I've been engaged for a whole five days now. I enjoy being able to use the word fiance and I'm excited for us to both wear our rings (mine had to be specially ordered because I have tiny fingers). That being said, I am not in this for rings or ceremony planning. In fact, I'm kind of dreading planning a wedding. I just want my family and friends to be there and be a part of the liturgical ceremony at the church.
I've been thinking a lot about why anybody gets married or why we in particular are getting married. I know many people get married to the person they want to have children with. I think that's a good idea, but what does it mean if neither party is all that interested in producing offspring? What does marriage truly mean?
Here's what I think it means.
In contrast to other popular blogs about it, I don't think it's about putting the other person first. I approach our relationship knowing that my fiance is an independent full grown man who doesn't need me to baby him. Nor do I need him to put me first and neglect his own needs. He is who he is. I am here to help him on his bad days and to encourage him to follow his dreams. I expect the same treatment from him. If things aren't going as expected, we need to talk it out and compromise. We're equal partners. But that's the kind of relationship we've had all along. We don't need to be married to continue being there for each other and to encourage each other.
I want to get married because I want to make a commitment before God to be there and be present with him through thick and thin. I want to stand before God and say, "I will be there". I want to invite God into the mix. I know that some time down the road I won't like my husband that much. I'll be mad about something, life will be hard, I will want to throw up my hands. These moments happen in even the best marriages. In those moments, I want to look at my husband and remember our vows. I want to invite God to help us through. I will need strength from God to be stubborn enough to talk it through and work it out.
Marriage to me is ultimately a stubborn commitment. It's a wonderful joyous thing, but it's also going to be a lot of work. But we can invite God to be there in the midst of it with us. And I think my fiance is worth any bumps we may encounter down the road.
When death do us part, I want to look back and be able to say, "Look where God led us" and "May God lead us further still".