Hello iWaited Family!! I sort of took a summer break from blogging but I’m back!
Welcome to another feature with our latest couple, David and Tanisha Burrus! They are a couple out of Southern California and they’ve married for 12 years. They have two handsome sons. They are chock full of wisdom and you can tell that they truly know the Lord. I absolutely love their story of God separating them just to bring them back together. Without further ado, I introduce David and Tanisha!
1. State your names and tell me about yourselves.
Tanisha: I’m Tanisha Burrus and I’m a woman of God that’s in love with the Lord. I am happily married to David. I am the mother of two wonderful boys, Zion & Micah. My passion is education. I’ve been in the education field for over 10 years. I’m just really passionate about helping students–adults too—find access to education and working in the marketplace to bring light. I’m from Long Beach; I grew up here and went off to school in Northern California where I met the love my life. We now reside in Southern California in the Lakewood area. We are just excited about what the Lord is doing in the next stage of our lives.
David: I am David Burrus. I am a husband first, father second. I pastor people; I don’t pastor a particular church. I’ve been pastoring people for a while. My passion is helping people get the most out of who they are and what they do. That’s what I do best. I do that through a few ways. I write books. I am a public speaker. I do some coaching and mentoring. These are all ways that I really get my passion out. I am excited to be married to my wife. That is one of the greatest ministries that I’ve experienced in my adult life.
2. Tanisha you stated that you met David in college, can you tell me about that?
Tanisha: I had a friend that I met in the dorms my freshmen year at UC Davis and she was talking about a particular young man and she was going home to go to her high school homecoming. I was excited to meet David. We met at his homecoming the year after he graduated, it was fall of 1993.
3. How long did you date and how was your engagement?
Tanisha: We met in 1993 and we were both 18. We dated off and on all throughout my years at Davis, which was five years. When I graduated from college in 1998 we were together but ended up breaking up for two years. We were just going in different directions. I think the Lord had to grow us individually. At the time, neither one of us was saved. David grew up in church but I did not. I had a consciousness of who God was but not a really a personal relationship at the time that we dated. During that two year period, we both got closer to the Lord. Speaking for myself, I was always searching for more to this life. I had to personally pursue Christ because we didn’t grow up in church. It was a very wonderful journey for me because I felt like I was really going after God for myself. During that time I remember praying “Lord, please send me someone that I can relate to and won’t judge me if I ask particular questions about the bible”, because sometimes you can feel intimidated because you feel you should already know certain things. I asked God to send me someone that would be a friend. I was still struggling and not living a life conducive to holiness but I had a hunger and yearning for the things of God. When I made declarations and stood on the word of God, that’s when David came back into my life after two years. The friend I prayed for turned out to be David and he was now an ordained minister. We would spend hours talking about scripture—not talking about relationship—and just pursuing God together.
David: We got back together in 2000, engaged in 2001 and married in 2003.
Question to David: So when you went off to college you weren’t in church?
David: After I graduated high school I left church. At the time I was singing R&B and we had a record deal. During that five year period, I was really far from God. Although I knew who He was, I didn’t know Him for myself. During that 2 year period break-up God just fast-tracked both of our lives. I got back into a relationship with God and into the ministry.
4. Once you came back together, how did you come to the decision that you going to wait?
David: When we got back together our intention was to live for God—
Tanisha: –It was kind of unspoken. We knew that we were going to be together and because we already knew each other in that way (sexually), it was a struggle.
5. In what ways do you thinking keeping sex out of the relationship benefitted the relationship?
David: The benefit is knowing that God is well pleased with what you’re doing and inviting Him in. What we learned is that when you honor Him in that way, He honors you later in your marriage in general. The other thing that’s coupled with that is we were hearing from God more clearly as a result of that. We didn’t have anything distracting us. We didn’t have any guilt or condemnation attached to our courting. Even when the temptation did come up, we heard God clearly say “No, you know better than that”.
Tanisha: It was one of the most exciting times spiritually for us. We were learning together what this union is all about, what this partnership is all about. It’s really something to be able to give a word to your future husband and have him give a word to you. We were learning about the purpose of us being united as one in order to build the kingdom of God. When you add the physical—anything outside of God’s will—you’re shortchanging yourself. Couples don’t really understand that. Yes it is a challenge and you have to really be focused. There was a lot of prayer involved. There’s really a benefit for all of that.
6. Did you all have a support system?
David: We didn’t really have a support system. We had people around us that were Christians and there were other young couples who were on the same journey as us but everyone was kind of doing their own thing. What’s interesting is that we were investing time into married couples who were having troubles in their marriages, while we were courting. We were more so a support system for other couples.
Tanisha: We really could’ve benefited mightily from getting counsel from a married couple with a similar story or situation. We were told in our premarital counseling “We don’t really have to go over this because you guys already know this”. When you have spiritually mature people you still need to go over all of the basics because you just never know. That’s why David and I are very in tune with helping other couples. We actually have done relationship talks and teachings together.
7. What boundaries did you set for yourselves?
David: *laughs* A better question would be “What boundaries did we set and abide by?”—
Tanisha: –We set boundaries and then had to change them.
David: We’re not going to give a spiritual answer because the boundaries that we set we didn’t abide by. It was only the grace of God that kept us. To give you an example: Tanisha lived six hours from where I lived and when we decided to get back together, she moved six hours up to where I was. Not only did she move six hours to where I was, she moved into my apartment complex which I wouldn’t advise. Automatically boundaries were broken. I’m going to be honest with you, the only boundary we really had was TANISHA–*laughs*–because Dave was down. Dave knew better—I knew better—but I was pushing that boundary. I wasn’t pushing it all of the time but I was a man—a young man who hadn’t had sex in a while.
Tanisha: I really didn’t live in my apartment and I would go home really late. Everyone has to work out their own personal boundaries. For some people they don’t kiss but we did. We definitely knew when to stop and like David said it was usually me saying “Alright that’s enough”. When we moved closer together, I will say that we were stronger and had more willpower. We were able to say that we wanted to please the Lord.
8. What would you say to young couples that are dating?
David: Number one, you’re doing the right thing. Number two, I would advise couples to find their why. Why are we waiting? Because if you don’t know why you’re waiting, it can be almost pointless. Most boundaries that we talked about can be pushed all of the time because you haven’t defined your “why”.
Tanisha: I think you should have a support system because it really does help you. You also need an accountability partner that you can call and be very transparent to and hold you accountable. Your accountability partner should also be your prayer partner to help pray you through those moments of weakness.
David: The last thing I would add is to be honest with yourself about what you like and don’t like. Be honest with what turns you on and doesn’t turn you on. When you know that, then you know not to put yourself in certain positions. (ßThat’s very good!)
9. Why do you believe God asks us to remain pure before marriage?
Tanisha: I believe He wants us to be pure because God wants us to have the optimal experience in whatever we do. When you open yourself up to a person, you open yourself to them and their spirit and then you bring that into your union that you have with your life partner. In the natural, you can even start comparing your mate to previous experiences. That can bring a whole level of confusion and misunderstanding. It should be that this is the first experiencing of exploring and getting to know one another and having that bond. Once David and I decided to wait it was beautiful but I admire the people who went all the way and never had sex with anyone besides their mate. I thank God that He honored our declaration and renewed us. I believe that’s why God set it up that way so that you will not bring any of that into your union with your spouse.
David: You just give God room to move in your marriage when you honor Him like that. You also give Him room to move in the sexual aspect as well. One of the things Tanisha and I can attest to is the pre-salvation and post-salvation sexual experience. It was a whole new experience because we honored God and invited Him into those private places of our marriage and it just made a difference.
Me: I’ve had friends who are married and had previous sexual experience but they talk about how after waiting it was a totally new experience.
Tanisha: It’s true. It’s almost like we had to relearn each other. We were two new individuals. It’s really beautiful that God is gracious and He does that for us. We always feel like we’re missing something—that’s why we go outside of God’s will—but that’s such a ploy of the enemy. It’s so much greater on the other side but you’ll never get to experience that because you get caught in these traps. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people that are like-minded.
David: We didn’t just have to relearn each other but we had to relearn “IT” because God literally made everything new. We really were almost fumbling around trying to figure this thing out.
10. Do you have any final thoughts or words of encouragement for the readers?
Tanisha: I just want to say thank you for thinking of us and allowing us this opportunity to share our story. We love talking about story and we hope that it will encourage and help people to understand that their journey is their own. It’s such blessing to be on the other side.
David: Christ made all things new. So to the person who’s reading this that almost wants to condemn themselves for not having waited, Christ is really not concerned with that. He doesn’t condemn you, so don’t condemn yourself. The benefits of waiting far outweigh the detriment of not waiting.
David is a published Author, Speaker, Pastor and Coach. You can find him on the web at www.davidburrus.com. On Facebook at
Facebook.com/davidaburrusofficial. Or you can simply email him at Admin@davidaburrus.com.