I’ve been to quite a few weddings in the past few years, and while the end of my wedding-shooting season does have me feeling a little nostalgic and introspective I suppose, this post really is happening because I’ve seen a scary amount of people with skewed ideas of marriage lately, and my heart is broken over it. I’ve seen couples I never thought would get divorced get divorced, I’ve watched horrifying spouse fights on social media, depressing stories of broken lives and marriages all over the news, and I’ve seen the most cavalier attitude toward the most sacred relationship God gives us as humans. And I CAN’T HANDLE IT ANYMORE. I hope this blog post shouts it directly through your screen – MARRIAGE IS GOOD.
There’s this underlying feeling I’ve noticed at weddings from couples who have been married for several years, and sometimes it even gets voiced out loud to the bride and groom in a joking manner. I’ve heard it often. “You have no idea what you’re getting into.” Seasoned married folks say it with a wink and a light-hearted touch of doom.
I remember thinking before we got married that marriage would be pretty easy for me. Divorce was never (and will never be) considered an option, all of our parents and grandparents have been happily married for years and years, and I went into my wedding day thinking, “I’ve got this.” Sure, I thought it would be challenging at times and certainly not perfect, but I never thought it would be really difficult or that we’d have any major problems at all. And compared to most people on the planet these days, I guess we probably don’t. Our lives and personalities in general are pretty easy-going, and we’ve been very blessed. But let me be perfectly clear – marriage is really difficult. And not just for people with issues or people with skewed perspectives on marriage; it’s difficult for everybody. And I can tell you with all honesty that I “had no idea” what I was getting myself into when I recited those vows on a flowered stage four and a half years ago.
The flip side that few people talk about, however, is the positive end of “you have no idea.” And I feel like people need to hear that side now more than ever. Allow me to put a joyful voice out there for marriage – something that far too often is scoffed at, mocked, and brushed off as a joke.
On your wedding day, you will stand across from a person that you dream of growing old with, and you will think there could be no happier moment in your life. But on that day, you have no idea how much love you will feel for your spouse in a few years. You have no idea how much God can grow your heart through marriage, through forgiveness, through compassion, through hard times, and through good times. You have no idea how much God can bless you through the encouragement and support of your spouse, or how moving it is having someone cry with you and hold you during difficult days and months. You have no idea how great intimacy can grow when you forgive your spouse or they forgive you for messing up, or how perfectly God has brought you two together to strengthen each other in areas where you are weak. You have no idea how refreshing/weird/awesome it is to see the same person every day and not tire of them. And the truth is, I probably have no idea how much more I will love my husband after another 5 years, or another 50. I imagine my heart will find a whole new level of love for him when we have children, when we watch our children grow and leave, or when we sit alone in an empty house looking back at the life God’s given us. That’s kind of the best thing about the Lord’s plans for marriage. It doesn’t get old. It changes, it grows, and it takes a great deal of hard work, but it keeps getting better. You have no idea how much your heart will grow, how much love you will feel, and how great a blessing you can be to others through your marriage.
So yes, you probably have no idea what you’re getting into when you get married, but I mean that in the best way possible with no impending sense of doom. ;) God’s plans for your marriage may not always be what you have in mind, but He will use your spouse to help grow you into the person He wants you to be, and more importantly – he’ll use your marriage to be a picture of Christ’s love for us. We paint an incredibly powerful picture with our marriages. Use them for His glory.
You have no idea. :)