Guest post by Scott J. Allen http://scottjallen.com
Getting married is an art – getting married well, anyway. The art is in the preparation.
Marriage isn’t as simple as just falling in love and running away with your soul mate. You don’t just float off on a “happily ever after” cloud together. When you get married, you marry a family along with their traditions and culture. You are marrying a long history, a mindset and world view. You are joining two families with their good, bad and ugly stuff.
Why do so many who are young and in love not know the rest of the story? Great question, but I think the answer is more rhetorical. I would encourage you to take some time to think, pray and answer that for yourself. Caution, it may require some adjustments in your thinking and approach.
Successful marriage starts with preparing well.
Last summer our daughter Nicole got married to a fine young man. Even after they knew they wanted to get married, they didn’t just wake up one day and walk down the aisle. They prepared. They each prepared. They prepared together. They prepared us. They walked out a process. We were all as ready as we could be when the day arrived. Why is that? I give a great amount of credit to my son in law for leading and easing the transition for all of us.
There are several things that Jordan did extremely well in preparing for marriage. Take note young men, young women, mothers and fathers. Here is my short list of the some of the highlights:
1. He gave me time. Guys, let’s face it. Giving your precious daughter to another man is a difficult process. It doesn’t matter how amazing that guy may be – it’s irrelevant to the feelings that accompany this kind of change. Even kind and gentle fathers struggle with the new man in their daughter’s life – sometimes not very well. I’m not sure I passed all of the time with flying colors. Jordan was nothing short of a blessing in giving me time to get used to him and used to the idea of him marrying my daughter.
2. He became my friend and mentee. Jordan was really proactive in developing a relationship with me (and Debbie, too.) He regularly came over to watch football, have dinner and often asked me to go to lunch or coffee and just talk about life. He let me in his life and bounced ideas and decisions off of me. In building this relationship, I learned to trust and believe in him. I also learned how to let him in my life and our family. Priceless.
3. He became a brother to my son. My son Justin was on board with having Jordan as a brother before I got wholeheartedly on board with having him as a son in law. He befriended my son and earned a place in his heart as well as earning his approval for making their brotherhood official and lasting.
4. He treated my daughter honorably. Jordan showed himself to be honorable to Nicole when it was convenient and when it wasn’t. He dated and courted her. He bought her flowers. He took the lead as a spiritual leader in their relationship. They prayed together. They studied the marriage relationship together and talked about how to prepare. He made changes and adjustments to become the kind of husband he desired to become.
5. He prepared to financially take care of her. With every passing week and month, I watched Jordan focus on preparing his finances – becoming increasingly fiscally responsible. He had a vision. He had goals. He had a plan and he worked on it diligently. He chipped away at debt. He saved. He prepared himself and his life to become a safe harbor for Nicole. I knew that Nicole’s future was safe and well planned with him.
People often ask me how it’s going having a married daughter. My answer is always the same. It’s great. Jordan has made this as easy as it could possibly be for all of us. I am forever grateful that my daughter found an honorable man who takes great care of her. I am forever grateful that we found a new son that fits into our family and allows us to fit into theirs.
Let this be a life lesson. May we all learn and grow from Jordan’s life and ministry. He made choices that paved the way for the plan of God for us all. He made it easy.
Thank you, Jordan. God has been and continues to be good to us through you. Being family with you is a joy.