Soooooooo…I’m engaged. You know, to be married.
Marriage is going to be new to me. Oh Boy!
This is something that I honestly thought would never happen to me. Why? Because I can be selfish, I enjoy my space, I like to do what I want to do when I want to do it, there are times when I want to be left alone without an explanation, and (although I enjoy cooking) I am not necessarily the domestic type. I was always under the impression that a wife is supposed to be the exact opposite of who I am. What gave me this impression were the examples of marriage that I’d seen growing up; what I heard a good wife should be; and the images that were on television throughout my childhood. There was a time that I KNEW that I wouldn’t get married and if I did I would be in my 40’s or older and I would go down to the justice of peace and go out to Denny’s afterwards. Basically, I would be getting married to say that I was getting married. Following another norm of society I guess. Praise God for diminishing this mechanical and systematic point of view of what it means to be married.
Throughout the conversations and the examples of marriage that I’d seen throughout my 30 years, the one word that gives marriage its true meaning never came up, which is “covenant”. I actually just started hearing that word as it relates to marriage a couple of years ago. What is a covenant? Basically, it’s an agreement. An agreement that no matter what may happen to either parties involved, it’s an agreement that can never be broken. Let me share with you my depiction of how “deep” marriage is or supposed to be.
God gave life to this world, knowing all of what mankind would go through. The temptation that we would face, the pressure that we would be placed under, and the worldly vices that would be placed in front of us (i.e. drugs, temptation, pornography, etc.) that would allow us, if chosen, to place distance between us and God. He knew the ugliness that this world would and still has yet to see. He knows that we would place things and people above Him, a myriad of times. He basically sits on His throne to watch His children turn away from Him time after time after time again. Also, He watches His children do destructive behavior to themselves and His other children over and over. He does that but still remains faithful and is always waiting to rescue us. He knows we aren’t worthy, but because of the covenant that He made to us He will never leave us nor forsake us. Because of that covenant which is stronger than any legal document and the son that He brought into this world knowing he was going to die, because of those things we have the good news of knowing that we are forgiven and that because of the covenant He will never leave us.
Can I get an Amen?
Now let me show you how that very same example translates to how serious and wonderfully crazy marriage is. Marriage is the humanistic module or example of the same thing God did for us. You have two people that come together, get to know one another, and experience intimacy by allowing themselves to become vulnerable and share with them things that they have never been told to anyone (good, bad, and ugly) and want to make a covenant to be with one another until DEATH does them apart. You have two people that are saying to one another “I am going to lay down my life and who I am (selfishness, having an attitude, not wanting someone in their space) for you because I believe in the inner essence of who you are as a person and I see the very nature of God in you and I am going to take it upon my responsibility to make you better every day, love you, cherish you, respect you, submit to you, be faithful to you, be wonderful to you, never demean you, and always challenge you to be better. I don’t care what you experienced in your past or the ugly you did, I am never going to leave you because I believe that God has brought us together for a reason and to do His work for His Kingdom. I am making a covenant to you that I will never leave you nor forsake you through the same promise that He has made me”. Can I get another Amen?
Growing up, I didn’t get that. I didn’t get how wonderful marriage is supposed to be. I didn’t get how marriage is supposed to change the person you are with for the greater good. I thought it meant that I had to be lesser and it was just another status of a long term relationship. I thought I had to give up who I was when that other person wouldn’t do the same for me. I thought the woman was the one who had to give herself up more than the man did. I wasn’t taught how marriage is a team effort. I missed that lesson.
The thought of getting married use to make me so nervous that I would get cold sweats and become nauseous. Seriously. It terrified me. Now the only thing that terrifies me is the thought of losing this wonderful man that God has sent to me. Within a year the love and the knowledge that this man has shown and taught me is more than what I have learned in my entire lifetime about sacrificial love. We both have and are learning to continue to sacrifice for each other. Not because you are supposed to, but because we genuinely with every piece of who we are want to see each other become better, get better, do better, and be all that God wants us to be. I now believe that you can never truly be better than who you are if you are not partnered with a person that God has ordained you to be with. Let me say this, I know that there are some people who feel that they have been called to be single and they are bound a celibate lifestyle to pursue other things that they feel God has called them to. There is nothing wrong with that and I am not saying that those people aren’t great. However, something amazing happens to the development of another person when there is someone in your life that can love you through your imperfections and tell you about yourself when you need it.
Marriage isn’t to be taken lightly. It isn’t for you, it’s for the person. Don’t get caught up in the mindset that you “might as well” get married to someone because of the history or the length of time you have been together. Don’t get caught up in the mindset of you “might as well” get married because you have children. Don’t get caught up in the mindset of you “might as well” get married because you think you are going to get married anyway. A covenant isn’t to be taken lightly and shouldn’t be treated as another lifetime task that you need to fulfill. It takes time to learn about a person and to understand what marriage truly is (I think). Therefore, marry because you want to grow that other person and yourself, you believe in their capabilities, and that you understand the true meaning of a covenant. That is what I have learned about marriage so far :-).
Peace and Blessings