Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Do You Want To Marry Our Daughter?

I was in labor for two days with our daughter!  Two long, hard, never-want-to-do-this-again days!!  I endured shift changes….a nurse would leave….tell me goodbye and that when she would see me again I would have a precious baby.  Nope!  One by one they would come back and sure enough, I was still there….he-he-he-ing and ha-ha-ha-ing….no drugs for me!! Nope!  I was going to do this thing ‘natural’!  By the way….there didn’t seem to be anything ‘natural’ about what I was going through!!

Finally, after two painful days….she arrived!!  Beautiful!  Worth it?  Eventually, for sure….at the time….not for sure!  I was super exhausted and tired and HUNGRY (they don’t let you eat or sleep during labor!) so I laid my eyes down and took a nap!! 
When I woke up….there she was.  Standing at the back of the church with her father on her arm about walk down the aisle!!  All dressed in white….about to be married!!  Where or where did the time go???  How did she grow up so fast?

When our now son-in-law came to us and asked if he could marry our daughter…my husband had a list of questions for him.  Jotted down on a random slip of paper—maybe even a deposit slip or some such thing.  Filled up two sides.  All kinds of questions.
We sat for hours as my husband asked the questions and Josh answered.  He was sweating.  He was wondering how long was this was going to last!  What in the world was he getting in to?  Beautiful.  Precious.  Worth it.

As for me….I had two questions.  Two.  And I didn’t want him to answer us right away.  In fact, I wanted him to really think about the questions and give them to me--in writing.  Yep!  In writing!!  Who does that??  Me!
I think both of the guys were a bit taken back.  ‘Ok, let me get this straight.  You want me to put these answers in writing?  Like a test?’  Ha!  Oh how crazy that must have seemed.  Oh, and I gave him a deadline….I wanted it sometime before the wedding!

Here are the two questions:
  1. Why do you want to marry Ashleigh?
  2. Why should we give you our blessing?
For some reason it was important to me for him to put it in writing…but even I wasn’t clear as to why at the time.  What was I going to do with it?  I wasn’t sure.

Well…he did just as I asked.  He put in writing why he wanted to marry Ashleigh and why we should give him our blessing….and he gave it to me before the wedding.  RIGHT before the wedding.  I mean Right Before!!  I was in the dressing room getting dressed and he brings it to me!!!  Smart-alecky soon-to-be son-in-law had the thing written long before then but just to be ornery gave it to me just before I was to walk down the aisle!  Oh how I love that man!!
Needless to say, I could not read it then…..I knew I was in for some tears….so I waited until I was home late that night….after the wedding.  After the reception.  My husband did not get to come home--he was at church praying for Sunday (a word of wisdom….not necessarily the best idea to preach the Sunday after your daughter’s wedding!).  It was after jammies were on and I was plopped on the bed that I read it...I later wished I had waited for my husband so we could have read it together.

And the tears flowed.  And they would not stop.  Grateful for the way God brought this Godly man in to our daughter’s life.  The one we prayed for for years.  The one I recognized as the one I had been praying for the first time I met him.  Blessed.  Thankful.
Back to the answered questions.  What was I to do with them?  File them?  Treasure them?  Yes.  But God showed me more.  Fast forward to their first anniversary.  I got out that letter.  Made a copy of it…and gave it to them.  And I did that for several years.  Each anniversary another copy of the same letter. 

Why?  Because I wanted them to remember why they wanted to marry each other.   If they ever get to the place where they wonder ‘why in the world did we get married?’….they can read why!!  They can remember.  The enemy will do all that he can to help us forget.  To get us distracted.  To get us discontented.  These words will bring Truth.
I stopped giving it to them for a few years because I didn’t want it to become ho-hum, ‘oh, it’s the letter again’, but I want it to be special.  Fresh.  Fun.  Every so often, on their anniversary, I will give it to them....and they LOVE seeing it!

Perhaps it’s too late for you and me to write down beforehand why we wanted to marry our husbands….but it’s not too late to remember why we did and write it down and give it to him as a gift to remember what God did 40 years ago, or 5 or 15 or 1…whatever it is for you.
By the way….we did the same thing when our son got married.  He got the questions though…not her!! 

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