Last night I mentioned that I had been listening to a short bio of a man named Adoniram Judson. He was the first missionary to Burma, and America's first foreign missionary. He went with his wife named Ann two weeks after they were married. The story of his life and ministry are remarkable, but I found his letter of courting to Ana's father absolutely incredible...
"I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left is heavily home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteous, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?"
Unbelievably, Ann's father left the decision up to her, and she agreed to marry him and go. Praise God for a father who held is daughter loosely, and for a godly woman who held her own life loosely!
If you want to read more of this story, I would recommend reading from John Pipers bio of him. You find it at http://www.desiringgod.org/library/biographies/03judson.html.