Saturday, June 25, 2016

To the Bride on Her Wedding Day

To the Bride on her wedding day,

Those that love you have been asked to write to you and give to you, our advice about marriage. I have now typed and deleted the first sentence to this letter over twenty times.  I think that maybe the most helpful thing that I can say to you is that I have now been married seventeen years and I’m still not qualified to give marriage advice. I’m still trying to figure this thing out, myself.

The truth is: Life is hard, marriage is hard, but I’m pretty sure that doing life alone is even harder and I’m starting to see that marriage is worth the fight (and believe me, there are plenty of fights).

So much goes into making a day like today just right, and I think that’s an important part of the process. I hope you look back on today with warmth and fondness but more than that, I pray you look back on today and see all the things that you would do differently. Actually, I pray that for you, for every day of the rest of your life; because that’s what growth looks like. 

For your entire life, you have been surrounded by people who love God and love you. They have taught you good things about God, and about love, and have showed you good ways to live life.  

Since those important basics have been well covered by people that are further along in this journey and wiser than I, I am going to go ahead and tell you the thing that none of us wants to admit to you or even to ourselves: You have not found "the love of your life" and you are not marrying your "soul mate" today. It is a hard truth but an important one. Hear me out because this news does get better but we are doing you a sincere injustice to hide from you, the fact that a person doesn’t just easily happen upon the, "love of their life" or that the romantic notion that a person just accidently "finds" their “soul mate” is an absurd and, frankly, a destructive notion.

The most important part of today is the promise that you’ll make. The promise is so important because, while I don't think you accidentally find a "soul mate", I do think we can spend our lives devoted to one person; laughing, crying, praying, and working really hard together through good and bad times. I think if we do that; when our lives are lived, then, we might find ourselves with, “the love of our life”. Sticking with it long enough to live the life that gets you there, THAT’s what the promise is for. 

So may your marriage be blessed with love and happiness. May it be blessed with enough struggle for you to grow. May you live life together in a way that you one day find yourself with the love of your life.  May you one day find yourself with a legacy of love that causes those that follow behind you to look to you and say, “THAT’S what the promise is for”.