Meet Cavell and Reah. This young couple have blown me away with how intentional they are about investing in their marriage, for their transparency, energy and passion. Their faith is clearly important to them and they are becoming leaders and influencers with a heart for fellow millennials. I was excited to interview them.
How did you meet?
We met in 2001 through mutual friends, then became friends oursleves for over six years before deciding to embark on our journey of courtship to marriage.
What sorts of marriage ministry things have you been doing?
We kinda believe marriage ministry things seem to find us. We are intentional about our relationships with other married couples and singles and share our advice, wisdom and experience with them where required. This may sound strange for a husband and wife team who has been married for the little time we have, but one thing we know is that God leads people to us and has given us a deep passion to intentionally invest in our marriage, through books, studies, podcasts, accountability with married couples and ministers such as Mark and Odette; we know that without this, without our intentional communication with one another, our individual relationships with God… the many things we have faced, could have easily knocked us off course. We have seen many young couples face the chopping block in their marriage- some have survived, some have separated and some have divorced… we have seen first hand the pain, the heart ache and that stirs within us a zeal to be a great witness of christ through our marriage and to be equipped to help others along the way.
Tell us a bit more about your experience of being in a Together group
We have always been intentional about our investment in our marriage and when we were invited to join a Together Group, we were all in. We already knew Mark and Odette as they had journeyed with us through our marriage prep, so we were sold. Honest truth, we never knew what we were signing up for. We didn’t know some of the other couples and we were the youngest (in age and marriage years) so what could we bring? To say this has impacted our marriage would be an understatement. We have grown in maturity, wisdom and our love for each other is like never before. Yes, we have our moments, and we sure had a few on this journey… However, we were not alone! We learnt from others, we shared our experiences and we were able to be honest and transparent, in a safe and loving environment.
What have you learned and what’s changed for you?
Reah: We have learnt the importance of accountability and commitment… We believe this sustains our marriage and reminds us in times of difficulty that we chose each other, we chose to accept the beautiful gift God placed before us. We stood before God, each other, our friends and family and made a commitment that we will put the other before ourselves, we committed to one another that marriage would be our first ministry, we committed to our marriage being ministry and that in all that we do we must aim, in some small way, to be a representation of Christ’s love for the church… an unconditional, sacrificial love.
Cavell: Accountability plays a huge part in that, because you can’t do this alone. There have been moments Reah and I have disagreed, really disagreed to the point we couldn’t find common ground and so we asked for help, we talked it through with another couple. We listened, there were tears, we had to re-evaluate boundaries and set new measures for our relationship; we took action and remembered we are not alone, and it is in these moments of transparency that we both, Reah and I, discover a new level of our marriage and are able to move forward with a deeper knowledge of each other. One thing we know about everything else is that we want to make the other happy, proud, feel loved, feel like they are enough in this marriage and so we always have a heart that wants to work it out.
Your faith is clearly an important part of your lives. Tell us a bit about your faith journeys.
Reah: I gave my life to Jesus at the end of 2009 and was baptised at my local church in Wolverhampton in May 2010. This came after a personal year long battle with depression, having dealt with what I didn’t realise was a traumatic childhood and an abusive relationship from the age of 17 to my early 20s. During this time, I met Jesus and He dramatically transformed my life. I moved from Wolverhampton to Warrington a few months after being baptised and I distinctly remember my uncle stating to me “don’t go looking for a husband, build your relationship with God because when you know him, then you will know who your husband is.” It was great advice at 23! Living on my own, in a city I did not know, was difficult for me coming from a close family and I was severely homesick so I cried out to Jesus and he revealed himself to me in a way I did not know were possible. I attended church in Manchester and met Cavell through a mutual friend.
Cavell: I grew up in a Christian environment where my grandparents (who were strong believers), used to take me and my older sister to church every Sunday. When I was old enough (around age 11) I stopped going as I started playing football for my local team, on Sundays. Football had always been a passion of mine, which eventually led to me becoming a professional at age 19. Whilst on holiday with my teammates, during my scholarship year, my mum gave her heart to the Lord; I was 17 at the time. On my return, I visited the church she attended, out of respect, but little did I know, I would find a home there. I could feel God speaking to me and I had my first real encounter with Him. After realising God was real for myself, I knew I didn’t want to live my life without him, so I surrendered and gave my life to Jesus when I was 17 years old.
How do you sense God moving in your lives?
Reah: God moves so incredibly in our lives. Daily we see his faithfulness, grace, provision and favour upon us and our marriage. We feel God is placing us in positions of influence and connecting us with young individuals and couples in all spheres of our lives. I have been appointed the 20|40s Ministries Leader in our local church and the skills I have gained from our pre marital counselling and Together Group have not only equipped me to keep my connection with my husband but to build intentional relationships with others and lead them in a way that facilitates an encouraging and fruitful learning experience.
Cavell: I’m a Christian rapper and share the gospel through music. God has opened doors from me to share this gift with children in schools, children who do not know Jesus Christ. I believe God is continuing to open doors for me and my wife and I have visions of how we can continue to pour into young children in our schools. God has also given me the confidence to step out and build my own business, in which I connect with people from all over the world. God has placed me in spheres where I am learning about finance and investment. I understand finances are the biggest cause from marriage breakdown and being diligent in this area, being open and transparent, applying the right strategies and skills can help towards financial freedom and your ability to give back to the kingdom of God and give to others.
How do you see your role in supporting marriage?
After attending an incredible Together Group, we have completed the training and look forward to facilitating young couples, from our local church this year. Not only will we do something, to be intentional about investing in our marriage, every year… we will use the tools we have gained and the friendships we have built to help other millennials do the same.
What would you say to anyone thinking of being part of a Together group
To anyone thinking of making the commitment of marriage, to those already on the journey or to the ones who have put in some years… this is for you!