Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Why Did You Get Married?

Why did you get married?  It’s a fair question.  Why DID you get married?

My reasons for getting married were part Godly and part fleshly!  Since I had only been a Christ follower for a short time all I really knew was that I wanted a Godly marriage.  I got married because I believed it when people told me we would be better together than we would be alone.  I believed that he would make me happy.  I believed that it would be his job to meet all of my emotional, spiritual, physical and any other needs I might have.

What I learned was that many times my marriage would look anything but Godly.  That many times I would much rather be alone than with him.  That there would be many times that he would make me unhappy and I was so disappointed to learn that his job was not to meet all of my needs!

But I discovered all of that while we were engaged and before we even said “I do”!

So, why did I get married?  Sometimes I forget.  Sometimes I need to go back to the very beginning (Are you now adding ‘a very good place to start.  When you read you begin with A-B-C when you sing you begin with Do-Re-Me”?  Got the tune in your head now?  Ok, let’s continue) and remember what it was that drew me to him in the first place.

It was in the spring of 1974 that I first remember seeing him.  He was playing the banjo with the other musicians at our weekly Young Life leadership meeting….leading worship is what we would call it today….not sure what we called it back then! 

He was adorable.  Long hair, blue eyes, focusing on his banjo, not singing…I was attracted to him and intrigued by him….who was this ‘new guy’?  I was super excited when we broke up into small groups…and I found myself sitting next to him!!  We all sat cross legged on the floor….we were instructed to share prayer requests and then pray for the person on our left.  Well….I was the person on his left….and he was to pray for me!!  How precious!!

My excitement was short-lived because, apparently, I was much more fascinated with him than he was with me!! When he began his prayer he prayed for DIANA!!  Diana?  Not Dana!!  Who in the world was Diana?  I wasn’t even significant enough for him to remember my name!! 

Sometimes the enemy will lie to me now and tell me that if he really loved me he would remember _______________!  You can fill in the blank!  The blank could be anything from remembering to pick up something at the store or remember what I like to order or any other insignificant thing that causes me to focus on me and dissatisfaction.

Fast forward to the fall semester…Our paths crossed periodically and then one night he called and he asked me out.  I was so excited!! Ernie picked me up and we headed for the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas.  Since we were in Fort Worth, it was a good 45 minutes to an hour so we had ample time to talk. 

We got to our table, read over the menus, and were ready to order.  I had dating experience and this guy was a seminary student so I knew to order the cheapest meal on the menu. 

Waiter to me:  “What would you like?”  “I’ll take spaghetti, no meatballs, no salad please.”

Waiter to Ernie:  “What would you like?”  No words come out of his mouth.  He looks at the waiter.  He looks at me.  He looks around.  He looks down.  He turns red.  He looks embarrassed.  And says, “Ummm….I’ll just take an extra plate please.”

Wait!  What did he say???  “I’ll just take an extra plate??”  The waiter looks at him.  The waiter looks at me??  I shrug….I have no words.  I ordered the cheapest thing!!  I’m thinking to myself, “Did you not even bring enough money to cover both meals???”  This is nuts!  After what seemed like FOREVER, he smiles and says, “I'll have lasagna!!”

Ha!  That was so funny!  And fascinating.  And scary.  And cute!!  And adorable!!  I loved it!  Took me off guard.

However… this day that man cannot give a straight answer!!  What was fun and cute and interesting and fascinating then can sometimes be not fun and annoying and frustrating today!!  See what I mean?  See how the enemy takes what is good and makes it bad??

From the moment he picked me up, throughout the 45 minute drive and during dinner he kept telling me that there was something he wanted to do that he had never done before on a first date.  It was odd.  A little disconcerting.  Somewhat fearful.  Over and over he kept saying he wanted to “do something” but would not tell me what it was.  Who was this guy?  Did I really know anything about him?  Just because he was in seminary didn't mean he couldn't be a serial killer or rapist!!  (Vain imaginations still plague me to this day!!)

After we ate and got back to the car I could tell he was nervous.  He kept lingering and acting rather strange…and saying he wanted to do something he’d never done on a first date before.  THEN he asked me to scoot over to the middle of the car!!  (That was when there were no consoles and we could actually sit in the middle….but it was reserved for relationships that were way farther along than ours was!!)  What did you say??  You want me to sit in the middle?  Next to you??  Close? 

However….I scooted!  What in the world??  He became more and more nervous and had such a hard time coming out with whatever it was he wanted to “do”.

Finally he spoke.  He said he had been in several relationships and they were not centered on Christ.  It was his desire that ours….regardless of what the future looked like….would start out focused on Him!!  And he wanted to pray with me over our relationship and what it would become, if anything.

I was overwhelmed with joy and appreciation and relief and gratitude!  I had never experienced anything like that before and I knew he was someone special.  We prayed over our new, unformed relationship, giving it to the Lord, asking Him to take it, giving our future to seemed so odd yet so normal.  We didn't have to worry about what was to come of it....there was much peace knowing it would be OK because we had given it to Him.  Little did I know that we would spend the rest of our lives praying together!!

We got back to my apartment and he walked me to the door…..I have no recollection of what we said….because he shocked me one.more.time!!  He kissed me!!  He kissed me on our first date!!  THEN after he kissed me he stepped back, looked me straight in the eye and said, with all seriousness and conviction, “I didn’t think Christian girls kissed on the first date!”

What did you say???  I was dumbfounded.  I had no response.  I was mute and angry and shocked and happy and confused and laughing.  I loved it and I hated it!!  I was entertained and I was shocked.  And this was only the beginning of what our relationship would look like!

Our first date is somewhat indicative of our relationship.  He continues to dumbfound me and confuse me and make me laugh.  He keeps me on my toes and I never know what he will say or do next.

Take a few minutes and think back to when you and your husband first met.  What attracted you to him in the first place?  Was it the way he looked?  The things he said?  What he did?  Stop now and thank God for bringing you two together and tell your husband! 

You might be in a season where you do not like him very much right now….you might need to remember why you married him!!  And, perhaps like me, the very thing/s that brought you together might be the very things the enemy uses to pull you apart. 

Happy reminiscing!

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