Over the weekend, actress Meagan Good and her husband DeVon Franklin stopped by the Morehouse College campus n Atlanta to join Walmart’s “Black Love and Relationships” panel.
The couple was joined by Stellar award-winner Bishop Paul S. Morton and his wife of 36 years, Pastor Morton. The intimate and educational discussion emphasized the topic of love, how to find it and keep it alive.
During the conversation, the couples were asked to offer their best advice to those who would like to get married, offering both men and women separate tips and tricks.
For me, one of the biggest things was working on myself first before I was actually working at marriage. Really seeing the areas where I was damaged; the areas where I was struggling; really seeking a marriage with God first. And once I did, that started to kind of clean up my life in certain areas. That’s when I started to get confirmation that marriage was coming and I started to get direct confirmation about even who my husband was…I think at that point that’s when God will give you clarity even if it’s years down the line. There’s things that have to happen before (marriage) can happen so focus on those things first.
Pastor Morton said she had always viewed marriage ‘the old fashioned way,’ focusing more on school and her career than tying the knot. She revealed that early on in their relationship, Bishop Martin had approached her and said, “God said ‘You’re my wife,'” but she insisted on staying friends first: “But what I did, I became his friend. Friends first, ladies. Friends first. I wasn’t so gun ho and I was at a different age.”
She also added, “I do understand that you’re tired. You’re ready. The clock is running but I still believe that he that finds a wife finds a good thing and God will show him you. He may show you him, but he will show him you…”
For Bishop Marton, he says that it’s very important for women to take it slow and wait, and say no a lot.
For singles, it’s very very important and I know it’s difficult, I know it’s hard. But young ladies, even if you can wait, if you just don’t move too fast, that’s what really attracted me to her. Of course, I thought that she overdid it… The ‘no’s’ helped. You have to be strong because a man really appreciates that in the end. Believe me he’ll act like he won’t, but when you have some rules that you lay down, get some limitations. That’s all I’m saying. And it pays off in the end.
DeVon Franklin said that it’s important for men to be “open to the challenge of commitment,” because dating is easy in the sense that, you can date multiple people and never get serious or fully commit.
“You can run for so long, but it does take courage and say I’m not going to run anymore. I’m going to commit. And also in that commitment, as a man, it really helps you to become full because so much of what we need to do as men is really tied up in the partner God brings us. I can tell you my life in 8 months has changed drastically for the better. The marriage is amazing when you have the right partner as a man. So in terms of dating, I would just say date less and be more intentional in your dating. Doesn’t mean everybody you’re gonna date, you’re gonna marry. But really actually be serious about that person. My boys who aren’t married date for sport and treat these women like possessions… If you’re not serious, be honest and say “I’m not serious. So if you wanna hang with me, just know that you’re getting the not serious brother right now.” Be honest… The other side with women, you gotta really allow love to come to you in the way God has it for you. And this is hard because sometimes (you say) “I want him to look like this and he’s gotta be that” and all of these things. But listen. I told everybody I would never date an actress. It would never happen. And I married one because I was open to God’s plan for my life…”