Recently, as most of you know, I married my best friend. Our wedding was simple and sweet, with SO many highlights in our relationship that leave me in awe of how amazing my Jesus is to give me a love story like Carl and Elly’s.
Our world is full of hate, lust, sexism, abandonment and false love. The Bible talks about a time when hearts “wax cold” and natural affection all but dies. Growing up I heard stories of adultery and abuse and the worst part was that half of them happened in churches. It devastated my faith in God and in men as a gender. How could a devoted preacher of 20 years cheat on his marriage and deceive a whole congregation? What optimism did that give pure girls, daring to hope for a man who was tough enough to fight for his wife? It felt like too much to ask God if I could land a gentle man, a loving man, a smart man, a fun man, and mostly a faithful man. It seemed that God stopped manufacturing them and praying for one seemed futile.
I struggled my whole life with romance and mean boys. All of the single men I met were…in a word…duds. No offence to any of them, but I wasn’t looking for a shallow “cute and fun guy.” I didn’t want a preachy, know it all guy who knew so much about the Bible he smothered me in contempt and rules. I didn’t want the guys who were consumed in college&career, “waiting to graduate” until they started a family. I didn’t want a quiet, unenthused man. I thought I wanted a macho man, but later I realized I mistook “macho” for strength. What I desired most in the man of my dreams was strength in all forms. Nothing else (not even looks or paychecks) mattered. I knew that if I was going to find happiness it must be with a man strong in integrity, strong physically, and strong in character. God also showed me that if I wanted a strong man I should also pray that he be tempered with gentleness.
So I prayed for God to create a man like that. (And sometimes when I had extra faith, I prayed my man would come with nice biceps, too. Biceps are always important.) Men came in and out of my life. A couple broke my heart. God never answered prayers when I asked him about them. And then…
January of 2016 I decided to go on a blind date. I had nothing going on that week and had nothing to lose but time. I agreed to meet him at our favorite (and basically only) coffee shop on the Island. I walked into the empty shop, slightly shocked at myself for going out of my comfort zone to meet a stranger. He stood there all alone, looking freaked out and asking himself the same thing.
The first date led to a second coffee date. I arrived smug, ready to fire out my standards and beliefs and even prepared to break off our weeklong friendship because I feared another shattered heart. He walked in the shop door and gently closed it. And I knew right there, before he said hello, that I was going to marry him. That’s pure corny but it really happened just like that.
A huge peace flooded over me. It wasn’t hormones. It felt like I arrived home after a long trip. And a year and one month later, I married him.
The key to finding true love? A love that God fuels and provides for? A love that never dies? A love where you never worry about cheating or abuse?
Remain faithful to God’s plans and he will remain faithful to you. Blake and I did not sleep together or horse around before our marriage. We were too busy becoming friends and asking personal questions. The security we experienced came from a willingness to lay aside our personal desires. We proved to the other person we loved him/her more than sex. By doing that, we demonstrated to the other person our ability to face anything in life together. Doing this one step proves how hard and willing we felt to work for our long term relationship. That kind of security can’t be bought. After our wedding, I woke up and sighed so contentedly. I had no regrets. No shame. Nothing I had to ask forgiveness for, everything to hope for! Dating is so much easier, so much more romantic, and so much more secure when you do it God’s way.
Allowing God to bring you to your significant other. This step is boring and hard because you must exercise patience. But I PROMISE, if you surrender the search for a mate to God he or she will pop out of the blue. It will be so unexpectedly, so romantically, so crazily only God can be blamed for doing it. You know any relationship you create and force isn’t going to be magical like the one God brings you to. The comfort lies in that, if God blatantly leads you to someone you won’t like awake wondering if it’s going to last. You won’t worry about the fights you will have, the bumps, or the trials because God himself brought you to this person and planned your relationship. If he brought you to it, he will get you through it. How comforting is that?! You can sleep at night and have no need to fear the future.
People kept telling us that God would greatly bless our marriage because we honored him. As of now, the biggest gift I see from God is the answer of every single prayer. No matter how big or small God has consistently answered prayer for me. This gives me peace knowing that when Blake and I come across issues I can pray our way out of them. It’s almost like a reward for honoring our Father. This is God’s promise that he will never leave me nor will he forsake me.
And now, without further ado, here is Blake’s letter. It boosted my confidence in the strong man I married. I comforted me in the deep character of a man who would write such a letter before his 21st birthday. It revealed to me that God tempered him with gentlness.
God is always faithful, guys. Don’t think that asking for “too many” qualities for a future spouse will disqualify you from his Grace. He answered prayers about Blake I never even prayed. He knew them, but he also knew I possessed too shallow a faith to “burden” Him with asking. But he still answered them.
Dear Future Wife,
I have feelings that I would like to share, which was written in the past but shows you how I can’t wait to meet you. For Years as a young teenager I’ve always known what I wanted, to be married to a companion of God’s creation, provide for her, and be that man that God has called me to be for her.
If you are reading this now, I have obviously had great success in completing my mission. In the meantime though, here are some things that I just cannot wait for when I take your hand in marriage.
–I can’t wait to be your protector. As your warrior of God I cannot wait to be that man that protects you from the evil of this world. Whether it is verbal, physical, or mental dangers it will be my solemn duty as your husband to make sure you are protected. Like many other great men in the Bible that have been called to protect their wives, I too anticipate taking this calling out of my love for you.
–I can’t wait to be your caregiver. “Through sickness and in health” the words that are spoken by the pastor at the alter, words that I intend to follow through as a man. From times of suffering to illness I will do my best to comfort you through it all. Your wellbeing, spiritual, emotional, and physical needs are in my care.
–I can’t wait for us to be a Godly duo. The thing that first probably sparked my interest towards you is your dedication and love to God our Father. Oh how I look forward to worshiping with you, dedicating our time to God. I look forward to leading you in Bible study to strengthen our faith in him. For I know that God is the reason why I have met you, and why I wish to take your hand in marriage.
–I can’t wait to support you in your goals and tasks. As my wife, I know you will still continue to have goals and dreams, and as your supporting husband I can’t wait to be there to celebrate together what we separately accomplish. For you are my best friend and I only wish to encourage and support you.
–I can’t wait to be your provider. The day I laid eyes on you I knew I wanted to be that man that provides a life for you.
–I can’t wait to be your lover in the eyes of God. I’ve always been the type of guy to dream about romancing a woman. I will be thinking of all sorts of ways to show you simply of how much I love you. As the Bible states of how Christ loved the church, I will strive to follow in those footsteps giving you all that I have and every time and chance I get.
–The last thing I absolutely can’t wait for is to be by your side as you are giving birth to our family. Knowing that it is a product of our love that we will be raising, I can’t wat to be fully dedicated to supporting you and be by your side as you endure child birth, supporting you every step of the way.
P.S. he has some pretty epic biceps that came with that letter. 😉
P.P.S. Some extra pictures from the wedding.