setting boundaries was the first thing we did and we continued to revise them as we learned more about each other and our struggles (they usually need to be more strict the longer you date). Sure, it meant we couldn’t do certain things, but we also didn’t want to do those things because we wanted to respect God and each other. When we say “didn’t want”… it wasn’t like we were asexual robots. We had temptations and desires like everyone else, but we didn’t let ourselves be in situations where “too far” was one kiss away. We changed our actions, which changed our desires, which changed our actions… rinse and repeat.

How did the chemistry come to be between the two of you? How did you meet?
We met at a mutual friend’s party when I (Kaimana) was in 9th grade and he was in 10th. We ran in the same friendship circles throughout high school and were pretty good friends. He used to give me rides home from Xstream! One day we got coffee – he (Gio) started texting me afterwards – we became more than friends. Bada bing bada boom. We’re married!

What advice would you give to anyone who might want to get married or is considering?
Don’t rush it! I know that could sound hypocritical because we are both on the younger side (I’m 22, he just turned 25), but we were together for 4 1/2 years before we got married. We had both finished our educations and were in the career field we loved. Trust me, we wanted to get married waaayyy sooner – like a year after we started dating. We made many plans to get married before it actually happened. While we made plans, we always went back to God and said, “If this isn’t Your will right now and it’s not going to be what’s best for us, don’t let this happen. Let our plans fail.” And they always did. And when they did, we didn’t fight God on it because we knew it was Him looking out for us. In those 4 1/2 years, we learned so much about each other that we wouldn’t have known if we got married sooner. We had a few big, pivotal arguments and life-changing events happen in those 4+ years we dated that gave each of us a clear picture of who we were marrying. We saw the best and worst parts of one another and sober-mindedly (<— is that word?) decided that we still wanted to be together forever.

***I will say that if you’re both older and have your career, know yourselves and know what you want and don’t want, the dating process can be a lot shorter because the whole “still finding yourself” caveat has been taken care of.

You both serve in ministry here at Mainstream Orlando. How has serving been impactful (in both a good or challenging way) in your relationship?
While dating, serving together is great because it’s automatic accountability. Being leaders comes with a certain amount of transparency… so even if we had wanted to get away with something, we couldn’t! However, that expected transparency can be a challenge when you’re married. It’s definitely important to have a private life with your spouse. For instance, it’s easy to be everyone’s favorite person/leader/minister/coworker in public and then be a terrible spouse at home. For us, it’s important that we save those “best parts” of ourselves for each other. That doesn’t mean we stopped giving all we had to ministry once we got married! We try to give 100% to both.How? It’s honestly through prayer. Having a personal prayer life is so importsnt. When you abide -live, exist, dwell- in a relationship with God, He gives you the strength to do it all (and that’s literally the only way you can do it all.)

What is something that being married has taught you so far?
Marriage is less about finding the perfect one than it is choosing to love someone, knowing they’re imperfect. Yes, it’s important to be compatible and enjoy each other’s company. Yes, it’s important that your significant other has the same core values as you do and supports your dreams. But, finding and keeping the “love of your life” is not like winning the lottery. It’s not all chance and fate. It’s finding a person who is worth it to you – to give up all your other “options” and look no further for the greener grass. It’s your choice to make them your greener grass, your McDreamy, your Topanga! And once you make that choice, keep making it as long as you both shall live!

* Also, marriage is super fun. Also, take a Dave Ramsey class before you tie the knot.

– Gio & Kaimana Gonzalez

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