Y'all, I am so excited to introduce to a very dear friend of mine. Tunrade and I grew up together at Piedmont Baptist Church in Marietta. We have many youth group and praise team memories. We led worship together for our youth group, and I was so excited to watch her date and eventually marry her now husband, Rob. Tunrade is an amazing woman, and I have loved watching how the Lord has grown her into an incredible wife and mother. She may only be a year or so older than me, but I definitely look up to her and am grateful for her influence! You will love her heart of wisdom.
Tell us about yourself. Who are you?
Hi, I’m Tunrade! I’m a just-turned-30, Nigeria-born, Atlanta-raised, Texas resident. I grew up in metro Atlanta and attended Kennesaw State for my music education degree. While there, I met a super cute boy with blue eyes, mad guitar skills, and a love for Jesus. We got married in 2006 and had our first child 15 months later. We went on to have 4 kids in 6 years, which has been a whirlwind. My husband is “Minister of Christian Arts”, which is a fancy word for worship leader. In our 9 years of marriage, we have served at a church plant in Georgia, a small town in Arkansas, and now in Lubbock, Texas. I am a musician, a runner, and a professional curl tamer. I spend my days living out God’s call for me to educate my children at home.
How did you come to know the Lord?
I was fortunate to grow up with a believing mother, and a father who came to Christ while I was very young. We were regular church attendees, we faithfully attended Children's programs, and both of my parents served in various ministries at our church. I especially enjoyed our Bible Drill program, which instilled in me a deep and lasting love for scripture memory. I knew it all, but I just didn’t get it.
I could quote Ephesians 2:8 (For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast), but I spent much of my early childhood trying to be "good enough" to earn God's favor.
I knew what Romans 3:23 said (For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God), but I never really considered myself to be a sinner. How could I be, when I was trying so hard to be good? How could I be a sinner, when I was one of the best behaved kids in my class?
When I was 10 years old, I was watching a drama presentation around Easter time when I began to feel the Holy Spirit's conviction over my sin. I realized that no matter how good I tried to be, I was still a sinner and I needed God's grace. That morning, I repented of my sin and gave my life to Christ. What a relief to know that Jesus paid it ALL!
What do you think it means to be a person of influence right where you are?
My favorite passage of scripture is Colossians 3:17.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
That is my life’s goal, and what it means to be a person of influence. I have been specifically gifted by God for His purpose, not for mine. And my gifts are for service, not for status.
I’m a wife, a mother, a friend, a teacher, and a musician. In each of those roles, am I pointing to Jesus? In my Christian relationships, am I edifying the body? In my relationships with non-Christians, am I living the Gospel?
What is the best piece of marriage advice you've been given?
My husband and I fell in love 11 years ago. We loved each other as we were, but we also loved what the other person could become. As the seasons of life come and go, we need to adapt. Both of us. Together.
For us, growing together means serving together on my husband’s worship team. It means taking the time to pray together and share struggles. It means being bold enough to confront sin in each other’s lives, and being humble enough to receive rebuke from one another.
Lately, growing together means going out to our shed after putting the kids down so we can work out, Netflix, and chat. Those 2 or so hours every day are a necessity.
What does it mean to you to be a mom who encourages her children to love the Lord?
Phew. That’s a tough one. Every time I think I have this whole parenting thing figured out, my kids get a little bit older, new issues arise, and I have to relearn how to be a mother.
One thing I do know is this: Point them to Jesus.
When they succeed, praise God. When they mess up, offer grace. When they are struggling, show compassion. And (this is a tough one for me) when I screw up as a mother, apologize to them.
My children don’t need a perfect mother; they need to see an imperfect parent relying on Jesus. Conversely, I should not expect perfection from my children; I should present them with the truth of the gospel and let the Spirit do His work in their lives.
It is far easier said than done. I never truly appreciated my parents’ patience and guidance until having children of my own.
What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9
And last but not least: coffee or tea?
1 Peter 2:9
And last but not least: coffee or tea?
Neither, really. When my husband leaves with his morning cup, I’ll take whatever is leftover in the pot. If I have a rare quiet afternoon with nothing to do, I’ll make myself a cup of tea. I can take or leave either. Cheesecake, however, is a different story.