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{Podcast Episode 11} From the Walters' Couch w/ The Moores - Pt2

How do you know you're ready for marriage? How do you know if they are the right one and how do you build a healthy marriage?

These are all questions we are diving into in today's episode! The Moores are back with advice from their personal experience and lessons they have learned along the way. As the final part of our time with both Ramel and Shirley Moore, of Fortified Life Church, we are digging deep. You don't want to miss it!

If you missed part one, make sure to listen there first!

Let's get right into todays' part two of The Walters's Couch w/The Moores!

Visit our Podcast page to listen online, Google Podcast Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.

Show Notes:

Get Connected with Ramel & Shirley Moore.

Visit Fortified Life Church

Ramel Moore

Shirley Moore


Get Caught Up with Episode 10: From the Walters' Couch w/ the Moores - Pt1

The Walters's Couch w/The Moores - Transcription


Shekinah: My question is now, how do you know when you're ready for marriage? You might be dating. You might even be engaged. How do you know this is the right person and it's time to get married. It's time to do this thing.

Ramel: That's a very, very, very good question.

Shekinah: Thank you.

Shirley: The wrong question to ask us. We don't know.

Ramel: I think it's important to have a relationship with God. And I, you know, I don't want to over-spiritualize it, but it is a covenant, right? We're not talking about marriage; we're talking about a covenant. We're talking about something that is your you're committing to the kingdom. You're committing to God. Right. And I think that it's important. And to know if you're not ready to commit to your relationship with God, then you're probably not ready to commit to your relationship with the person or that you're trying to get married to. So I think that one of the ways to know that you're ready is what is your relationship looks like with God, right?

What is, what is your, what is your time that you spend with God? Because again, getting married is cool. Staying married is everything. Right? And no one stays married without God. Right. I just think that's so important. Or let me, let me rephrase that. No one stays married the right way without God. So I just think that's super important. So I just think that for me, my answer would be, you know, you're ready when your relationship with God is getting stronger. And, and you have a such, you have such a good relationship that he is letting you know when you're ready.

Shirley: I will. I, you know, I keep hearing the word hesitancy, and I will just say that if you're being hesitant, you need to be close to God too, because God may be telling you, this is not the person you need to abort this mission.

Right. And so abort. Alt, control, delete. Do you know what I mean? Like, get out. Jump ship. Right. And I think a lot of times, people will, for fear of losing out, they will stay in relationships that God hasn't called them to. And so they won't take the next step because they know it's not the right step, but they also aren't brave enough to let go.

And so, you know, I just feel like the holy spirit is saying, be bold and courageous, right? Like trust in me. Like I have what's best for you. I'm never going to put you in a situation where you're going to fail. And so if you let go, I'm going to give you the right piece. This is just not the right piece/peace. Piece as in material thing and peace, as in godly peace like tranquility.

Ramel: Yeah. Being able to hear from God is important. You know, I just think that's so important to know what direction you're going in. And not only that but how to get there and when to go and all that good stuff. So I think being able to hear from God, and obviously, that comes with a relationship that comes with spending time with God.

So I think that again, you know, in your, in your process of spending time with God and getting close to God, I think those answers will be revealed to you. And I think that you know, having that peace that surpasses all understanding, and again, it's not about the peace that you get from that person, it's about the peace that you get from God about that person.

Right? Right. Because if God's, if God has given you peace about that person, he's also going to give you everything else that goes along with it to keep that person and to be with that person. So again, I think it's really, really important to just measure those things to see when you're ready.

Shirley: I'll also add that, like, if you're not ready, cause you can't afford a wedding, then you're not ready to be married, period. Because a couple of that struggles together, stays together. The struggle is fruitful. The struggle is always fruitful. Couples that learn how to fight in the battle learn how to go into the room and fight with God, right? Like claim their promise and struggle together, like, you know, you guys know our story, we didn't know how to manage money.

Shoot. We were a hot mess. Like, can't nobody tell us differently because we've been in the fricking struggle. There was a time I still, the other day I was just praising God. And I started to cry because I remember there was a day when all I had in the house, my husband, was at a tournament, a basketball tournament.

And he was gone for the weekend, and all I had was rice, and I seasoned the rice and gave my son just rice for lunch. Cause I had nothing else to feed him. Like those are the moments like you, you don't want, you want to save up for a wedding. Do you know how ridiculous that is? That is when you could just jump in this and figure this out and learn how to save up together and build that foundation that no one can come in and shake?

Yeah. Nah, if you're saving for a wedding, if you're holding out, you're not ready. Cause you, you can't have a wedding, you're not ready for marriage.

Ramel: And here's the deal. You can have a marriage without a wedding. So the fact that the matter that you can have a marriage without a wedding

Shirley: Just to be clear, we do believe in marriage; we're talking about the wedding event, the big celebration, the party, right?

Shekinah: Like it's a party.

Shirley: Yeah. We do believe that you need to make a covenant before God. Right. But a pastor can cost you 50 bucks. And then the price of the, our pastor was cool enough not to charge us. And we paid $26 for the marriage license.

Shekinah: That's how much we paid.

Shirley: Yeah. So I mean, that's the cost of it. And then. From there, you start building together. Right. And like what a beautiful, like, you can like, you know, not that you have to be us. Right. But. God gave us wisdom. Cause we were like on our ten-year anniversary. God knew even back then it would take us at least 10 years to figure this out. We kept saying what, you know, for 10 years, we're going to celebrate. We're going to have a wedding for 10 years. And, and it happened.

Ramel: I think we said 10 years because 10 is a number.

Shirley: Yeah, I know. I was being funny. You're gonna kill my fun?

Ramel: I was like, we said ten because it was a number.

It was a good anniversary.

Shekinah: Exactly. It was deep, Pastor Mel.

Ramel: Okay.

Shirley: Even in my jokes, I'm deep.

Shekinah: I love it. So, okay. So if you're waiting, it's one of the reasons you're not getting married right now, or you're prolonging or hesitating towards marriage is because of the wedding itself. Perhaps you're not ready to get married. Now, what if it's because people are saying like, well, we need to make sure we date for three years or maybe we need to live together before we get.

Shirley: You ain't ready. So here's the thing, here's the thing. People and this is, you know, this, this often gets me up, especially about our current culture. Like we have this thing of like having vision boards and five-year plans and two-year plans, you know what I mean? Like we're in this, and I love those things too. Right? Like, those are the things that like make me thrive. But I think marriage isn't a business. Like you can't plan this thing, no matter what three-year plan you put on the, on the board, right. You can put a six-month plan. That thing ain't gonna go your way.

It's not. Right. So like, you can sit here, and you can set all these timelines and have all these goals, but you know, the Bible tells us many are the plans of a man. You can set all the plans you want.

I said,

Shekinah: ...but it's God's purpose that prevails.

Ramel: Many are the plans of a man God's purpose will prevail.

Shirley: Do you want the prevailing purpose of God, or do you want your plans? I'll take the prevailing purpose.

Ramel: And I agree with everything my wife said, but I think there are occasions in our cases where you need to go sit down and get to know that person and really, really take your time and hear from God. And don't jump into no marriage if you're not ready. I truly believe that. Because the fact of the matter is this, you can have the right person in the wrong season and mess everything up just because you moved outside of the will of God. And that's only because of timing. So the thing should be, you know, how do I get, how do I get closer to God? So I can know, not only is this the right person? But am I in the right timing? Am I in my right season? You know, is God still working on me to be what he needs me to be. So I could be for her what she needs me to be, you know? So just, you know, just thinking about that too, that's very, very, very important.

Shirley: I think the, just to be clear, I think that distinction is setting up plans and timelines that you're abiding by, right? Like, no, we're going to be together. We're going to date for three years, right?

Like, like get on and do that. You're not even like seeking God, like, go talk to God. Do you know what I mean? Like, go like have a conversation with God. You know, our marriage scripture is that seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness, and all these things will be added onto you. Isn't it interesting? We started this conversation by saying it took us 12 years to figure out we should be in business together. And our scripture is to seek first the kingdom of God. So anyway,

Shekinah: Oh, the eyes that you're giving her right now.

Shirley: I have so much revelation this conversation, but you know, in everything in your marriage, you need to seek God like God; the Bible didn't talk about a man and a woman being together. And it just being done like, you're going to need God. Right. And like the best thing to do is inquire of him while he could still be found, which is the right now, not the later on.

Ramel: I think it's so funny how people will seek God. I think people, it's so funny. People will seek God for a spouse, seek God to get married. And then, and then lose God once they get married, stop seeking him. So I think, I just think it's, I just think it's so funny. Like you sought him to get, to find a spouse, you sought him to get married, but then when y'all got married, you stopped seeking him for what, for what to do in a marriage. And here's the key to it again, it's just seeking God. One of the t-shirts that I designed it's called seeker, and one of the things I'm trying to be for the rest of my life is a seeker.

I just always want to be in his face. What you're doing, what do you want me to do? How do you want me to do it? I just want to seek. And I just want to ask God and talk to him all the time about what he needs me to do and how he needs me to do it. And I want to just be a seeker. Right. And I think when in that process of being a seeker, a lot of the things that we get stuck on, we don't get stuck on if we're continually seeking God.

Here's what's so awesome about being a seeker. Even when you feel lost, you're really not because in seeking, you're in a place that God wants you to be. So even when you feel lost, you're really not because you're actually in a place of seeking, and that's exactly where God wants you to be. My God. So just, just being in that place of being a seeker is being everywhere God wants you to be. And I just, I just think that's so important to know, like even like, as couples, right? It's important for me to see my wife praying. It's important. That's an important thing. It's important for me, too, for my wife to see me praying and to see me seeking God. So she knows. Okay, he's seeking God. It's going to be hard-pressed for him to be in the wrong place. It's going to be very difficult for him to be in the wrong place. Yeah. He spent time with God this morning, you know, he, he was with his father this morning, so, you know yeah. So I think, I just think that super important.

Shekinah: And I liked that. I think about even the 1140 story. And, you know, we talk a lot about how you need to get out of the wilderness and to the promised land. But even as the people were so-called lost in the wilderness, God was right there with them the entire time. And they were right there where he needed them to be where he wanted them to be in that moment and where they needed to be in that moment.

So yeah, even in that feeling lost, and I feel like even in marriage, sometimes it can feel like that Lord Jesus, let's not turn this into a marriage counseling session, but it can really feel like that could feel very isolating, or you could feel lost for a while where you're sort of just like, what are we doing here? Because nothing prepares you for marriage. Like nothing. You can't ever get ready for marriage, but you don't know what you're about to experience until you're in it and you're experiencing it. And I know we talked about this in premarital counseling, but like, until you're in it, you don't even really know what it means to not know what it is until you're in it.

Shirley: Yeah. You know you go to premarital counseling, you seek advice, you're talking to people, then you get in. You're like, all that advice. None of that applies right now. Right, like it's so easy to get caught up. We were talking about that in Bible Study today and how even our frustrations are distractions from the enemy. Right? Like we, we have, we might have the wisdom. We might have the knowledge, but we're so frustrated. It's hard for us to hear. It's hard for us to see. It's hard for us to get out of our own way. And That's why we believe, I mean, premarital counseling is important, but we believe that it is that marriage counseling that's important, right? Like, it's that in the house? Oh, shoot. We're face-to-face, right. We need people to help us. It's that that really matters that premarital counseling man, that's like an idealistic conversation. Because none of that stuff applies when you get in the house.

Ramel: Different experience.

Shirley: Yeah. You'd be like, who's this person, but we sat on, we sat in my premarital counseling for hours. What's happened here?

Shekinah: And you said this, you said you were going to take the trash out. I don't remember saying that. Well, I wrote it down in my notes on my iPad. But it's real, though. It can be the smallest things that become frustrating and become the distraction and keep you away from pursuing purpose with your partner, which is a different, difficult thing. I think to learn how to do also as evidenced by y'all's 12 years of figuring out how to bring this all together and pursue it together.

So I don't know, I feel a little comforted that cause a year when I'm like, we should be pursuing the same purpose. All the time, we should know how to do this, but like, it is really encouraging to hear that other people are just figuring it out a decade and some in.

Justin: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. Like you can't rush the process, the process and trying to understand you for one and understanding myself and how we can intertwine and work with each other, you know, but there are some things I'm working through personally, too.

Right. So I think, you know, it's kind of taking a step back and being like, all right, how can we go about this together? And making sure that we can enter it at the right time and making sure that we can support each other through those things.

Shirley: I think the first year of marriage, I'm sorry, babe, the first year of marriage, your purpose is to pursue purpose together.

However, it's not external purposes, internal purpose. Right? And like, that's what we say. Like, keep the focus in. We say that all the time in marriage counseling, and it's because, like at the beginning, y'all need to figure y'all selves out. Like you can go out and launch a bunch of purposes out there, have no purpose inside.

So just focus inward, keep that purpose-driven, that purpose seeking that, that soul searching, keep that inward.

Ramel: What's your marriage identity? What's your couple's identity, right? What's that identity? I think one of the things that people don't understand about marriage is its on-the-job training.

Shirley: Yeah. About to get an MBA in this relationship.

Shekinah: It ain't no MBA. This is like five PhD


Ramel: On the job training. And honestly, there's no better teacher than on-the-job training. Like you're not gonna, you're not gonna learn more by being out by watching somebody else's marriage. You're not gonna; it is on-the-job training. And Justin said it so perfectly. You're trying to figure out each other while trying to figure out yourself, all at the same time.

And if you think you got it together enough that you ain't got to figure yourself out, you already in trouble.

Shirley: And if you think about it, like, like for us, right, for us, as we both lived by ourselves. Like we didn't leave our parents' house to marry each other. So we had lived; I had had my own apartment for years before he moved in.

Like I had, he had been on his own for years. Right. Like we had like lived our lives. So then like find a way to merge these two things and then to, to talk, not toggle, but to, to, to struggle with the idealistic point of views that you had in the expectations that you were setting on this relationship, that you were expecting, this thing too, to bring to fruition for yourself. That is like, you are face-to-face with all your dreams, all your hopes, as a woman, right?

Oh, your hopes for your marriage. All these things that you're expecting, you're face to face with this person, that was so amazing when you were dating, and now you're like, you're not going to be better. We're not going to get married. You're not going to start speaking and singing and dancing and prancing; it's not like a walk in LaLa Land?

Ramel: Here's what's so funny. Right? You get married, and you expect something of your partner that, that they weren't before you got married.

Shirley: Not only that, It's a lot of the time, it's expectations you don't even share with that person. They're just like internal expectations of like this like I, I tell people all this, this all the time, like I thought I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. Like you heard at the beginning, all the stuff I do. Could you imagine me being a stay-at-home mom, and I like in my head, I thought that's what I was supposed to do with my life. Right. There are so many societal pressures and expectations that get put on us. And then there are these fantasies that we grow and develop and nurture in our minds that when we come to marriage, we have to confront because if not, we lived the first few years of marriage fully disappointed.

Shekinah: Yeah. I remember one of our first marriage counseling sessions with y'all once we moved here to Minneapolis, and I think it was Pastor Mel saying to me, like, you're not going to be the perfect wife. Just go ahead and let that go. Because I think at that time I was like, I've got to cook, I've got to clean, I've got to take care of the dog. I've got to do my actual work. I've got to run this ministry. And like, there were just so many pieces and so much pressure I was putting on myself that I had to learn to have grace with myself and then let go of those fantasy ideas that