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Thoughts of Marriage: 20th Anniversary

John is an actor, writer, and entrepreneur interested in the search for truth and meaning in the world.

thoughts-of-marriage-remembrance

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will d

In the solitude of my room, I ponder tomorrow’s events. A day that will see two people (independent) become one (interdependent). To this hour, my heart has been yearning for this happening, and it will no longer be denied. To share life’s dreams with another will soon be achieved. For thirty-seven years, I labored to chart the course that men are blessed to travel. I secured a future full of hope and certain of success. Now I have arrived on its eve. Tomorrow is my wedding day. In anticipation of the event, thoughts of Julie consume my mind.

We met by chance at a singles social at Church in the summer of 1999. I walked into the general-purpose room where she stood talking and laughing with three other women. I can still remember the long, flowing navy blue and white dress that was complemented by the large white pearls she was wearing that evening. Her complexion was that of freshly poured honey, and her face exuded kindness: a vision of beauty and femininity that was pleasing to behold. When she noticed that I was looking at her, she smiled as the group of women approached me. With nervousness, I introduced myself and asked her name. She started by saying that her name was Julie, and she was from out west. The moment I heard her voice and gazed into her eyes—brown pools of compassion—my heart became captured. I knew immediately this was the one I would marry. No woman had ever instilled such a sense of peace in my heart. From that time, a friendship developed which quickly blossomed into an old-fashioned courtship.

I knew for the first time in my life that a woman loved me, warts and all. The relationship was not about my level of education or income. She was the type of woman who would marry me just as I am whether I possessed worldly goods in abundance or abided at poverty’s door. She was more concerned about my character and relationship with Christ. Love that exhibits that kind of courage and commitment are rare treasures in this world. Never was something so lovely more evident than when I became fearful and canceled an appointment to ask her father’s permission to wed his only daughter. I suddenly understood the fear that a great man like Abraham Lincoln experienced when courting Mary Todd. It’s a feeling of wanting so hard to please someone and yet feeling inadequate for the task at hand. Simply put, I lost courage and grew numb at the prospect of standing man-to-man with her father and asking for his most-prized possession.

My fear was partially based on my upbringing. In the South, men are taught to build a castle and put their queen (wife) in the midst of it. No gentleman who espoused chivalry and truly loved a woman was expected to enter into marriage when he was unsure of his ability to provide a secure existence. Or else his wife’s love would invariably, over time, grow cold because of poverty’s many afflictions. Then the respect and admiration that she once held for him would dissipate into contempt. However, this was not the case with my Julie. She reminded me that I owned a nice house, had a prestigious job, and possessed numerous God-given talents that ensured my success. There was nothing uncertain or futile about my future. She continued by saying, “Life is a journey which does not allow us to know the end in the beginning. As long as you remain committed to Christ and pursue excellence in your career, things will work themselves out for our betterment. In addition, together we can withstand any storm, financial or otherwise. If we run into a rough patch, I will be able to help you.” Because of that conversation, I knew that—as her name implies—I had found a treasure of incalculable worth.

As our commitment to each other grew, I observed daily new characteristics that made her so precious until this very day. During our telephone conversations at night, she would ask me about my day. She would always know when I was enduring trouble or becoming discouraged. Even when we were apart because of business travel, her prayers calmed my soul and brought comfort. She continually entered my presence with loving words and thoughts. In times of trouble, she found God’s heart and obtained my deliverance. With a patient love, she waited for my fear to subside and for me to receive her. Being committed to her heart’s desire, I could only surrender to the preordained plan of heaven.

When I think about the challenges we will endure, I count them as overcome. To give her all that I am or will ever be is but a cost that now carries no weight. The once-troublesome uncertainty, fear, and indecision have been replaced with assurance, courage, and purpose. I am blessed to receive from God someone who daily crowns my heart with love and adorns my thoughts with faithfulness. For those reasons when heaven’s servant says, “Do you take this woman,” I without reservation will serenade her heart with the words, “I do.”

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