So we have reached the last instalment in the “celebrating love” series. Shaveh and Tim have so much wisdom to share with us, from premarital counselling to making sure that we approach our Tupperware in a constructive manner (yes, you read that right).
Shaveh has written a wonderful piece of us all, so let’s get to it!
The love story – how did you two meet? What was the road you walked to marriage?
As a short intro – Tim was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and I, Shaveh (shar-vay) was born and raised in Gweru, Zimbabwe (if you don’t know where that is – it’s right in the middle of the Zimbabwean map – it’s small).
I had moved to Cape Town to study and in my first year got involved at His People Christian Church as part of their worship bands. A few months after being involved, the band that I was in was asked to join forces with another band in the church. The reason being – the band that I was in had the best choir and the other band, the best musicians. I play the flute and so slotted into the ‘band’ part of the “union”. Every member of the new band welcomed me with open arms and smiles – all except one, very focused guitarist that seemed to have no time to give the newest band member any attention.
After being in the band for 3 weeks, he was pulled aside by the actual worship team leader (his original leader and friend) who then proceeded to lift his chin and turn his gaze towards me. Basically saying, “Dude, look! There she is”. After rubbing the fog from his eyes, he finally came over to find out what my name was. Hilarious I know. I mean, who wouldn’t love this face (insert cheeky chuckle).
Part of the requirement to join the worship ministry was to do their worship school and so I was doing that every Saturday already. Suddenly, after having his gaze lifted, Tim was starting to show up at the school. He then asked me if I needed a ride home (which I did, being a student and wanting to save money). It was after a few Saturdays that we came to realize that we had an affection for one another.
Both of us were coming out of previous relationships that left us only wanting something serious and so before we pursued anything further – we had a very firm conversation which was summed up into – “it’s all or nothing” – so after a very nerve wracking email to my strict father in Zim – we started dating (I had to finish my studies) and four years later– got married and the rest is beautiful history.
You guys have such passion for healthy marriages, what are your tips and suggestions for a healthy marriage/relationship?
When Stacy asked us to join her on this venture of sharing our love story as part of her series – we were so excited. We are really passionate about healthy relationships and healthy marriages. Throughout our journey together we have always looked to those that have gone before. We have gleaned from marriages that are strong, passionate and have stood the test of many real trials.
We are both Jesus following Christians and have built our marriage upon that foundation. There are so many things we’ve learned from each other and we’ve maintained a key principal of being open with our communication. We would recommend to anyone and everyone that before getting married that they take the time to do premarital. This is when you sit with a counsellor, be it at church or otherwise and just sit through and answer the more tougher questions that you wouldn’t ordinarily talk about when you’re madly in love and clouded with the flurry of wedding plans. This protects against blindsides happening when you’ve already said. “’til death do us part”.
This, honestly, is the biggest part of advice we can give. Mainly because there are things that outsiders were able to observe and bring to our attention and help us work through before we made the plunge into a life long commitment.
The other thing that we’d throw out there is that when you choose your life long partner, it’s important to realize and acknowledge that it’s life long and that the journey can not be assumed to be “cheery” all the way along. The bumps will come and they are to be walked through with an open heart. We’ve noticed that when these times hit, one of us will have a “harder heart” season and it is up to the other party to fight for what we promised each other – by loving the heck out of the one struggling.
Also being open to our own humanity – choosing to be vulnerable about your weaknesses and knowing that your spouse is a safe space to spill your mess in front of and not be judged and be accepted even if it hurts. This, is the hardest thing to do, especially when you’re on the receiving end of the mess. Obviously, if there’s abuse involved please seek professional assistance and advice.
Lastly, have a battle plan. Too many times an issue arises and instead of looking at the issue together and treating it as a common enemy – the issue becomes a blaming game and becomes a hot potato filled with accusations and pride.
The picture I can give you to help you remember this – if the issue can be likened to a “Tupperware container” that one spouse brings into the relationship. The other spouse notices the container and points it out. What we should do, is immediately lay the “Tupperware container” on a table and discuss our individual perspectives of the container. There after moving to each other’s side of the container – talk about it and thereafter come to a solution on what to do with the container. Sometimes even the approach to the container can be completely different. One wants to deal with it straight away, the other wants to process and take time.
But instead – often after the container (issue) has been pointed out, the one holding the container becomes defensive and tries to hold onto it. This is where submitting things to each other is so very important. When we team together against a common enemy and realize that it’s not just the person with the issue that has to sort it out – but rather teaming together. One needing help, the other offering and encouraging through love. When we know how we approach issues this makes for successful team work.
I hope that makes sense and that these little nuggets help towards growing fantastic relationships and help to build awesome families. I could say so much more but I won’t so – Now go and hug your spouse – for a long time. You both need it.
Wow, just wow. Shaveh and Tim make so many excellent points that every time I read it over, something new jumps out at me. I have to agree that premarital counselling is always a good idea; I’m so glad that we did it (our pastor insisted – he wouldn’t marry us otherwise) because it really does make you have those hard discussions about family, kids, money, life. It helps you go into your marriage with your eyes open and understanding that you have differences and that you aren’t always going to agree. Which is where the Tupperware comes in 🙂
Shaveh is wife to a music producer and pastor, the mom to 3 uniquely expressive humans. She has homeschooled her tribe for 10 years and supports her hubby in whatever he pursues all-the-while journeying through her own creative expression and bringing love, joy and merriment to all she meets. You can find her on Instagram at @shavehfeder and on her blog at federfund.com, so be sure to check her out!
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