About a month ago we celebrated the 4th anniversary of our engagement. And by “celebrated” I mean we randomly talked about that night, a friend posted a picture from that night on our facebook, and then we remembered that it was the 4th anniversary of our proposal a couple weeks ago. Good times.
It was a beautiful and exciting night to be sure. Andrew planned it perfectly – I’ll never forget it.
I realize that for many of us (not all or maybe just not right now), the dream is to have this epic proposal moment (whatever epic means to you) and say a resounding yes! But do you know what you’re actually saying, “yes” to? It’s actually a really loaded question:
I always wondered about some married couples. You likely know them too… the ones who talk about marriage like it’s something that happened to them. Like they didn’t choose this life, like now they are somehow unexpectedly stuck with this person.
Being in a relationship is a very conscious activity. If you desire to get married, relationships are fun, yes… but they are also a responsibility. They are a fact finding mission. If you are hanging out with a guy to just see what happens and basing it all on butterflies and smiles – you are going to get yourself into some tricky territory.
It’s like this: you, single lady, are the CEO, CFO, CIO, Ee -I – ee -I- o and everything else of your life. As head chick in charge you are looking out for all parts of your well being. You are learning skills, stacking resources, chasing God and basically just being that deal.
When a dude comes along that gives you the feels and you enter into a relationship, what you’ve actually done is entered into the most important job interview of your life. You, dear friend, are making the hiring decision.
This is your template. A wildly important part of the role description.
When you date, your job is to see how many times he can make feel warm and fuzzy, sure. But truly it’s to see if this is the dude you feel can handle the above responsibilities. Is he supportive of your calling & walking in his own? Is he good for your mental health – on the good & not so good days? Is he humble enough to learn what he does not know? Is this the person you are willing to put in position to lead your family? What are his qualifications?
This is a multi-step process.
He’s met with you, great. Now he needs to meet your board. Your shareholders – the people in your life who know and love you and will give you the real tea on what they see, coming from a place of wisdom and experience – like any good board member. They are able to assess threats or opportunities because they have been there before and you respect the life they’ve built and their prior experience. This board may include church family, your church leaders and/or pastors, your momma, daddy, aunties or uncles, family friends – people who have a steak in your well being.
You will, of course, need references. Have you met his people? Friends? Family? Church family? No? Red flag.
If you have, what do they say about him? Does he treat them with respect? Is he genuinely respected by them? Is he compassionate? Level headed?
Your biggest concern should be the owner of the company and the head of all your grown business – Jesus. Ask Him to guide you. Ask for wisdom. And then receive it – whether it’s what you want to hear or not. He may speak directly to your heart or through one of the aforementioned shareholders in your life. He should be the final decision maker.
When this man asks you to marry him, he is asking if he has successfully shown you that he is ready and able to fulfill this role in your family and life until you’re old & pruney and go to be with Jesus. He is asking if you deem him worthy of this honor.
He is asking if he is Ephesians 5 husband material.
He is asking if you have done all the necessary research to make you feel like he can play this role successfully.
He’s asking if you trust him with your children – if you want your sons to be like him (if you want kids).
He is asking if he has shown himself able, available, faithful, humble.
He is asking if you trust him to provide for your family.
He is asking you if you feel safe enough to be transparent, I mean, really transparent, with him.
He is asking if you will accept his flaws and will love him regardless of what they are.
He is asking if the mission and vision he has (and he should have one) lines up with what you and God have already discussed for your life.
He’s asking if you’re willing to do the work marriage takes when things aren’t easy.
He’s asking if you’ll stay with him through the discomfort of growth and change.
He’s asking if you share the values necessary to make a life together work.
These are some of the things you are actually saying “yes” to. But saying yes means agreeing to all of it always, not just some of it when you feel like it.
And if the answer is “no”, that’s ok. It may be time to move on. Another applicant will come. Saying yes because you feel like it’s the best you can do and you’re tired of looking well, those are the people mentioned above who now see marriage as something forced upon them.
You are the decision maker in this. Do what’s necessary to say a confident and excited yes (can I come to the wedding??? I love weddings!) or a confident no. Either way, I’m rooting for you.