If you have no idea what a hope chest is, don't feel too bad. I lived 20 years without knowing what it was. When I met Ronnie, I learned that his family had a lot of traditions that were very foreign to me and one of them was this concept of a hope chest. The Parsons are not the only family that have carried out this practice for years, but they are one of the rare few. A hope chest packs so much meaning that I'm really wanting to make it cool again in this generation.
So first Q: What is the meaning of a hope chest?
A hope chest is a wooden chest built by the man to symbolize hope in marrying their girlfriend. The family of the man will put goodies in it for her that represent welcoming her into their legacy like linens and home goods. They are usually constructed with cedar wood to give off a pleasant aroma and to protect whatever is in the chest. As time goes on, it can hold a wedding dress and other meaningful items. Then eventually, they give the hope chest to their oldest child.
I fell in love with the concept because it directly refuted how our society goes about love today. Even in Christian relationships. For some reason, guys now think it's cool to act like they don't care, and for another reason, girls fall for it and settle. If our culture continually goes down this road, chivalry will be a very weird and uncomfortable concept in the future.
To be honest, I was convinced that chivalry had already died long long ago, some time in the 1900's. I would watch all these old beautiful movies and secretly hope that I'd have a happy ending too, but in the back of my mind, I knew I would never get it. I mean how could I? The world is bombarding us every which way with lustful images and sinfulness so much that it's hard to think there is anything beyond it. But, God has a funny way of surprising His children.
Ronnie is the kind of man that opens my door, leads me in Jesus, protects my purity, faithfully serves me, sways with me to my record player, and builds me a hope chest.
If you had told me that years ago, I would have laughed. Now, I just stand in awe of God's grace and faithfulness.
Wanting pursuit, romance, and a true, once in a lifetime kind of love, is not as high of an expectation as I had thought. God will bless you with something so beautiful and far above anything you could imagine if you remain faithful to Him.
Girls, I encourage you to want a hope chest. Guys, I encourage you to make one for her.
When men invest their time and their energy into something as meaningful as that, they are enabling their future marriage to start off on a wonderful and sturdy foundation. Plus, it makes for a great story to pass down to your children.