Before She Says I do

I, (X), take you, (Y), to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

Most married people know these vows, and most will tell you that there are days when those responsibilities seem difficult to handle, and you wonder what on earth you were thinking when you decided to walk down this path called marriage. 

I look back on the day when I took my vows. What’s interesting about the day I got married was what was going through my mind. All thoughts were on the occasion itself. How’s the hall decoration going? My makeup person is running late? Would my bridesmaids be at the church in time? Hope the power won’t go out during the ceremony. Why didn’t I plan for backup power for the church? Will everyone at the reception have enough to eat? Hope we won’t have too many or too few people. 

All kinds of now trivial issues bugged me as I got ready that morning to take my vows in front of hundreds of family and friends. But not for one second did I even consider the effects of what I was saying when I was taking my vows, and even if I did, these would have been my thoughts and counter-thoughts:

 “To have and to hold from this day forward”… Yeah, I can do this.

“For better or for worse” … Nah, it’s always going to get better. The path of the righteous shines brighter.

 “For richer, for poorer”… Surely my God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus.

“In sickness and in health”… No, by his stripes I am healed.

 “To love and to cherish” ... Yep, that’s why I’m getting married—to have someone love and cherish me.

“From this day forward until death do us part”… Amen, amen, amen!
Today, after three surgeries, two births, three house moves, three job changes, and countless eventful days, I can say for a fact that marriage is a blessing and a whole lot of work too. Marriage really does work, but only when two people work at making it work. Now if that’s the case, what should every mother tell her daughter before she says I do? I asked some amazing women, What’s the best advice a mother should give her daughter before she gets married? Here is what they said:
Love does not necessarily mean perfection—a man is not God. Marry a man who genuinely fears God much more than he loves you.
Yep, you’re absolutely right, Love isn’t perfection, and a man is not God. So I had this notion that my husband had to be this perfect knight in shining armor who should always swoop in and rescue me or help out when I had issues. Over time I realized it was an impossible request to ask of another human being. He isn’t omnipresent and can’t always be there when I need him. He tries to but can’t. Just like women, all men come with their flaws, and it’s unfair to ask them to be perfect when we aren’t. And as long as both parties allow for flaws, you’ll be fine.
She should probably advise you on how to diplomatically remain your own person and pursue your dreams without having the in-laws turn against you. Bottom line how best to handle the in-laws, seeing that your lifestyles/upbringing may be different. And I don’t mean all that generic “Be a good and respectful girl” talk, but rather how to smartly deal with the tactics…smiles.
Two things I agree with here is to remain your own person and to deal with issues (not just your in-laws) with tact. You shouldn’t just give up on your dreams and desires because you got married. I know it’s easy to drop everything and follow your true love, all dreamy eyes and believing he will provide for all your needs and you’ll live happily ever after. Reality check: bills! Ladies, there will be bills to pay, and as far as I know, love doesn’t pay bills. So be ready to roll up your sleeves and work just as hard to help pay some bills. Remain true to who you are and what you believe. As far as tact goes, play the in-law cards well. My theory is to love and relate to your in-laws as you would with your family. However, I do acknowledge that some in-laws are impossible to deal with. In which case, I’d still say love them just as much as you’d love family, and keep far away from family drama.
“Be patient and prayerful”—these words cannot be overemphasized. Those were my mother’s words, but I think I will add “Love” coz love conquered all
Patience really is a virtue, and it’s best tried in marriage. My goodness! You must be ready to wait and see how certain things play out before you overreact and destroy it all. Most of all, pray. Invite God into everything that has to do with you and your family. There will be times and situations that are above your control, and at such times it’s your faith in God that will see you through it. I am a living testimony that prayers do work, so keep praying.

Today I look in the eyes of my baby girl and try to imagine what she would look like on her own wedding day and what advice I’d give to her. I’d say to my lil’ princess, among many other things, love him, stand by him, and pray for him just as much as you do for yourself.

Marriage is a blessing. It brings the most remarkable, adventurous, trying, and loving times you’ll ever experience in life. My advice for people planning to take these vows is to do so with the utmost sense of responsibility and dedication, and, most important, with a resolute commitment that no matter where the road leads, you’ll stay true to your vows and to the decision you made to love.


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