So, Senior year was in full swing. I was getting ready to graduate and go off to graduate school in another country. Basketball season was also in full swing and I found myself attracted to a wonderful young lady in our InterVarsity chapter. It was a wonderful time of the year. That's the setting.
Here were the twists in the setting:
1) She was younger and not about to graduate
2) I had three good friends who also had crushes on her
3) I had already experienced the difficulties of a long-distance relationship
4) She and I served in Duke's IV chapter and spent time together often
5) We both were committed to Jesus and wanted to serve him wisely.
You know how the story ends, I think. Amy and I got married this past summer and are happily serving Jesus together. And Amy's not the woman from the story, in case you're wondering. So, how did I get from a crushed out Senior to a man married happily to Amy? That's the story.
March of my Senior year was a hard month. The Blue Devils lost in the tourney and I had to decide whether or not it would be wise to start something romantic with this friend. Every time we spent time together it was wonderful, fun, and life-giving (isn't that a good sign?). I should have been walking on clouds and floating on treetops, but I wasn't. I was sad. Why? It had little to do with the Devils, though I don't want to downplay the impact that NCAA basketball has on relationships. No, my sadness was due to the fact that I was fairly convinced that pursuing something romantic with this friend was unwise, "the right thing at the wrong time" to quote Harris.
I was convinced that pursuing something romantic with my friend was unwise because I knew that the circumstances of the next year would make it almost impossible for us to seriously evaluate the potential of marriage. If that is to be a purpose in romantic dating, then romantic dating wasn't an option for us. In a few weeks, the attraction subsided and in a few months I was happy to see her dating one of my friends.
Flash forward a year and a half and I'm in Blacksburg, Virginia interning with InterVarsity before getting placed at Washington and Lee. I've been spending time getting to know Amy Whitaker. Sparks are flying, snow is falling, and that's the new setting. Amy and I start dating romantically, exclusively, and intensely and six months later are convinced that it would be wise for us to marry. Amy is an amazing woman and I'm so blessed to be her husband!
The main difference between these two stories, the difference that made it seem wise to start dating Amy but not to date my friend from Duke, was that with Amy the timing and situation allowed us to consider marriage. It wasn't easy. We did the long-distance thing for a year after we were engaged and are still recovering from some of the strain that that put on our relationship. It wasn't easy. But it was good.
Now there isn't much of a moral to this story or a formula for healthy, happy relationships contained in here. Just some flesh on ideas. Think about your context. Think about your motivation. Seek wisdom. How to do that will be the subject of the next post.
Teaser --- Andy Stanley's The Best Question Ever
--- What is the wise thing for me to do? ---
--- In light of your past experiences, your present circumstances, and your future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for you to do? ---