The Cherry Vine Presents . . .
LOVE OVER LUST REVEAL’ations (LOLR)
We are Peter G. and Lisa C. Singletary (Lisa Cherry Ballance), authors of LOVE OVER LUST REVEAL'ations: Awakening Love Without Being Suffocated By Lust. We certainly did not write the book because we are experts on the subjects of Love or Lust. It was an idea that surfaced after our engagement, as the topics of love, lust, marriage and relationships have always been a common place for us. Being in our 50's, we simply had a purposeful journey to "here." In that, we wanted to share our discoveries, what we discussed, and things that were more clearly revealed along the way.
We're basically still newlyweds...married for less than a year. The book was actually published before our nuptials, so even for us, it's interesting to read our thoughts at that time. In reflection, we are still 100% in agreement with the contents of LOLR! We hope that you enjoy the interview, and decide to order a book (thecherryvine.com or Amazon). It may impact your spiritual journey of love, but more importantly, we pray that it encourages your life in some way. So many people have asked questions, so here we go….
~Peter and Lisa
Communications (sporadic) began December, 2018 on social media. Started video-chatting August, 2019. The rest, as they say, is history….
~How did you meet?
(L) We met on Instagram (IG). He sent an IG request to follow me. After researching to find out that we both went to Winston-Salem State University, and had quite a few mutual friends, I accepted it. I also snooped on his page ASAP. lol
(P) I was scrolling through Instagram, and saw this picture of a young lady wearing a red sweater, standing beside a car. I was like, hmmm….she looks like a Delta (she’s not). I read a little of her profile to find out that she went to Winston-Salem State, so I was curious. I sent her a Follow request, and she responded.
~What were your first conversations about?
(L) We conversed on IG only at first, mostly about my football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. This went on sporadically for several months. It was when he mentioned that I had “nice feet” when the chats escalated a little. His mention of politics and hypocrisy one evening also piqued my interest—really got my attention, so we had an in-depth chat about that.
(P) Well, first I talked about her sorry Philadelphia Eagles–I found (on IG) that she was a Philly fan. I let her know that even though they went to the Super Bowl, they still had a sorry team. In addition, she asked me why did I leave the ministry. I told her that I could no longer deal with the politics and hypocrisy that I witnessed in the church. It led to a litany of questions.
~What was the first date like?
(L) I guess you could say that we dated on video-chat every night for over a month, hours upon hours, before meeting in person. We were going to meet in Richmond, VA, which was halfway for both of us, but decided later that he should come to my house. The first date was a weekend that was unlike anything that I had experienced. After a nervous start, it was so comfortable—like we had known each other for years. We talked a lot about everything, cooked together, took rides out, and just chilled. He and Khloe hit it off immediately--that was strange, but it was all so easy.
(P) The first date was based on curiosity and it was mystique, because so much was unknown. I was curious to see what she looked like in person. We video-chatted a lot, and it was a lovely thing to see her face, but I wasn’t sure if she (fully) really looked like the pictures on Instagram or Mary Tyler Moore or something…ha. I enjoyed it. I walked in, saw the smile on her face, and I was like, Wow. It was a beautiful weekend. A lot of things happened that I never experienced before. Like, I thought she was setting me up to see what kind of things I could fix around the house when a cabinet door fell off the hinges (I fixed it). She gave me a beautiful card, and a gift bag filled with many of the things she knew I liked—chocolates, pistachios, Dr. Pepper, etc., and yes, pajama pants…lol. It let me know that she actually listened while we video-chatted. That was special.
~What was the pivotal moment when you knew this could be serious?
(L) Whew, it actually happened before the first date. During a conversation, we discovered that we both had been seeing the same number for months, not knowing what it meant. He had been seeking God for answers, and I was afraid to tell anyone because I thought it was some sort of bad sign. The number was 66. Without the details, I ended up crying on the floor in my bathroom, asking God, What is this, what’s going on here, and who is this man?!? Researching Google afterwards, and sharing with a friend, the number had a profound spiritual meaning that seemed relevant for my current season. It was extremely eerie, but a good sign for me. Also, I distinctly remember meeting one of his spiritual family members for the first time, and the subject of marriage briefly came up. When we were leaving, she whispered in my ear, “It’s gonna be beautiful.” That was somewhat of a relief.
(P) One of the pivotal moments was I kept seeing the number 66--on the cell phone, highway signs, weather reports, books, it was even the number of comments for a book review, etc. I began doing research on the number, and found out that it was an angel number for new love, love of self, love of relationships, and love for family. I began to meditate and ponder on what God was trying to tell me, to later find out that Lisa had been seeing the same number, and during the same timeframe. Also, we went to church together. She knows that I’m a man of prayer. There’s this phrase, where I pray “decree and declare” all the time. The choir sang a song with those exact words. I had not heard the song before, so I looked over at her with a big smile, and said, “You the one!” The song title is “Speak” by Myron Butler. I told her in the car when we left, I decree and declare that you will be my wife.
~What made him/her different?
(L) His conversation; His profound love for God; His intimate prayers; His comfortability in being himself; He seemed to be a man of courage. This was the first time that I said to God, ever, that I only wanted the man He had for me. Sad, but true....
(P) Mental orgasms…Communicating with her is like, wow, she’s bright, she's intelligent, and she expresses herself well. That was one of the things that I appreciated. In the past, women couldn’t talk about nothin’, so I was snoozing—Lol. She’s an intellectual, so the mental thing was on point, and the spirituality played a role, as well.
~Briefly describe prior dating life.
(L) I had been dating/involved a little. There was even one off-and-on relationship that spanned for a few years, but none had possibilities of anything long-term. A dear friend of mine reminded me to stay on task with only dating men in which there was something buildable. He constantly reminded me to stay focused on that, and to keep God first. So grateful for him, and his presence in my life.
(P) It was up and down. I traveled a lot, moved around a lot, so if I dated, it was like---months, and gone. I did have a stabilized relationship before meeting this beautiful young lady, Lisa, and in the midst of that I felt numb—like I wasn’t there. Everything else was sort of short-lived.
~This New Dating Experience~
Started (Officially) September 2019
~What made you want to pursue a long-term relationship?
(L) I was ready for something different! I always admired my parents’ relationship, and I wanted that kind of love, support, honor, consistency, and authentic friendship. I didn’t want to be anyone’s afterthought anymore, and I was over “just hanging out.” I also wanted the experience of a relationship where we both could be on a path of spiritual growth together. Peter seemed to fit all of that. I kept praying for guidance, and kept moving toward the possibilities--cautiously.
(P) Well, I prayed about this before meeting Lisa. I had been dating for a while, but wanted a helpmate, so I said, “Okay, God, it’s in your hands.” Prayer was the foundation—I knew God was in it. I was tired of just dating, so I closed the black book, and hung up the keys. I got a chance to see Lisa’s spiritual side. Also, once I had the confirmation of the song at church, that’s all I needed. Although, while Lisa and I were dating, I was still praying, asking God for signs. It was all positive; all good, so I was like, Ok, God, I got you, and I know you got me….
~Did you cohabitate during this relationship?
(L) Although unexpectedly, and a new thing for us both, we did. Covid can be the catalyst or the excuse (ha), but we lived together six months after we started dating. It was supposed to be temporary until he found his own place due to new employment in NC, nearby. We apartment hunted for weeks, but it just seemed to work. Plus, we really enjoyed being together so much.
(P) Oh yeah….It was a long distance thing at first. I would come on the weekends to see her, and visit family—her mom, my dad, etc. We made a commitment to God that we weren’t going to engage in sex. We honored that commitment, even while living and traveling together.
~Since the book has a basis of lust, did celibacy play a part in this dating experience?
(L) Yes, we decided, even before we dated, that we wanted to be celibate in the next relationship. I had been following other couples, prior, who were or had been practicing celibacy, and I was sold on how it could change the foundation of a relationship. The stint with Peter was my 2nd attempt, as I “fell off the wagon” during the previous relationship. 🤦🏾♀️ I knew that if I wanted something different, I had to make sacrifices, and do this thing differently. The challenge was that we were both so physically attracted to each other, that it took major discipline and prayer to stay committed to the cause….whew! I was the strongest one for sure…lol.
(P) Most definitely! Because I knew that praying and asking God to lead and guide me to the woman I believed He had for me, and He had shown me signs and wonders, I knew it wasn’t gonna last and succeed if I put flesh before spiritual. Believe me, it was a struggle, but God still got victory over it in the end. I(We) didn’t allow my flesh to dictate the relationship or dictate how I responded to things or did things, but it was there….
Peter proposed on Saturday night, May 29, 2021, in a restaurant with a beautiful view of the Baltimore Harbor. The engagement lasted over seven months before the wedding.
~Peter, What led to the proposal?
(P) One, knowing that the whole relationship was based on the foundation of prayer, and God, because throughout the relationship, I saw the hand of God. He revealed a lot of things in the relationship. Not only that, He revealed things on her side that was a confirmation to what I was receiving, which I thought was powerful. Communication— We communicated a lot! That was easy. It was just smooth—a smooth relationship. Of course, we had our hiccups, but I would say that over 95% of the relationship was smooth. I didn’t let the 5% of hiccups destroy what we had going. I guess it’s the old cliche of there being more positive than negative, and there was a lot more positive than negative. In the end, I continued to pray, asking God to reveal himself to me, because timing is everything. When I met Lisa, I didn’t want to walk in with the attitude of rushing. Rushing was not my goal or my desire. God is a god of timing, and He’s always on time, so before I even decided to propose, there was a stage of preparation, timing, and prayers being answered.
~Talk about the challenges during the engagement----Timing, questioning marriage, naysayers.
(L) Well, there were challenges with the logistics of the actual wedding ceremony—when, where, and who to invite, due to the Covid pandemic. There were surely naysayers (there are still some), and I appreciated the genuine concern, however, I trusted God for the decision and the timing. Also, I needed to make sure that I wasn't getting married so soon to fill the void of losing Mama. Staying committed to celibacy was an ongoing challenge, and so was adjusting to living with someone. Being single for years, I learned that I was more set in my solo ways than I realized. That's still a challenge! lol
(P) Cohabitation was a challenge! The woman is very attractive, very desirable, and beautiful. So, as a man, I wanted her! Covid came along, and that changed a whole lot of things. Naysayers? There’s always naysayers. Naysayers are gonna be there out of jealousy; Naysayers are gonna be there to make sure you make the right decisions; Naysayers are gonna be there, whether family or friends. Covid was a challenge for the wedding, because we wanted a big ceremony, but we also wanted to be healthy—we wanted everyone healthy. We went with a very small, quaint, intimate and beautiful setting, with some family there.
~Who supported the journey the most—three people?
(L) Pete’s dad (Pops), a friend/cousin, and one of my nieces (the only person that I know of, who had audible tears of genuine love and joy for my happiness, when told of the engagement🥰). By far, Pops was the biggest supporter---love some him.
(P) My dad! My dad was all in. Sister Garcia was all in. Bryan was all in—these three people come to mind first. Garcia was giving prophetic word all along the way, but Dad fell in love with Lisa at first sight.
~The Marriage — A SingleCherry Love~
The ceremony was on a Saturday, December 4, 2021, 2 p.m., at our Home (of Love, Laughter, Peace and Prayer). There were only nine guests, including the officiant and her husband (Lisa’s spiritual brother).
~Three words that describe the wedding night?
(L) A gift(of love and sacrifice), beautiful, amazing
(P) Extraordinary, amazing, wonderful
~What's the most supportive thing that he/she has done for you?
(L) Peter’s support during my mom’s illness and passing—there are no words to describe how amazing he was, and continues to be a selfless support to me in every way.
(P) Words of encouragement. She knows how to encourage me when she sees me in a funk. Not only does she encourage me, she supports me in things that I do. It’s just her overall appreciation.
~The most romantic thing?
(L) He planned the entire honeymoon. It was absolutely awesome.
(P) Oh Lord…lol. When she surprises me with little gifts–little thoughtful things. I appreciate it.
~What's the sexiest thing about him/her?
(L) His love for God; his eyes, his conversation, his hands, all of his tall linky chocolate self :-)
(P) I would say her conversation, because that’s where my mental orgasms come from. Also, I like the way she walks, and the way she smells. I can keep going on and on about this one, but keeping it G-rated…..lol
~The most annoying thing?
(L) Responding without really listening—cordial replies drive me nuts!
(P) When she tries to breathe and see into the future…lol. Or she can read your mind. I mean, I got people cosigning on that one every now and then—her daughter….lol. Other than that, I’m all good. It’s all “butter” after that….
~What keeps the marriage strong?
(L) Our faith in God. Being reminded of the sign, wonder, and significance of the number 66. We really do have a blast together, whether day trips, vacation, discussing devotion topics, you name it. We laugh a lot!!! We talk a lot.
(P) We enjoy one another! Sense of humor and for me, authenticity—there’s nothing fake about it.
~What would cause it to fail?
(L) Deceit, dishonesty, declining integrity, and infidelity.
(P) Lack of integrity. Lack of authenticity would hurt the most.
~What's the biggest lesson learned thus far?
(L) That I’m more set in my ways and more independent than I realized. I have triggers…whew. He is not anyone else —my toxic triggers aren’t because of him. I still struggle with trust issues….ugggh. After-the-“I do” newness is real.
(P) The biggest lesson so far is that you will see things that you never thought of or imagined after the “I do”, but I understand that. I think the real biggest thing comes from the spiritual level, the attacks— from the enemy. Marriage is a spiritual component of life, but the attacks—how they come, when they come, and knowing that they are gonna come. In the process of those attacks, it has hurt our communication some.
~Although not experts on the subjects, what advice do you have for people seeking a committed relationship and/or marriage?
(L) Know what you want. Know the deal breakers. Stay focused because temptation is a beast! The enemy is sneaky. Be committed to the sacrifices that you need to make to render different results than what you've had before. Most importantly, seek God, and godly counsel, if needed! One other thing—Let your relationship be yours and God’s, not involving others in the mess. Hopefully, people will be able to see that.
(P) It is important to reveal what the definition of a marriage is—to see if you’re on the same page. Also, I think some men are afraid to commit, and marriage is a commitment. Once those men figure out what it means to commit, figuring out what a beautiful marriage is, one that they can be proud of and love, that’s commitment. Decide— Are you only committed when things are going good, you’re laughing, everyone is having fun or are you going to be committed when issues arise in life–sickness, finances, sex, whatever it is? What keeps you there? Is it something physical, flaky or is it God? In terms of giving people advice, I would tell them to begin with prayer and conversation. I think that will help you to understand if you’re committed to one another. I would advise not taking much advice from single people, because nine times out of ten, they’re not going to give you the best answers—especially when they want what you have ….
~What are words to describe the essence of him/her?
(L) Prayerful, loving, affectionate, playful, intentional, committed. We certainly have moments of discord— spirited conversations, arguments, misunderstandings, frustrations, getting on each other’s almost last nerve, etc., but I can say that at 59 years young, I’ve never felt more loved and supported. Did I say that??? Lol
(P) Sincere, very, very loving–she goes above and beyond to express her love, and is a lover of God.
~Six words to describe the marriage---The SingleCherry Love?
(L) Godly, exciting, spontaneous, comfort, comical, sincere
(P) Spontaneous, humorous, prayerful, unpredictable, solid, loving
~Is this forever or just cliché to say that it is?
(L) It is what God says it is, as long as we focus on the foundation that it’s built on. People change. Things do/can happen, due to free-will, however, we have to be accountable for our actions and any affected repercussions. I pray that this marriage is forever, until the end of our days, but I also know that no matter what happens, we’re both rooted in our faith, and will be okay.
(P) For me, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, it’s forever—but—we live one day at a time. So, by living one day at a time, we never know what happens. I can say forever, and we wake up one day, and the other one is gone. So, physically it may not be forever, but forever, mentally, will always be there. I’m living one day at a time, and my prayer is that it is forever. Being grounded, my forever doesn’t change. In marrying her, my forever is not based on assets, health, situations or preferences. It's based on commitment and God…that’s it.
Thank you for sharing in our heart-story to “here.” We hope that Love is always the choice, but we know that the Love journey can have its speed bumps, lane changes, detours, and dead-end roads. What we know for sure, is that God never changes, so choose Him, always, to make discerning decisions in your life of Love, and everything else. We thank God for His amazing presence and grace upon our lives. We thank Him for allowing us the opportunity to be a blessing to each other, and prayerfully, you will be blessed, encouraged, and enlightened by this interview.
This is NOT even a near perfect marriage—nor was the dating experience—however, both are/were prayed for—every single day. Each day, we are growing, and learning how to navigate this union of love, and life.
Peace & Blessings & Love,
Peter and Lisa (Lisa C-S)