I’m writing this blog because
I’m a young person who dated, and is now married (hence the title!) – newly married! However, most of me thinks
that, at least because of the “newly” part, I probably shouldn’t be
the one writing this at all. What do I know after six months of marriage?! And
what do I know as a twenty-two year old?! So I come before you insecure, and
aware that pride is a snake with a flickering tongue that would desire to
slither in and force my hand to speak as though I’ve got the world underneath
my thumb. 


I don’t. 


The best I can offer is
a story – a story that will continue to be written into what I hope will be a
more mature “Mr. Macallister” ten years down the road (although, by
then, we’ll probably be sitting in each other’s living rooms and chatting via
some three dimensional, Star Wars-esque hologram/porthole invasion of
everyone’s privacy). 


I started dating my
wife roughly five years before we got married. Brandi Garcia, 21, robbed the
crap out of my seventeen-year-old, high school,
still-living-in-my-parent’s-home-with-a-curfew cradle. I met her at Lone Tree
Bible Ranch in southern New Mexico.
I went there to lead a mid-high group for my church, which I didn’t want to
lead, at a time in my life when I didn’t even know if I believed in God at all
(which is a different story entirely). 


Long story short, now
we’re married. I always say that Brandi saved me (don’t go getting all
argumentative – I know Jesus saved me). But I think that Jesus sent Brandi into
my life to reveal his love to me again – a love that I had come to a sort of
agnostic I’m-not-entirely-sure-this-love-really-exists conclusion
about. Jesus used Brandi to turn my world upside down, to remind me that He is
real, to view the world as more than a series of empty events that work
together for the ultimate end of a meaningless death on the couch in front of
your big screen television that you spent so many years in school to buy. 


It was interesting. We
perfected the “long distance” relationship. Brandi interned for a record
label out of Seattle for three months, then a
summer camp for three months, then I moved to Texas to intern for a music magazine for
three months. Nine months gone in the first year. Then I started touring… eight
months gone, yearly, for the next three years. Late night nostalgic
conversations and falling asleep on the phone states away. Finally…
marriage. An opportunity for Brandi to combine her love for music and ministry
as an added member of an active band, and a chance for us to live on the road together. 


Two young people –
living life, pursuing dreams, making memories. In hindsight, I see the grace of
God and his kind hand of direction more than ever before – as well as his
pursuit of and perseverance for the glorification of his name in our lives. The
Bible talks about how iron sharpens iron, and boy, have we chiseled away at one
another! Haha! Two Christians getting married is a great picture of that truth,
and I’m certain that I will be chiseled to the core as we continue to grow
together. This relationship has been a magnifying glass which has revealed
deeper sin and selfishness inside of my heart as I seek to be selfless for my
bride, and lead her in righteousness. Praise Jesus that our righteousness is in
him (and that he forgives when we seek out our own)!


For the sake of
bringing this to a point of relevancy, I would like to say that my wife is one
of the most Godly and pure women that I know. For the Lord to have paired her
up with this ex-porn-watching, womanizing addict makes me feel very much like
she got the short end of the stick. Ours is not a culture that encourages
purity – and especially not for young people. I read an article recently about
a European (or was it French?) clothing manufacturer who has started making
lingerie for elementary school girls – sickening is not a
harsh enough word. Everything about our music, movies, entertainment,
pop-culture, side-of-the-road billboards, you name it, screams: sex: the god of
our Western World. 


To abstain from that
constant megaphone of a voice that screams “do whatever feels good”
is a rarity and, as Brandi and I abstained from sexual intimacy before our
marriage, a difficult task, indeed. But,
on this side of marriage, I would have not traded that virginity if every
sinful lust my brain could muster was offered me. My wife is a wonderful, pure,
lovely woman – and she is also very private (yet another humorous proof of the
truth that opposites attract) – so for the sake of getting out of this blog
alive, this is all I will say on the matter: I praise Jesus with my whole heart
that he kept us from sin during our courtship, and I pray that he would give
many the grace (and that you would be stubbornly devoted to it) to save
yourself for joyfully designed, Godly intimacy, within the context of


Yes, I began by
acknowledging a certain insecurity in this blog, but I know beyond a shadow of
a doubt that I can stand confident on the Word of God, and I believe with my
whole heart that our Maker desires to gift you with the very sexual pleasure
that you seek – but to the nth degree – to a more exciting fullness than we can
muster up in our imaginations as evident by the fact that we would seek to
cheapen his design prematurely. A lot of people view Christianity as an attempt
to thwart all of the fun to be had from their lives. Oh yeah? – Read the Song
Of Solomon. Case closed. 


“Let marriage be
held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled…” –
Hebrews 13:4


So here I am, a young
newlywed, learning daily about what Paul meant in Ephesians 5 when he said:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave
himself up for her.” What a huge concept to wrap my mind around! This has
been an incredibly sanctifying process for me, and I know that, while I breathe,
that process will not end. I’m learning that my ministry is to my wife, first
and foremost. I’m asking the Lord daily that he would help me to be a better
husband, a better friend, a better preacher of the gospel to her, and a better
living example of the gospel that I preach.


R. Kent Hughes and Mike
Mason have said: “Marital love is like death – it wants all of us… the
realization of what this call means may at first be frightening, but it is also
beautiful, because a man who embraces such a love will experience the grace of
death to self. Marriage is a call to die, and a man who does not die for his
wife does not come close to the love to which he is called. Christian marriage
vows are the inception of a lifelong practice of death, of giving over not only
all you have, but all you are.”


To young people, from a
young person, I say: all of life is sacred. When you date, date with Christ in
mind. Date more purely than I did. Date with a standard of purity established.
Date stubbornly devoted to abstinence and the joy set before you after the
reception, and the years to follow. Marry with the joy of a clear conscience.
Go to bed without shame and the joy of a clear conscience. Marry with the
intent of sacrificial love – it’s a different kind of thing than your
television says we exist for, and a more deeply satisfying service than
self-gratification that our culture preaches is our end-all. 


“Greater love has
no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John


May our spouses be our
best friends, and may we die to them daily.