I am thrilled, today, to introduce you to this wonderful couple as we begin the second Courtship Story in our Love and Marriage Series. This is a fun one indeed! (Did you miss the first one? Go back and read the Courtship Story of Chase and Sarah.) Well, David and Briana are a couple that, honestly, I didn’t know if they were going to get together, though I was sure they were God’s will for one another! In fact, I had been on my knees praying for David, (that’s part of another long story), and the Lord impressed on my heart and mind that Briana was the one for him. I immediately thought, “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? Lord, You’re wonderful!” From that time on, I prayed earnestly for them to someday marry. When Briana called one Sunday morning before church to tell me that they were courting and going to announce it that day (she didn’t want me to hear it through the grapevine), I screamed into the phone with excitement!! We had company at the breakfast table who must have thought I was crazy. But God is still in the business of bringing a woman to a man–just as He brought Eve to Adam–and He says, “It is very good.” I am so happy that David and Briana are sharing their Courtship Story here and I know that you’ll be blessed by them and what God has so graciously done in their lives!
Faith’s Firm Foundation: Please tell us a little about yourselves!
David and Briana:
David and I will have been married for 4 years in May. We have two fun and energetic boys, Clayton, 3, and Connor, 20 months. David and I were both raised in Christian homes by wonderful parents. David is the oldest of 11 children. He has 9 brothers (one went to be with the Lord in 1997) and 1 sister. I am the second-born of 7 children. I have 5 brothers (one went to be with the Lord before he was born) and 1 sister.
Faith’s Firm Foundation: Before you were courting and married, did you strive to “keep your heart” for the one you would someday marry? How? Or what things did you do?
This is a tough question. This was something that I struggled with. My parents really stressed the importance of not flirting with boys. I didn’t really understand or think that it was a big deal. When I was 17 or 18, the Lord really got a hold of my heart and I wanted to trust and honor my parents in this area. I am so grateful that the Lord changed my heart! I know that it has only benefited my marriage today. We also did a lot of things either as families or with siblings (example: my brother and I would do things with other sets of brothers and sisters. This made for a safe environment–no pressure for pairing up.) Most of our friends at the time, who were around our ages, had the same mind-set and goals in life. Most of us were courtship-minded and committed to serving the Lord and waiting on Him. I really feel that this positive peer pressure was a big help for me!
My parents instilled in us the importance of waiting until we were ready to be married before thinking about a girl. By being ready, they meant being prepared, such as; being done with school, having a job that could provide for a family, being emotionally and spiritually mature. This was freeing for me, knowing that I didn’t need to “impress” someone. It also saved me from the pressures and heartaches of “going-out” and “breaking up.” During this time I was able to focus on helping my family and serving the Lord through children’s ministries (church Sunday School, missions trips–local and overseas, and AWANA). The Lord used this time to strengthen my relationship with Him.
FFF: What things helped you during the years between graduation and courting? How did you, and/or your parents, prepare (you) for marriage as you were growing up–or did you/they?
I don’t exactly remember when this was (before or after graduation) but my family was going through the catechism. The first question in there is, “What is the chief purpose of man?” The answer is, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” That gave me a new lease on life. I knew my purpose, it was to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I can remember having such a feeling of freedom and relief. No matter what season in life I was in, I had a purpose.
“I knew my purpose,
it was to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”
My parents taught me life- and home-skills but not with the sole purpose of “preparing me for marriage.” It was more preparing me for life: they were things I needed to know whether I married or not. Marriage was not a major push or focus in our home. We knew marriage was a great and wonderful thing and yes, something to desire (desiring marriage is God-given). I really appreciate the fact that my parents didn’t make us feel like it was our main purpose in life.
I was involved in a girls’ Bible Study with 3 other friends. It was a great time to grow in my walk and relationship with the Lord. I mentioned before that my parents really encouraged us to serve the Lord. We went to a church in the inner-city of Minneapolis. I helped out with the Children’s Ministry there. After I graduated, I did anything and everything to stay busy with that. I enjoyed it so much! I also had opportunities to travel and teach children the importance of character and teach them about Jesus and the Bible. These were precious years in my life. A quote that I absolutely love is, “Run as hard as you can towards God. When you see someone running beside you, take a second look!”
FFF: Tell us the story of “how it all began”.
David and I have known each other for 23 years. Many years ago, when my parents became Christians, David’s parents were their first Sunday School teachers. When I was old enough to “know” them, they had moved about 45 minutes from us, and our families would get together only about once or twice a year. David is almost 5 years older than me, so we didn’t really hang-out together.
In 1999 both of our families moved to within 5 minutes of each other. We would do things together as families, or with siblings. Because our families grew up together and had known each other for so long, people would always match me up with a Tiemann. To which I would reply something like this, “I will never marry a Tiemann and especially not David.” This was for no specific reason–I just have the personality that if someone expects me to do something, I do the opposite (not a trait I am always proud of.)
What makes you think that he would look your way now?
Well, the Lord had different plans. In January of 2005, the Lord started to change my heart. All of a sudden I started thinking about David and even liking him more than just a friend. Oh, boy, this really scared me. I didn’t know what to do, but the Lord prompted me to talk to my mom. I told her kind of round about, and she sent me to Dad. This was a scary step for me. I had never told my Dad that I “liked” someone before. I remember this day like it was yesterday. In my family, any time that we were “in trouble” or needed to talk with Dad, we would “meet” in my parents bedroom. My Dad would sit in a chair and we would sit on their bed. My heart was beating so fast as I told my Dad about my feelings. He listened and then brought me back to reality. He said something along these lines, “Don’t expect anything to EVER happen. He is 5 years older than you. You have known each other for a long time. What makes you think that he would look your way now? This is my advice, don’t treat him any different than you do now. Focus on your relationship with the Lord and continue serving Him.” He then asked me if I wanted the Lord to move in David’s heart or did I want to be the one that flirted and “moved” David’s heart. That stuck with me. I really did want the Lord to bring us together, if that was His will. I didn’t ever want to live with the lingering thought that maybe I flirted enough to “catch him.” We then prayed together and I was determined to put David out of my mind.
“I was determined
to put David out of my mind”
Dad told me that he was always available to talk, but he wasn’t going to bring it up so as not to cause me to dwell on David. I then went straight up to my room to work on my Bible Study. The study that I was working on at the time was in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. So I opened my study book and my Bible and what would I be reading about? King David! Well, so much for putting him out of my mind! This was going to be harder than I thought!
Please return next Monday to the Love and Marriage Series: David and Briana’s Courtship Story, Part 2, when we’ll continue by hearing how Briana succeeded, (or didn’t) at getting David out of her mind!