Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

8.31.2010

The Day After the Year After I Say "I Do"


I consider myself to be a fairly level-headed woman. I don’t have any illusions about marrying Josh Groban, and I don’t harbor a secret crush for Jimmy Stewart. I know guys, but I don’t chase them, flirt with them, or treat them like a girlfriend. Honestly, though, I still long for marriage as the God-created norm. Unfortunately, I don’t just long for it, however; I join the millions of other girls who have the spectacles-tinted-the-same-hue-as-the-flowers-genus-rosa syndrome: I idealize marriage.

I think about it, and pray about it, and hope for it, and prepare for it—nothing wrong with that! When I start to think that living in close quarters with another sinful human being might be as close to heaven as one can get on this earth, and when I begin to daydream about my “perfect” husband who will catch me when I faint, bring me breakfast in bed, and come home with roses every single week, and when I start to put a husband in the place only God should hold in my heart, then I have idealized marriage to the point of idolatry.

Several years ago, a dear relative of mine suddenly remembered that she had twin nephews (on her husband’s side, so no relation to us) our age who had been homeschooled and raised in a Christian home. Since then, there’s been no stopping her, and she finally managed to orchestrate an extremely awkward meeting a few months ago in which both sets of twins said a polite “hello” and then did everything in their power to avoid each other. While this lady was singing her nephews’ praises, however, her husband seemed to grow more and more uncomfortable.

Finally, as though to counteract her propensity towards matchmaking, he launched into a lecture on marriage. “I told my daughters before they got married,” he began, “that marriage can’t be about you. It’s not to fulfill you and serve you, but to fulfill and serve the other person.” The more I’ve thought about that advice over the years, the more I’ve recognized its wisdom (despite the—ahem—unique circumstances that prompted said advice).

I’ve lived under the same roof as my parents for 20 years, watching as they sanctify each other through their marriage. Sure, there’s roses, chocolate, dates, and stolen kisses. But there were also the nights where I crawled into bed with them after yet another nightmare, and the days when the whole family was sick and no one felt like doing anything, and the times when disagreements came and voices rose. Through it all, though, I’ve seen their unconditional, unwavering love for the Father, and therefore, for each other.

After seeing such a beautiful picture of a real marriage for so long, I don’t know why I struggle so to get the Hollywood perception out of my head. The two are night and day—a slice of my homemade whole grain sourdough baguette versus a mouthful of cotton candy. But each and every day, as I say to God, “Where’s my prince charming?” I already know the answer. My prince won’t always be charming, and my charmer won’t always act like a prince. He won’t fulfill me, and he won’t wait on me hand and foot. He will be a sinful man striving to be like a sinless God, holding my hand and supporting me as I hold his hand and support him along the Narrow Way. God will bring us into each other’s lives to further His sanctification in us—and that won’t always be a pleasant, delightful prospect.

When I get things in perspective—when I look to God for my fulfillment and to my future marriage as another means of increasing and glorifying the kingdom of God, I’m still just as excited for the day I say “I do,” but I’m even more ecstatic for the day after the week after the month after the year after I say “I do.”


"He must increase, but I must decrease." ~John 3:30

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

17 comments:

  1. Perspective is a very important truth in so many areas of our lives...marriage is definitely one of them. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Very healthy perspective! Sometimes, my husband really is Prince Charming, but not in the Hollywood way. He cleans me up when I'm sick, keeps the toilet clean, and does other disagreeable tasks not proper to name in public. For him, I'm his fairy princess when I buy him Superman movies, remind him not to talk while chewing, or take him to a hardware store for his birthday. Love is less about romance (I'm blessed if I get roses once a year), and more about serving each other sacrificially. But I believe our marriage honors Christ. And that's what really matters!

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  3. I remember once being where you are, Mikaela--idealizing marriage and looking for prince charming to come sweep me off my feet. My 13 years of marriage haven't necessarily been the dreamy experience I anticipated way back then, but they have been beautiful and God-blessed nonetheless. When two people are devoted to God and devoted to one another as His Word commands, it's a recipe for a successful marriage. Not a fairytale one, perhaps, but a beautiful one nonetheless. You seem on track to have just such a marriage.

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  4. Mikaela, what a beautiful post. I pray that you end up finding everything that you want in the man you marry :)

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  5. Mikaela~

    This has got to be one of my very favorite posts from your blog! You are absolutely right. It would do all of us, as men and women, very well to keep this in mind!

    Keep writing~

    Victoria

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  6. Reading your blog post i remember when me and wife start our new days and facing new challenge in our live

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  7. Elyse and Queen--thank you so much for your encouragement!
    Mrs. Holt and Debbie Lynn--your words of wisdom and your Godly example are invaluable. Keep glorifying God through your marriage!
    MK--aah, thank you!
    Victoria--I'm so glad you enjoyed my honest thoughts on a topic that's been on my mind for awhile.

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  8. how encouraging! I must remind myself the same thing. Marriage will not fix problems I have with my parents or sister. It will not make my life any more holy. But I then remember that yes I will be marrying a sinner if and when I marry. Thanks for the reminder and yes I have lived with my parents for 20 years and what a great example of a marriage centered around Gods throne!

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  9. Marriage is a beautiful gift. You are wise in your years sister.

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  10. I think there's a reason God put Adam and Eve together...families probably teach one more about unconditional love than anything else and a loving, working marriage is the best start for a loving, working family.

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  11. Awww. I so love this entry. You're not alone in that "view of marriage." Being in Christ, the whole concept of love changes. And it's not easy.. It's not easy waiting. It's not easy being single, while it feels like everyone around is dating.. but I guess, whatever God does in us as we wait for our much awaited-prayed-for wedding, everything will be worth it. :)

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  12. Mikaela, you are wise beyond your years. I think the most fulfilling thing about marriage is the ways that it points toward God's love for us. I understand more about His love for me in the past few years than I ever have before. Something to look forward to...but my single years were something I cherished at the time, and I'm so glad I did. It's important to know that being single for this time in your life is a gift that you may one day look back on and long for in some ways. Marriage is truly a blessing, though...but it's not meant to fulfill us in the way that so many girls seem to think it does.

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  13. I think you captured the essence of a Christian marriage, even if you haven't experienced one yet. It would be great if you wrote a post when you're actually living "the day the year after you said I do". It would be interesting to know what your views would be then. However, even though you and many of the other posters are waiting on the Lord, are you dating?

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  14. I liked the post, Mika. :) But I have a totally un-related question: Why do the polls at the top only add up to 98%? Did 2% of your reading readers vote, but not for one of the options??
    Just wonderin'... :p

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  15. Thank you all for commenting! I am so grateful to have discussion from both points of view--those who are married and those who are single. Your input, struggles, and honest opinions on this topic round out the article more than I could have ever hoped!
    Alessandra--I do not "date" in the typical view of the word. Lauren and I actually composed a five-part series last April on our philosophy and worldview for finding a life partner. You can read the first article here.
    Sarah--I have no idea. The percentages are not from our readers or followers, but from the number of people who actually voted--and they can't vote for any choices other than those listed. Perhaps one of your math-whiz family members has the answer? Hmm...

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