Some of Terri's and my greatest hopes and heart-felt prayers for our oldest four children (Luke, Lisa Sam and Mike) have been met and answered by our heavenly Father in a most gratifying way. As they entered into their serious dating relationships with the four people who would ultimately become their spouses (Rebekah, James, Caitlin and Jeri), they welcomed us (and the other sets of parents too) into their romantic journey's in a very meaningful way. What a mind-blowing honor that has been. They sought out our counsel and advice, they prayed with us, they were humble, vulnerable and transparent with us about their romantic growing pains and they shared with us their relational joys and triumphs. What more could parents ask for?
As a result, each couple now has the wholehearted support and blessing of both sets of their parents and all the good will and relational resources in the extended family that have naturally flowed back to them. All of the parents involved know what a blessing this is from God and do not take credit for this. We all know great parents who have not experienced this particular blessing. I guess all of us get our "special kisses" from the Father. On our end, I do think back on how our kids substantially "bought into" our philosophy of how to engage in and pace a potentially romantic relationship long before the "real one" came along--not that there weren't any bumps in the road for them.
Today, I'm thinking back on how James and Lisa approached their romance with intention and principle, at every stage...from a special mutual attraction...to getting to know the other as friends...to deliberately entering into a year-long "steady" relationship to see if there might be a future together...to James asking me if he could ask Lisa to marry him with my blessing...to a joy-filled six month engagement...to their walking down the aisle to say "I do, 'till death parts us" on a extremely romantic snowy night in January some years ago. They did this with a wonderful and graceful cadence that was full of divine rhythm and endorsement at every turn. (Luke & Beka, Sam & Cait and Mike & Jeri have similar love stories to tell.) How glad they all are now that they embraced the loving wisdom and disciplines of Christ's ways and kingdom that initiate, govern and guard healthy romances and happy marriages.
A VOICE OF HOPE
Michael Sullivant's Blog
I am a child of God, husband, father, grandfather, spiritual father, author, speaker and hope coach.