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Marriage really is a gift, a bit of earthly unmerited favor. How miraculous it is that out of billions of people, you can find one that actually chooses to spend time with you, to live with you, to put up with you and the glorious mess that you are.

Ha! And that’s just my husband’s side of the story.

In the world today there are so many negative messages about marriage that permeate our culture. Kind of interesting, we’re always focusing on how people must make sure they’re ready, they must wait until the time is right, as if marriage is this really scary thing, this potential disaster that people must delay as long as possible. It’s the oddest thing, when you turn 18 our culture says you’re old enough to go into combat, to go to war, to risk your life.

Marriage however, is perceived as requiring  much more preparation than combat, you must finish your education, delay marriage, become independently wealthy, wait for just the right one, sow your wild oats, establish yourself. So you should be just about ready for marriage….once you’ve survived the first 50 years of your childhood.

I empathize with individuals, marriage is a big decision and it can be scary. Also, some people have had a hard time of it, so if you are frustrated or grieving, it is understandable that you would be gun-shy or even bitter about the whole idea. However, as a collective culture in general, we’ve got some really negative stereotypes going on.

Marriage really is a gift, a great blessing. We as people do have a way of mucking it up, but that does not mean we should scratch the whole idea entirely and start speaking of balls and chains, serving 20 years to life, or obsessing over how hard it is, how much work it is, until no one in their right mind would ever pursue such a thing.

Of course it can be hard, probably the most challenging thing people are ever called to do, and it changes you, but that’s not all bad. Marriage can make you a better version of yourself, it can nurture and give birth to some of your best qualities. You really can get to know yourself through some elses eyes, and you can learn how to relinquish pride, develop empathy.

There’s a spiritual path to be discovered within marriage, treasures waiting to reveal themselves if we can stick with it. It’s no accident that Jesus Christ often used marriage as an example of His relationship with the church, as a metaphor for who and what we are to Him, about the nature of our relationship with God Himself. Often these things are hard to understand until you’ve been married for a long time, the nature of sacrificial love, what relationship really is, how to build intimacy, the power of forgiveness, the meaning of true love.

I read some real slugs in the gut yesterday, things like, why would any woman want to throw her life away and be “just” a wife? I got that little twitch that always pops up when people relegate me to the rubbish heap and imply my world is small and limited.

Just a wife who truly understands that love conquers all and we really can walk hand in hand with God in cool of the evenings, and that some fairytales are quite real. I can’t imagine a better place to bein life, although I have heard that some good things are beyond even my imagination, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”