By: Chester and Alberta Nisperos
We asked Pastor Chester Nisperos and his wife, our HR Director, Alberta some questions on marriage. They have known each other since they were 13 years old, and have now been married for 25 years with 2 kids.
1. How do you keep Christ at the center of your marriage?
Chester: First, it’s starts with my relationship with the Lord and my walk with Jesus. When God is first, everything else will usually fall into place. Truly pursue God and not just read His word but to also be a doer of the Word. Also, as a husband, I need to love my wife as Christ loves the Church…unconditionally and sacrificially. Honestly, it’s a constant dying of self.
Alberta: As a wife, I need to respect him, submit to and honor him as the spiritual leader of our home.
I have to trust and allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life to empower me, convict, comfort, give me guidance and discernment.
Prayer is also so important. It seems basic but we need pray with each or for each other on a regular basis. I can’t emphasize that enough. It truly unites our hearts together before the Lord. Many of our sweet prayer times together often includes affirmation of one another, confession, and praying blessing over each other.
Chester: Another way is to build a healthy Christ-centered community. Go to bible-teaching church, be open receive God’s word, serve others together. What’s essential for us is our Life Group, we get to share life with other godly couples that can pray for us and we learn and grow together.
Scripture that comes to mind to me… Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on - toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Alberta: Receiving your spouse as God’s perfect gift for you.
Choose to live out your vows each day. Vows reflect the very character of God, who promises to never leave or forsake you. God’s love is unconditional, everlasting and never-failing. Also, biblical stewardship of your finances. Prioritizing physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy with each other. These are all huge components to keeping Christ at the center of your marriage.
2. What to do when marriage is hard?
Chester: Marriage can be hard and marriage has its challenges. Guaranteed, there will be conflicts, trials and hard times. But how you handle it makes all the difference. I would say…stay committed and faithful. Committed to God, committed to the marriage covenant that you’ve made to one another and committed to choosing love because it is a choice. We love because He 1st loved us.
Alberta: When issues arise, we need to confront it and bring it to light. For me, I spend some time in prayer and to check my heart. I make sure my timing and tone is right. There is no need to shame or make the other feel bad. Then speak the truth in love, seek and grant forgiveness. And that might be a longer process for some. But Ephesians 4:32 instructs us to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Chester: A few powerful words we’ve used are…I was wrong, I am sorry for …, please forgive me, I need you. Every marriage has these moments where you have to learn each other and realize things are different but together we’re going to figure it out and support each other through those seasons.
Alberta: We may be at different places because life changes parenting, work, routines, life events but we’re committed to find a way to mutually serve and honor each other through each season so we each feel loved, valued, cherished and we’ll keep figuring it out.
Chester: Just remember, your spouse is not the enemy. You’re on the same team. We as couples sometimes forget that there is an enemy.
1 Pet 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
John 10:10 (JESUS)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
3. What are some marriage oneness killers?
- Lack of trust
- Lack/Poor Communication
- Harboring Unforgiveness
- Lack of intimacy
- Loose Boundaries – guard your marriage, your heart, mind, your interactions. I want to encourage you to please set up guardrails in our marriage.
- Tearing down of one another – a critical spirit and not building one another up.
- Setting up unrealistic expectations
Chester: Those are just a few but when any of these oneness killers start to surface, be swift to put on the full armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10. Continue to grow in Christ-like character by walking and being led by the SPIRIT in every part of our lives.
“And the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
And give yourself grace. You will stumble and fall, and that’s ok…because we’re not perfect. I would look at our progress over perfection all day because only HE (GOD) is perfect. But we need to do our part.
4. What are some practical ways to build a healthy marriage?
Alberta: This will vary based your season, your lifestyle, unique couples’ dynamics and family budget. For us, many times it’s just the simple things…like our Costco dates, late evening walks with our dogs, little day trips, learning at marriage conferences, catching sunsets, being ourselves, being silly.
Chester: Laughter and having fun is a huge part of our marriage.
Being present in the moment. Give love notes or send texts. Recreationally engage in something you both enjoy doing and focus on the things that you can do not what you can’t do. Whether that be a physical limitation, time, or budget.
Alberta: Have a thankful heart and don’t take your spouse for granted.
Study your spouse. Learn each other’s love languages.
Don’t put your marriage on hold when raising kids. Be open, honest and vulnerable with each other. Oh and be your spouse’ biggest cheerleader!
5. What is your most proud achievement as a married couple? 25 years.
Chester: There are many proud moments we’ve had. But the one that stands out to me today is us celebrating 25 years as a married couple this year. I would’ve never thought meeting in Junior High and dating off and on in high school would lead to being best friends for as long as we have and more in love now than ever before.
Alberta: Yes, 25 years is an amazing milestone but I would also like to add another proud achievement for us is raising our son and daughter who are now young adults. God has just graced us with two amazing kids. It is our prayer that we have modeled a Christ-centered marriage the best that we could and the godly legacy will continue in generations to follow.