When I think of the parents with whom I regularly talk who are struggling to cope with the realization that their kids are walking away from God, I count my blessings that Hannah has found someone who has promised us that he will never lead her anywhere but heaven. When I speak with women who no longer can communicate with their husbands because their respective lives and interests have become so separate, I am thankful that Hannah gets a little irritated with Ben because he has difficulty focusing on her conversation on Saturday nights when he can’t think of much else besides his Sunday sermon. When I talk to children and young adults whose hearts are bleeding because of their parents’ divorces, I praise Him that Ben’s parents freely express their devotion and admiration for each other (although Hannah says they just gush and blush!). When I study and pray nightly with my husband, I thank Him that there was another family who studied and prayed daily with their children. While I know that every marriage will face its times of testing and its own brands of adversity, the best insurance of success in marriage is when two people love God even more than they love each other. I am convinced that Han and Ben have this strong love for the Father in common. This is not due to any good fortune or even to any great secrets of good parenting. It’s due to God’s grace in giving us His Word and to its exposure in their lives. It’s a “God thing,” for sure. His mercies and His loving-kindness is great toward us!
For today, here is the letter that Glenn and I received from Ben’s dad a few hours after that quick trip Ben made to Huntsville. Lots of answered prayers, difficult discipline and implicit trust in God is obviously the backdrop for a letter like this. Glenn and I are thankful for this letter and the good home from which words like this can emanate.
So why do I still feel a little hole in my heart when I think about the words “Who gives this bride…?” Glenn says it’s silly to be sad when we are so blessed. But other mamas tell me the little pain is the bruise left when reality hits just a little harder than usual in one of your most tender spots…the strong tendon of sentiment. Something, someone, some significant part of my world …will never be the same again.
Here’s the letter:
Glenn and Cindy,
Assuming that Hannah says, “Yes”, to Benjamin (which may be just an assumption; Hannah has a mind of her own), the great adventure begins. These days and events in their lives are full of meaning and great consequence.
Thank you for being such an encouragement to Benjamin these past few months. It does our hearts good to know you will love him and encourage him as a Christian, evangelist, husband, and father in the years ahead. Beth and I have talked to him, counseled him, and prayed for him from the day he was born. Incidentally, he was 9lbs/10 oz. when he was born.
This hour has come all-too-quickly for us. We have prayed for Hannah, even before we know her. But now that we know her, we have prayed for her especially. We could not ask for a better addition to our family—-in her, in you, and in Caleb. We are committed to loving Hannah as a daughter, and we will always make decisions with her highest interests in mind. Whatever counsel or advice they seek from us, if they do at all, we will think first and foremost of their relationship with God and their expectation of Heaven. All his life we made Benjamin aware that marriage is not about someone pleasing him, it is about him pleasing her and increasing her happiness in this world and in the world next.
We are so happy for Benjamin, that he has found such a precious jewel. We would not want him to marry anyone who would not seek his salvation above all else. For that we are so thankful to God for sending us this beautiful young lady who will not only fulfill our joy, but will be more than we could have imagined. Thank you for your years of love and influence in her life! You are giving us a gift beyond measure.
Beth said I should say something to you. She is usually right about such things.