"So, how's married life?"
You hear it over and over and over again, and you run out of ways to keep your responses fresh.
"Oh, it's great!"
"I love it."
But you don't really want to seem like a naive newlywed with no idea that things are tough, too. Obviously. And you're tired of just saying the same stuff anyway. So eventually you throw pretense to the wind and start digging deeper with these people who're really just making small talk anyway.
"It's challenging. Very challenging. But very good."
Challenging. The whole thing is very, very challenging.
But so good.
There is something surreal about knowing you're living moments that you'll look back on for the rest of your life, and just smile, smile, smile. You'll forget all the parts that were hard and challenging, and just remember how Good it was. How Good it is!
There is something seemingly nihilistic, yet so true about my very favorite song from The Ataris: "In This Diary". I guess when it comes down to it, being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up. These are the best days of our lives.
I would love to always be growing!
I awoke early this morning to search Kelli's unpacked things for her camera's USB cord, so I could relive our honeymoon through pictures and video. We grew so much on that trip. And already, all the negative moments have been divorced from my mind. It was the best week of my life.
Being married in the most excellent adventure I can imagine taking. Living, sleeping, struggling, conquering with your best friend... there is nothing like it. And it gets better every day!
But it's hard. I mean, really hard at times. To coexist with another human being is incredibly difficult.
I was talking to my good friend Eric Willis the other day about how blatantly obvious it is that the institution of marriage was appointed by God. If ever there was real proof of God's existence, it is marriage. I can't imagine one surviving without that knowledge at the forefront at all times. Thriving, at the very least. But I really can't even see it surviving. It's hard! But it's so good.
In his excellent book Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More than to Make Us Happy?, Gary Thomas writes, "If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there's no question- stay single. Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can't imagine any better thing to do than to get married."
I am confident in this, that God designed marriage to separate the pretenders from the contenders. Almost to say, "You say you serve Me, but can you serve her?"
Even just one month into this sacred institution, this truth is patently obvious. Marriage cuts you to the bone, and shows you what you're really made of. And it's only just begun.
Welcome to Taylorville.