"I Julianna, take you Tyson, to be my lawfully wedded husband...til death do us part."
Love is shown in commitment. There is no person, no letter, no card, no study that can prepare a new husband and wife for the road and journey they are about to embark on. But I do not believe it is for a lack of desire. There are many people who have written sweet letters to me and Ty bestowing upon us their jewels of wisdom. And for those we are grateful. But prior to walking down that aisle, we either cannot or choose not to see what is coming. The bad and the good. Let me explain what I mean by that sentence. By “Cannot” I mean you have not yet encountered a hard season in your relationship and therefore have not yet seen and identified the running issues that will be imminent in your marriage. By “Choose not” I mean you know and have tasted the trials or red-flags and have chosen to be ignorant of them for fear of losing the relationship. So instead of dealing with them, together with another mature couple, you leave them untouched. The first will result in a rude awakening. The latter will become a place of contention in your marriage.
In marriage all things are magnified. The love is deeper, the fights are harder, the laughs are louder, and the sorrows leave greater wounds. Nothing prepares you for that.
Except for one thing.
It is the only thing that has prepared me for this new chapter in my life. I have an example in my grandparents, my parents, my church parents and mentors, our pastors’ and their wives. We are surrounded by people who are pushing through, loving life, and cherishing one another. Married friends, I cannot express to you just how imperative it is that you have godly, older, seasoned couples in your life that you give full permission to speak truth into your life and your marriage. Without them, you will wither.
My Parents: Even now as I type, my heart is overwhelmed with gratefulness to God for my parents. I do exaggerate sometimes in my blogs, but not this time :) My mother is a woman of God down to the marrow. She is a prayer warrior and is so finely in tune with the Word of God. My dad is a wise, wise man. I have yet to meet another man with his grace and compassion towards others. He always knew the line between friend and father and he walked it well. He set the standard for the quality of man me and my sisters were going to marry.
My Grandparents: 50 years later and in deeper love than they were when they were 15. They sit next to each other at dinner, they have morning devotions every single morning at breakfast, joke around and poke fun at each other, they love each other. They llloooovvveee each other.
The example of committed love that these two generations have shown and lived for their children will benefit the future generations. Of course there are mistakes made, we are human. There are relationships that are seemingly unable to be mended, I am not condemning nor encouraging those. Our pastor said it well, “There is grace for the past, now we move on in that same grace, doing what we know is right according to the Word of God.”
I feel like I’m all over the place because I am so passionate about this subject. Even though I’m just coming up on our 1 year anniversary [woohoo!], I have met so many couples that say the same thing, “I didnt know it was going to be this hard.” No one can prepare you, but yourself. You have to surround yourself with the example you want to imitate and you have to want and receive the guidance that comes with that example.
For those of you who love to cook, you’ll track with this illustration. [For those of you who don’t, you must love to eat so this applies to you too :)]
When you see someone cooking a meal, you watch and study how they cut, mix, blend, and serve the ingredients. Why? So that you can imitate the recipe the right way. You ask questions when you are stumped for fear of making a disastrous meal for your poor family. There is an example set for you, a plan laid out with specific ingredients and techniques to accomplish the tasty meal you are striving for. Same with marriage. You have to ask questions, you have to read the Word in order to learn the proper recipe, you have to be mentored by a much more seasoned married couple. That is how you create a God-fearing, God-honoring marriage.
Yes it is work. Yes it is hard. But it is not aimless. There are examples. And the most important example is that of Christ and the Church. That’s a whole other blog from another time. Maybe I’ll have Ty write it. Hm...
What examples do you have of marriage? What heritage are you creating for your children to pass on?