The journey towards marriage is a revelatory one. It strips one of all false self-perceptions and reveals shallow pretenses. It wasn’t until the reality of my engagement, and the brand new life it signified, settled upon me that I recognized how much in my personal bubble I had resided.
I have never been before been so confronted with my self-absorption! My life has been all about me: my wants, my needs, my feelings, my routine, my expectations, my dreams, my goals, my fears, etc. All of my decisions and judgments regarding life were based on my emotions at the moment or my opinion at the time. Rarely have I put another first in my thoughts for self’s face always pops up first in my mind. This confrontation with me has not been pleasant.
Ironically, this confrontation did not come directly from my future husband. In no way has he ever judged me, manipulated my emotions, or even sought to convict me of my selfishness. He does the opposite with such sincerity. He affirms, encourages, comforts, and listens to me. It his pure, sacrificial, and constant love that has convicted me; it is a reflection of the love that I desire to give him, and I know that this love can only come from Christ.
John 15:12-13 state, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one that this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” I know without a doubt that my fiancé would give his life for mine without hesitation for that is how deep his love is for me. Before now I had never considered that I can do the same for him.
Laying down my life for him can me that I put my own interests aside and focus completely on how I can provide the support he needs. It means going the extra mile to be joyful even when I don’t feel like it at first because I know that my smile delights him; it means affirming him when he feels discouraged; it means surprising him by texting him first; it means preparing his lunch for the next day even if I’m tired; it means moving towards him when I feel like withdrawing.
The journey towards marriage is a cleansing one. It is a daily reminder that my life is not all about me. In order to become completely the one Jesus wants me to be I must pop my personal bubble and step out into a much larger world of love and sacrifice. Yes, Jesus is right. The greatest sign of true love is valuing My Love’s heart above my own and delighting in doing so.