Asking For Her Hand in Marriage: 5 Steps
I grab my white shirt and look at my mother with my most loving gaze: would you like to iron it one last time? “All right, just this once,” she answers and looks at me with a rather surprised look on her face. As if I wouldn’t be mature enough to take the most important step in my life today. “Here you go,” she says minutes later as she lovingly hands me my shirt. No wrinkle to be found.
Once downstairs I see a number of family members who will accompany me for this marriage visit. “Where is your coat?” I hear one of my nieces ask me with a grin on her face. Suddenly I remember that I forgot to bring a coat to my aunt’s house. I cannot show up like this I think. “Fortunately you lost some weight, I am sure this will fit you,” one of my other cousins suggests as she hands me one of her older brother’s jacket. “I cannot be more grateful,” is the only thing that is going through my head and eagerly I take it.
That was it, my first step. I am not sure if you can call this the first step: the importance of clothing we wear to impress someone, the smell of a perfume that characterizes us most, or the car we use to show up in?
But then I remember that I had already taken that first step a long time ago: my pure intention to get married. I am fully aware that I am not perfect. But now that I am taking this step, now that I want to get married, I will do anything in my power to make the marriage work.
“Are you ready?” my dad asks me while I am still tying my laces. As soon as I finish I walk out the door, ready to drive to our final destination. We arrive a couple hours later.
As soon as we are welcomed in all family members are introduced. In my mind I had already prepared myself for this moment, but there is nothing that can prepare you for this; thinking you have found the one. After the introductions the questions begin, first it is just simple chit-chat, if I am enjoying where I live at the moment. And then, for the first time in my life the more serious topics are thrown at me, such as the future.
Before I know it this exciting moment passes and soon we find ourselves outside. One of the family members who has accompanied me today wipes his sweaty forehead and asks me: “Well, that wasn’t too bad now was it?” I nod reassuringly and look for my mother’s gaze. What will happen next?
One week passes, followed by another. Soon weeks turn into months. “I don’t think this will be successful,” my father predicts. If God wants it to happen, it will. The distant attitude which finally becomes a rejection, makes it clear that this woman’s house will not become my second house, and that God has saved his blessing for me elsewhere.
“He is still looking for a wife,” I occasionally hear people around me say. I try to not let it discourage me, and realize that this is step 2: to continue to have faith in God that you will find someone perfect.
During a reading about faith on a not too sunny day I, unexpectedly, notice a suitable marriage partner. A long period of introductions follows. And then one day my mother hangs up the phone. She has good news: “We are expected this week for an official marriage visit.” My eyes sparkle as I think of my wish that appears to be coming true. And that also describes step three: have faith in your own actions and never give up. For some people marriage is a sort of ‘love at first sight’ affair as soon as someone crosses their path. But, you do need to remember that this isn’t always the case, and we also have no idea what such a marriage will turn out to be. When everything looks more beautiful from the outside. That is why your own efforts and actions are always essential.
When I get up on that important day I find myself to be less nervous than the last time. After all, now I know exactly how this works. Our introductions are followed by the ‘tea ceremony’, after which I meet my, hopefully, future wife. It seems like this time there is more of a connection, something I couldn’t have imagined in advance.
After the introductions we drive home in silence. Deep down inside I know that I don’t want to be disappointed again, but I can do nothing else but accept what is about to come.
A couple weeks later, when I come home after a long day at work I receive the good news: “They said ‘yes’,” my mother tells me happily.
What happens after the introductions goes much faster. After months of not having to give up and trying to get a chance to introduce myself, the ‘I do’s’ come much quicker than I had imagined. And I am grateful, more than I can describe here. This is also where step four comes in: gratitude towards God and the awareness that He is the one who blesses you.
From this moment on life can only get better and better as I, and my future wife, work on the life we had imagined. Soon I realize that my feelings of joy are not solely based on this moment, the moment during which I learned that I had succeeded in finding a suitable marriage partner. From now on it also means that we have to keep working to keep each other happy.
Which leads me to the final step in the process of asking for a woman’s hand in marriage. A step which should never be overlooked or forgotten. A step that is central to a marriage for people who believe in God; the remembrance of God. We can only do this by building our lives based on what God loves. Remembering God will bring us compassion and will help us remember why we chose each other. This final step is also closely linked to the first: my intentions. I was looking for a wife who loves and remembers God, and to my great joy and gratitude He made this a reality.
Based on a true story.