Emily and I became engaged on Thursday night, after a nice relaxing date to Herman Park here in Houston. After sharing some Chinese food from The Rice Box food truck, we found a nice spot in Herman Park, where we enjoyed watching the setting sun. As the sunlight began to fade, I made my move (after hiding her ring in the Yahtzee game that we were about to play!) She said "Yes, of course!" Then we enjoyed a few minutes together before calling family, and spending time with some close friends. It was a great night.
I'm looking forward to marriage. Quite a bit to be honest. I think it's a good thing. Contrary to the ideas typically perpetuated in chick-flicks, marriage will not complete Emily, or me. It won't be picture perfect either. (For instance, before heading to Herman Park to enjoy our night and propose, a bird pooped on us while we waited for our food at the Rice Box food truck! It wasn't a perfect night!) We know our covenantal adventure will be one that requires much work and attention, but we are ready to go through all of that work together. As Christians, we recognize that we are both humans who have self-centered tendencies, and marriage will continue to change us.
Even if there are difficult times, marriage will be glorious! Much like training for any large athletic event, the training and work that goes into it is not seen by many and is normally painful, but rewarding. I look forward to serving Emily, and how we might grow together in understanding what each of us are called to in marriage and in pursuing our lives in Christ. We are called to continue to know one another and serve one another in our relationship. If we see our spouses purely as sexual or financial partners, and not our best friends, we will find that the level of those partnerships will only decrease, and that we will need something outside of our marriages that will satisfy us.
Many people in their early to mid-twenties might not share these views. They might argue that marriage limits our ability to explore the world, try new things, and live a relatively unbridled life. There is some truth to that. Sure, if I were married, or had been engaged earlier, it would made things much more difficult to attend graduate school at Marshall, pursue a basketball coaching position at William and Mary, or land-use planning jobs in Virginia or Texas.
Many do not want to be "tied-down" to another for the long-term, and the idea of being together for life is too much, and is limiting. But, the reality is, that variety in relationships and the "try-before-you-buy" mentality actually traps you. It does not allow you to freely and fully love another, which is the definition of the type of love and relationship that we all seek, even if we're too independent to admit it. We become trapped in a pool of relationships that is a million miles wide, but only an inch deep. It's our understanding that only in a committed, covenantal marriage, will there be true intimacy where a husband and a wife can be free to fully love one another.
Emily and I have both read Tim Keller's book "The Meaning of Marriage" on our own, but we will be reading it together as we get closer to our wedding date. I highly recommend this book, and am thankful for the wisdom that is communicated through it.
Yes, it will be great for us to love each other in our marriage, and I am looking forward to that immensely! But the Lord's greater purpose for marriage is that it would be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His redeemed people, the Church. It's my hope that Emily and I will be able to display this truth to our family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. We're excited about what lies ahead, and know that marriage is definitely a "Good Thing"!