David And Brittany's Story
I want to share with you the wonderful story of how God brought Brittany and me together, and how after being betrothed as husband and wife for 8 months, we were married on a beautiful crisp October day.
Brittany and I met each other, and our families, one night at an English Country Dance (along with a lot of other people). Over the following months, our families went to some of the same events, and we got a chance to briefly talk each time. Our families became friends as we became involved in the same activities and because we shared the same love for God.
I still remember the moment it suddenly occurred to me that I could marry Brittany. Looking back, I know that was the Lord speaking to me. After this, I immediately went to my heavenly Father to ask Him if Brittany was the one he was leading me to pursue in marriage. Unknown to me, God had pointed me out to Brittany, and she had likewise been praying and seeking the Lord’s will.
It would be almost two years before either of us knew that God was leading both of us in the same direction. God needed to finish preparing us for each other, and teach us to trust Him more, before giving us final direction for marriage.
The most important thing in both our lives is God. So rather than asking Brittany out on a date to try to figure out in my own wisdom if we were right for each other, we separately went to our heavenly Father and asked Him to show us His will. The Bible says God knows the number of the hairs on our heads and formed us in our mother’s womb. We are made in His image and no one knows us better than Him.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that “our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit”, for we were bought back from sin and death with the sacrifice of God’s own son. The fact is, despite all the evil we do in our lives, God still loves us and calls us to Him. He is, and always will be our first love - because God is Love. Any love you or I have, comes from Him. Without God, we could never love each other.
The Bible says in Hebrews, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (11:6) I knew I was capable of making mistakes apart from God, so during this time I asked my family to pray as well, and, unbeknownst to me, Brittany and her family had also been praying.
Eventually I began to fast once a week and pray to seek the Lord’s will. I really wanted to surrender myself to His will. I knew that God’s will for my life would be perfect - even if I meant I had to give up Brittany.
God had given Brittany to her parents (Mr. and Mrs. Cronin) to raise and protect. Scripture says we are to honor our parents, so after God gave me and my family peace that I was to marry Brittany, I went and asked Mr. Cronin first. God had put Brittany under his authority and protection.
After praying about it himself, Mr. Cronin gave me permission to ask Brittany if she would begin a courtship with me - and this I did the following Sunday. Brittany said she would love too, and I found out she had been praying about me all along.
To clarify, courting is like dating, with a few minor differences. It is a relationship begun with the intent to determine if marriage is God’s will, usually with the permission of the parents, and it often involves chaperoning to help keep the couple accountable.
For two weeks Brittany and I spent time talking on the phone, praying together, and studying the Bible and discussing our beliefs. We didn’t go on dates or have any physical touch because we were trying to honor God in our relationship and walk in purity. It was most important to us to learn who this other person was, and what their walk with the Lord was like.
However, soon God showed us that even though we looked like we were doing everything right, we still weren’t pursuing marriage God’s way. Two weeks after the start of our relationship, on Christmas Eve, my brother and I were talking and he brought up the subject of betrothal. Betrothal is mentioned in the story of Joseph and Mary, and explained in the New Testament through the picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church.
Betrothal is trusting the Lord to prepare someone for you, and you for them, and reveal that to both of you (and usually your family) in His timing. You don’t need to search for the person God has for you by dating to determine if they are the one for you. Instead, the Bible says, “In all thy ways acknowledge God, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)
Our relationships are just another area that we need to realize God has already perfectly planned. We are to seek God through the Bible and prayer to find His direction and provision, and trust God to reveal what He has planned.
The Scripture that clarified things for me was 1 Timothy 5:2 which says, “…[treat] older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with all purity.” There is no provision for romantic relationships outside of betrothal and marriage (committed, covenant relationships) in the Holy Scripture.
After two weeks of courting, God made it apparent to me that the only right way for me to treat Brittany according to 1 Timothy, was either in all purity as a sister only - or to follow God’s example in scripture and be betrothed to her as my wife. We could find no place in Scripture where there was provision for a romantic relationship outside of betrothal and marriage. Since beginning to court Brittany, I was thinking about her romantically, rather than thinking of her as a sister.
After two days of intense study, I called Brittany to share what I had learned and tell her that we were out of God’s design by remaining in a romantic trial period (even though we both were pursuing God’s call to marriage).
We stopped courting and instead spent the next two months in prayer and studying God’s word to learn more about what he was teaching us. At her father’s request, I also spent more time with him, discussing Scripture, and praying with him. The Lord had already given me peace that Brittany was to be my wife, so I knew that this was all part of his plan.
After talking more with her father, in February he gave me permission to ask Brittany to become betrothed to me (ask her to marry me). On Valentine’s day, our family invited the Cronins over for dinner and to spend some time together. That night, in front of our families, I told Brittany for the first time that I loved her, and asked if she would marry me. She said she would love too. We entered into a betrothal covenant before God that night. We were committed to follow His will and in the way He was teaching us—even if that was different from our culture and what we had previously known.
In March, we had a private betrothal ceremony with our families. It was a very special time of prayer, thanksgiving, and praise to God for what He had done. That is where we formally made our betrothal/wedding vows to each other, and exchanged rings, as a symbol and outward sign of the covenant we were making with each other and before God.
Eight months later, we had our public wedding celebration, and I came to take Brittany in marriage, as my wife.