I didn’t think I wanted to get married so young. I wasn’t looking for a husband. I was looking for a career. Marriage and family? That could wait until after I’d put my degree to use. Maybe 28. Maybe 30. That’s when it would be time to settle down..... Those were my thoughts as a nineteen year old girl. I knew that I wanted to get married… someday. But that someday seemed a lot farther off than the two years when I’d be standing in front of the altar exchanging wedding vows at only 21 years old. So what changed? My perspective on what marriage is and what marriage isn’t. As a 21 year old bride, I realized that marriage isn’t just a season of life. It’s doing all of life... together.
What if I stay single forever? This is a thought that used to haunt me. I lived in such denial of this being a possibility. At weddings when well-meaning women would say “there’s someone out there for you too” I would nod my head in eager anticipation. But I have a bit of a different perspective on that now.
I didn’t want to be angry at my ex. I didn’t want to be angry at myself. I didn’t want to view our time together as wasted time, or lessons learned, or any other classic view people take when a relationship dies. I wanted a renewed vision of the time we had spent together. I wanted God to take my feeble natural perspective on things and help me see what He saw, and if it wasn’t asking too much, I still wanted a way to be able to show my ex I cared.
We were engaged on our six month anniversary at my favorite spot on the beach. It rained on that day, and it was freezing cold. But it seemed to fit the theme of our relationship: things not going quite to plan.
Intimacy in marriage reflects a powerful truth of the gospel - that we are fully known by God, yet deeply loved. Just as the woman caught in adultery in John 7 stands before the Savior fully exposed yet not condemned, each one of His daughters stands before God, fully known but free.
Most rom coms go the same way - two individuals on completely separate paths fall in love, experience relational conflict, and overcome it through their feelings for each other. We’re fed the message by our movies and media that as long as two individuals love one another, it will work. But our generation isn’t buying it. We see the effect of broken relationships all around us and wonder what we are missing.
There’s a certain movie star with an hourglass shape, red lips, and bright blonde hair who gave her two cents about how girls like us should handle relationships: “If they can’t handle you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best.” In other words, if your guy can’t put up with you when you’re feeling impatient, grumpy, insecure (and the list goes on), you should dump him and find someone who can.
The hard truth is that some things just don’t need to be said at all. While my husband and I wholeheartedly believe in open communication and zero secrets, I’ve learned that every sigh of discontentment and passing annoyance doesn’t need to be shared, even with my husband. It’s difficult and nuanced. But sometimes our needs, suggestions, or opinions are excuses for selfishness.