He called around 5:30. I got home about 6:30. We’d just had “the talk”. You know the one where you admit you like each other and discuss where, if anywhere, it will go from there. He knew I wasn’t interested in conventional dating. I preferred the concept of courtship
. The big difference is that courtship focuses on marriage
as a goal, not having fun, and therefore avoids that mushy one on one time that comes with singular dating
. Activities and “dates” are typically done in groups, or at someone’s house where there will be other people around. This ensures that the physical parts of a relationship do not interfere with the development of the friendship and future marriage. This point was very important to both of us, so we agreed on courting, not dating. I was personally committed to this because it’s an easy way to prevent broken hearts
(which I decided I never wanted again) and build friendships
. After all, you learn much more about someone by watching them interact with others, not on a date when they are on they’re best behavior.
That’s why his call was so confusing to me. He just asked me to return his call on the machine. But when I did, he asked me to dinner. I very reluctantly accepted and gave him directions to my house. Maybe he didn’t understand, or maybe he really did know something I didn’t. I recalled him acting a little funny as we talked earlier that week. He kept nodding and smirking as though he knew something I didn’t. Perhaps I had no reason to fear another broken heart. Maybe, just maybe, he was the one! Either way, the only way to find out and re-explain myself, if necessary, was to go out with him.
He picked me up around 8 o’clock. I was very hesitant and on guard all through dinner as we talked. We ordered the same dish without discussing it before hand. We talked about a lot of things: family history, significant family conflicts, various likes and dislikes, future plans, sort of typical date topics. This was very abnormal, to me at least, because so many of our stories and plans matched. I knew this wasn’t intentional because I was careful to let him talk first since I was so apprehensive about this in the first place. I needed to test his intentions.
With every word he spoke, I saw more and more of my future unfold. I began to understand why he called. By the time we left the restaurant I was starting to let down my guard.
We are both Christians and that played a very important role in our individual lives and had to play an important role in our relationship if there was to be one. We stopped up the road from my house to look at the stars for a few minutes. There was large field with no trees, and the streetlights didn’t start for a few more blocks up the road. There were no clouds. I remember seeing Orion just above the eastern horizon. We leaned, side-by-side, on his truck and just breathed. The stars were beautiful and bright. I broke the silence and asked him how his relationship with God was doing and how he knows when he’s being directed to do something. He said he didn’t really know how he knew, that it’s just like a push in a direction. He said he always tests it by ignoring for a while and if it keeps coming back and lines up with the Bible, then he does something about it. More specifically, he said, “If I don’t know where God wants me, I don’t move.”
It wasn’t so much that I was trying to back him into a corner to find out why he called but this answer sounded very suspicious to me. So, I asked.
“Why did you call me?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you just said that if you don’t know where God wants you, you don’t move. So, why did you call me?”
He was catching on. We had walked a few feet from the truck and were kind of facing each other looking at the sky.
“Because I’m pretty sure where God wants me.”
“Oh yeah, and where’s that?” It’s not that I didn’t know what he’d say, I just needed to hear it said so I could read my gut reaction.
He stepped a little closer, and he wrapped his arms around me. It felt so good. Not a lusty kind of good, I just felt so safe.
He simply replied, “Right here.”
I knew. I just knew…