Do you know your face is still glowing with those pink cheeks that magically appeared the day after your engagement? I imagine your head filled with ideas about table centerpieces and dress silhouettes, heart fluttering with the anticipation of finally becoming his Mrs. Mine was.
Bride-to-be do you realize how much you’re about to sacrifice?
And I’m not talking about all the little sacrifices you’ve already made. Your momma always dreamed of her baby girl walking down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Cannon in D, you’re not crazy about classical music but you choose Pachelbel to simply keep the peace. Or the fact that you relinquished the dream of having your wedding shot by that designer photographer because it just wasn’t in the budget. And I’m sure there have been little compromises here and there with your groom. He would rather not wear a tie and and you decide to let him, but only if your first dance can be to a Taylor Swift song.
Love, these are only tiny whispers of the sacrifices to come. Practice runs for the main event.
Don’t misunderstand me, marriage is truly beautiful. Nothing has been more comforting to me than lying next to my husband, listening to our hearts beat in sync, and knowing that our figurative hearts are just as united. The newlywed life can be as blissful as those books would have you believe.
I just want you to know that bliss comes with a price.
As the pastor announces that two have become one, you no longer belong to yourself. You are God’s first and his second. Your wants and wishes have to be matched up to another’s. You may find, as I did, that working on a marriage requires more of your time than you realized. Decisions have to be made together, details haggled out, and you both won’t always be on the same page. You’ll get there, but you won’t start there.
My dear, the sacrifices have only begun.
But, take heart!
The sacrifices in marriage can be sweet. Waking up with a desire to love someone else, the same someone else, more than yourself as long as you both shall live is an incredible feeling. Knowing that marriage is, at its core, a picture of Jesus Christ and His Bride the Church will not only give you inspiration, but the ability to love fiercely. Sacrifice is difficult, it wouldn’t be sacrifice if it weren’t, but it is always rewarding. Everytime you die to yourself, you mirror Our Lord and Savior a bit more. You are being carefully and intentionally conformed to His image, for your good and God’s glory.
So love fiercely, bride-to-be. Don’t think that marriage is the ticket to happiness, because it isn’t. Or that your husband can solve all your problems, because he can’t. Marriage is the opportunity to love fully, to not worry with what you’ll get back but to give. It isn’t the balm to your pain, but it will lead you so swiftly to the Balm of Gilead.
I pray that your wedding day will be as radiant as you are, but mostly that all the days after will lead you to better see the radiance of Christ.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. — Ephesians 5:1-2