Love and Fairy Tales

This weekend we attended our first childbirth education class and we were asked to introduce ourselves and answer "Besides the obvious of meeting your baby, what are you most excited about?" My husband answered "I'm looking forward to us transitioning from being a 'married couple' to being a 'family of three.'"  And it was one of those moments where I felt like I fell in love with him again. So it isn't our anniversary and it's not his birthday or anything like that, but I just wanted to take a minute to be sappy and talk about how much I love my husband and encourage you how awesome a good marriage can be. 

 The new Maroon 5 song "Payphone" sings "All those fairy tales are full of it, one more stupid love song I'll be sick." And as much as I LOVE this song, I hear these words and realize we are blessed beyond measure to REALLY love each other and enjoy one another's company, day in and day out, almost seven years married and close to nine years together.   It's not like a "fairy tale" prince rescuing a damsel in distress but an even better than a fairy tale of a man and woman becoming one flesh: loving, cherishing, nurturing, respecting one another.  We don't sing duets in the forest or ride magic carpets together-we run errands, take walks, watch movies and play with our cat-but somehow those things become really special when it's with someone you love.  

Our marriage hasn't always been like this so yes, I understand there are difficult seasons.  And some people might say "Well you two are just lucky enough to find your soulmate" etc. My response to both of those is the same: We are "soulmates", and we have made it through difficult seasons because we have honored the covenant of marriage- by the grace of God and to the glory of God. 

When things have been hard, or very hard, what sustained our marriage some days was purely a commitment to the covenant we made to each other and to God.  Being in love, being happy, having things in common, this stuff does NOT survive the fires of marriage. It's great when it's there, and when the foundations are solid these things ARE a huge part of marriage, but they're not the core. They change with feelings, circumstances, seasons etc. But a commitment, a covenant, is a sacred promise that says "No matter what, we're together." And when you have that perspective, your outlook HAS to change, because it makes you a different person. And this is the whole "two become one" idea.  It is my best recommendation for a happy marriage.

And as far as the word "Soulmates"...I believe God created my husband and I to be married, for such a time as this, in His sovereignty.  I think we love each other because we have become one flesh, not the other way around.  

An excerpt from "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis, which take note, is written from one demon to another, teaching his apprentice how to encourage humans away from God, speaks of love like this 

"Humans can be made to infer the false belief that the blend of affection, fear, and desire which they call 'being in love' is the only thing that makes marriage either happy or holy...The humans are to be encouraged to regard as the basis for marriage a highly-coloured and distorted version of something (God) really promises as its result.  Humans who have not the gift of continence can be deterred from seeking marriage as a solution because they do not find themselves 'in love', and, thanks to us, the idea of marrying with any other motive seems to them low and cynical. Yes, they think that. They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life, as something lower than a storm of emotion."

I find this to be very thought-provoking.  All this to say, I hope if you are married this encourages you to be the best, most committed spouse you can be. Not only so you can experience the joy and sweetness a happy marriage brings, but so God will be glorified in your honoring of a covenant that truly is sacred, and truly is between you, your spouse and the Holy God of the universe who created you two and brought you together by His grace.  And if you are not married, I hope this encourages you that you don't have to be perfect and you don't have to find someone who's perfect, you simply have to find someone whom you believe you can commit to "do life" with, whatever it takes, and commit it to God and know that all the good stuff will follow.

I wrote the following awhile ago, when people would say stuff like "Yeah, you feel that way because you're newlyweds." But I affirm I still feel this way, and really feel it more deeply and truly than I did then, and I literally thank God every night when my head hits the pillow, for the amazing man who lays down next to me.

Journal excerpt 2007: "I absolutely adore my husband.  He is so grounded in faith and funny and handsome and strong and sweet and pensive and playful and smart and sexy and *sigh*…he is all I ever dreamed of and more. God has given me so much grace and love and joy in the form of this man that walks beside through all of life and I wish everyone could experience love like this. It is the greatest privilege I have ever been given second only to Grace."