Dream About the Marriage, Not Just the Wedding
To the girl who’s dreaming about the day you marry your prince…
You’re the one with all the wedding boards on Pinterest. The one fantasizing about the perfect flowers, food, and favors. The one with the shiny new ring… Or maybe you don’t have a ring yet – or a guy for that matter. But still, you dream.
You dream about how breathtaking your gown will be, how handsome your groom, how gorgeous the ceremony, how wonderful the friends who will stand by your side, how perfect your first dance, how vibrant the colors, and how magical the send off.
Lovely, you’ve dreamed up a glorious day. No doubt about it.
But can I let you in on something?
You’ve got something much bigger, much better to dream about than a wedding.
It’s called a marriage.
A day-in, day-out, lifelong journey of two becoming one.
You two will have the best conversations – the kind that last for hours and finally break through some barrier, taking you deeper into each other’s hearts. You’ll also end up arguing over the most random things. There will be weeks when long work hours keep you from seeing each other much. And Friday nights when take-out and time to veg are heaven on earth.
Unexpected car repairs that throw your budget. That quirk you manage to overlook for several months that finally gets on your last nerve. Job changes. Anniversaries. Figuring out how to split holidays between two families. The trips you save up for. Misunderstandings. Apologies. Belly laughs that sneak up on you out of nowhere.
Sometimes it’ll take everything in you to take your complaint to the Lord rather than nagging at him. Other times, you’ll sit stunned at the endless patience this man keeps showing you. Darling, if your eyes are open, you’ll soon see that he’s not the only one in this relationship who needs fixing. You’ll both need Him so desperately. I pray you’ll both recognize it…and never stop running to Him.
More times than not, your marriage will consist of ordinary moments far-removed from cinematic glamor.
Like the day your new kitchen table is ready after months of waiting.
Or the rainy Saturday afternoon the two of you spend playing with your camera settings.
Or the nightly facetime chat during work travel.
Or the time you nail the perfect beach memory with your self-timer.
Or the sky you stumble upon while biking that makes the 100% humidity and bugs flying into your eyes completely worth it.
Or your spontaneous, at-home salon session.
Or the time you happen upon the coolest his and her headbands.
Lovely One, it’s on these ordinary days that I hope you’ll love him the most. This is where life is lived – in the routine dinners, photo flops, and new kitchen tables. Marriage is much more about t-shirts and gym shorts than evening gowns and bouquets. It’s a lifelong story of letting your hair down in front of each other and becoming truly known.
If you yield to it, it’s a journey that will refine you and open your heart to deeper love than you ever could have imagined on your wedding day.
Don’t mistake the ordinariness of most days for a lack of beauty. It’s the hidden days where love is a choice that’s fought for – that’s where the greatest beauty emerges, and the deepest love is forged. When crisis hits, and it will, let love go all the deeper. Reach out to wise voices who have been where you are. Don’t try to go at this alone.
And don’t hinge your hopes on a picture-perfect journey [spoiler alert: they don’t exist]. Hinge your hopes on His unfailing love.
A beautiful marriage will require so much more of you than a beautiful wedding day. Give yourself over to it, fully. Yield yourself to His story. No investment you make in it will ever be wasted.
And sure, go ahead: dream about your wedding. But for every thought you give to that day, give a thousand to the marriage. Let the wedding be the start, not the end of your dreams.
When it’s all said and done, Bride-to-Be, your groom will always be the prize to cherish. Not the flowers, not the ambiance, not the dress, not the pictures. My hope is that fifty years from now you’ll have walked through life’s highs and lows with this man… that you’ll really know him… and that you’ll still find your hand holding his.