I really like weddings. It gives me the warm fuzzies to see two people publicly declare to love each other and stay with each other through good and bad times. Each wedding has a different style the reflects the bride and groom.
Weddings bring back memories of my own wedding day and my own courtship. They remind me of why I married my husband and encourage me to keep on loving him.
But after the wedding bells (or bubbles or birdseed) fade into memory...there is more to be experienced. Society does a good job grooming us to prepare for our wedding days, but don't exactly focus on the aftermath.
The marriage starts with the wedding, but it doesn't end there. Marriage involves staying committed to your spouse and loving/respecting your spouse in a Christ-like manner.
Marriage involves giving 100% into your marriage, not 50% like the world says. (You can read an article on it here) If I give 50% to my hubby, after a while, I will perceive that he's only giving 48% and then I'll back off. Then he'll back off and then I'll back off and then one day we'll wake up and wonder where the love went. When I give 100% into my marriage, I am doing what God wants (and my hubby is wowed and feels
treasured. Typically, he starts thinking of ways to spoil me, but that's
not why I give 100%.) Our love is to model God's unconditional love (no I'll love you *IF* or I love you, *BUT...*)
This being said about giving 100%, we do discuss how we divide our tasks inside and outside of the home. If one of us is overwhelmed, the other typically takes some of the overwhelmed person's tasks. We have our *typical* tasks we do, but it's not a legalistic list of "men's work" and "women's work" (except for grilling...that's clearly men's work, in my opinion).
Biblical commands on marriage are not dependent on what your spouse does.
As a wife, I am to respect my husband. Period. God's Word didn't say, "Respect him, AFTER he earned it and continues to earn it." (Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22-24, Ephesians 5:33)
My hubby is to love me. Period. God's Word didn't say, "Love her, AFTER she has done the housework and shown me respect." (Colossians 3:19, Ephesians 5:25-33, Ephesians 5:33)
I am to obey and fulfill the wife's part, regardless of how well or not well my hubby is completing his instructions. (He does great, by the way)
My challenge for you (married people) is to love & respect your spouses. Focus on what you are doing for your spouse, treating your spouse, and describing your spouse.
After the wedding bells fade, the real work, the best part of the journey begins.