Navigating the roads of marriage can be exciting, challenging and even frustrating. Trusting another individual with the raw materials of who you are and allowing them to love you for all you are, and all you aren’t is one of the greatest risks a person can take in life. Your partner will hopefully love you more fully than any other person you have ever known. (Remember to use one another’s love language to help the other feel loved, not just know they are loved. ) Your partner also has the potential to wound you more deeply than any other person simply because you have entrusted them with so much. The expectations for love, compassion, understanding, fun, affirmation, communication, and mutuality are often high, and sometimes, they are even unreachable. It is important to communicate openly and honestly as often as you can so you know how best to love, care, and honor one another.
As part of your covenant in marriage, you will promise to love, honor, and respect one another. You will promise to love your spouse above all else, to choose to be the best partner each day, to forgive even when you have no desire, and to try even when you have lost hope. As part of your covenant, you will need to submit your own will and desire for the well-being of “us”. Submission in marriage is not about dominance, or power, or control. Submission in marriage is about honoring your spouse and creating the best “us” you can. At times, that will mean completely forfeiting what you want. Other times, what is best for “us” will be choosing the job, health, or needs of one partner over the other. That shouldn’t be a choice of dominance, but one that respects that your covenant is for the long term and not for the short term.
As you prepare for your wedding, I hope you will focus instead on the quality of your marriage. Your wedding and festivities will only last a day or two, but your marriage should last a lifetime! Marriage is not a 50/50 contract, it will require 100% from each of you each day (sometimes more), with occasional times of “coasting”.
When you face times of discernment about jobs, housing, and family, may you focus on “us” and not on yourself. When you face times of conflict, may you remember it is ultimately not about “you” (you gave that up in singleness) it is about “us”—you and your partner—for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health!
May God bless you in the love you share and your relationship as you grow together!