So I wanted share a few words of my own on here. This won't be a mushy-gushy post in which I strive to out-lavish Casey with praise, but I hope to give her viewers an honest glimpse of my perspective, as a husband, of what marriage is like, as well as what it was like trying to get prepared for marriage as a young-man who did not have a whole lot to give.
Prior to marrying Casey, I was 21 years old working at a car wash and still in community college. If anyone took a look at my grades, my relationship history, my achievements, my finances, and my job they would rightly and confidently say that I was far from ready for marriage.
Going into marriage I had did not have a lot but faith in the Lord, a willingness to follow Jesus, and A LOT of love and passion for my beautiful bride. However, I was lacking everything that the logical world was telling me I needed. And I mostly still am.
The thing that I was most confident of is that the Lord was calling me to marry Case, so on August 7th, 2015, by the grace of God, I was able to answer that call.
Now, that's not to say there werent many restless nights of worry, concern, and prayer. I was concerned about my lack of preparedness, but through it all the Lord gave Casey and I faith, and a calling to trust Him with this new, fragile, and needy marriage.
As an engaged college student, I decided to put God's Word into practice, and prayed, read his word, and cried out like spoiled child to God for help. But it was not anything I did that finally gave me the confidence to take a walk with Casey's father, or kneel down and propose, or even to take the stage and wait for my bride. It was the Lord showering me with peace reminding me that his call was good, and his promises always faithful.
A verse that I had to remind myself of leading up to the wedding, and will continue to remember and probably forget for the rest of my life is the popular but powerful Philipians 4:6-7:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
With this promise and reminder true in our hearts, it was irrelevant that I was not ready, because the honest thing is, no one ever is. God's calling is something that is difficult (or imposible) at times to foresee, and is hard because no one will every be good enough for it. I believe its not something that can typically be planned out, planned for or scheduled (even though it can be prepared for).
For example, is any sinner ever prepared to answer the calling of God to recieve his grace through Jesus? Romans 5:10 ("while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son") would lead me to believe "No."
Jesus called us to follow before we were even on his side. In fact, in Jesus's calling to "come and follow" came while we were still His enemy. To a certain extent, this is the same idea for calling of marriage. (However, it's problably not a good idea to be enemies with your future spouse prior to marriage, but the same idea of being unprepared for the calling still applies.)
So how did we know that we were ready for marriage? We didn't, because we never will be. Not because we didn't prepare for it, (Casey did much better than I did and its pretty obvious) but because no one is ever worthy of it, because marriage, in the Christian sense, is a calling from God.
I stepped into marriage much like I stepped into a relationship with Jesus: excited, humbled, repentant, loved, and trusting.
When I started a relationship with the Lord I had nothing to show for it, no wisdom of the old testament, or scripture ready to spew from my lips. I was simply a young teenager in love with a God who had captured my heart.
Similarly, this was true for stepping into a marriage with Casey. I had nothing to show for my worthiness, no money, no consistent income, or knowledge of business or law, making me a promising canditate to secure a job. (Even though there is much to be said about men who have those things ready to give to their brides).
However I stepped into marriage excited, humble, repentant, loved, and trusting God, in love with a woman who had captured my heart.
I learned, and am learning, that - while a consistent job/ income/education is great and truly important and something I want for myself and family - there is nothing as secure as the Love of Jesus and promises of God.
The peace of God was laid on my heart reminding and comforting me that it is God who is the giver of eternal security. So whether through hard work I become a successful trillion-aire, or a average-income citizen, monetary things provide no security because they can be taken away in a second but the Security found in Jesus's love and Gods promises will be eternal.
Out-Lavish time...Marrying Casey was the best thing I have been called to besides Jesus. Casey is a woman who daily shows me the grace of God, whether it's putting up with me "sometimes" not using soap when I wash dishes,(don't eat at our house) or forgiving me when I fail to love her well, she is one of the most visible expressions of Jesus that I have ever witnessed.
Which make me all the more confident to say I am not worthy of the calling for marriage, because I am not worthy of her, and the grace she extends to me through Jesus. Marriage from my percpective has been humbling to say the least.