Darren had already said those three words that meant so much to me: “I love you.” But I was still hesitant. And on the October day that we took a four-hour car ride to his mom’s house, I was excited to spend the road trip with him, thinking that it might be a chance to really get to know him better. But it was actually the time with his mom that helped me to see a side of Darren that really affected me.
As we spent time with his mom, I observed how Darren interacted with her. I noticed how he helped her move her grill from the deck to the garage, sorted through boxes in the basement, and changed light bulbs. And he actually seemed joyful doing it: he served out of a willing helpfulness. He listened to his mom and it was clear he did everything out of a deep respect and love for her. That really stuck out to me.
I didn’t go into the trip expecting to use it as an evaluation, but it definitely highlighted to me some wonderful qualities about the man I was dating. If this was how he treated his mom, I thought, then he would probably treat me similarly if we got married.
Spoiler: we did, and he does! Darren and I recently went on a vacation to Washington, DC with his family and these qualities stuck out to me again. As we spent time with his family, walking around DC in 100-degree heat, I noticed how he voluntarily carried my purse, sacrificing his comfort to help me. He looked out for me (at 18 weeks pregnant) to make sure I didn’t overheat and waited with me when I needed to take a rest. Some people might think of these as small things, but to me they show his character and consistency. His respect and thoughtfulness towards me and his mom especially stuck out to me—and my admiration for him only grew.
It’s easy to take many of Darren’s wonderful qualities for granted when it’s just the two of us at home. I expect him to serve me because that is just what always happens. In reality, though, his servant’s heart is a rare find. I’m so grateful that God sent me this man—and that I had a chance to see up close how he treated his mom when we were dating. Little did he know that as he was changing those light bulbs for his mom, he was winning my heart.