On Marriage.

For much of my adolescence/early adulthood I had an unhealthy obsession with “finding a mate.” Not necessarily my own (although that was intriguing too) but just the whole science behind finding the perfect “one.” My shelves were stocked with courtship/ dating/marriage books. I loved personality tests; give me ten minutes and I’d tell you what animal you are, and which character on “The Office” you should marry. I made my lists and questioned everyone I could on their opinions. I remember one time asking a 50-something friend what she thought the most important quality in a spouse was. I got a 50-something answer: character. Blah.
But I do seem to remember, a few months after rings and vows were exchanged, a telling moment when I began to understand. I have a theory that all marriages have that moment. You’re in the middle of an argument about something – could be sushi menus, could be finances – and suddenly, you get it. You realize in one fell swoop that it matters oh-so-little what fraternity he comes from, how perfect you look in your wedding photos, or how attracted you are to him in his pajamas. It suddenly becomes deathly, painfully, uncomfortably obvious that your happiness lies – so to speak – solely on whether or not he has some, well, un-sexy character traits. Things so boring and ancient you really don’t read much about them these days, unless it’s in that thousand-page book on the shelf. Things that probably didn’t make it on any list or in any romantic conversation. Things like patience. Honesty. Integrity. Willingness to forgive.
I picture this moment happening between Brad and Jennifer, and my neighbors: Marriage doesn’t discriminate. Its success requires these virtues in the most beautiful and the most wealthy. Considering how relatively little I contemplated these things, most days I think I lucked out. I think I’m realizing how sexy some good old fashioned holiness is.
So here’s to you, honey. Let’s keep working out those character muscles. I love you, and all those beautiful fruits of the Spirit. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “On Marriage.

  1. When I was a teen, I remember some wise, older people telling me to find a mate who has set "goals" in life. Well, the first fiance was going to be a Psychiatrist but ended up doing poorly in college *an understatement*. Two years older and he was at the same class level as me when I was a freshman. So there went that, what are goals if you can't reach them? Then I met Mitch, fell in love, and got married, throwing this whole "solid goals" thing out the window. A few months ago I actually remember sitting here and being over come with a dreadful feeling "Oh my gosh, how has this happened? I married a man with no solid, long term goals?". Then I realized- He does have goals. Just not ones that say "I'll own a self sufficient business by age 35, or be on the mission field at age 32"…no. His goals look more like "be the best husband I can".."love God more than anything"…"be the father God created me to be for my son". Now those are some sexy traits! And VERY solid goals.

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