Four different people.
Four different conversations.
Four similar questions.
“Do you believe marriage will make you more content?”
“Do you have unreasonable expectations for marriage?”
“How do you see marriage as a means to holiness?”
“What do you want out of marriage?”
I know I don’t know all the struggles we will face in marriage or the depth I will need to die to self or the difficulties of each of us being sanded and, at times, rubbed raw by the sinfulness of the other…but I want it.
I want it all.
I want the joys and tears and slammed doors and making up and concerns about the future and the grace of God’s provision. I want dinners growing cold under heavy conversation and prayers offered up sweetly like incense.
I want to ponder paint swatches for the eighth time and not be able to fully grasp an appreciable difference in the exact shade for the living room walls but know that it’s not about the paint or the walls but the lining of a nest and the nest is the home and that is how it should be.
I want to sit up late to rock the baby and fix the dishwasher and change the oil and take out the trash and rotate the tires and go to the store in the middle of a rainstorm to pick up products for her that a single guy never thinks about.
I want to make coffee and rub feet and bring flowers and notice her hair and leave notes and call just to say I was thinking of her.
I want sore knees and lost sleep and tear stains from praying for her.
I want dirt under my nails and grit between my teeth and my tunic flecked with my own blood from wading into battle on her behalf.
I want the tango. Stumbling and tangled and on each other’s toes and pressing into her and she into me and both of us into God. Feeling the small of her back rest in my hand and allowing me, wanting me, to lead and both of us hearing the same rhythm and learning the steps and no longer two but one and being willing to step back onto the floor again and again.
I want to put a ring on the hand of a woman I can look at and say, “Help me become like Christ, and I will spare nothing to do the same for you.”
I want holiness, even through hurt.
I want sacrifice and service and sanctification if it all kills me in the process, and I know it will; it must.
I want her to look down at my hand around her hand and easily imagine nail prints.
There is no other way.