Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Betrothal

I have had several people either on the phone, or through email or even a comment on this blog to explain the process we went through for this betrothal. I first of all want to say that this is the way we all felt it should go, and we do NOT feel like we are experts in this area. Both sets of parents did lots of praying, talking and searching and then we still felt our way through this whole thing. There were also some things that happened in the families that will not be blogged about as they are personal.

We have known this family for quite awhile. From the very beginning the friendship was a special one. We spent lots of time together and talked about all sorts of things. We tossed around the words and concepts behind courtship and betrothal. I remember we had read the story of Matthew and Maranatha Chapman's betrothal and were intrigued, but also felt like it was WAY out there. We heard of several other courtships and even one or two that "fell through". I think over time we formed ideas of what we thought it should or would be like for each of our families. I think one of the biggest things that we did not want to happen was for anyone to be defrauded and have their heart broken or hurt. Defrauding means to lead someone on (even if unintentional) and then not following through. We as a family personally believe that is what dating does. If a family chooses to date that is their decision, but it was not a choice for our family. To us it looks like dating is a practice of divorce. You go with this one until they no longer give you that feeling or whatever, then you find a new one. You give a little piece of your heart away. Then when you come to the altar, you heart is not a whole gift to give to your new spouse.

I know for both families, prayer about this whole issue has been going on since the children were young. I had a long list of things that I specifically prayed about for the wife that God would bring Joshua. As I would see something new and we would talk about it, I would add it to my list. We began in earnest in April to pray that God would bring Joshua a wife. He has his own business and makes good money. He has a nice savings, and felt it was time to have someone to share it with. After praying for awhile, he felt that God laid Brittany on his heart as the one that God intended for him. We began to pray with him about her specifically. We were in whole hearted agreement and so Michael (my husband) called Jeff (her daddy) and shared this with him. He agreed to pray about it with his wife Terri.

When Jeff called and agreed to proceed, he let it be known that this was in no way a sure thing. He did not want to defraud Joshua or us in any way. The two dads agreed that even though we have a special friendship that it was in no way to influence this decision. We all wanted to hear from God. We all also wanted this whole process from beginning to the agreement to the altar and beyond to bring glory to God. Jeff began to make a list of things that he wanted to ask Joshua. He got a separate email account that only he and Terri knew about, so that his family would not stumble across something. He would send Joshua a question and he let it be known up front, he wanted scripture to back up what he said he believed. He told Joshua to take as much time as he wanted, to use us (his parents), the Bible or whatever he needed. All emails that went back and forth between them were shared with us. It was a great time of discussion and Bible study as Joshua shared his convictions. If he wanted more specifics or had more questions on that topic, they were discussed until Jeff felt he had a clear picture of where Joshua stood on a topic. Then he would send the next topic or question. Some of these questions or topics were: How many children do you think you should have? Will you homeschool? How do you wash your wife in the Word? How do you plan on handling child discipline? Will alcohol play a place in your home? What does it take to be a godly father or a godly husband?

These emails started going back in forth in May. In late November we got a call one Sunday morning from Jeff and Terri. They were giving Joshua their blessing to ask Brittany. She was the final one to give her approval. It is so wonderful how God lets us know that He is at work in a situation. At one of the really hard parts for Jeff to go beyond, he was talking to Brittany before he went to work one morning. She shared that she knew she was not to let her mind dwell on any one man, but to wait on God to bring her the husband He had for her. However, she kept thinking of Joshua and thought that he might be the one that God had for her. This helped Jeff to get over that hurdle.

We wanted "The Asking" to be a very special event. We all wanted it to have Joshua's own flavor to it. Joshua is a very outdoors young man. He wanted to ask her outdoors. They were coming to our house for vacation that had already been in the works. He decided he would ask her while they were here. We had to have a couple of plans though because the weather in Ohio in December/January is not predictable. When their family visited us last January, the older ones along with some of Josh's friends from here went to a really neat hiking park in Southern Ohio. That is where he really wanted to ask her. However, we wanted this to be a family time. It was good for the younger children to see and be part of the moment. That park was not an ideal place for little ones. It was also a lot farther away and we were coming home and fixing a celebration dinner. We found a park closer to home and Joshua went to scope it out. He followed several of the trails in the park and found a really neat pond area. To be continued...

Here are pictures of the table set for the dinner. The second picture was taken with just the candles lit, which is how we ate.

Here are two of my little buddies this week.

Here is the young couple with one of her little sisters.

My snowman birthday was not over. Here are some kitchen towels, dish cloths and pot holders they brought to me along with a pair of snowman toe socks. =)

6 comments:

Lady_MSnow said...

I love hearing these stories...can't wait to read the rest of it...and the snowman stuff is really cute. ;D

Perri said...

Very interesting. I want to hear the rest!

Kelli said...

What a wonderful story, Marci! Congratulations to the happy couple and the entire family.
Hugs,
Kelli

marsha said...

This reads just like one of those Life Time movies of the week. Two families, God, love and the difficult decision. I think this would make a great movie or a book.

You write from the heart. I enjoying coming here.

Lynne said...

Marci, thank you for sharing this story with us. I look forward to reading more. There is such a difference, such a purity, when we do things God's way.

Your statement about dating: "To us it looks like dating is a practice of divorce. You go with this one until they no longer give you that feeling or whatever, then you find a new one. You give a little piece of your heart away. Then when you come to the altar, you heart is not a whole gift to give to your new spouse." is so thought provoking.

We pray for the Lord's continued blessing on both of your families.

http://homesteadblooger.com/thecfarm said...

Maric congratulations as Josh has found a wonderful soul mate as I'm reading along here..
Just love the snowman gifts you got..
How is the weather out there? Here lots of snow..