This edition features Tyler Braun, author of Why Holiness Matters and pastor at New Harvest Church in Salem, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two kids.
AS: How did you meet your wife?
TB: My wife Rose and I met at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon (30 minutes from Portland). We were friends for the first two years of school. Despite being good friends Rose wasn’t too fond of me early in college. She thought I was cocky and full of myself (she was right), but thankfully I changed a lot before I asked her out on a date. We played against each other in intramural basketball, and we led worship together for a student-led chapel. I finally got the courage to see if she’d want to do something just us at the beginning of our junior year.
AS: When did you get married?
TB: We were married on January 6th, 2007 in Salem, Oregon. This kind of gets at question number four, but a quick tip for those who are single and wanting to get married, I highly recommend a winter wedding. All the typical wedding services are less expensive. A honeymoon to someplace warm during those cold months is a treat in itself. And you don’t have to compete with all the other weddings on people’s calendars.
AS: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in marriage?
TB: Have a budget. Many of the couples I’ve interacted with have competing perspectives on money. One wants to spend money if they want something, the other wants to save save save. A budget allows a couple to do both. Rose and I didn’t keep a tight budget for the first 4 years of marriage and it showed in our lack of priorities when it came to purchases. Budgeting allows you to prioritize the things you want your marriage to be about, allocating money to those things first.
AS: And a second lesson?
TB: No TV in the bedroom for at least a year. You could probably extend this to phones/computers/tablets. Your new marriage already has to compete with the difficulty of creating space for another person who is always around. All the screen does is distract you away from putting in the time and energy to connecting relationally with your spouse.
AS: And a third lesson?
TB: Pray together daily. You’ve likely heard the saying “the couple who prays together stays together.” There’s some truth to it despite it being a bit over-stated. If a marriage survives and thrives over the weeks, months, and years it is only a credit to the grace and favor of God, and prayer is a recognition that couples must rely and call out to this God who sustains.
AS: What’s one tip for single readers?
TB: Before you start looking for the right person, be the right person. Many single adults I know are so busy trying to find the right person, and the question I like to pose is, “what makes you think you’re the right person for them?” This is a harsh question to pose, I realize that, but it stops putting unneeded expectations on someone who you may not have even met yet, to instead focus on God building into you who He desires you to become.
AS: And a second tip for single readers?
TB: Serve. Whether this is at your local church, neighborhood school, local government, or an overseas mission, the single adult has the unique opportunity to give time and energy to causes and people in need. The serving opportunity will give more back to you than you end up giving of yourself. This is clearly related to the above point of being the right person, and at the same time serving might even lead you to find a person worth getting to know on a more serious basis.