My guest post for today is by Lindsey Brackett, southern fiction writer, newspaper columnist, blogger, and editor at Splickety Publishing Group. I’m glad I was able to meet her at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference the first time I attended, and that she was there on staff the second time I went. Be sure to check out her blog at: lindseypbrackett.com.
What Makes a Marriage
Originally published by The Northeast Georgian, October 23, 2015
This weekend we will give away my nineteen year old sister. She’s young, and she’s as innocent as she is worldly, but she knows her heart. So my daddy will walk her down an aisle of grass amidst a backdrop of autumn, and he’ll give her over to a young man who must have been shaking in his boots when he asked.
I declined the title bridesmaid; after all, there are six of us sisters and I wanted to choose my own dress. But when she asked me how I’d like to participate, I didn’t hesitate. Tomorrow afternoon, when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, I’ll be speaking about the sacredness of promises made with the sky for a cathedral.
I plan to read that timeless Scripture that challenges me daily: Love is patient. Love is kind. Even when Monday morning is running late, and one kid can’t find her shoes, and someone forgot to wash the socks. Love is not jealous or boastful. Even when you’re right, and he’s wrong. Love bears all things.
Yes, I’ll remind this young couple of that. Love puts up with temper tantrums and ugly fights that can’t always be undone. Love bears the load of worry and fear and panic when the gurney holds one of you—
Or one of your children.
Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I’ll tell them how they think today is the happiest day of their lives. Today they’re committing to a physical and spiritual intertwining of those lives. They’re surrounded by family and friends, so today love is easy. Today hope is easy.
I’ll talk about how a wedding is really just an ending of the lives they’ve known and the beginning of the one life they will create. A wedding is not the happiest day. Instead, that happiest day will come upon you in the most ordinary of moments. That’s the endurance of love. When you wake up and look around and realize you’re surrounded by little people and loads of laundry and life.
On that day you realize this is what a marriage is. It’s not fancy flowers and yards of satin. It’s not white chairs and first dances. It’s not “I do”.
A marriage happens because you get up every day and promise that person you love (but sometimes dislike) that you will, all over again. You will when the bills are overdue, and the dishes stack high, and you can’t remember the last time he brought you flowers.
Love never fails.
Because love is an action, a conscious doing, not a state of being. Love requires work, sacrifice, the molding of yourself to another person. That is how you build a marriage. That is how you create a life. That is how you make your happily ever after.
But these three remain: faith, hope, and love. An endless circle, like those rings you’ll exchange. Love begets faith, and faith begets hope.
And the greatest of these is love.
Book Giveaway Winner
The winner of 66 Ways God Loves You by Jennifer Rothschild is JoEllen Silvas. I will contact you soon to find out where I can send the book. Congratulations! Thank you to all who took part in the drawing. Keep on the lookout for more drawings. I have a big one coming up next Saturday!