Marriage, Preparation for Marriage

Renewal

“Our marriage has been so successful because the wedding day went off without a hitch!”  said NO ONE EVER!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  Over the five years that Jonathon and I have been married, we have watched many other couples get married.  Many of these couples have asked for advice about marriage, few have asked for advice about the wedding.  Why is it then, that people put so much emphasis on this one day?  Please hear my heart.  The wedding day is very important because you publicly declare your love and commitment to each other.  The wedding day is important because it gives couples an opportunity to celebrate their love and commitment with family and close friends.  Past that however, the wedding day is simply just that, ONE day.  After you say goodbye to the guests, put away the wedding dress and drop the tux off, you are left with the rest of your life together.  Yet, for this one day, people are willing to end friendships, cause rifts in families, and spend way too much money.  
As I have told you all before, Jonathon and I had a rocky start to our marriage, post wedding.  Did I tell you about the journey to the wedding day?  (PAUSE to scroll previous blog posts)  Well, it looks like I have yet to share.  Haha!

As you already know, Jonathon and I eloped a year before the wedding day.  We went to the Justice of the Peace and got married without telling anyone.  We didn’t tell our parents, siblings, or best friends.  We thought it was romantic to run off and get married, but this was not the plan God had for our married life.  God did want us to get married, but he did not want it to be a secret.  God wanted our marriage to be a testimony to HIS love and faithfulness.  But, woo!  The story does not end there.  If you know God, He is all about redeeming time if YOU will allow Him.

Two months into our secret marriage we were both so convicted to tell our family and friends that it was eating away at us.  Jonathon said I would literally beat him up in my sleep.  LOL  I was subconsciously expressing my rage.  Well, enough become enough and we decided to tell our families.  As you would suspect this did not go well.  Our siblings were pretty much okay with it; Happy that we were happy.  Our parents were devastated!

Let me interject the thoughts of my selfish mind here: I knew the parents would be upset, but can’t they just be happy for us?  I mean really, I’m married to Jonathon and he is married to me.  Everyone keeps saying, “How could you do this to us?”  “How could you do this to your parents?”  Ummmm…not quite sure what I did to them.  Pretty sure it’s my life.

JESUS BE A FENCE around this little girl talking and thinking out the side of her neck!

Two revelations have changed my mind about the thoughts I previously had.
1) When you get married, the center is Christ, husband, and wife.  Around the center, covering you in prayer, offering support, advice (sometimes unwarranted and unwanted (LOL)), and loving you deep are your two families.  As long as you are married, your families will be joined.  Don’t break up families over the wedding.  You will need them.  TRUST.

2) I am now a mother of two beautiful children.  My oldest can refuse me a good night kiss and my heart breaks.  How much more did our parents’ hearts break when they learned that they had missed one of the most important moments in our lives.  Our parents had raised us, prayed for us, and prayed for our future spouses.  Yes, you are to leave and cleave, but you are NOT to injure.

But my God, my God He is good!  The story does not end there.

So why still have a wedding?  You are already married.  You lied to everyone.  You lied.  Over the course of the next 7.5 months, feelings continued to be bruised.  Shade was thrown on both sides because hurt people, hurt people.  Ideas about floral arrangements, venues, dresses, colors, members of the wedding party, and on and on.  Hurt, hurt, hurt.  Exclusion.  Isolation.  

On the wedding day things began to break.  Relief.  Finally, we had made it to the day.  My uncle shared a beautiful message about forgiveness, renewal, and love.  LOVE at the center.  Jesus at the center.

After the wedding day.  Slowly, slowly, slowly we began to heal.  Four years after the wedding, I believe we are all at a place of true, complete healing.  The journey was not without bumps and thumps.  Jon and I felt increased pressure to share everything.  We had to learn to walk the fine line.  God has redeemed our time.  God has given His glory to our story.  He has used us to speak into the lives of other young couples.  God has allowed us to be able to pray for other couples in a very unique way.

God I thank you for your love and faithfulness.

In parting, I want to encourage you to focus on what is most important when you are getting married.  As much as we would like the wedding to be all about us, it simple is not.  It is not worth destroying relationships with your family or in-laws for the sake of your vision of perfection.  Listen for the still, quiet voice of God.  How does He desire to get the glory on this special day?  Whose heart is He going to touch because of your obedience?  Whose heart will He touch because of this display of love?

Always Striving,

Joce

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2 thoughts on “Renewal

  1. So true! Thanks for keeping it very real and honest. People are so obsessed and concerned with what others will think about their wedding that they get hung up on the day and forget to work on their marriage or even getting to know their significant other more intimately. Please keep sharing truth! ๐Ÿ™‚

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