I’ve been engaged for a couple of months now, and the wedding is less than half a year away. Wedding. What a funny word for me to write. I can’t get used to it. To be honest, I don’t quite like it. I use it as shorthand because, well, it’s what people call these things. But it feels like I’m putting on a shirt that doesn’t fit—it pulls here, it’s too loose there, it won’t stay tucked.
Looking to the day when David and I bind ourselves to each other in a covenant of marriage, I think of other words to describe the event: ceremony, blessing, liturgy. Is it just semantics? Perhaps. Am I being phobic of anything feminine? Likely. But this will be one of the most impactful days of our lives, and whatever shape the event takes, whatever words we use, must fit us and our understanding of the nature of marriage. It must also honor the traditions of our culture, and marriage being a public institution, our own discomfort must at times yield to the practices of our community.
Neither David nor I ever really thought we’d get married. He had trouble even picturing himself in a relationship, and I ended a 9-year one when New York State enacted marriage equality. I’m the age my parents were when they had me, and I was their fifth child—their eldest was almost 15. So why are we getting married now? Why bother? What’s different?
I’ll explore these and other questions in this space in the coming months. I'm doing this in collaboration with David. He will contribute regularly with posts of his own, and we will also write some together. Our hope is to shed light on the experience of being Christian men, committed to our faith, and called by the Lord to marriage.
This blog is the first task given to me by my future husband. He’s been nagging me about it for months, and I thank him for it. David knows I need to write, and he knows I’ve been mired in the longest writer’s block of my career. I haven’t written much since 2012, when I returned to New York from a year spent traveling across the U.S.
There are many reasons why I stopped writing (some of them mere excuses) and only one to start again: David wants me to. For now that’s enough, and this captures one possible answer to the question of why we’ve chosen to get married: a desire to grow. Marriage as I understand it requires mutual sacrifice. It requires trust. This pushes me outside my comfort zone, and I think that’s a good thing.
The day we celebrate our marriage we will host a small ceremony. We want that day to be focused not on us, but on community. There’s a lot of people we’d like to have there, and I suggested having an open-invitation ceremony with no reception, but David thinks not feeding the people who come witness our covenant would be rude. I agree, and since we don’t have the resources to throw the kind of party that goes with big weddings, a small gathering it must be.
Writing, while planning a non-wedding fit for David and me. The discomfort ahead is great. But I look forward to it. I look forward to honoring my husband, and with him, serving my community. May God help us both grow, and may He steady the way.