The First Love series takes a look at how different individuals in The Voice community keep Christ the first love of their lives. Meet: Krissia Sanchez and Jose Laro, who are engaged.
Placing Jesus at the center of our relationship means these 2 things:
Jose: Dating is hard. I always feel that in healthy relationships, it’s okay to argue but also to talk things out. I’m not the best at confrontation, I avoid confrontation, but she is better at it; and it’s okay because where I’m weak she definitely resolves in it and vice versa. I feel like there’s that perfect balance and to put Jesus at the center of it all is to turn to Him and say “God, I know that we’re not perfect but we’re made perfect in you.” Although we might have our insecurities and imperfections, this might sound cheesy because I took it from “This is Us” but we’re “perfectly imperfect”
Krissia: I think of the verse 1 Corinthians 13. I always have to remember that verse because when there are moments that we do clash, knowing to love him regardless if he makes me really upset or gets on my nerves, does something that I don’t like, or says something, or doesn’t say anything; putting that into perspective and still putting God first. It is saying “Okay God, you gave me this person, help me to love them like you love them.” And just having that love towards him reminds me that God is in the center of this relationship. The mentality is “We’re going to stick this through, I love God so I love you.”
1) How did the chemistry come to be between the two of you?
Jose: “I say this story quite often…I guess I can give you my rendition and she can give you hers.”
Krissia: “I think it was like a series of events. I think it was just time. At first, I didn’t really like him, and plus he liked somebody else (laughs together); and yeah, he was nice to me and I was just kinda..not purposely mean but, just like, I was interning (at Mainstream Orlando) and honestly when I got into internship my mentality was “I’m doing this for God, nothing is getting in my way, nobody’s getting in my way”. I was a little, task-oriented, I was just kinda…idk..just..
Jose: “Yeah, she was kinda mean.”
Krissia:(Laughs) “I was a little mean.”
Jose: “She was! There was like this front, but the thing is too that, although I was taking a break from internship, I was still heavily involved with “The Rush” (Michigan Campus Youth Ministry) and it’s funny because I think that what started it, really, was that I had came back into internship and there was one time, I think we were on a lunch break and she was sitting in the Atrium, at a table..by herself..
Krissia: “I’m a loner!”
Jose: “I wasn’t trying to spit game, I wasn’t trying to do any of that. So, she’s by herself and I kind of knew her because she was an intern at “The Rush” and I was like “Let me just talk to her, like, whatever” and at this point a lot of people were questioning why I had taken a break from internship and asking what happened because it was presented as “Oh, Jose’s back!” And most people didn’t even know who I was; so there were a lot of questions of where I was before hand. I had gotten so use to telling the story, so when I got to Krissia [ that day], I was talking to her and we started talking about ministry. We started talking about life and I think I had asked her “Why the Rush?” and she was like “Oh, I chose the Rush because it was outside of my comfort zone.” She told me that she had gone to a service for the first time and felt that God was pulling her there” and “the Rush” has always been in my heart, I mean, it still is! Even though we are not interns anymore, “The Rush” definitely plays a big part to it. It resonated in my soul when she said that.”
I was talking about myself in the conversation, and saying how “I was kinda taking a break from internship, I just got back” and I was getting ready to explain the whole ordeal but she said something that stuck with me, still to this day and it was like “I don’t really care.” I don’t know if it was rude but..”
Krissia: “I didn’t mean it in a rude way!”
Jose: “That’s what I’m saying! It sounded rude but I know it was genuine. To me it was “I don’t really care what you did in the past or what happened; all that matters is what God is doing in your life right now.” When she said that I thought to myself how anybody could have taken that moment to just eat up that gossip, because it was heavy stuff and the “juicy” stuff. But when she said that it struck my heart, and I was like “wow, that’s so different.”
Krissia: “I think same interests. Like having the same things in common. When we were talking that one day, we found out we were both into art and creative stuff, we both had a passion for “The Rush”, you know, a lot of similarities and it was easy to talk about stuff. There weren’t awkward pauses in our conversation, the conversation just was natural.”
Jose: “That’s funny because, as she mentioned, I liked another girl but things didn’t really work out…amen…now I’m marrying the one I love. Everything went down hill, my whole perspective on coming back into internship and students and ministry was that I didn’t have any time for anybody. I wanted to focus on ministry and do what I got to do because that was what God called me to do. But there would also always be incidents in which God would make us have to work together.
Krissia: For example, like on Mardi Gras( NOLA), I would be like “God, don’t give me a partner that I know, I don’t want to focus on that.” I wasn’t in love with him, but I was thinking “Oh, he’s kinda cute, God I don’t want anyone from my ministry or whatever, but I want somebody else and I’m going to focus on you.” And literally out of everybody, almost everybody else got a partner from another church or ministry; and we were the only ones who ended up being partners! It was crazy!”
Jose: “Secretly I knew someone who liked her too and I prayed “I hope they don’t get her” *laughs* But it was cool that it worked out.”
Krissia: “I didn’t want to say anything either, he didn’t know that I kind of liked him at the time, so I was like whatever, play it cool, ignore him. He didn’t know how to treat girls sometimes, like he would just go walking off!”
Jose: “I was trying to get to know her, but there were times I held her hand! I didn’t know that she liked me. I was focused on ministry but as I began to try to get to know her more, I was like “Oh, she’s really cool!” It was that type of realization, realizing that we had a lot in common. The more I talked to her, the more I realized that we had a lot in common; our passion in ministry, our passion in creative arts, even down to the family, a lot of family situations were similar. It was interesting.”
2) Describe engaging with family, friendships, and other relationships and how people respond to you being a couple who follows Christ?
Jose: “I always felt like the goal, from the minute before I even started pursuing Krissia was, obviously we were both still in internship (Mainstream Orlando), so of course I asked for P.Chris’ approval and his blessing, and of course he said “Well, yeah, duh because she’s like perfect!” At that moment I felt like the pursuit for her was a genuine one and I feel like the reason why I started to do that was because I thought to myself that if I’m going to be dating Krissia and we’re still going to be heavily involved in ministry, like as interns, and at the Rush; I would want people to look at us and think “Man, they know how to find the equilibrium between professionalism in internship and still having a successful relationship. Krissia and I had talked about moments when we had seen couples who were dating, in internship, and the way that they were; and I was like I don’t want to be like that. We agreed that when it came to being in internship, we would keep it super professional because it is about ministry, not our relationship; but still have that healthy relationship where people can look and be like “Wow, that’s such an awesome couple!” Still to this day, people say that we make the perfect team, and that was kind of what I always aspired to have.”
Krissia: “He asked my dad too. He asked my dad before asking me to be his girlfriend, so my dad was taken aback a little bit because, you know, a lot of our family is not accustomed to that; and it kind of just surprised him. My dad was like “Oh, wow! He actually came to me and asked me.”
Also, when he was going to ask me for my hand [in marriage] he also went to my dad and my family. So stuff like that, I guess it surprises our family. A lot of things too, for example, when we got engaged, a lot of his family, they’ve been together but they’re not married; so it kind of just took them by surprise and they said things like “We want to get married too! This is so awesome!” So, Jose was like “line up,” I will marry you guys!”
Jose: “For real, that was the goal too!”
Krissia: “We try to set an example for our family because a lot of our families’ relationships are either divorced or together but not married, so kind of just showing that it is important to get married. I know that they see it in the way that he treats me and stuff like that. A lot of times they would be like “Oh my gosh, that is so sweet that Jose did this for you or that. I want you to do that for me( to their significant other)!”
Jose: “It’s true! They say that. By setting ourselves apart from the world, or our families, they see that. As she mentioned, I have family that, they have grandkids, and they’re still not married; family that lives together and they’re not married. My mom was always like “Jose, when are you going to give me grand babies? and I’m like “Mom, when I get married.” It always stook to her, she wasn’t really forcing me to have kids, but she understood when I was like “mom, you know, when I get married”; she would be like okay, you’re the only exception though!”
3) What is your advice to anyone waiting, or waiting to pursue?
Jose: “If we’re talking about the Christian community: The main reason why it was okay for me to pursue Krissia was because my priorities were already straight in ministry. It wasn’t like “Oh, I’m in ministry, now I’m going to pursue her, and my focus stopped being on ministry and was really about her.” God was always first. In internship or whatever; and she understood that. She respected that because that was her priority as well.”
Krissia: “This is just me but there is no need to rush into a relationship. Trusting just that God’s got you. I was 24 when I started dating him and I had never had a boyfriend before. Sometimes I was like “God, I’m never getting get married, I’m gonna be like this cat-lady, crazy old, whatever..”
Jose:” She would have been.”
Krissia: “Yeah! *Laughs” You know, God knows. We were friends for a whole year, before we even dated. We liked each other, and had feelings for each other, so we were like let’s just be friends and it kind of just unraveled. It unraveled little by little. We got to know each other more, found out that we have more in common each and every day, just jokes between each other. We would send memes; stupid things like that. We didn’t realize we have the same humor, just being friends for basically an entire year and then finally, at the end of the year, was when he asked me to actually be his girlfriend. Honestly, there is no rush, God’s timing is perfect timing. Girls, don’t feel like you have to rush and find a man, or have babies before you’re like 25. That was instilled in me when I was young because of Hispanic culture, but God knows and He takes care of you, so just to trust Him and know that He has your future and the perfect one out there for you.”
Jose: “For the guys, I feel exactly the same as well. There’s this book that I was reading and it was talking about how before God gave Adam Eve, God already established Adam; financially, spiritually, mentally as well. As a guy, I think we kind of want to be in a relationship because of reasons like “Oh, I’m so lonely and I just want my girlfriend who I can take out to movies and stuff like that;” but when you’re asking your mom to pick her up and you’re asking your mom for money or saying “Mom can you pick us up at 9:00 and she tells you but your curfew is at 8:00 and then you’re 22.” Before you even try to pursue anyone you have to have security in your identity first, in God, you know? At that moment when I was pursuing Krissia I was like “Okay, I have a job, I love the Lord, I have a car”. Of course I had a car, I had a car with no A/C, but I had a car. I had no A/C for awhile, it was pathetic, but that’s how I knew she loved me. Not only did she love me then because now I have a car with A/C and she stuck around with and without it.”
Jose Laro and Krissia Sanchez