It’s wedding season. Just a few weeks ago, Susan and I attended the wedding of our daughter’s friend. The ceremony was awesome. We felt great about what we were witnessing: It was joyful, fun, touching, and romantic…it was an exceptional event. As we reflected on our time at the wedding, it dawned on me how attending a wedding can make our marriage stronger.
So here’s how to strengthen your marriage using a unique approach:
Awe for your spouse and marriage
The most obvious moment of awe in a wedding is when the bride enters, and everyone stands and looks at her. She is glowing. She is striking. Her smile lights up the sanctuary. Awe is also in the face of the groom who admires and desires her like no other can.
Watching a couple start their new life together gave us the opportunity to reflect, not only on where we were when we started but also on how far we have come and have grown. I looked at Susan during a wedding and thought about all we’ve gone through, the highs and lows, and I realized yet again how truly blessed I am. At the next wedding you attend, watch the groom when the bride comes in, and consider your awe for your spouse and your marriage.
Reflecting on your commitment and vows
Wedding vows are often very unique to the couple, reflecting their priorities and values. And yet, vows are often strangely consistent in their message of commitment through thick and thin. We should listen carefully to the words of the ceremony, the blessings, the prayers, the challenges, and the vows with fresh ears. It’s also a good idea to find your own vows, and review them together after the wedding. When we made our vows, everything seemed kind of easy since we were in love and inexperienced in life together. Now that we have years under our belts, we can better reflect on those vows and see what our perseverance has taught us and blessed us with.
Reassessing your hopes and dreams
Part of what is fun about witnessing a wedding is imagining the unknown road ahead for the couple. Will their dreams and plans unfold like they hope they will? How will they handle the surprises, the disappointments, the setbacks, and the successes?
For Susan and me, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on our own hopes and dreams. What were we expecting then? What do we expect now? How have we adjusted? What dreams do we still need to pursue together? During our 26 years together, Susan and I have encountered detours like everyone, but experience has also shown us that sometimes those detours were actually blessings that have allowed us to build more dreams for the future.
Life may not have gone as planned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make new plans and dream new dreams.
At the next wedding you attend, ask yourself if you’ve lost the sense of adventure of the unknown, and reimagine the future again together. Life may not have gone as planned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make new plans and dream new dreams.
Handling the loss of dreams is an important part of every marriage. For some thoughts on what to do when a dream dies, check out my blog. And in this podcast, I reflect with on how to turn broken dreams into new beginnings.
How do weddings help you appreciate your marriage and make it stronger? What will you look for at the next wedding you attend? Share your thoughts with me below.