It's been seven years and I am not sure what I have learned.................a little, maybe. Seven years of one man, one love, one house shared by five now. After seven years I am a bit in awe of the marriage vows I took.........til death do us part.....in sickness and in health.......for richer or for poorer........who knows what they are saying as they are saying it in midst of the passion and young love that propels one to marry......
What does a person know of marriage on that sparkly, happy wedding day when everything is new and exciting and blessed? You show up all in white with hair and makeup done, looking quite unlike the girl that appears the weeks after when the house is lived in and the dishes that you once oohed and aahed over in the store are dirty and piling up. Who is going to wash those? Who is going to put them away? Was that considered in the buying and registering?
And even though you discussed how many and when and how you were going to pay for them - what of the children that are now here? That are clamoring for more and more of mommy when there is so little to go around when you are dividing it by four? It seemed so much easier when there was only one to attend to and then that one could tie their own shoes, change their own clothes and buckle their own seat belt. That one that needed attending to, way back when, was one that I pledged my love to and I delighted in serving that one. For after I cooked and cleaned up a bit I had so much time to serve myself and attend to my needs. But oh how times have changed...........
And that is why I am in awe of the marriage vows.........because as I grow and grow older and somewhat wiser I realize that vows have a place in today. That the person I married and the person I was become two different people as circumstances and life changes. The vows I made are what bind me when I fail, when my love fails to live up to those vows. Because one day after that day......that day of wedded, sparkly bliss..........there will come a time when you look over at your beloved and think, really? Really? Did they just say that, do that, think that? Did I marry someone like that? No, that isn't possible......and it just happens for a second, a flash in time, that first time. It happens and is over so quickly that you quickly dismiss the feeling that accompanied it, because your love is a great love and a great love has no room for doubt or disbelief in it.
And then it happens again.........when the house is a mess, the kids are screaming, there has been no sleep for months, the bodies are tired, the hearts are weary and you think......no, no, no, this isn't right. I am mad. I am angry, I look over at the person next to me and it seems like they could be to blame. Maybe? Maybe.
Or maybe this is where those vows come in.............
This is where Love comes in and it goes beyond just the two and you find that three became one that day so long ago, that day of wedded bliss.
This is when He takes over and carries you along on His love........for human love, earthly love is finite and His love is infinite. And I am reminded of this each and every day as I wake to a new day and a new promise given to me through Him. It reminds me to grant this love and this forgiveness and this mercy to all in my house but especially to the one that I pledge my eternal love to, the man that I married in front of family and friends and Him. I entered into a covenant with this man. A covenant which is binding and lasting and one which is not dependent on the other's behavior or actions or love but which is dependent on my commitment to Him.......and to him.
I love my husband.
I love his eyes.
I love the way he loves me.
I love the blue shirt, khaki pants and red tie that I first saw him in so many years ago.
I love the father he has become.
I love the way he can make things grow.
I love how hard he works for his family.
I love his family.
I love that I have seen him cry and know his heart.
I love that he loves his momma.
I love that he is the most honest and trustworthy person I know.
I love that he is a man of integrity.
I love that he loves my family.
But more than all of that.......I love that he loves God, that he knows Him and that his commitment to me is based on that knowledge and that love. It is based on Him and not on me. For I fail, I fail to be who he needs all the time, but He never will.