When it comes to relationships and spirituality, I think back to a very specific conversation I had in the past with my boss—of all people. I was in Denver for the week, on a business trip, and we were out to lunch. We somehow got on the subject of relationships, which at that time, I absolutely was exiting a 'dodged bullet' type situation. And actually, as I sit here telling this story, I can't believe that I was talking about my love life with my boss—a blonde haired, blue-eyed 30-something-year-old woman, who I knew nothing about outside of our working relationship.
But she gave me some advice that stood out to me then, and still stands out to me today. She said, "If you want to be in a relationship, talk to God about it. But you have to mean it. And really mean it. Because He'll know if you don't."
And listen, there was nothing particularly groundbreaking about what she said, after all, we hear this kind of stuff all the time. But it was her conviction that I'll never forget. And because oftentimes spirituality and relationships often go hand-in-hand, perhaps I needed her conviction to understand the importance of what she was saying.
No one understands alllllll of the above better than our favorite longtime married couple, Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe. Nicole and Boris are marriage goals in the culture. Their commitment to each other and their family is unmatched, and they are happy to share their journey with us all. They don't thrive on being perfect, but instead, putting in the work and maintaining what they've built for almost 15 years.
And despite the pandemic, they have labeled 2020 as the year that has brought them even closer. With being accustomed to conflicting, busy schedules, and being forced to quarantine together for months on end, if it were anymore possible, they have managed to use the stillness to perfect their marriage (even more).
"I got to know myself a lot in this pandemic, for sure. Learning from your mistakes and staying close to the ones you love. It's the only thing that matters really. And being grateful, you know? Being grateful for what you have, being grateful for your health, being grateful for your family. Taking, care of yourself too, on all levels, physically and mentally. [And] having some kind of spiritual practice and habits that help you deal with constant onslaught."
The couple aren't strangers to addressing the spirituality of their marriage, as Parker famously shared the prayer she recited to snag her husband. This prayer consisted of a list of everything she was looking for in a spouse, from his looks to his (quick)books. The actress then recalled how God led her to include spiritual, mental, physical and financial attributes on her list. However, things turned around when she had to reflect upon herself if she would be the perfect wife for the man on that list if he entered her life at that moment.
The rest went down in relationship spirituality history.
She continued for Kodjoe:
"We don't have to fight about the things that we used to fight about anymore. We solve arguments. I mean, our relationship—everyone's always joking about how it's driving them crazy. But we actually, like I said, have been able to appreciate each other more. I just think also with everything that's coming at us through the news, that it can be so overwhelming. I've really learned how to have faith, be resilient, and think of solutions."
A solid marriage with effort—and spirituality—to back it up. We stan.
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Featured image via Boris Kodjoe/Instagram