A while back I reached out to couples I had married, asking if they would complete the sentence, “Marriage is. . .”
For some reason, I thought this would be easy to do BUT it hasn’t been. Many couples wrote, “We know what marriage is, yet it’s hard to put into words!” And that makes sense since, at times, marriage can be like the air you breathe.
I officiated Jade and Susan’s wedding several years. I think the photo captures so much of who they are – and their joy reminds me why I love officiating weddings! They recently sent me their response to “Marriage is. . .” and I’m happy to be able to share it here on the blog. . .
“Marriage can be so many things – good or bad, short or long. It can make life easier or introduce all kinds of struggles. But a beautiful and everlasting marriage is an unmistakably remarkable thing.
A feeling and power only the two of us share and truly understand.
It is a step in the right direction, every time knowing the path we walk, we walk together.
I have known and loved Susan for nearly half my life. Some describe her as an extraordinarily caring, compassionate, and creative person, but she is normal to me.
Normal, in the sense that she is my “every day.”
She is my constant, my ground level, my reference, both my dreams and my reality. I embrace the privilege of marriage and find it necessary, requiring it to function and live out life’s intended purpose.
Marriage sometimes enunciates and justifies contradictions – I am not me without you and you are not you without me; my soul is freed so long as it is bound to yours; calculatingly avoiding pain and death for years, yet not hesitating to sacrifice oneself for the sake of your loved one – your family.
The unity of marriage gives us strength in character, yet consistently challenges us to reinforce our commitments to love and responsibly being loved. We conjure the spirit of Love to redeem the ultimate feelings of joy and have learned that when we threaten or disregard it, we can expect in return the most unbearable pain.
Marriage is the everyday commitment to cultivate love and share in the many treasures that radiate from it. Our strength is refined as we hold our confidence and cling to one another, despite knowing some, perhaps many, inevitable obstacles lie ahead. Our togetherness is and will always be the ultimate reward for our marriage.
We are dedicated, exclusively, to one another, sharing in the responsibilities of anything and everything important to the other, sometimes even knowing the other “better than they know themselves.” In this marriage, we recognize that life is bigger than you; it is lived for two (plus Junior, maybe someday?). In our marriage, we learn to accept being rightfully wrong and avoid the pursuit of being wrongfully right.
By engaging in and being bound by marriage, we understand that our togetherness is always still an option and could easily be taken for granted if not nurtured properly. Marriage is a vow made in the context of unnaturally dictated terms – eternity. That is, every day our love outlasts the gauntlet of the universe, we overcome a statistically improbable chance that soul mates wandered the earth and found the one, yet we promise to prove this again, and again, and again. And although outwardly we demonstrate the beauty of marriage to our friends, loved ones, and peers, we know the true value of our love lies within our hearts and this bliss is life’s ultimate best kept secret.”
Jade & Susan Thiemsuwan