Recently, a few of the girls in my youth group were talking about how they were planning to see the new movie The Vow which is coming out this weekend. As they were all agreeing on how romantic the concept of the movie is and how much they are going to cry when they watch it, one of the girls said, “I wish things like that happened in real life.”
I proceeded to tell them that the story of “The Vow” is, in fact, based on a real life couple, and that there are people who actually are committed to their wedding vows.
It saddens me to think that many teens and young adults (and, heck, even adults!) live under the assumption that people can’t or don’t have marriages that are good, happy, beautiful, and romantic. They see and experience unhappiness, broken marriages, relationships with no commitment that never lead to marriage and eventually fall apart, etc. They find it hard to believe that someone could actually live the vows they make at a wedding.
In the traditional Catholic wedding Mass, the vows go like this:
I, (name), take you, (name), to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
When my husband and I made these vows to each other in front of God, the priests, and all our family and friends, we meant it! We weren’t saying it just because that’s what you’re supposed to say to be able to be married. We didn’t say it with a little asterisk next to it saying, “We don’t really mean ALL the days of our life. We meant ‘all the good days and all the days that work for us until we get sick of each other’.”
Yes, I had to wait until I was 29 to find a man who lived up to the high standards that I had long since decided were what would make a great spouse. And, I have friends who were and are older than me who are still waiting on God or who got married at older ages because they, too, want to find someone who will make and keep those same vows and believe in the awesomeness of the sacrament of marriage.
Let me tell you, friends, it worth the wait!
The world wants people to settle for less than they deserve or live in such a way that they don’t really have to make a commitment to anyone. But, God loves so deeply and perfectly that He truly wants His children to have stories and lives as romantic and more romantic than The Vow (and, when you think about it, would really want to suffer through having a spouse not be able to remember you? I know I wouldn’t!). If we’re called to marriage, He wants us to find a spouse that will stand by our side and love us through sickness and health, in good times and in bad. He wants us to know true love.
But, we have to be willing to wait. And, we have to learn to trust.
I’m truly grateful for the blessing of my husband. But, I know that I’m not “special” or that God loves me more than other people because I’ve got him in my life. I know God wants to give everyone the best possible life, the greatest story, whether it’s in marriage, as a single person, or as a priest or religious person.
I guess it all boils down to this: Are you willing to wait on God to reveal His plan? Do we really trust that HE knows what is best for us?