Greetings, friends. This is Roland Beard speaking and writing from the heart in the first hours of June 23, 2017. I have been receiving many congratulations for marriage, but we are not quite married yet. There may be a little confusion because the time difference between here and other parts of the world where we have friends. But, there also may be a little confusion because of the way much of the world treats marriage and relationships. With this on my heart, I bring greetings and a little explanation.
Faylene Lawson and I will be married in a little over 24 hours. We had been close friends; we remain close friends. We talked before; we talk a lot more now. But, our behavior and respect for one another as well as the Word of God means that our relationship is open and adheres to biblical standards. Our friends in Christ should expect nothing else. We are both mission-minded and honored at the prospect of being married. With His grace and mercy, we have grown closer but are not married until, before God and man, we shall be joined together in a ceremony on the afternoon of June 24th, Eastern Standard Time. We both have His grace and have experienced His love. but the grace to be married will not be imparted until we have made that public commitment.
You see, both of us have little friends and older friends. Whether we choose it or not, we influence many of them. We want to influence them with the grace of God. It is not because we are great, but because we are His children and have learned that doing things His way is best. Sometimes the world gets things right, but it often does not. The biblical standard is the one we hold high, because the Author was so gracious to save us and, for us in particular, give us this chance, late in life, to be married again. His “idea” of marriage is much different than what is typical in many places. So, we can tell people, openly, how we behaved, what we did, what we did not do, what we talked about, and what we did not talk about–even before we were married–without hesitation or a challenge to biblical standards. We even had some counseling with a good friend and pastor. We put our relationship and its intents before close friends. Isn’t this the way it should be?
Yes, our marriage is around the corner. We look forward to seeing what we will do as husband and wife in the Kingdom. It is an honor to do so. Yes, in response to quite a few friends in other places, we will show and send pictures. We have a story to tell and one yet to be told. Faylene is a gift to me, and an unexpected gift. She has said similar things to me. We both recently had Godly spouses. They died and are now with the Lord Jesus Christ. I did not expect to have this opportunity to marry again, but we are going to have it. By God’s grace, we will be fruitful in our marriage–loving those He puts in contact with us, exhorting those who need exhortation, and being an example of Christ and the church. It will all be done by His grace. We will probably make mistakes, have to repent of mistakes, and will have to grow in our relationship like anyone else. The only difference is that we have a little experience walking in the Lord in previous marriages that were also godly. But, this will be a new beginning for this relationship. It, too, will be approached with carefulness because we want to please Him. You should expect nothing less.
For those asking as little as a few hours ago: yes, we will post some pictures when we have a chance. It has been quite busy, so we are also looking forward to a few days apart from that kind of schedule to be with each other after we are married. We have things to do, people to see, and things to write, but we need to get away for a little bit after the 24th of June.
For many of our young believing friends, conduct relationships in like manner. Be friends. Be good friends. Adhere to what God clearly says in His Word. It is well worth it for your souls and it pleases Him. If you believe He calls you to be married one day, submit it to friends and a bible-believing pastor, but continue to hold that special person in respect and honor as a single sister or brother until such day you are covenanted together as husband and wife.
There is room to repent and correct things if things have not been done right. But isn’t it better to do them right all of the way through? Let that be your aim in relationships. His way is always the best, and He is plain about what that means in His Word.