When I was just a little boy, people would always ask me, “Matthew, what do you want to be when you grow up?” My stock answer was to be a policeman or fireman. Then they would go a step further and ask, “When you grow up, do you think you will be a Preacher?” NO! Not a chance!
Fast forward to 1991! I was fresh out of High School and I was “In Love” with the girl of my dreams! We had been dating for several years and I was confident that she was the “ONE”! We had been discussing marriage. I know, I know, I was young but she was older than me and more “mature”… Well, she was starting her Junior Year at UGA and I was in school trying to get some kind of degree to satisfy her parents. We were both working as much as possible and we were looking forward to the day that we could get married.
I had it all planned out. I took off work one day and had to have “the talk” with her dad! Her dad was a farmer and he would normally show up at his house around lunch each day. I decided that I would go ask him if I could get his blessing to ask “his sweet, only child” to marry me.
Well, I walked in the door and he was rared back in his Lazy Boy wearing his work outfit. He was the guy that wore the denim shirt everyday with the cut off sleeves! I’ll never forget the nervousness in my gut. I was about to Puke! I sat down on the sofa (more than an arms length away) and began my spill. I shared with Thomas that I loved Thomasia with all my heart and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I finally mustered up enough courageous to ask him for his permission to ask her to marry me. Thomas’ reply was priceless. “Matt, are you going to be a farmer when you grow up?” I said, “Absolutely Not”. He quickly said, “You can marry her!” He knew the struggles of farm-life and didn’t want us to experience the same life he had endured.
We left together that afternoon and headed to the jewelry store to buy a ring. He was so excited and wanted me to pick the perfect ring for his daughter and my bride to be. I’ll never forget how excited he was. It sure made my life so much easier!
About 2 weeks later, I ask Thomasia to come down to my house one morning. She walked in my room, I sat her on the edge of my bed, I proceeded down on my knees and shared these words with her: “Thomasia, I love you with all my heart. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I want to ask you today if you would marry me? Before you answer, I want you to know that if you say yes, it’s forever! There’s no turning back, there is no such thing as divorce!”
Here is her response, “Matt, I have one question for you… When you grow up, are you going to be a preacher?” I was shocked! I said, “Absolutely Not!” The rest is history! We waited till she graduated UGA a few years later and on this day, July 10, 1993, we entered into a Covenant Marriage Relationship!
Through the years, God has changed our hearts and knitted them together on numerous occasions. I have had to ask her dad and her to forgive me for lying to them! I lied about not becoming a farmer because now I sow the Gospel Seed each week. I lied about not becoming a Preacher, but I really had no intention of becoming a Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Thomasia has stuck with me through every career change and uncertain path that God has led us down. I am one blessed man! So, on this day, I have to ask myself that same question that I’ve been asked so many time in my life, “Matt, what do what to be when you grow up?”
I want to be the husband that God called me to be. I want to be the father that God desires for me to be. I want to love my wife as Christ loves the church and I desperately want to be everything my wife had in mind 20 years ago today, when she walked down that aisle and said, “I DO” before God and all of our friends and family!
May we all evaluate our lives today and be what God intended for us to be according to His Word! Happy Anniversary Babe!