Who says marriage is not a talent ? Meet The Gray's, the true definition of a Godly Power Couple. Read as they share with us their journey to the alter & how they have surrendered not only their musical talent, but their entire marriage to Christ. Happy Valentines Day, Enjoy !
Q.Individually when did you realize and start developing your musical talents?
Ashley: I actually couldn't always sing (my dad will vouch heartily for that fact!). I didn't grow up in a musically inclined family, so I was a bit of a late bloomer. I've always enjoyed music but didn't consciously start developing my voice until I was about 12. Prior to then I played every instrument known to man! My main instrument for 6 years was saxophone, though. I have played piano on and off for 17 years. If I had to choose my main instrument, outside of my voice, it would be piano.
Devin: Ugh lets see! I was actually a lover of music from an early age. I sang in my church choice, directed, and played piano all at early ages. I learned to appreciate music for not just its sound but for what it could do for people. I started tuning my craft in middle school when I joined the Jazz band (I played a mean trombone!), and sang on ensembles for after school programs. It was fun for me, never merely a task.
Q. How did you guys first meet & when did you know he/she was "the one" ?
Ashley: We first met at a rehearsal for a concert my church was hosting--that was NOT (I repeat NOT) love at first sight! In fact, that first meeting didn't go so well. Devin was a little silly and a little unfocused at that important rehearsal and it bothered me...and he heard me say as much. How embarrassing! Anyways, fast forward 7 months and I was pretty sure he was a keeper. He had a clear heart for God, was growing in his relationship with God, loved worship, loved music, loved shopping and shoes (yaaasss!) and knew how to have a good laugh.
Devin: We met in a rehearsal at her church at the time, and as Ashley would put it, she didn't like me, but undercover though SHE LOVED THE GRAYMAN! Yes she loved me so much that the first time I met her she rolled her eyes and talked about me to her friends, pretty much in my face! Haha! Oh what love! We came to know each other (after some Facebook pokes and MySpace stalking) and the rest is history!
Q.How do you manage using your gifts and marriage to glorify God?
Ashley: One of the biggest ways I use my marriage to glorify God is by practicing what I preach. I read up on marriage, pray about our marriage and implement practices and habits that serve my husband and display that marriage can truly be happy and enjoyable in Christ. As far as my gifts go, the use of them will never overshadow or outweigh--in terms of importance and priority--the ministry of our marriage. Bae comes first!
Devin: Bae comes first! My wife is first before music or even music ministry. It took a while to remember that but after trial and error (and some arguments) we understand our placements in ministry and where we both fit in the equation of ministry and marriage. Marriage and ministry should both be enjoyable, and making sure things are in its proper order ensures that.
Q. What is the biggest obstacle in sharing the same passion for music, while pursuing a Christ centered marriage?
Ashley: This answer is simple. I have determined not to be selfish and self-seeking. Although I have the capacity and potential to do solo work I truly believe that Devin and I compliment each other in an incomparable way. Basically he is my pianist and I am his vocalist--and we switch these roles on occasion (when I've practiced enough lol). Does this mean we will never do solo work? No, we have pieces that we lead since we wrote them and can best portray the lyric and style of that song. We also understand music is not all we are gifted to do. So, even engaging in a power-struggle where our passion, not Christ, is the center would be quite limiting.
Devin: The main obstacle in sharing this passion in music ministry and marriage is finding time to ensure proper and equal levels of commitment. That is why it is so important to have a schedule and plan your schedule to include ministry and marriage. Marriage should not be something that sneaks into your schedule. That is what we had to do. And in doing so you can get over that struggle over sharing passion.
Q. Outside of music, what other strong passions do you both share?
Ashley: Do shoes count?? Just kidding! We both have a passion for teaching people of all ages. We enjoy going precept by precept and breaking things down in a way that is enlightening for children, teens, young adults, and adults alike. Ultimately we desire for people to feel empowered to live the life God ordained for them to live. It begins with knowledge and wisdom!
Devin: Do shoes count? No seriously? Do they count?. I like shoes! Lol! Any who, I'm blessed to share a passion with my wife in youth and young adults that we get to share in. We are privileged to work with young adults every month and it encourages us to know that we can impact the future of a young person by just sitting down and talking or encouraging them with the word of God, and words of wisdom. So we share that passion and it's awesome. I also really like shoes!
Q. What advice would you give to couples who are using their God given gifts in ministry, while striving to obtain a Godly marriage?
Ashley: Number one. God is not ministry, though God is IN ministry. So, there is a necessary balance that needs to be achieved andfreedom couples must give themselves as it relates to using your gifts for the edification of the body. More plainly put, sometimes you will need to decline ministry offers to work on your marriage or keep it strong. There's not need to feel guilty for taking time for yourselves--especially when you are super faithful to God's work. Step away, recharge and witness how that time empowers you to aptly strike the balance between serving God in the ministry and serving God through serving your spouse well.
Devin: Make your spouse your priority. Your relationship is a given. But once you properly develop a relationship with God your relationship with your spouse will grow. There is NO MINISTRY large enough of important enough that should replace the time you spend with your spouse. NOTHING. If there is, check that. Your relationship with your spouse is a ministry of itself, and if not cultivated it could die aGruesome death. When he is Lord over your marriage then you will see growth in your relationships. Also buy them shoes that works too. Lol