Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My First Marriage

Most girls could probably tell you the name of their first boyfriend or their first crush. Mine was Dwayne Mills and I was ten years old. Dwayne would ride his bike the few streets to our house from his and do 'wheelies' to show off or ride with no hands. Oh, he was cool. We went to the same church but we never sat together because back then kids sat with their parents. I was a teenager before I sat somewhere other than the pew my parents were sitting in. 

Dwayne and I 'loved' each other. It was puppy love for sure but at the time it was pretty serious to us. We'd ride our bikes together and play jump rope or hide and seek. We even held hands once or twice. Then one day he proposed! My first proposal. He gave me a ring that he got out of the box of Cracker Jack he had been eating. It had a gold coloured band and a green glass stone. To my ten year old eyes it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen because it came from a boy.

 He asked me to marry him! So we got married. One of our friends, Peter Joudry, wanted to be a preacher when he grew up so we asked him if he would marry us and he said yes. Next, we needed bridesmaids so we asked my sister and his two sisters to be our bridesmaids and my youngest sister to be the flower girl. We picked daisies and dandelions for our bouquets and we already had our dresses. Those were the years of the maxi dresses and we all had one. We were all set. Who said weddings were hard to plan?

The ceremony was beautiful. We even prayed. But when it came time for the 'groom' to kiss the 'bride' a simple peck on the cheek was the extent of that tradition. Afterwards we went back to playing and riding our bikes. Our 'romance' soon fizzled out when our family moved but over the years I have always prayed for my first 'husband', Dwayne, and I have stayed in touch with his family. 

Those were innocent, special times that made a huge impression on me. Looking back I am glad that marriage seemed to be the logical step when two people were in love. We were only 10 and 11 years old but we knew that was what was suppose to happen. Sure, we had our timing off by a few years, but we knew that when two people loved each other, they got a ring, a dress and a wedding. Hollywood would try to convince this generation otherwise and I'm afraid that the idea of marriage is someday going to become extinct. I hope not. 

I loved being 'married' at ten. It meant that some sweet boy liked me and I liked him back. Once I grew up, of course, I realized that marriage is much more than that and the Lord sent me another sweet boy who liked me and I liked him back. Brad and I met in elementary school and in high school we became best friends. We dated a few times but it wasn't until after graduation that we became serious about our relationship. I am so glad I have him and after almost twenty-seven years of marriage, I'm still glad I married him. 

God brings people into your life for a reason. There is always a reason. Peter Joudry, the 'minister' at my first 'wedding' did grow up to become a pastor. Our 'wedding' was the first he ever officiated over but I am sure that he has officiated over real weddings many times over the years. We have all gone our separate directions since that day when we played at having a wedding, but many times the Lord has brought those faces back to my memory and when He does I pray for them. Maybe that was why the Lord brought us all together then so that we would hold each other up in prayer and intercede for each other. 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”"

(John 13:34-35)

At ten years old I didn't understand how deep love can be, how consuming it is and how wonderful true love really is. I thank God that He did give me a real marriage where I could see that love in action. But each of us are commanded to love one another, not in our understanding of what love is, but to love as He has loved us. We may not understand what love involves but if we read the Word and see how God loved us, then we will begin to grasp its full meaning. We are to love one another always. 

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