The Stunning Reality of Marriage

Before I was married, I envisioned the romance of all that it could be, and although I felt as if my expectations were relatively on target (mostly thanks to the transparency of my parents)--there were still things that I entertained in my mind that were straight-up stupid (mostly thanks to media). It's amazing now that the romantic endeavors are the least of my concern, not that my husband isn't romantic, but because of the amazingly mundane and selfless ways that he is.

I remember having my wedding before Pinterest, and other such sites, were really a thing (gasp) (wasn't that long ago) and then all of the sudden finding myself envious of all the new and trendy things to do at your wedding and take pictures of so that the world can see. You guys, I had sincere jealousy that we didn't hold hands around the corner of a door for a sweet picture and that we didn't exchange gifts for the record. And then I remembered how desperately I just wanted to marry that man and start our life together.

But this isn't a post about trendy wedding fads. It's a post about how none of that stuff matters anyway. What matters is that I had no idea that I was marrying someone who would eventually have to lower me onto the toilet and hold me there after a devastating c-section day after day until I had the strength to do it myself. I didn't know I was marrying someone who would drop everything he's doing to just hold me while I cry. for. hours. I didn't know I was marrying someone who would be strong enough to bathe and dress and talk to and cry over our sweet baby after she had already left to be with Jesus. I didn't know I was marrying someone who had the courage to stroke my hair and ramble on about who knows what to distract me from the whirlwind of an operating room. I didn't know I was marrying someone who had the strength to carry his sweet daughter's coffin to her grave and place her gently inside.............because I surely couldn't do it. I didn't know I was marrying someone who actually thinks and acts as if my needs are greater than his own.

So what I'm saying is who the hell cares about the romantic notes that are supposed to be left around the house and the continual filling of a special flower vase and the surprise dates and the compliments.

It is only because of the occurrence of an intense tragedy that I got to see who it is that I really married. I know the depth and power of re-reciting marriage vows after walking through hell together and knowing from experience that we meant what we said. (Something I highly recommend, by the way.) I know the joy of realizing that our wedding day was just the jumping off point, not the pinnacle. And he is worth far more than words could ever describe.


“The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church - read on - and give his life for her (Eph. V, 25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is - in her own mere nature - lease lovable. For the Church has not beauty but what the Bride-groom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely. The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man's marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence. As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that Bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labours to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs.” 
 C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves