Were you like me? In getting married, I basically shut my eyes and hoped for the best. That the premarital fighting would disappear. That Dean suddenly would make my dreams come true. That I no longer would be lonely.
We had our fairytale wedding with Dean looking cute in a pink jacket, pink tie and white pants. We both said "I do," but everything in our honeymoon spoke of “we don't.”
Our honeymoon was a week of disaster – clogging the hotel toilet, fighting over where the money that we didn’t have should be spent, while sex was not what we saw in the movies.
My head swirled with comparative imaginations from encounters with a previous boyfriend. Not really a great conversation to have with a new husband.
Here we were, newly marrieds, yet feeling newly lonely and disappointed.
Twenty-five years later I am so much more aware of the beauty and reality of God’s plan for not just marriage, but for us as individuals.
Two Things come to mind.
Forget the Past.
I had done some foolish things previously to my marriage. These things can be a hindrance. The thing is that our choice determines that these things do not have to cause problems.
Paul writes in Phillipians 3:13, “forgetting the past and and looking forward to what lies ahead.” We can realize some great things in this statement.
1. We will all make mistakes.
2. We can learn from these mistakes rather than allowing them to cripple us.
3. We can leave them in the past and this includes to think of them no longer.
In other words, I’d messed up in a previous relationship, and while the devil would have me remember this stuff to wreck my present life, Paul realizes that we can choose to forget these things and run with the life we have today. We are set free from our past as long as we repent and decide to not visit that past any longer.
2. Marriage cannot fix loneliness.
Solomon found a new love in a Shulamite girl. Solomon found many new loves in life including 1000 wives and concubines, being a king, owning palaces and land, having many slaves and servants and, at times, worshipping more than the one and only God. However he adored this Shulamite girl and spoilt her in the way that all girls desire.
Solomon and the Shulamite girl learnt, though, that marriage cannot cure loneliness.
In Song of Songs 5:6, the Shulamite girl cried in desperation, “I opened for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.”
She desperately wanted to be close to her man but he could not be found. She’s not talking about physical proximity so much as the loneliness felt by us all at times.
Again we can learn from her statement.
1. No other person can fulfil us or make us ultimately happy.
2. Once we realize this, we can be real concerning our expectations of others.
3. Happiness comes from within rather than from without. It’s an internal thing and not external.
Therefore choose to give, and not self pity. This makes us focus externally rather than on ourselves.
Pull the Bible from the bedside table and read Proverbs. It has great everyday advice.
Choose your thought life. When I see my day as lonely, I choose to change it. I may not be able to change the situation, but I can choose the way I think about it.
Marriage is an amazing adventure involving a process of time and commitment. However, I’ve worked out that this process means that I am responsible to change me and enjoy Dean, rather than me changing him into my idea of best. This understanding makes marriage and life so much easier.