Hello friends. First of all, excitement! I have reached and surpassed 500 page views! Thank you! I feel loved, and a little less obscure.
On to the things that are heavy.
[Disclaimer: I am divorced. I am not an expert on marriage. It terrifies me. These are just the thoughts I have collected after witnessing many beautiful weddings become beautiful marriages.]
Tonight, I witnessed the wedding of a childhood friend, who I have watched grow up. She is a beautiful creature, and she just has the biggest heart and the most creative mind. Her wedding was lovely. It was perfectly her. I don't know her (now)husband, but he seems quite genuine and is absolutely in love with her. The setting was wonderful and the energy was amazing and God was there. The space was completely filled with God's presence, and it was written on everyone's face and etched on everyone's heart.
Based on their wedding, their energies toward each other, the support from their family and friends, and the look on their faces when they spoke their vows to each other, I truly believe they will have a wonderful marriage. They have been together a long time and they seem to have a jive that fits. Their beautiful wedding will lead to a beautiful marriage.
That's not always the case.
My ex-husband and I had a beautiful wedding. We were surrounded by people who loved us, everything looked amazing, and I do believe that God was there. Was he trying to weave a new story in our hearts? Maybe. Was I letting him? No. I already knew that our beautiful wedding wasn't going to lead to a beautiful marriage, because I was allowing the wedding to be more important than the marriage. I was blinded by the wedding. I hadn't even crossed over into marriage territory, because I knew it was doomed.
Whew. There's that.
I think that, more often than not, people bank on weddings, both figuratively and literally. They imagine that, if they have a beautiful wedding with lots of friends, food, and fun, they will have a beautiful marriage. If there is something lacking in the relationship, they create this big, gorgeous band aid, made of ribbons and lace and frosting and cards and well-wishes. "That'll do the trick," they say. "People will say, 'What a beautiful wedding!' and we can feel good about this huge mess, because a beautiful wedding means a beautiful marriage!"
This is not entirely incorrect.
In every relationship, there is bound to be some glaring flaw/problem/disagreement/issue. Maybe you and your significant other come back to it every now and then and it's never really resolved, just discussed. Maybe you had a huge fight about it and it just slid under the surface, like a sliver that you can't see but that hurts tremendously. Maybe you don't fight about anything, because you never scratch the surface of the "hard things" like politics, religion, children, etc.
None of these things are all bad. It's good to have things you disagree about, because it means that you're human and you have your own opinions and thoughts and you're willing to SHARE THEM with your S.O. (significant other). It's good to disagree and fight, because sometimes hearing the opinion of someone else causes you re-think how you were looking at an issue in the first place. It's good to not have a "perfect" relationship, because we all know that's bound to boil over into a hot mess someday, probably at the most inconvenient of times.
What IS bad is allowing yourself to ignore these flaws/problems/disagreements/issues and cover them with a big, beautiful, wedding. What you're screaming to the world is, "OUR RELATIONSHIP ISN'T DOING SO HOT BUT IF WE LOOK GOOD TO OTHER PEOPLE WE SHOULD BE OK!"
These were exactly my thoughts on the day I got married. Look where it got me.
On the other hand, sometimes a beautiful wedding does lead to a beautiful marriage, like the one I attended tonight. I'm sure there have been disagreements, big upsets, arguments and fights and slammed doors and tears.That's where the beauty is. Once you see someone flawed, broken, and imperfect, you begin to love them more. You see the pain they feel and you begin to love that pain because it's made your soon-to-be-spouse exactly who he or she is. This is when your love begins to mimic God's love for us.
God saw our brokenness. He saw our tears and our under-the-skin slivers and what a hot mess we've made of ourselves, and he looks on that with compassion. Some people would use another person's pain to their own advantage, or to victimize them, make them feel unworthy, unloved, etc. God doesn't do that. He looks on us with mercy, not pity, and then applies his own band-aid. This one isn't made of lace and frosting and cards and bells and whistles. It's made of grace.
The beautiful wedding becomes a beautiful marriage when the two people can look at each other's flaws and imperfections with mercy and not pity, compassion and not vindication. When our love resembles God's love, that is when the beautiful marriage begins.
This is one of the things that I love to discuss, because you can never talk too much about what a good marriage looks like, so if you have thoughts to add or even contradictions to make, please feel free to do so. Good discussions lead to new ideas.
Brooke + JuneBug