Meet the Couple
Gershon Forde (30), born on the island of Barbados, currently serves as a Pastor at Bushby Park Nazarene while his wife, Shaniqua-Howell Forde (34), also Bajan, serves as the CEO at Shelev Publishing. The couple recently jointly authored and released a book called, Courtship to Covenant, a true love story that shows that it is “definitely worth waiting on God”. For more details on how to get your copy of Courtship to Covenant, contact Shaniqua, here.
ENGAGEMENT DATE: August 1st, 2019
WEDDING DATE: December 14th, 2019
How did you meet?
SHANIQUA: We met through a mutual friend of ours and became platonic friends. After some time, we realized we had feelings for each other and the rest is history.
GERSHON: A mutual friend introduced us because he wanted us to co-host a podcast with him. He also told me about her because she’s a publisher and I had a book to publish. Long story short, when I actually first met her I thought she was unprofessional because I had sent her a message on Whatsapp and her response was less than desirable so I decided I wanted nothing to do with her. I later found out at our first meeting that I had been given the wrong number. So that was a slice of humble pie.
When Did You Know That He Was The One?
SHANIQUA: Well I personally don’t believe in the “the one” theory, but that is another topic. I believe that God gives direction, but we have a choice to make. Even though God led us to each other, we still had a decision to make. I knew he was going to be my husband after I cried out to God for guidance and He immediately responded and gave me the go-ahead. Gershon became the one when I said “I do at the altar.
When Did You Know That She Was The One?
GERSHON: That concept of the one is crazy to me. The one is whoever you choose. I knew she was the person I would choose because she lined up with everything God had told me she would be and quite frankly I genuinely enjoyed spending time with her. We got together 6 days before my father died, and her presence in my life during that time confirmed any doubts I might have had. I chose her and I’m glad that she’s the one I chose. Best choice I made last year!
What are your favorite things about your husband? Why?
SHANIQUA: The fact that he is so gracious, and that isn’t just with me, he is that way with everyone. His loyalty, which is unmatched. He is patient and kind. Being that I am so impatient, I am still blown away constantly at how patient he is. I like he literally does not keep a record of wrongs. If we disagree about something, I can always count on the fact that he will never bring it up again. He is handsome, of course. He is sacrificial; I have seen him go without to make sure I have. I think most of all I love that he never encourages me to do nonsense. He extends grace, but he will definitely help me to see the error of my ways. I have watched many couples encourage each other in folly even though they were wrong. I always said that was something I didn’t want.
What are your favorite things about your wife? Why?
GERSHON: My wife is the most creative person I have ever met. I really believe she can do anything. She’s not afraid to learn new things and anything she sets her mind to, it will be done. She’s also committed to being the best person she can be period. She does not give up trying. She’s also a boss cook, a true baker extraordinaire, and the best interior decorator I know. I love her mind, she will not accept things she does not understand and so her inquisitiveness is something I deeply admire as well. One more thing, she is forever hottt and her body is banging!!!! *wink*
Share the kindest/grandest thing that your husband has done for you.
SHANIQUA: There are many things, but I would have to say recently when I was sick for a couple of months. He took excellent care of me, and all of my household duties every day without any complaints. It was a really rough time, but he made sure that I was taken care of and he did it without any frustration.
Share the kindest/grandest thing that your wife has done for you.
GERSHON: Too many to mention. There was the day I was working really hard and I popped in for lunch and she’d prepared a full course meal for me complete with a “For married people only” dessert. There are all the times that she helps with my presentations, whether for church, schools, or otherwise. Remember I said she’s creative visually, I’m more verbally creative. So I can speak well but her gift is in the visuals. So after any presentation I compile, she listens and then comes up with excellent PowerPoint presentations and other visuals that make good presentations great.
Who popped the question? Describe the moment, event or day.
GERSHON: I did. Long story short, she has a ministry that predominantly attracts women of all ages and she’d planned a fun day for all of them to just come and relax. I conspired with the other three members of her leadership team to play a game that would ultimately lead to us in a circle together and I would propose. Needless to say, Shan did not follow the rules of the game correctly and I ended up having to bring her in the circle. I rambled on for about 4-5 minutes and then dropped down to my knee, asked her to marry me and she said yes. (Gershon)
What was your vision for your wedding?
SHANIQUA: We wanted our wedding to have meaning, so everything we did from the color scheme to the songs we sang were specifically chosen. Our theme was #SummerJoy, the name given to me by God as a promise to one day bring me out with joy and gladness. Our colors were yellow and orange, which reflected summer colors and the bright future ahead.
What would you say was the most special moment on your wedding day?
GERSHON: Our vows. We wrote them, and for me being able to bare my heart to her and have her do the same for me was absolutely beautiful. I still remember her vows to this day.
SHANIQUA: I would have to say it was a tie for me. The first moment was when he cried while I walked down the aisle and the second was when we sang “goodness of God”. That song had brought us through a lot in the couple of months leading up to our wedding day, so we both cried.
Where did you go and what did you do for your honeymoon?
We stayed in Barbados and did a couple days at Blue Horizon Hotel. ‘Twas wonderful.
What is your best memory of your honeymoon?
SHANIQUA: To be honest I think our best memory was getting the rest we needed. Everything was finally over and we were able to relax. Planning a wedding can be a bit taxing, so we were finally able to have that three days of downtime with each other. And you know what else was a great memory. *wink*
GERSHON: Sleeping lol. The wedding day is such an emotionally charged day that it tires you out. We definitely got to sleep alot and then, of course, there was the matter of consummating the marriage ????.
What was the most unexpected thing you’ve experienced as a couple since your wedding?
GERSHON: My wife has been having some health challenges that began about three months into our marriage. Navigating that has been unexpected but has also taught us alot about marriage, love, and how to be there for each other as we walk through the valley together.
As “husband” do you believe that there are any specific roles and responsibilities that are primarily/solely yours in the marriage? What are they?
GERSHON: Not particularly. I do believe that I am to provide for her but we share everything so it’s not a concrete belief. Then there are some things that simply happen implicitly, for example, my wife has never taken the garbage out, and especially in recent times due to not feeling well has not mopped our entire home either. These aren’t role/responsibilities; these are simply choices we make to support each other.
As “wife” do you believe that there are any specific roles and responsibilities that are primarily/solely yours in the marriage? What are they?
SHANIQUA: My role is to be his helpmeet in every area of life. I believe that everyone’s marriage is different and that each couple should figure out what is best for them. I rather cook though; even though my husband is willing, I don’t think I am ready to let him. But he handles the cleanup. We have our own little system and it is working for us.
Do you have kids? If yes, how would you describe your spouse’s parenting style?
What advice would you give to young Caribbean people who wish to venture into marriage?
GERSHON: Marriage is God’s gift to us and if you are privileged to be able to experience it, you need to ensure that you marry the right person. DO NOT IGNORE THE RED FLAGS! It is better to wait long than to marry wrong. A wedding is easy, marriage is not. So take your time, keep God in front, behind, and around your union and allow Him to direct your path.
SHANIQUA: I would advise everyone to make sure they are confident in the decision that they are making. Magic does not make a marriage work, hard work does. So if you are not willing to put in the work, leave it out. Nobody is perfect but it takes two to make it work, and willingness is what is needed
If you had the power to plan it perfectly what would the next 5 years look like for you as a couple?
Two children, our own home, still laughing and having fun every available moment, walking in our collective and individual purpose.
How do you define love?
GERSHON: Love is a choice that you make to commit yourself to walk through life with someone. Oftentimes its genesis is in wonderful times but it is challenged most in tough times. I think the choice to love is the end result that manifests itself to be true in the midst of the valleys of life.
SHANIQUA: I will have to give the biblical definition of love: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
You can share your Caribbean Love story by responding to these very same questions and emailing your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org