Monday, June 1, 2015

When The Wedding Is Over

It was that time when I watched my husband, his face both tender and strained. He stood straight and almost too proper, with his baby girl's hand cradled under his, as if bracing against all the emotion of twenty-two years just gone. 

And in the time it takes to walk down a make-shift aisle, faded memories flash by and suddenly you find yourself standing at the arch of time, gathered in moments of joy and waves of tears and you wonder if we really prepared her for the day after this day.

This girl, she made her grand entrance into the world, with the same flair and slight drama that has followed her. We weren't thinking then about who would capture her heart. We were only embracing how she had stolen ours. 

From the first time I brushed my finger across the curve of her cheek and with each sleepless night rocking there in the dark, humming off-key lullabies, my heart was knit to her soul. 

Instinctively we taught her the things that we could. The attributes that we felt were the most important. We wanted her to learn that she was loved no matter what. We instilled in her that she didn't have to perform or have a platform or work to attain. Above all, we wanted her to know that she was uniquely designed by God, to do the things only she could do. 

But in these crazy days of preparing for one big day, I wonder how well we prepared her for all the days after the wedding. 

After all, there is so much focus put on the ceremony, but how do you really prepare for a lifetime?

One of the things I'm most deeply passionate about is the covenant of marriage. I long to see husbands love and cherish their wives and for wives to love and respect their husbands. 

I have my reasons and if ever I write out the chapters of my life into a book you may read about it, but what I can tell you now is that every day we are either tearing down our marriage or building it up. So if you all are kind enough to bear with me, here are a few things I would say to us all, about the days that follow the one wedding day.

- -
- - -
- - - -
The rent is due every day on commitment and love in marriage.

Create your own beautiful relationship with each text, wink, “good morning” and “can’t wait to see you tonight.”  Never stop writing your love story.

Be for each other. Be willing to fight for, instead of with, each other. At the end of the day, you know the heart of the other. 

Work on spending your time well with each other. Find ways to do more and more of what feeds the relationship and do that every day. Connecting at a heart level means turning off the noise, the distractions, the mindless empty things that keep you from actually hearing and communicating. You cannot do that with the television blaring while surfing sites on your phone or mindlessly staring at a computer screen. You just can't.

Respect each other deeply. Never, no, not ever, make your spouse look bad to your friends or family. So often couples throw their spouse under the bus in a moment of frustration and self-pity and cause other people to see their spouse in a less flattering light. It actually shows the immaturity of the one talking bad about the other. That is the stuff that kills relationships. Period. Stop it.  

Talk it out with each other and listen with your soul. No marriage ended overnight. It died one harsh word at a time. One day at a time. One selfish act at a time. Just as it takes two people to make a marriage, it takes two people to fail at one.

Iron sharpens iron. No one ever enjoyed the process, but the truth is, in a marriage, sometimes the things that hurt are the things that are growing us up. We all need to grow-up some more.

Pray together. Make it as simple as praying before you go to bed or before running off to start your day. God already knows your heart so don't worry so much about how the words come out. 

Be honest. There is no such thing as a white lie. 

Ask for forgiveness. Admit that you are wrong and stop doing the thing that is hurting your relationship. As my pastor, John Stone says: "Own your own stuff."

You must forgive and forget and let go and move on. 'Do not let the sun go down on your anger.' That's in the Bible for a reason. It will make your life better and you can spend your energy on the good stuff.

Believe in your spouse. Be their biggest fan. 

Invest in each other every day. What speaks to the soul of the other? An extra twenty minutes of sleep? A walk with actual conversation? A word of affirmation? Saying no to a good thing, so you can say yes to them? 

Be kind. Act like a team. There really is no “I” in team.

Always ask yourself, "What in me needs to change?" You are the only person you can control. I have never once heard someone, in a difficult place in their marriage, tell me what is wrong with themselves. The focus is always about what is wrong with the other person.

Marriage takes on its own rhythm. It will surprise you and disappoint you and mess with all your flaws and shining attributes. It will make you more together than you were apart. And at the end of the day, you should feel like it’s a refuge to come home, because where there is love there is great freedom.

Stop the unrealistic expectations of each other and even of yourself. We are all messed up people. 

God designed marriage. Satan hates marriage. God wants to bless you with His crazy favor and give you a legacy that will outlive your days on earth. Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy. So today, you can choose life and love or hate and death.

The greatest thing we can give to our children and the world around us is to simply love our spouse well. It can’t be taught with words, it has to be lived. 

Love trumps everything. Hold it close. Fight for it. Believe in it. Live it. 

The wedding day? It's such an amazing, sweet celebration, but the marriage…. is how we show the world that love is real.

Can you stand a few candid photos from the wedding day?
Photo by Lindy Hiatt
Photo by Lindy Hiatt
Photo used with permission. Photo was taken by Conie Johnson. 

Photo used with permission. Taken by Leah Ratzlaff
Decor by our friend Bridget Licking and a village of workers


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you! Thank you for stopping by.

© Rhonda Quaney