I found myself at Tiffany’s again. Trying on the highest grade diamonds and finding my true ring size – again. I’d been through this process before. A year ago, I was calling venues and catering companies. I obsessively scrolled through Pinterest for color schemes and flower arrangements. I even created a guest list of around 100 people who I thought we’d like to surround ourselves with on our special day. God is bigger and he had a bigger message for me.
Marriage lasts longer.
The Huffington Post says it takes an average of 13 – 18 months to plan a wedding ceremony that lasts one day. Now if the marriage is supposed to last a lifetime, then how much more should we prepare for that?
On one hand, I’ve been preparing for this my entire life. I’ve been dating for over a decade – if “dating” can be defined as talking to boys. I’ve established my standards. I’ve picked out paint colors and grocery shopped for two. I’ve attended many a wedding in my lifetime.
A year ago, Carlos and I began taking steps toward our definition of marriage. We visited Kay Jewelers together and he thought about talking to my Dad. We thought it might be nice to visit Egypt for our honeymoon. These were nice words.
And then God halted us. What is His definition of marriage? Wasn’t He the one who created marriage on the 6th day?
Marriage is real.
We realized that all this time we were planning for a wedding ceremony. We hadn’t spent any time considering what it will be like to be married. What does a lifetime of teamwork and love actually look like? Weddings are pure bliss – surrounded by family, plentiful food and dancing, perfect hair and makeup. Marriage will have those things on some days, but it will also include disagreement, struggle, highs and lows. Thankfully, our church provided wise counsel.
With our pre-marriage counselors, we spent 9 sessions deep diving into our childhoods and analyzing how we were raised in specific situations, because that is what we will resort to in the making of our own family. We noted differences in our personalities, expectations and goals. We talked about how to budget money and sex. Most importantly, we prayed.
Marriage is holy.
Marriage is not simply extended dating. It is a covenant before God, and a commitment to another person to actively love them forever – even if it means the death of you. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Marriage is a beginning.
You will be a different person when you are married from the person you were before. You will become a brand new family unit. So instead of preparing for a wedding, how about preparing for a funeral? Because you will have to come to the end of yourself in order to join with your other half – thus embarking on a new journey together. The wedding day ends. The honeymoon ends. Only the marriage lasts. Let’s focus on that and watch everything else fall into place.