One of my dearest friends got married last weekend. She is beautiful, kind, and hilariously funny. She waited patiently for the right man, while many of her friends got married and had babies. I know it wasn’t easy. And her husband did the same. Which is why this weekend was such a massive celebration – the culmination of love for two people who had waited for it for so long.
I watched them pledge their lives to each other, watched them say their vows, watched their video and watched him speak about her so passionately. I watched their incredible story unfold before my eyes as they joined together in marriage, and I cried through the whole thing.
Part of me cried because it was so beautiful, and I knew just how far they’d come to reach this point, and I was so incredibly happy for my friend.
And part of me cried because my marriage suddenly seemed like nothing special next to theirs.
Five years and two kids in, marriage is hard work. Romance is hard to come by, and time & energy are all but non-existent. Disappointments, little and big, have been sprinkled over the last half-decade, and we bear the scars that they have left. In this season of raising little ones and working hard to make ends meet and still trying to fulfill the roles of husband and wife that we pledged ourselves to, we are tired.
I left the wedding, hand in hand with my equally tired partner for life, and we headed to the reception.
We sat at a table together, and sat mostly quietly as the reception festivities unfolded. But then, the dancing started.
Let me just preface this by saying, I’m not a big dancer. In fact, before Jon, you couldn’t pay me to get out on a dance floor. But once Jon came along, dancing was a little bit more fun, and I was able to stop being so uptight and actually enjoy it. I still don’t really love dancing with anyone else, but I absolutely LOVE dancing with Jon.
So, determined to have a date night (kid free!) that included a little dancing, I pulled him out onto the floor.
And we had the BEST time.
We danced to Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift and got ridiculously silly out there. I can think of two times where I had to stop to catch my breath because I was laughing so hard. We probably looked like idiots, but we didn’t care who was watching, because we were having so much fun with each other. And we needed to have fun with each other.
Out there on the dance floor, I began to see my husband clearly, without the blinders of exhaustion that I wear every day. Jon makes me laugh. He puts me at ease the way no one else can, and he makes a point to show me he loves me, every day. He knows when I need to get away, and when I need to be with him, and he works hard to meet those needs for me. He juggles three jobs to help our family make ends meet and provide for our future while I stay home with the kids. He loves Jesus, and teaches our kids about Him every chance he gets.
And I realized something.
Five years and two kids in, marriage is beautiful and rich. Romance might be hard to come by, but it shows up in little ways that mean a lot, like taking out the trash and holding hands on the couch after the kids are asleep. Disappointments are a part of life, but forgiveness and maturity make a marriage deep and help us recognize our need for the Lord. In this season of raising little ones and working hard to make ends meet and still trying to fulfill the roles of husband and wife that we pledged ourselves to, we are blessed with a partner who’s not going anywhere.
We’re back home now, Jon working long hours and me trying to keep my sanity here at home with the kids. But I see him a little differently. A little less cynically. A little more honestly. It feels like a bit of a new start that we desperately needed. And I’m falling in love all over again.
There’s a reason, maybe even a handful of them, why Jon and I are married. And when our life together begins to feel like nothing special, it’s my job to get my perspective right, to see my husband in a new light, and remember those reasons why I loved him in the first place.
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The fact of the matter is that whether you’re just getting married or you’ve been married for decades, Jesus can make things new every day. In the little things and the big, He is constantly redeeming and bringing new life to dead places. I think, as wives, the most important thing we need to ask him to renew each day is our perspective – how we see our husbands and our kids, how we view our very lives! And He is faithful to give us His perspective, to bring new life and lasting love to our ordinary, “nothing-special” marriages.
Even out on a dance floor.
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