by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
Today, Leah lays out another example of how courtship creates angst, confusion and general insanity.
David and I met at his work. He was giving a presentation and I was sitting in the front row. After the meeting, we talked briefly but we both thought the same thing, “What are the chances they know the Lord?” I later called David with a work question and suddenly he was talking about God. I remember hanging up the phone and thinking, “I totally misjudged this guy!”
Interesting. I would like to go on the record that I’ve NEVER thought “Hmmm. Is that speaker a saved Christian?” before. Likewise, if I call someone on business – even business for a ministry – and the business owner starts talking about God, I’d be freaked out.
We talked for a good three months over the phone. No flirting, just theology, ideals and life. I grew frustrated and complained to my parents, “He never says he likes me. What kind of girl does he think I am? I don’t continue a relationship with a guy if it is not going anywhere.”
Nice attempt at boundary setting by Leah! Leah wants a relationship. If David doesn’t want to be in a relationship, Leah has the right to leave.
Good job, Leah!
My praying mama soothed, “Honey, he is studying you now to make an informed decision.”
Leah’s mama, your advice sucks. Your daughter IS studying David. She’s found it annoying as hell that he won’t state his interest.
Who cares if David is studying her? You snooze, you lose.
[Input from Nico: What the mom was actually saying “Oh Leah, don’t forget you are just an object to be studied.”]
During that time, another young man approached my dad about courting me. He was forward and flirty.
Yay! A guy who is interested in you and willing to move towards a relationship – sounds good.
Dad unveiled his hesitations and reservations, but said the ultimate choice was mine. I am so thankful I was seeking the Lord during this season and knew His voice from years of Bible study and prayer. As soon as Dad told me it was my decision I felt a huge check in my spirit. This wasn’t my husband.
I’m getting confused. If a guy approaches Leah’s dad, he’s too forward and flirty and not worth a relationship. David, on the other hand, who in three months hasn’t moved towards a relationship is too slow.
Does Leah actually want to be in a relationship?
I told the young man “no” and the next week David asked me out on our first date – dinner and a comedy show.
Magical thinking flows through this book. Leah proves her worth to date David by rejecting a flawed previous suitor. As a result of that, David wants to date her! Magical!
Of course, in real life, Leah could very well have waited another 3 years for David to get around to showing interest – don’t forget Ellie.
David still wasn’t flirty, and the next morning I wondered if I had done the right thing.
Now, I am very confused. I thought flirty was the kiss of death.
Oh, wait. I’ve been using logic again.
Actually, anything David does must be right because Leah married David. As such, every guy she ever ran into before must be hideously flawed.
But in my prayer journal I wrote in all capital letters: LEAH, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YOU IS A MAN AFTER GOD’S HEART AND THAT IS WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY ADMIRED IN DAVID.
Thanks for sharing the caps. To me, the caps show how insane this situation has become. Since courtship must lead inexorably toward marriage, any nervousness or disappointment must be overcome by grounding in “God’s will”.
My relationship guideline was a few dates, then the suitor meets with Dad. After two more dates, David didn’t have to be asked- he called Dad up and they met at Starbucks.
Did Leah give David her dad’s number? Did David know her dad? Did David use his cyber-stalker skills that Debi insists all men have to hunt her dad down?
Dad was prepared with questions he had gathered for years. Dad even called some of David’s references. The outcome: “Leah, you should be very honored that a man like David wants to pursue a relationship with you.”
Which is more disturbing – the dad’s list of questions or the fact he thinks David is too good for his daughter?
I have no problems with reference checking – of course, I don’t know that I would believe them, but whatever works.
After Dad blessed our relationship, David blossomed into the romantic every girl loves. While we dated, I tried to think ten years down our marriage – if I felt like I was leaving, what would keep me in?
Why would you think about that ? You aren’t married. You aren’t engaged. Neither you nor David should have this much pressure toward a marriage this early in a relationship.
The thought kept coming back that God called David and me into this marriage.
Oh, Leah. You are so screwed. You are not thinking clearly – at all. If the best quality of a partner is “God wants me to marry him”, you are with the wrong person.
I leaned on this reflection heavily as it was confirmed through parents, friends and prayer. It was hard to hear my parents analyze David, but I stood fast in the thought that if it was God’s will, it would work itself out. David and I both told each other that God was more important than the other, and that if God called us in or out of this relationship, blessed be the Lord. It was such a peace-we were merely discovering God’s will.
Not a good sign, either. Both David and Leah are keeping themselves emotionally distant.
I remember the day David told me “I love you” for the first time. We took a walk with his dog and on the top of a beautiful hill he said “I love you, Leah.” He then shocked me by saying “And I’ve only said that to two other girls.” Immediately I started thinking, who else? Man way to ruin the moment. David finished, “My mom and sister.” Do you have any idea how much that meant to me? I went home and implored my brothers to do the same for their future wives.
Leah is much more gentle than I am. David: EPIC FAIL. EPIC FREAKING FAIL, DUDE.
After a year of courtship, David proposed to me in front of 1,100 people at a work convention. We had never gone ring shopping and Dad had cautioned me, “Let David lead; don’t push.” I had no idea what was happening. Suddenly David was pushing me to center stage and getting on one knee. The crowd went wild and stood to their feet. David looked up, “Leah Grace Driggers, you are a godly woman of character. I love you with everything I have within me. I would be honored if you would be my wife. Will you marry me?” I couldn’t say anything. I just sobbed and nodded yes. It was worth the wait.
That sounds nice.
After a seven month engagement and intense pre-marital counseling, we married a year ago. Marriage is the greatest gift the Lord has given me. No one told me how awesome marriage is–waking up next to my loved every morning, watching him take a second helping of my cooking and just realized I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. That is my Cinderella story that I waited for, shaped in heaven. Girls, don’t give up and don’t settle for less.
After all, who wants to be with a flirty, outgoing guy? Better to hope a guy who is sending you vague signals gets around to doing something.
Become the girl of a godly man’s dreams. And don’t mess around with guys that aren’t your godly prince. I can’t wait to hear your story!
Become the woman of your own dreams. If you want a relationship, take steps to make it happen. Have fun.
AntiPearl: Infatuation is when you think he’s as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he’s as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford — but you’ll take him anyway. ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She’s a wise fount of knowledge about things involving living with a farmer and farming. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide