Updated: Jun 30, 2020
"The deepest beauty of the vows does not come in this moment, when nobody would doubt that you two love each other.
The ultimate beauty of these vows come from the remainder of your lives as you demonstrate that even when you are down on yourself your mate will be affirming you and showing you unconditional love."
When planning my wedding ceremony, I Googled what it should look like, what parts should be in it.
The Procession. Opening remarks. The Officiant's Address. Exchange of Vows. Ring Exchange. Pronouncement of Marriage. The Kiss. Closing Remarks. The Recessional.
You know, the whole nine.
The one thing that I learned from the wedding ceremony came from the Officiant's Address.
It packed so much punch, but I never got the full understanding until I was in the trenches in my marriage.
I had the most beautiful wedding day.
Nothing had gone wrong.
Besides two of my bridesmaid's cars getting stolen.
But besides that , it was the most magical day of my life.
There was so much said at the ceremony; I tried to take it all in, but was too much.
Thank God I invested in getting our wedding day recorded.
So now I can watch it as many times as I like.
Reviewing the tape, there are 5 things that I have learned from our officiant's address that I didn't understand at the time, but have gained insight throughout the 4 years of being married that I would like to share with you.
1. Be Selfless
I have watched the two of you serve God as you have come to this time in your predestined purpose. It is important for me to say that you never lost sight of God or yourselves as he was bringing the both of you together. The two of you have demonstrated a love and concern for each other and I admonish you to not just think of yourselves individually, but rather to think and to put each other first before yourself. The Bible says 1 Corinthians 7:3-4, that a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife and the married woman must be concerned with her earthy responsibilities and how to please her husband.
Being married, it's important that you don't lose yourself.
You should still have your own personality, individuality, and purpose.
In addition to continuing to be yourself, it is your duty to put that man first.
If you're into RnB at all, there is an artist named Jaheim that has a song that says to put that woman first.
And ladies, it goes vice versa.
Marriage is ministry.
It's about serving.
And it doesn't get any clearer than 1 Corinthians 7:4.
2. Don't Manipulate
People have embraced the love of God in you through the Holy Ghost and His love has brought you together and it is His love that will keep you together. As you continue to serve Him and please each other, let love, not power or manipulation be the rule in your marriage, in your family, and in your home. For it is he who has the most power has the least love and he that has the most love has the least power.
I struggled with control and manipulation early on in our marriage.
I tried to control every single situation, especially when it came to communication between Ya'Seen and I.
I was always ready to communicate and talk out our problems; Ya'Seen was a whole other story.
I did some crazy things through control and tried to manipulate him.
I would chase after him throughout the neighborhood.
Called him back to back. Texted long paragraphs, trying to get him to talk to me.
He would just walk away, ignore me, or block me.
What I figured out later on was that the center of my manipulation was fear.
Fear that if we didn't talk about it right then and there, then he was going to go out and find somebody better than me.
I eventually healed from my fear and insecurity and wrote about how I overcame it.
You can read all about it here.
Be faithful to each other. Let your love and your interest in each other never be infected or influenced by the world. Give yourself to each other because whatever you sow, you shall also reap. If anytime in your marriage you don’t like what you are receiving then it is a good time to look at what you are giving.
During the beginning of our honeymoon phase, which didn't last very long, I would watch my wedding video many times.
I told you it was like the best day of my life.
When my officiant said these words regarding to take a look at what I was giving because I didn't like what I was receiving, stuck with me.
Every time I didn't like what Ya'Seen was doing or lack of, I took a moment to reflect.
Was there something that I wasn't doing?
Am I even doing the very thing that I am asking him to do?
What a wonderful way to put things in perspective.
4. Stay the Course
The true manifest and benefits of your marriage may not manifest immediately, in fact it may take decades, but if you hold fast to your love for each other and the covenant you are about to make, God guarantees a blessing that will bless you in every area and dimension of your lives. The race is not given to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but to those that endure until the end.
Let me just put this right here: Don't get married if you're not willing to stick it out.
I know we all have good intentions to stay married, but what happens when the unthinkable happens?
Will you stay?
Will you continue to work on your marriage?
Even when Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray him, they all couldn't believe that it could be one of them.
They had good intentions and motives.
And even though they didn't betray him like Judas did or deny him like Peter, they still hid in fear of retaliation for following Jesus in the first place.
Get married and stay married.
Work it out.
Marriage will work if you work it.
5. Respect Him
Your role, is equally important. You are to respond to the love that he expresses to you. Eph 5:33, "Let the wife see to it that she responds to her husband. As Ya'Seen models the importance of love that he expresses to you, you are to honor the importance of respect. It is your role to respect Ya'Seen in ways that he can clearly see. Believe in him, affirm him at those times when he is feeling low. Be so in tune with his inner world that when he gives one of those faint male signals, that we are prone to do, you can pick up on it and give him a place where he can be open and honest and can recharge himself. Marriage is the environment of affirmation and acceptance that you both need while you become all that you hope to be. It's a life time covenant that will not stifle your love but instead fuel the flame of your passion and love for each other.
Women need love, men need respect.
It is vitally important that when your husband shows you love, hopefully in your love language, that you respond accordingly.
The worst thing you can do as his wife when he is expressing his love to you is to respond lack luster.
My prayer every day is that I am in tune with Ya'Seen.
I ask God to make me and mold me into the wife that Ya'Seen needs me to be.
Marriage is the place where you both are growing and becoming one and it is a safe place to make mistakes and grow.
If you aren't married yet, listen to your officiant.
Take in all that he or she says.
Take premarital counseling.
I highly advise it.
It's nuggets in there.
If you are already married, rewatch your wedding video, if you can.
If not, do a marriage check and see what areas you need to improve in and take an inventory of lessons you have learned.
What's something that you have learned from your wedding day that didn't manifest in your marriage until later?