Spoken Word Poet Jefferson Bethke and Fiancée Talk Faith and Marriage

Bethke: I just came to a point where I realized I didn't want to spend my life with anyone else, and I couldn't see the rest of my life without her in it. I think I realized God's intention for marriage (to make us holy, to display His relationship with us, and to fulfill His mission) and who better than her? She makes me holier, she points me to Jesus, and she betters me in every way.

CP: Have you received questions/comments for marrying young? How about advice? How do you respond to these comments/advice?

Fenton: No, I haven't.

Bethke: Actually not really! No one has mentioned our age yet.

CP: Current culture tells us that people aren't interested in getting married anymore; that divorce rates are skyrocketing, and that opposition to same-sex marriage is moot among Christians since they aren't setting such a great example of biblical and healthy marriages anyway. What words of encouragement would you provide to Christians who are wary of marriage?

Bethke: I'd say don't look to the stats, but look to Jesus. Marriage isn't a curse, it's a blessing. Too many times we go into marriage thinking it's about pleasing us and getting what we want. That's why when we don't get what we want we split. But if you see marriage as something so much deeper and fulfilling, then you become attracted to it. It's sharing the deepest levels of everything with only one person. It's being 100 percent transparent and naked spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Ultimately it's in this transparency where your spouse still continually communicates their want for you, which in turn draws you out even more, which is just a picture of us and Jesus. He sees all that we are, and he still wants us (and is willing to go to every length possible to get us), and when understood that transforms a heart.

CP: What would you say to Christian spouses who are contemplating divorce?

Bethke: That one is tough to answer! I'd say look to Jesus and the reach. Realize marriage is for our joy, and not for our happiness. Even though it's tough, because God is a God of covenant, you can be assured you will come out the other end. Not only that, but when you do you will be closer to Him if you do it in grace and humility. Remember that marriage isn't designed to fulfill one's frivolous needs but rather be a divine picture of what Jesus and his church looks like. And when you divorce you are communicating to the world that God divorces us, which isn't true.

CP: Lastly, where do you plan to go from here?

Fenton: Great question! We're not sure yet. We're still praying about it. I have a feeling it will be something awesome.

Bethke: Haha, same as her answer!

Bethke, who has performed such popular spoken word poems as "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" and "Sex, Marriage and Fairytales," works at the Jubilee Youth Ranch, a Christian residential community for boys ages 14-18 in Tacoma, Wash. Fenton is a counselor at a Christian high school. The two attend Mars Hill Church Federal Way, a church plant of Pastor Mark Driscoll.

The couple, who reside in Tacoma, shared that their official wedding date will likely fall between August and October of this year.