Josh and I have been dating for almost 6 years; it’s crazy how fast time goes by when you’re having fun!
We’ve navigated both high school and college together.
We used our weights class as a study hall and pretended to “do abs” the entire 55 minute class period (we put the “student” in student-athletes).
We somehow managed to get A’s in AP calculus & AP psychology (I’ll let you guess who was better at which).
We convinced our college professors to move our tests when we wanted a long weekend (true story).
We’ve celebrated more holidays together than I can count (from Christmas to St.Patrick’s day….?)
We’ve laughed until we had tears streaming down our face.
We’ve road tripped 14 hours to NYC, 9 to KC, and 7 to PCB.
We’ve had some long-distance summers, & others spent together.
We have gone on so many fun dates, from picnics at the park to fancy dinners in downtown Nashville.
We’ve laughed, cried, danced, adventured, made memories, and grown together in so many different ways these past 6 years.
Let me tell you a little bit about Josh, & how I knew he was the one:
Josh shows me love each day even when I don’t deserve it.
He always pays for my meals (even when I accidentally order the most expensive item on the menu…oops 🙂
He gives good gifts & it generous with his time.
He often gives up his own plans for mine.
He always knows how to put a smile on my face.
He makes me feel funny and he laughs at my jokes (most of the time).
He has gone to therapy with me to support me in recovery.
He is sweet to my friends.
He holds me when I cry.
He drags me out of the house when I need a pick-me-up.
He challenges my thoughts when they are irrational (hard to believe, I know).
He let me buy more than 5 throw pillows for our apartment (a big compromise on his part).
He has the most balanced, healthy relationship with exercise, & encourages me to follow him in that.
He encourages me to eat dessert when I want it, & to save it for later when I am full & satisfied.
He only makes positive comments about my body & appearance.
He takes my mood swings like a champ.
He comes and watches me speak every chance that he gets.
He shows love to Maddie even when it means getting her hair all over his black shorts.
He is very intelligent & good with money (thank you Jesus that I don’t have to construct our budget or do our taxes).
He loves spending time with family.
He respects me & doesn’t hesitate to tell me how proud he is of me.
He supports my career & is willing to work while I do my dietetic internship.
All of these things are great, but they weren’t the deciding factor in determining if he was “the one”.
Jesus was the deciding factor.
I knew that a relationship that wasn’t built on the rock-solid foundation of the gospel wasn’t going to work for me.
I’m not sure how it works for anyone.
With the divorce rates in the United States ranging from 40-50% (even within the Christian community), I wasn’t going to take my chances with just anyone.¹
I wasn’t just looking for a guy who went to church, attended a bible study, or lived a moral life.
I needed someone who shared my love for Jesus.
I needed someone who was born-again, & believed in the daily work of the Holy Spirit.
I needed someone who would fight his sin like a true man, while also encouraging me to do the same.
I needed someone who would hold my hand during worship.
I needed someone who would be to me who Jesus is for the church.
I needed someone who would receive the grace, mercy, and forgiveness and God, because Lord knows I need that same grace, mercy, & forgiveness every day.
I needed someone who would prepare for the return of Jesus with me.
I needed a good “kingdom-building” partner.
I needed a man who was after God’s own heart.
Josh is that person for me.
What makes loving him so easy is his humility, willingness to turn from his sin, and recognition that his purpose in life is to know God & make him known. He understands that it is only by growing in intimacy with God that he can grow in intimacy with me. He loves Jesus, he fears the Lord, he believes in the power of God’s word, & he has been born again, a new creation through the blood of Jesus.
It isn’t because of the nice dates, fun times, or even memories made. It isn’t because of the cute pictures & holidays spend together. It isn’t his good looks or his charm. It isn’t even his personality. As wonderful as some of those things are, they wouldn’t have held us together these past 6 years.
It’s because of Jesus.
Nothing more, nothing less. The saving blood of Jesus unites us together in a relationship that can only become more intimate through the covenant of marriage.