I was asked to say a few words of advice and encouragement at a recent wedding shower. While I was very flattered to be asked, there was an instant flood of panic. What do I know? Weren’t we still on our honeymoon? Oh wait, it’s already been two years of two mistake-ridden humans living together, messing up every day and still in love at the end of it. But how was this a position to give wisdom? Two years? Piffle.
But as Ryan reminded me, wasn’t that the point? What were things I have freshly learned that could help the smiling happy young bride? Not from a prideful know-it-all position, but as one girl to another encouraging each other to run the good race. I could probably learn some things from her, too.
There were also women who have been married decades longer offering their much-wiser words. The best part of these showers is going home feeling encouraged by words meant for the bride but applicable to my marriage as well.
You’ve already heard the ‘don’t go to bed angry’ and the ‘always have a date night’ and ‘thank him for all he does’. Which are very important and I should probably frame them on my wall to remind myself. But here’s another thing that helped as I learned to live with another person so closely physically, emotionally, financially, and so on. Remember that underneath all the blunders he’ll make and all the wrong words he’ll say, he loves you. In the story of your lives, of that week, day, hour, and yes, even that moment when it feels like your life is over, he loves you. Just like you love him even when you’re irritated over the socks left on the floor or the un-replied-to text, he loves you in that moment.
As a newlywed I had friends ask me in so many words how long I thought my shiny new marriage was going to last. Why was I talking about growing old with Ryan? How could I know what was going to happen ten years down the road, when our love became tarnished with familiarity and sleepless nights with a baby or just plain lack of chemistry? I still don’t know what the next ten years will bring. And I didn’t always have the words to explain to an unbeliever the complete peace we have in eternal promises. You’re going to make open-ended promises to your fiance/husband, saying that you trust him to love and cherish you for rest of your earthly lives. Because you know that God hand picked your relationship like he did the relationship between Christ and His church…Neither God not your husband are going anywhere.
AND it’s so much fun to wake up every morning next to him and realize that it’s a another whole day of being His with a capital H, and now also his with a small h.