I am, by no means, an expert on relationships or marriage. I haven't taken any classes or read many books, and I certainly do not have the many, many years of experience that most of my family and friends have. I am, however, a constant work in progress and an eager learner and note-taker. And every now and then I have these moments; moments that can only come from a divine and powerful speaker, a loving teacher and Father. And I'm not sure how this particular moment happened, but I know that it came like an elephant-sized package, right into my lap.
I have over a hundred reasons of why I want to marry Alex Ferrero. Most of them are because of our likeness and similarities. And others are because of his heart for people and family and marriage and me. And some are just because he is downright funny and breathtakingly handsome. (I'm telling you-that boy in a t-shirt, or when the sun hits him just right in the passenger seat, or after he's been laughing so hard and his cheeks are beat red-is handsome.) Nonetheless, I have many, many, many reasons. But the other day, around 4:30 p.m., I discovered another.
We know that part of God and part of love is forgiveness. We are called-compelled-to forgive our family and our friends and even our enemies because we are children of God. We are also called into a marriage with our God; a covenant and promise to be His. This illustration is the most powerful to me and therefore causes marriage to be the second most important thing in my life. I consider it more than a fun wedding day, more than hanging out with my best friend, and more than just one of the decisions in my life. I consider it a divine calling and abundant blessing in my life.
And there in that same kitchen I was proposed to, I realized that marriage is about forgiving the same person, sometimes for the same things, over and over. And forgiveness is more than saying 'I forgive you'. It's about reconciling; restoring friendly relations or causing to coexist in harmony. And not that Alex has much of anything to forgive...ever; he really doesn't. But I know that I do. I know I can be moody and weird and sometimes left of center, but I also know that, despite all of those things, he continues to forgive and love me.
Not that this is an easy task by any means. Our flesh tells us to maybe forgive once, but to definitely run or seek revenge if we're offended again. But I am a child of the Most High God. I am called and compelled to forgive others around me because of how God forgives me. Thankfully, I do not have to walk around this earth carrying luggage full of my baggage. I can run fast to my God and I can run fast into the things He has planned for me because I am no longer carrying the weight of my sins. Ephesians 4:20-24 says,
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
If God has made me a new creation, taught me a new way to live, and forgiven all of my sins, how can I not give this love and forgiveness away so freely? And I'll tell you something else; Alex has made me a completely new person as well. I'm happier and more peaceful and much easier to be around. And because of his goodness, how could I not strive to coexist in complete harmony or have constant friendly relations with him? And how could I not be prepared to completely forgive and reconcile with him all the days of my life?
With that said, I will boldly say that you should never marry someone you aren't fully prepared to constantly forgive, on a daily basis, and sometimes for the same things, over and over again. And the only way this will ever be possible for any human is to understand the way our God forgives us, every single day, and often for the same things, over and over again.