Whitney (@whitneyarthur24 on Twitter) has lived a lot of life with me. She’s spoken words of encouragement and love into my life on a regular basis and I’m so excited to share a glimpse of that with you over the next 2 weeks!! She also taught me how to walk in heels…she’s pretty great. She’s also married to Pat who makes really tasty chocolate chip cookies and can cut a pretty good rug on the dance floor. I’m so honored that one of my best friends has opened her heart to us on this blog, and I pray that her experience and the truth of Scripture would encourage your heart! (ps, that’s one of Whitney & Pat’s engagement pictures posted above that I got to photograph!) Enjoy!!
There she was. The bride. Dressed in pure white, with a long veil, and beautiful white flowers. I was enamored. As she kissed her groom and they walked down the magical aisle into wedded bliss, I was hooked. After that my love affair with romance started as a little girl. I would draw brides in my coloring books, get “married” to my friends at preschool, and wear a towel on my head as a veil and prance around the house-singing “Someday my prince will come.”
To say I am a hopeless romantic is an understatement. I LOVE love (and weddings and fairy tales). A lot. Probably too much—I will let Kayla comment on that later to confirm.
I wanted to be a bride someday: a woman who is the essence of beauty and perfection. She glows, as if all her worries are gone, and life is easy. Her groom always looks at her the way all women want to be looked at. A bride must be the ideal of womanhood, I thought. Peering over my pages in my fairly tales I memorized every outfit and every line…until the fantasy turned into what I thought was a reality.
I would beg my dad to read me Cinderella, and eagerly await the phrase “and they lived happily ever after,” for that is what all little girls wish for. This is what little girls are conditioned to believe, what marketers and Disney mold into this fairy tale world that captivates the souls of little ones…and carries over into adult lives of women everywhere…hence our obsession with movies like “The Notebook,” or shows likes “The Bachelor.”
As I grew from a little girl into a young woman the idea of love fascinated me still. And I dove head first into relationships, for I wanted to be loved. Every relationship was another opportunity to finally feel wanted, desired, and cared for. So I had to be in a relationship to fulfill the void I felt. I put my heart in the hands of boys who made me feel as though they could complete me, and quickly I realized that I still felt alone, not good enough, and incomplete.
Yet, I was still hopeful that love would complete me as my inner-child cried from within, “This isn’t fair, you DESERVE a happily ever after.” And with a broken heart I would move to the next boy…and maybe he would be the one to complete me.
Praise God, I met Jesus during that sweet time of adolescence. That I was in the care of the ONLY one who could make complete: Christ.
Col. 2:10 NASB “…and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.”
Thank goodness Jesus is the author of the most intriguing, beautiful, and radical love story of all time. He has had my heart since I was 15 and I began to fall in love with Him.
Romans 5:8 “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Sanctification is a process and I have continually tipped toed around the idea that LOVE with a man would satisfy more than my LOVE of Jesus.
When I met my husband I knew he was the one, because he told me that he would always love Jesus more than he loved me. I knew Jesus had to be at the center of our relationship, but I quickly put this man above Jesus for he seemed more tangible. God taught me a lot during our dating, and then 5 years later we got engaged…and the world of weddings and pure bliss was opened. My forever man had put a ring on my finger, and told me I would be his forever. Finally I thought I would feel secure, and good enough.
Sure, sure I had heard marriage would be hard. But I truthfully believed it would be different for us.
Our wedding day was magical – it was amazing to make the covenant of marriage with my hubby and the Lord before our friends and family. But a wedding-high doesn’t last. Again I put my hope into a relationship with a person, now my husband, rather than my relationship with my Savior.
Matthew 22: 37-38 “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”
This simple truth in the greatest commandment is so evident to not idolize anything or anyone but God. Yet I idolize my husband at times.
I put him above God, yet he doesn’t make me happy 24/7, we get in fights, he chews gum with his mouth open, he is different than me: he likes the show COPS….he isn’t perfect. As much as I love him he isn’t. He is a sinner. As am I. And so marriage is not a perfect relationship: a sinner marrying a sinner doesn’t equal complete bliss, it equals 2 sinners in a covenant relationship for life.
Marriage doesn’t complete me and it never will. I love my hubby, but I love Jesus more. And I don’t complete my hubs: and I can’t, it hinders his relationship with Christ if I try to get in the way.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
I pray that you would realize what or who you are idolizing before God. What are you seeking after? Is it a wedding? Is it an engagement ring? Is it marriage? Anything other than JESUS doesn’t suffice and you will be left feeling empty and striving for more. Beloved, I promise no one, no man, no husband will complete you…as hard as you may try, Jesus is better and truly is the “happily ever after,” we long for. Seek hard after Him and the desires of God’s heart will become the desires of your heart, Psalm 37:4. Eternity with the perfect Bridegroom: Jesus. He is the only one who I will idolize.
Next week we will discuss the 5 Top Misconceptions about marriage…get ready as we unpack: “What do singles think are the benefits of marriage?”
- Feel Complete or “Good Enough”
Until next week….