by MW Cook

There was once a boy who went away to Bible College. He met a girl there. They got together. The girl was great, but the boy didn’t really know that. In fact, the girl was such an amazing person that there was really no one else in the whole world who could have been a better match for the boy. But the boy really didn’t know that. So after some time the boy decided it would be better to break things off.
But then the boy had to take a trip across the ocean to the strange country that the girl was from. It was a really tough trip for that silly, wimpy boy. He didn’t have a fun time for most of it. He decided that he would never be able to live in such a strange, uncomfortable, unfamiliar country. So he wanted to break things off with the girl.
So he called her and tried to begin the breaking-off procedure. But suddenly the girl was thrown into a strange crisis. The boy felt that he couldn’t break things off with the girl during this horrible crisis, so he decided to wait until later. So he comforted the girl as best he could and just waited in the funny country until his return flight was booked. While he was there he also decided to make sure he had permission to marry the girl, just in case he changed his mind later. Also, because it would be pretty embarrassing if he didn’t ask while he was there, and people might think he had a problem with commitment. The girl’s father said yes, but the boy wasn’t really excited about it much.
So then the boy came home, and he found out that the crisis had gotten worse. It seemed that the girl was going to be sent out of the country and maybe out of his life. So the boy was made instrumental in keeping the girl that he didn’t really want to marry in his country. He didn’t really know what he was doing, but he was doing what people expected him to do, and he helped save the day, in the end.
But he still didn’t really realize how cool and awesome and wonderful the girl was. He still wasn’t sure he wanted to marry the girl or even date her. He told her all this, perhaps hoping that she would make the choice for him. But she didn’t. So he stayed with her.
He went to a friend’s wedding with the girl. It was pretty depressing because he saw how happy his friend was as his bride walked down the aisle. Suddenly that common wisdom sang in his head, “Marry the woman you love.” “I’m screwed,” thought the boy.
But the boy was made of such a weak personality that he thought himself unable to change the events he was in. He felt obligated to marry this wonderful girl. So he started trying to make the best of it, and things improved. He proposed, she said yes. They got married near the end of June. It was a nice wedding, I was there.

And then it happened.

The boy’s eyes started to open. He fell completely, utterly and unalterably in love with his wife. He started to see her clearly for the first time in his life. And he didn’t just see all the amazing things about her that he had missed. He started to see her for who she was. He saw the good, the bad and the ugly, and he loved them all. He loved his wife. The years went by and, much to the boy’s surprise and in opposition to all the predictions people had given him about marriage, life got better and better. The first year was better than being single. Second year was better than first. Third was better than second. Fourth better than third. The boy was dumbfounded and humbled. He was so sorry he had ever thought about leaving that girl. He discovered that saying “marry the woman you love” is not nearly as wise as “love the woman you marry.”
And as the boy types this little blog he has made he wants to send out this encouragement to all the married or nearly-married people out there. Love your spouse. It’s hard work, yes. It’s difficult, of course. It’s a really pain in the neck sometimes, naturally. But there is almost nothing better in the world than a man and a wife living together in that strong, grace-filled love that God knits them in. Amen.