This last week, I have had several opportunities to ponder on the meaning of marriage.
A week ago, I had the wonderful pleasure of watching two of my dear friends get married. It was a wonderful touching ceremony and a huge celebration of their love. Let’s tip it one more time! It is a beautiful experience to watch two people make such a personal statement of commitment to each other.
Recently, I was chatting with some friends of mine about the “big” commitment of marriage. We were talking about people’s timelines and needing to be ready to make that promise to someone else. Being the only one in this group who was married, I felt it was my duty to stick up for marriage. So I said that I think it is pretty awesome. (True statement, I do.) To which one of my friends jokingly responded with something along the lines of, “Yeah says the person who doesn’t even live with their spouse.”
I know they were trying to get a laugh and were only poking fun, but the comment kind of shut me up and made me retreat a little bit.
So do people really think my marriage is less real because I don’t live with my husband?
I haven’t really been able to shake this comment all weekend.
So what does marriage mean? Further more, what does MY marriage mean?
And this was my conclusion. Marriage IS awesome.
Every marriage is going to be a little different. We all have our own circumstances. We all have to work at it a little differently. But I believe that the basis is an undying love.
No matter what people think, I believe I have a solid marriage with my husband. Have we spent a lot of time apart? Yes, but that doesn’t make my marriage a sham. I would argue that I know what marriage means more than most. And just because I don’t see him every day, doesn’t make it any less of a marriage. We have had challenges and had to make hard decisions as a couple. These decisions push us every day to be united.
Marriage is more than a wedding. It is more than coming home to someone every day. It is more than having date nights or having someone to share the chores with. It’s more than the physical. Tom is not just my roommate, he is my husband.
C. S. Lewis said, “Being in love is something you do.”
So it’s not just a title, it’s something you have to work at and pay attention to. Marriage is a partnership. It’s a bond between two people that goes beyond the rings that we wear. They are just a really pretty symbol! It’s having a love for someone that is so great you wouldn’t be the same person without it. The partnership makes you a better you. As I watched Noelle and Peter say their vows, I remembered saying them to Tom. A marriage is two people promising to be there for each other no matter what.
I read this quote in my devotional book, “Real love isn’t based on changeable feelings. Instead, it’s an act of the will, a choice to honor your commitment to another person.” Pretty big stuff, huh?
I would say that there are many marriages that can’t say they have that kind of love and commitment. I would call those marriages the shams. (Can anyone say a Kardashian marriage?)
I am fortunate to say I have a great marriage. Is it ideal that we are apart, eh not really. But this marriage is as real as the next. It is the real deal.
Tom is the person I lean on the most. He makes me feel better when no one else can. He cheers me on when I don’t think I am strong enough. He supported me going to places I never thought I could. He has been by my side, and I his. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes.
If anything, this time apart has solidified how strong our marriage is. Even though we may be separated by thousands of miles, Tom and I are connected. This love keeps both of us going. We manage to still be there for each other despite these obstacles.
Here is another song from Tyrone that I think explains it all. I have heard this song a million times, but it hit me differently this weekend as I was baking like crazy, and I started screaming and throwing flour all over my kitchen, “THIS IS IT!”
Through it all, somehow “You Still Love Me.”
(PS. Tyrone comes out with a new CD this week, and you all should get it. He’s voice is like a dream.)
Sometimes, in a marriage, things aren’t easy. Sometimes you have to be apart; sometimes you argue. But you always love that person. Always.
That’s why marriage is awesome. You always have someone.
Anyway, if marriage isn’t like this for others, I feel sorry for them. This is a pretty sweet deal in my opinion!
I still stand by my statement that marriage is awesome. Tom’s my person, even if he is in Afghanistan. No one can take the fact away that he is my person. That’s as real as it gets in my opinion. And if you don’t agree, well maybe you haven’t experienced this love yet to understand.
I also am pretty thankful that I live in a state that believes that everyone should be able to experience this partnership. Marriage with the right person is awesome, no matter if they are the same gender or not. Who cares? It’s their marriage and their love. We should be happy that people have found that big love that makes them better. If people are happy and better than the day before wouldn’t that make the world happier and better than the day before? And I believe that everyone should be able to make that formal commitment to “their someone.” Who am I to say their love isn’t good enough for marriage? Again, we let the Kardashians get married, and we wont let thousands of people who actually would take it seriously? That doesn’t make sense to me. So yay for Iowa supporting all marriages! We are all about the “marriage is awesome for everyone” campaign. Now if we can just get the federal government on our wagon…
And now that my “Marriage IS Awesome” speech is done, here is my craft for the night.
This is the blanket I had almost finished over Thanksgiving, and then finished the week I came back.
Two weeks might be a new record for me making a blanket!
I used yarn that I had left over from other projects that Hobby Lobby wouldn’t take back.
I did a single stitch for the entire blanket, and then a crab stitch for just the edge.