The Affirmation of Marriage
Today marks exactly 2.5 years since my wife and I agreed to love each other forever. To stand arm in arm in everything. To be each other's extension. To care for each other in ways that many deem humanly impossible - including us. As my pastor's very first words in our ceremony indicated, "Welcome to the greatest human impossibility - this is marriage."
This post is not going to be about our marriage per se. I am not a very open person, but when it comes to using my experience to help people, I will be as open as God allows me to be. Also, just because I speak vulnerably or "from my gut" as many like to say, do not get confused. Writing is not therapy for me. Neither do I need to express myself. I feel like I have to make these disclaimers in an emo, post-modern world that likes to "feel," and get to "know" people in strange ways. You will never know me. And you will not be close to me unless God and myself say you can. Sorry if this comes off arrogant - it is what it is.
Moving on -- :-)
When my wife and I got married, we entered into a relationship that made each other our greatest fans. We committed to being each other's greatest supporters. When you enter into this covenant, walls begin to break. Lies that you once believed fall apart. Vulnerability takes on a whole new meaning. Every insecurity, every fear, and every bit of self-consciousness has to be dealt with. In some sense, it is a beautiful shock. There is so much beauty in being exposed for exactly who you are, what you believe, and how all of your experiences have shaped you and developed your so called identity. Good and bad - Marriage is a picture of acceptance.
It is an amazing phenomenon to experience an Unconditional Supporter in God. Have you experienced support? It is great isn't it? To have people believe in you - wow. The more relevant question is, have you experienced perfect support? This type of affirmation and cheering can only come from the Divine. When you get married, you have a form of a physical manifestation of this - extremely imperfect, but a form nonetheless. Your spouse urges you to become the best version of yourself - consciously and unconsciously. My wife sees my most selfish version, and my most selfless one - and she has the ability to accept me as I am. She also has the ability to urge me towards transformation. She has the ability to push me towards greatness - not just for her or our family, but for my most basic purpose and destiny. The amazing thing is that no one else can do this. No one else can urge you in such a way, because no other earthly relationship enters into a Covenant.
Here is the thing that no one tells you when you become married:
Even though marriage is an applauded institution, you will experience something so strange that almost feels ironic. When you get married, the people around you will affirm you less and less. Friends of yours that used to be supporters, will begin to dwindle and waver in their support. People that you once deemed close will not be close. This is not a bad thing at all. It is just a strange thing. It is something that can catch you off guard.
The world around you assumes you are "set" once you get married. There is a pre-programmed notion in our society that connects completion to marriage. The assumption is that you are now completely loved and fully affirmed - therefore, you do not need encouragement and you do not need to be affirmed in ways you once were. Now my purpose in writing this is not to agree or disagree with this irony. However, it is absolutely what happens. This is why married couples can sometimes feel extremely isolated, because the world they once knew is so far from the one they are in now. We are all assuming creatures. We are all constantly trying to either push boundaries, or keep them. We are all coping with changes, experimenting, succeeding, and failing. This is completely fine. Do not look to your old world to affirm you. That portion of your life is done. You must run forward and not look back. You are on to bigger and better - and this my friends is a gross understatement.
The important thing to understand is that no matter how confident or self-assured you are, affirmation and encouragement are critical for your journey. No human being can go too far without experiencing the fullness of true affirmation. Marriage is a beautiful opportunity to be affirmed correctly, and without boundaries. There is no such thing as loving your spouse too much. You can love and spoil. You can be without restriction. You can assure and re-assure. You can correct and be corrected. You can fail and be forgiven. You can heal and be healed. The world around you will indeed stop affirming you. I promise it will happen. It is a way for you to grow stronger in your love and need for God, and the person who said "I do." Why does the world stop affirming you? I don't know. And honestly, I don't really think you should care. I believe it is ordained within the covenant. I believe it is a result of 2 becoming 1. I believe it is part of the offense that you chose each other, and you didn't choose anyone else. This is offensive to a world that wants you to choose them. This is disrespectful to a society that wants your attention. This is a slap in the face to a culture that promotes darkness, classless sexuality, multiple relationships, and the list goes on.
Marriage is defiant. It is radical. It is fiery. Whole marriages change the world. True fidelity and affirmation destroys evil. To love, and be loved. Peace, and much love to you - Jeevo.