In today’s culture, couples are expected to be physically intimate in dating relationships. Young women feel pressure to have a boyfriend for acceptance and value. She may even feel she must do “whatever it takes to keep the boy interested,” especially when she is comparing herself and it appears the competition is tough… Then we have the fashion magazine articles, among many things, that encourage more and more of this. How to have your “Best first time,” “How to Make Him Want More,” and “What to Wear to Get Him in Bed,” are all titles of reading material you can find when you open up the standard Fashion Magazine. (Actually, those are the non-explicit versions.) We say… Thanks. But No Thanks! This Valentine’s Day, with the increase in sexually explicit material, we’d like to offer an alternative.
Chase and Paige Wagner met in 2009, were married in 2012, and have been together for 3 and ½ years. They met while at Biola University in La Mirada, CA, (outside of LA). Currently, Chase is the Worship Leader at Southeastern University, and just this week they released their new album on iTunes called, No Other Name. His wife, Paige, is a student at SEU.
First, we were able to catch them sharing a cupcake and cappuccino together. We felt a bit like intruders, but it wasn't long before they invited the whole crew to share their cupcake with them. Which we gladly accepted!
Then we walked through the downtown Lakeland area for the photoshoot. Seriously, this couple looks like they walked right off the set of a movie. The difference though, is that their love is real. It’s authentic. It’s not a photoshop creation or a fake love affair. We asked them to share their story with us because we knew many young men and women would be encouraged by their relationship and how their focus on God has led to a beautiful, healthy marriage. They are still in the honeymoon phase, but no doubt they will be together “until death do they part” if the principles they have built their relationship on thus far are kept.
Paige, What did your life look like before you met Chase? I met Chase the first month of my freshmen year of college. Before I knew him I was a high school senior ready to graduate and start my college experience in Southern California.
Did you notice him before he noticed you? I don’t know who technically noticed whom first, BUT I definitely noticed him before he introduced himself to me. It was 2009. At that time the “Zac Efron” hair was in style, and Chase rocked it so hard that he actually looked like Zac. Later when we were dating, random people would approach me and ask if I was the girl dating Zac Efron.
So Chase, what was it about Paige that caught your attention first? Paige was breathtakingly beautiful and still is.
How did you ask her out? I gathered up the nerve to introduce myself after randomly running into her and her friends in a parking lot in town.
Did she respond the way you hoped she would? Yes even in that first conversation she was fun, flirty, and energetic. But at the same I could tell she had self-respect. Being naturally “fun” is a great quality for a girl to have.
Where did you take her on your first date? I asked her to go to church with me the next Sunday.
Paige, we want to know! What do you remember most about your first date? Our first date, Chase asked me to go to a night service with him at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, CA. I remember talking about missions the whole time. I had felt called by God to go to India, and Chase had been to India a few years past. Come to find out, Chase had worked with the author of the book, Revolution of World Missions, while he was in India ...which was the very book that had inspired me to go there. I also remember at the end of the night Chase leaning in to grab my hand. I guess I misread the signal, because I took it as a “handshake” not a loving hand graze. We laughed at the awkward misunderstanding and from then on we “hand shaked” almost every time we left a date.
What did your dating relationship look like? We were pretty inseparable from the minute we met. We spent a good amount of time in group settings when we first started dating but made sure we also had alone time to get to know each other deeper. We went out to eat, went out for yogurt, sipped Boba tea and drank a lot of coffee (we’re quite the foodies). With no previous understanding of each other’s lives, we had a lot of getting to know each other. Conversations were spent telling stories from our lives, about our families, our understanding of God and our dreams of the future. We set clear boundaries physically, knowing that waiting for physical intimacy would honor our values, each other, and our future together.
What quality do you like most about Chase? I love that Chase’s heart is postured like Christ’s. Chase is always aware and thinking of other people before himself. He is so selfless in his giftings. Chase is always depositing the blessings God’s given to him into other people, seldom holding them for himself. He has such a kind spirit about him always making people feel welcomed and heard.
What role did your relationship with Christ play in your dating experience? Christ didn’t play a role in our relationship; He was the POINT of our relationship. Devotions and attending church together were a regular part of our time, but in the beginning we guarded our own personal relationships with God. Of course we would share what God was speaking to us, but personal time with God is so intimate. We wanted to make sure we didn’t share too much while dating just in case the relationship didn’t end in marriage.
Chase, when did you know she was the "one?" After our first conversation. I knew we’d get married.
That’s pretty bold. How did you know she was the "one" that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with? After discussing faith with her and watching that faith play out in the way she lived her life, I knew. She had a real authentic faith, not something that was forced through upbringing or the church or whatever. I loved watching her figure out how God's plan would play out into her personal reality. Her faith was honest and real. She had real questions and real struggles with God. But in the midst of all that I would describe her as “fun” and “light”- never taking herself too seriously.
All the girls want to know, how did you propose? I proposed to Paige at a summer camp she was working at in Northern California. She went to that summer camp every summer as a kid and accepted Christ there when she was 12 years old. The summer I proposed she was working at the same camp as a counselor. I drove down from Seattle her last night at camp and coordinated a candle light bonfire under the stars. It was there I asked Paige if she would accept me as her husband in the same place she accepted Jesus to be her Savior. She said yes.
Chase, we have lots of young female readers who hope to one day marry a man that will love and respect them unconditionally, What one piece of advice would you give our young female readers as to the importance of holding out for God's best?
Every person has baggage. Every person has made mistakes. Have GRACE for yourself and GRACE for others. Simply follow Jesus.
Interview by: Aarika Phillips
Photo Credit: Beth Carter
Be encouraged! Whether you are single or dating, it's worth it to hold out and keep the bar high. Your Happily Ever After will come as you make God the Center.
Happy Valentine's Day from the Top Buttons Team!