Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How To Get Married Without Even Dating

As I mentioned quite a while ago, Hubby and I did not date before we became engaged. I promised then to tell the story one day. Well, that day has come. It's our 15th wedding anniversary. Sadly we are spending it separately, but we will be together in a few weeks and celebrate then. But on to the story.

I had noticed a fine man in our church. He was a deacon and carried himself very well. He was always helping other people, seeking to serve and honoring God. One night there was a singles party and we were asked to carpool since parking was limited. We all met at the church and split up into groups. My younger brother, who was 8 at the time, and I went in Hubby's car (lots of single parents in the group, so my little brother wouldn't have been out of place).

At some point in the evening, my brother misbehaved. When we got back in the car, I scolded him. Hubby really rebuked him and I was sitting there thinking, "Who does he think he is?" I looked over at him , but in a godly way, and, believe me this really happened, I heard God speak to me. This is not something I say casually - it's never happened since and it had never happened before. But as I looked at him, I clearly heard God tell me, "This is your husband." Completely shocked, I sat face-forward and didn't say a word the rest of the ride back to church.
Now, I should mention here that dating was discouraged in this church. So not dating before engagement was not something unheard of. Typically how it worked was that one person felt that God was leading them towards someone, they would pray about it and then inform the pastor. The pastor would then go to the other party and say, "Someone has "submitted" your name. Pray about it for 30 days and see if God speaks to you who it is." The pastor DID NOT arrange marriages or tell anyone who to marry, got it? I mean really. Do you understand that?

So, this episode in the car happened in June. For the remainder of the summer I basically did all I could to avoid Hubby. I prayed and prayed and asked God to purify my heart. The feelings were definately increasing, but if there was something to develop between us, I didn't want it to be because I flirted and let him know how I was feeling. I wanted it to totally be a "God Thing."

I also didn't want to be the one that went to the pastor first. I saw that as a man's role. Finally, God spoke to me about my pride and stubborness and I felt led by the Lord to go to the pastor in late August. Then Hurricane Andrew hit, delaying everything but recovery efforts. Finally, in mid-September, I caught a few moments with the pastor on a Friday night after services and submitted Hubby's name.

Whew! I figured I now had 30 days to not worry about it while Hubby was supposed to be praying. I could relax.

On Tuesday evening, while at a Christian conference, Hubby pulled me aside and asked to speak to me outside. He proposed right then and there!

Amazingly, God had led him to go to the pastor and submit my name within 48 hours after I spoke with the pastor. He had been praying all summer too. According to the pastor this was the first time both parties approached him independently before he had a chance to talk to the other person. Hubby and I believe that the timing of both of us independently going to the pastor was just further confirmation that God was leading.

Believing that God led us together, we decided that there was no reason to delay our marriage with a long engagement and we were married 5 1/2 months later. Yes, there have been some difficult moments, as with any marriage, but the knowledge that our relationship is truly the work and the will of God has carried us through many a rough moment.

And it's nice to be able to tell our children the story of God's miraculous intervention.


Leeann said...

Happy Anniversary! I thought it was tomorrow, though, like mine? Either way, have a great one!


Peggie said...

I just had to comment! My husband and I have been married for 3 years. I was a widow and had been praying that God would send the right man. I had my set of what was right though. He had to live in the northeast since that was where my family mostly was, he was not to be divorced, he was to have no kids since I did not want to be the "wicked step mom" and other such rules.

God had other plans!

We met online, and I told him I was not interested since he was living in Texas and had his job and home there. I wanted to stay in the northeast... like Maine!

He wrote more and talked about it, I wrote back to be polite. However, I kept wondering as we wrote, it just seemed right. I asked for references before I would even meet him, he gave them to me. We met in TN at my one daughter's house (she left the norhteast too) and that was it. We married 6 weeks later. he is a blessing from God. So are his children!

God's ways are way different than man's.

ClaireBoe said...

Love it. I pray that my children have this kind of experience. We are discouraging dating in our home. I really wish someone had talked to me about all the wonderful reasons to delay dating, or forgo it altogether.

Thank you so much for sharing this!

Anna said...

Incredible story! Thanks for sharing it.

ValleyGirl said...

That's an incredible story! Thanks for sharing it. And Happy Anniversary, too!!!!


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