Before dating Jasmin, my now fiancé, I was nervous.  She is a gregarious individual and very beautiful! She has this presence about her that just draws people in.  It made me wonder and inquire as to why none of the other guys in my circle were pursuing her.  I knew that I would have to become a better man to have a chance with her.  I could see she had been able to take hold of many things in her character and her walk with God I admired deeply. Therefore if I was going to want to lead this woman one day, I had some serious work to do! I know that everyone has their own baggage, but for me dating and the possibility of marrying a woman was more complicated than the average guy’s. My baggage included my homosexual past.  Although my past is not something I’m ashamed of because I serve a God of the impossible, I knew it would take a special person to be willing to love me beyond it; to see it as simply a time in my life that I had to go through and that it no longer is the life I was choosing nor wanted to live. 

Before we actually began dating I knew Jasmin would be my wife. In a room full of people and loud conversations, it felt as though we were the only ones there.  She was able to captivate me in a way that made me want to pursue her seriously. After dating for about 5 months  then taking time apart for almost a year, it was during that time apart I became completely confident I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

Before we actually even dated I knew she would be my wife. In a room full of people and loud conversation, I felt as though we were the only ones there.
— Michael J. Peterson

I prayed as I always do when big decisions or life changes are about to happen. I said “God if this isn’t for me shut it down and close the door.” Once the decision is made God will then use life to mold you into who you need to be for that person. And that’s just what He did.  I reached a point where I realized my next life lessons resided within this woman. That she would teach me things; I had never known and bring my character to new heights. I grew tired of our goodbyes and returning home to my roommates. I actually really love my roommates because they are all my brothers in Christ. I just wanted to wake up next to my best friend so much so it hurt. It was time to take the next step that would begin our lives together, as one.  The choice was never whether or not she was the one but when we would have a solid enough foundation to take that leap of faith into marriage.

We all reach a crossroads in our romantic relationships that can be extremely touchy and sensitive. We come to a place where we have to decide if it's better to continue on and deepen the relationship or move on. If you are at that place as a man, it is your responsibility to lead the woman you're with. You must sit down and consider your life and most importantly if you are willing to continue on with or without them.  Indecision is still a decision. I decided I wanted to share the rest of my life, happy, sad, good and bad with Jasmin. 

If you are at that place as a man it is your responsibility to lead this woman. You must sit down and consider your life and most importantly if you are willing to continue on without them.
— Michael J. Peterson

 Do not allow divorce statistics, your upbringing or even your closest friends and family to deter you from committing to the woman you love and whom loves you. Love is not a feeling, but a decision to commit and persevere. The world needs more men who are willing to commit with integrity and character. 

Michael James Peterson, born and raised in Southern California, raised by a single mother and the youngest of five. Though life was extremely difficult at times his mother taught him by her example that God will and can get you through anything. Michael currently writes a blog called "Saved and Strugglin" where he illuminates the day to day issues and struggles of being a Christian in today's society. At the age of 25, Michael has accomplished many things but continually acknowledges he is nothing without God.