How long have you been married?
Modie and Brittany: We have been married for 5 years. June 7 will make 6 years for us!
How did you guys meet?
Modie: In small towns, everybody knows everybody, so we like to say we’ve known each other forever. We officially met on my birthday in 1999 when I followed Brittany home from school.
What were your first impressions of each other?
Modie: My first impression of Brittany was I thought she was a very nice and attractive girl. I had to have her as my girlfriend.
Brittany: My first impression of Modie was that he was a quiet guy who was an extraordinary basketball player. I was a little hesitant because I wanted him to like me for more than what he could see.
What made you want to get married?
Modie: I’ve always wanted to marry Brittany. I knew that she was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with when we first started dating.
Brittany: In my teenage days, I always would scribble Brittany Johnson as my “name” because honestly believed that Modie was the person who God created for me. Like Modie, I’ve always wanted Modie to be my better half, so I had no problem with marrying him.
How did you propose?
Modie: I was in going to school in Tennessee and Brittany was in Arkansas. We both were coming home to Mississippi for the weekend and I decided that I would ask her to marry me. I had already asked her parents for their permission to marry her. We were hanging out at her sister’s house, and she turned away for a moment. I got down on one knee with the ring and went for it. She said, “Yes”, but quickly took it back. She asked me if I was sure that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and only her. After I told her that I did, she hugged my neck, screamed yes, and started crying.
How does your faith play into your marriage?
Brittany: When we married, we decided that our marriage would be a trifold relationship-only God, Brittany, and Modie. We know that without one or the other, our marriage would not survive. Our faith has been the glue in our marriage. When there are good times, we pray and praise His name, and when we experience bad times, we pray, ask God to order our steps, and continue to praise Him in the midst of it all. We pray with and for each other because we believe that a family that prays together stays together.
Do you have any marriage survival tips?
Modie and Brittany: As we mentioned before, our faith is very important. If there is a disagreement, rather than run to friends and family, we have made it a habit to only talk to our spouse and God about it. When others are privileged to the most intimate details of your marriage, trouble will be sure to follow. If you follow the rule of keeping your marriage a trifold relationship, you won’t need any other survival tip! 🙂
How do you keep the fire burning in your relationship?
Modie and Brittany: You have to be creative. The same things that we did before we were married, we still do now. We love date nights, hanging out as friends, and being spontaneous rather than so routine.
Is there anything you would do differently looking back on your marriage?
Modie and Brittany: No, we believe in living life with no regrets. We’ve enjoyed the good times and survived bad times. Every “mistake” has always yielded a learning experience. Without growth, we believe our marriage would have become stagnant by now.
Why do you think African Americans have the lowest marriage rate, but the largest divorce rate?
Modie and Brittany: African-Americans have the lowest marriage rate because we rarely have examples of happy, married, and monogamous African-American couples in our community. The majority of the ones who we see does not value their marriage nor demonstrate any benefits of marriage. When single and dating Blacks see this, I feel that they question “What’s the point?” when they can do bad by themselves. I feel that we have the largest divorce rate because we have become more consumed in the wedding than the marriage. When couples do not invest in each other, mentally, physically, and spiritually, it opens the door to divorce quicker. Our counterparts are not afraid to utilize resources to help save their marriages. I feel that we get so wrapped up in what others think about what’s going on in our marriages, that we will simply file for divorce to avoid the stigma and shame rather than work it out with our partners.
If you were giving advice to a couple who wanted to get married, what would you say?
Modie and Brittany: Be ready! You have to be ready for any and everything that can come your way-the good, the bad, and the ugly. You don’t have to be prepared for whatever may come, but be ready to face it head on and together.
What does marriage mean to you?
Modie and Brittany: Marriage means everything to us! It provides us with love, happiness, entertainment, support, memories, companionship, comfort, and so much more. Also, it is our covenant with God that means spending the rest of our lives as one flesh as we love each other unconditionally.