Ah, how we love weddings.
I often wonder why happy tears are shed at weddings. Is it because people are so enamored with the romance of the vows? Is it because they have fond memories of their own young love, new and fresh?
I need to reminisce a moment about my own wedding. It was fantastic. Her parents threw it for us. We custom-designed it so our guests would have fun and something to talk about. We wanted it to be memorable.
I remember one particular moment when I called our wedding a “party” one too many times and noticed the annoyance on her face.
I didn’t really understand exactly why this was until much later, after we’d been married a while. It was because she thought I was somehow demeaning the importance of that day.
My insensitive use of words not withstanding, the reason I called it a party was because of a desperate attempt to avoid developing a dependence upon the feelings of our wedding day; I wanted it to be a blank slate for our future, not a pre-loaded template with which to fill in the blanks.
The wedding should not, and cannot, define the marriage.
Because marriage is not hot pink, romantic Hollywood-style teenage face-sucking passion. You might have that at first, but it doesn’t produce a solid foundation.
Rocky didn’t get ready to fight Apollo Creed by going to a day spa to wear cucumbers on his eyes and exfoliate. He was only strong when he needed to be because he put his body through hell preparing for the time he knew would bring a merciless attack.
He sacrificed and suffered for his strength.
I get the feeling that too many of us seek ways to make it easier, thinking our marriage is a reflection of how well we manage the abundance in our life. As if our vows are only valid as long as we are able to keep “for worse” or “in sickness” or “for poorer” at bay…
A marriage relationship will be shaped and chiseled by how you travel through the valley of the shadow of death.
And God means for it to happen this way.
God means for sacrifice, self-denial and forgiveness to be the hallmarks of a relationship that reflects His idea of love. When was the last time you saw that happen on a wedding day, in actual deed and not in word alone?
In contrast, you ask a couple of 30, 40, 50 years if they’ve suffered together, cried together, trudged through the stinky swamp of life together, and I’ll show you a couple that’s been shaped by the strain of selflessness and perseverance.
Every day of life in this broken, sinful world is only made bearable by the HOPE we have in the Savior sent by God to redeem us.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”