I wrote a little note to read at the reception of two friends of mine who were married a couple of weeks ago. This is a pair who I love and who happen to be on a terribly enchanting honeymoon right this minute in the forests and mountains of western Canada, being, as they have always been - both independently and together - adventurous and appreciative of every little small thing. They are among my host of favorites and have generously given me permission to share this with you. Thanks, friends.
I say this with a smile, because it’s as true for you as it is for Craig and I as it is for every couple anywhere. There’s no other way to do marriage, and most often it’s in this brokenness that we get to see the extraordinary nature of love done well.
In these initial months and years, I challenge you to develop the habit of thinking on your individual brokenness, not in a manner to weigh you down, or discourage you, but in order that you are able to see more fully how good and beautiful it is to be on the receiving end of such love. Humble people don’t have pride to be hurt or inconsequential arguments to win, and, I’d wager that they experience a deeper sense of joy than the rest of us. In marriage, winning is never the goal. Perfection is never the goal. Showing love... that is always the goal.
During these initial days, you will hear that marriage is a hard work, that it contains difficult stretches to be endured and will require more restraint and patience than you imagine. I admit that this can be true. But if you can practice being clear with your expectations and gentle with your judgment, it can be as whimsical and lighthearted as art made from tea kettles and tire irons. If you can learn to love each other well in the seemingly small, everyday ways, the big challenges will seem less daunting. You are broken – both of you, and all of us. But today marks the beginning of your brokenness taking the shape of something beautiful - and I’m warning you - amidst the work and the patience and your sacrifice, it’s going to be a terrible amount of fun.