It’s been an interesting last few days. The last several blog posts have been some of the most viewed ever. I guess folks are really interested in dating/relationships and such. That’s good! We should be. After all, most Americans get married (at least once), and that’s a shame (the getting married more than once part) :). So, we should be discussing these things.
We’ve talked a lot about how marriage is God’s idea and He performed the first wedding in the Garden of Eden. We’ve talked about how a young man and young woman should trust the Lord to bring their mate into their lives. They don’t have to help God “find” Mr. or Mrs. Right. God knows exactly who they are and if He can take care of the universe and all that’s in it by just speaking the word, then bringing our mate to us should be no problem. We don’t need E-Harmony or Christian Mingle to do it for Him.
So, I’m living this whole deal in my own life right now. So, would you like to continue to look in on all the happenings? This is like a modern-day virtual reality show, perhaps. But, I’ve had so many comments like: “Thanks for showing us how this can be done in our culture.” And so has Katy. No, please understand. There is no “cookie cutter” way. We have Biblical principles to guide us; however, each life and each situation is unique and different. But, I’ll say it again. I sure wish I knew 30 years ago what I know now. It would have saved a whole lot of heartache.
So, let me share a little about me and Josh and how he and I communicated in this process of him sharing his intentions about Katy with me.
Here’s the family at Josh’s graduation from the Marines.
Now when Josh was sent to Mississippi for job training last fall, before he left; we had a long talk in the parking lot of Chick-Fil-A in Wilkesboro. I told Josh I could sense that he and Katy liked each other in a way that was more than just good Bible Study friends. I asked him to seek the Lord and hear from Him on what He wanted for the relationship. I told him that before he pursued Katy beyond just an occasional letter, etc. that I need to know his intentions.
That’s the proper question for any father to ask a young man who is interested his daughter. “What are your intentions?”
And the same is true for the father of a young man to ask that of his son, who might want to pursue a young lady. That father should ask his son, “What are your intentions, son?”
Now there is something that we must all get locked into our brains about the Scriptural tenets regarding relationships. In order for a young man to pursue a young lady, he needs to be able to show that he can pay the “bride’s price” as Jesus did when He was willing to die on the cross for His bride the “Church.” In our vernacular, paying the “bride’s price,” means that he (the young man), must have a way to support and provide for the young lady. In other words, he needs a job.
If a man cannot show that he can provide for the young lady, then he is unable to pay the bride’s price and is therefore disqualified from being “able” to pursue a young lady. It’s why I jokingly say that if a young man drives up my driveway and wants to see my daughter I ask him, “Who paid for the gas in your tank and paid the insurance on your car?” If his answer is anything but, “I did!” then he’s disqualified. His intentions are probably something else other than pursuing marriage with my daughter.
So, the day came when Josh and I talked on the phone. He was in Mississippi and I was in North Carolina. But, I remember the call vividly. Josh was nervous and frankly so was I. I knew in my heart what he was going to ask me before he uttered the first word. Long story, short. He declared his intentions to me. He said, “Sir (just like a good Marine), I want you to know that my intentions are to protect your daughter’s heart at all costs and I will do nothing but protect her and care for her in a way that is honorable. May I pursue a deeper relationship with her?”
We talked in detail about what my expectations were. I told him to take a deep breath, because he did well! 🙂 He laughed. But the gist of the conversation centered around the fact that I simply wanted what God wanted. I told him that I trusted him and that I gave him my permission to pursue a deeper relationship with her.
Now you might ask, “Was he asking her hand in marriage?” No. He wasn’t. He was simply stating his intentions. He is a Marine. He has a job and is earning a paycheck and if things were to progress “down the road,” I knew he could provide for her and when and if I place Katy’s hand into his hand at the altar, then I’d know he could take care of her.
Now you might ask, “What about love?” As Tina Turner used to sing, “What’s love got to do with it?” Well, a lot, of course! But, perhaps not the way you think. Love, my dear readers, is more of a decision than a feeling. Our culture has made “love” a feeling and something you “fall into,” I guess much like a mud puddle and something you “fall out of,” like an amusement ride. But, that is NOT Scriptural.
Did God feel like sending His Son to die for sinful man? For God so LOVED the world, He gave His one and only Son… No, I would say to you that it’s not true love until there is sacrifice. We live in such a “me” culture that is about instant gratification and pleasure and feelings of ecstasy, that we have no clue what true love is. Love is grinding it out when the feelings aren’t there. It’s about:
For better for worse…
For rich for poorer…
In sickness and health…
To love and to cherish…
Forsaking all others
Till DEATH do us part…
Where are the “feelings” in those words? That’s called “commitment.” That is what I was looking for from Josh and I got it. So, I continue to pray for Josh and Katy and look forward to all that the Lord has in store for them as they continue this journey together.
Josh and I continue to have conversations. We are not 300 feet from each other on this. We are side by side. I’m helping and encouraging him. That’s what men do. We help other men. That’s Titus 2 kind of stuff…the older teaches the younger. I’m honored to see that he desires to do what I desire to do for my daughter:
Protect her heart…
So, what’s your intentions?