This past weekend was perhaps one of the biggest celebrations of the year. It was the day we all witnessed my cousin getting married to the love of his life. I consider him one of my closest guy cousins, growing up together as children, even though we lived on opposite ends of California. In college he took good care of me: Driving me around town, feeding me and fending off the boys (with the exception of his best friend, whom I ended up marrying). He has been waiting for this moment pretty much his entire life. So when it came time for his Bride to walk down the aisle, I could not help but feel overly emotional. While some anticipate seeing the Bride, one of my favorite moments in a wedding is seeing the Groom's expression while his Bride makes their appearance down the aisle. The look and expression on their face says it all in words that cannot be expressed.
Weddings, as it is for most people, has me feeling all lovey-dovey. One of the reasons being that it reminds me of the day my Hubby and I exchanged our vows and devotion to one another. As beautiful and romantic as weddings appear, no one but married people understand the challenges that come with a marriage after the glitz and glamour has faded days or even years after the wedding day. Those promising words spoken at the altar are not merely empty words, but words that will cost you all that is within you to hold onto those promises.
Now, none of us are born with a supernatural ability to love, but we have a Creator who can, and gives freely to those who seek it. I cannot recount the number of times I have asked for more patience or love, only to realize that I was the one that needed to change. If there is a word I would use to describe marriage, it would be humility. The opposite would be pride, an ugly word that could send a marriage to its grave. Without humility and selflessness, "love" is not love.
The world will tell us it's all about us, what we can attain from a marriage, what contributes to our own happiness. I've learned that it is anything but that. Not to sound like a Debbie Downer, but the happily ever after ending ceases to exist on its own. Fairytales end once you close the book or the credits roll in. True, marriage can add a whole new dimension of joy in one's life, but not without a cost. In order to find it, we must learn to die to ourselves, for that is what love is. And the greatest example of love is written in the oldest book of all time.
After six years of marriage, I am still a work in progress and sometimes I fall flat on my face. But I am eternally thankful to have a Husband who is full of grace and loves me enough to accept me as a whole package, flaws and all.