This week’s autobio
Last week we wrote about Nat’s very short courtship leading to his good, long marriage He needed a nudge to consider the girl he married. And so did our older son was much more cautious. He had had two difficult relationships that hadn’t worked out; then a third girl had declined his offer to pursue a relationship with him, so he was now “gun shy.”
Well, we knew a girl who, in our minds at least, seemed just right for him. She was a young friend of Barbara’s whom we considered our “adopted” daughter, a part of the family already. I suggested to our son that he consider a relationship with her, as she had all the qualities he had told us he wanted in a wife.
She was a committed and growing believer, had already worked in the country for several years, knew the language well, was involved in ministry, was a member of our company and was fully supported. What more could he want? But he was reluctant, fearful of another rejection.
Finally the girl herself suggested they pursue a friendship and one of the things they decided to do was to read together the book, Boy Meets Girl by Josh Harris. They slowly worked their way through it, using it as a stimulus to discuss important issues and to get to know each other.
In the last chapter they were instructed to ask someone older for advice about taking the next step of commitment, so they came to me. My advice was for each of them to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side they were to write all the positive reasons for their getting married and on the other, the negatives. They both came back with a long list of positives, while each had only one reason against marrying, a financial one.
“Well, that issue is easily resolvable,” I said, and helped them see how they could work out a solution. It still took our boy a while to work up his courage to pop the question, but when he finally did, she didn’t have to think twice before saying, “Yes!”
Having friends and family in three widely dispersed places, they decided to have three wedding celebrations! The first one was held in Connecticut at our home church. It was a very nice time, attended by many friends and family members. One highlight for us was that Dr. Goodell, who had given us advice at our wedding, read the same advice to the young couple. Another highlight was that the bride sang a beautiful song for us. I admired her poise in such a situation.
The actual legal wedding took place in the girl’s home church in Maine. They set a date in early April, but the bride’s mother suggested they have it a week later, knowing that Maine can get snowstorms even in April.
Well, on the original date they had great weather, but on the actual day of the wedding they awoke to a snow storm! In spite of the weather it was another very nice event with family and friends from both sides coming to celebrate with us. The ceremony was a joyful one, filled with lots of uplifting songs and words of encouragement.
Then when they returned to our country of residence as a married couple, we had the third celebration of their marriage at the local international fellowship. For us, it was actually the most special celebration because all the people we’d worked with over the last twenty- plus years were there to celebrate with us as our extended family.
It was wonderful and the beginning a a very fine marriage which has seen lots of positive ministry to others. Our son and his wife now do a good deal of marriage counselling, sharing what they’ve learned with others. As I like to say, the main reason for getting married is that the couple can minister better together than alone, and so it is with them.