What Makes WAR Different?
When we got married in our early 20's, we were absolutely clueless. And six months later, we were the parents of not one child, but twins. We had only recently moved to Memphis, Tennessee --where we didn’t know a single soul -- and started our new life together. So much was happening so fast that we could hardly keep up. We had no idea what we were doing.
We didn’t have much knowledge or preparation for being married. But, we were passionate about learning how to have a great relationship. So, we decided to go to our first ever marriage training event. And, it completely changed our lives and our marriage.
Fast forward a few years, and we’ve moved to Jackson, Mississippi, launched several businesses and enrolled in graduate school, working towards a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy to be able to teach and train others about God’s plan for marriage and the family. By this time, we had also added two more children to our family for a total four kids.
In 2002, we decided to take our life savings and start another business --real estate investing. We purchased 70 single-family houses and launched what became the largest privately owned African-American real estate investment firm in America. We had a full time staff of 20 employees, and for the next seven years, we bought and sold over 300 homes and apartments. We were living our dream and became millionaires.
Then, in 2009 the real estate market crashed, and we lost everything.
We lost our personal home and our cars. We even pawned our wedding rings from time to time just to buy groceries. (Don’t worry, we always got them back!) Almost homeless and sometimes feeling hopeless, we survived by God’s grace. And through it all, our marriage actually thrived.
Stripped of everything except the ministry for marriage and family, we began to focus on taking our message across the world.
We wrote Marriage: What to Do Before and After You Say ‘I Do’ which within the first 48 hours, became the most downloaded book on Amazon in five countries and went on to become a #1 Best Seller in multiple categories.
We launched a podcast that reaches couples in over 50 countries. We started speaking and teaching, and we opened the Family Matters First Counseling Center, where we offer relationship coaching and counseling.
For the next seven years, I worked full-time as Director of the Youth Ministry and of the Marriage and Family Ministries at our church. (Something that I was adamantly opposed to doing. Kind of like Jonah not wanting to go to Nineveh.)
After completing her Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy, Teresa, previously a stay-at-home mom, worked full-time as a Mental Health Counselor and part-time as Marriage and Family Therapist at the Counseling Center.
Recently, we decided to rebrand from Family Matters First to We Are Relationships (aka WAR). We wholeheartedly believe that family does indeed matter first. But what we’ve come to realize in our 30+ years of marriage is that all relationships, including those outside of your family, affect the quality of your marriage.
In today’s society, traditional marriage is under attack. We have an enemy who has launched an assault to destroy your marriage, our marriage and the institution of marriage. It’s not any person or group of people, and we’re certainly not condoning any form of violence. You can view more about the mission behind WAR here.
Together, we will discover how to prepare for battle and ultimately how to win.