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- Married since 1993
- Parents since 1996
- Co-founders of Future Marriage University (FMU) since 2015
Though we didn’t incorporate as a 501(c)(3) non-profit until 2015, I (Michael) have been studying, writing, speaking, and teaching on the topics of sex, dating, and relationships, from a practical, Biblical perspective since 2003. However…
When Julie and I first met, we never imagined pursuing a mission to empower students and young adults to grow spiritually and date wisely so they can marry well.
We weren’t even thinking about marriage back then.
When did we meet, you ask?
How did we meet without social media?
Julie used a piece of technology known back in the day as a corded telephone and straight-up cold called me after seeing my picture in a college directory.
And when you hear the whole story, you wouldn’t blame her for calling me. It was a really great pic.
It wasn’t love at first sight.
It was more akin to “like at first conversation.”
In the end we never really fell in love. We grew in love instead.
We didn’t do this intentionally, mind you. We weren’t smart enough, but upon reflection, it’s a paradigm shift that could transform your dating life.
However, trust me, there was PLENTY of drama and at one point it looked like we’d never be more than friends.
However, when I gave up, Julie held up.
With wisdom, grace and vulnerability (and free pizza) she initiated a conversation that kept us from becoming what Drs. Beverly and Tom Rodgers call “surrogate soulmates.”
Today we see many young adults settle for a pseudo intimate relationship like we almost got stuck in, whether they’re sexually involved with each other or just emotionally enmeshed.
Here’s more about that part of our story and why you don’t want to settle for a surrogate soul mate:
If you love Jesus like we did (and still do) you’re pretty serious about discerning God’s will in your relationship life. So how do you go about doing that?
Will God tell you who to date?
Here’s how it happened for us:
In the end…
To discern God’s will in dating, we relied on the same three spiritual disciplines that have been guiding believers in making decisions big and small throughout the centuries.
We recount our story on this page, not only so you can get to know us a little, but so you can learn from our mistakes as well as our victories, empowering you to make wiser dating decisions. Choices which are more likely to lead you to a life-giving, lifelong marriage.
But we still haven’t explained what gave us the idea for Future Marriage University (FMU)! Why did we want to talk to someone like you about marriage before you’re even in a serious relationship?
Ask my Mom.
Or since you can’t do that, watch this video:
Want to approach your future marriage like it has the potential of being as important, as challenging, and as rewarding as your future career (or help others do likewise)? You have come to the right place!
We’re glad you came!
Where would you like to go from here?
If you really want to get to know us better, we encourage you to watch more of our LoveEd videos on our FMUniversity YouTube channel. In fact, here’s a playlist featuring episodes where we share more personally than other videos:
You can also hear more of my (MJ) story through Date Night Advice blog posts where I talk to my younger self, or where I invite you to learn from my mistakes, or where I talk more specifically about my relationship with Julie.
And here are some more options:
- Know our core beliefs
- Check out our latest resource, Date Like You Know What You’re Doing: Your DatePrep Guide
- Read our Date Night Advice (DNA) blog:
- Inquire about booking a live event
- Share a burning question or prayer request