Something significant happened today. I wasn’t there and I have no idea what went down… but I am at the centre of it: G asked my dad for his blessing, for us to get married. I say blessing, because honestly, we don’t need permission – living in today’s world, in our thirties and planning on covering the costs of the wedding ourselves… well, permission isn’t really the issue. But blessing is – especially for G. From the start, he was adamant that we ‘do things properly’ and he insisted we meet parents and ask for their blessing before taking the next step.
My impatient heart struggled with this – even up until a moment ago, when I instinctively knew ‘it had happened’; something shifted in the spirit for me and initially I didn’t quite get it. Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit who speaks so clearly and helps a fairly dim girl out (even while making tea in the staff kitchen!).
When G had arranged the meeting with my dad, yes I knew about it, but was not involved or invited. In a sneaky behind the scenes type phone call home, it was agreed that even my mom would not be involved: this was a matter to be dealt with between men. How misogynistic right? Wrong. And this is what Holy Spirit revealed to me. While I have been unmarried, I have lived under my father’s authority – as a child in his home, as a student financially dependant and even once working, I have always looked to my father for advice in decisions big or small. He has always been my go to for advice, wisdom and insight. And this is not just a natural familial concept – its spiritual in nature. He has been my covering. As an unmarried woman, I remained under my father’s spiritual covering (as per Biblical teachings) and I did my best to honour that state of submission because 1) the Bible promises blessing for doing so and 2) I understand and respect the protection of being submitted to spiritual authority.
The significance of today’s meeting was spiritual in nature; G was not simply asking if Daddy minded if I exchange his surname for G’s… he was asking to take on the responsibility of becoming my spiritual covering, as my (future) husband. He was asking for my father’s blessing to allow G to take the lead in my life: not only caring for me, but guiding me in future decisions, leading me further into the plans God has for both of us – covering me spiritually by becoming the Head of our (future) family. Yeah, the depth and weight of that revelation hit me as I was pouring the milk… and I could tangibly feel the shift in the spiritual atmosphere around me. There is an incredible significance to asking for a father’s blessing before proposing marriage to a woman – both for ‘him’ and ‘her’.
Don’t get me wrong: I do not believe I am inferior or a second-class citizen because I am a woman (good job to all those women in the past who fought for our equality – I appreciate it and relish my independence). But I love the idea of submitting (first to my father and now) to my (future) husband. Why wouldn’t I? I have been blessed with not only the most patient man alive, but with a man who continually has laid down his own comforts and ‘died to self’ in order to show his love and take care of me. How can I not want to do the same and allow him to lead our relationship when he has shown time and again that he has my best interests at the centre of each of his decisions and actions? Whether its getting off the couch to make me tea (because he knows I’ve been eying the kettle but am just too lazy or cold to get out from under the blanket); or facing a freezing trip home at midnight on a motorbike in the rain; or taking giant steps of faith to start a new business so he can provide for me financially; or submitting himself to leaders at church asking them to speak into his life to help him grow spiritually to then lead me… when someone has your back like that and proves themselves unconditionally trustworthy, there comes an incredible peace and safety in knowing that he carries the responsibility of our relationship before God. And I can relax and enjoy the security of not having to control anything.
It brings an amazing, inexplicable freedom.
(I now just pray for the patience to actually wait for the proposal… he better not bend to tie shoe laces around me this week…)