Marriage: the scariest, most beautiful thing

I’m getting to that age, that age where your friends start pairing off into couples and becoming married. Do not worry, this post is not about how mortified I am that I am still single and how there’s no end in sight. Instead I want to say something about the incredible commitment that marriage is.

I can think of nothing more beautiful and more terrifying than marriage. If you’re a Christian, then, in theory at least, marriage is for life. The certainty you must have to make that commitment… I think I might have to wait till I’m a hundred before I am that certain about anything (except death and taxes).

Marriages do not always last. When you enter into one, you must (even if you are a Christian) be aware that it may end prematurely. That does not mean you should not try. And marriages that do not end in divorce, end in death. There must be no greater grief (except the loss of a child) than the loss of your life partner. If you’re a woman that is most likely what you will experience (women live longer and marry younger), but men are not exempt of course.

Still, a life shared is a beautiful thing. I am thinking beyond the wedding and the honeymoon. It is in every day’s living, in the little joys, in the dull, the dreary, in toil, strife and hardship, that a marriage is built. It is in saying “I love you” every day, to mean it even if you’re in the middle of a heated argument.

Marriage is not a cure for a lonely life. It does not make a broken person complete. But it does, sometimes, make of two people, a single being, inseparable, a force of joy and love and an inspiration to all. It is truly a gift from God (one that like a plant must be nurtured if it is to last).  I hope that all my friends who are married and soon to be married (and those who will marry later) experience this gift.

I wrote this poem for you:

Love is grand – it deserves a festival
and a honeymoon
and a yearly anniversary
romantic dinners and flowers and gifts
perfume and makeup

Love starts with a beating heart
and sweaty palms
with grandiose gestures
but it is in everyday things
that love is made complete
in two lives that become
in  every day’s living
a life shared
in little joys
in leaving for work
in weekday dinners
in the love (or hate) of football
in the dull, the dreary
in shopping
in the choice of asymmetric carpets and paint
in toil, strife and hardship
in paying the bills
together

Love is quiet and unrelenting
its strength is the strength of God
its weakness is the weakness of man
love matures with its hosts
becomes the finer for their wrinkles
and frailty

Love is a gift from God
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