“Lots of couples ask us how we make it and it really isn’t a secret — it's made with love. Yeah, lots of love, faith in God and caring deeply for one another…that's the real secret.” Just because you haven’t heard the full story, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Ecclesiastes 3: 1 KJV says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” In God's timing, we'll be able to be a blessing to other couples by sharing our testimony. For now, you'll only get glimpses that we hope will ignite a fire to unite as one.
All this talk about Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” Project got us to thinking. This post is no shade to Bey at all. We have much respect for her gifting, creativity and family. She is without a doubt, the undisputed Queen Bey and we believe there are a number of wives that concur with her sentiment. It just got us thinking about what type of drink would describe our marital relationship for the past 20 years plus? We would like to encourage other married or engaged couples as well, to think about what drink describes your marital or premarital relationship and why?
It did not take us long at all to select our drink. We chose “Sweet Tea”. As you already know, sweet tea is a style of iced tea more commonly consumed in the Southern United States. Sweet tea is made by adding sugar to bags of black or green tea brewing in hot water while the mixture is still hot. The tea is traditionally served ice-cold with only sugar. It may sometimes be flavored with raspberry, lemon or mint.
In the early 1900s, sweet tea was an item of luxury due to the expensive nature of tea, ice, and sugar. Ice was possibly the most valued of the ingredients since it had to be shipped from afar at a time when access to cool drinking water was already a relative luxury. By "sweet tea," we mean "sweet." Some of the sweetest glasses can hit 22 Brix of sugar. That means that 22 percent of the liquid consists of dissolved sugar solids, or, to put it in more meaningful terms: close to twice what you'd find in a can of Coke. Still, there's a balance to the flavor--the tea is brewed long and strong, so it gets an astringency that can only be countered by lots of the sweet stuff.
Although in the South it was called “sweet tea”, it is a type and shadow of how we look at each other. Because tea was at one time a very sought after commodity, only the Aristocrats in Europe could enjoy its many different flavors. It was so rare an item that it was smuggled, people were arrested and jailed for having it in their possession. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” The commodity is a wife, not a woman with a ring. The rare find of a woman that brings value spiritually, physically and mentally, to the relationship. And the rare find of a man that brings not only value, but protection, guidance and Love. Together, it makes everything in their relationship SWEET.
As you may know, tea does not start off sweet. It actually starts off bitter. It takes a little work, but it slowly becomes good and refreshing. It becomes a good thing. The tea itself has very high medicinal properties and that’s why it’s so good. Is your marital relationship like medicine to your body and soul? Tea helps the body even before the sweeteners are added. The value is in the tea. Just like people, the real value comes from the inside of a person not how much money they have, the people they know or even their circumstances.
Tea helps to quench your thirst. The kids are using the word “thirsty” to describe a girl who desperately craves the touch and attention of a man. Now is drinking sweet tea going to cause the thirst to leave? No, but it is a working process that gets rid of the thirst. And the more you work together, as husband and wife, the sweeter it gets. No one needs to be thirsty. It deprives the body of any value and that is surely not good.
The true challenge is to find the right drink so that you are not trying to make something out of what you settled for instead of what God truly intended.
The Chef and The Ref, as we are more affectionately called, are just two individuals who God joined together in the Spirit and then in the Natural to walk through the challenges of life together. We have been married for 27 years and have four amazing children. We get many calls, text and emails asking us questions about a variety of topics as it relates to marriage. This blog was inspired by the Holy Spirit and an answer to the growing demand of couples who inquire about our experiences in marriage as it relates to their own. We do not make any claims of being anything more than two sinners, saved by grace who wanted to give couples an opportunity to have safe conversations that will make their marriage stronger. The Chef and The Ref are both licensed and ordained Ministers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ who wanted to create a safe platform for married couples to converse about a variety of topics.