Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Love and Marriage

I've always wanted to get married. I don't think it's very weird-- I'm a woman who was once a girl, and I was raised on Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and marriage has always seemed like this glowing white perfect ending, this sailing off into the sunset of life, all swathed in white organza and lace.

Even though I now know that's an illusion, a well-meaning figment constructed by romantics and idealists like me, there is still this gorgeous, powerful allure to someday being one half of Man and Wife. Marriage is love, forever. What's not to long for?

I recently read an interview with Charlize Theron where she was quoted as saying that she would never get married to longtime boyfriend, Stuart Townsend, because she didn't believe in marriage and "I want to know that I wake up to Stuart every morning because I want to, not because a piece of paper says so."

Immediately when I read it I knew I disagreed with it, but couldn't figure out why. I mean, it sounds romantic and free-- love unfettered by politics and law. What was it about this declaration of free love that felt wrong? As I thought about it throughout the day, I pondered my parents' marriage, my best friend who wed when we were both 18, and so many married people I know and respect. I thought about how I've always longed to be married, and can't wait to commit to be someone's other half for the rest of my life.

Marriage is the deepest form of human love. I truly believe that. And love is not affection, it's not infatuation, it's not an emotion or a feeling-- it's a state of being. It's an all-encompassing presence of heart that puts another person before yourself and honors them above all others.

When a man and woman get married, when they choose to spend the rest of their lives with each other and ask the state to stand as witness, what they are really saying is, "I choose you. I choose to love you even on the days when I don't feel like it, when the emotions aren't there, when you hurt me and don't treat me like you should. I choose you above all others. Because you are the most honorable, trustworthy person I know and you are worth loving. I give my heart to you in exchange for yours. And on those days when I really, really don't feel like loving you, I commit to anyway, because you're worth it. I choose to honor you with my love and my life, forever."

Someday I will stand facing the best man I have ever known and give him my heart. I will look in his eyes and hold his hands in mine, and entrust my entire self to him as he swears to always choose me. He'll give me his heart in return, and I'll vow to choose him, to honor him until the day I breathe my last. I will choose to love him, to be love to him, and he will choose the same for me.

We're going to be a great team. And I can't wait to meet him.


Sarah Watts said...

" I choose to love you even on the days when I don't feel like it" beautifully written. Marriage is a gift from God, I believe God is maturing the perfect man to be worthy to call you his wife (you deserve nothing less).

One Fabulous Nanny said...

My girlfriends and I discussed this a few weeks back over breakfast. About marriage, no not even marriage, but love being a choice. I think we as women get this fancy idea, the Cinderella effect, and we think ponies, rabbits, candles and chocolate will come bursting out of every inch of our being. As much as I wish I had rabbits bursting out of me, I think I'm happy knowing that one day I will love a man so much, and he me, that we are willing to commit to each other everything. That love that's so sacred t hat it can only be related to the love we share with our Maker. I can't imagine my relationshp with God being any different; I don't feel giddy, I just feel so comfortable, so at peace. I can only imagine that's how I'll feel with the future husband :)

Dre said...

Oh my Jess... thank you for this. It has been on my heart pretty strongly lately. You put the feelings of my heart into words I don't think I was capable of expresssing.

I'm anticipating this moment so much... for you and me both...

-Tee- said...

That is exactly what marriage is! It's work. It's something that isn't going to be beautiful and sunshine and rainbows all of the time. There are going to be times that you just want to "go to bed angry" and there are times that the last person in the world you want to talk to is your significant other, but you love them with all your heart. You know that without them. You wouldn't be you.

I think that too many people these days think that things should be easy. They think that marriage is supposed to be fun and easy, and you are always supposed to be living the fairy tale. I love my hubby of 7 yrs and I've known it since the very day we met!! We've been to counselling for our little tune ups, but all in all, we are one... FOREVER!

Kara Lee said...

Hi! I don't know you, but I'm Libby's friend and I read your blog all the time. You are an AMAZING writer, you've actually brought me to tears.

This one completely resonates with me...your last paragraph is fantastic! "Someday I will stand facing the best man I have ever known and give him my heart. I will look in his eyes and hold his hands in mine, and entrust my entire self to him as he swears to always choose me...We're going to be a great team." This gives me so much hope, I'm printing it out and reading it everyday to remind myself, even more, what I'm waiting for. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

hey girl. to this day, after being married only for 9 months and 2 weeks, I'm still in awe of the covenant of marriage. To see the love grow between my husband and I is the most amazing experience. I never truly believed such perfection exists. Seriously. But it does. And every time I look at my husband I am reminded. It has been the biggest gift I have ever been given. Timi :)