On most wedding days the bride and groom are eagerly anticipating their dreams coming true. They can’t wait to walk down the aisle and for their happily ever after to begin. It’s a day when the fairy tale world meets reality according to the movies that we see. We have all seen the movies, eaten the popcorn and bought into dreaming that one day we too would live happily ever after.
This Saturday, my husband and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage. I have learned so much since that day I said, “I do.” Marriage is so much more than the happily ever after. It’s a day when two become one according to the scripture.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
Our first years of marriage we were anything but one. We had two different ways of going about things. I was raised one way and he was raised another. My ideas looked different than his. I wanted my way and he wanted his. How were we ever going to make this work? No one had ever told me that marriage was going to be this hard.
Life got hard quick when we learned we were going to lose our first daughter, Taylor Brooke. We were newlyweds with dreams as big as the sky picking out our plots where we would lay down to rest. My husband never left my side. All of our petty disagreements and arguments seemed to disappear as we held hands, cried and worked through our loss. Two were becoming one.
Three healthy and beautiful girls were born within four years. Parenting had now entered into our marriage and we had to learn how to discipline, teach and love our girls in a way that was pleasing to God. We had to communicate with each other and stand together in our decisions. Two were becoming one.
Slowly as each of the years have passed, I have learned more and more about what two becoming one really means. It’s a laying down of ourselves in order to help bring the other along. It really isn’t about us and what we want. When we put the other first and put ourselves last we start to love each other well. That’s what marriage is to me. I want to love my man well. I no longer have a desire for my ways but for a desire for OUR ways.
I love our not so happily ever after life together. When he hurts, I hurt. When I hurt, he hurts. When he is happy, I am happy. When I am happy, he is happy. We are broken together and united as one together. What a beautiful mystery of two becoming one.
We need to debunk the “happily ever after” and start speaking the truth about what marriage really is to the young people today. Marriage is the most beautiful sacrament God has ever given us when we understand what He means by two becoming one…a laying down of self. He gives us a helper for life…to do the ups and the downs. It’s hard work. It’s not easy, but oh the JOY that comes when you get to wake up each new day knowing that you are not alone on your journey. He’s got your back and you’ve got his.
Thank you God for the sacrament of marriage. Thank you for giving us a helper! Thank you for your word that shows us what it means to become one flesh. Continue to give us your wisdom and knowledge of how to lay ourselves down in order to put others first, especially our spouse. Help us Lord to love each other well. We can’t do any of this without you, Lord. We are so grateful for your love for us. We love you too! Amen!!!
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:6-8