Life comes at you fast. One moment you are teaching long division to your fourth grader and the next minute she’s engaged. We saw this coming, but you can never know your feelings and thoughts until the day actually arrives.
My oldest’s boyfriend for 7 years came by the house to ask permission from my husband to marry our daughter. Their “anniversary” of their first date is January 1, 2007. The start of a new year. Their proposal came on the first day of summer, June 21, 2014. 7 is a Godly number. In Deuteronomy, every 7 years, was a jubilee.
“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release.” Deuteronomy 15:1
Taking liberty to use that as a metaphor, I think of the last 7 years as being a time of training, seeking God, and establishing their lives, and now they are released to each other to build a Godly marriage.
This will be a year of jubilance–great joy!
God orchestrated a beautiful time with my husband. The most touching moment was when the groom-to-be shared with tears in his eyes all the wonderful reasons he wanted to marry our daughter. I actually came home in the midst of it all and was able to be a part of the discussion. A month ago, God had impressed upon my heart the importance of the mother’s role alongside her husband. I was thrilled God gave me the opportunity to speak my heart. We covered all aspects of marriage, and the reality of how challenging marriage can be, but in putting Jesus first and “never let the sun go down on your anger” –promise to work things out and communicate–marriage can thrive.
We read Ephesians Chapter 5. The most amazing thing is that God orchestrated during this time for our pastor to preach on baptism and the next Sunday, on Father’s Day, on a Christian household. God prepared so many wonderful moments to prepare our families for the proposal.
Instructions for Christian Households–Ephesians 5
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The greatest gift a man can give his wife is a daily washing with God’s Word–the greatest love story ever written! As you allow God to work His Word and will in your life as leader of the home, your wife will be radiant! Glowing with the love of the Father poured forth by you–her husband.
The greatest gift a woman can give her husband is accepting and, most importantly, respecting this love and leadership. When Christ is center “all these things shall be added unto you”. Seek Him first!
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25
Laugh at the days to come my sweet daughter! God has given you a wonderful man to love!
A Prayer and Blessing for the Engaged
We know that all of us need God’s blessing at all times; but at the time of their engagement to be married, Christians are in particular need of grace as they prepare themselves to form a new family.
Let us pray, then, for God’s blessing to come upon this couple: that as they await the day of their wedding, they will grow in mutual respect and in their love for one another; that through their companionship and prayer together they will prepare themselves rightly and chastely for marriage.
Listen to the words of the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians: 13:4-13
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.