by Kari Lutes, Features Editor

Seniors Judah and Mindi Robinson spent their first Valentine’s Day as a married couple using a monetary gift from a friend to make the special night even more memorable.

“A friend was just thinking about us and wanted to bless us,” Judah said, adding that the gift was nice because, “In the past, I haven’t done super nice Valentine’s things.”

“That’s not true,” Mindi said. “Last year we got engaged.”

While the anniversary adds to the special day, neither Judah nor Mindi came to Asbury expecting to get engaged in the spring of their junior year.

“[I had] never even considered it,” Mindi said, adding that she’d thought she’d move to Africa as a missionary after college. Judah agreed; he had planned to have a job and be settled before getting married.

“None of that happened the way I thought it was [going to],” Judah said.

Judah and Mindi met in Hebrew class their first semester at Asbury, but they did not start dating until their sophomore year. Both cite the community at Asbury as the source of the spiritual growth that allowed them to think past the plans they had originally made and step into a serious relationship at a young age.

“If I didn’t come to Asbury,” Mindi said, “I wouldn’t have had the spiritual experiences I’ve had and had gotten to know God like I had, and I wouldn’t have broken up with the guy that I dated into sophomore year.”

Judah agreed, saying that if he had not come to Asbury, “Spiritually I would not have been ready to take on a serious relationship with anybody, let alone Mindi.”

While both felt the community at Asbury prepared them for marriage, neither felt pressure from the community to take that important step.

“Asbury did not make us get married,” Judah said. He added that, when thinking about marriage, “If there’s any pressure, then something is wrong.”

Instead, the two felt the prompting to take the next step was not from Asbury or even themselves.

“God brought it up,” Mindi said After talking about it together, the two got engaged.

“Once we got engaged, we took college out of the picture and we thought, ‘What are we ready for?’” Mindi said. “And we were like, I think we’re ready to get married in six months. I think God just opened the door and gave us the grace for that.”

Mindi and Judah got married in August 2016 and have found marriage to be different than they expected.

“In Christian community and how much the importance of marriage is stressed, I almost had over-expectations,” Judah said. “I was super cautious.”

The same was true for Mindi.

“In pre-martial counseling, it’s all about ‘are you ready for finances and good communication,’ and those are just tools you have to pick up every once in a while,” Mindi said. “I was surprised. I was like, ‘oh, it’s not as serious as people make it out to be.’”

After graduating in May, Judah and Mindi plan to be missionaries to the Middle East with Caleb Company. The two see their marriage as a blessing considering the transition of the next step they will take together.

“The biggest blessing about getting married early is that when we step into what we’re doing next fall, we’ll already have a year of marriage under our belt,” Judah said.

Mindi agreed. “It’s a gift to know when I leave this cushion, I have someone with me for the rest of my life,” she said. “It’s such a gift that not everybody gets this young.”