This is a F&PB series we started to speak truth and love to all those single, in relationships, and discerning to help live in light of eternity. Perhaps a man or woman has captured your heart, but ultimately we are all meant to look upon Jesus Christ and say, “He has my heart.” Join our friends as they speak on marriage and the greater wedding feast: heaven. We hope it’ll inspire wherever you’re at. The first part of the series can be found here.
I met Jenna Guizar a few months ago through the Catholic blogosphere and a beautiful devotional site for women than she’s been helping God craft. If you haven’t heard of Blessed Is She, check it out here
! It is so evident how the Lord uses this woman, with her passion for encouraging others and her social media savvy, in a powerful way. She is married to Mike and has three beautiful girls.
When I asked here if she’d be interested in writing a guest post about marriage, she was immediately on board. Her words below are challenging and tough and inspiring. She’s certainly given me much to think about and we hope it will inspire and challenge you too.
Unlike what [most] movies and the world profess, I don’t believe in soul mates…
Okay, now let me explain.
I believe you choose your mate and that is your choice for life. No matter the ups and downs, *no matter the ups and downs*, he is your choice for the rest of your life.
Obviously, I’m not talking about any sort of abuse that happens. That is always a reason to leave. You have to, for the safety of your life (and your children if you have them). I’m telling you right now, please leave if there is abuse. No one will give you flack for that. And if they do, give them my number.
But, marriage. It’s hard. It’s challenging. It’s tough.
I remember when we walked out of our Church on our wedding day, on the way to our reception down the street, and a man yelled out of his car, “Don’t do it!” We laughed and waved, because what else do you say, but I remember thinking, How dumb and stupid. But I realized that in our society, in our time, marriage is hard to accept for life for most of the population. They’re telling me not to do it because in their personal experience, it was horrible. It was hard. It wasn’t what they thought it would be.
And I see what they mean now.
It is hard as heck. It isn’t what I thought it would be.
But it does something you. It changes you. It changes you in ways that you never knew possible. You look back 5, 10, 15, 25 years later and you say “Wow, I didn’t know I could be who I am today. I am a totally different person.”
You are different.
You are selfless.
You are generous.
You are strong.
You accept grace in crevices that you didn’t know existed.
And you are better for that.
You are transformed by a union that the world tells you is too hard to even try.
You are transformed by something that everyone else is afraid of. And you let that transformation envelop you and make you whole.
Because marriage isn’t around to make you happy. It’s not, I hate to tell you. It’s not, I hate to tell the guy yelling at the newlyweds “Run away, now!” Your spouse is not there to make you happy.
My husband is here to make me whole. To make me better. To make me uncover the parts of me that were allowed to be selfish and bring those to the surface to die. He is here to make me put another person’s needs before my own. He is here for me to see myself more fully for the first time — to make me stretch, grow, learn, discover, laugh, cry, make me be more human than I was yesterday or the day before that.
He doesn’t exist to make me happy. He is mine to make me more complete.
And I do not exist to make him happy. I exist to make him wholly who he was made to be.
A friend shared this the other day, and I thought it was not only a beautiful description of the “happiness” issue of life, but is so incredible relatable to marriage as well ::
“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don’t mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep” and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”
—Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life
Jenna Guizar has been married nearly seven years and has three daughters. She is the founder of Blessed is She, an online women’s ministry and daily devotional site. She believes that the passion and desires that you’ve been given should not be forgotten or buried, but should be sought out and cultivated, because then you will come alive. She also blogs here.