A Thought…

I wasn’t going to write a blog about this, but after talking with a close friend, he convinced to try and get my thoughts about this out on “paper.”  It’d be cool to get a discussion going on this too, so I’m not writing this as the Final Word, as much as a thought I’m still trying to work out.   And here we go:

This summer was the Summer of the Wedding.  I went to 7 weddings, which is a record for me, and I still have one more to go this year.  Besides just being plain fun, although a little exhausting too, there was an interesting thought that kept popping up at these weddings- a thought that has popped up before and, to be truthful it has bothered me each time.   I’ve noticed that during the period of engagement, the brides become more and more beautiful.  Not in a I-wish-I-was-the-one-they-were-marrying way, but in a way that made me think to myself, “what was I missing before?”  Let me clarify: I’m not saying that these women were never attractive, not at all.  And I’m also NOT saying that I was coveting other men’s fiances; please don’t think that.  What I was noticing is that these women were walking taller, smiling more genuinely, approaching the same everyday tasks with more confidence, and all in all less concerned about what others thought about them.  I guess another way to say it would be that the very traits that made them who they are were shining through more brightly; they had been unearthed.  And that’s what got me thinking.

At first it bothered me that I hadn’t seen those things before, even as a friend.  But the more I thought about it, the more it opened an idea up to me: we can have relationships with many people- some as acquaintances, some as friends, some as love-interests, and very few, usually one in a lifetime, as that person that you love above all others.  It’s no secret, to those of you who know me well, that I’ve been wrestling through the idea of how much of that specific romantic relationship is our choice and how much of it is a mystical sort of bond that forms when the stars align over two people.

I’m going to be totally honest here: in my mind, it makes sense that females put the most work into their appearance when they’re single, then, when they know that they’ve got “their man” locked down, they don’t have to worry as much.  And maybe that actually is how it happens, but still that natural, authentic beauty continues to grow; no, not “grow,” it reveals itself.

In the end, I realized that what made these relationships so special, and what made them so worth celebrating, is that these two have found what is truly beautiful in each other and not only that, but they bring it out in each other.  That’s the key to what I was observing, in these cases specifically: the woman finds a strong man who, after earning her trust in their courtship, sees her at her core and the beauty there.  Then he provides a safe environment in their relationship for that beauty to come out, and as a result, what he saw more clearly than the others (“more clearly” is the key term here, I’m not saying no one else ever saw it) comes out for all to see.  Then we gather together to celebrate their decision to make that thriving relationship a permanent relationship.

This idea has helped me to understand a few things.  One, it affirms the idea that we need to be seeking a relationship where the two are better than one, and better than just the total sums of their parts.  If they both make each other better people, than they will be far better as a team than as two individuals.  Second, it immediately turns the focus off ourselves.  Charlie Sandberg, in a recent sermon, asked the question: are you dating whoever you’re dating because of your love for Jesus?  Well, I had never really thought of it that way.  I always thought that I loved Jesus and dated this other person that I was interested in.  But if, in our relationships, we are looking for the best for that other person, and trying our best to see how we can enable them to be themselves, it will be our desire to honor Christ that ultimately leads to the best for both parties involved.  To be honest, I think there will be many times where, no matter how great we think someone is as an individual, we won’t feel that special connection.  That’s ok.  And sometimes I think we will see that true beauty in someone else and at the same time realize that we won’t be the ones who help make that flourish.  Also ok.

But when you find someone that you can’t stand to NOT be around, and you realize that you see something in them that not only makes them uniquely special, but makes you feel uniquely special, you should probably hold on to that.  That is all.

One Response to “A Thought…”

  1. Great post Daniel!

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