so in exactly one week’s time i will have been married to the beautiful Val for exactly one year – and what a year it’s been!
as i say often to people – ‘marriage is highly recommended… to the right person!’ and the ‘to the right person’ bit is the key – not cos i believe in any kind of God-brings-this-person-and-that-person-together necessarily or that i believe that there is only one ‘the one’ as opposed to a number of ‘the potential ones who could be the one’ but because i have experienced or witnessed both
i have some friends who have hurt or are hurting a lot because they dated or got engaged to or even married the person who ended up not being a good match for them – and i have some friends (and myself) who by the grace of God managed to somehow end up with someone who is a the-one match for them (cos history knows i tried my best to work it otherwise on occasion, or so it would seem looking back)
having been married for one week less than a year i can declare with absolute abandon and complete integrity that marriage works – it is incredible – it is a journey and an adventure and an absolute trip… but not without adding ‘to the right person’
because it is also a tough path at times (inevitably you are going to end up hurting – or being hurt by – or disappointing or miscommunicating with the one you love and having a moment or an argument or even – gasp! – a fight – and that completely sucks, cos this is the person you love most in the world and you hate hurting or being hurt by them – the pain is deeper because the bond is so strong)
it is a journey requiring effort and sacrifice and surrender – which we as selfish and prideful human beings really struggle to embrace, especially having grown up in a world constantly screaming the mantra ‘this is all about me’ – and the trick in marriage is really embracing the effort and the sacrifice and surrender and continuing to try and get it right in lifting the other person up above yourself (the beauty is that if she is doing the same thing then we continue to be as lifted up as if we were focusing on ourselves, but with the added benefit of relationship)
it is a path of discovery (new person in my life, new habits, new quirks, new likes and dislikes) – of hey we both find this extremely funny and wow we’re pretty good working alongside each other in the kitchen (which both our families would question in pre-marriage times) and hey she really digs it when i do this and i am so glad that she has chosen to do that chore so i don’t have to and i can do this which she absolutely hated to have to do
it is a choice – day in day out – every single day i have to wake up and choose again – choose the beautiful val over the not so beautiful brett (especially on my bad, lazy, selfish, overcompetitive, procrastinationary, grumpy, i’m right days) – choose to live out those five pages of wedding day vows – promises i make again every day, every day
so whether it’s coffee in bed (one of the highlights of my day – being able to make it for my wife and greet her with a morning kiss) or flapjacks made with packet waffle mix (better than the packet flapjack mix strangely) or scrubs/I.T. crowd/ or Summer Heights High or Eddie Izzard/Michael Mcintyre/Bill Bailey or p.d.a. facebook statuses (within reason) or tag teaming together in a counselling situation or lying together at night solving all the mysteries of the world (or at least our day) or laughing together (a lot! one of the highlights and if you can’t laugh with your person then i seriously think they are probably not a ‘the one’) and private jokes and scrabble or kucky san or trying to lose gracefully at settlers or her asking me random (to me but thoroughly interested and trying to figure out how the world works to her) questions about things i can’t possibly know and woolworths prawn cocktail chips and Terry Pratchett passages and mielies and marshmallow steri stumpies (for her) and purple and that elusive couch (and wedding photos) and dream league cricket and watching her get passionate about justice and not letting us not help people in need and getting to really know her better and totally speak what she is thinking or really meaning and and and
thank you tbV for almost a year of incredible journey – it grows daily – i love you very much and am looking to an even kicker asser year ahead – you really do complete me (you and God)
note to single people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, desire your ‘the one’ but don’t let it consume you – make the most of the time and freedom you have as a single person and be content in every area of your life (while continuing to keep your eyes open and to ask God and to want that person if you do)
note to dating people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, don’t live as married people yet cos you’re not and save the stuff for marriage for the person you marry (which may not end up being the person you are dating now so don’t waste it on them now cos it seriously will be a waste if they turn out not to be that person), enjoy each other but keep it uncomplicated and grow in relationship to see if this is your one and part peacefully if not
note to married people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, husbands, love your wives, uplift each other, keep private stuff private, never diss your spouse (even in jest) in front of others, especially not just for a cheap laugh, if you’re struggling ask for help, choose every morning to serve and lift up and that-person-first and kill selfishness and pride whenever it rears its head, run to say sorry when you have been wrong, don’t ever go to bed angry or fighting, don’t give up, don’t feed temptation, love each other, let’s fight together for marriage – it works, it’s incredible, it costs, it’s worth it!