“Mawaige. Mawaige is what bwings us togewoe, today.”
A week ago, Dan and I celebrated with our dear friends David and Alison as they pledged their love to one another for the rest of their lives. Dan officiated (and did a rockin’ job!), while Alison’s darling grandpa led them in exchanging of rings and vows (so beautiful!) and it was a sweet, simple, and lovely ceremony. David’s sister Heather read the following by C.S. Lewis:
“If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt or the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married’, then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling, It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.” – from Mere Christianity
This is so true, and so well put.
Dan and I just celebrated 9 years of marriage on Thursday. We watched our wedding video with the boys, and I was reminded again of how giddy with excitement the two of us were on that day. We were almost like a couple of little kids on Christmas morning! I practically giggled my way through my vows, I was so stinkin’ happy.
By the time our 5th anniversary rolled around I was 20 weeks pregnant with our 4th child. There had been many times during those 5 years that we had ceased to feel “in love” with each other. And there have been more times since then. However, looking back, Dan and I can both see that God used the times where we were farthest from being in love, yet continued to love each other (even when it was hard, even when we sometimes hurt each other), to actually grow our love. Loving beyond our feelings, learning more of how each of us need to be love, and relying on the grace of God in our marriage has resulted in a stronger, deeper, truer love that the love we had on our wedding day.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. Dan and I are still very much in love, but we now know that those feelings come and go. I still get giddy sometimes when I see him; he can still make my heart do flip-flops. There is still no one else that I’d rather hang out with then him. He’s still my best friend and favorite person in the entire world. We still flirt with each other. We’ve gone from having 850 people cheer during our first kiss to 4 boys who laugh and egg us on when we kiss for the zillionth time. We’ve learned how to fight well instead of avoiding conflict, how to love each other even when we’re exhausted, how to encourage each other when we discouraged, how to listen to each other’s words and really hear each other’s hearts. It’s amazing.
God, thank You so much for giving Dan to me and me to him. For using us as a couple in ways that we marvel at, for the crazy boys You’ve given us, for our families who support us, for the joys and the trials that You’ve used in order that we might better reflect the perfect love that You have for Your people. It’s all grace, and it’s all good. Thank You!