Monday, August 27, 2007

Marriage Monday or "How To Get Married Without Dating"


I've mentioned a couple of times that Hubby and I did not date before our engagement and I always knew that I would have to post about it. Now, Christine has given me the perfect opportunity. The Marriage Monday topic for this week is reminiscing about the early days of our relationships. The anniversary of our engagement is just a couple of weeks away, so it's fun for me to take a few moments and remember that exciting and amazing time in my life.


I was 24, young and idealistic. I still had plans of returning to Europe some day and maintained a lot of my friendships there. But there was this guy. He was a deacon in my church; single, friendly, godly - the total package.


The hitch was that the church we were attending discouraged dating, instead promoting something called, "Perfect Choice." The theory went that God could and would, if allowed, arrange a marriage in the same way He did for Issac and Rebekah. If one felt, after taking the time to pray about it that there was "someone" you believed God was leading you toward, then you would talk to the pastor to "submit" that name. He would then inform said person, who was then to take 30 days to pray about it and ask God to reveal it to him/her. If, at the end of this time of prayer, that person came back with the other person's name, believing that God wanted them to marry, then they became engaged. I know - it sounds crazy.


I had been noticing Hubby-to-be, but hadn't really thought seriously about pursuing any relationship. Then one night we had carpooled with a few other people to a Singles event. As we drove back to the church, I looked over at him and clear as day heard God say to me "This is your future husband." I don't say that lightly. I had never before and have never since had that happen to me. I was so stunned I didn't speak the rest of the way and couldn't even look at him. This was July 25.


For the remainder of the summer, and probably even before then, I tried to avoid him. I wanted anything that did happen to truly be God-led, not because I was flirty or initiating anything. I served as a greeter and there would be a greeter and a deacon at each doorway into the sanctuary - I would see where he was and go to the door farthest away. I would park my car away from him if I could. I was trying desperately to keep my emotions under control. Whenever I thought about him, I would turn it into praying for him. We had never been alone, nor did I have any reason to believe he felt the same way I did.


I was adamant that I would never "submit" anyone's name - that should be the man's job, right? So I waited out the summer, jumpy any time he was near. Finally, near the end of August, I felt convicted that I was to submit his name - that I was allowing pride to stand in the way of God's plan.


Then Hurricane Andrew hit. In the midst of all the devastation, it didn't seem appropriate to bother the pastor, so I put it on hold. Finally, in mid-September I saw an opportunity to speak with the pastor following a Friday night service. Afterwards, I was a nervous wreck. A group of us singles went out (including Hubby-to-be) and I was sick to my stomach, convinced he must have seen me speaking to the pastor.


There was a Christian seminar that many people from our church were attending in town the next week. Hubby-to-be had asked me to ride with him. Of course, I said yes. I mean, I figured I had 30 days while he was supposed to be praying. I could finally relax, right? Well, on the second night of the conference, during a break, he asked me to step outside with him. And he proposed!


Believe it or not, before the pastor even spoke to him, Hubby had gone to the pastor less than 48 hours after I had spoken with him to submit my name! The pastor asked him if we had been dating and when Hubby vehemently denied it, the pastor told him that he'd better get a ring because God was working here! In all the cases of "Perfect Choice" there had never been a case where both people, who really hadn't dated, approached the pastor at basically the same time.


So, of course I said yes and we were married just 5 1/2 months later. There were some very difficult adjustments, natural since we really didn't know each other. But the knowledge that our relationship was truly ordained by God and a result of prayer has gotten us through all of that. We are very much in love and it's been a wonderful 15 years!

14 comments:

Jess said...

this is a great post...does your husband's name appear near the end?
:)
p.s. please delete this comment if you want, i debated whether to post it, but figured you'd want to know.
jess

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Ooh, I've caught it and fixed it! Thanks, Jess, for pointing it out to me. I guess this is going to take some getting used to!

Jennifer said...

What a fantastic story! It's very encouraging to a mother of 2 daughters. There is nothing like the peace that comes when you know GOD IS IN IT.
Thanks for sharing! It was lovely bedtime reading - I'll have sweet dreams now. :)
Jen

lori said...

what an AMAZING story...a true testimony of God being in the middle of our lives...
it blessed me this morning!!
peace and many, many more!

Mrs. Fussypants said...

Now, THAT'S a great testimony!

Refresh My Soul Blog said...

I absolutely LOVE your story. This is a great testimony to the fact that God does indeed pick our mates for us if we just wait on Him. Thanks for sharing and I am lifting a prayer for your marriage.
Blessings,
Angela

Christine said...

Wow! That's about all I have to say. Talk about being God-led! I'm so glad I gave you a "reason" to post your story!!

Xandra said...

Your story is absolutely amazing! God is indeed sovereign....

Lynn said...

Lori,

You need to write a book about this for every young woman out there.

It is the best example of trusting God with your most important choice.

Awesome. Just Awesome.

Charity said...

Awesome story! I love it and wish more churches would do the same thing.

queenbusick said...

Fabulous story and be sure to clip this post to give to your children..esp before they get engaged!

I was trying to decide if I would be brave enough..I think I would have danced around even longer than you! You are brave and how exciting!

Tami Boesiger said...

Very interesting story. Would you recommend this way of hooking up for your children?

stacey said...

i greatly admire your faith and committment. while it is hard to really say at this point in my married life, i doubt i could have been this strong to have done it. thanks for sharing!

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