Soon there after, we began a serious-friendship-with-the-purpose-of-marriage stage.
The frequent visits I made out there, along with e-mails and phone calls, showed how similar Elissa and I were in our beliefs, convictions, and mannerisms.
Yes, during that time, we began to fall in love.
We stood in awe of how the Lord answered every prayer for unity, knitted hearts, and direction in our relationship! We began officially courting in April. On May 22nd, I made a surprise visit and asked Elissa to marry me, and she said “yes!”
We had a delightful summer planning our wedding, enjoying visits, and counting down the days to our wedding. September 6th, we became united in marriage.
We are so grateful for the Lord’s provision and blessing in our lives! We praise Him for the deep friendship, unity, commitment, love, and the bonds of marriage that we now share. Both of us are also grateful to our parents for how they raised us in the ways of the Lord and how they supported us through our relationship.
Elissa and I look back and see how the Lord used our single years to strengthen our relationships with Jesus and also to prepare us for marriage if that was His will for us. I really enjoyed traveling with my family, helping in the Titus2 ministry, and working on my home. Elissa loved helping her family as a daughter and a sister at home, teaching music lessons, and learning new skills each year to prepare her for whatever the Lord had for her later in life.
Now, I’m excited to introduce you to my wife, Elissa Maxwell.
And for those who wondered why we didn’t share before, I felt it best for her family’s privacy not to make it public until our wedding day.
Elissa and I are anxious to discover what the Lord has for us as a team for His glory!
Serving Jesus, Joseph & Elissa
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
It’s amazing how much has transpired in my life over this past year. I marvel at the Lord’s goodness and direction. Saturday, September 6th, I married the love of my life, Elissa. The story begins almost two years ago. In October 2012, I met Elissa through mutual friends we stayed with during a Titus2 fall tour. While there, Elissa spent some time with my sisters but I only interacted with her briefly.
I didn’t think too much about her, but then, the next fall, our family had the opportunity to park our bus at Elissa’s family’s home on a few of our free days since our mutual friends had moved away.
As I observed Elissa during that visit and talked with her in a family setting, I began to greatly admire her and what the Lord was doing in her life. I became very interested in her, prayed, fasted, and sought the Lord’s will regarding Elissa as a wife. I prayed some more. After discussing it with my parents, I called her dad and expressed my interest. Our family then invited her family to join us for Thanksgiving.
Part 2 will be coming at some point!
“They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.” Psalms 145:11
Jesse’s Thoughts: I enjoyed the opportunity to go to the fair and witness last week. I spent most of the time walking through the carnival area looking for a chance to give a tract to and speak with young people. A number of the groups were interested in talking, and we had enjoyable conversations as a result. There were some who participated politely and then others who moved on. I appreciated every young person who took the time to talk about their eternal destiny, and I pray that the Lord might use the discussions to bring them to Him.
One of guys that I talked with and remember in particular was at the previous fair that we had gone to and had been part of a group of guys that I engaged with at that point. This time, though, he was with a different friend and as we were starting into a discussion about what he thought, he encouraged me to take his friend through the Good Person Test. His friend was extremely interested and thoughtful about what would happen to him after he died. The Lord also blessed us with nice weather that night which made for a great time altogether.
Serving Jesus, Jesse
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10
Our mail carrier is the best mailman ever. If you want to see Mr. Positive defined in the dictionary, he would be it. He always has a jolly word to say. Years ago, he was our mailman until the routes got changed. Our other mailman was great and took care of us too, but we still missed this guy. Recently, the Post Office reassigned routes, and we got him back in January. It’s awesome. So, next time you receive a package from Titus2, he probably picked it up from our house!
We’re grateful for our mailman! Who are you grateful for today?
“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance…” Proverbs 15:13
If the Lord brings a wife for me at some point and then gives us children, I would love for us to homeschool them. Here’s why:
The Bible tells us to “teach [God’s commandments] diligently unto thy children”. Homeschooling allows us to carry out everything in this verse as best as we can. Deuteronomy 6:7, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
We could provide quality academics. For one example, I would like my children not to be part of the significant percentage of high school graduates who don’t know how to read.
We could use Christian-based, educational materials that do not teach evolution and other godless ideologies that usually permeate secular textbooks and instruction. I have a friend who attends public school (in another part of the country) and has told me some of the unbiblical and ungodly things that are being taught in his school.
The home is a sheltered environment that affords protection from worldly influences such as coarse language and potentially undesirable behavior among classmates.
I would have no concerns about my children being bullied as is prevalent on school campuses.
They would be physically safe in our home from mentally deranged individuals preying on groups of defenseless children.
We could guide their behavior. From my observation of child-training, immediate and consistent direction is far better than when it is delayed and inconsistent.
“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;”
We receive comments on occasion with questions that appear not to be sincere or that might have an agenda. That’s okay. However, we know that you may encounter similar questions from others with a different “world view.” We thought that perhaps if we responded to some of our “naysayer” questions here, it might be a help to you.
Below is a recent blog comment followed by Joseph’s response.
“Since Joseph owns his own home, why can’t he live in it? He doesn’t have a wife and kids to support, so his expenses would be low.”
I (Joseph) always enjoy a small chuckle with myself whenever my dad shares comments like this with our family. The reason is the use of the word “can’t.” “Can’t” indicates that the writer thinks this decision has been made by someone other than me. It hasn’t. Dad and Mom provided solid, Biblical guidance for my life when I was younger, and as I have grown up, they have taught us to think critically with the Bible as our foundation.
There are three main reasons why I chose to continue living at our home after I purchased my own house: financial, accountability, and family. Let me explain.
While, yes, it is true that living by myself in my house before I am married would be less expensive than it will be when I have my own family, there still would be significant additional expense, such as food and utilities, that I don’t incur while living at home with my parents. It takes little to realize that living with my family is even less expensive than living alone—almost zero. As a result, I can place what I save toward long-term goals, immediate improvements to my house, and giving. I am very grateful for Dad and Mom’s willing and accommodating spirits to let us live in their home without charge as income-earning young adults.
When the Lord brings me to begin talking with a young lady’s father about courting his daughter, I will approach that father in total honesty. If I was living by myself, I would have no one to back up my word. In my opinion, if I was living alone and said, “You’ll just have to trust me,” that would lend less credibility than the accountability I have welcomed in our family. Living with my family, and having my parents as my accountability partners, I am very grateful for the ability that I have to provide references to my integrity throughout discussions with a father. I believe Jesus gave a precedent for this when He sent the disciples out two-by-two.
Accountability segues into this one very nicely. I love my family. I love spending time with them. We have a great time together! My family members are my best friends, and life would be rather boring without my best friends around me. If/when the Lord brings along the young lady for me, my family’s “best friend” status will transfer to her and my children. Sadly, many in the world cannot comprehend a family model like this.
For a Scriptural basis for this thinking, I look no further than the first family that God created—Adam, Eve, and eventually their children. Genesis 2:18 says, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” A very practical secondary application in this verse is that it is not good for me to live alone.
My desire is to live a life pleasing to Jesus and a life that is in obedience to His Holy Bible. I hope this makes it understandable and clear as to why I am choosing to live with my family until I am married.
In Christ, Joseph
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.