Worth the Wait
The Love Story of Ryan and Crystal Ries
By Sarah Komisky
Ryan and Crystal Ries are living proof of what God can do with people when He makes all things new. The couple, who, prior to coming to Jesus lived a life where waiting for sex until marriage was foreign, decided to give their lives over to Christ and do things God’s way. Letting Jesus steer their love life, they now share why love is worth the wait.
Living twenty years apart from God and doing everything “backwards,” Ryan purposed in his heart to do things right when he came to Christ saying, “I didn’t want to jeopardize my relationship with God because I was taking Jesus very seriously, and I believed He designed us for a person, and He’s going to bring that person in His timing.”
Waiting six years until he got into a relationship, Ryan decided to wait on God – a process that was not easy, but a process that he did not regret, stating, “It’s hard being single. You go through stages where you are super stoked on life and God’s doing cool things and then all of a sudden you get in the place where you’re alone and you’re like ‘why am I alone and serving God?’ The conclusion I came to is that God’s preparing that person just us like He’s preparing you and me. And maybe that person that you’re going to marry is not ready yet.”
During the wait, Ryan also let God clean out the baggage of his old life with pornography, past relationships, and the way he treated women. This was all preparatory to meeting his future wife – Crystal. Sharing on the subject Ryan says, “You got issues and your hearts all messed up from past relationships and you just need to sit and have time with God. Number one you have to find out who you are in Christ. A lot of girls or guys say, ‘if I just had a girl…,’ Well guess what? You’re going to get that guy or that girl and then that guy or girl is going to let you down and you’re going to be right back at the mess where you were and the main person in your life needs to be God.”
During that time, Crystal had not yet come to a relationship with Christ yet. God drew her to Shine church service at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa where Ryan taught, and it was there that she accepted Christ as her Savior. Meeting each other at church, both learned how to be friends first and after some time, Crystal gave Ryan a card with his favorite scripture from 2 Chronicles – picked without ever reading the Old Testament! At this point, Ryan knew Crystal was the one and months later, they were married.
Encouraging others to look deeper than the outer qualities and to wait on God who fulfills our deepest desires, Crystal shares, “When I first met Ryan, the fact that he has waited for six years when he became a Christian to not to date or kiss a girl took commitment and that showed me that this guy wasn’t just not going to go back to his old ways. It’s so hard to meet a guy that can stand for something and have the morals and values and the belief that Ryan had. And I was almost caught off guard and I didn’t really know how a relationship with him would even look like, so it was just really waiting on God. He will show you through His word. He will show you through prayer. He will show you through fellowship. He’s just so clear.”
In terms of waiting, both acknowledge the importance of waiting for the right person as prevention from marrying the wrong one. Ryan comments, “If you’re a Christian, obviously the bible teaches about divorcing and if you’re Christians you’re not going to cheat on each other or anything like, so if you marry the wrong person you’re stuck in that marriage.”
So how can one wait for the right person and walk in purity? Crystal believes it’s all about living in the power of Jesus that enables us to honor God, saying, “Just because Ryan and I are married doesn’t mean we don’t have to check ourselves constantly to make sure we’re constantly walking and having that strong relationship with God. We want it so bad and to be at an amazing place with Jesus every second of the day and once you get into that rhythm you start to live this beautiful Spirit life – and that’s better than any fleshly life you could ever live.”