“How did he propose to you?”
Approaching an anniversary date solicits this question. After 25 years of marriage, I’ve lived long enough to see so many traditions change. A proposal is one tradition that has drastically changed. When I was a young girl, I would hear stories from the older generation of “the ask” and marriage occurring on the same day, and by the next day, you were back at work.
Today, I watch movies and hear stories of extremely creative, romantic, and out-of-this-world proposals. One particular proposal that just came to mind was a man taking his girlfriend to The Biltmore Estate. He gained permission to use a room with a royal chair to ask his future “queen” to marry him. He placed her on a royal chair and got down on one knee. He had a prepared speech, a beautiful ring, and a romantic afternoon planned.
My husband and I were married over 25 years ago under the love and care of an extended family. The outpouring of love and support gave us courage and hope. I was not whisked away to an estate and made to feel like a future queen, but I was showered with unimaginable love and commitment from family, friends, and most importantly my husband. I vividly remember my husband tearing up when questioned by my father, that he wanted to marry me and that he loved me deeply. Simple, pure love. We did not have money to buy a ring, nor the financial maturity you need to put a ring on a credit card. Our commitment and love were what we offered as a long-lasting symbol.
Over the years, I’ve watched my husband hold my hand in the delivery room, cry with me when we miscarried, change diapers, clean up from sick children, teach his daughters how to whittle sticks and soap animals, sing with me, study God’s Word and teach others with me, take us fishing, paint houses and fix plumbing, try to teach me Excel, rescue me from locked keys in the car, bury pets, cook meals, support my aging parents, work hard at his career to provide for his family, rub my feet, hold me when I’m crying and I can’t explain why, listen to my heart-aches, and most importantly offer forgiveness and grace.
We have tried our best to live out the example of love in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13
Every day my husband proposes to me. Every action of love is him saying to me, “Will you marry me?”
I deeply struggled with the fact that we didn’t have a romantic and thrilling story to tell when we are asked the question of “how?” In fact, my husband and I got into a rather huge discussion over this point. You know the discussions that center around an event but is the gateway to further questioning and layers of “stuff”?
I prayed about our discussion and God revealed the word commitment.
I love creative romance, and this post is not a rationalization or an excuse to not pursue your mate and romantically love them. Part of our discussion was me explaining some of my heart’s desires, and him listening and offering change. Let’s get real. Our marriage is a work in progress, and I think that’s the point God was trying to convey to my heart. You can either work at your marriage, or become apathetic and throw in the towel.
The greatest proposal that a man can offer is a daily commitment and actions that say –“Will you marry me?” And, to love his wife as “Christ loved the church in that He gave His life for her”. (Ephesians Chapter 5)
As a woman, it is important for me to joyfully and thoughtfully recognize the commitment and actions of my spouse.
And most importantly, the greatest proposal ever was the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross–His love should be my “soul” security. He is enough. (John 3:16)
The Biltmore or my spouse can never fill the longings of my heart. Only Jesus can fill this longing. Jesus, I accept Your proposal of love!
Don’t long for the world’s ideal of romance. Long for Jesus and His love and through this relationship, ask Him to show you how to love your spouse.