Avia and I decided that we were ready to be married. Now all I had to do was ask her dad. I know for most guys this kind of thing seems scary. I generally don’t think it is easy to ask another man if you can marry his daughter. I can think of a lot more comfortable situations.
What paved the way to make this an easier situation for both her father and I was that we knew each other (though I can’t ever imagine being completely prepared for another man asking to marry my daughter). I had been hanging out at his house three or four times a week for years. I had been getting to know Avia in the context of her home. Not to mention that before we started dating, I asked her parents, particularly her dad, if we could date with the view toward marriage.
So when it came time to ask, though I was nervous, it wasn’t hard or difficult to muster up the courage to go see her father. It was natural and easy. I really respected Avia’s dad and I knew I was asking to take responsibility for his daughter. Such things demand man to man conversation.
The details of the discussion we had are private, however, it is sufficient to say that two men met that day and discussed life. The advice I received and continue to solicit from time to time was excellent advice not only on marriage, but on what marriage would be like with Avia. I’ve come to the conclusion that no man, before her husband, knows a woman like her father.
With the blessing of her father, mother, and even her brother (after all I had inadvertently used him to get to know Avia better), I set out to propose. I had the ring in hand, a bible passage to examine, and an anxious girl friend who couldn’t help but wonder when and how I would ask (it was hard for her to ignore that I had gone out of my way to talk with her father, mother, and brother individually).
Finally the time came to go to a Thursday night college Bible study that I was co-leading. I drove by Avia’s house and picked her up. On the way, I remembered that I had left a book in the sanctuary of the church and needed to go by and pick it up. As we came into the sanctuary I had already arranged for all the lights to be off, except for one spotlight shining down on the altar. The altar was empty except for a large bible open to Ephesians 5 and in between the pages there was an engagement ring. I got down on one knee and said, “I’ve been reading this passage. I am scared and I am humbled by it because I don’t think I am everything I need to be. But it does describe the type of man that I want to be and will work the rest of my life to become if you answer yes to my question in just a moment. Today I have a ring for you and I want to put it on your finger. It is a promise, a promise that in a year from now we will stand together in this same place before God, before our parents, before a room full of witnesses and declare our love for each other and accept each other in marriage. Avia, will you marry me?”
She said “yes” and something to the effect of “you talk too much.” We embraced and read Ephesians 5:22-33 talked about how we would try and fulfill that passage and prayed together. Then we went to a Bible study and she showed off her ring. Eight months later we were married.