Why I Put On My Wedding Dress Two Weeks Ago
A little disclaimer: I’m not a marriage expert.
In my short twenty-two years of life, I’ve been married for a year and a half.
And I’ve shown far too many times over the last year and a half that I’m definitely no expert when it comes to marriage.
While I don’t claim to be a marriage expert, I think we can all agree (expertise or not) that marriage is one of the most challenging ventures you can go on.
Yes – it’s beautiful and definitely a gift.
But it’s also challenging.
Two weeks ago, it was Valentine’s Day. My husband was at work and I was quickly trying to think of something special to do for him. My husband tends to go all out on holidays and I really wanted to do something to show him how much I love him. My husband isn’t really a “gifts” person; when you ask him what he wants for a birthday or Christmas, it’s almost always, “Nothing.” My husband is more of a words person – words of affirmation is definitely his love language. My husband still keeps notes I wrote to him from when we were dating. I know my words mean a lot to him… so I figured I’d write him a quick little love letter that he could keep.
That afternoon, I was in our bedroom when I noticed some clothes had fallen in our closet. I went to pick them up and couldn’t help but take a look my wedding dress that was tucked away at the back of the closet. My wedding dress and veil have hidden in the back of my closet since our wedding day… but I couldn’t take my eyes off of it that day.
I suddenly realized that maybe rather than writing my husband new words… he needed to hear words I had written before.
I decided I was going to renew my vows to him.
Later that day, when my husband came home from work, he was definitely surprised to find me standing in our apartment in my wedding dress and veil.
Before he could ask what I was up to, I began to read to him my wedding vows.
My vows that a 20 year old fiancé wrote with so much confidence that she would be the best wife in the world.
My vows that I penned with every good intention.
My vows that I hadn’t always kept.
My vows that I had forgotten the words of.
Too many times I had chosen to be selfish over selfless. Too many times I had placed my wants and preferences above my husband’s needs. Too many times I had valued my dreams and hopes over his. Too many times I had taken his kindness and generosity for granted – assuming I deserved his love. Too many times I had said a harsh word, knowing he would quickly forgive me. Too many times I had placed hurts from the past (that he had nothing to do with) on him.
Too many times I had failed him.
Too many times I had let him down.
It’s funny how on our wedding day it was so easy to make those romanticized promises. But life and jobs and exhaustion and bills and a baby have a way of… well, getting in the way.
I couldn’t even get through reading my vows before I began to cry.
And you want to know what my husband did?
He wrapped his arms around me.
He didn’t say, “It’s about time you apologized.”
He didn’t remind me of my shortcomings.
He didn’t chastise me or belittle me.
He told me how much he loved me. He reminded me of all of the ways that I’m a good wife to him. He expressed how thankful he was for me and that he was so glad that I was the woman he married.
Just as I was feeling so undeserving of his love… he held me in his arms and made me feel like the most loved person on earth.
Isn’t that what our Savior does? We break so many promises to Him. We’re so quick to forget His love and focus on other things. We fall short and mess up so many times.
But He wraps us in His arms.
He embraces us.
He tells us that we are forgiven.
He tells us that we are loved.
I don’t know the state of your marriage today – but I want to encourage you to do whatever it takes to make your marriage stronger. Don’t spend all of your time focused on your spouse and what they need to change. Pray that God would reveal areas in YOUR life where you can grow and change. Marriage may be hard work… but it is one of the most rewarding experiences we can ever have.
Oh, and yes – if you have to, put on your wedding dress.