The Marriage Box
We had the privilege of documenting a wedding where the bride was the youngest of four kids, and the last in her family to tie the knot. It was very important to her that her family be incorporated into various components of the wedding day.
During the ceremony, she had one brother and his wife say a prayer over she and her husband. She asked her other brother and his wife to do a reading. They did that and so much more, as they shared vulnerable lessons learned, and their favorite passage that had been read to them at their own wedding four years earlier. Below you can read the powerful words they shared with the new bride and groom!
"Marriage can be and should be fun, fulfilling, intimate, loving, foundational, unifying and exciting. The challenge is, the simple and expensive act of getting married does not automatically guarantee you all of these things.
We had this quote read at our wedding and I remember thinking, "Oh that's nice". But I had no idea how true those words would be. The Marriage Box Reads,
"Most people get married believing a myth. They believe that marriage is a beautiful box full of things they have longed for…companionship, intimacy, friendship, etc..
The truth is that marriage at the start is an empty box. You must put something in before you can take anything out..There is no love in marriage. Love is in people. And people put love in marriage.
There is no romance in marriage. You have to infuse it into your marriage..A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty."
The problem is that when the box is empty. Marriage can feel challenging, lonely, frustrating and disappointing. We found that it's natural and healthy to have expectations of each other. However, it is necessary that these expectations remain realistic. That you give each other room for error and growth. Each day won't be perfect. You won't always be on. Dinner own't always be on the table. There won't always be time to do what you want to do. Or what you're accustomed to being able to do. But that's where love, respect, patience, and trust come in. The harder you work, the easier it will get. It probably won't happen overnight. But what's the fun in that. Individually challenge yourself to out serve the other. Put each other first. And always have each other's back.
I find myself saying often that marriage broke every selfish bone in my body. We have had hard days, weeks and even months. But when your commitment to your spouse overcomes how you feel about your spouse, magic happens. It doesn't happen overnight. But it happens in small moments. And those moments turn into days which turn into weeks and months and hopefully amazing years. Without question, putting another's needs in front of your own, even when you don't want to - even when your spouse might not deserve it - has allowed me a glimpse of God's love for us. He loves us unconditionally. Especially at our worst. And his love endures forever.
These last few years we've learned a lot. And cried a lot. We've fought and we've planned. We've had to scratch those plans and start over. But we've continued to trust the Lord and lean into His promises.We have loved hard and prayed harder. It's not that the fairytale isn't possible. It's just that it doesn't come for free. It requires sacrifice. Choosing to tell the truth. Asking for forgiveness. Honoring them in moments that they will never even know about. Respecting boundaries. Being willing to hear the criticism. And that's just the beginning. Marriage isn't easy, but I promise you all it is worth it."