A friend has shared a similarly titled piece recently, and I realised that I need to take a stab at this as well. Partly because I found it didn’t express the things I wanted to say to the man I am supposed to marry in the near or not-so-near future. Partly because I thought it’s also a good way to put a point across. And finally, partly because sometimes – just sometimes – I do feel the need to be sentimental.
To the man God has promised me as my life parter –
Of the many things you have to know, this tops the list – the day God told me I was to be married, I cried. I cried for two days. They were not tears of joy. They were tears of anguish and of fear and of uncertainty. I did not want the gift of marriage, because I knew I would be opening myself up to a world of hurt. Of hurt experienced, of hurt inflicted, of hurt unintended but cuts deep to the heart. (Don’t worry, I’m over that now.)
I know that when God promised me a husband, I won’t be getting Prince Charming. I know that you’ll fail me, that you’ll probably be as broken and flawed as I am. But I also know that God chose you because you can love me the way I need to be loved. That you’ll help me be a better version of myself. That, by God’s grace, we can make life so much better for the people around us.
I can’t promise you that I’ll be the perfectly submissive wife that I’m called to be. We’ll disagree on many things, and I’ll sometimes think I’m right. (Ok, I’ll admit – most likely I’ll always think I’m right.) I can’t promise to be supportive or encouraging or loving all the time. I’ll have my bad days, and you’ll have yours. But I promise that whatever happens, I won’t give up on you. I didn’t wait so long just to walk out on the marriage God has purposefully designed for us. I left the choice to Him, and the day I said yes wasn’t just me saying yes to you. It was me saying yes to God.
The day I said yes was also the day I said no to so many other things – to my independence, to my personal preferences, to my individual comforts. There will be times when I’ll choose to please myself before I please you. Forgive me. I’m really selfish that way. Understand that it comes from years of insecurities, of feeling like I’m always everyone else’s lasts priority. That the only person who cares about me is me. And once I stop taking care of myself, well, I’ll probably end up in a ditch by the roadside on the way to Lord-knows-where. (I know you know that isn’t true. And I know you know that I know it isn’t true. But you should also know that I have a tendency towards drama when I’m feeling unloved.)
Some days I’ll do things out of duty rather than love. Please know that I still love you. It’s just not easy to show it when the kids are wailing in the background and I have two weeks worth of laundry to go through after planning and preparing the meals for the next day. Some days reality just hits me in the face and it’s not easy to be gracious and kind. But I’ll continue to iron your shirts and prepare your favourite dish and clean the bathrooms. Because it’s what I promised to do. I promised to be a suitable helpmate, a life giver – a partner to a man who could have chosen a million other women, but chose me instead.
Please remind me to thank God for you every day. And remind me to say it to you, too. I will forget, trust me. I will forget. Hopefully not as often as I tend to.
When I forget, remind me how we’ve come to choose each other. Of how God wrote our beautiful love story. Of how I was drawn to your strength of character and your heart for the Lord. Of how we sought God and found each other. Of how we’ve been praying for one another without really knowing it until much, much later. (Ok, so maybe this last bit won’t happen. Anyway.) Remind me.
Of the things I could possibly forget, one thing I will always remember. I asked God, and He gave me you. And I chose to accept you as His gift to me. I chose to live beside you for the rest of my life – to follow your lead, to come under your care, to be sheltered by your love.
I love you as only God can enable me to.
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.