After reading the blog post Marriage Isn't For You that went viral this week, I have to agree with the author, Seth Adam Smith. Marriage isn't for me either.
I have been married for 10 years and 10 months, also to my high school sweetheart. I met my husband the summer before I started high school. I was fourteen. He was fifteen. We had 10 years to get to know each other before our wedding day. We thought for sure we knew what we were getting into. We didn’t.
And even though we were blissfully happy and confident on our special day, it is not like that every day. The big, perfect party we had worked so hard to plan for two years, well, it is over. You wake up from the honeymoon and realize the person cuddled up next to you every morning for the rest of your life (or the person sleeping on the couch for the night) isn’t who you thought he/she was.
Marriage is here. Real life begins and keeps going. And God knows, there is nothing perfect about it.
You can’t plan marriage or anything that comes with it. Plain and simple. If you are committed to doing it right, you can’t exchange your spouse for a newer, more updated, user-friendly model that comes with directions**.
Marriage is not something we can order at a fast food restaurant. Contrary to our pop culture, it isn’t order up, any way you like it, have it your way. No. It’s a never ending work in progress.
So if marriage is so hard, and it’s not for you or about you, why did Smith's post get so much attention from you (and me)? Why do so many of us do it anyway?
That’s easy. We all desperately want and need true love. The problem is most of us find out the hard way that true love isn’t the fairy tale we had imagined. And, being married doesn’t automatically make our love true. But, it sure makes us feel better to know we aren’t alone or wrong for thinking marriage isn’t for us.
We’re exactly right.
Have I asked “What in the world have I done?” after getting married? Definitely. But if I could do it all over again, would I marry my husband, Chip? Absolutely.
To all who are reading this-married, almost married, single, or even those who say they are never doing it (never say never)-- I want you to know that true love (especially marriage) is the most beautiful and rewarding gift you will ever give.
Like every good and perfect gift, marriage is from Above. That's important. And the reward, well, it’s in the giving.
A true marriage (and true love) is always hard work, full of grace and not for the faint of heart. It’s hard, not because we are getting it wrong but because we are getting it right.
You are right. Marriage isn’t for you (or me). And if you want your love to be true, you have to ask, “What have I done...for the love of my life today?”
True love is in the asking and doing, not the demanding and getting.
True love is powerful. Why? It changes bad days to good and makes good days even better. It is unconditional and secure AND exciting and unpredictable. It never gives up, and it always forgives.
The moment we believe, is the moment we have all we need to experience how wide and long and high and deep true love is, the one and only love that fills us and surpasses knowledge.
The best part is, true love is free-ing. It frees us from expectations and the limitations of our circumstances, even our biggest mess-ups. True love blesses us with all we haven’t earned and don’t deserve.
I may not like my husband at times. But, that's okay because I love him, always, more and more each day. That’s part of what makes love true. Lucky for me, my husband has taught me that. I am so thankful for him.
With Him, I am able to do immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine. Marriage is glorious that way.
A prayer for today-
Thank you for your gift of marriage, especially mine. I pray for marriages everywhere today that they may be full of your powerful love and grace. Help my marriage be a reflection of your perfect love for me.
In Jesus name I pray,
Thank you, Seth Adam Smith, for sharing your story and inspiring my thoughts today. You are encouraging so many!
**If you are reading this and in the middle of an unhealthy relationship, please get the help you need. Abuse is not love, and you deserve so much more than that. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a good place to start.