Christopher and Eline’s Story
As teens, Christopher and I were both extremely promiscuous and had a long history of broken-heartedness when we each met Jesus within a few months of each other in 2002. I didn’t think I could find love anymore through relationships, and I didn’t see myself ever getting married. From a similar lifestyle, and steeped in the knowledge that he had used so many girls, Christopher became depressed and suicidal. In these states, Jesus reached out and rescued us from our sins. Both of us stopped dating and entered the young-adult discipleship program at our church, The Rock of Roseville.
At that point, we were both very broken, very immature, and didn’t like each other at all. However, the first night of the program, Christopher had a peaceful dream in which he and I were holding hands, walking down a hill, singing praises to God. Startled by the image, he woke and prayed that God would break this evident warfare coming against him – a joke we now recall with laughter. Later that year, Christopher began to seriously pray and seek God regarding pursuing me. He took his thoughts to our program directors, and they challenged him to continue to seek God and wait on His perfect timing. I began to feel my heart opening to Christopher after our graduation, but in the wake of still being healed from my past, felt my heart open and close repeatedly in fear and hesitation. I had made a commitment to God that I would never have another relationship outside of His will and was therefore scared to open my heart to Christopher, wanting complete confirmation that it was God’s will.
Both of us started the second year of the program, and once again my heart began to open to Christopher. He told me he was waiting on God’s timing. I was tired of my emotional rollercoaster and decided to fast. I asked for my heart to stay open if our relationship was from God, and to close permanently if it was not. After receiving many confirmations from the Lord, I was afraid, but had peace and faith that Christopher’s interest in me was truly from God. Because we both felt so much confirmation, we went ahead of God’s timing and began our courtship all on our own without receiving a final blessing from our leaders in the program. God’s confirmation was real, but our perception of His timing was off. Our leaders challenged Christopher to go back and deal with some things he had neglected before beginning a courtship. Before the month was over, our courtship was off. Christopher still had some work to do with the Lord and ended up going to Christian counseling for three months. In the midst of this season, we held a distant friendship and finished our intern year well.
A few days before graduation, two of my intern friends and I drove to the program directors’ house for a supposed meeting. When I arrived, I saw Christopher waiting for me with candles lit and flowers in hand to finally ask if he could court me. This time he had pursued all the right avenues ahead of time by going to my pastor-dads and my real dad before approaching me. We then met with our church courtship pastor and made a list of boundaries and goals we wanted to maintain. We decided that holding hands was okay, but kissing was not. Our goal was to continue to focus on God and seek Him more than we sought each other. We printed out several copies of that paper and passed it out to all our close friends and leaders at the church. Some people laughed at us, but we knew we needed the extra accountability. We chose specifically not to kiss until our wedding day because we had had such a lack of self control regarding sexuality in the past. We knew that if we opened the door for kissing, we would never make it to our wedding in physical purity. We met monthly with our pastor and went through a book called Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. We met weekly with another couple in the church to discuss more day-to-day matters. Overall, we had a very successful courtship, although we would both say it was extremely difficult. Not because the courtship process is hard, but because we both had a lot to work through from our backgrounds. Because we were the only Christians in our families, we grasped onto all the support and help our church body could offer. Without that, we never would have made it.
We courted for about six months before Christopher asked me to marry him. After a six month engagement, we had the most glorious wedding any girl could ask for. You can see it on my face – I’m beaming from ear to ear, my eyes are bright and happy, and I felt so beautiful. Christopher broke out in a sob as he saw me walking down the aisle. When we finally kissed, our wedding party went crazy. They knew our past, our road to salvation, the healing God had done in both of our lives, our courtship, and the boundaries we had maintained. It was an amazing Holy Spirit celebration where we all rejoiced in what God had done. It was an exciting way to start our life together. If we had dated or tried to navigate a relationship all on our own, we would have destroyed each other in the process and would never have made it to that glorious wedding day. Although courtship was a hard season for us, we know that another broken relationship would have been a much harder alternative. After four years of marriage, we can truly say our relationship has never been better, and we look forward to spending the rest of our lives getting to know each other – a process we started through courtship. READ MORE TESTIMONIES