I am not posting this excerpt from my maternal grandmother’s memoirs (dated 1997) as a way of deriding her way of thinking. On the contrary, I see that so much misery can be avoided when men and women place genuine commitment ahead of sexual intimacy. She and my grandfather loved each other and reached the milestone of 50 years of marriage.
I was married in Maassluis on May 19, 1932, and the pastor who led the church service was named Rev. Rieberg. Our wedding text was John 2:2, “And Jesus was also a guest [at the wedding].” It is a beautiful wedding text when we can also invite the Lord Jesus to our wedding. We can certainly have wonderful celebrations and also a wedding, but everything we do needs to be done with the spirit that Jesus will be present there. We can be joyful, but we must remember that not just “anything goes.”
Mrs. VanLien, for whom I had previously worked, gave me the right kind of advice in the area of relationships. She would say, “Child, when you are going out with a man, there are some things you should set boundaries around.” She also said that if you want to get married properly and with purity and you grow closer together, you still need to say, “No” to certain activities.
“Child, it is much better to get married in purity, even if all you have is a table and four chairs. Later on, that young man will be so grateful that you did not compromise,” she continued.
That is really how we were raised and instructed, if we were going out with someone and we wanted a church wedding. Then it is wonderful to get married. Marriage is a big step. You need to really get to know each other and each other's personalities. There will be times when you think to yourself, I didn't think you were like that. A wife will have these thoughts about her husband, and a husband about his wife. But where there is genuine love, then you will grow towards one another. Then it just gets better and better. Then you have not unwrapped the gift before you get married.