Love is a joy, but it’s oftentimes not treated this way.
After a while, marriages can grow stale. What was once undying love and commitment can become routine and loneliness. And picking up on this possible turn with marriage, our culture sometimes warns against the institution of marriage, making more people today become serial daters.
Before I married my wife, I was well aware of the possible downturn that could occur in a marriage. For a while, it racked me with anxiety. I didn’t want to end up in a failed marriage. But here’s the truth that eventually led to my marriage:
It’s better to try at something worthwhile and fail than it is to not try at all.
I feared my love would fade with the years, but I don’t fear that anymore. Every day I’m surprised with new affections for my wife, and I know that the more I give to this relationship, the more we’ll both grow together.
Yet the thing I’ve discovered is that in many marriages, couples don’t grow together. And maybe that’s why love is not treated as a joy—because when couples don’t grow together, marriage is nothing more than an unnecessary and frustrating bond.
What I recommend as the cure is going to a wedding. I’m serious. The other day I attended a wedding, and the whole event reminded me about some key things on love. To me, celebrating love is the best way to be reminded that love is a joy.
Being at wedding can remind us of a few key things about marriage—things that can revitalize the health of our marriages if we constantly remind ourselves of them. Here are a few things newlyweds remind us of about marriage:
1. Sex is not how it’s pictured in the movies.
Fast, passionate, and flawless. That’s how the movies picture sex. But being at a wedding can remind you of your wedding night—when sex was awkward and messy.
The truth is, sex in reality is more like the latter and less like the former. This is a great thing to keep in mind when you’re struggling with societal messages on success, and how it looks like in your marriage.
2. Your spouse isn’t your roommate.
At a wedding, you’re not celebrating two people coming together to share a room for the rest of their lives. You’re celebrating people who are sharing their very lives with each other. But if we’re honest, sometimes marriages can look like just another roommate situation—where you stay out of each other’s hair, keep score, and get mad at the other for not doing the dishes.
It’s time we reintroduce intimacy back into our relationships. Date your spouse. Talk with him or her about deep, spiritual matters. Be raw. Be vulnerable. Just don’t be distant.
3. The community surrounding marriage is important.
When you’re at a wedding, you see groomsmen and bridesmaids surrounding a couple as if they’re part of their story. These relationships are treasured because they played a vital role in the couple coming together. These are the brothers, sisters, late-night talkers, fighters, and encouragers who kept the couple together. This community is important.
Yet, what sometimes happens in marriages is that we don’t gather this kind of community around us after we leave the altar. Sometimes, couples can become so consumed in each other that they neglect the necessity for friends.
Strong marriages have strong support systems. Don’t let yourself fall prey to the idea that you only need each other for a successful marriage. Keep involving others in your love story.
4. Children are NOT the point of your marriage.
Weddings remind me that children are the by-products of love, but they are never the point of love. At weddings, you’ll never hear the officiant say that a marriage is so two people can make children and only pay attention to them. No, you’ll hear that marriage is about two people coming together.
You see, many marriages today revolve around their children. Children become the glue that keeps couples together, because without the children, there is no bond between the husband and wife.
This is not how it should be. At weddings, we’re reminded that two become one because they love each other and want to give their lives to each other. They don’t become one so they can prioritize their children above their commitment to the other.
Healthy children come from healthy marriages, where the husband and wife teach them what it’s like to love one another deeply.
5. It only gets better.
Some couples think back to their lives as newlyweds as the best time of their relationship. But strong couples look at newlyweds, smile, and tell them it only gets better.
This is what I want with my marriage. I want to go to weddings and think back to the time my wife and I got married as the time I loved her the least in our marriage. I want to grow with love each day, so much so that newlyweds remind me how much better life is with her in it. To me, this is the best reminder newlyweds give me about marriage: the idea that love is a joyful adventure that only gets better as you go along.
So in this wedding season, as you busy your self with countless weddings, use these opportunities to remind yourself about the joy in love. Let that joy bring new health to your marriage. And let your commitment to each other build to honor God in everything you do.
Marriage is awesome. So go to weddings with your spouse, drink, dance, and be reminded of the joy you have in growing together.