Monday, September 20, 2010

preparing for a marriage

I hesitate to write about this topic because I don't want to freak my boyfriend out, but let me just give my disclaimer that this isn't really about that. You see, I'm a girl who has been planning her wedding ever since [insert an age or milestone event for dramatic event]. I just love weddings. I always have, so I jump at any opportunity to attend one. I love every part of it. I love when the groom walks out, looking dashing, clasping his hands in front of him with a strong stance and looking towards the door for his bride to walk in. I love the moment just before the bride walks in, when you can feel everyone's anticipation of the moment when she will start walking with her father down the aisle. I loved seeing my friend Melissa, who doesn't really cry that often, start crying when she got halfway down the aisle. I loved seeing my friends BJ and Kristie passing tissues to each other, as they both shed tears of joy at their wedding. I love the ease with which the couple interacts with their family and friends. Well, you get the idea.... I love weddings. So naturally, I've been anticipating mine for my whole life. The style of the dress, the colors, the month, the food, the playlist. I've spent my whole life planning my wedding.

But you know how those events go... you anticipate something for so long, and you build it up so much, and then all of a sudden, it's over. It's not that it was a let down; it's just that you have been planning it and preparing for it for such a long time, and then suddenly, it's the day after. My wedding day will just be one day of my life. It will be a very blessed day, one of the best of my life probably, but it must feel weird when it's over. I'm sure it takes a few weeks, once you come back from the honeymoon and have settled into your new apartment, when you realize that this day that you have always been planning for is over. I've spent a lot of time dreaming about a destination wedding here at Hore Abbey in Ireland. And I've made a lot of plans in my mind about how my wedding day will be, but it's a bit silly, isn't it? It's just one day.

That's why I think it's much more wise to prepare for a marriage, since that has much longer time span than a wedding. Preparing for a marriage has a checklist including, but not limited to:
  • Learn to forgive and accept forgiveness in return.
  • Learn to be loving in the hard times
  • Learn to share my resources unselfishly
  • Learn to put Jesus first in my relationship
  • Learn to listen well
  • Learn to communicate love in ways that my partner understands
  • Learn to give when I would rather just take
  • Learn how to grant acceptance, be an encourager and a helper
  • etc.
The list goes on and on, of course, since a marriage is meant to be a deep journey of pursuing the other's heart "as long as you both shall live."

I love weddings, so I will probably continue to think about colors and locations and playlists, but I think what matters more is preparing for a marriage. When people attend my wedding someday, they will definitely spend some of the evening exclaiming that Jess Bui is a FANTASTIC wedding planner/party thrower, not to mention a ridiculously beautiful bride. But I intend for most of their awe to be about the reverent beauty of a wedding that isn't about a perfect wedding day, but rather a celebration of the first day of a marriage. I want my family and friends to be inspired by the couple before them who are vowing to forgive and love and encourage and pursue each other's hearts for the rest of their lives. So from now on, I'm going to put more thoughts and prayers into preparing for a marriage, rather than focusing on flowers and outdoor reception tents. A marriage matters more than a wedding day.

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