A young lady I know who is beyond hear years in wisdom is getting married soon. She recently posted this: “I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of brides: those who want a WEDDING and those who want a MARRIAGE.”
I think she is spot on about brides, but the idea she expresses is one most of us will face from time to time. A wedding is a show – especially the way some folks do it. The whole “your day” thing seems a bit odd to me, given that it is supposed to be about two people becoming on, not one person being shown off, hyped, praised, or whatever. Spending money you do not have so you start marriage in debt is another idea I find odd, and harmful to the marriage that follows the wedding. A marriage on the other hand is a lifelong union – the on-going act of the two becoming one. Obviously, we can have both a wedding and a marriage, but some are far too focused on the wedding and not nearly focused enough on the marriage.
Where do we do this in our lives? Where do we make the doorway far more important than is should be while failing to deal properly with what is beyond the doorway? Where is being seen or praised more important than doing what should be done? We can do both, but it is easy for the balance to get shifted.
Another way of looking at this is that we can focus too much on an entry goal when we should be looking at the long-term goal. Getting into law school, for example, is a great goal, but actually graduating is (or should be) the real, long-term goal. If you got accepted then never showed up for class, what good was it to fulfil the goal of being accepted? I think we tend to do this in relationships when we work hard to convince someone we are going to change, and then we do not put any real effort into changing. We buy a bit of good will convincing someone (maybe our wife) we are going to change, but when we fail to actually do it, our situation is worse than when we started.
Are you chasing a wedding or a marriage in your life? Which is more important to you?