Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17

Today, I celebrate 5 years of marriage with the most wonderful man on the planet.

He was created by God, just for me.

Our parents faithfully raised us to become the man and woman that would join hands one day and vow to love, honor, cherish, and protect. And I am so thankful that.

In honor of our 5 years of marriage and in honor of our parents dedication to rearing us in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, I thought I would introduce you guys to my dad. The excerpt that follows is from his marriage ministry newsletter, in which he gives readers his perspective of our courtship the day after Ben proposed.

Are you married? If you are, why did you get married? If you are single but making plans or believe that one day you will be married, I want to ask you, why get married? Really now, think about the question. If you are like me, when I proposed to my wife I had reasons like; "we have so much fun together we should always be together", or "we can't stand to be apart", or "we like the same things".

Well, several days ago a remarkable young man named Ben asked my daughter to marry him. He and I had been meeting together for over a year so it was not a surprise when about a month ago he asked for my permission (which I readily gave) to propose marriage to Meredith. What was a surprise to me was that in seeking to protect my daughter I gained a new friend.

Our children have been taught from a very early age that marriage is a life long commitment and that while there may be many very good people, there is only one God chosen match. Look and chose carefully.

At our very first meeting I gave Ben these guidelines for pursuing a relationship with my daughter.

The Ground Rules
Understand my objective: Protect Meredith's heart.

We both must be fully submitted to the Lord

If we cannot reach agreement there will be no pursuit of the relationship/or affections until agreement is again reached.

Our common priorities:
a. Honor God
b. Protect Meredith

i. Short term
ii. Long term

c. Discern God's direction for Ben

Evidence of the commitment to these ground rules
a. Honesty in all things
b. No physical relationship
c. Avoidance of alone times

How will we know when we are done?
a. One (either) can call an end to our meetings which will also mean the relationship with Meredith ceases
b. Each will accept the decision of the other without seeking to proceed outside the bounds of these ground rules.
c. The relationship can progress to marriage

Ben will have to become an Ohio State fan. (just kidding)

Ben and I reviewed these many times and I checked with my daughter for confirmation frequently. While she never saw the list above, she knew my entire purpose was to protect her and help her find God's chosen mate. By the time Ben asked, I was sure.

Mom's and Dad's everywhere (especially Dad's), involve yourselves in the dating life or your children. You can help them make a lifetime decision.

Oh, by the way, Ben still loves Michigan but he did get on his knees near the 50 yard line in the famous Ohio State stadium and pop the question. I guess he at least recognizes the winning percentage on that field.

I am so thankful for a dad that actively and purposely protected my heart and my future and for a mate that was so willing to fight for it. Our exceptional beginning continues to play a vital role in our steadfast marriage.

Happy Anniversary, babe!


neal said...

Whoa! This dad is scary! Glad he passed the "test" :) Congratulations guys.

Christy said...

Oh Meredith! What a treasure you both have in your dad! If only other girls were so lucky & blessed to have someone that cares as much about them, as you dad obviously cares for you. I think of how many people have relationships outside of marriage that are inappropriate & end in devastating results. You are blessed!

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