My Thoughts on "Mawwidge" and "Wuv, Twu Wuv"

It was April 29th - 27 years ago.  I was scared and nervous as we stood in the pitch blackness of an Auburn evening.  It was a beautiful clear night with the crickets chirping in the background.  As we walked through the gate and passed through the high grass in the field surrounding The Vinery at the Auburn University Arboretum (botanical garden),  I was preparing to make a decision that would profoundly change my life forever.  My heart was racing with fear and excitement, because I was about to ask the woman that I loved to marry me.
I planned this moment for years and waited over twenty-five years to get to this point.  Everything had to go perfectly, but you know how things work.  When we arrived that night after an evening dinner with some friends, I was deflated to see that there was another couple "making out" in the place that I had dreamed to pop the question!  What was I going to do now?  Well, I tried to make small talk with Danna while patting my shirt pocket every 10 seconds.  I had decided to put the ring, in which I had invested all that my "college-student-working-for-a-catering-company-while-being-a-resident-manager-for-a-dorm" lifestyle could scrape up, into my pocket so that I could get to it when the time was right.  
Finally, the other couple left and Danna and I approached The Vinery, reminiscing that this was the place where we had shared our first kiss.  We laughed and talked about things.  Then the moment came.  I knelt down in front of her, my heart racing, my palms sweating, and my voice cracking as I said, "Danna, I want to ask you an important question."  Realizing what was about to happen, she yelled, "Not tonight!"  The reason she said this was because her parents were in the Smokies for the Wildflower Pilgrimage, and she was afraid that I would ask her without being able to share this with them in the "traditional-family-permission-kind-of-way".  However, I had already met with her father (the second scariest moment in my life) at his office earlier that week, and I requested the right to ask her to marry me.  Even away, Dr. Freeman and Mrs. Freeman already knew about what was going to happen on this night!
I can't tell you how blessed I am that Danna said, "Yes" that night.  She and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary last month, enjoying a night away now that ours are old enough hold the fort.  My life has been so blessed by being associated with her.   We have grown closer through the joys and struggles that God has seen us through.  My wife is truly my best friend, and I look to her for wisdom and strength in so many areas of my life. 
Marriage is God's plan for His children to understand fully what it means for the church to be the Bride of Christ.  It is disturbing that the rate of divorce, even for Christian couples, continues to escalate.   God wants us to have strong and healthy marriages, and He wants our churches to be committed in their marriage to Christ, the Bridegroom.  Over the years, I've become convinced that our relationship with God is similar in many ways to our relationship with our spouses in marriage.  I have more thoughts to share in the sermon section of our website with the series, "The Art of Marriage."  May it bless you as it has blessed us in learning to grow toward Him together.