A sweet group of thirty people gathered around Warrior Man and myself, and placed hands upon our shoulders. We bowed our heads, and they started praying. One at a time. Each prayer like a sparkling jewel being strung on a necklace of blessings.
Back in May, I had my second wedding shower. It was thrown for me by a group of beautiful ladies from church. Before we went through the potluck line and started opening presents the group surrounded Warrior Man and myself and prayed over us. Good. Sweet. Heartrending prayers. My Dad prayed for our walk with God, that it would continue to grow. My Uncle prayed for us, emotion shaking his voice. My own eyes began to swim with tears.
And that is when a little five year old girl piped up, and added her own blessing:
“Lord” she prayed “Please let them not have as many problems as…as…as…” Every ellipsis she added to her prayer caused the tension to build a little higher. Every couple in the prayer circle began to sweat and wonder who’s name she was about to throw out “as…they think they will have.” The entire group burst out in laughter in the midst of the prayer. The next prayer was offered was short and sweet as well from a father of eight: “Lord, I just pray that they have lots of babies. That’s it Lord. Babies”.
It was at this point my face began to burn. Blessings, problems, babies. All ingredients of the complex, undefinable, thing we call marriage.
The potluck was fun. The gifts were nice. We ended up getting so many lovely things. And three power drills! But I am storing that little girl’s prayer up in my heart for the future.
The reason the prayer was so very special to me was that marriage is so opposed in this culture. Opposed in this life. Marriage is not something that is encouraged.
I am blessed by sweet heart friends and mentors who tell me that marriage is good, and true, and worth it.
But I have to admit that I have heard a lot more discouragement about marriage than encouragement. People joke about how the honeymoon phase is fun, but it will all go downhill from there. Others say that marriage is hard the first morning you wake up and realize the other person has bad breath. Still others say “enjoy dating now, because that is the best part of your relationship”. There is this heavy foreboding about marriage–that it is hard, sub-par, and boring.
I have to admit all these comments, while well meaning, frustrate me to the nth degree.
[Tweet “Let’s not let anything dampen the joy of this thing we hoped, yearned, and prayed for. #marriage”]
I have a proposal: let’s stop taking marriage for granted. Let’s start telling engaged girls with stars in their eyes that marriage is good, and right, and true. Let’s step away from the fear of raising expectations, and raise them! Expectations should be high for marriage. Let’s choose to fill our eyes with the delight of having a good man to call our own. Let’s not let anything dampen the joy of this thing we hoped, yearned, and prayed for. Let’s combat problems in our own marriages with the mighty weapon of prayer. Let’s choose to listen to the good rather than the cautioning.
Marriage is greatly opposed, and only when we fight to redeem it will it once again gain its power. Are you with me?