I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 256 days. Now, I know that’s a relatively short amount of time, but I feel like I’ve learned some things about marriage in that time. I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself. And I’ve learned even more about this man that I love so fiercely.
I can’t tell you when I realized that I loved Travis. Honestly, I’ve tried to remember and analyze it and I just can’t do it. We went on our first official date on September 30th, 2010, and became “Facebook Official” the next weekend — October 8th. We jumped in feet first and knew that exploring this affection and attraction we had for each other was the right thing to do. We were good friends before we started dating and we had many mutual friends. It would have been weird and awkward had it not worked out. But it never even occurred to us that it wouldn’t work. It was just right. We were all in.
Travis told me that he loved me on a day near my birthday, a month after we started dating. I knew I loved him before he told me, I just wasn’t sure if we were ready to say it yet. So I was relieved when he said it first.
When we were married on October 13, 2012 it was like my outsides were starting to match my insides better. For two years I had felt partnered to this creative and caring guy, and finally I was able to say that he was mine and I was his. I was able to say that we were officially a family — something I had felt in my heart for a long time. We combined our names; we were legally tied to each other. If I was in a car accident, he’s who they would call. I do his laundry. He washes our dishes. We fall asleep every night next to each other, him usually before me. And for eight and a half months I’ve been learning what it means to be his wife; to be partnered forever.
Sometimes when I look across a room at him talking to someone, or I see him playing an instrument or singing, or I see him playing with our dogs or the kids at church, or when I see him leading our church in worship, I am overcome with love and joy that he is my husband. This man who lives life with zest, who is creative, who is caring and sensitive, who is passionate (and sometimes a little crazy), who is idealistic but not naive, who sees the best in people, who loves God and follows Jesus; he is mine and I am his. He picked me when he could have picked any other girl.
Sometimes it’s really hard. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes I just want to be alone. Sometimes I don’t tell him what I’m feeling enough and he goes crazy wondering. Sometimes he’s cranky. Sometimes I’m cranky.
But during those times when we struggle, I remember what a privilege it is to be married. I remember that it is an honor to go through life with Travis. That his heart picked me, and that my heart picked him. I remember that there is no one else on earth who could fill this spot in my heart that belongs to him. That if I lost him somehow there would be a hole in my heart forever. I don’t have any proof of this but my feelings.
And remembering that he is a part of me now and that our marriage is a great privilege gives me the strength to carry on. It gives me the strength to fight for what we have. To not let it fall apart or let distance grow between us.
We hear a lot about the sanctity of marriage these days. There are people who feel like gay marriage would threaten the sanctity of heterosexual, “traditional” marriage. I’m not here to try to change anyone’s mind on this today, but I would argue that we straight people are doing enough to ruin the sanctity of marriage just fine on our own.
There are stories every day of celebrities getting married and then filing for divorce hours later. There are people that cheat on their spouses, lie, abuse, and don’t honor the sacred union that they willingly entered in front of God and all their relatives at their wedding. We have TV shows like The Bachelor that are designed to find a spouse for someone, based on looks and staged shenanigans.
Yeah, I think we straight people are doing plenty to make marriage less sacred.
I’ve only been married for 256 days, but I plan on being married for a zillion more. I didn’t enter into this marriage lightly. This means a lot to me. I treasure my privilege to be married every day. And I feel like God is a part of our love; that our marriage is a holy thing.
I believe that WE make our marriages holy. Nothing anyone else could do could ever make our marriages less holy. The sanctity of marriage is only threatened by our actions and our lack of respect for the marriage. When we devalue our marriages, they become less sacred. No one else’s marriage or desire to be married could ever threaten the holiness of our marriages.
So, married people, honor your spouse. Value him or her. Stand by your vows and hold them in your heart and mind. Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Make your marriage sacred and stop worrying so much about other people.
Make the choice to keep your marriage holy. Appreciate your privilege.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work. If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up! Also, if two lie down together, they can stay warm. But how can anyone stay warm alone? Also, one can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn’t easily snap. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12