When I watch wedding shows, look at Pinterest boards of weddings, and hear all the ideas and expectations of the media gawking over weddings, I can’t help but think there’s something missing in all the glory.
Don’t get me wrong, I find myself dreaming of my marriage one day too, but let’s pay close attention to what I said: my marriage, not my wedding.
The old dreams I had of “living happily ever after,” and the fantasies of a materialistic day faded. Instead I dream of becoming my best self in order to prepare to make a big decision. Not a decision to get married, but a decision to commit to my marriage. There is now a dream to get ready to love deeper and to share it all with the person God knows I am best suited to do that with.
A decision to enjoy sober love. Love that satisfies my heart more than the intense emotional feelings that come via a heat of the moment fun night.
A longing to adventure through life with a best friend whom I share romance with. The person who will stick by my side as we build a new life together.
A tender, empathetic love that says, “I can’t wait for the day me or my husband accidentally screws-up (like all humans do) and we talk, communicate, work it out with each other and become stronger and wiser.” That longing to squeeze each other with a forgiving hug.
A dream of the day my future husband drives me to the hospital as I’m about to undergo the worst and most heinous of all pain (child-birth) so we can witness a miracle of new life.
To meet all the children God entrusts us to and watch them grow into the people God made them to be. To pray for them together and help them in life.
To turn to the man I love every morning, pray for our strength that day, and take in whatever God has planned for the day.
A love that still says, “because of every hardship, cross, and struggle we face(d) and overcame, I fall more in love with you every day.”
And when it’s all said and done, to joyfully mourn the loss of my husband knowing I [imperfectly] helped him get to that moment with God. (Or vice versa–whoever departs first).
And these are not merely dreams, fantasies, or ideas, this is reality
I know with great certainty, that if this is God’s will for anyone, He is going to cross your path with a mate who will be the most vivid reflection of His love that you’ll [personally] ever get to encounter on this side of Heaven. And that cute, expensive, wedding (which probably is super fun and extra special) will never compare to the days after in which spouses [imperfectly strive to] build love with each other, all the days of their lives.
Because marriage—in my eyes—is all or nothing. I don’t want to commit to loving when it’s convenient or feels good, I want to commit to loving in all circumstances and to never give up on the man I love. Because if love only “lasts” when feelings are strong and passions are intense, then what happens when that all goes away? Was there ever love to begin with? Does this person actually love me or the pleasure I give them?
There is a lot of bliss and happiness in love but it is not defined as solely bliss and happiness. When two people come together to serve, not be served, to love, not be loved, and to give their all—that is love, that is our call as humans, that is a longing that lasts eternity, with God’s help.
“The person who does not decide to love forever will find it very difficult to really love even for one day.” –John Paul II
The expensive wedding, the glorified “love” many people blindly bathe in during the honeymoon phase of a relationship (before or after marriage) and the emotional highs or perfection we expect from our significant other never compares to the blood, sweat, and tears of hard, authentic, forgiving, and selfless love. The real love comes out when the materialistic glory, and all the feelings go away and two people are still together and fighting for a great love story.
If spouses are open to working for this, it is a guarantee. Not a guarantee of a stress-free marriage, but a guarantee that says someones very truly loves you. and loves you for the right reasons. They love you because even at your worst, or even during financial difficulties, miscommunication problems, or sudden illness, they will still choose to be by your side and are willing to work it out.
Basically, actually committing to everything they said on the altar, even if they do so imperfectly.
This might—no, this DOES—require us to give everything, to commit when we don’t feel like it, and to care unconditionally, but that, to me, is more rewarding and truly more loving than any amount of money you spend on a wedding.