What I Wish We'd Been Told

The other day I was talking to one of my best friends on the phone. She asked me how married life was going. Adam and I get this question all the time. It's okay. We love answering it. But nonetheless, it happens a lot.

The more I get asked, the more time I spend thinking about the answer to this question, and the more I realize that there is something I really wish more people had told me before I got married. I have a lot of friends right now who are either engaged or in serious relationships, and I hope that as they prepare for marriage they hear this too, in the midst everything else they'll hear:

Marriage is awesome. 

I mean truly, it's so good, that it's hard to even describe just how profoundly good it is.

Ok, before you all say,

"Yeah, of course you are saying that you newly-wed, honeymoon phase, naive little wife. Just wait till you face your first real hardship. Then you'll really understand that marriage is not all sweet tea and popsicles."

I just want to tell you that I don't have some kind of major misconception about what marriage is. I don't think that Adam and I have a marriage that is just better than everyone else's and therefore allows me to arrive at those conclusions. I didn't have to be married for long to realize that marriage truly can be summed up entirely by the phrase:

Dying to Self.


You HAVE to.

And, no, that's not always comfortable, fun, or easy.

But, let me rant for two seconds, and then decide whether you agree with where I'm going: I think that these days, particularly in Christian communities, there is a lot of emphasis put on making sure engaged couples know how difficult and hard marriage will be. It's like we are so afraid that they don't know what they are really committing to, and we want to save them from the shock of reality. We want to prepare them for the worst so that they won't be shaken or have unrealistic expectations. People told me this ALL the time. With completely good intentions. And I don't think they were necessarily wrong in doing so. I think it's wise for couples to enter into marriage understanding the weightiness of what it is, and the challenges that they will inevitably face. 

This is fine. 

But, I really wish that along with this, more people also emphasized how wonderful marriage was going to be. I wish more people had said, "Ooooh, Elise and Adam, you have no idea just how good this gift is. God is giving you to one another to be companions, best friends, roommates, teammates, and no other earthly relationship will ever offer you more satisfaction. Marriage, it's just the BEST."

One of my friends said something to me when I got engaged, and at the time I kind of thought it was silly. She said,

"Elise, marriage is just the best kept secret."

I thought, "Huh? Marriage isn't a secret. Everyone wants to get married right? I'm just not quite sure what she means by that."

But now, I understand exactly what she was saying to me and I wish more people had told me just what she was telling me. Marriage really is the best kept secret. And, the fact that God thought it up and decided that it was something He wanted to give to us, makes me kind of tear up and think,

Who are we that we should taste the sweetness of this gift?
Who are we that God would create such good and perfect gifts for us?

And it makes me want to treasure it and give it the weight that it deserves. And enjoy it the way God hoped we would.  

Yes, everyone should know that marriage is not all easy. I mean, we are depraved people. We are selfish. Obviously marriage will challenge all of our most human tendencies and insist that we ditch them. Quickly. Really, really quickly. 

But, as Christians we do not need to fear marriage. We have freedom from this. (Praise God!) This is one of the greatest things about allowing Christ to be the cornerstone of your marriage--you don't have to fear it. God's love is perfect, and "Perfect Love drives out fear." (1 John 4:18) 

So what I would say is, 

If God is the center and cornerstone of the marriage you are entering into, then you already have freedom from the hurts and victory over the struggles. Yes, they'll still come, but God will guide you through them. And He's already won them for you. 

Just get ready to embrace the sweetest gift you can imagine. Because marriage is good. It's so good. So just let it be.  

1 comment:

  1. Amen and amen. And the joys only increase as the decades roll along...


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