It’s been almost a month since my last Friday series (on How to Graduate College the Distance Learning Way) and I’m finally starting into another: our love story.
Joshua and I are fast approaching our sixth anniversary. The past six years have been a delightful adventure. Three children and three years of law school later, I am even more grateful for Joshua than I was the day he asked to marry me.
Though I’ve wanted to write our love story for a while, I have hesitated for several reasons.
- Unlike in the fairy tales, “happily ever after” is the main part of the story. Love stories delight me as much as the next gal. But the best stories are of those who have finished well.
- God writes each story differently. I absolutely love the way He chose to write our story. But God is the Master Storyteller and each story is and should be different. How boring would it be if we all followed the same script?
- I happen to be married to the most amazing man in the world and really, truly don’t want to make anyone jealous. Why Joshua wanted to marry me is still a mystery, but I certainly won’t complain that he did!
Our story is far from finished. If the unwritten chapters are half as good as the finished ones, I will die a very happy woman. Whatever the future holds, God has blessed our path abundantly so far and I think it’s finally time to share the opening chapters of our love story. But first, a definition….
Courtship: defining the term
Joshua and I had an old-fashioned courtship, complete with a drowned cell phone.
The term courtship carries so many shades of meaning. Before getting into our love story, I want to define what the term courtship meant for us: a purposeful relationship, blessed by the parents.
The modern era has ushered in an age of casual uncommitted relationships. Radical feminism claims the right for women to pursue whatever relationship they desire. To sleep with whomever they want.
In addition to being completely unscriptural, the belief that complete sexual freedom somehow elevates anyone, man or women, is wrong. Today, it is socially acceptable for a guy to date a girl and expect the privileges of marriage, but shirk any responsibility or commitment. In my opinion, that is not elevating anyone.
Courtship (or “dating with purpose” as some prefer to call it) is committed. Going into a courtship, guy and girl have an end in mind: to see if the other person is the one they are supposed to marry. Sometimes the answer is “no.” But a courtship is designed to protect you, as much as possible, from giving away your heart to anyone but the one you marry.
A courtship is also blessed by the parents. Antiquated as it sounds, parents should care about the person their child marries, fathers should value their daughter’s virtue. And, children should want their parent’s wise counsel. Obviously, not all situations are the same. Some parents are uninvolved. Some dads are loving and do care, but don’t think their daughter’s marriage is any of their business. Some parents are not wise, etc.
I am blessed to call one of the wisest and kindest men I know my Papa. I am so grateful for the part that he and my dear mother played in my love story.
Meeting my Man (Our modern, old-fashioned love story)
Joshua and I met at a conference when he was sixteen and I was thirteen. I don’t remember that. I do remember his sister, Crystal, who was with him.
Like me, Crystal is the oldest daughter in a big family. We talked and laughed. She was so cheerful and her eyes danced when she talked. Instantly, I knew I wanted to get to know her better, but it was nearly a year before I saw her again.
We visited a new church and when we walked in the door, there was Crystal! I was so excited when my family decided to start attending her church.
Eventually, I learned that Crystal had a very cute big brother, but it was a couple years before I really noticed him: It was a lovely, mild summer day. Our families had both gone to a church camp for the week. On the way back from a peaceful walk, I saw Joshua walking with his youngest sister, Hannah. She was dressed in the cutest dress with puffed sleeves and a white pinafore and her golden curls bounced as she walked.
But Joshua is the one who caught my attention this time. Her little hand grasped his strong one and he smiled as she chattered non-stop.
All I could think was How sweet. Joshua would make such an amazing dad!
Later that week, he shared his testimony and once again, I noticed. I noticed his passion for God, his love for his family and his humility.
To be continued next Friday…