Are you laughing? You should be! I mean come on, anyone who has been married more than 18 months reads that title, nods their head, and laughs to themselves a little. Didn’t we all think that at least a little bit? It seems silly now, but man, if you were to try to tell me that I had no idea what I was about to get into back then, I’d of completely blown you off! (apologies to the ones who did!)
But seriously today marks a pretty significant day for me.
Wow! I never would have thought that life would look like what it looks like today. No doubt about it.
I can still remember that day almost as if it were in fact yesterday. I remember those chairs pictured above. I remember setting up those lights. I remember how cold and foggy it was and how afraid we all were that the evening would not turn out so well.
Boy were we wrong.
It was perfect. The way all weddings become. The candles flickering. Friends and family collecting, talking, and looking their best. The flowers, the anticipation, the excitement, and the hope. The hope. That’s what I love most about weddings these days. I couldn’t name it then, but I know it now to have been a very sacred space. It truly was a magical evening.
And if you’ve been around me or this blog for very long, you know I’m a deeply emotional man. Sounds like an oxymoron, I know. But seriously I am. And I was that day as well. I couldn’t have held back the tears if you said you’d give me a million dollars. From the moment that music started, the tears were a flowin’ — kinda like they are starting to now!
Seeing my bride make her way down the aisle…
I know you can picture it from your own stories. It’s pure unadulterated beauty on display. A gift for all those in attendance. The very definition of Grace.
She was coming for me. Coming to meet me. Coming to say she loved me. Coming to say I’ll accept you just as you are.
How little did I truly know in those early years, let alone that very moment, that’s exactly what The Father does, is doing, and will do once again for all of us who are in Him.
That is the marriage festival awaiting you and I!
But boy did I have it wrong!
Look at that kid! Whew! I was so young then, at least compared to how I feel today.
But what a mistake — thinking I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I had no clue!
Love. That’s all you need, right? Ha! That’s what all the romantics say! That’s all I thought we truly needed. It’s cliché now, but I was naive. I had no clue how to love a woman. Not really. Not at all. Little did I know how God would soon use this narrative to completely bring me to my knees.
It’s true what Tim Keller says, that “we are always, always last to see our self-absorption.”
I had no clue to the degree that we would begin to harm one another, wound one another, and how quickly we would make other vows to one another. Unspoken vows.
Those are the ones, looking back that are the hardest to overcome.
You know what I’m talking about here, the one’s that say:
- I’m not (man) enough for this
- I don’t have what it takes
- She’s not who I thought she was
- This is too hard, too difficult
- We’ll never make it
I started to type something like, “It’s taken me years to get free from those,” but I need to be honest with you, some days I still have to renounce those vows. We don’t need any more “look at us, we’re a shining example” type of marriages in the church. We need honest voices, honest marriages, humble men and women willing to lead from their weak and broken places, reminding us all to experience the Gospel again and again.
I love how Tim Keller puts the definition of the Gospel into words:
He goes on in his book, The Meaning of Marriage, to say “Marriage is a major vehicle for the gospel’s remaking of your heart from the inside out and your life from the ground up.”
To that I say Hallelujah and Amen!
Of course hindsight being 20/20 and all that, I proudly declare that I wouldn’t change a single thing about that day 10 years ago.
And although I have made some massive mistakes, some of which you’ll learn about in days to come, I consider myself to be blessed. It’s true, I never would have imagined life to look like what it does today, but 3 kids and 10 years later, I am becoming more of the man I am created to be, because of this awesome marriage.
And to that I say Hallelujah and Amen!
Can you relate to this same mistake or these unspoken vows? Feel free to share in the comments below.
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