For years, others have asked Gail Song Bantum and Brian Bantum to reveal the secret to their marriage as a multiracial Christian couple with high-profile ministry callings.
They're doing that in their new book, Choosing Us: Marriage and Mutual Flourishing in a World of Difference.
"I'm not sure that we've necessarily figured it out completely, but I think that after 25 years and still being together we've figured out something," said Brian.
This book reveals the lessons, mistakes, and principles that have helped the Bantums navigate race, family history, and gender dynamics in their twenty-plus years of marriage while inspiring readers to pursue mutual flourishing in their marriages and relationships.
"A lot of marriage books don't talk about questions of race or think about the systemic realities of gender," Brian explained. "These are parts of our marriages. It's not like we get married, and all of a sudden the world cuts off and the realities that shaped us disappear. Those still live inside of our marriages."
The Bantums say that marriage is about more than constant bliss or unending sacrifice. They say it's about exploring your own story, seeing the other for who they are, and being flexible and creative in discovering how those differences and stories come alive in new ways when joined together.
"It's trust that the other person does want you to flourish. They want the best for you, even if they want the best for themselves. You have to be able to trust that," said Brian. "If you don't trust that person wants the best for the other, it gets difficult to do the hard work of building and working together towards that."
Choosing Us reflects the realities and demands of modern marriage and respects the callings and ambitions of both partners. It shows that marriage is about choosing the other’s flourishing daily, amid differences and even systemic obstacles, to build a relationship that thrives and reflects the kingdom of God.
Today on Connections, Brian shares the secrets that helped them flourish in their marriage. He'll also chat about the book and why they decided to write it.