I met Ben and Jessa Seewald through an interesting happenstance: Ben and Jess were in San Antonio for a few hours on a Sunday night. Ben called a buddy of his to see if there was anything going on for them to do while in San Antonio for the evening but, providentially, that buddy of his was working. So he suggested to Ben that they go to a church fellowship that was happening at my house and it was there, at that fellowship, that I met Ben and Jess for the first time. Over the next few weeks Ben and I would call and text here or there just to keep in touch about how God was working in the ministry or to share an encouraging word from the Scriptures. It wasn’t long before we developed a friendship and two and a half months later I made a trip to visit Ben and Jess and it was then that I met Jinger and the rest of the family. Over the rest of that year I would visit the Seewald’s every so often and have the chance to interact with all of the Duggars and get to know Jinger a bit. However, it was not until months later that I began praying about the possibility of pursuing a relationship with her. I had known she was a godly young woman with outstanding character and a passion for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ but we had never really interacted on more than a surface level. I remember watching her testimony video that she had made with Ben and thinking, “Wow. This girl is amazing.” I called Ben and Jess and began asking them more questions about her—of course, everything they said only confirmed what I had already been seeing: a humble, meek, modest, intelligent young woman with a burning desire to sacrificially serve the Lord in any way she could.
Soon after taking counsel both from Ben and Jess, my parents, and several other trusted godly people in my life, I planned a trip to visit Arkansas to visit the Seewalds. During that visit, Jinger and I had the opportunity to interact more than we had before and everything that I had seen earlier and was being said about her began to be confirmed more and more.
Soon after this visit, I joined the Duggars on a ministry trip to Central America where Jinger and I had the opportunity to serve the Lord together with the team. It was there that a mutual interest, though unbeknownst to one another, was really confirmed. On Thursday morning, December 11, 2015, I expressed my interest to get to know Jinger better to Mr. Duggar. This opened up the door for Mr. Duggar and me to build a friendship and began this great new chapter of my life with Jinger!
As we got to know each other better we felt the Lord leading us into a new season. On June 21, 2016, Jinger and I announced our courtship. Our mutual affection continued to grow, and on July 26, 2016, I asked Jinger to be my bride. Words could not describe how excited and grateful to God we were! Our joy was only surpassed when finally we said “I do” on November 5, 2016. We cannot wait to see God’s plan for our lives, together!
Marriage: What Is It and Why Does It Exist?
by Chuck Vuolo & Jeremy Vuolo
Marriage is not a human institution invented by people. Rather, marriage is an institution divinely ordained by the great and glorious God of the universe and is, in its essence, a covenant of companionship. A covenant is an oath-sworn promise and companionship is the original purpose for which God made marriage. Why? Because the first thing that God saw which was not good in His creation was that the man was alone and, therefore, He made him a helper suitable to him!
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18
However, in addition to companionship or partnership, there are other purposes for marriage which could be mentioned:
- Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:9 that “it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” The marriage union is a God-ordained outlet for physical passions!
- “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Hebrews 13:4
- In Genesis 1:28 God tells Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Thus, one of the clear purposes of marriage is to enjoy the delight of children! This is not itself the essence of marriage but is often a beautiful gift within the covenant union.
3. Personal Holiness
- The Apostle Paul instructs husbands, in Ephesians 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Since the marriage covenant is to be a demonstration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is intended to purify in holiness those who have entered into it.
4. Proclamation of the Gospel
- A fourth purpose for marriage is the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:22-23 explains in greater detail how this is true but, to summarize, Paul says in Ephesians 5:32 that, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” The ‘mystery’ he is referring to is marriage! How does marriage demonstrate the Gospel? Through the self-sacrificial service, submission, and love it is designed to display!
Surely, then, the most lofty goal for a Christian marriage is to point to Christ and His church: the husband’s love reflecting Christ, the wife’s role reflecting the Church. It is with that understanding that we see the beautiful imagery of two souls coming together in marriage in order to put on display the glorious excellences of God.