Not only did he have to ask me but…
- he had to ask my Lord…
- and he had to ask my Daddy…
- and he had to ask “my kids” (also known as my youth group at Lakeview Assembly)…
Yes, the young man who decided to ask for my hand in marriage on March 18, 1986…25 years ago today…had more than a few “hoops to jump through” before slipping that ring on my finger. And isn’t that just how it should be?
You can read our whole love story and engagement here – My God Inspired Love Story
Now that we are the parents of seven daughters we definitely think that any young man worthy enough of our precious daughters ought to be willing and able to “jump through a few hoops” to win the prize of her hand in marriage. In fact, in many ways I believe our current culture has made it much too easy on guys to ”get the girl” (in another era it would be - the gentlemen to win the heart of a fair lady) Often young men no longer have to:
- pursue a woman (since there are an abundance of women ready & willing to pursue them!)
- courageously win a woman’s heart & hand in marriage (remember the English proverb – “faint heart never won fair lady”)
- pay a price for their bride (hmmm perhaps there was some wisdom in this after all the bible says – “where your money is so will your heart be also”)
- wait for loving sexual intimacy until they are married (many enjoy the pleasure of sex, a clean house, home cooked meals & even a second income without ever having to pursue a womans heart, jump through any hoops or make the commitment of marriage)
While some may think these cultural changes are good for both men and women, I would beg to differ.
Women want to be pursued. It is how God made them. They desire to be wanted, loved and greatly desired. In our culture women no longer need to wait to be pursued as they have society’s “permission” to be the pursuer. And pursue they do. The biggest problem in this shows up long after they are married when they still desire to be pursued (wooed, admired, desired, wanted & loved) and men who never have had to pursue a woman’s heart are woefully inadequate in meeting these needs.
Women want a “Knight in Shining Armor”. A man who is brave and courageous and who can save and protect them. Requiring men to “jump through a few hoops” – is certainly great exercise for them to build their courage and strength. By requiring the young men who may be interested in our daughters to ask their father for permission and to declare their intentions and commit to high relationship standards should be happening in every home that values their daughters. Women no longer under their parents roof would do well to require potential suitors to do the same. I often tell my girls…if a young man is not willing to simply call and get your dads permission to pursue your heart…then he has no courage and it is obvious that his desire for you is anemic. Do you really want that kind of man? (and on a side note if your Dad says “no” or “not now” and the young man perseveres in his desire for you, not giving up, even if it means “winning over” your dad first….would that not just melt your heart and prove his love, strength & fortitude?)
Women want to feel valuable…while we will not require a “bride price” (well…maybe not), there is something to say for the way this would make a woman feel. In Jewish culture the groom had to pay a price…no modest token…the price was set so that the new bride would be a costly item – that was the idea. The young man had no delusions that he was getting something for nothing. He would pay dearly to marry the girl of his choice. We want our daughters to feel “priceless” and valuable (because they are are our greatest riches and the most valuable part of our lives) so therefore we will not let them go to just any ole’ guy. Yes, they will have to “pay a price”…though it may not be monetary…it will require sacrifice.
Women want commitment with their sexual intimacy. Alas our society denies this and even many girls would probably say they do not care about commitment (at least of the marriage kind), and yet I still believe that women truly do not want to give their bodies in an intimate way to someone they are not also connected with spiritually, emotionally and mentally as well as with someone who will “be there” for them through all of life’s ups & downs. Men who are willing to wait for that commitment before becoming one with a woman have proven themselves to be self-controlled, faithful, godly, patient, persevering, wise and hold women in great high esteem, honor and respect. That is a man who has “jumped through the hoops” and is worthy of my daughter’s hand.
- by pursuing my heart and taking a leap of faith without doing it the “normal” culturally accepted and percieved “safe” way of dating before engagement
- by praying, seeking and hearing from the Lord that I was the woman he should marry
- by asking my Dad for my hand in marriage (even after listening to my brother drone on & on about what a hard time he was going to get)
- by asking my youth group kids for their permission to marry their youth pastor (it takes courage to propose in front of 100 teens)
- by paying a price to marry a gal called to full time ministry (he left a very lucrative management position in alcoholic beverages to join me in full time youth ministry – in fact his income has never reached the annual level he made in 1985 – I know this thanks to the yearly social security report I receive)
- by practicing self control, patience, godliness and wisdom by saving intimacy for the commitment of marriage
I pray that my precious & very valuable daughters will find godly men that will “jump through some hoops” to win their hearts and ask for their hand in marriage. I pray as well for you my dear readers who are parents…for your daughters & granddaughters. And for my single young lady friends & relatives who read my blog (I know there are a few of you out there - Hi Kate, Beth, Janessa, Chrisann, Tiffana, Rachael, Marlene, Cait - to name a few - along with all my high school girls at JECHS )…I pray that you would patiently wait to be pursued by a godly courageous, brave young man who is willing to pay the price and jump through the hoops to win your heart….because you are so worth it!