Like most things in life the best way to figure out how to do something is to take advice from people that are doing it well!
Ruth Awogbade is the editor of Magnify magazine and all round super woman! Girl Got Faith was so excited to find out about The Afolabis – a new blog and YouTube channel with her soon to be husband Ayo – all about lifestyle, relationships and purpose. We caught up with them to get the latest on their engagement, The Afolabis, and their best relationship advice!
So the question everyone always wants to know first; how did you meet?
Ruth: We first connected 8 years ago through a mutual friend. For the first MAGNIFY event, we needed guys to usher, so I asked my friend to ask his boys and Ayo was one of them. Sadly (lol!) Ayo didn’t turn up in the end. We met again in 2014 at a friend’s wedding but only really said ‘’hi’’. Then in Jan 2015 we connected again. That first day we ended up chatting for 2 hours. A week after that he messaged me on Facebook for my number. For three and a half weeks we spoke every day for two or three hours about everything (we only met up once in between that time which was good so it was like a proper interview process ha!) He asked me out on March 8th 2015.
How did Ayo propose?
Ruth: I knew it would happen within the next few months but I didn’t see it coming as he was so chilled. I thought “this isn’t how guys behave when they are about to propose!” That day, we were going for lunch and I was debating whether to do my nails. He made up some excuse to encourage me to do get them done. We went for dinner and when we got to the restaurant (which overlooks London and was where we had our first date) he decided we should take some photos. I was cold and just wanted to go inside but he insisted that it was a great spot for us to take photos of each other! Then, as he was adjusting the camera, he got down on one knee and I was just in such shock. This was in February!
What is your favourite thing about each other?
Ruth: His kindness. We met at a time when he was supporting a friend who was going through a rough patch and the way he supported his family and friends and his selflessness really caught my eye. Ayo is someone who always makes time for everyone – no matter who they are or where they come from and I love that so much about him.
Ayo: For me it was her charm and her wit – coupled with the passion I could see when she was talking about her interests. I could kind of sense that this was a girl that knows what she wants and has the single minded determination to go and attain it. Not forgetting the fact that Ruth is beautiful – I think her inner beauty (not to sound cliché!) is probably her most endearing quality. She has a heart that genuinely cares for others and her commitment to empowering those around her is what I love the most.
What are your “go to” bible verses for encouragement in this season?
Ruth: For me, Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Getting married is exciting and a step of faith and we’re learning to trust God for everything. It’s a whole different ball game learning to be completely independent in every area so learning to trust in His provision and basing our prayers in what the Word says has been so encouraging.
Ayo: The first one I would say is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” because I feel that where we are in life, there is a lot that we’re going to need to rely on God for. I feel that I’ve put my trust in Him up until this point and endeavoured to walk with Him. Maintaining that diligence is what I need to see me through to the next season.
What are you most looking forward to about married life?
Ruth: We live about an hour away from each other so I’m looking forward to building a life and being able to see each other every day. I’ve loved my family home so in the future – not too soon, ha! – I’m looking forward to creating a family that is Christ centred that’s full of love and joy.
Ayo: I’m most looking forward to partnership in pursuit of our God-given purposes. It’s going to be so amazing to have that one person who is you and who you are.
What traits do you think girls should look for to know they have found “the one”?
Ruth: Firstly find someone who loves, honours and seeks to do God’s Will. I always heard people say that in church but I don’t think it really clicks until you get into a serious relationship and are building your life with someone. You begin to realise how important it is that your guy has that solid foundation for himself. I’d say look for a guy who knows his purpose and is willing to support you in what God has called you to. A guy who is secure in himself and what God has called him to do is then able to encourage and support you which is such a blessing.
What would you say to encourage young couples in their walk together with God, before marriage?
Ayo: As obvious as it might sound – keep Him at the centre of it. Although that sounds obvious the reason why I stress this is because there is a tendency to put each other as the priority and take God out of the equation when actually, He is the secret to becoming closer to your partner. I keep God at the centre of our relationship by being intentional in my personal relationship with God and being intentional about our walk as a couple with Him.
You are both very inspirational figures! What encouragements would you give to young girls to help them achieve their own dreams?
Ruth: Live with conviction. Pursuing your dreams is rewarding but also challenging and what gets you through the tough times is having a conviction that this is what you’re supposed to be doing. Find a mentor. I’ve found this invaluable – people who are older and wiser have so much to offer and can help us as we pursue our dreams and try to balance it with other areas of life.
Ayo: To run the race that God has appointed for you with excellence. In this modern day and age, there is a danger that we become distracted with what everyone else is doing or not doing. But if you hold fast to what it is that God has appointed for you to do and you’re consistent with it, God’s Word says “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” – Proverbs 18:16
What made you decide to start “The Afolabis“? And what kind of content can we look forward to?
Ruth: We’re both people who wear our heart on our sleeves and we love being around people and impacting people. Over the years and particularly with the testimony of our relationship, we realised that we were having lots of individual conversations with people and that we wanted to share a lot of what we had learnt and are learning with more people in a creative and engaging way. Equally, we both are people who are passionate about living life to the full so we wanted to show various aspects of life which for us are encapsulated in our 3 content categories– lifestyle, purpose and relationships.
Ayo: I want to be able to speak to an impartial observer who comes across a blog article, post, who’s response would be “I really enjoyed this piece” or “that piece was really thought-provoking” or “I really appreciate the clarity and perspective that you have brought to these issues that we all face…”. I’m not saying that Ruth or I will have all the answers, because nobody does and the reality is that we are only just starting off in the journey of life – we’re not even 30! But despite that, we want to contribute by conveying a message that is positive and authentic.
Our hope is that people will be inspired, encouraged and entertained – both as individuals (whether that be single/dating/married) and also as couples.