Do you remember those awesome Evangelical 90’s/ early 2000’s where Jesus was kind of like our boyfriend and we all kissed dating good-bye because we just knew that God was going to bring us THE ONE and then life would be awesome? ... We would know that he was THE ONE because of his plethora of WWJD bracelets and because (duh) he had also kissed dating goodbye and was waiting for me, strumming Chris Tomlin songs on his guitar as he stared into whatever campfire was nearby. We would get married and it would be awesome FOREVER. If you were like me, in devote preparation for this moment, you wrote letters to your future spouse, preferably in a leather bound journal dotted with your overwhelmed tears.The fact of the matter is that there is a small part of us that wants to hold on to that idea of a perfect mate, someone who will be so obscenely compatible with us, it will be disgusting.
But that isn't reality.
The fact of the matter is this: no one is perfectly compatible. Some people are more compatible with you than others, but no one is perfectly compatible. And even out of the people who are probably most compatible with you, no one gets even close to perfection.
Though for a thirteen-year-old, its a pretty romantic idea, isn't it? That somehow, in this large world of ours, that there is one person out there that will eventually find you, woo you, and make you his wife.
However, as Hannah indicates, "marriage is not based on a set of choices over which I had no control. It is based on a daily choice to love this man, this husband that I chose out of many people that I could have chosen to love."
That is so much more romantic to me now.
Let me tell you a story.
My husband and I both wrote letters to our future spouse before we got married. We both started when we were in middle school (or sometime around there). Mine were written about once a year, professing my undying love for this man I did not know. My husband's were more frequent and intimate, written in a leather-bound black journal complete with sketches.
"Dear future wife," he would begin each entry.
When I read it through the first time, I read about how he was dreaming about his future wife, what he thought she'd be like. I even read the account to his future wife of when he met me. He told her that he didn't know if this Cheryl he had met was her. I continued on, remembering the parts of our relationship he chose to confess to his future wife, learning something things that he hadn't even told me at the time.
Then, I read this one entry to his future wife. It began as usual: "Dear future wife." He told her that he had a decision to make. That he couldn't keep turning to his future wife when he was sad and date Cheryl (me) at the same time. He had to choose. So he told her that this would be his last entry.
Then I turned the page and the next entry began, "Dear Cheryl."
He wrote his vows out to me in that journal right there and then. This was at least two years before we got engaged. But he had made his decision. And he knew now who his future wife was.
Looking back at our relationship, I recall asking God around that same time to really show me if Jon was the man He wanted me to marry. I wasn't entirely sure, and I was worried if he popped the question, I wouldn't be able to give him a sure answer. I prayed, "Please show me if Jon is the right person or not." After that, I kept seeing glimpse after glimpse of the man that I had been looking for all along in my own boyfriend.
I don't think it was a coincidence that I started seeing glimpses of my future husband in Jon after he had decided that I was going to be his wife. Not a coincidence at all.
Now a little over two years into our marriage, I need to remind myself daily of the decisions that we both made way back when and the decisions that we need to continue making today. Love, while it is full of fluttery emotions and fiery passions, needs the foundation of decision and commitment to survive the day-to-day. And sometimes, those decisions are as little (or as big) as the difference between future wife and Cheryl.
Soli Deo Gloria.
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How Kissing Dating Goodbye Affected My Marriage
Loving When There is So Much to Lose
Misconceptions of Marriage
When Two are Better than One
To Date or Not to Date
The Transition from My to Our
'Til Death Do Us Part
525,949 Minutes of Marriage
Relevant Magazine article: You Never Marry the Right Person