I got the privilege last week to see two of my friends get married. It was the first time since I've been married that I've been to a wedding that I legitimately cared about. Sarah was one of the bridesmaids, so I sat by myself (well, not by myself, I was with my in-laws, but sans wife, you get the picture.) and started to remember my wedding. I have always wanted to get married, and was surprised when I hit 19 and realized I was still single. I always figured I would do it as soon as legally possible. I'm glad i waited, the following year I met Sarah and well, you know. I was however concerned about what life would be like after marriage. I had this void inside me that felt like it needed to be filled with marriage, and I was so used to that void that I became afraid of two things. Thing One: What if the void goes away? I had become so used to it that it was almost comforting. It was kind of nice staying up at night, staring dramatically out the window and longing for someone. I didn't know what I would do without that void. Thing Two: What if the void DIDN'T go away? It seemed like it would be hard to have a successful marriage if I was preoccupied by longing for someone I already had, or worse, someone I didn't. Thankfully the void went away. Being married was completely satisfying to all of my adolescent yearnings... that sounded grosser than I wanted it too. I meant lovey-dovey feelings, but yeah... anyways. Marriage, completely satisfying in non-gross ways... It was a lot of work though. I recently found a journal I used to keep and read a bit I had written about love, and reading this after two years of marriage made me wonder why I hadn't been divorced already. I had terrible preconceived notions about love and marriage, most of which were the opposite of what I have come to understand as love. I was writing things like "one doesn't have to give up ones independence to find true love..." which I now know is not true. Were I to write this journal entry today I might say "Once both partners have truly sacrificed their own independence in favour of pursuing a life together, they will begin to find a new interdependence that allows their individual personalities to flourish without smothering or clashing with one another."
A lot of people think I was too young to get married, and where I would agree with them on that from a maturity standpoint, I would disagree with them on the front that I don't think age had anything to do with it. I was immature, being married forced me to mature. I wouldn't have been any older if we had waited a week or another 5 years. That is not to say that people should get married hoping to change their spouse, because that is not a viable solution and it is an unlikely outcome. Rather when two people choose to love each other by the bibles outline, that is when relationships and personalities flourish. That is where independence and interdependence stems from. 1 Corinthians 13 has an excellent outline for love. If you haven't read it, you should. In Ephesians 5 Paul compares a marriage to the relationship between Christ and the church (and vice versa)a lot of people view this and place the man in a place of authority over his wife, however when viewed in the context of how Christ interacted with us while on earth, it seems to me that the role of a husband then becomes one of servitude. Christ was endlessly faithful and self sacrificing to the point of death. Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." That doesn't sound like any man I know, myself included. I seems like the husbands authority is one of "you first, then me", completely self sacrificing, and it is only through that sacrifice that we can claim the authority that the bible talks about. It took me a year and a half to figure this out. I hope my friends can get it sooner.