A few weeks ago my daughter's boyfriend asked if he could take my husband and I out to dinner. We already knew why, but we enjoyed the formality of it all. This is also a once in a lifetime moment, so I want to soak in every aspect I can. We set May 13th as the day and it was a moment in time I will treasure forever. After small talk and eating a delicious meal together, he sat nervously across from us and told us his feelings for our daughter and how he would like to have our blessing to ask her to marry him. Since we knew their relationship was heading in this direction we had already discussed questions we wanted to ask, as well as topics we wanted to talk about.
It was important to us to know why he feels Lauren is the one for him. As my husband likes to say..."does she check all of his boxes". What makes her so special to him. Why does he want to spend the rest of his life with her. Does he really want to spend the rest of his life with her? is divorce ever an option for him. Both my husband and I have been previously married. We married without really knowing who we were as individuals nor what we really wanted in a spouse. We also married the first time for all the wrong reasons. (this topic is for another time & our story is in my book....A Scarlet Cord Of Hope...soon to be published summer 2009)
We asked him to tell us what marriage means to him. We asked him personal questions that clearly were none of our business and we gave him an "out" telling him sincerely that he could feel free to tell us, I am not comfortable going there with you or I prefer not to answer that. He remained very open with us answering and commenting on everything we put out on the table. We also asked him to tell us how he views the role of husband as well as the wife and what his feelings and lifestyle choices reflect in the financial area. I wanted to make sure he understood that we support God's ideal for marriage and the leave to cleave part but that we are still connected as a family. The same goes for his family. We have an incrediable opportunity here to not only gain a son in law but also a whole other family connection. The same goes for him.
We also asked Lauren these same questions at different times over the past months. Once you walk in the shoes that we have, you don't want your children to make the same mistakes, this is why it was so important to us to hear their answers and hearts. It was also meant to cause them to think.
We have had many opportunity's to get to know Stephen (and we have watched and listened ALOT), and we have a pretty good idea how he would handle certain aspects like conflicts and anger (fair & Biblical) and do his actions speak louder than his words (yes), is he a man of his word?(yes) is he a man of integrity?(yes) is he capable of taking care of our daughter and future grandchildren (yes), is he a man who will honor God and lead his family by his example (yes). We still talked about these areas though. We shared openly with him about parts of our own testimony as well as where we are now (for the past 13 years).
While I don't want to divulge much more information because somethings do need to stay within the family limits, I will say that I was very impressed with how he thoughtfully answered each question no matter the topic. He was also very good at letting us know he heard our hearts- he understood and respected us. One thing I will share is one of his reasons to our question...what attracted him to Lauren and why does he think she is the one...he answered that he of course was attracted to her, they also shared similar values and morals, but more than that, as he got to know her he saw that family was important to her and he loved the fact that she has a close relationship with us. This was important to him.
Our conversation went from light and easy to deep and emotional. I feel like we each opened our hearts and we also heard each others heart as well. He has made it clear that Lauren checks all his boxes (and he checks all hers as well). We ended dinner with a hand shake and hug! (the hand shake was more in fun but the hug was real!). Welcome to the family Stephen (and I look forward to the day that I can officially call you my future son in law.
Stay posted for the actual engagement...Lauren doesn't know when, how, or where, but we do and my lips are sealed until then
* my soon to be future son in law is in the medical field but his passion is in music. He is a very talented musician and song writer and he has written a special song for Lauren you can hear it athttp://www.myspace.com/stephenbelk