There was a wedding in our extended family this past weekend. All four of our children had the honor of being part of the ceremony. The whole wedding was truly beautiful. Much care was considered for the details, from the choice of ceremonial garb to the decor of the hors d'oeuvres table. The minister who wed the couple knew each of them and their vows were very personal and from the heart. All of us in attendance promised to continue to encourage them in their marriage.
Sitting in my chair, watching the couple exchange vows, and later, interact with their wedding guests at the reception, it made me reflect on my own wedding day, and my marriage. When my husband and I were married nearly 12 years ago, I would not have even guessed I would be where I am now. All of the planning for the one day of fanfare did not prepare us for what came after the honeymoon phase.
I want to encourage anyone who is engaged to be married to do pre-marital counseling. As perfect as you may think you are with your fiancé, there are many things to consider. When choosing your helpmate, please consider more than how you think your future children will look (his eyes, your hair, etc): do you even want children, and how many; what are you going to do about financial matters; how do you envision your household; who is going to take care of each of the mundane, yet necessary daily chores; how will you treat each other when someone makes a mistake? No one is ever really prepared for the ups and downs of marriage, but one of the biggest decisions we made together was to have God be in the center of marriage. Our wedding vows were not just with each other, but also with the Holy One. He has been with us the whole time.
A good friend gave us a little knick-knack with words from 1 Corinthians. She told me that her husband was actually the one who picked it out for us. Neither of them were Christians 12 years ago, but told us they were still inspired by us. I was inspired by their dedication to each other! The husband told his wife that he wanted to marry her in all 50 states so that it would be very difficult to ever get a divorce! They have had plenty of ups and downs (infertility, tragedy, family problems), but they have always gone back to their love for each other.