Every year as my birthday approached, I would be so excited to be another year older. I anticipated greatly that day when I would finally be a teenager or sixteen or eighteen, always expecting that something would change. "I will be so cool once I turn thirteen! I will feel so grown up." "I am going to be so mature once I am 16. I can't wait!" And every year when the question came, "Do you feel different now that you are sixteen?" but the answer was always no. Sure, I would feel excited that it was my birthday and you cannot help but feel a bit different at your own birthday party when people are there to celebrate the face that you are older. A few years I even felt a greater responsibility to be mature and responsible, but the day comes and goes, and in the end, I have never felt different, just like myself with a different age.A similar phenomenon occurred when I got married.
Prior to getting married, my mindset was that after the wedding marriage would come naturally. I would somehow feel different. Communication would not be so hard for me. Fear would not be present. I would be absolutely at ease because the decision had been made and I had no need to wonder about who I would marry anymore. I would feel married.
Despite my ideas, however, getting married turned out to be more like a birthday. The wedding was wonderful, and I did feel a greater responsibility to be mature and responsible in this new endeavor. And with three hundred people at the wedding to celebrate the beginning of our marriage I could not help but feel a bit different. Nevertheless, when the festivities were all over and tomorrow came, I felt surprisingly...normal.
After the wedding, I did not suddenly become an excellent communicator (as evidenced by some of my struggles on the honeymoon). My fears did not go away, they were simply changed (Love and Fear). And the combination of those factors, plus several more, I was not completely at ease. In fact, even the wondering who I was going to marry did not go away as automatically as I thought it would because I did not feel married. Instead of marriage coming naturally right from the start, I had to remind myself that I was married every so often because I still felt single.
After the wedding, it seemed that there had not been a change. We had a piece of paper saying that we were legally married in the eyes of the law, we trusted that we were properly married before God, and we could honorably live together, but none of it felt. I did not suddenly learn how to solve world hunger, how to cure cancer, or even how to be a wife. There was no visible change, and I certainly did not feel any different.
But as I consider marriage in light of its similarity with our walk with God (An Introduction), I am reminded that the wedding, as with salvation, does not often come with visible change, only a promise and hope. The promise that my husband and I made before God to be committed to each other regardless of circumstances. The hope that God, who has ordained this marriage, will take it and make it into something beautiful and will transform us in the process.
I was not suddenly changed into a more godly, more patient, more courageous woman because I got married. Yet while getting married did not transform me, I am confident that as God works in my life and in my marriage, being married will.