Written by : Blythe Freshwater
Love is in the air, and not just because Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. Numerous students on campus are either newly engaged or married. These couples all are fantastic examples of godly relationships, and they have some unique perspectives on the meaning and joy of Valentine’s Day, as well as how to make sure to take the time to celebrate each other.
Some of our favorite newly married couples are Dalton and Klaire Linick (married August 4, 2018), Anthony and Larissa Hale (married September 2, 2018), and Gabe and Lauralyn Belden (married May 15, 2017). Newly engaged couples are Ashton Peterson and Jonathan Coleman (engaged December 30, 2018), Savannah Johnson and Josiah Griffin (engaged May 14, 2018), Ally Powell and Jabin Umfleet (engaged March 29, 2018), and Megan Breid and Alex Young (engaged January 4, 2019). Other newly engaged or married couples were not available for comment.
These couples’ engagement stories are precious and highlight the importance of doing something sweet that the other person would enjoy. Ashton expresses, “[Jon] took me ice skating in downtown Bartlesville, then took my hand and led me over to the pavilion while he went through the timeline of our relationship. There I saw my parents, Bailey (my roommate), and Briana (my dear friend) filming. Jon took me to the center and said, ‘I think it’s time we made more memories together’ and got down on one knee. Easiest ‘yes’ of my life!” The two will be married on October 12, 2019.
Josiah says, “We got engaged at Walt Disney World in front of the castle and in the company of family and some close friends (including Savannah’s best friend since childhood). It was exactly two years after we graduated high school to the day,” and all those elements made it a day they won’t soon forget. Savannah’s family loves Disney World, so she was especially pleased to say “yes” to her love there. They plan to be married on May 27, 2019.
Megan says, “Alex and I were in Key West, Florida eating at a restaurant on the water when he proposed.” What a great way to end Christmas break! The two campus leaders plan to get married on June 15, 2019.
Ally declares about her engagement story, “It was our one-year anniversary! Jabin, knowing that he’s an introvert, proposed to me in a restaurant at the top of the Price Tower,” just the two of them. She continues, “Then, he had all of our friends and family surprise me with an engagement party where I, the extrovert, got to talk to everyone about the proposal! It was an amazing day!” Jabin clearly understands both of their personalities and was intentional in appealing to both of their needs. Ally says, “Our date is June 1, 2019. We just started pre-marital counseling and we are so stoked!” We as an OKWU family are very excited for these couples. Please keep them in your prayers as they approach their big days!
All the couples agree that the hardest part about maintaining a relationship in college is time management. Anthony and Larissa assert, “Despite the demands of the college curriculum, we need to balance ourselves, our relationship, and college demands, so we are available to support [the other] in their pursuits, while facing our own academic success.” Klaire and Dalton agree. Dalton says, “I would recommend it to couples that try to spend every moment with the one they love. It can be very difficult to just enjoy some quiet time alone when you have to be in lobbies or open dorms.” Klaire adds, “Marriage isn’t always easy, but if you and your partner are dedicated to God first and then each other, I really think it can work.”
To all the couples, Valentine’s Day is especially meaningful, and all of them see the value in celebrating their love. Ashton says, “I think Valentine’s Day is important for couples. A lot of people say it’s overrated, but I think it serves as a reminder of how important and special each relationship is. It’s a day for you to celebrate your relationship. You take time aside from your busy schedules to be with each other and do something nice for each other.”
Gabe claims, “Any chance to romance my wife is a chance [I’ll gladly take]! The day is a good excuse to spend meaningful time with my wife.” Megan agrees, and says, “It is always fun to have a day when we have an excuse to go on a date, of course! It helps remind us of our love for each other and celebrate our relationship.” Larissa says, “I think that it is a sweet holiday, but I think that you should give your significant other dorky little displays of affection throughout the year, too. I know that it means more to me when Anthony buys me flowers for no reason than if he gets me chocolates on Valentine’s Day.”
“Valentines will be a bit different than it has been normally,” thinks Josiah. “This year we’re celebrating our 100-day countdown to our wedding, which falls only a couple of days after Valentine’s Day!” Savannah adds that “[Josiah started] our only true tradition for Valentine’s Day.
We buy a tub of ice cream from the store and watch Beauty and the Beast (the cartoon version). This will be our 6th Valentine’s Day together, and we’ve watched the movie every year since the beginning.”
Ally asserts, “I think that [Valentine’s Day] is meaningful, but at the same time I do think that it’s
more inclined towards women. I wish there were more options for buying Jabin a gift. All throughout Walmart there are huge teddy bears, boxes of chocolates, romantic cards, necklaces—but how many guys actually like that stuff? I wish there were more ways that I could spoil Jabin with gifts and other things like that. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough.” For the girls, we might have to put in a little extra effort to bless our guys, but it is definitely worth it.
Dalton and Klaire see a lot of meaning in the holiday. Klaire says, “I think Valentine’s Day is important because we all get so busy with work and school [that] sometimes it’s nice to have a set day that we celebrate the ones we love. I also think it’s important not only for the girl to get spoiled, but for [girls] to take this time to spoil their [guys]. If you think about it, guys have to do so much in the relationship, so they definitely deserve a big thank you for making us girls feel so special all the time!”
Dalton agrees: “Valentine’s Day is a great time for a guy to make sure his girl feels like a queen. It is a great time to reflect on the amazing woman that God has blessed you with and [to show] Him your appreciation by blessing her in return. Don’t be afraid to spend a little and sacrifice a little more; she will appreciate it.”
These couples prove that valuing each other is of utmost importance. Doing special things for each other throughout the year is key, but taking aside a day to reaffirm your love and commitment to your love is also a healthy practice.