I'm a newlywed. I will restate that I was not really ever told how wonderful marriage was before we got married. I was scared, on some level, of such a big commitment. Everyone told me how hard it was, how I shouldn't look to marriage to solve my problems (for the record, I did not), and how maybe it'll be easy at first...but just wait until you had kids. Marriage is referred to as "the old ball and chain" and a bunch of other unhelpful metaphors. My husband said he didn't really hear those messages from anyone, but neither of us were exactly encouraged in the sense that others told us what a blessing and how wonderful marriage is.
Sure, you can blame this talk on how wonderful love and marriage are on me still being a newlywed...however, I have to say that if God created marriage and if marriage is a sacrament that gives grace...AND if marriage is to be an icon for the love of the Trinity... shouldn't it be wonderful?
My husband I were talking the other day about how, just in the ~6 months we've been married, we already love each other more than before, we know each other more than we did then, and how awesome marriage is now that we're living it, as compared to just dating or being engaged.
Marriage is a great ailment for pride and the ego. I will acknowledge that death to self is not easy. That makes marriage difficult. But, what a wonderful school for learning that lesson. Marriage itself is not the problem in that equation, it's our own selfishness that makes it hard.
My husband is so easy to love. I feel like God took such pity on me. He knew that I was like a scared child - scared to trust and open myself up, scared to love. He knew that I had been so wounded that it was going to be really, really hard for me to love and to commit, especially to a man. And so, he gave me someone who is very easy to love. My husband is nearly always kind, patient, and gentle. He forgives easily. He is so intelligent and also insightful about the human condition. He seeks God, he prays. He is creative, artistic, interesting, AND handsome. I told my sister the other day that being married to him is what being married to Jesus might have been like. Most the time, if there is a problem or strife in the relationship, I am the one who brought in. But, my husband helps me work through things, and he is in it for the long haul. He never minimizes my concerns. He makes our marriage a safe environment for dealing with my problems in context.
Sure. What do I know about marriage? Not much, at least not yet. But, I do know that marriage is a gift. And that God really does give us His grace to make it day to day with another human being. And, if you are willing to lay down your life in love, there is a great reward for that. I live in gratitude for the time we've had together, and I pray that we have many more years.
Marriage is so good that I have to be careful not to idolize it - to turn the icon of God's love into the end itself. If we can experience such great and deep love on earth, how much more does God love us and want to show us that love?
And, speaking of how awesome marriage is, here is a great article by Carrots for Michaelmas about the connection between Coffee and Marriage.